Eau Yes!

I’m off to Paris on Tuesday, but I wanted to do one more post before I left, on and cologne-ish scents.

Several separate ideas came together and prompted this.  First off, there was Mr. Lutens’ declaration that he hates cologne, coupled with the release of his new Eau (which I still haven’t tried.)   Second is my general, inevitable browse in Sephora and Nordstrom, in which I am reminded once again that people who don’t want their perfumes to smell like fruitchouli, cupcakes or laundry detergent want them to smell like, essentially, nothing.  Very light.  Very fleeting.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  I have some musks that are fairly light, some favorite skin scents.  I also have some colognes I like.  I find them cheerful, and (winter or summer) there are certain days that nothing else will do.

So join me – let’s make a list, with room for debate, of our favorite colognes.  I am going to create some rules guidelines (there are no rules on the Posse) which I’ll probably violate as well.   For the purposes of this post, let us define “cologne” as that light, refreshing, sorta-citrusy, kinda-herbal-y stuff that comes in bottles large and small, tends to be rather short-lived, and is exemplified on the cheap end by 4711 Kolnisch Wasser – which must surely be one of the “original” colognes, if not the original (this wiki article gives some interesting historical info)  – and on the expensive end by, say, the Chanel Les Exclusifs cologne.  You know the deal: bergamot, petitgrain, citrus, neroli, herbs ‘n spices….

So:  the eau de cologne strength of, say, Bal a Versailles (which smells intensely animalic, thanks for asking!) does NOT qualify as a “cologne” for the purposes of today’s discussion.  There are huge gray areas we can argue over: like, does it have to be technically a cologne (as opposed to an EdT)?  If it has oakmoss in the base, is it disqualified?  What should we categorize as a “cologne” if we’re not going to be hung up on technicalities but are instead aiming for the refreshing cologne effectDior Eau Noire, in my book, is too interesting/weird/long-lasting to qualify, although as a fragrance it’s fabulous, I love that immortelle. We might leave out the ones that are a wee bit too redolent of armpit/civet (Guerlain Mouchoir de Monsieur.)  And I adore Annick Goutal’s weird/fabulous and rather hard to find Eau de Monsieur, but between the immortelle and the oakmoss, I’m not sure I can endorse it as a nice, refreshing summer scent.

I keep a huge bottle of 4711 in the fridge most summers to splash on in the heat.  Our Greek barber has it on his counter; I love it.  I’m sure for some of you, 4711 must be like eating a Tastykake cupcake when you might just as well be having some tarte tatin (or some Guerlain Cologne du 68, which I would really like to own).  I’d like to include Dior’s Escale a Portofino, which to me smells like a citrusy cologne with an interesting nutty twist, but that musk lasts forever (and it’s also an EDT)… so perhaps not?  Do we include Dior Eau FraicheMalle BigaradeAnnick Goutal HadrienJean Nate?  The Mugler cologne?  You tell me.  Where do you think we should draw the line?  There are lots of “splashes” that are quite light but don’t smell anything like traditional cologne (examples: most of the Marc Jacobs splashes).  Do those count?  Finally, do you have a favorite cologne?  What is it?

PS I bought an old bottle of Chloe EDT for about 2 cents on eBay – seller says it’s her bottle dating from roughly 1980 and kept in a closet.  The top’s degraded a little, but I got more of the aldehydes that I remember, and really – that drydown, in all its retro-70s glory, makes me smile.  I refreshed a couple of my mother-in-law’s items.  The ghost of Chloe lives on.

  • karin says:

    Have never tried them, but what about all of the Marc Jacobs splashes?

  • Kristin Sargent says:

    I always liked Jean Marie Farina’s Extra Veille (sp)put out through Roger & Gallet. It’s getting more difficult to find nowadays, but, for an Eau, it was pretty saucy. I also liked Dior’s Escale a Pondichery light fleeting, beautiful. Might be a bit much in the heat, but, O de Lancome has that lovely citrus punch and the chypre drydown to die for.

    • March says:

      The Extra Vieille I used to have the soaps of! I forgot about that one. I liked it very much as a soap. And O de Lancome is on here above as a favorite as well.

  • barbara says:

    Hadrien,Hermes amazone eau,portofino,JM Orange Blossom, and Aqua di Parma(the bit of patchouli makes it wonderful in the evening)Annick’s Chevrefuille or Quel Amour(I can wear the peonies in my backyard all summer)…bon voyage-bonne chance and happy Paris sniffing….

    • March says:

      Thanks, I’m looking forward to it! And it appears that most of the scents on your list are much-loved by others on here as well…

  • Lisa D says:

    I’m opting for Guerlain’s Aqua Allegoria Mandarine Basilic, which falls perfectly into the “sorta-citrusy, kinda-herbal-y stuff” category. Very juicy. As Nava mentioned above with Herba Fresca, the lasting power of M-B is better than cologne (or, it could be that I tend to spritz just a bit too much of it on in the summer heat).

