Blog post by Gwen

Eau d'Hadrien – citrusy and refined and graceful


Photo: perfumeniche


Whenever temperatures rise, perfume reviews, lists, and blogs feature citrus-based fragrances. That’s because citrus fruits are tropical fruits, that thrive in hot temperatures and high humidity. Whether juicy, luscious, sweet, tart, bitter or sour, their refreshing character makes them the perfect foil for summer heat.

One citrus fragrance comes up time and time again in online discussions as the reference summer scent: Eau d'Hadrien by Annick Goutal. Here’s what Victoria at Bois de Jasmin says about Eau d'Hadrien: "Among quintessential summer perfumes, Eau d’Hadrien rules supreme." Marina at Perfume - Smellin’ Things says: "Eau d’Hadrien is my favorite Annick Goutal fragrance; it is also my favorite citrus scent. Moreover, it was Eau d’Hadrien that single-handedly converted me into a fan of citrus scents…”  Eau d’Hadrien can do that. It did it to me when I splashed out and bought my first bottle, actually my first Goutal butterfly bottle. True love is never cheap, and this was worth every penny.

Launched in 1981, Eau d’Hadrien was inspired by Belgian writer Marguerite Yourcenar's 1951 novel, "Les Mémoires d'Hadrien," about the life and death of Roman Emperor Hadrian. The novel was a huge success, and Annick Goutal, a fan of the book, wanted to create a fragrance that evoked the timeless freshness of a Mediterranean citrus grove.

Eau d’Hadrien, opens with a zesty, effervescent note of juicy fresh Sicilian lemon. The freshness and trueness of the lemon note here is mouthwatering and speaks to the quality of the ingredients used in the fragrance. A note of fragrant, bitter citron appears. Cultivated since ancient times, citron was the first citrus fruit to appear in the Mediterranean basin, and its appearance here is a nod to the ancient world of Emperor Hadrian. Grapefruit, fruitier than the citron, extends the bitterness but softens it, too, as it blends into a gentle floral sweetness – I smell ylang-ylang – that counterbalances the bitterness and allows the citrus freshness to shine. It’s here that I smell Goutal’s signature rose note, like a valentine hidden in the citrus grove; it adds a touch of lushness and richness to the fragrance. The citrus lands on a base of Tuscan cypress, woody, earthy, and camphorous, which gives Eau d’Hadrien a sense of place.

The drydown is refined and graceful, an olfactory expression of walking through a citrus grove on a sunny day—the citrus fruits, some flowers, the smell of sun-warmed skin. But it is the lemon! Vibrant at the start, it mellows, leaving a languid, dreamy, summery trail.

The way Eau d'Hadrien makes me feel and the pleasure it gives me has never waned.

Check out Eau d'Hadrien in our Shop.