parfums de nicolai: 23 posts

4 Flamboyant White Florals Against Winter Blues

With the holidays behind us and still too many winter days ahead, it’s important to find ways to add a splash of color to cold, grey mornings. I reach for my brightest dresses and scarves and add swirls of saffron and paprika to my food, evoking sunshine and warmth. Or I rely on white floral perfumes to create a vivid ambiance. White flowers may call to mind bridal veils, but there is nothing prim and pastel about the scent of tropical blossoms like tiaré, frangipani, ylang-ylang, tuberose or jasmine. They have a voluptuous aroma reminiscent of warm skin, coconut milk and petals sticky with nectar. The synesthetes among perfumers swear that white flowers smell purple and pink, rich and saturated, and it’s true that wearing a white floral perfume makes me feel as if the day is brighter.

These opulent, flamboyant scents are the topic of my FT column, Four white floral scents to brighten grey days. You will find the full article here.

How do you cure yourself of winter blues? What flowers among the white floral family are your favorites?

Image via FT

Perfume in the Library : Lolly Willowes and Le Temps d’Une Fete

The heroine of Sylvia Townsend Warner’s novel, Lolly Willowes, rebels against society’s expectations. It’s a common enough theme, except that her rebellion takes an unconventional turn. Laura Willowes’s father dies when she’s twenty-eight, and the family council decides, against her wishes, that she should leave the country estate where she grew up and move to London. Treated as “a piece of family property forgotten in the will,” she becomes attached to her older brother’s household, where she’s expected either to marry or be useful as Aunt Lolly. She steadfastly refuses to do the former, and eventually she shocks her relatives by announcing that she will live on her own in a village called Great Mop. To safeguard her freedom, she becomes a witch.

lolly-willowes

Townsend Warner paints Laura’s transformation from Aunt Lolly to her own self through a series of events, most of which involve small sensory pleasures, out of which “she had contrived for herself a sort of mental fur coat.” They include second-hand bookshops, soaps, roasted chestnuts eaten in bed and cut flowers. Her relatives look down upon such frivolous–in their eyes–expenses, but for Laura they become an antidote to her dull, senseless life and catalysts for her awakening.

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Patricia de Nicolai Book : Perfume, Thoughts, Inspirations

Parfums de Nicolaï is celebrating its 25th anniversary, and to mark the occasion, Patricia de Nicolaï and her husband Jean-Louis Michau, the founders of the perfume house, have published a book about their work. Titled Nicolaï, Parfumeur créateur: un métier d’artiste, this 145 page volume covers the story of the collection and their creators.

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Patricia de Nicolaï is part of the Guerlain family, a granddaughter of Pierre Guerlain, Jacques Guerlain‘s brother. She grew up in the world of perfumery and quickly found her way into the lab. In her book, she describes her childhood, her apprenticeship and her thoughts on creation in general.

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Parfums de Nicolai Musc Monoi : Perfume Review

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Summer ends the same way for me. It seems that only yesterday I made vacation plans, unearthed a swimming suit from a pile of winter clothes and bought an extra bottle of sunscreen. And then I wake up at the end of August and see that the local stationery store is advertising “start of school” sales and tall lindens lining the avenues in the city are slowly changing from green to gold. If I could hit a pause button for a moment, I would, if only to capture this languid, golden sensation of late summer days. But everything rushes forward inexorably, and the most I can do is reach for bottled summer fantasies, such as Parfums de Nicolaï Musc Monoi.

musk monoi

Monoi (also called tiare) is a tropical blossom that smells creamy and intensely sweet. It’s macerated in coconut oil to capture its heady perfume, and the scented oil is used on skin and hair. If you’ve ever seen a fragrance or body product advertised as having a tropical fragrance, then this monoi-coconut combination is something you’ve already encountered. In France, summer scent often means sweet orange blossom, such as L’Oreal’s classical Ambre Solaire sunscreen, and in Musc Monoi, perfumer Patricia de Nicolaï weaves both Mediterranean and tropical inspirations.

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Parfums de Nicolai Eau d’Ete : Perfume Review

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“I don’t like colognes. They scream hygiene and wholesome, boring cleanliness to me,” said a friend the other day, explaining that she wants a perfume that feels fresh but still sensual.  Classical citrus colognes are very much about zest and refreshment, but it’s not hard to find options that do much more than this. For instance, Parfums de Nicolaï Eau d’Été.

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Eau d’Été has been around since 1997, but wearing it today I discover that it hasn’t lost any of its appeal. Yes, its blend of orange, lime and bergamot is as refreshing as a sip of iced lemonade, but the sprinkling of cinnamon and jasmine adds a sultry touch. There is nothing boring about it.

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Latest Comments

  • Maya in Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Giveaway: I also gravitate towards dry, sugarless concoctions. Some of the perfumes I adore during the fall and winter, and I think you may too, are SL Santal Majuscule for its… October 15, 2019 at 5:06pm

  • Patty Brown in Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Giveaway: I think you would love Alien by Mugler or even Ruin Ford Lost Cherry… It’s really hard considering you want you don’t like remind or vanilla sense and you want… October 15, 2019 at 2:34pm

  • CristinaM in Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Giveaway: 1. Ambre des marveilles 2. Yes you May contact me!! Thanks for your kindness October 15, 2019 at 2:06pm

  • KatieAnn in Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Giveaway: Hello! Thank you for this generous giveaway. I like warm florals that aren’t too sweet. To that end, I would recommend Hermes 24 Faubourg and Annick Goutal’s Heure Exquise. Both… October 15, 2019 at 1:44pm

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