Right now colognes seem to be out of favor with the market. This always surprises me since colognes seem like such a wonderful option for many people. They’re often largely natural, they’re light, they offend very few, and yet look at Andy Tauer trying to get the Cologne du Maghreb into circulation. Apparently, that’s an uphill battle.
Citrus florals are one of the types of fragrance I end up being an advocate for, and the odd reason is that although the rest of the world tends to dislike strong perfume, I think the perfume world tends to dislike weak fragrance. However good citrus perfumes aren’t non-fragrances, they’re simply at the light end of the fragrance keyboard. And there used to be lots of beautiful perfume etudes that never hit a low note.
Consider the short lived Very Valentino with its citrus magnolia accord over jasmine, roses and woods, or Bill Blass’ Basic Black, with lemon friendly spices such as coriander and cardamom following a mandarin citrus lift-off. Pretty, elegant, and very workable by daylight these scents were highly unlikely to get you into the “s/he wears too much fragrance to the office dog house”. Along with others in the same genre: Quartz, Eau de Givenchy, and Hermes Amazone, they were versatile and discreet.
More recently you could find slightly floral tart fragrances done particularly well by Annick Goutal and Jo Malone. Lime Basil and Mandarin, Verbenas of Provence (although this may be discontinued). And among the Goutals, Eau du Sud was almost as good as Eau d’Hadrian, and stayed good long after Hadrian went dormant. I love and mention Jean Nate from time to time because that’s so attractive, and so cheap. What’s not to like?
New stuff appears less plentiful, just because this whole branch of perfumery looks to be out right now. But Jeffrey Dame is releasing a number of new scents for women and among them there are two that sound promising if you like your florals light: Passionfruit, Orange Blossom & Vetiver, and Verbena, Freesia & Musk. There is Andy’s latest, which is already getting good reviews, so something for the picayune amongst us in Cologne du Magheb and then there’s Vero Kern’s Mito in extract for the full on floral lovers, said to be the near relation of Chanel’s Cristalle and Guerlain’s Chamade. Me, I’m going to try any of them I can lay hands on, and also Neil Morris’ Zephyr: tangerine and papaya,
then honeysuckles and Casablanca lilies, boxed in sandalwood and amber. How off could that be? I’ve yet to meet a bad Neil Morris scent. So even though the summer workaday floral is not really back yet, there are some perfumes in production that may fill its empty espadrilles.