Guerlain Eau de Fleurs de Cedrat : Perfume Review

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It’s easy to get overtaken by the flood of newness and to forget about the trusted old favorites. The other day I found a neglected bottle of Eau de Fleurs de Cédrat in one of my fragrance drawers and put it on more as a reflex than because of any desire to wear it. It had been a while since I had tried it, but smelling its zesty lemon top notes reminded me what a gem it is and how refreshing it feels on a hot day.

If Eau de Fleurs de Cédrat were a color, it would be pop-art yellow. The initial impression is of grated lemon zest and lots of it. The bitterness of bergamot and lime add an additional twist, but it doesn’t happen until a few minutes into the development. Also, despite the “citron flowers” promised by the name, the composition is not particularly floral. It’s as classical of a cologne as you can find.

What makes Eau de Fleurs de Cédrat unusual is the clarity of its lemon note. The original formula I’ve had the chance to try is just as crisp and clean as the contemporary version, and it makes it rather unusual. The effect is zesty and natural, but with enough abstract, impressionistic quality to make a perfume, rather than merely the scent of lemon oil.

Another element that makes Eau de Fleurs de Cédrat a cologne worthy of your attention is that it lasts reasonably well. Even on a hot day, it will linger for a few hours, maintaining the dazzling lemon brightness of its opening. When it disappears, it leaves no trace of cloudy musk or sweet woods that ruin so many citrus blends. While not as complex and elegant as Chanel Eau de Cologne or Eau de Guerlain, it’s delightful and uplifting.

Eau de Fleurs de Cédrat was created in 1920 by Jacques Guerlain, and if you examine it closely, you’ll recognize that it’s the bergamot-lemon accord of Shalimar. (A tip: if you want to make Shalimar more effervescent, try layering it with Eau de Fleurs de Cédrat, experimenting with the amount of the latter.)

To recap, almost a hundred years old, Eau de Fleurs de Cédrat is still effortlessly beautiful. It’s a classic for a reason.

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56 Comments

  • Austenfan: Thank you so much for reviewing one of my favourite colognes!
    I remember first of all getting a smallish bottle of Eau de Guerlain for no other reason than that I loved Robin’s review of it and the fact that I knew I liked colognes. Then all the hype around the restriction of certain aroma chemicals happened and being more or less a novice as a perfumista I thought I had better get all the Guerlain colognes at once. Which I did. So I now have 4 large bee bottles of my beloved Guerlain colognes.

    I think this one is my second favourite after Eau de Guerlain and is the tartest of the lot. It’s almost like actually biting into a lemon. And therefore so refreshing on a hot day. July 1, 2019 at 8:43am Reply

    • Victoria: I agree, it’s so excellent and underrated. I hardly ever see it mentioned, probably because Eau de Guerlain steals all of the limelight. But as you say, it’s bright and lemony and feels perfect on a hot day.

      Have you been drinking any new interesting teas lately? July 1, 2019 at 12:21pm Reply

      • Austenfan: I seem to be on a Darjeeling kick. I never used to like Darjeelings, don’t know why, but there it was. However, I did want to know why they enjoyed such a great reputation so I kept on trying different ones. I mostly get mine from la 7e Tasse in Brussels and have got two 2nd flushes from Teegeschwendner in Germany. Their Edmon’s selection is very good.
        Another new indulgence are the Jardin infusions from Palais des Thés, I’m sure a real tea connoisseur wouldn’t even consider drinking them, but they make for a refreshing beverage in summer. 🙂

        Another recent discovery is this:
        https://www.theemaas.nl/webshop/thee/china-wilde-theeknoppen
        they are called white tea buds and they have a floral fruity flavour, very nice.
        I think you would enjoy them as well. July 1, 2019 at 2:38pm Reply

        • Victoria: Oh, fantastic! I’ll have to check it out. My friend brought me an interesting pu er tea from China. It’s aged and then stuffed into a green mandarin and matured further. You can imagine what an interesting taste it has. July 2, 2019 at 1:29pm Reply

          • Austenfan: This is another nice jasmin tea.
            https://www.curioustea.com/tea/green-tea/nu-er-huan-jasmine-girl-rings/

