Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A whiff of freshness just for you!

+ Q Perfume Blog celebrates
its second anniversary with you!
A citrusy journey to be shared
with my beloved friends& readers!

Looking for challenges, I decided to start to wear fragrances that I have usually kept distance in the past. At one point we all know our preferences and we start to be biased by them. It is almost unconscious, but we do have preferences. I wanted to keep my horizons and nose opened to every type of perfume. I was never very found of Orientals and I try not to buy citrusy fragrances, because they tend not to hold on my dry skin. They last less than 20 minutes, so I always feel it is not worth spending money on them. Besides, sometimes they tend to smell like cheap aftershaves or old colognes. But if you look more carefully, some perfumers managed to master these notes, expand they fresh sensation for a longer period of time and did design beautiful perfumes.

Hesperides - In the Greek Mythology they are mentioned as nymphs and the personification of fruits given as presents from the Garden of the Hesperides, located near the Atlas Mountains in Tanger, Morocco. Basically they are know for giving apples as gifts, but the olfactive family composed by citruses were baptized as Hésperidé in french. It is quite understandable because citrusy notes are also fruity.

ARTIST credit: Edward Burne-Jones
The Garden of the Hesperides

The citrus family, or hésperidé, consists in perfume oils obtained by cold expression or distillery of the peel of fruits and leafs such as bergamots, lemons, oranges, mandarines, grapefruits, citron, limes and tangerines. They are uplifting notes with a peculiar freshness and volatility.

They also composed the first so called Eau de Cologne - a spirit-citrus perfume launched in Cologne, in 1709 by perfumer Giovani Maria Farina. Described by him in a letter to his brother: "I have found a fragrance that reminds me of an Italian spring morning, of mountain daffodils and orange blossoms after the rain". Contrary to what was found at that time, Eau de Cologne had citrus oils diluted in alcohol. This term is now used generally to a concentration of 2-5% percent perfume oil formulas.

They are also olfactive notes commonly used in perfumery to compose the top not accord. They have an acid, light, flowery-fruity identity, that sometimes can become bitter, like the petit grain. They bring freshness to compositions. Some are very dry and fizzy like citron and lemon, some are much sweeter like oranges and tangerines.

The truth is that a citrus note is a perfume by itself. Try Burning bergamot essential oil alone and you will understand what I am saying!

So don't get me wrong here. I DO LOVE citrusy perfumes. But there is the skin type problem. So, in the search for perfumes that would last longer on me, consequently, I wouldn't feel like I just made an expensive purchase for nothing, I found amazing fragrances.

I selected four citrusy fragrances that I consider 5 stars creations to share with you. They all have the same things in common: strong citrusy opening, very good fixation and silage, delicate bouquets, fresh & clean sensation and the “happy pill” effect***. I will try to compare one to another to bring here they particularities and nuances...

1873 EDP by Histoires de Parfums

Name: 1873

Brand: Histoires de Parfums EDP

Perfumer: Gérard Ghislain

Gender: Feminine

Olfactive Family: citrus-gourmet

Olfactive Notes: citrus notes of all citrusy fruits, lily-of-the-valley, lavender, orange blossom, vanilla, white musks, caramel

Inspiration: The family garden of Colette in the Bourgogne where she took her first steps as a writer.

Silage evaluation: 5 (in a scale of 0 to 5)

Fixation evaluation: 5 (in a scale of 0 to 5)

In this perfume the Citron note is very accentuated. It brings a very dry hint of freshness. It tickles the nose and puts a smile on my face. There is a bitterness hidden there, to continue as the other notes develop. The dryness gives a place for a candied note, more sugary, less aggressive. It feels like lemons & citrons are holding hands with bergamots and oranges. The peculiar and signature note of the brand - the lipstick note - is also there for my delight. Not as strong as in 1889 - Moulin Rouge, but as a delicate powderness touch with the waxy accent. Lovely! At this point my smile, hidden in the corner of my lips, gets wider and wider. I am sure you will see teeth in the end of this journey! ** Surrendered to powdery femininity, the perfume envelopes my skin. A combination of freshness and comfort starts to develop. A joyful game of spring & summer wishes for freshness, and a comforting result from winter and autumn dreams. Orange blossom, lavender and lilies compose the flowery bouquet. Nectars are added to a sweetness that was already presented. Like many perfumes of the brand, you will be tempted to lick the perfume off the skin - I was! (not a secret right? I have done this before...). Vanilla, caramel and white muscs...hummm... the royal treat for the ones in desperate need of comfort and smiles. I found it the most creative, the most valuable of the four. Hip Hip Hurray again for Histoires de Parfums!

Escale a Portofino EDT by Dior

Name: Escale a Portofino EDT

Brand: Dior

Perfumer: François Demachi


Gender: Both, more feminine

Olfactive Family: citrus aromatic

Olfactive Notes: bergamot, citron, petit grain, orange blossom, almond, juniper, cypress, cedar, galbanum, caraway and musks

Inspiration: Portofino, a small fish village in Italy

Silage evaluation: 5 (in a scale of 0 to 5)

Fixation evaluation: 4 (in a scale of 0 to 5)

An explosion of citron and petitgrain, rounded a bit with sweeter notes of bergamot. Strong citrusy opening with a tickling accord of juniper and cypress, that is replaced by a woody-flowery accord. It shocks a bit with the caipirinha accord (a reference for Brazilians only, I guess), but once it settles, it mellows down with bergamot sweetness and a flowery almond silkiness. The powdery bouquet capture my heart forever. For a mass production creation, it is indeed a master. It can even be listed with all the special/niche brands. I once sailed my boat to the beautiful waters of Dior, and chose Portofino as a port to remember, and always come back. It is the perfume with the most accentuated woody facet of all four. It has also the most beautiful bouquet.