    • March says:

      I like those citrusy Guerlains, plus there’s the bonus of how beautiful the bottles are!

      • Ann N. says:

        Oooh, yummy — I forgot just how dee-lightful the Mandarine is! Gotta go hustle up my decants of this great juice. Thanks, Lisa, for the fragrant reminder!

  • aotearoa says:

    When I was a little girl my Father travelled a great deal – I remember two things he brought back from “overseas” = my first watch and some of those really small bottles of 4711 with the tiny red caps. I still love that smell for memories….
    Bois des Isles might as well be cologne on me for all I can smell it – faintly scented water – I think it crosses the guideline boundaries though.
    Possibly too late to wish you a great trip – you’re probably firmly located in a Patisserie as I write.
    Ah,that lovely feeling of anticipation.

    • March says:

      For years and years I always had one of those small red-capped bottles of 4711 in my travel bag — in fact, I did until I picked up my perfume habit. :”> Maybe it’s time to reinvest. I’ve no doubt they can be picked up online.

      Nope, not too late — leaving tomorrow!

  • Madea says:

    I love Florida Water and Sanbourne’s Orange Flower cologne. They’re about five dollars apiece, and both last a surprisingly long time. I get mine at Walgreens.

  • Nava says:

    Has anyone mentioned Guerlain Acqua Allegoria Herba Fresca yet? I’ve always loved this one, and the lasting power has always been much better than a traditional cologne. I’ve always thought of it as the fragrance equivalent of sticking your head in the freezer on a really hot day. The mint, herbal and citrus are so perfect together.

    Other faves of mine: Escale a Portofino, AG Eau d’Hadrien, Philosophy Pure Grace and Bond Scent of Peace. None of these are traditional eau de cologne type fragrances, but they all have that vibe, and they last longer. EDC has always annoyed me because of its fleeting nature. Just another of my many peccadilloes.


    • Nava says:

      Forgot one: Fresh Sugar. Need a new bottle of this desperately!

    • March says:

      Yep, Fresca is on here several times, as is Escale! I do think Escale and Hadrien count, for sure, they have that cologne-y vibe. Pure Grace — it’s funny, I can’t remember what it smells like!

  • maggiecat says:

    Ditto on Escale a Portofino, one of my great loves. On me, it’s very long-lasting, so I didn’t think of it as an “eau” but technically I guess it is. I’m glad to see others love citrus scents as I do!

    • March says:

      It’s an all day scent on me, two sprays. I’m always surprised when people complain it’s fleeting. Although the citrusy top does fade.

  • allabouteve says:

    Hi everybody!
    my one and only FB real cologne-cologne is spanish “Hierbas de Ibiza”, which I heard is sold for $$$ over there in the States and is cheap over here (100ml about 30 euros..ummm,that’s considered “free”,right?!:d ) It’s the only one I really “shower” in,only used in summer,because it’s nice,but tremendously boring (why are these citrus type frags so underrated and generally unloved? (I’m including myself..)?)
    Oh..and I also plan to use, in a cologne-ish way,my decant of Le Labos Tuberose 40 (terrific!Funny as it may seem,hardly tuberose, mostly citrus-floral..and with an astonishing longevity on me..the price is a shame,though), my 7,5 ml “bottle” of By Kilian’s “Prelude to Love”(yeah,I know,this one’s definitely NOT free at all, but another great juicy citrus-cologne (I get lots of neroli)),Jicky in edt..and my decant of Eau de Guerlain (have not spritzed yet)..and that’s about it.
    Maybe..only maybe..I’ll go for a bottle of “cologne” like the Mugler, Escale a Portofino…or a Bulgari tea (white?)…
    Have a terrific time in Paris!!

    • March says:

      Thanks for the good wishes! I like all the Bulgari teas, particularly the white. And I’ll keep an eye peeled for Hierbas de Ibiza, which sounds like fun.

  • AnnieA says:

    Ditto on the Carthusia Mediterraneo, even if the tea note is a little stronger than under classic cologne definition. As for actual items kept in the fridge there is Demeter Tomato, or rather “tomato leaf”.

    • allabouteve says:

      hey, talking about tomato leafs..just remembered I got a large sample of Eau de Campagne…..that’s another good one!

    • March says:

      I wonder if the Mediterraneo is as good as it used to be? I always worry about reformulations…

      • AnnieA says:

        The bottle I’d bought in January was nice and lemony, but it was on sale at Holts, which for them usually is an indication they are discontinuing a line completely.

  • Austenfan says:

    My absolute favourite cologne is Eau de Guerlain. That drydown makes me smile and think of summermeadows full of flowers. I own all 4 of the classic Guerlain colognes, love all of them, but the E de G is the best.
    Other Colognes I think are wonderful:
    Eau d’Orange Verte
    Eau du Sud
    Eau de Monsieur!!
    Eau de Cartier
    Mugler Cologne
    Cologne Cédrat ( PdN)
    Eau de Rochas

    I love citrus, and I love colognes

    Have a wonderful trip to Paris!
    A really nice museum, very small, but interesting is the Musée Zadkine. It’s on the Left Bank. Went there last August.

