I have a love and hate relationship with summer. I wilt in the heat, my hair becomes unmanageable thanks to the humidity and my skin burns within seconds. The bronzed summer look with glistening lips that heralds the July editions of fashion magazines all over the world is unachievable for me. On the other hand, I love the balmy feel of warm summer evenings, when the soft breeze caresses your face and plays with your hair. A good matte finish sunscreen, Wella mousse and Mineral Veil powder is what I rely on to go from morning to evening without looking overly disheveled, but I also like to keep a small atomizer of perfume that can likewise bridge the heat of the summer day and the languor of the evening.
It’s hard to go wrong with a great citrus cologne, but sometimes you want a perfume that lingers longer, while retaining a pleasant freshness to cool you down. That’s the category of perfumes in which Parfums de Nicolaï L’Eau à la Folie fits perfectly–a blend of citrus and tropical fruits with a drydown of jasmine and moss.
The perfume has bright sparkling top notes of citrus and mint that feel cool and crisp, a perfect start in the morning, but by the time you’re ready to take your lunch break, the creamy jasmine and mango take over the show. As the day slowly dips into evening, your skin perfumed with L’Eau à la Folie begins to smell of moss, musk and peach skin.
The mossy fruity vibe of L’Eau à la Folie reminds me of Hermes Amazone and Chanel Cristalle, with the main difference in the type of fruit these fragrances use. Amazone mixes blackcurrants and strawberries, while Cristalle is a citrus salad sweetened with peach. L’Eau à la Folie is a luscious tropical cocktail of mango and papaya. The peach flashes by as well, smelling more of its fuzzy skin, rather than the sugary flesh. In any case, for all of its lighthearted and smiling personality, L’Eau à la Folie is elegant and restrained. You will not smell as if you took a bath in fruit juice.
As much as I enjoy L’Eau à la Folie, I don’t think that it’s a crowd pleaser of a perfume. The mango, like all tropical fruits, has a sweet, overripe note that can seem pungent, especially when paired with the animalic jasmine. It’s not overly strong, but I know that some of you avoid these “ripe to the point of decay” notes. For a light Eau de Toilette (and a great bargain for a niche perfume), L’Eau à la Folie has great tenacity, and even when I get ready to pack up my belongings at the office and head home, its mossy sweetness is still present. It smells of a pleasant day spent sitting at an outdoor cafe, minus the shiny nose and sunburn.
Parfums de Nicolaï L’Eau à la Folie Eau de Toilette includes notes of mint, mango, orange, lime, Egyptian jasmine absolute, mint, juniper and pink pepper. 30 ($45) and 100ml ($115), available from New London Pharmacy, Luckyscent, Beautyhabit or Parfum1 in the US; Parfums de Nicolaï boutiques in Europe.
Photography (top image) by Bois de Jasmin, all rights reserved.
Sample source: PR