Monday, June 09, 2008

Le Labo Fleur d'Oranger 27

I'm a huge fan of orange blossom, and I think this particular one is extraordinarily pretty. I don't know which I love more: Le Labo Jasmin 17 or this one, Fleur d'Oranger 27. Unfortunately, I can't seem to wear the Fleur d'Oranger well because it dries down to a very intense flowery floral on me. It's hard to explain why I can wear Caron Narcisse Noir yet somehow I find this challenging. For comparison, it dries down to something akin to a heavy tuberose such as Creed Fleurissimo or Caron Tubereuse (not that I can't wear any tuberose because I certainly can, but these are particularly flowery-intense on me). However, the opening is so fresh and sweet, simply gorgeous! I must revisit it in cooler weather--it's going up to 97F in NYC today--a near record high!

Orange blossom is a sweet (candy-like) tropical white floral aroma, indolic like jasmine or tuberose, heady and narcotic/intoxicating, but orange blossom has a slightly orangey-citric, sweet but sharp and sparkling character rather than a creamy or buttery tone. You may have smelled orange blossom in perfumes such as Mülhens 4711, Caron Narcisse Noir, Kate Spade, Jean Paul Gaultier, Boucheron and Clementine perfume oil. Still other perfumes containing orange blossom are L'Artisan Parfumeur La Chasse aux Papillons and Marc Jacobs Blush. Orange blossom is one of the staples in perfumery, understandably so because of its highly fragrant, pleasant-smelling nature. This beautiful orange blossom blend of 27 notes called Le Labo Fleur d'Oranger 27 is nicely toned down, not too brash although sumptuous, and one of the loveliest scents I've recently come across. Even with 27 notes within the blend, it smells to me like a soliflore, like a slightly deepened or enriched orange blossom but not as heavy as, say, Narcisse Noir or Jean Paul Gaultier, but heavier than 4711 and Blush. It's the essence of pure Spring. Launched in 2006, it's listed as a shared fragrance between men and women.

I love Fleur d'Oranger Provençal candies, a good indication I would also like orange blossom as a scent to wear. Orange blossom water (eau de fleur d'oranger) is often used in French (and in general, Mediterranean / Middle Eastern) recipes, adding a nice flavor in foods, tea and desserts. Orange blossoms from the orange tree are native to China and Southeast Asia, which is why the orange is known in Dutch and German as "Chinese apple". Orange blossoms, symbolizing purity, are also traditional bridal flowers in many parts of the world.

Neroli, the steam-distilled version rather than the absolute, smells wonderful with lighter citric notes although it is often interchangable with orange blossom in perfumery. It's named for the Princess of Nerola of the 17th century who used it to scent her gloves.

(Edited to add): I love it and think I will get some from Le Labo soon! The heaviness I detect is probably the musk base, but today, it doesn't seem overwhelming to me. It's been so hot, it seems whatever I spritz on just evaporates. Here are the notes listed on their website: "floral and lemony notes, rounded out by musk and the succulent, sunny touches of bergamot, petit grain and lemon."