The latest release from Michigan-based indie perfume house Kerosene is Walk the Sea, a fragrance "like high tide dried on skin, memories of the waves, sun and shore." Like all Kerosene releases, it's a unisex scent; its notes include sea salt, white florals, cedar, ambergris and musk.
This fragrance is titled Walk the Sea, not Walk the Beach, and I think there's a certain distinction being made there. For me, the "beach" has a whole set of associations that the "sea" alone does not — summer, vacation, suntans, children with sand toys, nearby amusement parks. Walk the Sea doesn't evoke any of this imagery or its accompanying smells and tastes. There's no Coppertone, no piña colada, no cotton candy.
Instead, what we get in Walk the Sea is a minimalist evocation of saltwater, sea air, and driftwood. There's some bitter lemon in the very opening, but after that it's pretty linear. There's a naturalistic effect of tangy, salty sea breezes (which, in real life, are apparently due more to decaying seaweed and plankton than to the actual salt in the sea mist). The cedar is quiet and raspy, and the white florals are just a very subtle background note to smooth things out. Walk the Sea feels dry and airy, like an early-spring or autumn day at water's edge rather than a warm and sweaty summer afternoon, and it has moderate sillage and above-average longevity on my skin.
I've said this before, and I'll say it again: I shun crowds, excessive heat, and bathing suits, but I love off-season visits to the seashore —and sea-inspired scents. I'd group Walk the Sea with fragrances like Imaginary Authors Falling into the Sea and Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt; if you like either of those, you should give this one a try. My husband and I are planning a quiet weekend "down the shore" this month, and I'll be wearing Walk the Sea as we stroll the boardwalk.
Kerosene Walk the Sea is available as 100 ml Eau de Parfum ($140). (I'm seconding Kevin's wish for smaller-sized bottles from this line!) For buying information, see the listing for Kerosene under Perfume Houses.
Note: top image is detail from La plage à Trouville by Gustave Courbet via Wikimedia Commons.