Guerlain Eau de Cologne du Coq, Eau de Fleurs de Cédrat and Eau de Guerlain

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With the start of summer it seems natural to reach for a cologne. This style of fragrances based on citrus is uplifting and bright, and wearing a cologne is a low-commitment affair since it lasts on skin for only a few hours, leaving behind a memory of freshness. Of course, these days there are many different colognes, some promising an all-day citrus blast and others treating the most un-cologne-like notes like sandalwood, roses and musk in the style’s gossamer lightness. For my part, I recommend visiting three classics from Guerlain: Eau de Cologne du Coq, Eau de Fleurs de Cédrat and Eau de Guerlain.

Not only does the trio offer a range of styles, it gives a great overview of the house’s signature and the way it evolved over time. The fragrances were created by three perfumers representing different generations of the Guerlain family–Aimé Guerlain with his fin-de-siecle sensibilities, Jacques Guerlain renowned for his technical mastery and Jean-Paul Guerlain, the renegade. One need not have all three colognes in one’s wardrobe, but each is distinctive enough to be worth comparing.


All three fragrances are intended for men and women, and they’re classical colognes–sharp, bracing, effervescent.

Eau de Cologne du Coq is the most refreshing option from the collection. It’s rich in bergamot, lemon and herbs reminiscent of southern France. The herbes de Provence accord lingers long after the citrus vanishes, making Eau de Cologne du Coq a cologne with distinctive presence. It’s also the oldest fragrance of the trio, created in 1894 by Aimé Guerlain, the same perfumer who composed Jicky. A refrain of Jicky’s lavender likewise appears in Eau de Cologne du Coq.

Eau de Fleurs de Cédrat was created in 1920 by Jacques Guerlain. As one would expect of a perfumer who created Shalimar, Mitsouko and L’Heure Bleue, his cologne is rich and plush. It’s a study of lemon from different perspectives, from blossoms to fruit, but this lemon doesn’t grow on a tree. It’s a product of someone’s fantasy, a perfect golden orb that sometimes hints at jasmine and cedarwood shavings. Eau de Fleurs de Cédrat is multifaceted, and while the drydown is crisp, it nevertheless has a pleasing softness about it. Sounds like a contradiction, doesn’t it? Yet, such was the skill of Guerlain’s greatest perfumer.

Eau de Guerlain represents the  impressionistic style of Jean-Paul Guerlain–with a nod to the 1970s love for all things green. By 1974, the year when this composition was launched, Jean-Paul Guerlain had already created two masterpieces, Chamade and Habit Rouge. In composing Eau de Guerlain he sought simplicity–an accord of peppery bergamot and cool verbena. The result, however, is explosive. From the effervescent top notes to the radiant musky drydown, Eau de Guerlain shimmers. While its citrusy-herbal scent is reminiscent of a classical cologne, its effect is much more dramatic. Putting it on, I feel as if everything around me has turned brighter and fresher.

What are your favorite colognes?

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48 Comments

  • Tourmaline: Hi Victoria,

    Of the three scents you mention, my favourite is Eau de Fleurs de Cédrat. Having said that, though, I must admit that I don’t often use colognes. Only on the hottest Australian summer days do I take out the large bottle of Eau Fraiche Cedrat that I bought from Yves Rocher about 15 years ago. (For those who don’t know, Cedrat translates as citron, which, according to Wiki, refers to “a shrubby Asian tree bearing fruits which resemble large lemons with less acid flesh and thick fragrant peel.” I prefer Aqua Allegoria Herba Fresca, or Green Tea, or a light, fresh single floral or floral aldehyde such as Clair de Jour (my absolute favourite cool scent) or Le Jardin (from my fridge stock).

    Many years ago, I mixed two perfume oils from The Perfect Potion in Brisbane – lime and just a touch of spearmint, with perfumer’s alcohol and demineralised water. I put the result into a glass atomizer, and it is probably my second favourite hot weather scent after Clair de Jour. In both taste and fragrance, my preference ranking is spearmint, lime and then lemon. I’m not a fan of orange; it reminds me of a horrid medicine I had to take as a child to prevent car sickness prior to long trips.

    If anyone could suggest a good, affordable spearmint or lime cologne, I’d love to try them. Both Green Tea and Herba Fresca contain mint; that’s why I like them!

