Friday, May 4, 2012

Dior Escale a Parati: fragrance review & bottle giveaway

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. Draw is open internationally till Monday 7th midnight. (draw is now closed, thank you)
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


  1. I agree with you regarding lasting power and lack of originality, still I would love to enter the competition.

    I am actually looking for a summer perfume/cologne and last year had Lancome's O de la Orangerie, which I liked but everyone else hated on me. I like uplifting citrusy and grapefruity smells for summer, so if you have any recommendations, please enlighten me. But I also bought a greek cologne that I had during my chidlhood Μυρτώ λεβάντα, I know cheap but surprisignly masculine and light. ελπίζω να μην έριξα πολύ το επίπεδο. :P

  2. Μα τι λες καλή μου! Η Μυρτώ λεβάντα είναι θεά!! (μ'αρέσει κι εμένα) Ειλικρινά, μας "ρίχνουν" που δεν προωθούν τις ντόπιες μάρκες τύπου Μυρτώ, Fissan (ναι, ναι), Μενούνου (ωραιότερο fougere)... ;-)

    You're in! Good luck!

  3. I really love Eau de Rochas with it's wonderful patchouli beneath the citrus. I'm also attracted to Guerlain's Cologne de Parfumeur, though I haven't purchase a bottle yet. I'd love to give this a try! Thanks for the draw!

  4. Summer is when I bring out Alberto Morillas masterpiece Mugler cologne for its sheer fresh and clean vibe and herba fresca in the Acqua Allegoria series.I had a brief fling with escale a Pondicherry a few years back but it passed. hopefully Parati would have better luck. Thanks for the draw.

  5. Ooops, sorry ΛΔ, forgot to recommend uplifting citrusy and grapefruity smells for summer! Here's a list:

    Un Jardin sur le Nil (Hermes)
    In Love Again (YSL)>very lasting!
    Eau de Guerlain (Guerlain)>would probably have to source stockists with older stock
    Eau de Pamplemousse Rose (Hermes)
    Neroli (Annick Goutal)
    L'Eau de Chloe (Chloe)
    Eau de Fleurs Neroli (Chloe)
    Cristalle EDT (Chanel)
    Eau Fraiche (Dior)>NB.this is the reissued classic in the Creations line, not the flanker to any Miss Dior Cherie thingie...
    Amazone (Hermes)
    Divine Bergamot (The Different Company)
    Bergamotto Marino (Ferre)

  6. To the above adding:
    Also rec Eau de Rochas, a glorious summer cologne and the Aqua di Parma line Blu Mediterraneo (all the scents are uplifting and good, especially Mirto and the citrus one).

  7. Matt,

    the Rochas has a cult following, can't blame you!
    Good luck!

  8. Yash,

    does the Mygler Cologne still circulate? I never see it nowadays :-(

    Herba Fresca I love as well, it's so refreshing without being too "masculine".

    Best of luck!

  9. Anonymous13:58

    My fav cologne is Eau de Cologne by Chanel.

    Thank you.


  10. I love colognes for warm weather. My favorites are Guerlain Eau Imperiale, Chanel Eau de Cologne, Aqua Colonia, and Eau de Rochas. All of these are refreshing and light enough not to overpower anyone in the heat and humidity.

    Thanks for the drawing!

  11. d3m0lici0n14:23

    My favorite summer cologne is Acqua di parma Colonia, it is uplifting, refreshing and it lasts! Another close contender is Dior Granville. Thanks for the draw.

  12. The color is very appealing! I don't own many colognes, honestly, but do wear Eau Dynamisante sometimes in the heat and also enjoy grapefruity scents like Moschino Funny and Par Amour Toujours.

  13. Fernando15:43

    Well, I don't know. We Brazilians come in many styles, and some of us might be cool and sparkling instead of carnal. Of course, I'm neither: more the dark and brooding kind.

    I don't go for many colognes, but I do keep a bottle of Guerlain's Imperiale on hand for hot summer nights. It lasts just long enough to get me to sleep, and is gone when I wake up. (Probably long before, of course.)

