Tag Archives: Nicolai Parfumeur Createur

Tuesday Neroli Showdown

For a very long time I dreamed of smelling niche perfume thinking that Poland wasn’t the country where such brands would like to grow their business. When I finally discovered that I was wrong and that there’s a place for niche here, I started exploring. One of the very first smells that fascinated me was the smell of neroli – the essence of orange flowers water distillation. I found this scent that can be icy, cold, floral or even metallic, very intriguing. I learned a lot since then, my tastes changed but neroli is still my sentiment and I always crave for a good one, especially in the summer.

Nicolai-Neroli-Intense-Visual

In 2018 Patricia de Nicolai initiated what the brand was calling as a ‘year of neroli’. First she created Cap Neroli which I already reviewed. Later in the same year she decided to release one more neroli perfume but this time it was supposed to highlight the intensity of this white flower. Neroli Intense begins with a full spectrum of colors and impressions. At first the bouquet is powerful & heady – indolic almost like jasmine flowers. For a brief moment it’s cold to the point it feels almost metallic. After a few minutes it mellows down, neroli becomes softer, rounder and citrus-fruity notes come to play. Sweet juice of orange, mouth-watering scent of mandarin and a bit of zestiness from rinds of both are especially charming on my skin. Addition of tarragon introduces a delicate contrast that is slightly herbal and hay-like. Heart of Neroli Intense is simply overflowing with floral radiance. Here we have orange blossom which is softer & more floral than neroli. Any time I smell it, I just want to smile. Patricia also worked with pittosporum blossom but I’m not familar with its scent. What I can smell though is a fleshy verdancy of sun-caressed leaves – petitgrain does a great job here by providing some share where you can hide. Drydown of this composition is still very flowery and citrusy (orange-y especially) but there’s now a beeswax accord that makes the base more solid, less airy and diffusive. Patchouli adds depth without having much impact on ‘neroliness’ of Neroli Intense. Musk is used for some sensuality and better staying power. It’s a very well done scent!

flamenco-neroli

L’Orchestre, a brand established in 2017, present an interesting approach of combining music with perfumery and each of their fragrances is interpreted with a unique music piece. Where perfumer – Anne-Sophie Behaghel in this case, imagined neroli, a musician imagined the sounds of flamenco. Flamenco Neroli is the smell of purity and freshness. It has a gentle, clean opening that is relatively soapy. After a couple of minutes it becomes more vibrant thanks to citrus notes of bergamot and bitter orange that give more color and sweet juiciness to the perfume. Ginger which appears a little bit later adds a nice, refreshing fizziness that also reveals a twist – a light lemony spiciness after some time. Heart of Flamenco Neroli is very pretty and has a summer floral vibe to it. If compared side by side it would be pretty similar to Nicolai’s one but latter one would be slightly stronger. Couple of hours later a citrus undertone in this perfume becomes slightly chalky but this serves only as a transition phase that leads us towards woody drydown notes. This part focuses on cedar in two variants – from Virginia and from Atlas. The scent is obviously woody, dry-ish and not as smooth as it has place in Neroli Intense. Woodiness makes it more rough and with uneven surface. When this perfume dries down it becomes more masculine in my opinion. But overally this is a soft, dreamy take on neroli, I would love my bedsheets to smell like that every single night.

Do we have a winner of this small neroli showdown? Probably not because some of you will find Neroli Intense by Nicolai to be more appealing while to a different group it’ll be L’Orchestre Flamenco Neroli. Whatever your choice might be, both of these fragrances are great and worth recommending if you like the note. Were I to chose a winner for myself here I would go with Nicolai as I think it would cut through the summer heat in a nicer way. These 2  are eau de parfum and while Neroli Intense comes in 30, 100 and 250 ml bottles, Flamenco Neroli comes only in 100 ml flacon.

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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.

cap-neroli

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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