Saturday, April 08, 2006

Ozone/Marine Perfumes: Cool and Airy Trend 2

Recently, I came across an online article about the most popular Yankee Candle scents in 2005: Splash of Rain and Clean Cotton. Marc Jacobs was onto something: Ozone is the trend of the moment. Scents that synthetically mimic clean laundry, cotton, linen, air, ocean, T-storm--I admit I've never been a huge fan of these scents myself but they seem to be gaining momentum since their birth in the environmentally conscious '90s.

Ozonic fragrances are a new category. They are described as having "a watery, limpid feeling with a humble beginning and a feeling of freshness". I would describe them as sporty. Many of these start out fresh and dry down powdery on me, which might explain why I usually don't love them (I have to be in the mood for powder scents). Examples of these fresh, sporty ozonic perfumes are New West by Aramis, Dune by Dior, Eden by Cacharel and Escape by Calvin Klein.

Michael Edwards calls Ozonic fragrances "Marine". I think of Ozonic as a subgenre under Marine since they've become two different genres almost. This is how he describes this family of scents:

"Redolent of the scent of soft sea breeze, the marine notes were created in 1990.
The early water note captured the ozonic aroma of wet air after a thunderstorm.
Today, the water notes are often used as an accent to enlive florals, orientals and woody fragrances."

So, basically, Ozone and Marine are the same. When I hear "ozone", I think of a more metallic scent than I do with "marine/aquatic/aqueous" but they share the same roots.

I can think of a bunch more perfumes that fit into this genre: Issey Miyake L'eau d'Issey, Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gio, the new Marc Jacobs Splash series and Clean Fresh Laundry by Dlish, Comptoir Sud Pacifique Aqua Motu, Davidoff Cool Water (also categorized as Fougère), Elizabeth Arden Sunflowers, the list goes on to include what feels like 90% of all new launches. Why are there so many of these? Remember when I say this that I'm not against the use of synthetics in perfume on the whole, for everything has its uses; however, synthetics are by far the less expensive forms of fragrance compared to, say, Grasse jasmine oil, and so they're going to be the preferred choice of the industry that wants to keep production costs down. I like some marine-ozone notes within a composition but generally not when they take over the blend and fall under this category. However, I do like Lily Lambert No.66 which is without a doubt a fresh cotton-type of scent--one that mimics nature but in truth is a technologically advanced modern creation.

Here's a new term I've been seeing lately: Green Marine. What is this? Michael Edwards calls Clinique Wrappings a Marine, which gives me a hint: perhaps the industry will be fusing Green and Marine/Ozone together, maybe because green notes are now all synthetically rendered as well? I don't know enough about what goes on inside the labs of the top perfume houses--I'm just an indie perfumer who mixes choice oils in her humble home studio. But what the bigtime folks are doing are of interest to me because fashion all moves as one consciousness to bring about or reflect social change. Welcome to the era of synthetic smells of nature.