    With kind regards,
    Tourmaline June 8, 2020 at 8:27am Reply

    • Victoria: I like two limes colognes from Jo Malone: French Lime Blossom and Lime Basil & Mandarin. One is sweet, the other is dry, more classical. Guerlain Limon Verde wasn’t bad, but maybe a bit too flat. June 8, 2020 at 9:47am Reply

      • Tourmaline: Ah, thank you! I’ll try the two lime ones, and I suspect I’ll end up preferring the sweet one, but you never know… June 8, 2020 at 9:57am Reply

        • Nora Sz.: French Lime blossom is such a beautiful sweet yet ethereal perfume. June 8, 2020 at 12:02pm Reply

          • Tourmaline: Sounds as though I’ll like it very much! June 8, 2020 at 12:08pm Reply

            • Tami: I am a HUGE Eau de Fleurs de Cedrat fan, and French Lime Blossom was my first Jo Malone. I love it! June 8, 2020 at 12:48pm Reply

      • T: Those are my favorite Jo Malones! She does lime compositions so well. June 8, 2020 at 3:05pm Reply

    • carole: Tourmaline, Is the classic Eau de Rochas available where you live? It’s limes, and has patchouli in the dry down. Very beautiful 🙂 June 8, 2020 at 9:46pm Reply

      • Tourmaline: Hi Carole,

        Eau de Rochas is indeed available in Brisbane. I know that I tried it many years ago when I was searching for a signature fragrance, but it is so long ago that I don’t recall the scent, and in any case, it would probably have changed. Thank you, I must give it another try! June 9, 2020 at 9:20am Reply

        • carole: Tourmaline, I’m so jealous yo get to live where there’s no snow 🙂 Brisbane looks like a fantastic place to live June 9, 2020 at 2:56pm Reply

          • Tourmaline: Hi Carole,

            Brisbane is indeed a wonderful place to live. But isn’t it strange; here am I, lamenting over the fact that I’ve never seen snow! I wouldn’t like the level of cold that goes with it, though. I don’t even like a Brisbane winter, and that is close to a European Spring.

            Actually, we do get snow in Australia – further south, in the state of New South Wales. As Wiki says, “Perisher Ski Resort is the largest ski resort in the Southern Hemisphere. Located in the Australian Snowy Mountains, the resort is an amalgamation of four villages and their associated ski fields, covering approximately 12 square kilometres”

            So, if I want to see snow, I just have to travel south, not overseas! June 10, 2020 at 4:06am Reply

            • carole: I love the thought of a Brisbane winter-if I never saw snow again I’d be ok with it 🙂 June 11, 2020 at 4:51pm Reply

  • Niels: Always nice to see some love for these classics! I think at the moment I would say my personal favorite cologne’s are: Eau de Guerlain, Cologne Sologne (Nicolaï), Cologne Grand Luxe (Fragonard) and Haute Provence (Nicolaï) June 8, 2020 at 8:27am Reply

    • Victoria: Such nice choices! Great to see two of my favorite Nicolai colognes here. June 8, 2020 at 9:47am Reply

  • Karina: The Different Company’s Limon de Cordoza is the Cologne i find myself reaching for most often. I like it’s bitterness.

    Seeing the review and comments above I am very tempted by the Guerlain and Nicolaï offerings. June 8, 2020 at 8:30am Reply

    • Victoria: They’re worth trying, especially since older Guerlains can be found at discounters. June 8, 2020 at 9:48am Reply

  • Matty1649: I’ve got Cologne du Coq and Guerlain Eau de Cologne Imperiale. Both refreshing on hot days. I’ve also got a couple of EA Tea edt . Also Prada infusions de Cedrat. June 8, 2020 at 9:30am Reply

    • Victoria: I keep a small bottle of Elizabeth Arden Green Tea in the fridge during heatwaves. It’s so uplifting. June 8, 2020 at 9:48am Reply

      • Carina: Yes, I love Green Tea, too – especially when I would otherwise wear no perfume. For example when we go hiking… June 8, 2020 at 6:28pm Reply

