Nicolaï, Parfums

A selection of perfumes and home fragrances made by the French perfume house Nicolaï, Paris and perfumer Patricia de Nicolaï

Mood Scent 4 : Guilty Pleasures

It’s with great pleasure I am writing a new episode together with fellow bloggers Sam from I Scent You A Day, Megan from Megan in St. Maxime and our latest marvelous addition to our Mood Scent 4 project: Portia from Australian Perfume Junkies. Regrettably Tara has left our project for personal reasons, I wish her well with her wonderful blog A Bottled Rose!

Together we choose a different subject every couple of months and link fragrance to mood or occasion. This time we have chosen to write about “guilty pleasures”.

When you think about guilty pleasures relating to perfume you might link this to celebrity, chocolate centred or seductive perfumes. But I have a different “guilty” and more private olfactory pleasure. Some of my favorite perfumes are elegant classic French fragrances like Guerlain Chamade, Hermes Caleche or Nicolaï Parfumeur Createur Odalisque. Fragrances which you might expect from someone wearing a made to measure two piece exquisite suit not the jeans, outdoor sweaters or hiking boots I prefer to wear.

Esperessence Guilty Pleasure Perfumes

Guerlain Chamade 

One of my favorite perfumes when staying at our garden cottage is Guerlain Chamade. Starting green like a sunny spring garden in the morning, fresh hyacinths with small drops of dew on their petals Chamade dries down to leave a scent of very light soft dusted vanilla powder and a contrasting green lightness and freshness.

Esperessence Mood Scent 4 Guilty Pleasures

Hermes Caleche

The very soft clean and floral elegant Caleche is another favorite. Named after a special type of light carriage, Hermes Caleche invokes a feeling of Parisian sophistication with classic silk dresses, expensive leather bags, beautiful handmade scarves and soft leather gloves. Created as an elegant easy to wear and not too cloying fragrance sadly the newer Caleche has a become a more agressive aldehydic soap floral. But it’s still a refined creation.

Esperessence Nicolai Odalisque

Nicolai Parfumeur Odalisque

With its musky base, bright citrus bergamot orange blossom opening and classic white rich bouquet of flowers, Odalisque is a very classic French creation as well. Launched in 1989 it harks back to the past, some say the eighties. I would say even before that. Although I don’t like the musky salty base on my skin and normally don’t wear lily of the valley fragrances I notice I grab this Eau de Parfum from time to time as a “guilty pleasure” or when I feel a bit melancholic. Like revisiting an Art Deco café once in a while as it reminds you of happy times when you used to visit with your grandmother or another older loved one.

Esperessence Guerlain Mitsouko to Sleep

Guerlain Mitsouko

Finally I have another confession, I like to spray the balancing and relaxing Guerlain Mitsouko on my cushion when I go to sleep, inspired by the impressario Sergei Diaghilev of Les Ballets Russes who used to spray Mitsouko on his drapes. Talking about a guilty pleasure…

Concluding: Hermes Caleche, Guerlain Mitsouko, Chamade and Nicolai Odalisque are the “guilty pleasure” fragrances I have chosen for our Mood Scent 4 Project. I am very curious about the choices of my fellow bloggers. You can read the picks of Sam from I Scent You A Day , Megan from Megan in St. Maxime and Portia from Australian Perfume Junkies by clicking on the links.

How about you, what are your “guilty pleasures”? I love to read your comments and thoughts! Please share them with me and visit my fellow bloggers as well.


Interesting to know:

Hermes Caleche (1961) Perfumer: Guy Robert. Fragrance Family*: Mossy Woods/Chypre. Caleche features the notes of: aldehydes, bergamot, mandarin, orange blossom, jasmine, lily of the valley, rose, gardenia, iris, ylang-ylang, oakmoss, sandalwood, cedar, vetiver. ** I tested a recent Soie de Parfum, vintage Extrait and vintage Eau de Cologne version of Hermes Caleche for this post.

Guerlain Chamade (1969) Perfumer: Jean-Paul Guerlain  Fragrance Family: Floral Oriental. Chamade features notes of: hyacinth, galbanum, ylang-ylang, rose, jasmine, blackcurrant buds, vanilla and woods. **

Nicolai Parfumeur Createur Odalisque (1989) Perfumer: Patricia de Nicolai, Fragrance Family: Floral. Odalisque features notes of bergamot, mandarin, galbanum, jasmine, lily of the valley, tuberose, ylang ylang, patchouli, oakmoss, amber and castoreum.

