Tag Archives: Esxence 2018

Summer escapade, Nicolai Cap Néroli

This year the weather is really weird. There are some dynamic and drastic changes but probably the most noticeable one was the fact that once the winter has ended it all skipped to summer almost. The weather feels quite summery right now and yet it’s just the end of May and in theory there’s still full month until we can officially say it’s summer. The weather however encourages us to dream about voyages. But it’s not a holiday time yet, that’s why a perfume that depicts an imaginary journey is especially welcome now. We’re going South with newest Nicolai perfume.

The uplifting opening of Cap Néroli introduces me first to a fruity aroma of orange and mandarin. They have a sweet smell yet at the same time they’re tinted with a little bit of tang & zestiness. It feels lively and sparkling in the way a lemonade would make a joyful fizz as you open the bottle. This impression remains alone on my skin for maybe 10 minutes, after which other notes gradually start to kick in & add their own characteristics to this new Nicolai fragrance. When a gentle wind starts to ‘blow’ within the scent it awakes the rustling leaves of petitgrain that spread a green hue around.

What I especially like about the use of petitgrain in Cap Néroli is the fact that not only it introduces an element of verdancy to the scent but it also provides  some shade that contrasts with sunny citrus fruit. From there the perfume takes a stroll down the green alley. It becomes herbal and aromatic – mint and rosemary turn it into a fragrant mixture that I would definitely pour into a tall glass, decorate with tiny paper umbrella and drink it up on a hot day. It feels super fresh, there’s also something clean about this scent but at the same time it doesn’t bring a soapy vibe to my attention.


After a while actual neroli appears. It enters the scene gradually, without creating a bursting impression. It slowly becomes more detectable on skin, carrying its slightly screechy signature combined with the freshness of hundreds of orange blossoms. Noticeable thing is that it’s not a cold note but more warm and inviting one. Just a little bit later its warmth takes a shape of a soft and creamy veil. Its thanks to ylang ylang that it feels this soft & embracing. Through this flower Cap Néroli becomes slightly exotic. Jasmine provides floral sensuality and tropical sensation as well.

Drydown of Cap Néroli is especially interesting if you ask me. It features a decent amount of oakmoss that thanks to its fragrance that is a bit like a sun-dried shrub, with hints of something green and dusty, it blends in beautifully. Considering the fact that none of the notes have fully disappeared yet, the complexity of zesty citrus, warm neroli surrounded by flowery exotism and now also this chypre element make this new Patricia de Nicolai perfume something more than just an average summery fragrance. Not to mention that it’s extremely wearable (not just for the summer!)

Cap Néroli from Nicolai Parfumeur Createur is a perfect example that you don’t have to work with 20, 30 or even more ingredients to create an interesting composition. It’s also a great proof that summery scents don’t have to be cool at all to bring freshness to the one who’s wearing them. I give this perfume a big thumbs up for a good job in creating it. As an eau de toilette it has optimum longevity of 5-6 hours and has medium-sized sillage that becomes more like skin scent after few hours. It’s available in 30 ml, 100 ml and 250 ml bottles (plus a 15 ml refillable travel spray in case of the latter one). Does it Cap Néroli sound good to you? It’s price is also very reasonable.

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Carefree moments, Anatole Lebreton Cornaline

In the world of niche perfumery that seems to be slowly becoming over saturated and that is also partially taken over by big beauty companies it’s more and more difficult to find an original fragrance. It’s even more difficult to find a little brand managed basically by 1 person who’s a perfumer and does all other things that come around it by himself. That’s why I’m happy we have someone like Anatole Lebreton. Glad that he moved from chocolate and tea business into perfumery. He creates what he wants and when he wants. Sounds like a great recipe to being more original.

At the beginning Cornaline is like a shy girl who blushes when she sees a boy she secretly likes. Her rosy cheeks were interpreted through a peach scent that appears on my skin first. What I’m noticing is that it’s not fruity at all but way more focused on the aroma of peach peel. It’s delicate, fuzzy and slightly powdery as well. After a few minutes it’s followed by a few drops of bergamot juice that balances the perfume & makes it not overly sweet. Small hint of geranium makes it more crispy in a leafy, summery way. The fragrance nicely evolves on skin and there’s still more to come.

Once the opening part of Cornaline tones down, notes from the heart of the composition slowly start marking their presence. Ylang-ylang is the first one to make a move. It starts to effuse from the skin and surrounds the wearer with a creamy floral, tropical vibe. It feels lighter than usual ylang I know from other perfumes. In Cornaline it’s less saturated, more pale. But thanks to that it feels more playful, outgoing and flirty. Then I smell hyacinth. This one provides a twist. Sure it smells floral and generously powdery but it also has an earthy and rooty facet that makes a difference.


It actually temporarily transforms the composition into a chypre-like thing. From this rooty sensation we take a side step, touching a carrot accord of Cornaline. It feels vegetal in a more fresh, raw way rather than like a boiled vegetable. I’m thankful for the fact that iris note is revealed afterwards because there’s that corresponding element between them. Iris is buttery but not too much, also not so very floral. Its dominating facet is that of a powder. It smells rather luxurious and pampering, like a high quality body powder. There’s something in Cornaline that makes it very easy to wear.

This blend of peach skin, ylang, hyacinth and iris plays nicely on me. Each of them is quite different but it’s like an orchestra, when different instruments make one harmonious sound together. That’s the feeling I have for Cornaline. After a few hours a caramelized, lightly burned and balmy benzoin appears and introduces an oriental touch to the fragrance. Musk strikes by adding a carnal sensation of naked bodies emanating with animalic lust. There’s some wildness to it! Finally everything is topped with a dash of vanilla – more balsamic than sweet. It smells heady like a summer night.

Cornaline, the latest work of Anatole Lebreton was one of the perfumes I immediately liked after I tried it for the first time. It immediately brough an image of a shy girl who is dancing in her long dress made of cherry-colored fabric. She dances alone hoping someone would notice her. It’s like an invitation to a summer love story. That’s what this perfume is to me. It’s funny, easygoing and smells intriguing. It’s slightly more feminine but I don’t care and I’m going to use up my large sample. Cornaline is an eau de parfum, has good longevity and medium sillage. It comes in 50 ml bottle.

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