            The same shop used to sell a wonderful black tea from Aranuchal Pradesh, but they have been out of stock. I’ve still got some left, and it’s a wonderfully unique tea. And they sell the white buds:
            https://www.curioustea.com/tea/white-tea/ya-bao-silver-buds/ July 2, 2019 at 1:50pm Reply

            • Victoria: Both looks really tempting. Mind you, not that I have a lack of tea at home, but trying new varieties is always a pleasure. July 2, 2019 at 2:17pm Reply

              • Austenfan: Not to tempt you even further 😉 but this is a reliable seller. The great thing is that they also do 10 gram samples of a lot of their teas. July 2, 2019 at 2:21pm Reply

                • Victoria: That’s hard to resist! July 3, 2019 at 4:48am Reply

          • Austenfan: What a nice gift!

            I think Nong Cha had that tea at some point. I’m still a bit iffy on Pu er. I find it interesting but still don’t really enjoy it (for the most part) July 2, 2019 at 1:53pm Reply

            • Victoria: I don’t find it nearly as interesting as some other types of tea I’ve tried. I drink it, but I rarely crave it. July 2, 2019 at 2:15pm Reply

      • hajusuuri: How old is your bottle?

        I have this one, too. The bottle was from 2010 or 2011. I usually put month and year stickers on perfumes and cosmetics and cleansers but have fallen off the wagon with the perfumes. July 1, 2019 at 7:02pm Reply

        • Austenfan: I think I probably got them late 2008. I’ve never even considered putting stickers on my perfume bottles, it does make a lot of sense though. July 2, 2019 at 3:42am Reply

        • Victoria: I have a couple of different ones, but the most recent one I have is from a year or two ago. July 2, 2019 at 1:30pm Reply

  • Klaas: Oh, thank you Victoria, I am a long time fan of Eau de Fleurs de Cedrat! The Guerlain colognes were more affordable than their regular eau de toilettes, so I tried them all back in the day. Like Austefan, I like Eau de Guerlain the most, as it sits somewhere between an eau de toilette and a cologne, and does have that typical Guerlain base that makes it rather luxurious…

    But nothing beats Cedrat on a hot day! I create a mist and then walk through it, it’s such a delicious & decadent thing to do…..highly recommended!! July 1, 2019 at 12:06pm Reply

    • Victoria: I like that way of wearing it. And if you cool the bottle in the fridge, it feels even better! July 1, 2019 at 12:22pm Reply

  • Nick: What a coincidence! I was just dropping by Guerlain to try on their Les Eaux, as I have just run out of my favourite Cologne du Coq; it’s almost classical but with an emphasis on orange blossoms. It feels terrific whenever I wear it. July 1, 2019 at 12:31pm Reply

    • Victoria: They made a good pair, lemon and orange blossom. July 2, 2019 at 1:27pm Reply

  • Fazal: I might have this one somewhere because I was trying to complete collection of Guerlain eau de colognes back in 2011 or so (I think I got imperiale cologne, imperiale cologne dry, eau de coq, and this one). BTW, do you like vintage Eau de Guerlain? I still remember how that had a very realistic lemon note though I didn’t give it a proper wearing. July 1, 2019 at 1:02pm Reply

    • Victoria: I like it very much. It’s one of the most elegant and polished colognes you can find. July 2, 2019 at 1:27pm Reply

  • OnWingsofSaffron: 10 to 15 years ago, I used to have the Eau de Fleurs de Cedrat, and I found it so very chic. Perhaps pop-art yellow, but unmistakably chic. I haven’t purchased this in years as I am very wary about all reformulations of classic scents. But reading your review … well perhaps I ought to reconsider? July 1, 2019 at 1:11pm Reply

    • Victoria: It’s still pretty good, so do give it a try. July 2, 2019 at 1:28pm Reply

  • Zaina: This sounds so great! Have you smelled L’occitane’s Verbena? I get a very nice lemon with that. July 1, 2019 at 1:12pm Reply

    • Victoria: I like it very much! I also liked the soap version. July 2, 2019 at 1:28pm Reply

  • Nancy Chan: Yes, a lovely zesty and refreshing cologne for summer! July 1, 2019 at 3:13pm Reply

    • Victoria: Definitely! One of the best. July 2, 2019 at 1:29pm Reply

  • Berengaria Liedmeier: It’s standing on my bedside table & every night, after showering, squeeky clean and ready for the night I spray some on my pajamas and all’s well in the world July 1, 2019 at 4:38pm Reply

