Lacking the clear, strong notes that grant heavy fragrances personality, aquatic fragrances often rely on elegant compositions and genre-defying performance to make their mark. This need to stand out through difficult means has made me appreciate the genre more and more over time. While many beginners dismiss aquatics and shallow and uninteresting, more experienced perfume nerds know that the ‘assignment’ of creating an outstanding aquatic perfume makes successful fragrances that much more impressive.
This doesn’t mean there aren’t notable patterns within my personal favorite aquatics, as well as aquatics that the fragrance community tends to favor in general. Perhaps the most significant group of respected aquatics is known as marine fragrances; marine fragrances counterweight light and breezy notes like citruses and ‘fresh’ aromachemicals with funky naturalistic driftwoods and even sea-life-leaning, animalic musks. Lately, however, I’ve found myself drawn to a group a little less showy: herbal aquatics. My previous favorite, the lovely Mirto di Panarea by Acqua di Parma, shines due to the inclusion of juniper and basil. The herbs and light wood notes conjure a transportive image of seaside gardens that, until recently, I had never encountered in another fragrance.
Nishane has found itself on a meteoric hypetrain rise in the past years due to winter-weather fragrances like Ani and Havicat. After having so many mediocre experiences with similar brands, I pretty much dismissed Nishane for no good reason. Then, one fateful vacation day in New York, my partner and I ambled into Scent Bar so I could get a better grasp on her taste in fragrances. Her first impulse was to tour the extent of the tuberose section, but eventually, we went with a more scattershot approach. When the dust cleared, one fragrance remained: the deep blue bottle of Nishane’s Ege.
Top: Violet Leaves, Yuzu, Anise
Heart: Basil, Mint, Cardamom
Base: Licorice, Olibanum
The note pyramid for Ege is quite something on its own. You have the powdery statement of violet leaves, the bitter elegance of yuzu, a tag-team pairing of anise and licorice, and the irresistible leafy flavors of mint and basil. It’s pretty much a paradise for any fan of personality and drama in perfume, so long as it works. And it does.
Ege is rich and bold for an aquatic fragrance. It has the trademark greens and citruses of a seaside cocktail, but also wisps of smoky weight from the base and a smattering of quirky spices all the way through the drydown. It’s both too bold to be overly formal and too elegant to register as playful, a truly balanced concoction that will leave an impression without flaunting itself. The biggest impression I get when I smell Ege is that of a seaside resort where each element is polished to perfection. It’s an effect that will either entrance you or push you away depending on whether you need a rough edge to make your fragrance feel lifelike or dynamic.
Ege is certainly worth a try for anyone who loves well-constructed fragrances with distinct personalities. It’s also almost certainly bound to appeal to those who enjoy aquatics that perform well and stand out from the pack. This is something of a seaside vacation in a bottle, but one that’s likely more at home on a spotless stretch of sand than in an undiscovered cove. Ege is certainly an accomplishment, and the fact that it comforts while making its own mark is a feat in and of itself.
The Fandomentals “Fragdomentals” team base our reviews off of fragrances that we have personally, independently sourced. Any reviews based off of house-provided materials will be explicitly stated.
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