Bergamote EDT by TDC

Name: Bergamote EDT

Brand: The Different Company

Perfumer: Jean Claude Ellena

Launch: 2003

Gender: Feminine

Olfactive Family: citrus-aromatic

Olfactive Notes: Bergamot (70%), ginger, orange blossom, leaf green, rhubarb wood and musk

Inspiration: Sunlight and happiness captured for enjoyment.

Silage evaluation: 4 (in a scale of 0 to 5)

Fixation evaluation: 5 (in a scale of 0 to 5)

The opening of this perfume is sweet and brilliant. Pure bergamot with a spicy peppery note of ginger. It does not last very long as desired due to the fact that it consists in 70% of the fragrance, and these oils when pure, tend to be even more volatile. The flower bouquet of orange blossom is rich and enchanting. It is the "prozac" of all these fragrances. Meaning it is the accord that brought smiles faster than all the others found in these perfumes. Very feminine, very voluptuous, I would choose among the others to wear at night. The green aspect was a little bit hidden for me. I didn't really find it, even after wearing in many different occasions. Today I am happy about it because lately, all perfumes have a hint of fresh cut grass, galbanum, or any other herbaceous green effect... The musk is the final touch of the sensuality escalating. In general, the most sensual of the four.

Eau D’Hadrien EDT by Annick Goutal

Name: Eau D’Hadrien EDT

Brand: Annick Goutal

Perfumer: Annick Goutal

Launch: 1980

Gender; Both

Olfactive Family: citrus-aromatic

Olfactive Notes: Sicilian lemon, citron, cypress and grapefruit

Inspiration: The emotions Annick Goutal felt when she read Mémoires D’Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar

Silage evaluation: 4 (in a scale of 0 to 5)

Fixation evaluation: 4 (in a scale of 0 to 5)

This was the first citrus fragrance that I actually enjoyed. It was a door to try all the many others that crossed my path. Before this perfume, I was not opened to enjoy the beauty of these uplifting type of perfumes. Once I sprayed Eau D'Hadrien on my skin, it felt so fresh, so icy and so aromatic that the next thing was a purchase of a full bottle, to take me to the beach the next day. And indeed it was the happiest combination I can recall - summer nights with salty breezes and Annick Goutal. It has a combination of aromatic cypress and a basil-anise-like peppery that makes it so special. It can be used by both genders, and it is timeless. Created 3 decades ago and it is still a good choice for freshness. I must be honest to confess that from the four, this one last less than the others. But it still still worth buying. Gentle, dry, summery, young and classic at the same time. Of all four it is the granny of the citrus fragrances. Although timeless, you know it was not created yesterday...

So to make a summary of all four:

  • The most creative and worth buying: 1873 by Histoires de Parfums.
  • The one that has the sweetest aspect of citrusy fruits and most sensual: Bergamote by TDC.
  • The one bringing more freshness and more suitable for men: Eau D'Hadrien by Annick Goutal.
  • The most beautiful middle notes/bouquet and also the best costXbenefit: Escale a Portofino by Dior.

** I must tell this so you understand that comment better - as I write this post, one of my family's beloved Discus fish has left our beautiful aquarium, and ended up flushed in by the toilet. It is a terrible lost, we are very miserable. Not to mention the many USD the fish valued. Tears were spread... I looked for a happy pill and found the inspiration for this article.
*** To understand the "happy pill" effect watch the video by clicking HERE.


Anonymous said...

lovely article from such a sad origin. I'm sorry about your sadness but the resulting article is an inspiration.

I hope that the citrus scents lifted your spirits as the article about them lifted mine.


Anna in Edinburgh

+ Q Perfume Blog said...

Thanks Anna!

Unknown said...

Very interesting! I love fruit/citrus scents and it was very "refreshing" to get to know a little bit more about it.
Actually, right now, I'm considering to buy La Perla J'aime Les Fleurs and I'm wondering if the scent is appropriate to such a warm climate like mine - in time, I'm currently in São Paulo, Brazil.
What do you think?
Juliana in são Paulo

+ Q Perfume Blog said...

Juliana how are you? Portuguese or English? LOL!
This is a fruity floral fragrance with notes of:
Violet Leaf, Grapefruit, Apple, Freesia,Peony, Hyacinth, Hawthorn, Peach, Sandalwood, Amber, Musk.
It does have fresh notes but also an intense flower bouquet.
Question is: when to wear?
Brazilians are used to wear Poison and Paris in the morning...
If you want to wear it right, despite your taste, I would say that all La Perlas are for evening.
You can spray a tester on you and see how it feels during the day. If it does not strangle you, go ahead. If so, try a fresher option!
Beijos querida!!!

e said...

I too am glad your spirit was lifted by citrus scents. I very much enjoyed your article as I am looking for a new scent since mine, which I love, Miss Dior, is now hard to find and very expensive.

+ Q Perfume Blog said...

Thank you E!

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