    I've played with Dior Homme Sport, but it doesn't work well for my wife: she always greets it with "that smells good", but an hour later announces she is tired of it.

  14. MariaA16:40

    Μυρτω!! Ο μπαμπας μου ακομα λουζεται με το λεμονι μετα το ξυρισμα Απιστευτη! I love it!!Escale a Pondichery was very good on me from the Dior range last year was Estee's Bronze Godess soleil (Azuree was much better but now finished:( , however I am addicted now to Philipine Houseboy !!!

  15. I am in love with Maison Martin Margiela (untitled) - it's fresh and green, never cloying in the heat, and is just odd enough to keep me interested all day, and the lasting power is very good. When I'm feeling like being a little more dressed-up, I reach for Acqua di Parma Colonia Assoluta or Tom Form Neroli Portofino, both are very tailored, classy,and beautiful. And while not exactly an Eau de Cologne, Malle's French Lover (Bois d'Orage) is also fresh and green and a little mineral, lovely! Thank you for the oportunity to be entered in the drawing.

  16. cheesegan16:55

    My favorite summer cologne is Mure et Musc cologne by L"Artisan Parfumerie. It smells like a blackberry field in the morning before the full sun hits. There's the black berry, but there is the citrus of unripened fruit and a nice, sharp green throughout the scent. It only seems right to wear it in summer and it holds best on the skin when there is some heat.

  17. MariaA16:59

    oooops you said favorite cologne and I just wroe whatever came in mind. I tried many from the 4711 line and lemon and ginger together with blood orange and basil are my favorites!!

  18. Andrea17:37

    My favorite Summer cologne is Guerlain Eau du Coq. AA Flora Nerolia, Prada Infusion de Fleurs d'oranger, R&G Jean Marie Farina and Dior Escale a Portofino are close running-ups. Thanks for the draw.

  19. My sense of smell just recently back, I was delighted to open the drawer and decide. Joyous with the Ma Griffe!

  20. Sorry to hear this isn't mind-blowing. Yet I'd still like to enter the draw! I do so love Escale a Pondichery, I'm hoping I might find something to like in this one.

  21. Favorite summer cologne? That's a tie between Escale a Portofino and Jardin sur le Nil. They are great, but the effects are different: I find Escale a Portofino crisp and clean especially comforting on days when I'll actually be sweating. Jardin sur le Nil has a lovely base that lends itself more to sitting in the office in the cool air conditioning and looking out at the hot white heat outside (rather than sitting in it).

    A good cologne is worth it's weight in GOLD in the south. :) Thanks for the draw! I think it sounds perfect for me.

  22. Anonymous18:55

    To cool and refresh in summer's heat, I like AG Eau Hadrien and quite often I still turn to Jean Nate Concentrated Cologne spray and after-bath splash. Oldies but goodies, imho!

    My only experience with the series thus far is with Escale a Portofino, unfortunately it turned out to be not for me. On a man, I think, it would be wonderful.
    The notes in Parati make me think (hopefully) I would like it better.

  23. I don't think I own any colognes as such, favorites in summer is Guerlain Vetivier, Jardin apres la Monsoon and Rose Ikebana.
    When it comes to citrus I wouldn't mind a bottle of Azemour les Orangers

  24. I am partial to Eau de Cologne Chanel. Unlike most others, I do think that a classical Eau de Cologne recipes ought to be transient. A spritz, five minutes of happiness, then move on. I feel that eau de colognes that are very persistent always overstay their welcome.

  25. While I ve tested some light summer scents last year, I found out that J`adore L`eau Cologne Florale Dior for women is one that I like. Still thinking about buying it. But now I own O d`Azur Lancome and I will use this. I love very light scents but need to smell not only citruses but flowers too.
    lubaska dot k at gmail dot com

  26. Chanel Eau de Cologne - it's refreshing, uplifting and clean smelling. It's like a crisp white shirt

  27. Oooh I would love to win this! Sounds lovely :)

  28. Anonymous20:45

    Cologne by Thierry Mugler is my favourite. Then, Eau d' Orange Verte by Hermes. I have pleasant associations with these, because they were offered in the bath line of some hotels I' ve been.