  • violetnoir says:

    Have a wonderful trip, darling March!

    All hail the ghosts of Chloe!


  • Robin R. says:

    Wow. To actually write “I’m off to Paris on Tuesday. . .” and have it be the truth! Bon Voyage and a big hug to you guys.

    • March says:

      Yeah, getting my nails done just took a huge chunk of time out of my afternoon … hehe … I’m already on mental vacation.

  • karin says:

    Cologne à la Française is the only so-called “cologne” I have, and I’m anxious to try others. Mentioned in another thread that I recently purchased Escale à Portofino unsniffed – wore it once and got the horrible lemon-scented cleaner effect. Ugh. Will give it a few more tries.

    One other scent I own that I may throw into the cologne category – PdN’s Eau Turquoise. Unusual take on a summery fruity floral.

    • March says:

      That Turquoise is very nice, and fun. And sorry Portofino was such a dud on you — you could probably unload it. 🙁

  • Jarvis says:

    I will only add that Patricia d Nicolaï has some wonderful colognes. Cologne Sologne is all euphoric neroli. green and sharp in that steam-distilled orange blossom way. And her Eau de Cologne Cedrat (and also Cedrat Intense) is very nice as well, with an unexpected spiciness and a woody base.

    Chanel’s Eau de Cologne is my go-to cologne. It has unexpectedly indolic touches of jasmine lurking in there, and also a soupçon of the smoky vetiver of Sycomore.

    I feel like Dior Eau Fraîche and Eau Sauvage deserve a shout out, although they complicate things with the addition of oakmoss in the base. But then if you include them, do you also include Chanel Pour Monsieur? Where does hesperidic cross the line into chypré?

    • Tommasina says:

      “Where does hesperidic cross the line into chypré?”

      Ah, J – there’s the question!

    • March says:

      Funny you should ask … when I look stuff up on Fragrantica (and for all I know, Michael Edwards) there’s this fine line between “citrus aromatic” and “woodsy chypre” or something similar. A bunch of men’s fragrances skirt that line. And I do think that, technically, a smellable dosage of oakmoss will dump you into the chypres. But when I think of chypre, I don’t think of Eau Sauvage, you know?

  • Tommasina says:

    March, I’m glad to hear (read) you sounding so much more cheerful than your previous post: hooray for upcoming trips to Paris!

    I’ve not much time right now; but, FWIW, here’s a quick list of my favorite fumes of the sort that I *think* fit into your category:

    – Panthere Eau Legere
    – Eau de Cartier
    – Herba Fresca
    – VC&A First Premier Bouquet
    – Cologne Blanche (or is this too soft?)
    – Cologne a la Russe (same question)
    – 4711 (of course)
    – Mugler Cologne
    – Eau Premiere
    – Infusion d’Iris (I imagine that some may baulk at my listing these 2)
    – Roger & Gallet Extra Vieille
    – Elizabeth Arden Eau Fraiche
    – Lalique Tendre Kiss probably can’t qualify, as it’s rose; but it’s such a light, refreshing, peppery rose (on my skin, anyway~) that it goes in my personal pantheon of light stuff
    – since I’m in Lalique, then Eau de Lalique is a must
    – Brin de Reglisse, Gentiane Blanche + Pamplemousse Rose
    – Un Jardin en Med.
    – since I’m in ‘bitters’, how about LV Yerbamate?
    – Limone di Sicilia

    *embarrassed cough* Well, so much for brevity: it seems I have rather more favorite colognes than I knew…

    Have a fabulous time in Paris!

  • BPerf says:

    Oh my – here is my topic. I love fresh and citrusy, although I am not sure whether all of my preferred scents would make it into the cologne category. Concentre D’Orange Verte and Eau De Pamplemousse Rose, Bvlgari The Vert, All three Hermes Jardins (Apres la Mousson current favorite). Acqua Di Parma. Oh my, all JCE :”> I’ll add Boucheron Pour Homme.
    I have to get Bigarade…

    • March says:

      That’s a very nice list, although I’m not sure I’m giving a pass on the Jardins, no matter how much they’re loved by me and others! They’re stronger! :d

  • DinaC says:

    One of my grandmothers wore Jean Nate as her signature scent. I think I might need to get a bottle for this coming summer. Sounds so refreshing, and it will bring back good memories.

    I love wearing the Escale a Portofino come hot, humid days. It is very cologne-ish on me in terms of lasting power. And since it was relatively affordable, I re-spritz often. I also like the lightness of the L’Occitane The Vert. They have versions with mint and jasmine, but I prefer the plain one. Oh, and how about Vetiver Pour Elle? Above, someone mentioned Vetiver, which is also nice in summer. I really like Vetiver Pour Elle.

    I gave my son the Mugler cologne for Christmas, but he hasn’t worn it much yet. I may have to borrow a few squirts of that as well.

