Niche Fragrance Magazine

Waters + Wild: Cedarwood & Cognac

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One of the reasons that I enjoy my frequent travels to Ireland is the olfactory delights that greet me on the Emerald isle, particularly in the west of the country, where earth meets water meets sky on a daily basis. The lush green grasses, ferns and trees that can be found from its rich soil, the salty and ‘seaweedy’ air emanating from the rocky or sandy coastline, and the water that permeates absolutely everything (having once asked how frequently it rains in Ireland, I was told one can experience each of the four seasons every day in Ireland…although all of them involve rain).

Given this rich olfactory background, it surprised me to find that there were no real attempts to replicate, or at least portray the Irish natural world in fragrance. OK, there is a horrible synthetic monster that can be found at most Irish airports which purports to convey the fragrant essence of one of its western isles, but it is a terrible, headache-inducing failure. Why are there no niche houses emanating out of Ireland, with its treasure trove of inspirations and aspirations?
I am a big lover of woody fragrances, in particular when they have some non synthetic components and are accented by light florals or something to serve as a minor contrast to enhance their presence. I love my Thameen ‘Moon of Baroda’, Nasomatto ‘Pardon’ and ‘Cologne 352’ by Ex Nihilo for example.
So it was with some surprise to have discovered a new niche perfume house when vacationing in Ireland, and visiting a garden on the coast of West Cork. I had never heard of ‘Waters + Wild’ ( and didn’t expect much when I tried their ‘Cedarwood + Cognac’ eau de parfum, but I was instantly transfixed, with a very natural and deep cedarwood, mixed with what seemed to me to be the essence of a delightful XO cognac, and some gorse, vetiver and seaweed embellishments.
While it does not have ‘Pardon’s’ sledgehammer woodiness, it also does not have that perfume’s permeating synthetic aura either. It dries down to a mixture of a mature cedar and Allier oak vat, which has been stored with old cognac in a musty basement near the sea. It was full bottle-worthy to me.  Apparently everything they make is 100% natural and certified to be 100% organic.
Looking forward to testing their other offers; sweet basil + bergamot; tuberose and frankincense; and rose and oud. Hopefully these other offerings don’t follow the crowd of other trendy combinations (haven’t we had enough rose and oud already?) and focus on the essential elements that make Ireland so special…sea, sand, grass, earth, not to mention its world famous ‘spirit inducing’ distillates!

1 Comment

  1. “haven’t we had enough rose and oud already?” – no.
    Dusita ‘Oudh Infini’;
    Ex Nihilo ‘Thirty Three’;
    Montale ‘Louban’, ‘Aoud Purple Roses’, ‘Black Aoud [+’ Intense’]’ , [arguably with or without oud ‘Attar’;
    MEMO, ‘Luxor Oudh’, ‘Lalibela’ [+~’Oudh’];
    Jul et Mad, ‘Nin-Shar’ Luxury Coffret;
    Juliette has a Gun, ‘Midnight Oudh’;
    no, no and no.

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