When I was asked if I’d like to review Sargasso by Oscar de la Renta my immediate response was “yes, of course!” but what I didn’t realize until I received the fragrance and received the accompanying press information, is that Sargasso is just one of six new fragrances that Mr. de la Renta has launched in a collection called: “Essential Luxuries.”
This collection is inspired by “his most loved people, places and things and all of the fragrances were developed by perfumer Calice Becker, currently at Givaudan.
Although this review is solely about Sargasso, I just want to run down the other fragrances, because well..I can!
Santo Domingo ~ named for the city where Oscar de la Renta was born in the Dominican Republic, and focused on tobacco. Other notes include citrus, mandarin, coriander and patchouli. In Eau de Parfum.
Granada ~ referencing the Alhambra gardens, the citrus floral features bigarade, bergamot, jasmine, orange and rose. In Eau de Parfum.
Oriental Lace ~ a dark gourmand oriental inspired by his ready-to-wear fashion, with notes of hoya carnosa, honey, bitter almond, dark cacao, clove and patchouli. In Eau de Parfum.
Mi Corazon ~ a floral fragrance inspired by his stepdaughter Eliza Reed Bolen; the notes include ylang ylang, tuberose and peach. In Eau de Parfum.
Coralina ~ representing a coral-colored stone favored by the designer; featuring violet, mimosa, orris, and woody green notes. In Eau de Parfum.
and; Sargasso ~ named for the Sargasso sea, with juniper, lemon and cucumber. In Eau de Cologne.
The first thing to note about Sargasso Eau de Cologne is that is arrives in a pristine white, hard-sided box that lifts off to reveal a silver metallic cardboard “pedestal” into which the flower-shaped clear column of glass, uniquely fits. a matte blue cardboard “ribbon” surrounds the white carton, marred only by a small, silver plaque with “Sargasso by Oscar de la Renta” on it and the flower-shaped ‘Oscar” logo at the top. The photo shows the bottle as having a shiny silver top covered by a blue cap, with a slim sliver of silver bearing the flower logo in blue enamel and the silver “Sargasso” plaque as embellishments in the front.
Songs and books have been written about the Sargasso sea. It is in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean and is known for a seaweed of the genus “Sargassum” which floats “en masse” on the surface of this ocean. The Sargasso sea is a deep blue, I’m told. In any case, the fragrance is, not surprisingly, quite aquatic vegetation plus a kind of salty/briny scent — the essence of “sea spray.” But it also has green notes, along with fresh citrus notes, watery cucumber and fennel. it is described as “an unexpected revitalizing greenness combine with warm sunshine and patchouli for a lasting serene finish.”
As a lifelong sailor, the initial spritz of the Sargasso scent instantly reminded me of long sunny days on a small sailboat when sea spray continually pelted my skin and permeated the air. What a lovely memory! But there are enough green notes and citrus notes to make this less “beachy” and more balanced. Without the usual vanilla and floral notes, it’s almost refreshing, a nice everyday fragrance especially good for warmer hot weather, nice unisex vibe for men, too.
The Oscar de la Renta Essential Luxuries fragrances are at Oscar de la Renta boutiques and Oscar de la Renta online for $150 each in a 3.4 oz. . Also available at Saks Fifth Avenue and Saks Fifth Avenue. com, Select Neiman Marcus stores, and Neiman Marcus online