Blog post by Gwen

Cologne Sologne – uncomplicated and light and refreshing


There is something about colognes and summer. Uncomplicated, refreshing and light, colognes are an invigorating pick-me-up on hot, sticky days that have become a summer necessity for men and women in Europe. And it’s a category of fragrances that's growing worldwide.

I remember my first trip to Paris when in my late teens. Through arrangements made by mutual friends, I ended up sharing a flat with a young Parisian woman for a few days. It was the height of summer heat in the City of Light, but she had a lovely fresh air about her. So on our last night together, I gathered the courage to ask her what perfume she wore. Her face lit up, and she told me that in the summer, she always splashes her neck, upper chest, and arms with cologne in the morning. She showed me the bottle, gave me a spritz and the next day, we parted. I forgot all about it until I got home. And when the next heat wave hit, my quest began.

Over the years, I’ve tried, tested and worn many colognes, and I have a few favourites. Cologne Sologne the cult classic cologne from Nicolaï Parfumeur Createur.

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. How a perfumer plays with the ingredients in the formula makes their colognes distinctive, and I love what Patricia de Nicolaï does in Cologne Sologne.

It opens with a note of biting, bitter bergamot mellowed with sweet orange and zesty lemon. It’s that addictive citrus hit I love in colognes. The citrus fruits fade, and sweet, tangy Tunisian neroli emerges. It’s plush and deliciously floral. The neroli is flanked with aromatic lavender, which adds a clean aspect to the cologne and camphorous, minty rosemary. Oh my! This is one fragrant combination! The neroli lingers to a quiet base of patchouli, benzoin, and musk.

Now, here’s the thing about Cologne Sologne that sets it apart from other colognes: the ingredients are top drawer, and they smell that way; the opening is softer than most colognes because the citrus isn’t as harsh; it actually has some development, and the base notes give it more longevity than most other colognes, making it a classic European warm weather/casual scent. 

As for the ‘Sologne’ in Cologne Sologne…
In 1853 Pierre-Pascal-Francois Guerlain created Eau de Cologne Impériale, with notes of citrus and Provençal herbs, as a wedding gift for Napoléon III and his wife Eugénie Fast forward to 1989, when Patricia de Nicolaï, great-granddaughter of Pierre Guerlain (and the last living Guerlain perfumer) launches Cologne Sologne.

Is Cologne Sologne a nod to a family tradition? Maybe. I don’t know. I’m too busy enjoying it to think about it.

Check out Cologne Sologne in our Shop.