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Les Colognes Néroli – Refined and romantic and the very definition of a summer day

Bitter Orange Blossom - Wikimedia Commons - Alexander Hardin

A perfect summer Sunday. Agreeable temperature, clear skies and easy chores that are easily dispatched, leaving hours for reading/napping/sipping in a hammock, in a garden that’s in full bloom.

For me, and for many people I know, such uncomplicated days are a rarity, so when they come along I lean into them. No rushing, no planning, no pushing – just time to savor, relish and deeply enjoy those precious simple pleasures.  On days like these I want an uncomplicated scent. One that’s in the same spirit of the day, like Les Colognes Neroli by Annick Goutal.

Annick Goutal is one of my favourite fragrance lines. Their commitment to quality ingredients, and their deft hand in the use of them, can be smelled in every one of their perfumes. Consider the earthy sensuousness of Eau de Sud, the fresh vibrancy of Eau d'Hadrien and the citrusy bite of the multi-faceted Ninfeo Mio. So, of course, it’s no surprise to find Les Colognes Néroli on my must-wear list of summer fragrances.

Les Colognes Néroli is not to be confused with Néroli EdT also by Annick Goutal.

Néroli EdT was created by Isabelle Doyen and Camille Goutal in 2003 as an exclusive. It’s an uncomplicated, orange blossom absolute/neroli based fragrance, supported by aromatic basil, sweet vanilla and cedarwood. I have gone through bottes of it over the years. But much as I love it, even it’s too complex for a day like this. Les Colognes Néroli is the way to go. It was created by Isabelle Doyen  when the house reworked Néroli EdT into a cologne version that was launched in 2013.

It opens, with a note of lemontree petitgrain. It’s floral and green, with a nose-tingling freshness. Lemontree petitgrain blends beautifully with aromatic neroli, highlighting its citrusy, sweet floralcy perfectly. The neroli is paired with fresh, voluptuous orange blossom to create a gorgeous, lush tumble of white flowers on my skin. This, dear readers, is the smell of a perfect summer’s day! At times, a bitterness peeps through the flowers, keeping the fragrance ‘real’. Heliotrope adds a gentle vanilla sweetness and a powderiness, while white musk, clean and smooth, anchors it all at the base.

The drydown is refined, romantic and just lovely. Truth is, it doesn’t evolve much – it doesn’t have to because it’s a cologne. It’s fairly straight forward and uncomplicated, but it’s not without depth. And although it is marketed as a unisex fragrance, for me, it falls on the feminine side.

One of the things I love about this fragrance is how real it smells. The Goutal website says that it evokes “the happy memory of orange blossom illumating the Mediterranean countryside.” And you know what? It does.

Now that I think of it, maybe a perfect summer’s day is not the only day to wear Les Colognes Neroli. Maybe, when you wear Les Colognes Neroli it makes it the day perfect. I’m gonna have to think about that…but not too hard.

Les Colognes Neroli is listed in our Decant store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.