Eau Fraîche 
Christian Dior (1953)

Average Rating:  13 User Reviews

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Eau Fraîche by Christian Dior

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About Eau Fraîche by Christian Dior

People & Companies

Christian Dior
Fragrance House
Guerry Colas
Packaging / Bottle Design

Eau Fraîche is a women's perfume launched in 1953 by Christian Dior

Fragrance notes.

  1. Top Notes

  2. Heart Notes

  3. Base Notes

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Reviews of Eau Fraîche by Christian Dior

There are 13 reviews of Eau Fraîche by Christian Dior.

The batch code, the basket weave label and the name eau Fraîche (and not Eau de cologne Fraîche) all point to the early 80's.
Even though some people report good results, my mini with no box has lost it's head notes. Where you'd expect to find citrus, there's only lemongrass.
And then there's a light floral heart with rosewood.

The opening - boosted by hedione - is rather transparent but it's not wan or weak, in fact it can be quite overpowering. Spices and moss develop as it opens up, and there seem to be aldehydes in there - the only thing left of the citrus oils. And then as things settle down eau Fraîche
becomes a sheer floral with a touch of sweetness in a woody chypre.

I can't say it's great because the juice seems damaged and shapeless at the top, but even though it's vague and elusive, it doesn't lack presence.
It's just a pity this eau Fraîche is so stale; such is our fragile heritage...

Lovely, simple, unpretentious, and fresh. Almost a candy drop citrus in the beginning. Has a smooth wood. Heady oak moss vibe. Easy to wear.

Like Cook.bot I own a bottle of the "Wicker" patterning The bottle has what appears to be the indication of Eau de Toilette with it's simple
"eau fraiche de Christian Dior" and 90 Degree and Paris on back labeling.
To the Juice.
Well, I'm dating it to the 80's as the Alcohol has "acetoned" much like my 80's Chanel for Men.
Then the Roudnitska "Boozy and Ripened Melon" blooms in captivating Technicolour. I think, as a result of the scents relative simplicity in structure, the note or accord, is accentuated in it's brilliance.
The rest is a gentle ride into an Oakmossy Citric savon to my skin.
It seems to almost disappear much the same as Vintage Eau Sauvage until I realize, at the end of the day, the Oakmoss is supporting a slightly sweet Vanilla-ed Powder.
Perhaps a Feminine,without an Eau Sauvage animalic, however, it's mine and I will wear it liberally, on my Masculine skin, as it is, still rather Handsome.

For the vintage version, with the wicker-printed cap, label, and box:

These topnotes are heartbreakingly lovely. And surprisingly intact, for a 40+ year old cologne concentration. The opening is just like crushing both the leaves and the fruit from a citrus tree in your hands, and then burying your face in them. I don't get a specific citrus, neither lemon nor lime, and there's no herbaceous quality like Eau Sauvage.

But heartbreaking they are -- gone in 30 minutes. After that, I get just the faintest whiff of a little mossy animalic, and the whole thing has disappeared in just under an hour.

Isn't that odd, that the topnotes would survive but the base be gone? Is that an effect of the hedione? You can sure see that this was a stop on Roudnitska's path from Eau d'Hermes to Eau Sauvage/Diorella. But I get no hint of the rotten fruit that's in Diorella and Femme.

JTD's review mentions it being a long-lasting cologne, but everyone else I've heard discuss it seems to get the same brief lifespan that I did.

It's a frail, fleeting thing, but while it lasts it's pure Roudnitska magic.

Edit: a fresh coat on top of the previous allows me to detect a bit more of the mossy animalic underneath all that juicy citrus. Even more beautiful.

Roudnitska was best known for his fruity chypres such as Femme, Diorama, Diorella to name a few. He was a classicist and one way he approached the chypre was to filter it through other genres, namely the fougère and the Eau de Cologne. The fougère placed bright aromatics on top of a mossy/woody base and the Eau de Cologne draped hesperidic lightness over musk. The chypre's high-low construction works from a similar principle and all three genres play with olfactory chiaroscuro.

