Atelier Cologne Grand Neroli : Perfume Review


Andy on some of his most versatile orange blossom perfumes. On the difference between neroli and orange blossom (and other fragrances with these notes), please see an entry in our Perfume Lexicon.

It’s often that I look at my bevy of perfume bottles, samples, and decants, and wonder which one I might choose if I could only wear a single fragrance, day in and day out. After some consideration, I’m often apt to think Atelier Cologne’s Grand Néroli would be a perfect choice. My first instinct is usually to think I’d select a perfume that I could be sure would surprise me with unexpected twists and take me on an infinite journey every time I wore it, but Grand Néroli is none such a perfume.

grand neroli

In fact, when I think more practically, I realize that owning only one perfume bottle would require that my scent be interesting yet simple, and versatile enough to suit every occasion while still possessing a memorable appeal. In light of this theoretical dilemma, I don’t hesitate to choose Grand Néroli, because this refined, fresh fragrance always feels like the right thing to wear, no matter what.

It’s certainly true that Grand Néroli breaks no new ground, categorizing squarely as an orange blossom cologne. A classical arrangement of materials from the bitter orange tree provides a similar polished, relaxed feel in Tom Ford Neroli Portofino, Serge Lutens Fleurs de Citronnier, and even this year’s newest release from Bottega Veneta, Knot, among countless others. What especially tickles me about Grand Néroli, however, is the fact that it never seems to lose its initial sparkle, with an emphasis on zesty citrus rind and crisp, green neroli, the steam distilled essence derived from fresh orange flowers.

The opening stages of Grand Néroli strongly remind me of Lebanese orange blossom water, which smells of fresh, green petals. The initial effect of this perfume is almost exactly like a favorite drink of mine—a squeeze of lemon, a splash of orange blossom water, topped off in a glass with plenty of mineral water. Like Grand Néroli, the drink is greenly floral, effervescent, and shot through with citric brightness.

Between Orange Sanguine and Cédrat Enivrant, Atelier Cologne has earned the distinction of creating light citrus fragrances that last well. In Grand Néroli, citrus plays only a supporting role, but one of my favorite things about this perfume is that it too features an incredibly long lasting citrus note. From the verdant top, through much of the drydown, a sprightly lemony accent remains, and I love the way it seems to guide me from the top notes into Grand Néroli’s floral heart.

Once the fragrance reaches this stage, the neroli shines fully, with nary a touch of orange blossom’s more sultry, indolic side in sight. On the whole, this mellow nod to orange flowers smells clean, sophisticated, and pretty. At times I also notice a slight woody or moss-like tone that seems to add texture and keep the green floral notes from smelling one-dimensional. Nonetheless, simple or not, it’s during this stage that Grand Néroli inspires within me a feeling of well being and refreshment—it just makes me feel wonderful to wear it.

While not a statement perfume, I find that Grand Néroli has great lasting power, seeming to linger easily through the entire day as an enjoyable skin scent. In any case, whether its appeal lies in creating a Mediterranean fantasy, or simply in providing some light refreshment, Grand Néroli is a perfect anytime perfume choice. Like most orange blossom colognes, it’s as classic as a collared shirt and as comfortable as a pair of jeans—in short, versatility, bottled.

Atelier Cologne Grand Néroli includes notes of Moroccan neroli, lemon, Sicilian bergamot, petit grain, Persian galbanum, moss, birch leaf, pure musk, white amber and vanilla from Madagascar.



  • James1051: Good review of an underrated gem. Bonus: available on 30mL for a reasonable price! December 9, 2014 at 7:52am Reply

    • Andy: Yes, that is a great bonus! I love lines like this one that offer their perfumes in smaller bottles without too high of a markup. December 9, 2014 at 8:14am Reply

  • mridula: Andy, this is my son’s scent. He has been wearing it since he was thirteen and ow he is fourteen. On school mornings that are particularly fraught, he claims Grand Neroli calms him down. December 9, 2014 at 9:16am Reply

    • Andy: I agree with limegreen below, what a sophisticated scent for your teenaged son! I can totally understand why he says that Grand Néroli calms him down–for me, wearing it is like the sensation of patting orange blossom water on my temples. December 9, 2014 at 12:20pm Reply

  • limegreen: (Mridula — your son is a sophisticated young teen-ager!)
    Thank you for a wonderful review, Andy! It’s inspired me to revisit my Grand Neroli sample. I’m afraid it got buried/unnoticed in the Atelier sampler set and I was more taken by others such as Cedrat Enivrant and Treble Pur. I remember thinking “oh, another neroli” and shrugging it off. (shame on me!)
    Have you smelled Diptyque’s interpretation of neroli? (L’Eau de Neroli) It’s woodsy as well, and has tarragon — one of my favorite notes and favorite herbs.
    (The Mediterranean fantasy has been rampant lately during these dreary grey days! But I think the real fantasy is wearing only one fragrance ALWAYS. How would I even begin to choose?) December 9, 2014 at 9:49am Reply

