“And you shall take on the first day the fruit of splendid trees, branches of palm trees and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days!” Leviticus 23:40 (English standard version)
The bible contains references to Etrog or citron, describing it as “the fruit of splendid trees.”
L’Etrog is a Mediterranean story that takes place in Medieval Calabria where a family gathers to celebrate a good harvest. It is October 1175. The celebration arouses odours of Calabrian Citron, aromatic myrtle, palm leaves, woods and lush date fruit.
Arquiste’s L’Etrog sees perfumers Rodrigo Flores-Roux and Yann Vasnier collaborate to bring Carlos Huber’s story to life. L’Etrog is described as a citrus chypre. Before thoughts of Chanel’s Pour Monsieur or Dior’s Eau Sauvage enter your mind, it should be noted that L’Etrog belongs to a neo-chypre style that retains the dry woody character most perfume fans associate with the classic chypre accord but it resists the stereotype of being reliant on oakmoss; in fact, L’Etrog has very little reference to oak or tree moss. It is easy to think this is due to changing regulations, which no longer allow the inclusion of natural oakmoss at levels required to execute the classic chypre accord, but I suspect there is also an element of Huber, Flores-Roux and Vasnier simply wanting to explore and innovate a new perspective on chypre. L’Etrog is fiercely modern and contains a sense of clarity or transparency I often notice in the work of perfumer Yann Vasnier. This makes L’Etrog translatable to a wider audience, as classic chypres can sometimes feel dated. A striking element of L’Etrog is the bitter citron note, which has a rhubarbesque quality. Blended with other Mediterranean citrus fruits the acidity is tempered with a floral note of jasmine and a subtle nuttiness from pistachio tree resin (lentisque). Classic chypres tend to wear very heavily as they dry down. L’Etrog’s modern approach is still very airy and even in its final stages it leaves the skin with an effortlessly light covering of woods.
L’Etrog is modern, fresh and I could wear this eau de parfum all year round, particularly during the warmer festive months of Australian Christmas.
Over 7 days I am writing about my exploration of each of the 7 fragrances that make up the Arquiste collection. Australian readers can enter a draw to win a set of Arquiste samples by clicking here. Tomorrow’s post reviews the vibrant Flor y Canto.