‘The sun sets, behind your cheek
You are a little silly and will probably fall asleep soon
We have played like crazy all day, and had a ball
We were at the beach, and even talked of sleeping over,
But now it’s too windy, and it’s bloody cold,
And soon the sun will go to sleep’
by ‘Shit & Chanel’ 1978.
No matter where in Denmark you’re never far from a coast, and one of my favourite things to do is going for a walk on the beach on a sunny day long before or after the water temperatures become something you can bathe in.
A friend of mine alerted me to Acqua di Sale by Profumum Roma, which reminds me of just that; a walk on the beach when the weather gets warmer, and yet is far too cold once the sun sets.
The song quoted above is a Danish pop song written by 1970s all female band ’Shit & Chanel’. Quite a few of the band members are still active musicians and still very popular, which doesn’t make this old hit less famous. Apart from the catchy 1970s singer-song writer style and tune, I believe it’s the touching lyrics, sung by the lead singer to her daughter, which makes it so vastly popular. We that grew up with these songs as the soundtrack of our early childhood, and went to the beach similar to the description, remembering the cold air sneaking in upon a sunny day, the first day of bare feet in the sand, and sleeping soundly from the fresh sea air, to us the song is not just a musical flashback, but perhaps at that moment the composer/singer were singing our collective memory of a day on the beach.
Acqua di Sale with its official notes of salt, myrtle, cedar wood and seaweed, smells like a memory of a day on the beach, sea swept, salty hair and lips, sand in the shoes, warm cheeks. It has the unmistakable oceanic smell, yes also as in a ‘marine chord’ and what you might find in various ‘clean’ fragrances, but thanks to the saltiness, the herbs and a whiff of old salty algae, here it’s right, it belongs and becomes truly marine as in sand, shells and shore.
It was probably meant to be evoking Mediterranean shores, rather than Baltic ones, and the style for sure is Italian in its temper, but to me it might as well be a northern coast with its gushes of cold wind carrying the scent of sea air and minerals and the cries of sea gulls. Although Acqua di Sale is in many ways bottled memory, it still manages to be also a perfume, it never become just a ‘smell’. To me that’s important, it’s as with the song and text from before, something which awakens a memory and yet becomes its own thing; a sea song? A new memory perhaps?
 On a perfume related note, you will probably have noticed the proper female propagandistic band name ‘Shit & Chanel’ (one album even called Chanel no 5, even if this wasn’t their 5th album), while catchy and very 1970s red-stocking movement and all, in Paris Chez Coco, one did not find this amusing, Chanel threatened to sue, where after the band changed its name to ‘Shit & Chalou’
 Meaning; do not overspray, or the ocean might overwhelm you with ‘marine’, as it did me on first application.
Feat pic by me, Shit & Chanel from vinylpladen.dk, uncreditable picture from beach nær Greve in Denmark.