D’Orsay Etiquette Bleue

Patty’s still swanning around Costa Rica, so today Musette and March are doing a joint “she said/she said” post about D’Orsay Etiquette Bleue.

One of the conundrums in perfumista-ville is whether a classic “cologne” which might last 92 seconds on the skin (hey, it’s designed that way) is worth the simoleans involved.  For example, if you’re looking at Guerlain, Sisley or Chanel colognes, for the same dough you could have a bottle of something stronger instead, right?  Why not buy yourself 4711 or Jean Nate at Walgreens?

And that’s not an easy question to answer…

March says: I’d really like a bottle of that Guerlain Cologne du 68 stuff, but not enough to buy one.  My other kinda-cologne-y things are the Annick Goutals like Sud and Hadrien, but then they stick around on me longer than a classic cologne does. I’m not going to do the math, but those ginormous bottles of the Chanel Cologne probably aren’t even that expensive if you figure it out per ml, so I guess I’ll leave them out of the equation.

Etiquette Bleue is (I think) a 2008 reformulation and re-release, and whatever the original smelled like, I have no idea.  The new one is a pretty cologne-smell — notes are lemon, bergamot, orange, petitgrain, rosemary, orange blossom and a woody-mossy base.  By the way, Etiquette Bleue and some of the scents in this post are EDTs and others are colognes; in theory the EDTs might be stronger and/or last better, but in reality that’s not a given.  I’m using “cologne” as the citrus-herbal scent-descriptor in this post, not as a technical term.

I love me some 4711, and the D’Orsay is a definite step up from that, both in terms of complexity of the scent and longevity.  It’s nicely herbal, unisex, less sweet than 4711, with a bright citrus and a mossy, musky base that feels more solid than cheaper things like 4711 and the Weil Eau Fraicheur (which is pretty fabbo, btw).

The D’Orsay is $100(ish) online for a 3.4, and so I asked myself: would I rather have 4711 or Weil plus the extra cash?  Or a Guerlain Bee bottle of one of their classic colognes like their heavenly Eau, or perhaps du Coq or Cedrat?  Or maybe a 2.5oz of the Chanel Exclusifs cologne?  The answer is that I’d like all of them, which isn’t very helpful, is it?  But since I already own Cedrat, a hefty decant of the Chanel, and a lifetime supply of 4711 (I keep my bottle in the fridge), unless the Guerlain fairies present me with a bottle of the Cologne du 68, I’m probably good.  Actually… now I’m thinking about all that coriander, cardamom, pepper and ginger spiciness in the 68 and really wanting a bottle for summer.  Dammit, Musette, this is your fault.

If anyone cares: I drenched myself in Etiquette Bleue and didn’t kill anyone around me, and I could still smell it (faintly) after several hours, and my girls loved it.  It sticks around longer on hair and fabric than on skin.

Musette says:

Heck, don’t blame me, blame Carol.  It’s CAROL!  (not me) and her amazing range of perfumery-things. I got the D’Orsay from her!

Alas, my love for 4711 is inconstant – on really hot days the musk rears up way too early and makes me wish I’d just rubbed some lemons on my poitrine instead.  But! it’s $19.99 at Loehmann’s so it’s perfect for those days I do love it, if  that makes any sense.   Guerlain’s Imperiale is my Holy Grail of Hot Summer Days  – but I confess to having some qualms about spritzing early and spritzing often as colognes were designed to do.  that’s what a hefty price tag’ll do to ya, unless you are hip-deep in simoleans.

Another beauty: I would wear Chanel’s  Eau de Cologne every August evening if I had simoleans to throw around.  But I don’t so I will make do with the 4711 and the lemons. As with the Chanel I do think the Etiquette Bleue is an exquisite interpretation of the classic cologne genre.  It lasted quite awhile on me and the drydown was considerably more complex and interesting than I was anticipating.  I consider very few colognes to be ‘pretty’ but this one is very pretty without  going all girly or challening its  Cologne Status.  I could see a man wearing this well,too, way easier than the Chanel.   If I had discretionary simoleans to throw down I would buy Etiquette Bleue in a nanosecond!

