This is a scent all about harmony and tranquility; transparent, watery notes are held alongside hints of fruit and decadent florals. Don’t overlook this balanced and nuanced little ray of sunshine.
Some perfumes are obvious ones to review; new releases, really challenging ones, really controversial ones. But what about the fragrances that are just quietly getting on with business? The perfumes who are work-horses for fragrance? The ones that don’t smack you in the face for attention? The ones that lift your spirits on a regular day, when you wear them to pick the kids up or do the supermarket shop? Who’s going to give them time in the spotlight? That’s right: we are. Of course.
It would be so easy to overlook L’Eau de Phaedon; it’s not controversial, it’s very easy to wear, it’s been out a while. But here’s the rub: it’s a really great, uplifting, solid fragrance and one that will add some balance and harmony to your collection.
White neroli, jasmine, yellow mandarine, aloe vera, agave leaves, musk, white woods.
Phaedon Paris are one of those brands who are easy to miss; they aren’t flashy, they don’t charge crazy prices, their bottles and presentation are modest, their scents are rarely in-your-face challenging, but to overlook them would be to miss out on some really excellent smells. We’ve already reviewed Pure Azure and Pluie de Soleil which are both Summery stunners and well worth checking out too.
Phaedon Paris form part of the Pierre Guillaume stable of perfume lines. They are a little less edgy and contemporary than the Parfumerie Generale or eponymous lines, but they fill a vital need in the niche perfume industry in that their scents can often be gateway drugs to harder juices, so to speak. This is a fantastic brand to start with if you are new to niche scents, or just starting to explore the options available out there in the vast universe of fragrance land.
A spritz of L’Eau de Phaedon opens with a fairly bright but nondescript citrus. We couldn’t identify this as mandarine of any colour, never mind yellow, but it is pleasant and gives a burst of initial energy for what develops into a really uplifting yet soothing scent.
After the citrusy notes the big white florals sweep into the room; neroli and jasmine. These two old school best friends waltz in and the scent really gets going but neither the neroli or the jasmine are at levels that are intimidating. They are both held at a level that invites you in, sits you down, makes you a cup of tea. And this is a story that plays throughout the wearing of this scent – it’s a story of restraint. It’s not decadent, knicker-tossing abandon, instead it’s restrained, balanced, charming. The girl-next-door type of fragrance that you would definitely be able to introduce to your parents without fear that it would get drunk and vomit all over the carpet.
As the perfume wears and settles, a cool creaminess comes in. L’Eau de Phaedon does very much embody the word ‘transparent’. It has that thin, watery nature and is fresh and green at the same time. It’s hard to smell the heart without imagining a watercolour painting of a stream or pond full of rushes and waterlilies.
The florals are retained in the heart, but their volume is turned down by this evocation of wateriness. The result is a real sense of peacefulness and calm. In the same way that sitting by a quietly babbling brook is calming, so wearing this scent is too.
It’s not easy to identify but we can quite clearly see the influence of aloe vera at work in the heart, giving this fresh, green, water-like quality to the scent. It also has this kind of healing feel about it from the aloe, like as if somehow this scent is healthy. That could just be our own personal associations with being slathered in aloe vera cream when we got sunburn as kids though. Either way, it doesn’t detract from L’Eau de Phaedon being something really rather creamy and delightful.
To say that the base of this scent is woody would be misleading. There is something wood-like in there but it’s not a bold, chunky wood. Instead just the edges of white, fresh wood sawdust peep through. It’s pleasant and gives the uplifting florals something to hang off to make sure that they don’t float away entirely, but never goes as far as really stamping its authority all over the scent. The white woods are backed up with musks but again these are at levels which complement rather than compete with the other notes in this delicate bouquet.
What is retained on the skin after a couple of hours is very cocooning, very clean but in a warm way, like clean skin after a bath when the lotion and talc has sunk in. It’s a reassuring fragrance that you know, as soon as you spray it, that it isn’t going to do anything crazy and the base leaves you feeling like whatever the day has thrown at you, you’re alright.
The other stuff
The longevity of L’Eau de Phaedon is moderate. It lasted until about an hour after lunch before disappearing. It should be noted that this is an eau de toilette scent though, so that isn’t all that surprising.
The projection of the scent – as in the amount that it comes off your skin and can be smelt by other people – was also moderate, decreasing significantly towards the latter half of the wear.
Although this scent is described as unisex, try as we might we can’t imagine it appealing to very many guys. The florals are too high in the mix for that, perhaps. Because of that we felt it sat more comfortably over towards the female end of the spectrum.
L’Eau de Phaedon is a great every day scent. Not every scent can, should, or needs to be over the top and overly dramatic. Scents like that definitely have a time and a place, but then so do scents like this, very pleasant day to day scents that are easy to wear, easy to chuck on and forget about until your clothes waft and you get that gorgeous little hit of neroli to perk you right up. You wouldn’t (and probably shouldn’t) take the cat to the vet wearing Secretions Magnifiques but you might just do it wearing L’Eau de Phaedon.
Even though we are describing this as an everyday scent, please don’t imagine that we think it’s boring. The notes in the scent might be tried and tested but they are tried and tested for the simple reason that they work, and they work well. You could still wear this scent and not smell like anyone else at the school gates, but you just wouldn’t necessarily smell avant-garde either.
As another bonus point, we could see L’Eau de Phaedon being a good alternative for someone who wanted the fuzzy white florals of Melodie De L’Amour by Dusita without the associated price tag. It’s definitely worth a try if you don’t have very deep pockets.
L’Eau de Phaedon is available as an exclusive at Bloom Perfumery London, priced at £69 for 100ml EDT, although it is currently showing as out of stock. If you can’t wait for Bloom to restock, try Phaedon direct, where it is priced at 89 euros for the same amount. We were very kindly given a sample of this scent by Bloom Perfumery, London.