Guerlain Mitsouko (1919) Perfumer: Jacques Guerlain, Fragrance Family: Mossy Woods/Chypre. Mitsouko features notes of: bergamot, jasmine, peach, rose, oakmoss, pepper, cinnamon, vetiver. **

* As classified by Michael Edwards in Fragrances Of The World 2014

** Notes were taken from Perfume Legends by Michael Edwards

Disclosure: All photographs were made by Esperessence. The cards on the last 2 photographs feature costume designs created by Leon Bakst for Les Ballets Russes (Narcissus and Shéhérazade).

How To Pick The Perfect Summer Scent

 

With summer in its way other fragrances might be more appropriate than the ones you having been wearing during wintertime. It can be a good moment to start wearing other more suited summer fragrances like tropical florals, refreshing citrus or beach fragrances.

Try exotic flowers

Try fragrances with exotic flowers like ylang ylang, tiare, tuberose or fragrances with milky coconut undertones. The combination of tuberose and coconut can be found in Killian Beyond Love. Another more creamy tuberose is the budget friendly but discontinued Madonna Truth or Dare. The recently released Dusita Le Douceur de Siam is a beautiful tropical creamy rose ylang ylang fragrance and very well suited for summer. Tiare and coconut can be found in the recently discontinued but still available Guerlain Terracotta Le Parfum, Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess and Nicolai Createur Juste Un Reve.

Freshen up with citrus 

Another good choice is to freshen up on hotter days with fragrances which contain lemon, neroli or bergamot.  Heeley Oranges and Lemons Say The Bells of St. Clements, the natural and organic April Aromatics Ray of Light or the longer lasting Le Galion Whip are excellent choices if you like lemon in a fragrance. The refreshing Annick Goutal Neroli Cologne or Yves Rocher Secrets d’Essences Neroli are good choices when you are looking for a neroli scent. The zesty green Martin Marghiela Untitled L’Eau is my personal favorite for those very hot days with notes of lemon, mint and mandarin.

Go to the beach

Salty fragrances like Laboratorio Olfattivo Salina give the impression of being at the seaside which can be very suited on those warmer days. If you like the scent of sun lotion you can choose Nicolai Createur Musc Monoi which was inspired by the scent of Ambre Solaire sunscreen lotion.

Do you have favorite summer fragrances? Which one is your favorite?

Further reading: read my reviews of Laboratorio Olfattivo Salina, Madonna Truth or Dare.

Disclaimer: all fragrances mentioned in this article were my own acquisition, all photographs made by Esperessence

Do you have favorite summer fragrances? Which one is your favorite?

Nicolai Rose Royale A Youthful, Pretty and Elegant Rose

Nicolai Parfumeur Createur Rose Royale is a pretty youthful elegant rose fragrance and the latest release of this French perfume house. It starts with a fresh citrus bergamot note, changing  into a slightly warmer dusty natural rose scent. This rose is large, full and light pink. The overall feeling Rose Royale brings, is one of comfort and easiness.

Like Rose Oud, another creation of perfumer Patricia de Nicolai, Rose Royale feels very soothing. There is a fruity touch, making it more contemporary and giving the impression Patricia de Nicolai follows new trends in the fragrance industry well. I would not call it an exciting fragrance but no soliflore (a fragrance dedicated to one flower) generally is. If you like natural rose scents, Rose Royale is certainly worth a try.

The inspiration for this scent was taken from the roses in Palais Royale, which is situated closely to the new Nicolai laboratory in Paris.

While doing research for this article I found this citation in the Nicolai, Parfumeur-Createur, un metier d’artiste book, which suits the essence of Rose Royale very well.

“A beautiful perfume, worn, makes others want to be near you..(..) A beautiful perfume is one that you want to keep, like a child who tries to catch clear water from a fountain.” Patrica de Nicolai

Rose Royale captures the natural scent of a rose very well but still remains interesting. It wears quite close to the skin and on my skin it had medium longevity (2-3 hours) Something I experience with Nicolai Rose Oud as well.

I find Rose Royale to be full bottle worthily. It is well made, wears easily and can be worn to many different occasions like work, at the weekend or to all kinds of celebrations. There is a certain easiness and informality to it. I expect Rose Royale will get more love in the Nicolai shops than amongst perfume bloggers for this reason and can imagine it becoming one of their bestsellers. It will make an excellent gift.

Notes: Top Blackcurrent Buds, Passion Fruit, Bergamot, Middle Rose (Turkish Rose), Coriander, Ambrette seeds, Base Immortelle, Sandalwood, Guaiac Wood and Musk.

Have you tried fragrances of the Nicolai Parfumeur Createur perfume house ? Do you have a favorite one?

Wishing you all a very happy Easter!

Disclaimer: This review was based on a sample provided for PR purposes. My opinion and photographs are my own. The fragrance was tested directly on skin.