Saturday, May 6, 2017

Aqua Celestia by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

The newest addition to the house of  Maison Francis Kurkdjian is Aqua Celestia, the third in the Aqua series started in 2009 with the release of Aqua Universalis, followed in 2013 by Aqua Vitae. In this newest rendering of the aqua theme Kukdjian takes the series to new heights, literally. The first two versions were rooted more firmly to the earth with their citrus and floral notes, but Aqua Celestia does seem to float, float, float up into the heavens with its ethereal air.

Kurkdjian himself describes the fragrance : "Aqua Celestia forms a seamless bond between the blue of the sky and the blue of the sea, forging a path toward absolute serenity." I find Aqua Celestia even more gentle than the other two in the series. Once the scent settles into your skin it's like breathing rarified air, an Evian version of oxygen if you will. It does indeed smell a bit heavenly.

The perfume opens with lime and mint notes. The lime here doesn't have the zing that lemons and oranges can impart in perfumery. It is a very muted citrus with just enough tart sparkle to add a gentle fizzy zest in the opening, emphasis on gentle fizz. The mint note is next to emerge but it is also contained so it feels like a suggestion of mint, just adding to the light freshness. These notes are pretty and playful but unless I sniff my arm I would have trouble identifying them, they are so tame. The white musk accord begins to creep into the freshness of these two notes, further muting their impact. A note of blackcurrant bud adds a bit of tartness, so along with the mint and lime you get a light lift and liveliness to make the musk a little more transparent.  Eventually notes of mimosa join the musk. I'm not sure I could have identified the mimosa as on my skin it merges with the musk, only occasionally peeping through to shine on its own. Although the musk begins to dominate I still catch glimpses of the mint and blackcurrant notes throughout the hours of wear.

I have never been a lover of watery scents or "clean" scents reminiscent of fresh laundry through their use of white musk. This scent however has made me reconsider these prejudices. It would be the perfect scent for someone who doesn't want to have to think about scent; who doesn't want to draw attention or make a statement with their choice of perfume but merely wants to smell nice. And more specifically to smell fresh and cleanly turned out. This perfume performs that service but has enough extra interest with its tart notes to still be interesting. Admittedly, if I was purchasing for myself and wanted a lighter scent I would gravitate more toward MFK Petit Matin (reviewed here) with its hint of luminescent pink and gold-tinged dawn skies. However, if someone were to gift me with Aqua Celestia I would be more than pleased and would wear it with abandon. I find it a very worthy addition to one of the more interesting perfume houses out there and I am sure it will find a legion of admirers.

Photo from Etsy. Perfume sample provided by Neiman Marcus.

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