    • Andy: I will need to try L’Eau de Neroli, I have till now shrugged off the Diptyque “Eaus” because I figured they would be so light as to be almost insignificant. So shame on me! 🙂 December 9, 2014 at 12:22pm Reply

  • Celeste Church: I’d love to try this! Sounds truly lovely; I love citrus scents. I’ll ask here, though, if any of you know of an orange blossom scent that is not citrusy? My daughter adores the scent of the blossoms, but not the rind. I’ve been looking for a long time to no avail.
    While I’m looking, though, will definitely try this one. It sounds like something I’d enjoy. December 9, 2014 at 9:55am Reply

    • Bela: Serge Lutens Fleurs d’Oranger is not citrusy at all. Gorgeous.

      I can’t stand neroli: it makes me nauseous, just like anything that has ‘bitter orange’ in its description. December 9, 2014 at 10:06am Reply

      • Victoria: I second Fleurs d’Oranger, not citrusy and instead floral and warm. In general, I agree with Bela, neroli, the steam-distillation of bitter orange flowers, is a bit more citrusy and green. Orange blossom absolute, on the other hand, doesn’t have those zesty, citrus rind nuances. December 9, 2014 at 11:48am Reply

      • Andy: How interesting! I’m quite the opposite–it’s the lusher, indolic side of orange blossom that tends to turn my stomach more often. December 9, 2014 at 12:31pm Reply

    • Hamamelis: Hi Celeste,
      Another orange blossom that is not citrusy is Roberto Cavalli, (that is the name, in a gold bottle and the box has a turqouise band at the bottom). In the Netherlands it is still widely available, and not expensive at all. I also like the pacifica Neroli Orange blossom, as well as their Malibu Lemon blossom, not citrusy (and maybe more suitable for your daughter, depending on her age). Another neroli that I don’t find citrusy, but very fresh and green is Frederic Fekkai Sensuelle, discontinued but widely available. Slightly more citrusy but still very much an orange blossom is Lancome’s o de l’Orangerie (and affordable). December 9, 2014 at 11:36am Reply

      • Andy: Such great recommendations! I had almost forgotten about the Pacifica citrus blossom fragrances, thank you for reminding me. Nerola Orange Blossom is so sophisticated, and offers quality at such a great value too. December 9, 2014 at 12:34pm Reply

    • Andy: I too will second the recommendation of Fleurs d’Oranger below, definitely not citrusy at all. It might even be fun to order a sample of Grand Néroli for you and Fleurs d’Oranger for your daughter and compare these two styles of orange blossom the next time the two of you are spending time together! December 9, 2014 at 12:29pm Reply

    • limegreen: I don’t think Jo Malone Orange Blossom is citrusy, it’s very floral to my nose. Two of my friends who adore JM OB say it reminds them of the scent of orange blossoms at night. December 9, 2014 at 3:49pm Reply

  • Sarah: The timing of this post is uncanny. This morning I woke up to a horribly dreary day in Boston; the wind is blowing, the sky is gray, and rain is pouring down like an endless funeral dirge. As I assessed the sad scene outside of my window, I thought to myself, what do I need today to make myself come to life? I picked through my selection of samples and my fingers inadvertently landed on Jo Malone’s Orange Blossom cologne. I haven’t worn this scent since the summer and immediately sprayed three generous doses on my neck. I was immediately transported to warmer, more carefree days and I am so grateful for it. The power of scent is truly something to admire. December 9, 2014 at 11:02am Reply

    • donnakitt: Sarah, I am in the Berkshires on the western end of the same nor’easter. Living halfway up a mountain at 1,800 ft — well, it’s a Berkshire mountain — we are experiencing freezing rain and I’m about to run for my sample of DSH’s Fleurs d’Oranger. May you enjoy your warmer, carefree day! December 9, 2014 at 12:01pm Reply

      • Andy: Wishing you both safety and warmth amid the nor’easter, and some solace in your cheery orange blossom perfume choices! 🙂 December 9, 2014 at 12:41pm Reply

    • Andy: Sounds like the perfect way to combat the unfortunate weather! Instead of contrasting the gloom, I went the other route and decided to wear something warm and comfy to brace myself against the rain and wind today, retrying a sample of Masque Milano’s Russian Tea. December 9, 2014 at 12:38pm Reply

    • limegreen: Sarah, I wrote my response above before seeing your post. Would you say that JM Orange Blossom is more floral and not citrusy? December 9, 2014 at 3:52pm Reply