Update:  I don’t think it lasts as long on me as it seems to have done on March; then again, this vicious sinus infection I am battling means I cannot smell much of anything – I burned a pizza this afternoon because my nose couldn’t register the burn-smell-until the smoke alarm went off!  For all I know folks are lying, dazed and dying on the sidewalk from my sillage.  But I don’t think so – this stuff is lovely and pretty subtle.

So..what are your thoughts on colognes, dear Posse?  Are they worth the simoleans or when you think cologne, do you think that big ol’ drugstore bottle is the way to go?   Do you care about longevity?  Do you expect it to be proportionate to the price?  Questions abound!

 

  • Patty says:

    Colognes generally aren’t my thing, probably because citrus often turns sour on me; I tend to go for orientals all year round. However, I was pleasantly surprised by Caron’s Eau de Cologne, as well as Royal Bain de Caron.

  • DinaC says:

    Just thought of another cologne-like scent that’s all lemony and green and herbal. I love Miller et Bertaux No. 3 Green, Green, Green and Green. Just spritzed it after a shower, and it’s great in the heat. :-)

  • AnnieA says:

    Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine is pretty nice, and despite cologne being in the name itself, it’s fairly long-lasting.

    • March says:

      Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, something called Orange Sanguine sounds wonderful. It’s 91 here today and I am perversely enjoying it.

      • Musette says:

        I am in fleece. It ‘says’ it’s 55F but it lies. It’s freezing and damp and the only thing I want to wear is eau du flannel sheets.

        Orange Sanguine is that perfume I cut with Bigarade – together they make the perfect summer orange, imo. It’s a tad too sweet on its own, for me, but ymmv

        xoxo >-)

    • Julie says:

      Orange Sanguine is so amazingly real and juicy. I already have an orange I love (Mandarine Basilic), so can’t justify another one, although they do have those 30 ml bottles…..

  • mals86 says:

    I don’t really *do* cologne. Something about it just sets my teeth on edge, so I don’t find it relaxing and cheerful and comforting the way most people do. I don’t enjoy citrus, or lavender, so that kind of knocks the entire cologne category off my list anyway.

    I wind up wearing stuff like AG Petite Cherie or Eau du Ciel, or PdR Rose d’Ete, girly-wirly but very light, in the summer. I do have a decant of 4711 which is in the fridge (okay, the Petite Cherie is in there too), and a small bottle of Mandragore, but I find I Just. Don’t. Dig. Them. So actually I have nothing to add to the discussion, except that I feel a little like a Peeping Tom at all of you and your colognes…

    • March says:

      That’s okay, the next time everyone goes all ecstatic over the perfect rose scent, I can sit on the sidelines and read a book or whatever. :)>- Since the effect cologne is supposed to have is the exact opposite of teeth on edge, you may as well skip them!

      • Musette says:

        And fwiw, Rose d’Ete is as close to ‘rose cologne’ as you’re gonna get – it is the perfect light summer rose, imo (though I like to go the opposite, full-bore direction and wear Tribute Attar in 90F…but I am an evil >-)

  • Marla says:

    When I’m feeling relaxed, I like Kenzo Power as a cologne, it’s light but persistent. When I want cologne plus WEIRD, I go for Mandragore Pourpre, which is pretty much a traditional cologne with some very odd herbs mixed in, or the very bitter and austere Anisia Bella, which makes me feel like a very prim (and tall) librarian. I also make up my own, because it’s quite inexpensive to do, just some perfumer’s alcohol, my favorite citrus, some type of petigrain, a green or two, like rosemary or basil, a little lavender, a few odds and ends, and bingo bango boom, I’m done. Only lasts a little while, but very refreshing and deadly frugal.

    • March says:

      You always have the greatest home-brew ideas. Your own cologne sounds totally marketable.