    • Shelley says:

      Ah! Forgot the The Vert with Jasmine. Perked up a walk through Georgetown when I visited DC a couple of years ago…got some when I came home, and now it’s my “DC refresh.”

    • March says:

      I can’t remember the L’Occitane! I should go resmell it. Vetiver Pour Elle is perhaps even more cologne-y than the original, eh? Kind of sparkly.

      I might have to get a bottle of Jean Nate this summer!

    • Joe says:

      Hey, the original L’Occitane Thé Vert is great… it can verge on a tad sweet, but it sure does last and last. I need to pull my vat of that down soon. It needs some love.

      • March says:

        Do they still make it? They annoy me sometimes by discontinuing things I like (sigh. Doesn’t everyone!)

        • Joe says:

          Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s one of their staples… at least for now. But you know as soon as you get ready to buy some (because it’s been around for-ev-er) it will be gone. :-w

  • Shelley says:

    Balmain de Balmain works as a cologne for me…sort of? Oooh, this is tricky. It is refreshing-ish, so that’s why I bring it up.

    Eau de Patou. :(( Why did you leave????? Thar’s pepper in them hills! :-< You know I'm going to toss a ring at Jean Nate, too. A half gallon each of Jean Nate cologne and lotion. Defined last summer. With as little air conditioning as possible...a nod up to Musette up there. :)>– I feel like I’m breathing fake air in A/C…I try to avoid until absolutely necessary. (Right there. That avoidance. Domestic skirmishes guaranteed. DH would turn on the air, oh, say, next week if he could.)

    • Musette says:

      I’m going to second your BdB vote. It is refreshing and you can pretty much douse yourself in it without choking out the joint!

      El and I go our separate sleeping ways in the summer, unless it’s simply too hot for anybody to survive w/o AC (last year we had a couple of weeks of pretty terrifying heat). Otherwise he gets the room w/ AC and I go elsewhere. A good night’s sleep (for everybody) trumps anything!

      xo >-)

    • March says:

      Well, thirding on the air conditioning. The cheese and I battle during the summer … he keeps it at meat-locker x( and I prefer it warm…. in fact I think that’s why I like our screened porch so much, I retreat out there often to sit and read and etc. because it’s warm! Anything up to 90 is perfectly fine with me.

  • ScentRed says:

    Unlike others, this post has made me realize that I am a true cologne lover. They excite me. I crave them on occasion.

    # 1 most favorite all purpose, all occasion, all year round cologne:
    AG Eau de Sud

    Other contenders:

    SMN Eva
    Eau de Cartier
    Jardin Sur Nil
    Terre D’Hermes
    Escale a Portofino (although this is darn good in cold weather too)
    Bigarade Concentree (if only it lasted just a smidge longer)

    • March says:

      That Portofino seems to be something of a love/hate; certainly love for me. And as I said upstairs there, I wish Eva were more widely distributed.

      Laughing … Sur Le Nil is HUGE on me. Have no idea why.

  • Lynne1962 says:

    Speaking of Les Eaux, and a wonderful new one is Maison Francis Kurk. Aqua Universalis. Superb! Guess it isn’t technically a cologne,,just an edt,,but has all the ingredients. You can douse yourself via the laundry, light an incense paper, or burn a candle.
    The cologne is FB worthy to me!!

    • March says:

      The MFKs were a lot of fun. I waffle on the AU, which I appreciate in concept, but (on me) has a whiff of laundry that’s not my favorite… not offensive in any way, just not my thang. :)>-

  • maggiecat says:

    I love eaus, especially in Summer. The Chanel is perfect – and Patty, you might also enjoy another ghost of Chloe – the Eau de Fleurs Neroli scent, which i’m wearing today and in serious love. Hadrien, of course, and Guerlain’s AA Laurier Reglisse is delightful as well. I don’t hate the Lutens Eau, but it wasn’t love either (possibly because it was one of the samples I took with me to visit my dad in the hospital before he died, which is a burden no cologne should have to carry. I’ll resample in a few weeks and see). Patty, have a wonderful trip!

    • March says:

      I have that Laurier, and it is lovely. I’m looking forward to trotting all those out soon. And so sorry about your dad.

      Erm, and this is March, btw. Although Patty will no doubt be off to Paris before too long!

  • Christine L. says:

    My favorite cologne is i Profumi di Firenze’s Cedro.
    Have a wonderful time in Paris. I am beyond jealous!!!

  • Zazie says:

    Armpits in Mouchoir de Monsieur? [-(
    My armpits are not that refined!;)

    I’m not exactly the cologne type, if pressed I would say Acqua di Melograno by SMN, l’AP thé pour une été and the classic Hadrien.
    I just bought a bottle of Ninfeo mio, and I would qualify it as “warm cologne”.
    it is very nice, but I am already regretting my purchase…. as I said, I’m not the cologne type…

    • March says:

      Ninfeo Mio is pretty darned strong fig on me, so I can’t throw it in the cologne category, although it does overlap with Hadrien…

  • Meezer Mom says:

    Well….Santa Maria Novella’s Eva was the first thing that came to mind.

