Holy Water opens with a crack of pepper and a cologne-fresh lemon. The frankincense comes forward quickly after, and paired with the freshness of the lemon, is completely different to the opening of Gringo surprisingly. Using these same two notes, Holy Water’s texture is translucent and smooth – it literally glows off the skin, particularly as a chorus of neroli joins in.
Now, this isn’t my usual kind of fragrance – fresh, translucent, and citrus isn’t really my thing – but the quality here is lovely, it’s crystal clear, and an unusual take on a cologne type fragrance with the dominant inclusion of incense. The incense is presented almost mineralic – cold and damp, and not remotely smoky.
As it continues, similarly to Gringo, a rose joins in. In Holy Water however the rose is a pale, tea rose – it enhances the lemon accords a little, and brings a slightly soapy quality to the heart. The floral addition is much-needed, but it turns out the tea rose then begins to dominate above the frankincense. For me, Holy Water becomes a little bit too simplistic here on. It is pleasant enough, very clean and light, with the soapy tea rose and subtle, mineral frankincense leading the fragrance to the finish. An unexpected, yet again very subtle, herbal element manages to creep in: it smells a little like lavender, but much lighter – it may just be a facet of the rose?
A sandalwood rounds the fragrance off at the end, although it’s not as potent and rich as that in Gringo. These two fragrances are great examples of how similar notes can create completely different fragrances. Whilst Gringo is obviously my favourite – they are both lovely introductions to the non-oud fragrances of this line :)