After mixing fruity and mossy tones in Femme, Roudnitska dug further into the hybrid form with Rochas Moustache and Eau d'Hermès. Moustache, composed with his wife Thérèse, joined the fougère with the chypre giving Moustache a ‘missing link' feel. Focussing on the similarities of the two genres, the Roudnitskas placed a lime and bergamot topnote on a soapy base to created a perfume that smells like each of the genres, depending on your angle of approach.

Eau d'Hermès laid the groundwork for the next logical hybrid, the one that would be the focus of much of his future career, the Chypre/Eau de Cologne hybrid. Eau d'Hermès's leathery, armpit of a drydown was one of Roudnitska's warning shots to the world of perfumery. Fresh is nice, but flesh wins the day.

Eau Fraiche, a somewhat ironic name, is another early example of the tendency. The momentum of animalic notes surpasses the delicacy of citric notes. Eau Fraiche bridged the the edc to the chypre, creating a unicorn: the durable cologne. Even in the era of Tonkin and nitro musks, eaux de cologne were fleeting. Combining the edc with a mossy base kept the shape of cologne but gave it longer legs. It combined two historically unisex forms to create a perfume that suited anyone who wore it.

Eau Fraiche was produced in once concentration: eau de cologne. It had the easy-to-love smile of cologne and the fitted quality of the chypre. It was charming and chic. It was optimistic and suited the post-war desire for a return to normalcy. I can easily imagine the 1950s Paris streets smelling of Eau Fraiche.

Eau Sauvage, Diorella and Parfum de Thérèse are all variations on Eau Fraiche's basic accord of flowers, fruit and a mossy base. Eau Sauvage's glistening topnotes, often cited as the first substantial use of hedione, can be found almost in their entirety in Eau Fraiche, created thirteen years earlier.

I can't help but refer to Femme when I look at any perfume by Roudnitska. It was a seminal work and an early indication of his talent and ambition. With limited resources and during the nightmare of the Nazi occupation of France Roudnitska created Femme and went head to head with Mitsouko, the reference chypre for the prior 25 years. It's hard not to admire his chutzpah. Femme exploded a debate that had already been present in perfumery for years: dirty vs. clean. Roudnitska may not have had the final word on the discussion but he advanced the argument further than any perfumer before or since.

I never got to try the original so this review is for the reformulated fragrance, and I can only conclude something was lost in the process. Or maybe Eau Fraîche has been endlessly copied. The opening immediately reminded me of Clarins Eau Dynamisante, which I love. The only problem was I like Eau Dynamisante's opening better - it has an extra fresh aromatherapeutic zing, an engaging fragrance, whereas the lemon in Eau Fraîche is nice, but non-memorable.
An animalic note enters quickly, within three minutes, and changes the opening to a fresh lemon cologne with a somewhat civet note, which I found offputting, like attempting to disguise the odor of meat that's turned with lemon air freshener. The association is unpleasant. Then, surprise, the animalic note actually laid down, and a somewhat creamy, somewhat old-styled vanilla accord emerged, à la Jicky.
Eau Fraîche isn't long-lasting, but I wasn't expecting it to be. It's somewhat Jicky association doesn't develop further, but sort of dries off and disappears in a memory of lemon, civet and vanilla. I like the dry down best, where it became soft and skin-like.
I'm not sure what to think of Eau Fraîche - my first thought is that it's a fragrance whose time has come and gone. That is one of the sadder aspects of these reformulations of vintage fragrances. It turns them into less, and demeans their place in history. I've found myself forgiving the remakes out of respect to their origins, but really, it seems perfume houses do themselves a dis-service by this practice. The whole phenomena of chasing vintage fragrances can drive a person a little crazy and I've opted to step out of it and find excellent new ones. The remakes have to stand on their own, which Eau Fraîche didn't. I truly loved many vintage fragrances in their time, so the game of chasing after them, degraded and aged, is a little painful. And many reformulations feel like they have one foot stuck in the past and I find it an odd juxtaposition for the most part, not successful - neither new nor old. Many of them produce an ambivalence in me. Eau Fraîche is one of those.

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