    It’s probably my favorite summer scent.

  • waftbycarol says:

    Roger & Gallet Bouquet Imperiale and Laura Tonatto Iss are the only two in my collection that come close to EDC’s…maybe Miller Harris Citron Citron ?
    Sniff everything in Paris for us , and get ahold of some Etat Libre Like This , I’m dying to sniff it ! Bon Voyage Cherie !!

  • Ann N. says:

    Great topic, March! I must second (or third, or whatever) the Guerlain Eau de Fleurs de Cedrat and the divine (although uber-expensive) Chanel Exclusifs Eau. Nobody has yet mentioned the fabulous Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Universalis. Yes, some might say it has that laundry clean thing going on, and yes, you can buy it as a detergent, but I still think it’s lovely and a bit different from other scents out there. Jo Malone’s Orange Blossom Cologne may not qualify, but to me, it’s refreshing as all get-out.
    Glad to hear the ghost of Chloe is alive and kicking! Have a beyond-wonderful trip to lovely Paree and bring us back lots of great stories!

    • March says:

      Cedrat is an overlooked gem, IMO. Although not that overlooked, since it’s mentioned several times on here! And thanks for the good wishes…

  • Susan says:

    For me the Jo Malones are go-to colognes for summer.
    Faves are: French Lime Blossom; Blue Agave; White Jasmine & Mint. All share an old-lady powdery, citrusy accord – but nothing in that line is really offensive except the nasty Rose thing!

  • Rappleyea says:

    I don’t use the true colognes per se, but I enjoy Philtre d’Amour – all citrus and neroli with an interesting myrtle note. Jatamansi also fulfills this category with its fresh lime top and light, fleeting quality.

    Have a wonderful time in Paris! <:-p

    • March says:

      Philtre I love, but (unless you got your bottle for WAY cheaper than I did) I can hardly bear to call it a cologne … 😉 Jatamansi I used up and should get another sample of.

      • Rappleyea says:

        Ack! You’re entirely right on the price. And no, unfortunately I don’t get any deals from B-G.

        • March says:

          I think, per ml, that’s one of the most expensive things I’ve ever bought. :”> I got one of the older ones, NIB on eBay, before the reissue. Not that the reissues were any bargain, that I recall!

  • Erin T says:

    Ah, I see all my suggestions have just shown up in the last few comments: Eau de Rochas (too much interesting patchouli?), Guerlain Eau de Fleurs de Cedrat (must count, or I’ll cry), Carthusia Mediterraneo (surely tea is a cologne ingredient by now?). Those are the ones I own. Well, plus both the disqualified Diors, Eau de Monsieur, DKNY Women (which surely has too much going on), Mugler Cologne and Bigarade. Agree that these are all too “complex”, though I waver a bit on the Eau Fraiche. Must try that Vettiveru. I keep forgetting….

    • Erin T says:

      Ooo, blast, I forgot about one I don’t own, but covet: Humiecki & Graef Eau Radieuse. Definitely too different to qualify as a pure cologne, but interesting to mention in conjunction with the Eau de Serge, cologne-made-over conversation. H & G did a much better job….

      BTW, congrats on Paris!! I keep forgetting to mention this to you and Angela. I’m envious. Wish you the best and keep a food journal for sharing. (I’m thinking of going to Sante Fe for Memorial weekend – any hints other than smelling the russian olive trees?)

      • March says:

        Oh, go! Go! It’s a lovely time of year (Feb – April are really the only “bad” months.) Bring your sunscreen. Eat green chile enchiladas at any restaurant downtown. Are you renting a car? Make a reservo to have a massage at Ten Thousand Waves, on the ski basin road (take a hike first, there are tons up the ski basin road.) It’s a gorgeous, pseudo-Japanese style bathhouse and the whole area smells like pinon &juniper. Go to Jackalope on Cerillos Road, which is like Pier One on hallucinogens, for all your gifting needs. Buy some Cedar Mountain lotion while you’re there to remind you of the smell. And DEFINITELY sniff some Russian olives! Oh — if you rent a car and are driving from Albuq. (the most likely scenario) — ask the car rental people to send you up to Santa Fe the back way via Highway 14, which is very simple to do — I think you drive east for 10 minutes on 40 and then head north, they’ll have a map, lots of people do it. You go through all these groovy hippie towns on the way. Then coming home you can just blast back to the airport on 70 or whatever the interstate # is, I forgot.

    • March says:

      The Cedrat is lovely, and I too am waffling on the Eau Fraiche, so perhaps we should include it. >:d<

  • Olfacta says:

    4711 and O de Lancome. Habit Rouge EDT and L’Aimant, cologne strength. Un Jardin Sud le Nil for a cologne that lasts. Eau de Rochas and Eau de Cartier. Rosine’s Diablo, which I should have a tank full on a pull-cart on July nights.