    • Victoria: What a beautiful way to drift off to sleep. July 2, 2019 at 1:30pm Reply

  • OperaFan: I love this Guerlain as well. The first time I visited a Guerlain Boutique to sample their fragrances was on vacation in San Francisco in the early 90s. Way de Fleurs de Cédrat was the first fragrance shown to me. After several sampling’s I ended up taking home a splash bottle of Chamade edt.
    10 years ago a I acquired a spray tester and use it mostly on hot summer days. I sometimes blend it with Jicky to give it a bit more citrusy kick. Never realized the connection with Shalimar. Now I’m thinking of layering it with my Diptyque Eau Rose – maybe tomorrow…. July 1, 2019 at 11:31pm Reply

    • OperaFan: Oops – stupid autocorrect… Should be “Eau de Fleurs…” July 1, 2019 at 11:33pm Reply

    • Victoria: Eau Rose and this Guerlain would make a brilliant pairing. If you try it, please let me know. I ran out of Eau Rose, so I can’t try it right away. July 2, 2019 at 1:31pm Reply

      • Tami: Ooh I have a small bottle of Eau Rose and now so want to try this! July 2, 2019 at 11:05pm Reply

        • Tami: OK, just put them both on. The combo smells like a Vodka Tonic. Oh no wait, it smells like a grapefruit slice candy. Oh wait—now it smells like crisp paper.

          Thanks for the suggestion 🙂 July 2, 2019 at 11:25pm Reply

          • Victoria: Sounds great! Thank you for letting us know how it worked out. July 3, 2019 at 4:50am Reply

          • OperaFan: 😀 July 5, 2019 at 10:40am Reply

      • OperaFan: Yes, I Did try it, and I love it! It’s best to layer the Cedrat over the Rose because the Diptyque has a heavier oil base than the Guerlain. In fact, you can layer the Guerlain over any dewy, fresh rose scent and get a similar effect. This particular combination actually reminds me of one of the old, Coty Earth floral scents, a kickback to my early youth….
        Chuckling at Tami’s remarks. I only drink wine, and seldom, so can’t speak to the cocktail reference. July 5, 2019 at 10:37am Reply

        • Tami: Basically—“vodka tonic” smells of grapefruit peel, alcohol, and perhaps some botanicals. Fresh and light. July 5, 2019 at 12:05pm Reply

          • OperaFan: Fresh and light sounds about right – a zingy-lemony-rose. 🙂 July 5, 2019 at 1:37pm Reply

  • spe: Jean Claude Elena mentioned it as a way to brighten up L Heure Bleue (layered). It didn’t work for me because Cedrat doesn’t last on me to get the effect, unfortunately. July 1, 2019 at 11:44pm Reply

    • Victoria: I now recall trying this combo and not finding it particularly appealing. L’Heure Bleue doesn’t work well with anything too citrusy. July 2, 2019 at 1:32pm Reply

  • Christiane Ambler: My favourite eau de roulette is Jicky. July 2, 2019 at 5:30am Reply

  • Karen A: Just ordered it! Sounds like the perfect relief for our hot, humid weather. Fragrances in the frig in summer are a treat. July 2, 2019 at 6:26am Reply

    • Victoria: Please let me know how you like it! Hope that your garden is doing well in this weather. July 2, 2019 at 1:33pm Reply

      • Karen A: It sounds really great so I’m sure I will like it! Garden is gorgeous but so absurdly out of control, we’ve had tons of rain. Bee balm plants are over 5′ tall, it’s a bit crazy! July 2, 2019 at 3:17pm Reply

        • Victoria: Wow! I’m sure it looks like paradise. July 3, 2019 at 4:49am Reply

          • Karen A: Bottle arrived today and it’s perfect! So glad for your review – a great easy summer fragrance.

            And the garden is quite something, we’ve been having so much rain – then hot humid weather.

            Been busy making up blackberry jelly – the vicious thorns on the wild ones are worth the snags and scrapes, the thornless bush is finally yielding this year, too! July 9, 2019 at 5:36pm Reply

  • Tami: How did I miss this post until now!

