Neroli, oh Neroli, what have you done to me that you have me wrapped about your delicate petals.
Before I dwell into the fragrance let me first explain this magical ingredient that I seem just about obsessed with of late. I have (temporarily) tossed my long-standing affection for roses to be deeply infatuated with this sweet, aromatic and softly floral note.
Neroli is a plant oil derived from the white blooms of the Bitter Orange plant, which is the reason why it usually goes by two names – Neroli or Orange Blossom. However the name Neroli, is somewhat an honorrific status given to this particular scent because in the 17th Century, the Princess of Nerola, Italy (Anne Marie Orsini) favored this fragrance, perfuming her bath and gloves with it.
So, with all that history said and done, let’s move on to L’OCCITANE’s take on Neroli, infused with a french flair.
Joining L’OCCITANE’s La Collection de Grasse is this exquisiutely beautiful fragrance that is… actually a little difficult to describe.
I am in no way a scent expert but I do like to write perfume entries because I feel it allows me to be… free. Very much like the abstractness of perfume ads, it’s always about the flow of the scent, the fluidity (or not) of how they transit, meld and work together to invoke the best of each other.
But of course not all perfumes are a delight to describe with some being way too complex to word and are best experienced for yourself.
In a way, Neroli & Orchidee is exactly like that.
For one, it isn’t extremely complex or very ‘cult’. It is simply a very very beautiful scent.
Describing it this simply is not doing it enough justice so I shall try to put it in some abstract context on the sort of emotions, and invoked thoughts that come to mind when this fragrance wafts by me.
This fragrance is a true beauty, radiant and lifting while being perfectly demure and calm all the same.
It brings to mind a poised individual with many facades, though notably someone a little older than their teens because of the soft musky aspect, though don’t think this wears heavily (ala Fleur d’Or & Acacia).
The scent wears pretty linear on me but given how beautiful it starts off and continues to wear (on my body chemistry), I don’t mind that aspect of it.
One intriguing and, well, beautiful (how many times have I used this?) aspect of this fragrance is how softly and yet evidently it lingers.
It isn’t an overpowering scent on, unlike (Penhaligon’s) Ellenisia for example, and what it does is work as a perfect ‘aura’ around you in as subtle a way possible.
I have gotten people asking “what’s that nice smell” when I am close by them instead of a “what perfume are you wearing?”. For some, who prefer their fragrances to work in the background a little, this is perfect.
As for the lasting ability, this lasts extremely well on me be it through a cool short day or a long and hot day at work. Though it does morph a little towards the end and develop a slightly more powdery, sweet musk edge but it doesn’t fade to nothing nor does it get overpoweringly musky.
While linear in a general observation this scent does have tiny twists and turns, hardly noticeable but still evident if you must pick it out.
The Scent Journey –
Starting with the top notes, the first spritz is very fresh, juicy and pronounced. It starts of vibrant and youthful with the Top Notes of Mandarin and Orange. Yet somehow with these citrus kickers, the scent still remains very creamy and smooth without being overly vibrant or tangy. Citrus scents aren’t something I particularly prefer so I am glad for this.
The Heart Notes kick in very quickly for me, almost immediately after the initial fresh burst, I get the meld of Neroli followed by a warm mix of florals. For the longest time I could not pin-point what this wafting scent was but I believe it could be the fusion of Peach with Lily of the Valley (one of my favorite perfume notes) along with Neroli amping up the warmth of this fruity floral mix. Quick note, perfumes always take a warmer turn on my skin, for some reason. There is apparently Fig Milk within this Heart Note mix but I can’t seem to pick up on it so I presume it has blended beautifully into the mix.
The base notes further play up the soft powdery florals of this as Orchid makes its entrance and blends in with Lily of the Valley, making it a more floral and powdery scent with Iris and Musk warming and sweetening it up. Though thankfully with Neroli still present at this turn, it prevents the scent from turning too sweet or musky / powdery on that it gets a little heavy and sickening.
Instead the blend by this point is absolutely beautiful and lasts well through the day with the florals taking a peek every now and then through the course of wear.
In all, this scent is feminine and soft while having a radiant personality and a soft spunkiness brought about by the strong presence of Neroli.
Overall it is a scent that i highly recommend everyone check out because of how perfectly wearable it is for everyday yet still dressy enough to make everyday feel special.
It is especially beautiful to wear to work, I feel, be it for client meetings or if you will just be within the office. It brings to mind this strong and productive career woman imagery, weird I know, that is confident and no-nonsense when it comes to work but can unwind and have a good laugh with colleagues when need be.
I know, it’s weird but yes, as I said, I think sometimes perfumes are best expressed with some situational imagery. Though of course this is my story, you should give the perfume a whirl and tell me what your story is!
L’OCCITANE’s Néroli & Orchidée Eau de Toilette retails for S$94 (for 75ml) and will be permanent to La Collection de Grasse
Thanks for reading!