  29. Eau de Rochas always means summer to me. I also love wearing Eau de Cologne Imperiale by Guerlain. It is the fragrance my (late) father always wore and when I splash it on I feel as though he is right next to me. Thank you for the generous draw. :-)

  30. Maureen20:47

    My favorite summer fragrances are Cristalle, O de Lancome, EL White Linen Pure Breeze, and I did like Escale a Portifino a lot. I would love to try this one.

  31. Sorry I forgot to add -- my favorite summery scent is Firebird Saltwater perfume oil -- reminds me of summers on the Jersey shore as a kid :)

  32. Anonymous22:21

    My favorite summer cologne is Angel by Theirry Mugler. I am in love the wooden oriental scent. It is a classic but it never gets old. It also reminds me of college which is definitely a good thing!

    pokergrl8 at

  33. annemariec23:01

    What a cynical exercise, referencing Brazil in a fragrance name without actually taking on any of the characteristics of that country in the juice. Still, it does sound nice.

    My favourite for summer is Eau de Givenchy. But so many people have recommended the Rochas that I really had better try it!

  34. i want i want~
    my favourite is Amazone from Hermes ;)

  35. L'Eau D'Issey D'Ete Summer Perfume is my choice.

    Elena V

  36. Anonymous01:59

    Mugler Cologne and old Berdoues traditional basic cologne are two summer favourites.
    I like the notes list for Escale a Parati, so please enter me in the draw.

  37. I know it's really old but I still like 'Light Blue' By Dolce & Gabbana for summer.

  38. I love Estee Lauder's Pleasures. It's a great summer scent and all year round.

  39. I like VS Bombshell Summer. It's really clean & fresh and citrusy. Always cheers me up! :)

  40. I always keep 4711 around for a summer spritz !

  41. I love to use durring summer days either Clarins "Eau dinamisante" or Hermes "Orange verte"

  42. solanace10:08

    Well, I'm crazy about chypres and orientals, and have a hard time investing too much on a cologne, so I tend to wear a Brazilian classic, Boticario Acqua Fresca. Surely no big deal, but it reminds me of my childhood.

    My beloved Parati, whith its colorful colonial houses, street artists, great food, forested hills and pristne beaches... Ah, the Trindade beaches! I Love trekking around all day and going for a walk in town by night. Now, seriously, I'm glad they did not go for the "sexy" stereotipe - as a Brazilian women, I can say we absolutely hate that! This is an image crafted by European men. Brazil is actually a very conservative, religious country, and Brazilian women tend to be quite repressed sexually - unfortunatelly, of course,I sure wish we were more dionysian, so to speak, and could enjoy Parati beaches topless... ;-)

  43. Stephan10:10

    If it smells something like Eau Impériale, then why not.


  44. When the question is about cologne then gentian blanche is my only answer. I just find it unique, quirky and calming at the same time. It is clean enough to be a summer scent but never gets soapy or detergent like. Another choice, though strictly speeking not a cologne, is Clinique's Happy.

  45. Jen H.10:22

    Annick Goutal's Eau de Hadrien because it will always remind me of summer trips to Carmel, CA! Clean salty air and that perfume always bring me back to those wonderful trips!

    volta2173 at sbcglobal dot net

  46. Holly F.11:05

    I find Moschino I Love Love to be a cool and refreshing grapefruit treat during those steamy summer months. Thanks for the draw!

  47. Anonymous11:30

    Escale a Parati: sounds wonderfull! please enter me in the draw.
    My favourite cologne at the moment is "mon numero 9" by l'artisan parfumeur. Bought in Paris end of march during a three day perfumetravel. It is a limited edition!

  48. would love to be entered into the draw. My fave summery colognes are hermes pamplemousse rose, chanel EDC & VC&A Cologne noir

  49. In summer I often spritz the ole faithful L'Eau d'Hadrian. Guerlain Imperiale is good, too, but lasts about 20 minutes.

