citrus: 5 posts

Sweet Like a Persian Lemon

A sweet lemon is not an oxymoron. Neither is it a new fancy hybrid. Persian limu shirin, citrus limetta, is one of the oldest cultivated varieties of lemons and it tastes sweet like honey, with no hint of acidity. The first time I bit into a slice was a shock, because I was prepared for tartness and instead my mouth was filled with sweetness.  Even more beautiful was the scent of the peel that lingered on my fingers. It also smelled like no lemon I had tried before.

Persian lemons have a delicate flavor, but their perfume is anything but.  It is strong, bright and sharp. “It smells like flowers,” said one Iranian friend. “Lemon peel mixed with orange blossom,” said another. “And then tossed with jasmine,” she added. Trying to pin down the fragrance of Persian sweet lemon, I kept scratching the peel and rubbing it onto my skin, paper, and fabric.  The scent made me think of citronella and palmarosa, plants that are related to a rose (at least in a perfumer’s palette). Green petals, crushed stems and tightly closed rose buds. The winter fruit smelled of spring at its most vital and rejuvenating.

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Chanel Paris-Deauville : Fragrance Review

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Deauville doesn’t evoke a particular scent for me. The name of this resort town on the coast of Normandy mostly reminds me of A Man and A Woman, the 1966 French film starring the incomparable Anouk Aimée. I have visited Deauville several times but only for work, unlike most normal people who travel to Normandy on vacation. As a result, when I sprayed Chanel’s Paris-Deauville on my wrist, its fragrance made me bypass France entirely. Instead, it took me to Sicily.

I smelled the bitterness of orange peel and green leaves unfolding on my skin and I could almost feel the breeze from the Ionian sea and the bright flavor of orange granita. The hot stones and sun bleached grasses slowly enter the picture. And then before the fragrance even reveals its jasmine inflected heart, I already recall the opulence of blossoms in Aci Trezza, the rocky strip of the Riviera where Ulysses might have fought the Cyclops. My memory erases the misdeeds of the 1960s real estate developers, which make the Cyclops seem rather innocuous, and instead as I wear Paris-Deauville, I escape to visions of endless blue sea, cliffs, orange orchards and jasmine vines.

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Hermes Le Bain : New Bath and Skincare Line

The house of Hermès is presenting its new bath & body line this month, Le Bain. A collection of shower gels, shampoos, lotions, and soaps is based on the existing fragrances developed by the in-house perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena and is richly scented.

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Collection Colognes

Shower gels for body and hair are available in Eau de Gentiane Blanche, Eau de Narcisse Bleu, Eau d’Orange Verte, and Eau de Mandarine Ambrée (200ml, 32€).

Liquid soap in Eau de Gentiane Blanche, Eau de Narcisse Bleu, Eau d’Orange Verte, and Eau de Mandarine Ambrée (300ml, 44€).

Moisturizing balm for face and body (200ml, 59€).
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Parfums de Nicolai L’eau Mixte : Fragrance Review

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Not just another simple cologne. Elisa on Parfums de Nicolaï’s L’eau Mixte.

If there’s one perfume category I’ve heard people call “boring” the most, it’s citrus. Perhaps it’s because there is less variation among citrus scents than, say, orientals or florals—a rose perfume, a tuberose perfume, and an iris perfume smell nothing alike, but lemon, orange, and grapefruit have a fair amount of olfactory overlap. Or maybe it’s because citrus scents don’t—can’t—evolve much on skin because they don’t last long enough to evolve; they are fleeting, volatile molecules by nature, destined to be top notes.

Raphaelle-Peale-A-Dessert

I must admit I have some of the same reservations about citrus-centric perfumes. I’ve got a few in my collection, and on a hot day, a few spritzes of a crisp citrus chypre like Clarins Eau Dynamisante or Monsieur Balmain hits the spot. But I don’t reach for them often, and I almost always end up putting something else on later. So to make me sit up and take notice, a citrus scent has to be pretty unusual.

L’eau Mixte, Parfums de Nicolaï’s eau de cologne release for summer 2010, was the first citrus to take me by surprise in years. Primarily a grapefruit perfume, it manages to be both refreshing and rich, hitting so many pleasurable notes at once—sweet, tangy, green, herbal—that it feels like getting out of a car to breathe in a big lungful of cool mountain air. Most citrus scents have a bracing quality, but L’eau Mixte is exceptionally bracing.

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Guerlain Jicky : Fragrance Review (New and Vintage)

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Created in 1889, Guerlain Jicky is at once a timeless classic and a remarkably modern fragrance.  One story is that Aimé Guerlain created it in honour of his English girlfriend; however, another version is that it was dedicated to his nephew Jacques Guerlain, whose nickname was Jicky. Jicky is considered to be the first fragrance to combine natural and synthetic essences.

Jicky

Although it is undeniably an important starting point of modern perfumery, Fougère Royale by Houbigant (1882) was the first perfume to use a man made material: coumarin, an almond redolent ingredient derived from tonka beans. Jicky went out step further by combining coumarin and vanillin, another synthetic essence.

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