As a blogger, I get the opportunity to work with lots of different companies. I’d be lying if I told you that Jul et Mad Paris isn’t one of my favourites.
I mean, what’s not to like? They’ve got a great story behind their company and each of the products, their fragrances last all day on a single spray, and let me tell you: they smell good.
Back in February I received a package from Julien and Madalina all the way from France, containing their three debut fragrances – Amour de Palazzo, Stilettos on Lex, and Terrasse à St-Germain.
Amour de Palazzo is a great peppery fragrance that I love to wear on rainy days. Stilettos on Lex is a powerful floral with a hint of something I’m not crazy about, but it is still a solid option for spring. And Terrasse à St-Germain… well, you know how I feel about it. It’s one of the most elegant modern perfumes, an ode to rose and patchouli that couldn’t be better.
Of course, when I learned that Jul et Mad would release a new fragrance in the Milan Esxence expo, I was excited. Imagine my surprise when I came home one day to discover a package from Paris sitting on the doorstep – for me?! You shouldn’t have!
This is my review for Jul et Mad Paris’ Aqua Sextius 7 mL nomad spray, which comes complimentary with any purchase of their 50 mL bottles.
The package I received from Jul et Mad Paris arrived in a branded white cardboard box wrapped with a white ribbon. I’ve pointed this out before and I will again, the box looks like it could have french fries in it or something. The nomad spray inside is housed in a metallic ‘bullet’, with the house’s name on one side, and the fragrance name on the other. The top has their signature motif, and the bottom facet reads, MADE IN FRANCE / JUL ET MAD PARIS / PARFUM 7ML – 0.24 FL. OZ. When you slip the shell off it reveals the shiny silver spray itself, which has the same motif, the name, and what I’m assuming is the batch number. As with the first three, the atomizer spits out a small amount of juice but in a big cloud.
Aqua Sextius was a 2014 release, approximately 2 years after their original trio debuted. This one was not done by Dorothee Piot, who did the first three, but rather Cecile Zarokian. Cecile’s porftfolio seems to be mainly niche perfumery, with work done for Amouage, Suleko, and Laboratorio Olfattivo.
Jul et Mad’s previous fragrances were literal moments from their lives translated into fragrance. The trio chronicled the events leading to them falling love, which I thought was absolutely adorable. Aqua Sextius, from my research, does not fall into this novel, but is seemingly a standalone. Named for the Roman consul Sextius Calvinus who founded Aquae Sextiae – the city of a thousand fountains – in 123 BC, Aqua Sextius is a nod to French-Roman history. The name is also fitting for the composition, as you’ll soon find out.
It’s hard to stay relevant in perfumery. Perfumers and brands have to constantly reinvent themselves in order to cater to the changing tastes of the seasons, the years, and the generations. For a new brand that’s just at the start of its journey, giving a tip of the hat to ye olde days of fragrance is an excellent way to put their own spin on things and establish a signature touch. With Aqua Sextius Jul et Mad and Cecile took something that’s been practically set in stone – the traditional men’s cologne – and breathed new life into it.
There’s a sort of formula that vintage men’s cologne’s followed, something you’re less likely to find in new releases today. The formula is essentially a citrus opening with bitter greens, which gives it an understated freshness that you’d be hard pressed to find offensive. It’s simple, traditional, and not very intuitive. Unless, of course, you switch it up, which is what happened in this case, providing the mental hindsight to history from long ago. With Aqua Sextius you get that lime opening, with a little something extra in the form of sweet mint leaves, perhaps some basil, bringing it very quickly into non-medicinal herbal territory. There’s orange zest thrown in there, a little bitter, and closer to the skin you can almost taste the bitterness of the rinds. There’s also something rather salty to it, not in a briny way but rather floral.
Salty flowers? I know, it’s unusual, but it works. There’s also fig and woods, and green leaves of plants that might be poisonous, and the smell of pine needles that you’ve broken up to boil tea. The entire thing feels like it’s flowing in a big cooler of ice water, flowing and swirling and mouthwatering, providing the Aqua for the Sextius. It’s undeniably a masculine, summery fragrance, perfect for a day in the sun as much as a night under the stars.
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to talk about Aqua Sextius with Jeff Moore on Rogers TV’s Daytime YR, and everyone who tried it before and after the show loved it, women included. I watched them repeatedly bring their wrists to their faces, and it brought me great pleasure to have introduced them to it.
The projection for Aqua Sextius is interesting, seeming to expand gently upon application, then become subdued minutes later. You’ll be able to smell it on yourself, but people will have to get quite close to smell it on you. The longevity is good, but not as good as Jul et Mad’s original Terrasse à St-Germain.
Verdict: It is always a pleasure delving into one of Jul et Mad Paris’ luxurious fragrances. A great summer option and one of the year’s top releases so far, I recommend you give it a try.
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