  50. My favourite cologne for the summer is 4711. It's truly simple and refreshing taking me back to the days when I was a young girl at school.

  51. Anonymous13:49

    Every summer, I quest for the "perfect" floral citrus. I'm still looking for my HG. I did like DSH Pamplemousse but it's very short lived. Still, 100 degree days make it a great choice for a blast of refreshing goodness. I love orange blossom, and my favorite is Bourbon French. It's sweet and realistic and long lived. A great choice!

    Thanks for the draw :)

  52. please enter me in the draw, my perfect summer fragrance is dior eau sauvage, the original men's cologne, classic, gentlemanly, aristocratic. i always associate it with summer, beach, sand, sea breeze.

  53. london14:34

    Cologne Bigarade is probably my favourite. I also love Bergamote 22.

  54. Anonymous14:51

    I do always look forward to the new summer Dior, even if they are vaguely disappointing in strength. The romance, the idea, of them is what gets me. That said, I think Portofino and Pondicheri are wonderful, if light.

    For summer spritzing, I usually have a light cologne from L'Occitane in the fridge, a verbena souped up with green tea, jasmine, or bergamot.

    Please enter me in the draw.

  55. I love Cristalle in the summer. That hit of sharp citrus really invigorates. I'm also a huge fan of Calandre by Paco Rabanne, which I recently rediscovered thanks to your blog!

  56. Escada Taj Sunset is my number one for summer!
    I't fruity, light and lasts really long. It's the scent of summer adventures!

  57. For summer I love A Goutal Madragore and Estee Lauder Private Collection, the original one.

    Thanks for the draw!

  58. Not much of Brasil in there...

    My favourite summer cologne is Mugler Cologne. Nothing fresher and cleaner. Like a cool shower.

  59. Eva H.19:43

    I am not sure that they qualify as colognes in the classic sense but I love using AA Mandarine Basilic, Eau d'Hadrien or Elizabeth Arden Green Tea in the warmer months.

  60. Eva H.19:58

    Oops. I forgot to mention why I like them: I love citrussy scents and these are tangy with hints of herbal notes. Very refreshing and cooling. I also like AA Herba Fresca for its minty freshness.

  61. I tried this scent - very nice. :)

    I don't have summer scent but mostly I wear: Omnia C., Malabah and Kenzo Peace.

  62. Anonymous23:28


  63. please enter me in the draw:) My favourite cologne is 4711, just love it!

  64. Selina05:11

    What good timing! I was just thinking today that I wanted to find a light, fresh summer perfume, without it being too soapy-fresh. I don't really have a "summer cologne", but I wore Firebird's Pomegranate rose a lot last summer. It's bright, happy, and tart-sweet: perfect for hot days.

  65. My favorite summery cologne is Acqua Colonia Blood Orange & Basil. I love it because of the tart orange note and the aromatic basil. It smelled very natural and simple. Very refreshing on hot weathers too.

  66. I enjoy L'Occitane's Jasmine Green Tea because it reminds me of the beverage and of the jasmine that is in bloom in San Francisco.

  67. Miss Heliotrope07:15

    I don't know what my favorite is, for I am shiny new at this scent thing, and am not easily able to get out of the house to smell things.

    I find the various descriptions here inspiring & helpful for my imagination.

  68. Anonymous12:10

    I love Mandarine-Basilic de Guerlain for summmer, because it fits with with the hot climate of Athens_Greece. It has a beautifull sillage and does not sound "heavy" in my daily busy life... Louse Koulas. have a nice summer!

  69. My favourite for this season is Prada Infusion d'Homme. It's delicate, light but lasting forever. It pleases me and those who are somewhere around me so it's a double ++ deal :)

    Thanks for this generous giveaway!

  70. Cynthia16:54

    Thanks for the draw. My summer favorite is L'Artisan Pour un Ete. It is refreshing, bracing and unusual.

