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Eau d'Orange Verte - hermes.com

The weather is officially HOT! The world tends to think of Canada as being constantly c-o-l-d, which is a myth. Winters are cold, yes, but with the exception of the cooler Pacific and Atlantic coasts, summers across Canada are hot, especially in the Eastern provinces, which always have lots of humidity.

This Sunday afternoon is predicted to reach 33C/91F, with a Humidex that will make it feel like 40C/104F. Sunday is also Father’s Day and a big family barbecue, so the fridge is stuffed full of burgers, ribs, sausages, salads, and everyone’s favourite beer – How about a cold beer, ay – as well as this year’s favourite eau de cologne, which is just for me.

I love colognes in hot weather. They’re uncomplicated. Usually a fresh citrus note is the star, accented with some herb and floral notes to sweeten, and a wood note to round out the dry-down. The sparkling pleasure from an EdC is all over in a couple of hours, and then its time for another few cooling spritzes. It’s my hot weather ritual.

A couple of years ago, my EdC was  Eau Dynamisante by Clarins, a perfect balance of citrus and herbs. Last year it was Eau de rhubarb ecarlate by Christine Nagel for Hermès , an EdC that starts as tart tangy and bold, but ends up mellow and radiant from soft musk notes. I thought an EdC couldn’t get any better for me than that, but I’d forgotten about another Hermes cologne I’ve worn for years, Eau d’Orange Verte.

Originally named Eau de Cologne d’Hermès, Eau d’Orange Verte was created by Françoise Caron in 1979 and marked the beginning of the Hermès Cologne collection.  What marked this cologne as an original forty years ago was the pairing of traditional vibrant orange citrus with the cool green chypre-like notes of moss, leaves, and woods, which gave the scent a bitter freshness, a darker complexity which was reflected in the dark green bottle, the green of a shadowy forest rather than the green of a sun-filled garden.

The Hermès website describes it:

“…inspired by the smell of undergrowth moist with morning dew….conceived as an explosion of citrus notes, orange plays the main part, supported by zest and leaves, lemon, mandarin, mint and blackcurrant bud. The fragrance reveals its complexity in a unique sillage composed of oak moss and patchouli.”

The current version was reformulated by Hermès perfumer, Jean-Claude Ellena, who rounded the moss notes in the base with musks, making the scent more balanced, with a contemporary feel that appeals to everyone, men and women alike.

What do I love about Eau d’Orange Verte? Everything. From the first juicy lemon-orange blast which has an ultra-fresh zesty bite, to the cooling minty notes that waft up, and the bitter-sweet of black-current in the heart, and the shadowy green damp of the moss and wood notes, to finally, the airy dry-down, still vibrant with citrus-green elegance. The scent definitely has a more refined, darker character that makes it far more interesting to wear than other colognes, somewhat like the difference between a regular expensive Scotch whiskey compared to specialty aged single malt. 

And while we’re on this train of thought, wearing Eau d’Orange Verte is like a drinking a glass of perfectly chilled white wine on hot summer day. The first few sips are cold and heavenly, then the wine starts to warm and become more complex as the notes emerge, so you sip some more. Before you know it, there are just a few drops left. Time for another glass! Eau d’Orange Verte only lasts only a couple of hours on the skin, and then it’s time for another spritz, which is all part of the fun.

But unlike chilled white wine, or fine aged single malt for that matter, you won’t feel compelled to finish the bottle. You’ll definitely want to save some Eau d’Orange Verte to spritz during the dog-days of summer.

Eau d’Orange Verte is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.

 

Photo: permission Astier de Villate

As the temperature increases so does my desire to wear colognes. Colognes have really been popular for the last few years, and that interest isn’t waning anytime soon as more and more niche house introduce them into the market each year.

I love exploring new fragrances, but there’s something to be said for the old faithfuls – those trusty, dependable, reliable colognes that have been tested heat wave after heat wave over the years, bearing witness to countless BBQ’s on the back deck, summer cocktail parties, pool parties, the occasional wedding, Caribbean cruises and, if I’m honest, more than a few, ahem, assignations, and have proven themselves up to the task of being refreshing while still representing.

That’s because colognes are built to do the job. Colognes follow a very simple formula: alcohol that contains a mixture of citrus oils, herbs and/or flowers, with a light base of woods or musk. Formulas might sounds boring, but there’s enough wiggle room in there for a talented nose, such as Françoise Caron, to put her mark on the category and she has done it beautifully with the colognes she has created for Astier de Villatte, like Eau Chic.

Astier de Villatte is a French luxury homeware brand started in 1996 by designers Benoît Astier de Villatte and Ivan Pericoli. Designers of furniture and artisanal ceramic white glazed tableware, borosilicate glassware, and titanium cutlery, their unique creations have developed a devoted following in Paris over the years.

I remember visiting their first boutique at 173 rue St Honoré when it opened in 2001, and I remember when they introduced their scented candles, erasers and a trio of eaux de cologne in 2008. I remember buying one of the colognes: Eau Chic and developing a slavish devotion to it so strong, that I vowed never to be without it. Ha! That was more easily said than done. I could only find one place to buy it and that was at the boutique in Paris. And then in 2013, it disappeared. Poof. Gone.

