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Mood Scent 4 Orange Blossom, Fruit and Branches

It’s is time for our monthly Mood Scent 4 post! Where Portia (on A Bottled Rose), Samantha  (I Scent You A Day), Megan (Megan In Sainte Maxime) and I write about a different subject relating to perfume. This time we concentrate on the bitter orange tree also known as Seville orange tree or it’s official Latin name: citrus aurantium var. amara (or bigaradia). It might be due to my Spanish heritage but I love everything from the bitter orange tree, Neroli, Orange Blossom and Petit Grain, which I will discuss in this post and three of my favourites perfumes.

First some background about the different parts of the bitter orange tree which are used in perfumery; the twigs/branches and leaves, orange blossom and peel. The bitter orange fruit can not be eaten as it is too bitter but the peel is used to make Seville marmelade. The tree was brought to Spain by the Arabs in the 8/9th century. 

Cold-pressing the orange fruit peel produces bigarade, which is the essential oil of the bitter orange, distilling the twigs and leaves gives petit grain (bigarade, this method is also used for other citrus fruits like mandarin and lemon) and the orange blossoms result in neroli using steam distillation while the same flowers result in precious orange blossom absolute by using solvent extraction.

To make things even more diffuse, there is another kind of very bitter orange tree on the Caribbean island Curaçao which is used to make the liqueur Blue Curaçao. This tree is called laraha (in Latin C. aurantium var. currassuviencis). 

Some perfumes are a tribute to the whole bitter orange tree like Neroli Intense from Patricia de Nicolai and Ramon Monegal Entre Naranjos. I will discuss both in this post.

Parfums de Nicolai Intense Eau de Parfum

Neroli Intense is a tribute from French perfumer Patricia de Nicolai to the whole bitter orange tree. With its refreshing green crisp leaves reminiscent of a recently steam ironed white cotton shirt, blossoming orange flowers dripping of honey and sweet candied mandarin, each part of the bitter orange tree is captured in a refined and elegant Eau de Parfum. The tart green orange tree leaves stay around for a few hours, showing Patricia de Nicolais talent and craftsmanship as a perfumer. This longevity is a true delight for those of us who are always disappointed by its usual short presence in fragrances.

Ramon Monegal Entre Naranjos

In Entre Naranjos (meaning Among Orange Trees in Spanish) Spanish perfumer Ramon Monegal created an even crispier tribute to the bitter orange tree by adding a large amount of petit grain from the leaves of the bitter orange tree creating a colognesque scent.

Tradionally neroli, petit grain, flowers (roses) and herbs (rosemary or lavender), spices and some woody notes are used in cologne. But Ramon Monegal uses refreshing spearmint instead of rosemary and a touch of clove reminiscent of the classic Spanish cologne Alvarez Gomez from 1912. This way adding a modern and Spanish touch to the fragrance.

Entre Naranjos wears luxurious due to the anchoring woody cedarwood, patchouli and amber accord providing more depth and longevity to the fragrance. Luckily you can still smell Entre Naranjos after a few hours unlike a typical cologne.

In Andalusian (in Southern Spain) cities like Seville, Cordoba and Malaga bitter Orange trees decorate the old centres, scenting it’s narrrow streets and squares. Entre Naranjos brings to mind walking in the centre of Malaga with its small blossoming orange trees and passing a handsome elegantly dressed Spanish man scenting of recently used shaving cream and an expensive cologne. 

Serge Lutens Fleurs d’Oranger 

Fleurs d’Oranger is probably one of my most worn orange blossom fragrances. Although it means orange flower, Fleurs d’Oranger smells of lush white orange blossoms and tuberose. These flowers smell as bold the glitz and glam of the 1980s with its oversized shoulder pads and wavy long hair. Not freshly picked dewy petals in the morning but flowers in full bloom at the end of the day leaving the impression of blossoming flowers dripping of thick honey.

Fleurs d’Oranger smells like golden luminous sunshine shining on the pavement of an avenue near the Mediterranean Sea at the end of a late summers day.

These are the three bitter orange (neroli, orange blossom and petit grain) fragrances I picked.  Have a look on Samantha’s blog I Scent You A Day Megan’s blog  Megan in St. Maxime  and Portia on A Bottled Rose! I love to read their picks and see what they chose. Sometimes we choose the same fragrances which is great as we don’t know the scents we will pick.

Do you like orange blossom, neroli or petit grain in perfumes? Which ones are your favorites ?

More posts of bitter orange fragrances I wrote include: Penhaligon’s Castile A scent of Azahar ,  Parfums d{Empire Azemour ,  Editions Frederic Malle Cologne Bigarade . 

Disclosure: All fragrances mentioned in this article were bought by me. I won Neroli Intense in a contest at the Perfume Lounge. Bottles which are sold now, could be different from the ones on the photograph. The Serge Lutens bottle is from January 2009. I haven’t tried other Fleurs d’Oranger formulations but can imagine more recent formulations being different.

