Saturday, May 16, 2015

Eau de Cade by L’Occitane

Fragrance, particularly aftershave is such a personal thing, and while I like the opportunity to test out my nose when trying new fragrances (I try and detect the notes before looking them up to see how I’ve done - hours of fun for the family) I have to say that light and citrus head notes (that initial blast of fragrance) in an aftershave usually mean that I’ll be a happy camper with it. Eau de Cade by L’Occitane has turned this on its head.

My 100ml of Eau de Cade was kindly sent to me by L’Occitane along with a number of other products in the male grooming range. Apparently, when asked if I wanted to sample some products my response of “yes, but can I try something that isn’t overly girly” caused much amusement in the PR office.

Rather than lump them all together I have to say my levels of happiness with the products means that it would be remiss of me not to outline each individually. If you read on, I’ll tell you why - yes, I am a tease… 

A 100ml bottle of Eau de Cade is available here from the L’Occitane website here for £42, which makes it a mid-range fragrance in my collection in terms of price, but as with all things smelly, the acid test is fragrance, longevity and how it reacts with skin. 

This is what they say about Eau de Cade in the marketing blurb (the finest piece of copying and pasting on my part that you are likely to see this side of Christmas):

'The Cade - Eau de Toilette is a spicy, woody fragrance that evokes the dry woods, red soil and hot stones found in the sunny Garrigue landscape of southern France. Top notes of bergamot lead to a generous heart of cedar wood and pink pepper. A base of cade wood and citrus linger on the skin throughout the day. Enriched with essential oils of cade wood and pink pepper, this eau de toilette complements all of the products in the Cade collection, emblematic of L’OCCITANE.

For generations, Provencal shepherds have handed down from father to son the secrets of Cade wood, a symbol of a tenacious character and strong values of tradition and generosity.’

Well there you have it, from the marketing blurb this fragrance shouldn’t really appeal to my nasal palette (I really couldn’t think of a better phrase) due to the warm and woody tones but actually, after getting over the incredibly strong first blast from the atomiser it has an almost addictive property that made me sit and sniff away at my wrists as I tracked how it changed over time.

At first whiff this transported me back to the mid 1980s - I can’t put my finger on it but it reminds me of an aftershave my father used to wear when he was still working for the 5-0 (go me with my street slang, I do of course mean the police). I have been wracking my brain for weeks trying to nail this down to no avail. That said, that initial first blast was so strong it actually had me thinking that I’d literally sprayed myself in liquid wood and moss - heavy is an understatement. If I spray this in the bathroom it seeps across my entire flat - potent! 

Fearing that this fragrance would trail after, and gag those around me I waited a good ten minutes before realising that it had faded dramatically and taken on a warmth that would make this amazing as a winter EDT. The bergamot is really over-riding at first but dries down more of a spicy  

I’m sure I can pick up hints of juniper, if anything it made me crave a gin and tonic (and I haven’t had one of those in years).  

After around thirty minutes you can pick up a hint of spice from the pink pepper, and as the heart blends with the dry down notes it takes on a more rugged scent, it becomes lighter and more subtle yet retains the ability to turn heads for all of the right reasons. 

Three squirts from the atomiser and you are good to go - and this will stay on your skin and remain evident to those around you for a good eight hours at least. It had body to it and longevity that makes it a little cracker in my book and actually really good value for money. 

Eau de Cade oozes those deep, warm woody and earthy notes from every fibre of its being (obviously it doesn’t have fibres being a liquid but stop splitting hairs). This screams “I am man” (from a fragrance perspective), remains fresh for hours until turning into a warm and spicy blend where you can certainly pull out the juniper note. 

I like this, I like it much more than I expected to when I first cast my beady eyes over the notes. Not being one for the heavy and warm fragrances I was surprised by how quickly I converted to this, particularly when using it with the Eau de Cade moisturiser and Eau de Cade hair body wash from the same range.

Personally I wouldn’t wear this on a night out, but for daywear this sits up there with Fahrenheit, Gruhme and Invictus as perfect for days in the office. Your colleagues will thank you for wearing it. 

Go on, pick up a bottle, ewe (feel free to groan, I accept that this is a poor reference to the marketing blurb about shepherds) know it makes sense.


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