napoleon’s cologne: 2 posts

Napoleon’s Cologne and The Art of Citrus Fragrances

Napoleon Bonaparte is said to have used liters of cologne. While exiled on St. Helena, his servant Mameluke Ali created a blend that approximated the former emperor’s favorite combination of citrus and herbs. While my ambitions don’t reach as far as world domination, citrus fragrances nevertheless feature prominently in my perfume wardrobe. Few aromas are more uplifting and rejuvenating and their versatility makes cologne an easy fragrance type to adapt to various moods and occasions.

Hermès Eau d’Orange Verte is as classical as a beige trench coat and crisp white shirt, a blend of lemon, orange and oakmoss.  A bracing, slightly austere fragrance, it instantly makes me feel energized. The bitterness of the orange zest is softened by musk and cedarwood shavings, while a subtle touch of spice brightens the composition further.

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Bitter and Fresh : Citrus Colognes for Winter

In my new FT column, Sublime Citrus Scents, I talk of Napoleon, bitter oranges and an iconic fragrance family, colognes. Contrary to usual recommendations, I prefer colognes in the winter, and it’s not simply because I don’t believe that scents are seasonal. The freshness of colognes is uplifting on dark winter mornings.  The zesty aromas linger in the cool air and I start noticing new facets even in my summery staples. Finally, while I enjoy winter, even in its grey and rainy Belgian variant, cologne can bring a beguiling reminder of spring.

“Napoleon Bonaparte is said to have used litres of cologne, even when on his military campaigns. While my ambitions don’t reach as far as world domination, fragrances suffused with citrus nevertheless feature prominently in my perfume wardrobe. Few aromas are more uplifting and rejuvenating, and their versatility makes colognes an easy fragrance type to adapt to various moods and occasions. To continue, please click here.”

Please let me know what citrus fragrances you prefer and whether you have favorite winter colognes.

Image via FT

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