      • Pike M: Elizabeth Arden Green Tea was my first ever fragrance…which I proceeded to use for years and years. Then one day, my mother sniffed: “it’s not even a perfume”. Then it suddenly struck me that there’s other fragrance out there in the world. Oh the realization! June 9, 2020 at 5:22am Reply

  • Tara C: Not really a cologne person, but I have Dior Eau Fraîche and Malle Cologne Indélébile for those scorching hot days. I also enjoy Bulgari au Thé Bleu. June 8, 2020 at 10:14am Reply

  • Nora Sz.: I became a cologne person a few years ago. I always liked 4711 but gravitated towards light flowers scents instead of citruses during hot summers. Now I cherish my bottles of Cologne Bigarade by Frederic Malle, Eau de cologne by Chanel, Escale a Portofino by Dior and Neroli Portofino by Tom Ford. Each of them are slightly different to my nose. Today I’m wearing the Chanel one, such an impeccable composition. From Guerlain I own mini perfumes, my favourite right now is Eau de Cologne Imperiale. June 8, 2020 at 12:06pm Reply

    • Carina: Oh… I really want to try the Canel one. It sounds very refreshing and does not have the usual lavender in it… June 8, 2020 at 6:26pm Reply

  • Nancy Chan: 4711 Eau de Cologne, and Caudalie’s Fleur de Vigne are my spring and summer citrus favourites. The Fleur de Vigne has notes of lemon and cut grass which I really like. I have my eye on Dior’s Eau Sauvage to add to my list. June 8, 2020 at 12:25pm Reply

  • Tami: I adore Eau de Fleurs de Cedrat—I’ve worn it for about 20 years. It’s one of the few colognes I can wear pretty much any day of the year and not worry about an allergy attack. However, I don’t wear it every day because it has gotten so expensive! That said it’s a very special fragrance for me. I don’t think I ever knew anyone else who’d heard of it until I started reading this blog. 🙂

    I love the aforementioned Jo Malone French Lime Blossom—not quite as light as the Guerlain, but still lovely. I also love Diptyque’s Oyedo—which on me is like an amplified Eau de Fleurs de Cedrat that also happens to last longer. It makes me smile when I wear it. Citrus fans may also want to check out Skylar Capri—a variety of citrus notes blended with teak and rose. I wouldn’t say it’s “elegant”; more “friendly,” and it definitely smells of summer! June 8, 2020 at 12:58pm Reply

    • OnWingsofSaffron: Have they changed the cologne over the years, do you think?
      I know it‘s the same repetitive rant—and everyone tires of it at some point—yet most perfumes have gone for the worse over time (think the classic Diors). And I just don‘t want a watered-down pauper‘s version of what it once was. June 11, 2020 at 3:20am Reply

      • Tami: To tell you the truth—I have not noticed that Eau de Fleurs de Cedrat has changed in any significant way, as many perfumes and colognes have. It has remained the same fresh, zesty cologne I’ve always loved! I haven’t bought a new bottle in the last few years, though. I’m happy to be corrected, I believe it’s fared so well due to the fact that it’s primarily citrus based, as opposed to (say) oakmoss based. It’s not an especially complex scent, but that’s part of why I enjoy it. It’s elegantly clean with a bit of “sparkle.” And INCREDIBLY ephemeral!

        The Dior perfumes do seem the hardest hit! I’m a Poison fan and the latest iteration really is missing that certain something I loved about it in its initial release. I know that’s not as “classic” as a Miss Dior or Diorissimo, but the outcome is similar. 😉 June 11, 2020 at 10:51am Reply

  • Caroline: My favourite of all time perfumes, until I found out that you are not cruelty free. Please change that? I miss you soooo much! June 8, 2020 at 1:19pm Reply

  • Austenfan: As I’ve mentioned countless times before colognes is one of my favourite genres. The cologne I love the most is Eau de Guerlain. It has one of my favourite Luca reviews in the Guide. I also love the 3 others but Eau de Guerlain is just stunning.
    Other colognes I enjoy a lot are Nicolaï’s Cologne Sologne, Cologne Haute Provence, Cologne Cédrat and another one (can’t remember the name), Chanel Cologne, Hermès Eau d’Orange Verte and Néroli Doré, Eau de Lalique, Eau de Rochas, and the very cheap and nice Eau de Bien-Etre. June 8, 2020 at 1:40pm Reply