      • Musette says:

        😮

        I am impressed! I just rollicked along there, thinking….:-?….wonder if she’s selling this stuff…

        and I love ‘bingo bango boom’!

        xo >-)

  • maggiecat says:

    I love eaux de colognes as a rule,e specially in summer – effortless, cooling, clean, great for office wear and travel. The Chanel is my favorite – the most feminine of the ones I’ve found – but I also wore Hadrien for years. And I love the idea of keeping 4711 in the frig – I’ll have to get a bottle and try this!

    • March says:

      The Chanel is a bit more feminine, isn’t it? Although I like the herbal-y blast of some of the others. My recollection is that LT/TS said the Chanel is the greatest cologne ever…

  • Rappleyea says:

    I don’t have a proper cologne, but I have a few things that fill that hole for me – Guerlain’s Philtre d’Amour, Jicky, Colony (for some reason, oakmoss always seems like it should be in the cooling cologne category), Herba Fresca and Pampalune (minis), and the two L’Artisan organics – Jatamansi and Cote d’Amour.

    I’ve meant forever to sample the Guerlain eaux to figure out which, if any, I’d want a bottle of, but haven’t gotten around to it. I’ve got scent glue skin, so things that last only ten minutes on other people will last a good six or eight hours on me.

    • March says:

      That right there? Is a pretty great list of scents. They would all be on a list of favorites of mine. Although the Jicky extrait would be pretty skanky in my summer heat…

      • Musette says:

        And I would sit by you all day and just sniff!:d

        xo >-)

      • Rappleyea says:

        Like Musette, I can’t do musk, but I love skank and haven’t found the extrait too much so even in our very humid summers! With that said, I also have decants of the edt and pdt of Jicky, and I’ve been trying (so far succesfully) to keep myself from pushing the To Buy button on a bottle of the pdt.

  • DinaC says:

    This is timely because I saw something at the grocery store (!) this week that caught my eye. Murray & Lanman Florida Water, which has been around since 1908. It costs less than $10 for about 8 oz. bottle. I wondered if it smelled any good, so I searched Basenotes for reviews. They had 6 positive, 1 neutral, and 0 negative reviews. Anyone here sniffed this one? For that price, it’s not a huge risk.

    Reviewers speculate that it has notes of ginger, clove, cinnamon, lavender, lemon, bergamot, rose, jasmine, neroli, musk, vanilla, vetiver, lime, mint, and capsicum pepper.

    • March says:

      Well, there ya go. I had totally forgotten about “Florida water” — I even think there’s more than one (like, a category). And it would make sense, the local home-grown cologne for humid climates like Florida. And a great tourist gift, probably, back in the day. I’ve not smelled that particular one but I definitely remember seeing the bottles in Orlando.

    • Musette says:

      Florida Waters are great! Get it!

      xo >-)

  • Debbie R. says:

    If something it fleeting and expensive, it bothers me. If I ever get my lemming list caught up, then those fragrances might get purchased. Otherwise, probably not.

    • March says:

      You are not alone in that feeling. For me anyway, living in such a humid environment makes me appreciate cologne. There are days when chilled 4711 on a hankie makes life worth living.

      • Musette says:

        Yeppers on that! I was able to get through that funeral home experience (last year, in 95F at 4p) because of the Guerlain Imperiale on the fan.

        xo >-)

      • Olfacta says:

        The perfect “sponge bath,” too. 4711 poured on a white washcloth and rubbed vigorously over skin, with additional pours as needed. Before bed, on a hot humid night.

        • March says:

          Yup, I just did that yesterday! Then I had a lie-down with a cold, damp 4711-drenched cloth across the forehead. Someone told me on here awhile ago that its original intent was in fact this quasi-medicinal purpose.

