Fifty Shades of Watery Amber
The encounter with L'Eau d'Issey for Homme - Shade of Lagoon was bizarre, sudden, unexpected, unplanned. I presume I saw it last year when it made its first appearance on the store's shelves but did not pay the right attention it deserved. Yet, the previous day I was making my usual jaunt to perfumery, and on the rack of the tenders, there was this 100ml pack, alone, at the ridiculous price of 38 euros instead of 59, nearly 20 bucks less. I did a quick google search, I liked the notes, the price was more than a bargain, and since I'm fond of l' Eau d'Issey original I said "why not?", bought it sight unseen and not disappointed. I've tested it last night for an intimate house dinner, and even today. Well, the more I rock it, the more I appreciate it. It is a lovely little diamond that manages to smell unique while keeping the DNA of the original, with a fair dose of ambroxan to keep up with today's popular colognes, in other words, a well-made flanker. So, if you like the original, you will like this.
First of all, Shade of Lagoon is one of the four types of a series of limited "Shade of Paradises" fragrances. These scents express the history and experiences of two artists who visited the paradise of Okinawa, the island of Zamami, namely the perfumer Aurélien Guichard and the colour designer Mai Hua.
About the cologne, just splash on my skin the aroma unquestionably evokes the original, the citrus, spicy, and resinous notes are very similar. Here I feel the bittersweetness of the yellow grapefruit peel, mixed with the signs of the exotic lime, and the spicy accents of the green cardamom. The zesty notes, however, are not just too strong as the yuzu in the original, and so does the spicy that is not so enduring as the nutmeg. A whisper of cypress of middle notes lingers already in the opening like a beautiful blowing wind, and this makes it a bit closer to the founder of the 90. Where did the icy explosion of ginger go? Um, it looks like I can't detect any ginger, maybe it's drowned in the tart citrus oils.
As some of the more volatile aromatics burn off, Shade of Lagoon shifts into a different direction, and the more the cologne moves to the heart the more it becomes mysterious and bewitching, full of aromatic, floral, woody, and marine accord. Crisp green galbanum stands out in all its chyprè glory, its bitter and aromatic tones are loud, and the cypress now expresses itself in all its balsamic and resinous facets. There is a bit of floral geranium in pink, green, and lemon yellow shades, which blends with a marine accord, a sort of breeze coming from the seawater. Luckily, the sea accord in here is really reminiscent of something maritime, oceanic and mineral, and not all too cucumbery or melony.
When the dry down comes, it is fruitful of ambroxan and aquatic notes, a bit salty. There is a lot of ambroxan here, imagine an aquatic take of Dior Sauvage or even better the Bvlgari Aqua Atlantic flanker, here the artificial ambergris molecule has a more marine touch and not just too sweet. It is a clear, less sophisticated version, but uses warmth ambroxan as tastefully as I have ever smelled it in a fragrance, it is fresh and natural, there is no chemical ambroxan vibe here. The base notes pursue evoking the ocean's power, this time with the refined redolences of vetiver and cedar. Fairly, the white musk is just a brittle whisper that remains in the background, overshaded by the ambroxan that emphasizes the power more and more.
At last, to me, it is a refreshing woody citrus summer fragrance, casual for dress down, suitable for warm weather and good for the office as well as leisure weekend, daytime and evenings out. Projection is pretty moderate, longevity is average, which is adequate for a summery cologne. I don't think there is much more to say, Shade of Lagoon is non-redundant cologne if you already own Issey Miyake l'Eau d'Issey or any of its flankers, though, I am convinced I've already smelt something similar that I am not able to guess.