    • Carina: I have never heard of bien-etre, but the line sounds promising. Thanks for mentioning it! June 8, 2020 at 6:41pm Reply

  • kat: I always struggle with Guerlain there’s a boozy note that I can’t stand. My favorite colognes are 4711’s Nouveau Cologne, it has many detractors but I love the Yuzu note and Atelier Cologne’s Clémentine California. They both lack Neroli which is fine by me. June 8, 2020 at 3:42pm Reply

  • Alison: I love 47 11 and Turkish cologne June 8, 2020 at 5:45pm Reply

  • Carina: I am not a big fan of the classical style of the colognes. It has an oldish feeling to me.
    But on hot days I love the Classic Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue with the zesty Apple in the beginning and the beautiful ambre base.
    As refreshing colognes I use the treasured remainder of the sadly discontinued Narciso Rodriguez Essence – the silvery shock of Iris is so refreshing to me, Jo Malones Osmanthus Blossom and you can never go wrong with Elizabeth Ardens Green Tea.
    The last one is cheap and gives me a short and refreshing kick – perfect if I would not wear perfume otherwise… for example to go hiking… June 8, 2020 at 6:18pm Reply

  • Karen A: Everything turning brighter and fresher sounds good to me right now! June 8, 2020 at 7:33pm Reply

  • Filomena: Right now I am into the Chanel summer colognes of Deauville, Venice, Biarritz and Riviera. June 8, 2020 at 11:55pm Reply

  • Celie: I love the scent of colognes, but citrus heavy perfumes never seem to smell “right” on my skin. My favourite cologne is eau de fleurs de cedrat. I spritz it in the shower cubicle before taking a shower – it smells like a fancy spa! I also like spraying my sheets.

    I love powdery iris scents in summer (small doses is the key). They smell all angular and harsh on me in winter, but as soon as the weather heats up, they turn sweet and romantic. L’heure bleue (parfum) might have been made for Parisian evenings, but to me it will always be the drawn-out twilight of northern Europe in June, when the air smells of thousands of flowers hectically blooming before winter strikes again, and when night is just a hint of dark blue before the sun rises again. It’s also the ideal midnight sun scent, if you ask me! June 9, 2020 at 4:39am Reply

    • Klaas: Bleu northers skies……..they are so magical! I live in Amsterdam (not that far up north, but still), and we have had the most incredible bleu skies for the past few months (no rain and no stripes from airplanes).

      Especially just after sun down, it turns into the deepest, most dazzling, most soothing dark bleu. Watching that color, to me, is a spiritual experience…. June 9, 2020 at 11:20am Reply

  • Klaas: Oh, from soap to eau de cologne, I am loving these last two posts, Victoria!

    I have used all the classic Guelain colognes, and my favorites are Fleur de Cedrat and Eau de Guerlain. I keep my Cedrat in the fridge, to add to the thrill of putting it on. On a hot summers day there is nothing like it 😉

    The Hermes colognes I’ve tried are also very, very good, although some of them are kind of pushing the cologne envelope. I love the classic Orange Verte, but also the Rhubarbe, Narcisse and Neroli. They are all so very different!

    My mum used Dior Eau Fraiche (created by Roudnitska!) back in the 70’s. It is one of the most invigorating, crunchy colognes I know! June 9, 2020 at 11:15am Reply

    • OnWingsofSaffron: Oh how lovely: a crunchy cologne! So evocative! June 11, 2020 at 3:22am Reply

  • Aurora: Eau de Rochas but it is almost a chypre by its tenacity and mossy drydown, Gres Eau de Cologne which I discovered as a teenager. Of your review, I wear Eau de Guerlain the most, now you have me intrigued by the two others, Bien Etre Lavande, Caron Les Plus Belles Lavandes and Eau de Reglisse, and Yardley too of course, Yves Rocher Eau de Juillet, Dior Eau Fraiche vintage deciptively simple, Diptyque l’Eau de Neroli, Bulgari au The Rouge, and two floral eaux: vintage Eau de Givenchy and one I remain faithful to, Kenzo l’Eau with its cool flowers and warm peppers. June 9, 2020 at 11:49am Reply

  • Sandra: Hmm..I realized I don’t have any of these colognes in my collection.
    These days I am wearing Shalimar, that counts right?
    V, have you smelled the soufflé version? I have also tried the now (discontinued) Shalimar cologne that was released in 2015 that a fellow perfumista sent me a sample of. June 9, 2020 at 2:47pm Reply

    • Victoria: I have and I liked it. It’s not a cologne, but it’s not a heavy, dense perfume. Nicely done, I’d say. June 11, 2020 at 10:22am Reply

  • Peter: Mahalo Victoria for your bracing essay on Guerlain colognes. I love the early 20th century creations by Jacques Guerlain, so I’m intrigued to sample the Eau de Fleurs de Cedrat.

