Launched in 1992 by French fragrance niche Nicolaï Parfumeur-Créateur, Haute Provence eau de cologne is a flawless gem of a summer fragrance that showcases ‘true lavender’, the lavender that grows in Alpes-de-Haute-Provence.
The Haute-Provence Lavender Essential Oil PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) is the most prized by perfumers, like Patricia de Nicolaï.
Parisian-born nose Patricia de Nicolaï, knows perfume. A Guerlain on her mother’s side, she is the great-granddaughter of Pierre Guerlain and niece of Jean-Paul Guerlain. Growing up with such a prestigious perfume pedigree, she learned the value of quality ingredients, like true lavender, and she knows how to make the most of them – just spritz Haute Provence on your wrist.
It opens with a nose-tingling note of tart bergamot that introduces the good stuff – ‘true lavender.’ It’s fragrant, fresh, and so camphorous it’s heady. This is not the lavender sachet in your underwear drawer. A note of petitgrain, soft and floral, balances the lavender with its spicy, woody and green aspects. Iris joins the lavender, and tames it a bit with its powdery and clean facets. It’s the paring of the lavender with the iris that makes this fragrance unisex. At the base, musk gives it a warm-skin feel, while vanilla adds a sweetness to the cologne that I find makes it irresistible. Cedar gives the cologne its distinctive woodiness.
The drydown is smooth and elegant and sweet, floral and woody.
Simple, quality ingredients, treated with a deft hand that brings out the best of them, makes Haute Provence one of the pleasures of summer.
Notes: petitgrain, bergamot, lavender, iris, vanilla, musk and cedar.