Dior doesn't get high points for originality or cultural authenticity, bearing in mind this new "port of call" in their summery Cruise collection is inspired by Brazil as announced a while ago on these pages. Escale à Parati vividly recalls in the top notes the effervescent composition of classically French L'eau Impériale by Guerlain extended on the petals of (lots of) soapy & tartly clean orange blossom.
The effect is pleasant, exhillarating, more specifically it's what the French call "pétillant", recalling the use of orange blossom in its "cleansed up", non indolic form in another summery, uplifting cologne Lancome's Ô de l'Orangerie (for a review and comparison of all the O de Lancome fragrance editions please refer to the link) but not as soapy as the limited edition from 2009 Prada Infusion de Fleurs d'Oranger .
The progression in Escale à Parati goes into predictably classic "cologne" notes in the mould of 4711 by Muehlens, uniting herbal and aromatic essences with a lightly sweet note (in the Dior it's tonka bean with its cut hay and lightly vanillic touch). Francois Demachy highlights the verdant tartness of the essence itself with the leafy scent of mint, arguably another trick in which Guerlain has paved the path in via their Guerlain Homme.
There are no discernible fruits to speak of in the mix nor the overt sensualism & sexiness associated with Brazilians (a most carnal people), which makes the whole Brazilian experiment sound more of a marketing positioning on the part of LVMH than an authentic pilgrimage to the vast culutral tapestry of South America. This in itself makes the launch (especially after 2 years since the last, as opposed to the annual churning out at the beginning of the series) rather incomphrehensible; one would think there are enough summery colognes in the Dior range already, why the need for one more? Undoubtedly because Brazil is an untapped market with the potential of exponential growth...
This particular Escale fragrance is fit for sharing between the sexes and the shade of the juice is really inviting, but the lasting power is comparable to the other Escales, i.e. not much. Nevertheless, when it's hot, one doesn't mind respritzing to feel the coolness of the citrusy breeze.
ior's Escale à Parati is meant to be shared between the sexes, providing a light air inspired by the Costa Verde and its atmosphere of fun, dance and music. The fragrance includes citrusy and woody notes of bitter orange (bigaradier), lemon, petit-grain, rosewood, mint, cinnamon, red berries and tonka bean.
Available as 75 and 125 ml Eau de Toilette from June 2012 at major department stores.
One new bottle (from which 5ml have been decanted for reviewing purposes )for a lucky reader.
Share in the comments to enter the draw, which is your favourite summery cologne and why?
In the interests of disclosure, got the promo bottle through a distributor. Collage by Eric White