  71. Ingeborg17:50

    I first found Escale à Pondichéry two years ago on holiday in France. I like it a lot, it behaves well on skin even on the warmest days and has a clean feel to it (with just a hint of spice and tea). So I have purchased a new full bottle now. Please enter me in the draw, the Escale à Parati sounds like it is equally easy to wear.

  72. Anonymous17:59

    Demeter's Tomato, kept in the fridge is nice in the summer. Not technically a cologne, but it is fleeting...AnnieA

  73. Roxana19:53

    My favourite is Hermes Eau de Pamplemousse Rose - grapefruit is one of my favourite fruit scents.
    I simply love this edc (be it summer or winter). It's the perfect ''grapefruit meets rose'' kind of love story; deja-vu and newness in one!
    The new Escale also sounds good - would love to try a cologne with a sweet touch!
    Thank you for entering me the draw. And for your wonderful blog!

  74. My favourite summery cologne is Chloe' (L'eau de Chloe, green bottle), because it is very fresh, easy and it smells great on my skin!

    Thank you for this giveaway!


  75. Anonymous00:15

    Favourite summer cologne (for decades) is Eau de Rochas. It's wonderful -- refreshing and rich at the same time. Last summer I also enjoyed Tauer's Le Cologne du Maghreb with its brighter, greener aspects.

    I am intrigued by your description of the "petillant" effect of Escale a Parati.

    Thanks for the draw opportunity.

    -- Lindaloo

  76. (Divine) Bergamote. Just bought a full bottle for this summer.

  77. Anonymous16:08

    I like the more subtle L'artisans for the summer- L'eau ( heat amplifies the seaweed note), L'ete en Douce (gentle violets, and linden) and Fleur de Liane. I know Fde L does not get much love from the blogosphere, but I love it! I love the melon, and the sea accord. The heat amplifies the subtle notes. They are wonderful!

    I hope you are well,

    Carole MacLeod

  78. noetic owl17:08

    Atelier Orange Sanguine is my favorite summer cologne

  79. Ipop19:15

    Thanks for the draw, please let me in.

    My fav summer cologne is Light Blue by D&G. It cuts through the humidity.

  80. Thanks for the draw!

    For summer, I also favor Eau de Rochas. I also really like Eau Sauvage if I am in a certain mood (I'm female, it's one of those 'don't mess with me' scents, comforting but very capable).

  81. I love Grand Neroli by Atelier Colognes, and Annick GOutals Neroli is another great one. THanks for this draw!

  82. Susiesusie21:48

    I'm loving Acqua di Parma Colonia Intensa. It's meant for men but it smells fresh and deep and delicious all at once!

    I also love Ferre Bergamotto Marino for a citrus slightly aquatic cologne. Lasts hours too. X

  83. Nina Ricci's Bigarade, because... well, it's nicely citrusy, bittersweet, lasts long and just works for me.

    And, well, Saharienne with extra frankincense and elemi to add some substance to it because Saharienne on its own is just a promise of things to come... which never actually come so I tweaked it around.

    For spritzing generously in summer, I use Chanel's Sycomore, though.

    And yes sure I want to be entered in the draw.

  84. Diptyque's L'eau de Neroli is my favorite summer cologne for it's powdery-orange yumminess.

  85. My current favorite summery, sunny weather cologne is Jo Malone's Grapefruit cologne. I find it refreshing but I don't think it has great sillage.


  86. My favorite summery fragrance is Calvin Klein's eternity! its amazing!! :)

  87. noetic owl13:14

    Oops! I forgot to say why I like orange's the perfect shot of uber-citrus for those extremely hot and humid summers in the Northeast,USA.

  88. My favorite summer scent is O de Lancoome - the green notes are clean and refreshing, and the chypre part is calming,which reminds me to enjoy summer's sultry, leisurely pace.

    I would love to try Escale Parati - your review intrigues me. Thank you for offering this opportunity.

  89. Another fave - Sel de Vetiver. So cooling and summery. Definitely interested in Escale Parati.


Type your comment in the box, choose the Profile option you prefer from the drop down menu, below text box (Anonymous is fine too!) and hit Publish.
And you're set!

This Month's Popular Posts on Perfume Shrine