  • Graham says:

    I’ve only got a few citruses, and it looks like they may not count… So I second (or fifth, sixth, seventh) 4711. I, too, keep it in the fridge primarily for evening after-showers…. so nice when it’s hot. Lessee – would Azzaro Pure Cedrat count?…. Oooo, ooo, I forgot, my decent-sized bottle of Eau de Fleurs de Cedrat from Guerlain. Definitely gonna get more use out of that this summer. Lasts exactly 10.2746 seconds, though. Drawback here in a humid area like southeast VA…. I also have a drugstore fave – Pinaud’s Clubman. Not fancy, but it makes me happy…..

    • March says:

      You know, I’m glad to see all the 4711 love on here today. I thought I was a party of one, frankly. And that Guerlain Cedrat! I own the absolutely UGLIEST bottle from I don’t know when — the cap’s dented, even. And I think it smells like heaven. It does last a bit longer on me, although it’s certainly no powerhouse.

  • zeezee says:

    Hope you have an elephant of a time in Paris!
    Eau de Colognes… still coming ’round to them. Not too fond of citrus, see. The ones I appreciate tend to have something more going on in them.
    So far, the closest I’ve come to really liking a classic one is Acqua di Parma Colonia Assoluta. It has something chewy and floral-soapy that rescues it from being just another squeezed lemon. Also wouldn’t mind owning Diptyque L’Eau de Néroli: very refreshing, just a touch sweet, niiiice. And another one I (quite mistakenly) mentally categorize as an EdC/splash type scent is Etro Anice. Lasts half a second and fares very well in summer heat. If you like Ouzo, that is.

    • March says:

      I’m going to revisit the Diptyques in Paris. And I actually gave a bottle of Anice to my sister in law because it smelled so darn great on her, and she eats a lot of licorice, so the smell reminds me of her … I replaced it with Caron Reglisse 😉

  • Louise says:

    I’m waiiiiting 😡 !

    And on the weather…London is pleasant, a bit rainy, cool in the mornings. I went with the NorthFace. Arrived quasi-intact, pumping the caffeine, awaiting my son’s awakening-of course I came just in time for him to be fighting a wretched coughthing. It’s good to be needed.

    Colognes? Um, don’t really do those…except the Diors, which really aren’t. Colognes.

    I do love Anisia Bella in the heat-and the dry-down is just citrusy enough to maybe count as an Eau, and it lasts :d/

    See you soon, luv @};-

  • Fiordiligi says:

    Bon voyage! Hope you have a fantastic and revitalising time in Gay Paree.

    Colognes? Well, living in a temperate climate I’ve never really understood the attraction, as we never get the Great Heat. Plus, citrus isn’t my thing except as a top note which dissipates rapidly.

    However, a litre or two of Guerlain’s Imperiale in a monogrammed bee bottle would do the trick should I ever feel so inclined. I don’t think the edc version of a “proper” scent counts for the purposes of this discussion. Guerlain used to make edc versions of its scents especially for the US market, you know.

    • March says:

      Thanks. I have a soft spot in my head 😉 for Imperiale, which I think is wonderful. And those bottles are a plus.

  • Julia says:

    I think Institut Très Bien deserves to be mentioned here. Personally I love the fresh and flowery Cologne à la Francaise but I also like Cologne à la Russe, especially in spring before the summer heat. It shares its powdery warmth with Dior Cologne Blanche but without Blanches almondy drydown.

  • ggs says:

    Well Dior Cologne Blanche is more on the herbal powdery side, than the citrus side, but I’m a fan. It is too bad it’s so hard to find though.

    Here’s a vote for Carthusia Mediterraneo. A very nice citrus cologne.

    Or course you can’t go wrong with either Guerlain Cologne 68 and Chanel Eau de Cologne.

  • Wordbird says:

    Ah, colognes… I love them in the summer and use them in the French way to douse myself in regularly during the day and cool off when it’s superhot.

    I think cheap(ish) is the way to go when dousing like that, so I usually stick to my Supermarket Brand favourite: Mont St Michel Ambre, because its citrus but there are lots more spices/amber than usual in an edc. It’s cheap cheap and available all over France – try some while you’re there, March, if you get chance.

    Otherwise there’s the trusty 4711 and the Crabtree and Evelyn Lavender Water, which surely counts as an edc?

    Sadly, I don’t suppose my beloved Eau d’Hermes counts, does it, with all that warm armpittiness? And my summer staple, O de Lancome, is an edt so ruled out by strength.
    Hmm, what about an Eau Fraicheur, whatever that may be, from Les Bains du Marais? I have a lovely one called Soleil de Corse; am I allowed that?

    Have a great trip, March and it’s good to hear the ghost of Chloe is still alive and scenting your house.

    • March says:

      HAH! Yeah, I blogged on the glory of Eau d’Hermes, and people bought a bunch of samps, and then ragged me forever about how hideous it was! That beautiful sweaty smell pretty much disqualifies it. I’ll admit that I like to spray it in the air, so there’s a bit of sweaty-dude vibe in the vicinity.