    I’m not sure if I have a cologne in my collection. The closest would be Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune. I love the rich, mouthwatering grapefruit aroma! June 10, 2020 at 2:38pm Reply

  • Laney: Such a timely article for me, dear Victoria! I just got Eau de Guerlain in the mail a few weeks ago. I adore the top notes and tiny delicate heart. The drydown smells like hay to me (not a bad thing!)…kind of like lying in a meadow. Although I have a healthy selection of Guerlains, I can’t wear them at home because I’ve identified that they make my 3 ancient meowsers sneeze violently. Must be the Guerlinade. So I’ve decanted & take with, to spray in the car on the way to my day.

    Further to that, I put some Chanel Eau de Cologne on my forearms last week from the tiny bottle I got in the Le Exclusifs EdP sample set. Enjoyed the 2 minutes of citrus-jasmine-neroli heaven, then crashed for the night. It was the first really warm, humid-ish night we’d had here in Virginia so far this summer and a few hours later, I awoke to the scent of the EdC having revived in a surprising way. I wouldn’t call it glorious, but had I drenched my skin, I believe it WOULD have been! I procured the 200 ml bottle from the Chanel website a couple days later, having become convinced it has a place in my life, best worn in heat & humidity, which we have more than enough of here in the Mid-Atlantic. It arrives tomorrow & I cannot wait! I’m gonna drench myself in it, spray it on my nightgowns and pillowcases & carry a decant everywhere. And wear it at home all summer! Thank you for your beautiful, fresh, and informative writings, Victoria. (And Tourmaline, I love hearing about your delightful experiments!)
    😘💙💋😽 June 10, 2020 at 5:06pm Reply

  • OnWingsofSaffron: No one mentions the Serge Lutens Eaux. Perhaps because they are perceived as an embarrassment? I have one bottle: L’eau froide. Only Victoria’s welcoming post from 2012, as well as the two key players lemon & frankincense convinced me to give it a try. So, I bought it on ebay, a pretty full yet already used bottle for next to nothing.
    You know what! I rather like it. I find the frankincense very prominent. At times, there is something in there (some artificial ginger?) which sometimes puts me off though.
    L’eau froide is somehow a bridge to the new perfumes/colognes nobody ever wants to speak of on this blog: say, the edgy Comme des Garçons etc which as far as I am concerned very often head off into aromachemical wastelands. Yet this bridge is also anchored in the pre-wasteland era.
    Which makes me think: Who are we readers of this blog: old-timers revelling in “those were the days”? (Sorry, I’m going off-topic, and I hope nobody feels offended by “old-timers”?) June 11, 2020 at 3:44am Reply

  • Tourmaline: Hi OnWingsofSaffron,

    Your comment prompted me to read Victoria’s 2012 post, and now I want to try both Serge Lutens L’Eau Froide and Comme des Garcons Avignon! Their major common ingredient is frankincense.

    With kind regards,
    Tourmaline June 11, 2020 at 5:26am Reply

  • OnWingsofSaffron: But beware! There is little old world charm with Serge‘s L‘eau froide: it‘s cold, as the name implies, and some may find that there are just a few drops too many modern aromachemicals in the juice.
    Avignon by CdG, well there too, the drydown is too extreme for me with whatever the chemical solution is called.
    Of course, I know perfectly well that practically all perfumes rely on artificial matter, and this since a very long time! Yet some modern scents are just too Xtreme, as they may aptly be named in some cases! June 11, 2020 at 2:15pm Reply

    • Tourmaline: I shall heed your caution; I’ll try, but I won’t necessarily buy! June 12, 2020 at 10:42am Reply

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