Dear Nearests and Dearests,
The unending winter in London Town is undeniably over!!
April showers may continue as is their wont, but the weather has finally changed.
Hesitant daffodils have joined their hardier cousins in full bloom, primulas and primroses are to be found and even the odd hyacinth.
But for The Perfumed Dandy the true demarcation of the seasons comes with the arrival of the blossom.
As you can see from my photograph above, trees in squares and in streets are now coming into bloom.
This being Britain and not the Mediterranean, the flowers sit on many tress, but, alas, not orange trees… for it is that fruit’s flower’s fragrance of which we go in search of today.
Here then I present six orange blossom scents to tempt you…
1. Fleurs d’Oranger by Serge Lutens
Even if Spring were not arrived, Serge’s hyper-realistic rendering would deliver it in a bottle on even the darkest of days.
This is a magnificently embracing and at once bracing interpretation of the flower.
Additional ooomph, should such a thing be required, is provided by the ever larger than life presence of tuberose, though in this composition even it is forced to play second fiddle to our lead player.
There is a definite spicy note underneath, provided principally by the cumin, that serves to confirm the overall sense of a preserve or jam.
In fact, imagine if they made the most delicious marmalade possible from the flower and not the fruit of the orange tree and you might have a sense of this exquisite scent.
2. Cologne pour le Matin by Maison Francis Kurkdijian
With the warmer weather comes the desire, on occasion, for The Perfumed Dandy to wear something a little lighter.
This delicate spray plays the flower of the orange tree against the fruit of its cousin the bergamot with a transparent lavender stage set to create a cologne that is well above the above average.
Truly quite delightful, if as always with a cologne more of a pre-theatre entertainment than a five act tragedy.
3. Bois d’Orange by Roger et Gallet
Does The Dandy hear a gasp?
Surely this is a wet slap from a glove soaked in orange juice? I hear you cry.
Why yes, to be sure, this ‘fresh fragrant water’ can come across as being a little in the vein of orange sports drink to start with.
But give it a little time, really very little time and it fades into a quite lovely rendering of the tree as a whole, wood, fruit and very much flower.
An excellent travelling companion to accompany one on long seasonal trips to the country.
4. Castile by Penhaligon’s
An eau de toilette that wants to be a cologne but with greater complexity.
This genre flouting fragrance is a joy to wear.
Bursting on the scene all citrus, it soon melds first into a broad and satisfying orange blossom, tempered with rose, before drying down into a musky, slightly soapy rose that has a distinct air of a very thorough Spring clean about it.
5. Infanta en Flor by Arquiste
“Toto. I don’t think we’re in cologne anymore…”
This my dear friends is most definitely not a straightforward refreshing water.
We are in the realms of classic perfumery seen through the prism of a contemporary niche fragrance maker’s sensibility.
The result is a lushly romantic yet and once surprising and touchingly domestic scent.
Surrounding the centrepiece blossom are elements of what I perceived to be a base of leather forming a contrasting setting with a certain, very pleasant, almost aldehydic soapiness.
Definitely one to try.
The Dandy adores this, but wonders whether others will…
6. Afghanistan Orange Blossom by The 7 Virtues
The Perfumed Dandy has highlighted this ethical perfume producer that sources its raw materials from the world’s war zones and scenes of conflict and catastrophe before.
Not only because of their admirable credentials, but also because they make absolutely splendid scents.
This is as precise and perfectly pitched orange blossom perfume as you are like to find.
The quality of ingredients and expert simplicity of the composition: some structural jasmine and a tiny waft of freesia to add depth, shine through in this truly authentic aroma.
Wonderful alone this also mixes ever so well should you be in the mood for layering.
The surprising surprise extra pick… Coco by Chanel
Yes, my dears, truly!
For in amongst all that reconditioned baroque rose and spice blousiness there is a really rather splendid orange flower going on.
Why not see if you can spot it next time?
Oh, and by way of (re)introduction, The Perfumed Dandy has already provided a review of Coco by Chanel.
And there we have it a citrus and floral start to the warmer part of the year in a colder part of the world!!
So three down: violet, muguet and orange blossom done…. what will be next?
Three more scents of Spring are to come, can you imagine what they might be?
Do have the most pleasantly fragrant day.
The Perfumed Dandy.