      You’ve reminded me (there must be a million) I had another Eau Fraicheur by Weil I think which I liked very much!

      Yes, the ghost of Chloe is making me smile. 🙂

  • carter says:

    I own eggsacktly two colognes, and if Eau Fraiche is disqualified, make it one, which would be vintage Cravache edc. And if THAT doesn’t qualify, this is me throwing up my hands in total cologne defeat. Pretend this is a surrender :(|)

    • March says:

      I adore Eau Fraiche. Serious, serious love. But is it like throwing your Louboutins in with your flip flops?

      • carter says:

        What, you don’t have Louboutin flip-flops? @-)

        • Musette says:


          do you remember those wack Jacobs(?) flip-flops @ BNYork 2 seasons ago? I think they were $695. the very same ff, minus the MJ logo, of course, was at Wal-Mart for $11. I got them on clearance for $3./:)

          xo >-)

          • carter says:

            Yup. And then there were the original kitten heel flip-flops Sigerson Morrison — a relative steal at $120. I loved those babies until everyone started copying them.

        • March says:

          Can you imagine? Anyhow, I can no longer flip flop. I can mule a little, and I can ballet flat for a couple hours. 🙁

  • Masha says:

    JC Ellena’s Eau de Lalique is my favorite, and it can be bought for under $20! It lasts a fairly long time, and has a tiny smidge of garden dill, but no pickle vibe. Beautiful! I also love Guerlain’s Herba Fresca, does that count?, and Mugler Cologne.

    • March says:

      Dammit, somebody needs to point me to a bottle of Herba Fresca already! And this might be the summer I buy the Mugler…

  • Joe says:

    Hey! Vettiveru’s a good one, and it’s technically in the CdG “Cologne” series… so there you go.

    What’s the general verdict on the CdG Cologne Anbar? I’m not the biggest amber freak, but for some reason that one was calling to me recently. I think I need a sample.

  • Jared says:

    Oh my, cologne. I am just not a citrus guy, and consequently have not ventured into the cologne realm very much. I mean, what’s the big deal? It’s citrus, and it doesn’t last. What’s the point? Refreshing?? Bah.

    Now, I do own a bottle of Mugler’s Cologne, but it glows greenly in the back and doesn’t get much wear time. Maybe I am just into the “extreme sports” of perfume, those things that pack a punch. I think I belong in the “go big or go home” category, and I like the nasties of patchouli, musk, and those other animal bits. (No, I do not wear Poison in the summer. But on summer nights? Tuberose. Yes, oh God, yes.)

    Guerlain’s Vetiver is basically a cologne to me now. I imagine it used to be quite something, but now it’s soapy and citrusy, so I put it in that category. I also enjoyed CdG’s Vettiveru for that reason. Vetiver takes the place of colognes for me, thanks to that sharp, green quality it has. I even wore Guerlain’s to the beach once and it was great. I drained my sample of the Chanel, and as I said before, I’m go big or go home so that’s the one I’d buy. Maybe I will. And it will last me until well after I’m dead because I’ll probably never wear it.

    Oh, and on a parting note, Bond No. 9’s Fire Island is delightful, so if that counts, bonus.

    • mals86 says:

      Tuberose on summer nights? You come sit next to me. We’ll leave the cologne for everybody else…

      (Okay, okay. I do have a small bottle of 4711 that is for use on hot&achy heads. Via handkerchief, please.)

    • March says:

      That’s funny, I almost included Guerlain Vetiver on this list, and I’m not even the queen of Vetiver, precisely because it feels like it belongs here. It’s very easy to wear and refreshing. I could absolutely see vetiver at the beach.

      Every now and again I trot out a smothering white flower on a hot summer night. Tuberose would be perfect.

      Fire Island I’m going to disallow on the grounds that it belongs in a Beach Post — as to me it smells like fancypants tanning oil and warm skin. :)>-

      • Masha says:

        I’m wearing tuberose right now! (Keiko M’s)- but nobody’s sitting next to me….:((

    • Disteza says:

      I’m there with ya, especially since I destroy most lighter stuff within seconds of application. For me, cologne looks like Mandarin Mandarine, Sous Le Vent, Sycomore, and Vetiver Oriental.

  • Joe says:

    Hey M, I hope you and A & L have an amazing time in Paris. Sniff and eat your hearts out.

    As for colognes, I have several that I love — though I have to say I wouldn’t be sad if I could only use 4711 during the warm months:
    Eau d’Orange Verte; I forget about this more often than I should, but it was one of my first loves in this perfumania journey.
    Eau de Gentiane Blanche.
    Klubwasser, that Austrian thing from Wienerblut.
    AA Herba Fresca.

    Safe journeys! And I can’t wait to hear the stories you all bring back.

    Oh, and March? L’Eau Serge Lutens = 8-x 8-x 8-x b-(

  • Tara says:


    Have a great time in Paris!!!

    I really like Ananas Fizz…It’s light and citrusy..although not exactly a cologne..

