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segunda-feira, 21 de agosto de 2017

L’Artisan Parfumeur Histoire d’Orangers : Perfume Review

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This review of Histoire d’Orangers, a fragrance created by perfumer Marie Salamagne for L’Artisan Parfumeur, continues both the Women in Perfumery and The Scents of Tea series.
Annick Goutal’s Néroli was one of my favorite orange blossom perfumes. I loved its graceful, lighter than sea-foam character paired with its robust lasting power, and it made me content. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a limited edition and the Cologne version that replaced it was pretty but flimsy. Until I discovered L’Artisan’s Histoire d’Orangers this summer, I’ve been rationing my last few drops of Néroli.
On the face of it, I shouldn’t have had trouble finding a replacement for a simple orange blossom cologne. They’re a dime a dozen. You can have a bottle for a couple of euros (Roger & Gallet Bois d’Orange) or for a couple of hundred (Tom Ford Néroli Portofino). But as my perfumery teacher Sophia Grojsman says, nothing is more difficult than a simple thing. Many orange blossom colognes smelled either too pale (Jo Malone Orange Blossom), too dry (Hermès Eau d’Orange Verte), too flashy (the aforementioned Tom Ford), or just not right (Houbigant Oranger en Fleurs). The beauty of Annick Goutal’s Néroli was that it captured all the facets of the real thing, like the honeyed softness, indolic tang, and green sharpness, but made them refined and velvety. Every time I picked up the bottle and pressed the nozzle, I imagined a shower of white petals brushing my skin.
Histoire d’Orangers comes so close to conveying this feeling that I can bid goodbye to Néroli. Perfumer Marie Salamagne who worked on L’Artisan’s perfume is a perfect nose for the task. Her style is elegant, but without an overly dainty, fussy impression. She confesses to associating colors with scents, and as you try Histoire d’Orangers, notice how easy it is to become a synesthete.  At first, the blossoms of Histoire d’Orangers appear green and so translucent that you can almost see the fine veins. As the perfume warms up, the blossoms become yellow and sweeter. Wait a bit longer, enjoying the petal rainfall, and the pallor of the flowers will be tinged here and there by a deep orange. Even in the drydown where the orange flower is usually exhausted, Histoire continues to hum its luminous floral tune.
Histoire d’Orangers doesn’t turn too heavy or too indolic. The tea accord gives the orange blossom a fresh sensation, but it still feels velvety and soft. It’s a cologne with the lingering plushness of a parfum.
Sometimes in my perfume courses I’m asked why if the natural essences are so delightful, why can’t we just dilute, say, orange blossom absolute or neroli essence and wear them? Of course, we can, and I sometimes do. But the beauty of a true perfume is its very unnaturalness. It crosses into the realm of fantasy, allowing me to experience not only the beautiful scent but also its creator’s idea of it. I’m after a painting and not a digital snapshot. Histoire fulfills that craving. It’s an orange blossom painted by Matisse.
To be worn by men and women–beauty doesn’t discriminate.
L’Artisan Parfumeur Histoire d’Orangers includes notes of neroli, white tea, orange blossom, musk, tonka bean, and amber (ambroxan).
Although I’m happy with Histoire d’Orangers, it doesn’t mean that I don’t want to continue exploring other orange blossoms. So, please share your favorites.
Image via L’Artisan website

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