Soon, Seattle will have its one week of spring followed by a long, hot, dry summer (such is the new 'normal' in the climate-changing world). As I gear up for warm weather, I start to test citrus-y Eaux de Cologne, looking for refreshing, sparkling, natural-smelling perfumes to wear when the going gets sultry. These fragrances need not last longer than 10 minutes: I use them most right out of the shower (before putting on a stronger perfume) or at bedtime (when long-lasting fragrances are verboten).
Comme des Garçons has reissued its
1994 1996 Eau de Cologne as part of the Olfactory Library series. Perfumer Mark Buxton developed Eau de Cologne as a lighter version of his Comme des Garçons Eau de Parfum; the brand describes the cologne as...
...a light, fresh and dynamic fragrance, a 'feel good energy giving' scent. The bottom note is based on the original perfume Eau de Parfum with added citrus fruit and flower based fragrances. The underlying Amber gives it weight and strength. Finally comes the bouquet of freesia, magnolia and rose flowers.
Right out of the bottle, Eau de Cologne smells fizzy-fuzzy, a lightweight, citrus-infused amber. Up next, is barber-meets-medicine man in character, a mix of spicy-herbal, bay rum and clove-y aromas. If you tried Comme des Garçons Eau de Parfum you will recognize the kinship between cologne and parfum. What was "adult-strength" syrup is now diluted to create a child-safe tincture. I wore original Eau de Parfum but can't say I enjoyed it (I appreciated it); I like this lightweight version better.
As Eau de Cologne dries down, I smell faint, smoky sandalwood and a vegetal-floral musk. On me, Eau de Cologne wears more like an Eau de Toilette. If you're the type who goes into amber withdrawal in spring and summer, give this sheerer version a shot. Eau de Cologne's extreme dry down reminds me of the comfortable/cozy scent of wool sweaters and scarves that have held on to rich, oriental perfumes. Eau de Cologne does not fit my Eau de Cologne sweet spot (it's too strong and long-lasting), but I can see wearing it as a fragrance day or night, dressy or casual, in any season.
Comme des Garçons Olfactory Library Eau de Cologne is $95 for 50 ml.
Oriza L. Legrand is a favorite perfume house of mine (and I'm addicted to their soaps) and that's why Cologne Extra-Vielle* is a major disappointment — it screeches in a vile synthetic language you'll recognize from cheap shampoo and conditioner scents found at the Dollar General store; that's fine if you're paying a dollar for this cologne, not so fine to pay almost $200 for it. Every fragrance note is stunningly ugly...I could not wait to wash it off.
Oriza L. Legrand Cologne Extra-Vielle comes as a set: each set includes a 250 ml splash bottle and a 50 ml (refillable) spray bottle (you get 300 ml total for $195).
* Fragrance notes of bergamot, lemon, rosemary, bigarade, orange peel, orange blossom, citron, neroli, lavender.
Note: top image of Citrus limon: Corsican [cropped] by Deborah Griscom Passmore, 1840-1911, via USDA Pomological Watercolors.