I thought it was gone forever, but I wasn’t the only one who missed it. Over the years, Eau Chic had reached cult-status. “We received our fair share of anxious emails from loyal clients asking for more Eau Chic,” said Astier de Villatte and Pericoli in an interview. By 2016 it was back in all its distinctive hand-blown glass bottle glory and the villagers put down their torches and pitchforks. Well, I have anyways.

So, why all the fuss? Eau Chic opens with a note of tart, vibrant lemon. Its sunny summer brightness softens and fades as the cologne blooms, revealing a gorgeous aromatic note of rose. The rose is light and romantic, not dark and brooding and it’s balanced beautifully with creamy, white creamy flowers: heady tuberose, banana-nuanced ylang-ylang and sweet orange blossom. Every once in a while I get a whiff of gentle soapiness from aromatic lavender, which keeps the creamy whites from taking over. The flowers sit alongside fragrant herbs – I smell rosemary, basil and thyme – which gives the flowers a fresh bite. Petit grain with its soft, woody aspect is at the base.

The drydown is upbeat, refreshing and surprisingly complex for a cologne and I think it is perfectly unisex.

Eau Chic lives up to its name. It’s stylish and elegant and, to me, it’s very Parisian. Eau Chic is très chic and it’s the perfect antidote to summer heat and that’s worth making a fuss about.

Eau Chic is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.

 

Welcome to perfumeniche.com

"She smelled the way the Taj Mahal looks by moonlight."

                                                                       Raymond Chandler

We are Gwen and Kay, two perfumistas making our scent journey in the cool, clear North.  We are also BFFs - we hang out together a lot, travel together - so we try, buy and share fragrances.

What started out as a shared interest grew into a hobby, and has now become our obsession.

We’ve spent many evenings with a glass of prosecco, a little cool jazz playing in the background, spritzing, sniffing - “How does this smell on you?” and, sadly, sometimes scrubbing.

Over the past few years, we’ve tried hundreds of samples, and when we deem a fragrance ”full bottle worthy” (FBW), one of us has tracked it down and bought it. We now own a lot of really great perfumes, and we continue to buy bottles of what we think is the best of "niche" as new scents are launched.

Also, we include many perfume "classics" that are the foundations of modern perfumery - like Shalimar, Chanel No.5, Eau Sauvage - plus other perfume "gems" that have been discontinued, or were ahead of their time when launched but now fit perfectly in the Niche category. 

With so many exciting discoveries, we can’t help but talk about our passion with other friends. Wherever we go, people ask “What is that perfume you’re wearing? Where can I get that?” So we end up sharing a bit of our “juice” with friends. But the circle has grown, so we've started this website to let other perfumistas buy and try samples from our collections, and share their experiences with us, too, through Comments.

WHAT WE DO

We blog

We blog once a week and post a story about a scent from our collections, and add it to our Decant Store. We're not scent experts, so these aren't critical reviews. We love all our fragrances  - that’s why we bought them! But we describe how we think they smell, and share our stories about why we love them - maybe you’ll rediscover an old flame, or fall in love with a new scent.

Or we post "Nose-to-Nose", our conversations about whatever has grabbed our attention recently. Or we write about a specific perfume note,  and offer a Decant Pack, which allows you to explore new territory by trying 3 or 4 fragrances in a special pack at a special discount price.

We sell

We sell 1 ml. decants - .7 ml volume once you allow for the stopper in the vial - filled from our own bottles in our collection because the only way to experience a fragrance is to try it on your own skin. We take the fragrance from its original bottle and decant it into a smaller brand-new, 1 ml sterilized glass vials so that you can try it on your skin to see if you like it.

Through our Decant Store you'll have access to some of the world’s greatest niche scents, hard-to-find fragrances, and classic favourites. 

When you click on the Decant Store tab you’ll find our personal descriptions of each of the fragrances we currently offer from our collection, then you can add them to your Shopping Cart.

Let's be clear (this is a disclaimer!!)

  • We don’t sell full bottles of any fragrance - just .7ml decants. We only sell decants  from the perfumes we've bought.... because we love them.
  • We don't re-sell manufacturers samples.
  • We don’t represent any perfumers or distributors, so we don’t have every scent from a whole line of perfume.
  • We aren’t being paid to promote any product or scent.

If, after sampling a fragrance, you decide that you must have it, i.e. it is FBW (full bottle worthy), and you can’t find it, e-mail us and we will direct you to the best source we know – retailer or online source.

We provide

A place for you to learn about scent, and to share your fragrance experience with others. Click on the section called Resources, under My Perfume Notes (see top right), where  you'll find a Glossary, and fragrance FAQs. You'll also find two great tools we've created - Handmaps and My Sample Perfume Notes - so you can keep track of, and record your own scent experiences.
 
We hope you enjoy perfumeniche.com, and visit us often. Leave your preconceptions behind, look around, see what’s on offer, read the Blog, share your experiences and discoveries, and join the circle.

It’s just us.