Patricia de Nicolai

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).

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.

Nicolaï Rose Oud Perfume Review

Photograph: Esperessence

Rose Oud is very soothing for the heart. Especially when you are suffering from heartache or confronted with difficult emotional situations in your life and want some elevation of stress/anxiety in a soft and gentle way. 

Interestingly Patricia de Nicolaï made Rose Oud as a powerful very rich deep fragrance (see video) But Rose Oud wears very close to my skin. It is more the light stroke of a rose. Caresse in French. Caresse de Rose would have been a better title for the fragrance.  I can only scent Rose Oud when I smell my wrist very closely, at less than 5 cm. Which is a pity but I reapply several times during the day. Longevity is not very good either. Very powerful rose perfumes on my skin are Guerlain Nahema edp and Maria Candida Gentile Cinabre.

Although I love rose fragrances I find it hard to find rose perfumes I wear regularly.  They can either be too the linear like Jo Malone Red Roses, too uplifting like the spicy Amouage Epic or Majda Bekkali Mon Nom Est Rouge or too activating like Maria Candida Gentile Cinabre.  I have found Rose Oud to be very appealing and  wore it quite often last summer. Of all my rose fragrances, this is the one I used most.

Rose Oud could give an uncomplicated impression at first sniff. But I find it an interesting modern, elegant, radiant and subtle fragrance.  You can wear it when you do not want others to smell your fragrance for example at your office or for a job interview.

What do I smell?

Personally I do not scent any oud in Rose Oud but some other male bloggers (Chemist in a Bottle and Geurengoeroe) say they do. At the beginning I get a fruity peach note probably due to the osmanthus. At the same time I get a lot of aldehydes the first few minutes adding lightness and brilliance. The aldehydes are not used in a retro vintage style like Antoine Lie in Rien Intense but in a more modern 21th century way.  What remains afterwards is an oily fragrance according to Perfume Shrine due to Nargamotha/Cypriol*. I get a sweet raspberry/rose note as well which is very similar to the Oliver and Co Santalum scented candle.

What does it do ?

Rose Oud is very soothing for the heart. Especially when you are suffering from heartache or confronted with difficult emotional situations in your life and want some elevation of stress or anxiety in a soft and gentle way. I used it a lot when my mother was in the hospital last summer. Part of this soothing effect could be a result of the usage of cypriol or to the calming effect of the rose.

Which image do I get ?

I get the image of the fur of my cat, Rubio as caressing him has a similar calming effect on me as wearing Rose Oud.

Composition: (according to the official Nicolaï website)

Top note: raspberry, davana, osmanthus

Heart note: rose, lily of the valley

Base note: agarwood, patchouli , sandalwood, musk, amber

Fragrance family: according to Patricia de Nicolaï chypre due to the rose and patchouli absolute (I would say floral chypre with fruity accents due to the raspberry or fruity chypre, Michael Edwards classifies it as a rose soliflore which makes sense)

Sillage: 1/5

Longevity: 1/5

Fragrance: 4/5

Overall: 3,5/5

Origin of bottle: my own,  Nicolaï is sold in The Netherlands by The Perfume Lounge and Parfumaria, both sell samples.

* Nagarmotha/Cypriol is a plant of the Cyperaceae family belonging to the papyrus family. Cypriol essential oil is harvested through steam distillation. Lotus Garden Botanicals states on its website that its fragrance has similarities with vetiver and oud. The essential oil is used in aromatherapy and is said to have an emotionally calming effect. According to an article of Swiss perfumer Andy Tauer most of the oud in perfumes are bases often made with Cypriol.

Give away: we are giving away a 2 ml sample of Rose Oud

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  3. Draw will close september 3, at 12.00 PM Parisian Time
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  5. Worldwide draw