    Eau de Fleurs de Cédrat is one of my absolute, absolute favorites. I’ve gone through three bottles—only other perfume I’ve done that with is Tea Rose, which is considerably less expensive 😉

    I never realized it had such a fan club… even though I should, given that it’s so hard to find (and often out of stock when it is usually stocked somewhere!). When I first started buying it, it was around $60 US (probably the most I’d spent on a perfume, to date) and now… Yipes, even more pricy. I’m clinging to my current bottle and interchanging it with Oyedo ($$$ but longer lasting) and Fresh Lemon Sugar (less expensive but still tart sweet lemon). Not sure I’ll repurchase, as it’s so darn pricy now, but it’s in my Pantheon of favorites. It was my intro to charming citrus scents.

    That said—I don’t have any specific “scent memories” tied to it, the way I do with other perfumes. Still love it, though! July 2, 2019 at 11:20pm Reply

    • Victoria: I’m glad to meet other fans! Yes, it’s refreshing, not particularly complex, but with an interesting enough personality. July 3, 2019 at 4:50am Reply

  • Carla: This sounds wonderful. I love a good cologne in high summer. July 3, 2019 at 2:35pm Reply

    • Victoria: It’s definitely worth trying, especially during this hot weather. July 3, 2019 at 4:00pm Reply

  • Tourmaline: Hi Victoria,

    I have a mini bottle of Eau de Fleurs de Cedrat that I received years ago in a box of Guerlain sample miniatures. I like it – so light and fresh in summer.

    About 20 years ago, I bought a 200 ml bottle of Eau de Fleurs de Cedrat from Yves Rocher, and I still have most of it left. (For a long time, I had to remind myself to stop saving fragrances for One Day…) It is similar to Eau de Fleurs de Cedrat, but I must compare them side-to-side one day. Another lemony fragrance that I bought, this time very recently, is Zoie by Skinn (the brand of Dimitri James). It, too, is very light and fresh, and perhaps a little sweeter than the other too. It also lasts very well. I wore it several times earlier in the year with a very light lemon-coloured satin shirt; it was a perfect combination.

    To go to the opposite of yellow – namely violet, two days ago I was delighted to learn that Guerlain had brought back one of my favourite fragrances from years ago – Météorites Le Parfum. This has main notes of violet and lilac. At least 15 years ago, I bought a gift set containing a bottle of the perfume and a nail polish, and this is the first time I’ve seen it available since then. On Tuesday, I went to a local department store and visited the Guerlain worker who for years has kept me up to date with the world of Guerlain fragrance, and I found that she had the 100ml eau de parfum in stock for $119.00 Australian. That shall be my next fragrance purchase!

    With kind regards,
    Tourmaline July 4, 2019 at 8:47am Reply

    • Victoria: I like Météorites Le Parfum very much. It was such a surprise to see it back after all of these years. July 5, 2019 at 7:56am Reply

  • Aurora: How wonderful to rediscover a perfume you loved.

    I think you feel about Eau de Fleurs de Cedrat the way I do about Christian Dior Eau Fraiche.
    It’s deceptively simple and in fact there is no other scent quite like it and bloom in the summer heat. Along with Eau de Rochas it’s my most worn perfume when the temperatures heat up. July 6, 2019 at 5:35am Reply

  • Stacey: Victoria, I am in the US. Can you recommend a retailer and/or distributor with links for this fragrance? I have found some on Amazon and eBay but would prefer to buy from a direct distributor. It sounds wonderful! Many thanks. July 7, 2019 at 11:01am Reply

    • Tami: Hi Stacey — Check Neiman Marcus’ website. It looks like they currently have it in stock. That’s where I’ve purchased it, primarily (though 20+ years back, Sephora stocked it). July 10, 2019 at 11:41pm Reply

  • Clare Obsure: Hi Victoria & fragrance fans. This article was lovely & makes me want to get hold of a sample of Eau de Fleurs de Cedrat. I’ve loved Guerlain fragrances from my youth & adore lemon & lime colognes. Annick Goutal’s Eau de Hadrian is a favourite. Eau de Sud is very sharp lemons & a nice punchy summer fragrance. I’m also a fan of L’Eau de Serge Lutens. It’s clean & refreshing with a nice complexity. Briefly, after a trip to NYC, I liked Nicolai’s New York Intense, which I bought there. Now the coriander note bothers me.
    I would welcome any comments & your further summer cologne memories. August 24, 2019 at 5:39pm Reply

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