  • waftbycarol says:

    I have a big bottle , and broad shoulders , so I’ll take the blame , and I’ll send samples to anyone who wants in on the Etiquette Bleue thang…
    I love Profumio di Pantelleria Profumo for an odd eau fraiche…

    • March says:

      And I owe you thanks for that, don’t I? I have a nice size sample so I can play with it some more in the heat.

    • Madea says:

      I wouldn’t say no to a sample, Carol :)

      My favorite EdC is Jean Nate. It probably doesn’t count, but it has that cool, lemony, cologne like smell.

      I once tried the Guerlain. It smelled–literally–identical to 4711 on my skin. Boo :((

  • Ann says:

    Hi ladies, great post! I have to put in my 2 cents for a cologne that’s not yet been mentioned: Guerlain Cologne Du Parfumeur from Thierry Wasser. There’s a little something about it that sets it apart, it has more longevity on my skin than some and it plays well with others, so what’s not to love?
    I, too, adore the Chanel but when my spray decant is gone I’ll have to think a while before replacing it. I remember liking the 68 but need to revisit it for a refresher course. As for the 4711, it’s as scarce as hen’s teeth in my neck of the woods, but I wouldn’t say no to a bottle should I stumble upon one.

    • Ann says:

      Uh oh, Musette, the CdP has a bit of muskiness in it, but hopefully not enough to be a deal-breaker for you …

    • March says:

      It’s funny how many of those colognes, at least the ones that stick around, definitely have some musk at the base. I like it, don’t find it overwhelming, but I am sure some people do.

      • Musette says:

        Oddly enough, I can handle the musk in most (MOST) of the colognes because of the herbal balance. And even odder? I sort of (gasp!) LIKE IT! But when it’s just citrus and musk it sort of ooks out my liver, y’know? I was not a huge fan of the Wasser and the 68 has too many notes I’m not overfond of in a cologne for it to work for me. The Chanel is gorgeous – I would love the luxury of one of those ginormous bottles (I was in Chanel on Tuesday and watched two women buy colognes and makeup like I would buy bread! It was fun to watch!)

        xo >-)

  • Catherine says:

    I love those light colognes–it’s the olfactory equivalent of sorbet in the summer heat. That said, I only need one in my collection. I chose Guerlain’s 68 because of the gorgeous herbal and citrus notes mixed with powdery iris. I have the BIG bottle, which is down half way after a couple of summers. The other cologne I think very much worth its price is Cologne Brigade from FM. I dream about the BIG bottle of that, too.

    Musette, is that one of the samples you shoved in my hand? I feel like it might have been–and this Bleue was one of the scents I loved a lot. Fresh in the beginning, but complex at the end.

    • DinaC says:

      Your description of 68 makes me want to sniff it. Another thing to add to the lemming list. :-)

      • Catherine says:

        It’s the Iris powderiness that gets me every time. I highly recommend it for hot, sticky weather; it always makes me feel cool and clean. Plus it lasts a very long time.

    • March says:

      I was just poking around online, and if those sites are legit, I could get the 68 at a darn good price. That Malle is amazing.

      • Musette says:

        That particular Malle I love – but it goes screechy on me, so I layer that Sanguine stuff with it for a perfect orange summer cologne. Catherine, you prefer the cologne to the concentree, iirc. I have the concentree – perhaps the cologne would be more ‘cologne-y’ on me….must revisit…

        xo >-)

        and yes, the Bleue was one of them and is persackly as you describe.

      • Catherine says:

        Aren’t they great prices? As I said above, it works wonders in hot, humid weather, and in DC, that’s heavenly.

  • Francesca says:

    I love this sort of fragrance in the summertime. Is anyone else old enough to remember the 4711 push-up cologne stick?

    Isn’t it lovely to have something light enough that you can open the fridge, pour a dollop into your palm, and just throw it on yourself on a day when it’s 97 degrees and 200 percent humidity?

