Created by : Edmond Roudnitska
Date : 1966
Genre : Citrus floral (jasmine)
Concentration : eau de toilette
If the 60s started the year The Beatles aired on The Ed Sullivan Show (1964), the 60s of the perfume world started in 1966, the year Christian Dior launched Eau Sauvage. This “wild” eau de toilette changed the way men thought, and still think, about fragrance. It took a cultural revolution and a grand master of perfume, Edmond Roudnitska, to topple the old image of fragrance and men. Overnight, it was simply hip for the average man to wear fragrance.
The person who introduced me to ES was my father, a conservative, 2nd generation Italian accountant who never would have splurged on cologne if he didn’t absolutely love it. Nevermind that his father, an immigrant labourer, wore Old Spice, my university-educated father would have nothing to do with men’s cologne… until Eau Sauvage came along. For some reason, it spoke to him. It was a classic edt in a traditional bottle but it had a “with it” image. It was manly but unsubtle. It was simple but 3-dimensional. It was fresh but it had substance.
Eau Sauvage is a continuation of a trend that Edmond Roudnitska started 10 years prior with Diorissimo where he excluded all edible notes and simplified the formula. And although it was very popular with women, this is a man’s eau de toilette… stark and edgy with a rockstar electric-guitar opening. The top citrus notes shout then subside within the first 5 minutes to reveal an undercurrent of pine, oakmoss and a jasmine heart, most likely provided by Hedione, a synthetic molecule patented in 1962 that lingers both on the skin and in the air. Some reviewers detect a rosemary note, but I don’t. For me, this is basically a citrus-jasmine accord… plain and simple.
Although ES is forceful, it is also well-behaved. Four hours after I put it on, my lunch partner asked me what I was wearing. But 2 hours after that, the drama was all over… just what you’d expect from a classic eau de toilette… 6 hours of action before drydown.
I would recommend it to almost anyone who likes citrus or jasmine scents. Eau Sauvage is in my current top ten. It’s always right. My only reservation would be for those who like their fragrance to have a plot… beginning, middle and a surprise ending. Not here. Eau Sauvage dies down similarly to the way music does when you slowly turn down the volume of your mp3 player.
Although some critics have called it dated, when I road-tested it for this review I found that the “Mod-Swinging-London-Miniskirts-Carnaby Street” vibe was still there and a hell of alot of fun.
Top Image : David Hemmings, Jane Birkin and Gillian Hills in Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blowup (1966)
Bottom Image : Mike Myers as Austin Powers