patricia de nicolai: 11 posts

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.

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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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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.

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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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Parfums de Nicolai Sacrebleu, Vanille Tonka and Le Temps d’Une Fete News

For the past few months I’ve been hearing rumors that Parfums de Nicolaï’s Sacrebleu, Vanille Tonka and Le Temps d’une Fête are to be discontinued. Since they happen to be some of my favorites from the collection, I decided to contact Nicolai directly to find out what’s happening.

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Although there will be some changes, the good news is that these perfumes won’t be disappearing. For instance, Le Temps d’une Fête will be available on demand. Vanille Tonka will remain in the collection. Sacrebleu Eau de Toilette will be removed from the catalog, but the plush Intense version will remain.

P.S. I’ve received several emails with people worrying that the discontinuation will take place nevertheless.  I verified the information above with Patricia de Nicolaï, the owner of Parfums de Nicolaï. For now, the plan is to keep the perfumes.

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  • Anne in Mint and Other Cooling Perfumes: Hi from France ! Clever idea to place fragrance in the fridge during summer to increase the fresh side ! I like NUIT ETOILEE (starry night) by Annick GOUTAL. Mint… August 17, 2019 at 2:58am

  • Tourmaline in Mint and Other Cooling Perfumes: Hi Anne, Herba Fresca is one of my favourite hot weather fragrances, and I find that, like most Guerlain fragrances, it does last well. Do try it! I hope you… August 16, 2019 at 9:19pm

  • Tourmaline in The Color of Love: It is indeed, and it has inspired me to write you a little poem – not great, but my best for now. I hope you like it! Bois de Jasmin… August 16, 2019 at 9:00pm

  • Robert in Mint and Other Cooling Perfumes: A Maurice Roucel composition for chump change. August 16, 2019 at 8:03pm

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