Orange Blossom & Neroli: 50 posts

Jean Patou Eau de Patou : Fragrance Review (Vintage and New)

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Cologne was never one of my favorite fragrance types. You see, when you start out exploring perfume, citrusy blends (eaux de cologne) are suggested on the grounds that they’re “fresh and easy to wear.” Except that I found most colognes to be neither. They smelled either too dry, too sharp or evoked an unfortunate association with furniture polish. I admired the ease with which some women could douse themselves in Hermès’s Eau d’Orange Verte and project an aura of casual elegance, but for quick refreshment, I reached for either light florals or green perfumes. What changed my mind about colognes was Christian Dior’s Eau Sauvage and Jean Patou’s Eau de Patou.

jean-patou-eau-de-patou

Much has been written about Eau Sauvage, one of the most revolutionary fragrances in recent history, but Eau de Patou has kept a lower profile. Perfumer Jean Kerléo created it in 1976, and when you smell the original version, it’s remarkably modern and luminous with its generous dose of sheer floral notes wrapped around classical bitter citrus and moss. A touch of sweetness takes the sharp edge off the lemon and lavender, and the drydown of damp woods and powdery amber is comfortable and graceful.

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Vero Profumo Les Voiles d’Extrait : Mito and Rubj Perfume Reviews

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Although I make accords of various materials as part of my work, they’re not what I would call “perfume.” Most of them are meant to explore combinations of specific ingredients or to showcase a raw material. Even so, I often return to some of my favorites well after the project is over to add a little touch here or there. Imagine how much more tempting it must be for a perfumer to revisit her creations down the line, but also more frustrating, since loyal clients don’t want their fragrances to change.

vero-profumo

For indie perfumer Vero Kern the solution was to present Rubj, Mito, Kiki and Onda, the quartet that makes up her Vero Profumo collection, as three different concentrations–Eau de Parfum, Extrait de Parfum, and now Voile d’Extrait. As I quickly discovered, they could easily be different perfumes, and so I’ve waited with anticipation for Les Voiles d’Extrait.

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Bobbi Brown Beach and Other Sun Fantasy Scents : Perfume Review

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Patricia talks about an endless summer in a perfume bottle, from Bobbi Brown Beach to Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess.

In his novel Remembrances of Things Past, Marcel Proust used petite madeleines, little cakes shaped like scallop shells and dipped in tea as a literary device to bring his character instantly back in time. One sniff of Bobbi Brown’s Beach does the same thing to me. It transports me to a certain carefree summer many years ago, a summer of wearing madras shorts, skate boarding, kissing my first boyfriend, listening to the Beach Boys and Rolling Stones on the radio, and slathering on Coppertone, a popular American sun lotion.

patricia-summer

Beach isn’t an exact match for Coppertone, but sweet jasmine and orange blossom combine deliciously with salty and marine notes in a way that is strongly reminiscent of it. It maintains the same balance of notes throughout, and there is no real progression from the top notes to the dry down. Although Beach wears very close to the skin, it lasts from five to six hours on me.

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Repetto by Maison Repetto : Fragrance Review

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As a young ballet student I used to bristle whenever people said, “oh, ballet, it’s so lovely and pretty,” after I had just danced in excruciating pain. Later, it dawned on me that a dancer has to make something difficult seem weightless and graceful. If you see a swan sweat and strain, then she didn’t succeed in her craft. Perhaps, that is the reason I look indulgently upon the prettiness of Repetto. It’s about a ballet fantasy of pink slippers, tutus and Sugar Plum fairies.

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Repetto is a French company that successfully made the cross over from professional dance shoes to everyday ballet flats and much more. There is now a line of clothing, handbags, and of course, fragrance. Repetto perfume launched earlier this year retaining the same ethereal aesthetic of the brand. It even involved Dorothée Gilbert, a Paris Opera Ballet prima, to star in its campaign. You can see the lithe dancer spraying on Repetto as she gets ready to leave for her rehearsals. A few shots later she adds a generous spritz on her neck just as she’s stepping onto the scene.

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10 Ways to Use Orange Blossom Water

I don’t often think of Marie-Antoinette whenever I use orange blossom water, but perhaps I should. By the time the French queen was playing shepherdess in Versailles, the cultivation of bitter orange trees in France was a long standing tradition solely for the purpose of producing this perfumed liquid.  The aromatic distillation of fresh blossoms scented the linens of the nobility. It found its way into Marie Antoinette’s beauty preparations. It flavored madeleines, little French butter cakes that Marcel Proust immortalized in The Search for Lost Time. Relaxing with a cup of Café Blanc or Orange Blossom and Mint Lemonade is a luxury but thank heavens it’s no longer reserved for the royalty.

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If you’ve never used floral waters, it might seem that they are best suited for pink girly desserts and incurable romantics. But while I admit to being a romantic, rose and orange blossom waters are remarkably versatile. A mere hint can give a familiar dish a new, haunting flavor, and you only need take a page from traditional cuisines–from Provence to Morocco, to see how diverse the use of floral waters can be. Once you start experimenting, I have no doubt that you’ll invent new recipes.

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