Spring is in the air… Part III: Orange Blossom… The Perfumed Dandy’s Seasonal Selection

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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.

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

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21 Comments

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21 responses to “Spring is in the air… Part III: Orange Blossom… The Perfumed Dandy’s Seasonal Selection

  1. brie

    orange flower in Coco? I did not know this!

  2. Afghanistan Orange Blossom by The 7 Virtues – I feel certain you recommended this to me and I bought a bottle! It is, as you said, authentic and will add, scrumptious 😉

  3. Lilybelle

    I don’t know any of those orange blossom fragrances. ^^^ I have been wearing a teeny tiny spritz (because it’s quite concentrated) of Ava Luxe Neroli Blossom the past couple of nights, from an old bottle. It is wonderful.
    So…I’ll take a guess: next up is daffodil/narcissus, lilac, and hyacinth. We have a jump on you here in Virginia. The wisteria (wistaria to you) is blooming madly everywhere now. I love those.

    • Dearest Lily
      I’ve heard only good things about Ava Luxe and really want to try, your additional recommendation will send The Dandy scurrying to to sample it.
      How nice for you that you are already ahead in your seasons… perhaps that would explain why your guesses are almost spot on!
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Danday

  4. A wonderfully uplifting post. I can actually feel the spring breeze in your writing and that fantastic photo. I am not a big orange blossom wearer but like the sound of the Arquiste and the Roger and Gallet (surely one of the more underrated perfumers….)

    • Dearest Ginza
      I have certainly been feeling uplifted by the rays of sunshine that have at last been reaching us these last few days.
      Winter here has been unending.
      As for orange blossom, I tend to enjoy it in fits and bursts, so the cologne formulations suit me or when encased in something more unusual or complex.
      Have you tried many from Arquiste? They are a range well worth getting to know, I’been becoming much acquainted with them since they appeared at Liberty’s.
      Finally, on Roger et Gallet I’m with you one hundredths – their ‘pour homme’ was my first ever apres rassage and I still have a bottle to this day!
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  5. Mary E.

    Arquiste, Lutens & Kurdjian are all my favs of the group!

    • Dear Mary
      They are undoubtedly the trio that bear the longest and closest examinations. And I do adore the fact that Pour le Matin is available in those great big 200ml bottles.
      Truly time to splash!
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  6. Sorry, my friend, today I just looooove your photograph, simply because it heralds spring in London. Oh how we both wish we could be there. Enjoy the sunshine. Carina

    • Dear Curry
      Why thank you so much, I was merely wandering home through the streets of Bloomsbury and here they were, flowering away in the sunshine in the midst of all that Georgian architecture.
      Whilst not wishing to increase the envy, the parks here are benefiting from all the moisture locked in the soil and with just a little sunshine have been encouraged into bountiful bloom.
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  7. Miss Misty

    There is something about orange blossom that reminds me of my childhood, especially my grandparents house.
    But I don’t know why, there aren’t growing any orange trees around here for sure. My grandmother never wore any fragrances.
    It will always be a mystery I guess.

    Next flowers? Lilac, narcissus, hyacinth, mimose, linden blossom?

    • Dearest Miss Misty
      A schoolteacher? I’ve discovered in amongst the fragrances I’ve tried here many a female educator from my past.
      I wonder did you visit your grandparents straight from school? I only ask as I was certain for a while that my grandmother must have worn Aromatics Elixir, but no, as my mother told me it was the headmistress of my infant school who would pasck us all off on our way at the end of the day… The Dandy to grandmama’s waiting for mater to return from work.
      The mind plays tricks on one conflating recollections and merging memories into a smudge.
      Sometimes I thank heavens for scent as it helps me sort through all these fragments of the past…
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  8. Orange blossom, to me, gives a fragrance substance – it’s delicious. I love it. I feel like they use it more in men’s colognes, though? Am I imagining this?

  9. I love that you chose some less talked about OB scents. I must try the 7 Virtues….

    • Dear Lorraine
      I am a fan of this brand, it’s ethics and its scent.
      They are all – the Haitian Vetiver is perhaps my favourite – wonderfully true and honest scents and well worth hunting down.
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  10. I think of orange blossom especially in connection with colognes, and I noticed that you have focused on perfumes. Here are a few fresh and light examples of orange blossom soliflores perfect for springtime:

    Prada Infusion de Fleur d’Oranger–fits right in with the other infusions, as it has a clean demeanor. This one has a soapy aspect similar to Infusion d’Homme and Infusion de Tubéreuse.

    Le Couvent de Minimes Fleur d’Oranger–this is very similar in its sweetness level to the By Kilian orange blossom perfume, Sweet Redemption, according to my nose. They also have a newer composition which seems similar to me: Eau Aimable. For sweet lovers only!

    Agua de Sevilla Agua de Naranjos–I picked a bottle of this up in Seville a few years ago at Christmastime and recently “found” it in the back of a cabinet. It smells great! Greenish, more citric orange blossom here.

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