I bought this for the bottle (Histoire d’Eau by Mauboussin)

Histoire d'Eau
Mauboussin Histoire d’Eau

This was an impulse buy after watching a YouTube review of “cheapies”—believe it or not, video reviews have not been part of my perfume journey thus far and if this is the kind of thing that’s going to happen when I watch one, perhaps it should stay that way!

Mauboussin’s Histoire d’Eau was not given as much air time as other contenders in this particular review, so I didn’t have my hopes up too high. I really did buy it for the bottle (after verifying from descriptions that it probably wouldn’t smell too contrary to my tastes). It’s a discontinued item from a company that sells watches and jewelry, and most websites I searched listed it but were out of stock, although its flanker Histoire d’Eau Amethyste (a light pink-purple juice judging by photos) seemed more widely available.

As expected, it arrived in a no-frills, transparent purple plastic box of the flimsy kind. The cylinder that holds the sphere in suspension is hard plastic, so it’s prone to scratches and holds the bottle back from looking truly classy. I still think it’s a brilliant design.

A cool detail is that the sprayer twists to snap open and shut, so even though there’s no cap, you can still safeguard against unintended spritzing. Which you might appreciate, because this isn’t an easy scent.

It’s billed as an oriental floral for women:

  • Top notes: mandarin orange, ylang-ylang
  • Middle notes: nutmeg, pepper, cardamom
  • Base notes: leather, myrtle, amber, musk

Supposedly a leather lover’s perfume.

However, I’m not sensing much leather. I’m whacked with a dollop of Christmas tree of the Yankee Candle variety.

Immediately after a spray, I get a whiff of amber love—the golden scent I remember nostalgically as “amber,” to match the color of the liquid. It’s accompanied by a hint of fresh orange. This lasts mere seconds, before it turns notably powdery and bitter orange peel emerges. The spices start to sing, heralding the smell of winter holidays replete with diffusers of artificial fragrance. Like said air fresheners, the smell maintains a defensively sharp tone even as the totality of the scent gets fainter with time.

The spices and bitter orange peel separate a little and become 2 distinctive chords, as though one were floating above the other. Perhaps the bliss of this perfume is hiding cozily between those layers. If only my nose could find a way into that space.

It’s pretty powerful stuff, but luckily it’s an eau de toilette and as such, dries down within less than an hour to a powdery, ambery spice residue.

Great bottle design!

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