All the photographs were made by me and an artistic expression.

 

🌶 Mood Scent 4 Spice It Up!🌶🌶

It’s is time for our monthly Mood Scent 4 post! Where Portia (on A Bottled Rose) , Samantha  (I Scent You A Day), Megan (Megan In Sainte Maxime) and I write about a different subject linking perfume to mood or occasion.This time we chose to write about precious spices in perfumes like cardamon, black pepper, cinnamon, clove, ginger or anise seed. Warming, energizing, uplifting or ethereal spices are used to create an interesting contrast in a perfume or as part of the fragrance. Flowers like roses or lilacs can have a spicy note as well.

Spices in perfume (and in food too) can be challenging to me personally but this might be different for you, let me know in the comments how you feel about spicy perfumes. I chose some of my favorites starting with Réglisse Noir.

Réglisse Noir 1000 Flowers

Réglisse Noir was the first release from the perfume house 1000 Flowers. 1000 Flowers was founded by Canadian perfumer Jessica Buchanan in Grasse. Réglisse is liquorice in French. Liquorice was made from the glycyrrhiza glabra root (not sure if it still is!) and has a spicy anisidic scent. This root is not botanically related to anise or star anise. In The Netherlands these liquorice roots, also called sweet wood (zoethout) are sold in health food stores. Liquorice is a very popular sweet here and sold in salty, sweet and even sour varieties.

Ethereal star anise is the main player of Réglisse Noir for its soft liquorice like scent. Jessica Buchanans treatment of this fragrance is masterful in adding smooth vanilla. Creating a languid lazy mood of long sunny Summer afternoons sipping a glass of cold Pastis with water on a tranquil terrace in a peaceful quiet little village in Southern France. Pastis is a French aperitif traditionally made of star anise and liquorice.  Réglisse Noir is adorned by pungent black pepper, refreshing mint and shiso adding an interesting modern touch. These spices are like flavoring a dish with some black pepper to making it far more interesting and uplift all its different flavors.

Maria Candida Gentile Cinabre

Cinabre smells of a blossoming grand red rose with large velvet petals. Maria Candida Gentile added elegant touches of pungent black and pink pepper creating a very special floral fragrance. The dry down feels like a warming blanket of vanilla powder and opoponax, a spicy warm resin used in incense blends as well as in perfumes. Cinabre is an incredibly energizing rose scent which I would not recommend using before going to sleep as you will probably stay up the whole night as I did once unless you want to. If you like spicy roses like Amouage Epic Woman and Majda Bekkali Mon Nom est Rouge give this spicy bright red rose a try.

The spiciness of the black and pink pepper in Cinabre is like adding a touch of the perfect red lipstick shade to a bare face completely changing your image. The black and pink pepper make this velvet red rose extraordinary.

Amouage Memoir For Women

Memoir smells of the once forbidden highly alcoholic anise flavored drink absinth. Imagine opening a large ancient black wooden box left in the corner of a very old attic in a very old deserted castle in a fantasy desert, the box is full of small glass medicine vials with mixed spices like lemony cardamon, black pepper, cloves. Little leather sachets with frankincense, dried roses, fragrant jasmine flowers, oakmoss and dried castoreum from the beaver gland are hidden and tucked away in a secret compartment of this box too.

Wearing Memoir feels like wearing something dark and forbidden maybe due to the anisidic wormwood herb found in absinth. A drink once very popular amongst French writers like Charles Baudelaire and featured in several paintings of Vincent van Gogh. Absinth is traditionally made from the herb wormwood, also one of the perfume notes in this fragrance.

Gallivant Perfumes and Colognes Amsterdam

Another spicy and warm fragrance I really like is Gallivant Perfumes and Colognes Amsterdam. It has the interesting spice note of chinese Szechuan pepper, which is not found in many other fragrances. The bottle on the photograph is on a tray with the arms of the city of Amsterdam. You can find my full review of Gallivant Amsterdam here.

These are the spicy fragrances I picked. Have a look on Samantha’s blog I Scent You A Day Megan’s blog  Megan in St. Maxime  and Portia on A Bottled Rose! I love to read their picks and see what they chose. Sometimes we choose the same fragrances which is great as we don’t know the scents we will pick.

 

Over to you: Do you like spicy perfumes? What are your favorite spicy perfumes ?

 

Disclosure: All fragrances mentioned in this article were bought by me or a gift with purchase. Bottles which are sold now, might be different from the ones shown on the photographs. All the photographs were made by me personally and are an artistic expression. The aim of the photographs is to portray personal impressions of the fragrances.

 

 

 

 

🌹Mood Scent 4 Roses, Roses, Roses!🌹🌹

It’s time for Mood Scent 4! Where Portia (on A Bottled Rose) , Samantha  (I Scent You A Day), Megan (Megan In Sainte Maxime) and I write about a different subject linking perfume to mood or occasion. This time we picked roses in perfumes. Powdery roses, fruity roses, roses with chocolate or spices, there are so many to choose from! I adore roses in perfumes, roses as flowers and own several rose centric fragrances. For this article I chose different kinds of roses in perfumes, tea roses, dark roses, powdery roses and wild ones.

