Thursday, 12 November 2020

RIVAE - The Côte d’Azur Collection

Inspiration comes in many forms and this is definitely true of the fragrance industry. Finding one that resonates with an audience though is a very different matter. For example, there have been many scents that have used cities or places as their theme, but taking an entire coastline is a little more unusual. However, that’s exactly what Julien Foucher decided to do with his new Rivæ collection. With production originally starting in 2019, Julien could never have imagined that Rivæ would be the only way that most people would visit the Côte d’Azur this year. So, from olive groves to a crystal clear sea, it’s time to take a scented journey.

When Julien Foucher bought Prestige de Menton in 2017 it was with the goal to modernise the packaging and relaunch five of its classic colognes. They were grouped under the original Eau de Menton name and, whilst these proved popular, it quickly became clear to Julien that his customers were also looking for Eau de Toilette fragrances that were slightly more complex. The history attached to the company’s name meant that this was going to be difficult, and so he took the brave decision to launch a new brand alongside the original to appeal to a more contemporary audience.

The decision to use the Côte d’Azur as the inspiration for the collection was born out of a realisation that it allowed for so many styles of fragrance. After all, the French Riviera stretches from the glamorous Saint-Tropez right over to the citrus capital of Menton, also taking in the hillsides and local farms, and so the choice was endless. The launch of the company was delayed until July of this year, for obvious reasons, but they’ve hit the ground running with a beautiful range of fourteen fragrances and fantastic bag-friendly sizes. So, it’s time for some scented sightseeing as I show you my top three Rivæ destinations.

Let’s start at the very beginning with an early morning walk along Nice’s famous seafront courtesy of Morning Promenade. It opens with an arresting combination of lemon and an aquatic note, reminiscent of the sunshine and sea salt, but very quickly starts to pull in the aromatic black pepper and cardamom. That airy oceanic quality continues alongside a smooth lavender and cypress, which definitely hints at the trees and shrubs that are dotted along the walkway, before a touch of tonka bean and musk adds a feeling of sun-warmed skin. The final whisper of cedarwood and rose completes a beautifully unisex scent.

Moving along the coastline now, we travel to Menton to take in the mouth-watering aromas that come from Sunny Colline. The fragrance literally explodes from the bottle with a medley of citrus fruits but, just in the background, a touch of mint adds an aromatic quality to the blend. The fruits are given even more effervescence thanks to a note of lemongrass, and an added ginger provides some searing heat to the scent. A cedarwood and sandalwood combination add an elegant smoothness to the base but, thanks to a note of sweetened incense, you really can visualise the sun-scorched branches.

We complete our travel with a move inland to the hills above Cannes and experience the historic olive farms thanks to Buzzing Oliveraie. The first impressions of bergamot and juniper combine to give a spiced citrus that almost immediately draws in notes of honeyed olives, but think more of an expensive soap rather than fruits. A touch of mint and eucalyptus summon images of warmed leaves but, in the background, a dose of cedarwood hints at crisp air drifting up from the ocean below. A final pairing of tonka and tobacco gives a nod to the hay-like aromas that surround the trees, and makes you long for a time when we can travel once more.

The complete Rivæ collection is available from the website at rivae.fr priced at €18 for 30ml, €22 for 50ml, and €30 for 100ml. [Samples provided by Rivæ]

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