My love affair with citrus scents is a long-standing one. As much as I love to put my nose deep into the petals of of a rose bush, it is not a fragrance that I wear on my skin. It does not sit well with me, even when blended with other notes that I enjoy, rose somehow does not float my boat. Citrus on the other hand has always been my fragrance of choice. Grapefruit, lemon and bergamot are beautifully sharp zesty and crisp … but I would much rather smell like oranges then lemons. The reason that the different parts of the plant smell different is because they contain a different make up of volatile compounds in each extraction
As I have delved deeper into fragrance I have learned that the bitter orange tree (Citrus aurantium) is one of the most utilised plants in fragrance. The blossom, depending on how it is distilled either gives you heady neroli or sweet orange blossom notes. The twigs from the bitter orange tree give you pettigrain and the bitter orange fruit peel give brigarade – an oil that is used in perfumery aromatherapy and skincare.
This plant is worthy of my obsession and it no surprise that somehow in almost every fragrance that I am drawn to, there is some part of the bitter orange plant in the blend. Whether a top or a heart note, a white floral or a citrussy cologne be it a candle, reed diffuser or fragrance, if it has pettigrain, neroli or orange blossom in it, – I will definitely love it and will more than likely buy it. To celebrate my obsession, to document new fragrances as I discover them most importantly give me yet another reason to buy fragrance I am going to talk about a fragrance which features a part of the bitter orange plant every month for the next twelve months.
I am starting with a now discontinued fragrance that was such an important part of my life, I am constantly in search of an approximation of it every time I smell anything called ‘Neroli’.
L’Occitane Neroli Eau De Parfum
This is my all time favourite fragrance. Ever. Sadly it has been discontinued but for a period of five years between 2001 and 2006 this was my most repurchased and most worn fragrance. I mourn it every time I visit a L’Occitane store. During this period I did not have any on-line presence but if I had, it would have been on my Instagram page every week. I had returned to London after living in Spain – I was broke and heartbroken but once I discovered this fragrance and never looked back. It was a confident, powerful and sexy fragrance that was strong without being overpowering. The fragrance helped me fake it til I made it once I spritzed the deep amber nectar onto my skin. It had amazing longevity, modest silage and smelt fan-bloody-tastic. I quickly got a job, and eventually got over the Spanish boy and Neroli was my signature scent. Don’t ask me what the notes are because I can’t tell you. (well it had neroli in it) All I know is nothing compares to it. I am kicking myself for not hoarding it once I discovered it was discontinued as I refuse to pay hundreds of pounds for it when it occasionally turns up on ebay. I am eagerly waiting for someone, somewhere to create a fragrance that can steal an equally large piece of my heart. L’Occitane Neroli Eau de Parfum is where my neroli obsession started.
Next month a neroli fragrance heavy weight and a couple of lighter options.