  • Hamamelis: Hi Andy, thank you for this lovely article on one of our mutual favourite notes, the one that started it all for me!
    After reading it I dug up a sample of Gran Neroli I had sniffed once, but forgot about. Smelling it again it is truely gorgeous, and I love the citrus in there. It is getting colder here, I find this more suitable for summer, but will but it on a ‘get it some day’ list, or maybe better, I will try and see if my husband gets along with it. I love Atelier Colognes, in the travelling sample box was Silver Iris, which I adored. I see now there is a similarity in style wit Gran Neroli, not notes, but I think the way they make a lasting cologne. Lovely! December 9, 2014 at 11:42am Reply

    • Andy: While the lightness makes Grand Néroli more traditionally appropriate to warm weather, I’m such a fan of these lighthearted approaches to orange blossom that I’ve enjoyed this one throughout the year. I’ve gone through two samples of Grand Néroli so far, and like you, I could definitely see myself purchasing a larger amount (30mls would probably do) in the future. December 9, 2014 at 12:45pm Reply

  • Rickyrebarco: I love a good neroli or neroli/citrus scent. 2 of my favorites are Jo Malone’s Orange Blossom and Van Cleef and Arpels California Reverie. If you haven’t tried the VC&A Cali Reverie it is fantastic and it is available in a smaller size as well so you don’t have to spend $200 on the big Extraordinaire bottle.

    It always lifts my mood on a grey day to put on sunny neroli fragrance. December 9, 2014 at 2:04pm Reply

    • Andy: Just the name California Reverie has me intrigued! And since I’ve just tried VC&A Gardenia and really liked it, I’m curious to try some more from the line. December 9, 2014 at 3:29pm Reply

  • Patricia: Your review makes me want to try Grand Neroli, Andy!

    If I had to pick only one fragrance to wear for the rest of my life, it would be Chanel No. 19. But only if I could have the EDT, EDP, and the parfum! December 9, 2014 at 6:06pm Reply

    • Andy: Agreed! Chanel No. 19 could easily take the same spot of honor for me as well. And if I could have it in each different concentration, I’d be even more inclined to make it my one and only. December 9, 2014 at 7:58pm Reply

  • Tati: Orange blossom is one of my favorite notes. In addition to those already mentioned, I love MFK’s APOM and Keiko Mecheri’s Tarifa. December 9, 2014 at 6:39pm Reply

    • Andy: Lovely choices! I didn’t know Tarifa, but I just looked it up, and it sounds heavenly–orange blossom and amber? Yum! December 9, 2014 at 8:01pm Reply

      • Karen: Just added this to my wish list! It does sound really beautifulBeautiful! Amber adds such a rich quality to almost everything. December 10, 2014 at 5:24am Reply

        • Andy: Agreed–this combination of orange blossom and amber sounds especially sumptuous. December 10, 2014 at 7:58am Reply

        • Tati: You should really try it! It’s one of my favorite summer perfumes. And the amber makes it longer lasting than the average o.b. scent. December 10, 2014 at 5:09pm Reply

          • Andy: Thank you for bringing this hidden gem to my attention! December 10, 2014 at 5:28pm Reply

  • Aurora: This is such a good post Andy, and I can imagine Grand Neroli is delightful without having tried it. I love your description and like petit grain as much as orange blossom.

    Not long ago, I listed Fleur D’Oranger by Fragonard as one of my ‘essential fragrance’. It doesn’t have much longevity, alas, but it has a very true orange blossom note while it lasts, I wear it mostly in summer. Also, 24 Faubourg is longer lasting and has plenty of o.b. December 10, 2014 at 12:23pm Reply

    • Andy: Even more great orange blossom recommendations! It’s not quite my style, but I admire 24 Faubourg, it’s such a beautiful, blended orange blossom floral. December 10, 2014 at 1:34pm Reply

  • Tiffanie: Thank you for your thoughtful review. I just opened a sample of Grand Neroli and so your words were most helpful. I was recently overwhelmed by a few neroli-heavy fragrances, so Grand Neroli was a lovely relief . . . I do like the fizz of orange blossom as done so well by Atelier. December 17, 2014 at 2:09pm Reply

    • Andy: Glad to help, Tiffanie, enjoy your sample of Grand Néroli! December 17, 2014 at 11:14pm Reply

  • Sebastian: I love orange blossom. How do you compare it to Acqua di Parma Essenza? Are they alike or different? December 18, 2014 at 1:44am Reply

    • Andy: I don’t know Essenza, but if you like your orange blossom scents fresh and radiant, this one may be something you’d like, Sebastian. December 18, 2014 at 11:31pm Reply

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