This Saturday was probably some sort of scented anniversary. I say ‘probably’ as I’m being a bit over-romantic - I think it’s roughly the 25 year anniversary of the onset of my dependable and satisfying relationship with Clarins' stalwart scent - Eau Dynamisante. It has lasted longer than any of my relationships with men and seen me through life stages of goth, shoegazer, raver, art school libertine, festival queen, indie kid, grown up indie kid and whatever hybrid of nonsense I am now.
I marked it by buying yet another bargainous bottle.
What makes it’s so worthy of commitment? To me, it possesses all the qualities of a traditional European eau de cologne. It offers abounding refreshment (alike most lemony colognes) but has the addition of a whopping whiff of personality, a grand charisma far beyond what you would expect from something generally squirted to offer relief from heat or fatigue.
Clarins describe it as a ‘treatment fragrance’;
“Aromatic essential oils with treatment properties (Lemon, Patchouli, White Thyme, Petit Grain and Rosemary): scent, promote a wonderful feeling of freshness, vitality and well-being”
It’s true. It does. What they neglect to say is that it also offers a sense of exoticism, enabled by truly spicy elements of cardamom, carnation and coriander seed, which make it feel extraordinarily warm after the initial lemony blast dissipates. In fact it’s almost oriental, a kind of schizophrenic scent borrowing from several genres; the earthy dry patchouli offers a serious chypre quality, the spices a heady oriental nuance, and a citrus herbal blend reminiscent of a historic eau de cologne in the manner of Guerlain or Roger and Gallet. This multifaceted feel renders it a more riotous experience than the rather medicinal marketing bumph implies.
The original invigorating eau de cologne, Jean Marie Farina
What is curious about this scent is that very few menfolk wear it. Although often criticised for being ‘too masculine’, it remains firmly in the female domain. I assume that its sales point is the problem. It takes a brave man to approach the department store Clarin’s counter. Whilst us females happily play amongst the lotions and lipsticks, comfortable in a world of feminine luxury, men can often feel a bit shifty. I’ve seen it in action. Whilst shopping with boyfriends I’ve hurried my purchases to reduce the inevitable uncomfortable bloke syndrome. I don’t understand why they fail to feel the lure of sticking their fingers in a sample pot of cream and instead stand at least a good 3 feet away from the counter looking nervous. It’s as if touching a product will make their penis shrink (possibly permanently).
Fountain of fearsome girliness
If you can get over the fear boys, please do go and take a whiff next time you find yourself in a department store. If you adore the Blue Acqua di Parma range or the Guerlain Eau de Colognes, you might be quite smitten with Eau Dynamisante. The only negative is that (alike most citrus rich colognes) it doesn’t emit its grandness for more than a couple of hours, so if you require a long lasting scent this is the wrong genre for you. However, a gift set with shower gel, body lotion and 100 ml of fragrance costs just £32 so you can layer the products to give it a bit more tenacity.
Maybe the act of making my boyfriends accompany me to Clarins counters could be the reason why Eau Dynamisante has stayed with me for so many more years than they have. To 'Insert multiple names here', I'm sorry...