Paul Smith Rose Eau de Parfum 

Paul Smith Rose is an elegant, sophisticated, natural smelling light pink rose scent. This eau de parfum smells very natural as if smelling a bouquet of recently picked small light pink roses. It reminds me of rose lemonade on a hot summer day too. Think of a fresh, light pink rose with shiny drops of dew on its petals and a light tea touch. After a few minutes Paul Smith Rose turns into a slightly warmer dark velvet rose.

Paul Smith Rose was created by perfumer Antoine Maisondieu and launched in 2006 at the famous Chelsea Flower Show in the UK. The scent reminds me of the discontinued Stella McCartney Stella Edp, a reasonable and affordable alternative for this fragrance. Paul Smith Rose is cheap as chips at discount stores and makes an excellent gift for lovers of rose scents.

Neela Vermeire Créations Mohur Eau de Parfum 

Mohur is a fragrance with many faces, changing continuously showing us different notes each time you smell your wrist; saffron, powdery rose, oud, creamy woody sandalwood, spicy refreshing cardamon, green stems and sweet milky notes. It feels like experiencing those kaleidoscope tubes we used to see as a child, where every time you turned the tube with beads and mirrors, very different shapes and colours appeared.

Surprisingly Mohur smells very lightly at the beginning but after a few hours it is at its best and very noticeable on skin. It took me time to fully appreciate Mohur as there are so many sides to this fragrance. Now it is one of my favourite spicy rose fragrances as it is such a special and distinctive scent.

Guerlain Nahéma Eau de Parfum / Extrait 

Nahéma is a lush powdery rose, full of dark velvet rose petals, juicy peach on a warm smooth sandalwood, with a balsamic base of peru balsam and creamy not overly sweet vanilla. Wearing Nahéma feels like walking in a bright red velvet long evening gown fit for an movie star. from the 1950’s ties.  It is bold, voluptuous and daring. I prefer the discontinued extrait/pure perfume to the eau de parfum which is still sold today. This version is worth a try as well and can be found at Guerlain counters in department stores or online. I haven’t been to department stores for some time so I am not sure if they still sell Nahéma. The Eau de Parfum seems more powdery and not as filled with lush velvet rose petals.

Nahéma was released in 1979 ahead of its time in the 1980’s ties when big and bold fragrances like Dior Poison and Yves Saint Laurent Paris were introduced. I wonder how long Guerlain/LVMH will be producing Nahéma as it is so hard to find. It is one of my personal favourite rose fragrances and gets a lot of wear.

Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle Une Rose 

Another fragrance which gets a lot of wear is Une Rose, created by perfumer Edouard Fléchier. He also made Dior Poison and Tendre Poison. Une Rose is a rose with thorns and darker boozy edges. A rose which has endured storms, heavy rains, winds and is still showing its beauty. It is not your usual light tea rose but an ancient breed grown to undergo hardships. Une Rose is beautiful at times, powdery and scented of rose jam but you can smell its rough green stems and torn leaves. A magnificent creation.

Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle Rosa Rugosa Scented Candle  

Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle Rosa Rugosa was created by perfumer Carlos Benaïm (also from Polo Ralph Lauren). This scent is sold as a scented candle, rubber incense set and large room spray.  Rosa Rugosa was inspired by the scent of the rosa rugosa flower. This is a wilder kind of rose bush which can usually be found in the dunes near the sea.  In The Netherlands they were planted next to roads or in parks as well. It seems they have grown out of fashion. The blossoming Rose flowers turns into little fruits which are the size of cherry tomatoes and can be used to make jam or syrup.

The burning Rosa Rugosa candle smells like leaving your window open and wafts of the blossoming Rosa Rugosa bushes enter your room leaving the room lightly scented of wild blossoming small rose flowers. Rosa Rugosa bushes grew abundantly in the Dutch village where I grew up near the sea and I have a fondness for these small fuchsia coloured pink wild roses with their green wrinkled prickly leaves. The rose underneath is not a Rosa Rugosa but another kind of Rose.

These are the rose fragrances I picked. Have a look on Samantha’s blog I Scent You A Day Megan’s blog  Megan in St. Maxime  and Portia on A Bottled Rose,  to read they choices too! It is always a joy to read their picks and see what they chose. Sometimes we choose the same fragrances which is a nice surprise as we don’t know in advance what we will pick.

Back to you Do you like rose perfumes? What are your favorite ones ?

Disclosure: All fragrances mentioned in this article were bought by me.  The Bottles or scented candles which are sold now, might be different from the ones shown on the photographs. The photographs were made by me and are an artistic expression. The aim of the photographs is to portray personal impressions of the fragrances.