  • Suzy Q says:

    Great topic, March. I’m looking forward to reading the comments because colognes are new for me. I’ve tried a few by Diptyque. L’Eau de Tarocco might be great this summer. I adore L’Eau des Hesperides but it may not fit the, uh, guidelines you set. It is long lasting, the immortelle note going on and on. It’s more like an edt.

    I’m happy to hear the ghost of Chloe lives on. Au revoir.

    • Joe says:

      I truly love Tarocco (can’t see how some call it “flat”) and reached for it more than I thought I would last summer and into fall. With the rose & saffron, it’s probably a bit more complex than what might qualify as a true “cologne”. Maybe an Arabesque cologne? And hey, Diptyque seems to call it one, so what do I know.

      The other one I loved and have only sampled once in a boutique was L’Eau de L’Eau. While we’re on Diptyque, to be honest, I’d label Philosykos a cologne because that’s usually the way I use it: as a refreshing spritzer.

      • Erin T says:

        Yay! Love to see the love for the Tarocco! I really liked it, too, but I thought I was the only one. The drydown is a tad fleeting, but I thought it was more interesting than it was given credit for – I get a lot of frankencense.

      • March says:

        Okay, I will def. be retrying the Tarocco, although I see they’ve contaminated my saffron with rose … :-w well, worth a shot. It frustrates me, I used to find Diptyque everywhere, they were sort of the original fancypants candle around here (along with the scents) and nobody carries the complete line any more.

    • March says:

      I’m definitely visiting Diptyque in Paris, there’s no longer a single store around here that carries much of the line 🙁 I think there are several in there I need to give more attention to.

    • HemlockSillage says:

      Have you guys tried the Diptyque Vinaigre de Toilette? Okay, one has to get past the vinegar. . .but it *is* refreshing! I’ve used it to spritz my hair, damp fro the shower, and it really shines! It has a soft herbal smell (neroli? thyme? lavender?) that is quick to disappear, but it is an interesting antidote to heat and sweat. It gets much hate on MUA and Basenotes, so fair warning, I may be the only one to like it!

      • March says:

        I did and it smelled like … vinegar! Don’t get me wrong, I like vinegar, I actually DRINK the apple cider one, medicinally … that hippie groovy one, but couldn’t really get onboard with the Diptyque! I thought, why not use Ma Brown (or whatever mine’s called?)

  • Musette says:

    OOoh! am I first? (waves hand wildly!!)


    For me Jean Nate is definitely cologne – on the cheap/splash end of things. I keep a bottle of that in the fridge in the summer for refreshing.

    4711. Ditto, though I don’t consider it ‘cheap’ – just not expensive. it has that vaguely nutty/herbal thing going.

    Eau Imperiale! Good enough for Napoleon, good enough for me. Besides, it’s perfect for headaches.

    Bigarade can try and be a parfum all it wants – it ain’t. And JCE knows it. It’s a cologne, pure and simple. Perhaps a tad ‘too’ pure and simple, sometimes, with that acrid green note. However, without that note, it would just be a middling perfume so I guess it scores as a cologne.

    I’m not going anywhere near the Chanel, lest I fall in love, which would chap my cheese to no end! TM $$ for what it is.

    is it summer yet?

    xoxo >-)

    ps. notice I did NOT include my beloved Agraria Bitter Orange – there’s a bit too much going on there, in my opinion, for it to qualify as a cologne, even though it has cologne-ish properties.

    Get thee to Paris, tout suite!


    • rosarita says:

      Well, my dear other A & fellow midwesterner, I too keep Jean Nate in the fridge in the depth of hot & humid summer, esp since DH & I are generally underemployed and not running the AC 😮 I remember buying my first bottle when I was in high school and you had to ask for things behind the counter, and trying out my best first year French in pronouncing *pour le bain*. 😉

      • Musette says:

        I am probably in the minority here but I actually LOVE summer without AC (assuming you are not clad in hose and heels or stuck in an unventilated space). I grew up in the 50s-early60s, when AC was a luxury – and as kids we never gave it much thought anyway, spending 99% of our summer out of doors.

        Plus, I mostly hate AC, as it wonks up my already wonky sinuses!

        So it’s Jean Nate City, baby!

        xo >-)

      • March says:

        Another Jean Nate vote! And I still have zero idea … pour luh ban?

    • March says:

      You’re first! And BTW the automatic post is working (I tried it) so you can use that, although in your time zone, I’d just go ahead and hit “publish” at about 9pm Tuesday.

      Jean Nate! several fans on here today! I haven’t smelled that thing in a million years.

      Love that Imperiale — there are several of those Guerlains that are great.

      Also … I think there’s this “medicinal” aspect to these types of colognes (Imperiale, 4711.) You’re supposed to put a cold, damp cloth drenched in the stuff on your head. I can see how that would help.

      Also, I agree on Bigarade. The Concentree version, to me, sort of defeats the original concept. And I agree on the Agraria — just over that line into legit fragrance territory…

    • March says:


      Also I just noticed my MC expired in Dec 09. Ruh roh.