    I used to stock up on 4711 in a very odd NYC German department store called Bremen House in Yorkville in NYC. I’d get the giant bottle of 4711. I’d get the big box of Mozartkugeln. I’d get nervous as my cute Jewish record-collector husband flipped through the LP’s for rare opera recordings and we came upon records for Reich marching songs (I am not kidding). The man in charge of the record dept looked like Boris Karloff in The Black Cat.

    • Musette says:

      Francesca,

      That’s scary, funny and sad all at the same time! Is Bremen still there?

      xo >-)

      • Francesca says:

        No, I don’t think it’s there any more. The German/Czech presence is much diminished in Yorkville.

    • March says:

      Such a great story — le sigh for New York. And I just saw the push-up stick a few days ago! Although I didn’t look too closely, might have been deodorant. :”>

  • pam says:

    I love Guerlain, and when I ran across a bottle of Cologne du 68, I bought it almost blind. Love it! and on me it lasts as long as any edt. Is it really a cologne as far as the classic mix? Don’t know, don’t care. I look at the “Cologne” as part of the name. This is good stuff!

    • March says:

      I don’t think it’s really a cologne — more cologne elements with some Guerlain booty in there. The Guide wasn’t wild for it if I recall correctly, but I thought it was great.

  • Melissa says:

    This class of fragrance isn’t usually my preference, but a few stand out. Cologne du 68 is beautiful and I keep meaning to buy at least a large decant. The fusing of the cologne concept with spicy notes and a Guerlain base throws it firmly into my camp. (I’m suspicious. Is it “really” a cologne?) And how about vintage Dior eau Fraiche, a cologne with a dollop of oakmoss? I have a partial bottle, just waiting for a hot day spent outside.

    I love the Chanel too, despite its weak lasting power. Splitting a large bottle would work, bringing the cost down to a manageable dollar per ml. So, yeah, I’m willing to spend a few dollars to have the ones that I really like, even if I have to respray every hour. The point is that I have to really like it, or I won’t buy it at any price.

    • March says:

      Dior Eau Fraiche is “big” and it’s such a grand scent… definitely with that and the 68 there’s a cologne-plus effect. And now you’ve reminded me what the trouble is with the Chanel. I’ll need to retry now that it’s warm, but my recollection is that it is gone pretty darn fast!

      • Musette says:

        Huh. see? that’s where YMMV comes into play. I was expecting the Chanel to be gone almost before it got itself out of the bottle good – but 2ish hours later it was still sort of there – just vaguely pretty. But there.

        xo >-)

  • Louise says:

    I have tested L’Etiquette Bleue, but oddly enough, only in vintage.

    Sweet story. My dear “sister” in France brought out a blue-labeled bottle one day a couple of years ago, and said that it had belonged to her grandmother. It was found when the family cleaned out her house after her death. My friend said the bottle had to have been at least 50 years old, given that Grandma mostly wore this when she was younger (she wore more “mature” fragrances later), and had been gone well over 15 years.

    The juice was impeccable. I’m not generally a big cologne fan, but this was very herbal, fresh, and full of a gorgeous lavender. It lasted a good 4 hours. She gave me a tiny samp, and I used it all in a few days in the hot summer.

    I am a bit frightened of trying the new Blue Label, but would love suggestions for other herbal-based colognes, maybe with some decent lasting power?

    • March says:

      What a great story. I would have loved to smell that cologne, and how wonderful that it held up so well.

      The lasting power of things on you has improved… the hard part now, I think, is not winding up with some weird musk at the bottom that starts to work your nerve.

      • Musette says:

        well, since I’m the musk-hater 8-x I will throw myself out on a limb and suggest the Chanel Eau de Cologne. I was terrified that musk would prevail but it never did. Additionally, the Eau lasted several hours and was just a nice veil of ‘fresh’ – but not that “eww, Fffffffffrrrrrrresssh” thing.

        xo >-)

    • Olfacta says:

      I vote for Lancome’s O, because it is citrusy and herbal and it lasts. On me anyway, when hardly anything else does. I love 4711, but it’s gone in 60 seconds for me.