For your nose only: A whisper of scent

As perfumistas, we wear scent for ourselves, but also for other people: our significant others, family members, even friends (I have one pal who always asks me to wear Coromandel in the fall/winter when we get together). But sometimes I find myself wanting to wear just the lightest of fragrance, a whisper of scent that’s noticeable only to me. So when the sample of Parfums de Nicolai’s Eau Soleil recently arrived on my doorstep with an order and I sprayed it, that’s exactly what I got.

It opens with a hint of bergamot and citrus, then slides into the softest of neroli. Jasmine and ylang-ylang steal in a bit later, and a soft veil of musk wraps up the lovely neroli package. Of course, there’s more there, but I’ve never been good whisper 2at parsing out notes. Anyway, one spray on my wrist gave me gentle puffs on and off for several hours, so it makes me curious how it might do with multiple spray points. Although no matter how heavy the application, this is never going to be a bombshell scent. But with that lovely whisper of neroli and company, it doesn’t need to be.

I could tell right off this is from Patricia de Nicolai; it has that PdN hallmark. In fact, something in its later stages wafting to my nose put me in mind a little of Odalisque, a longtime fave of mine. So I ran upstairs and dabbed a bit of that on just to see and found that there is a slight family resemblance.

I think I’ll be reaching for my little Soleil spray sample quite often for the rest of this summer – it’s that pretty. And who knows? Perhaps a FB will be in my future. Their 30-ml bottles make it relatively painless. Thank you, PdN, and please — never stop making this wonderfully affordable size.

So share with us: What do you wear when you want something lovely just for you, a whisper of scent that wears close to the skin and doesn’t project much –- just gives you your own private little scent show?

BTW, does anyone out there know when they reformulated Odalisque? And how can you tell old from new (bottle changes, etc.)? I’m not sure which samples I have. Perhaps I have been wearing the newer one all along. One of these days I’d like to do a side-by-side comparison. Thanks!


  1. I have that same question about Odalisque! I loved my sample, then when I ordered a fb, I noticed it wasn’t quite the same (still lovely, but not identical). Now I need to sample Soleil–I’ve been resisting since I sensed it would be ephemeral. As far as skin scents, I find the natural lines are great for that: DSH’s Rose Vert or Parfum de Grasse and Aftelier’s Haute Claire are some of my faves.

    • Hi, Caroline! I hear you on the Odalisque — hopefully, someone out there can clue us in about it. And you’re so right about the natural lines; I have a few Soivohles and Strange Invisible Perfumes that wear beautifully close.

    • Howdy, Portia! This is a great line — so glad you’re exploring it. So many lovely scents and affordable pricing too.

  2. Your post has come just at the right moment, Ann. I have been completely in love with PdN’s L’Eau a la Folie, but found when I bought a new bottle last month that I can detect a slight change – not huge, but enough to make it not quite as adorable to me as it was. I can’t think that it has been reformulated because of IFRA restrictions, since it was only launched last year, and I would have guessed that Patricia would have born these in mind when creating it. I am coming to the conclusion that even without tinkering with recipes, different batches will smell different (perhaps according to the sources/ingredients). I am wondering if anyone else has had this experience? I still very much like my L’Eau, but am now wondering if it will be another that I will say goodbye to in the future. But having said this, PdN is a Good Thing.

    • Jillie, so glad you stopped by. You make an excellent point about different batches and variable ingredients. I think sometimes we forget that perfume is not like widgets being stamped out on an assembly line, each one exactly identical. I’m sorry that your beloved Folie is not quite the same, but here’s hoping that your next bottle will be spot-on.

  3. Perhaps I’m not in the majority, but I am a very light sprayer and don’t want much sillage. There were many years when the scents of others aggravated my allergies, making me miserable. I was rather anti-scent for many years before the allergies settled down enough for me to enjoy perfume in any fashion. Some friends were shocked to discover my love of perfume because they never noticed I was wearing any. For me, that was success. To this day, I still don’t like entering someone else’s wake.

    That said, Soleil sounds delightful and I’m with you on those smaller sizes.

    • Hi, Tiara! I’m on the same page with you — never been much of a sprayer, usually one spritz on one wrist is plenty. For many years I sat next to a perfume-averse co-worker, so that trained me to be very conservative. That, plus someone I went to college with doused herself regularly in a potent rose scent, the name of which escapes me now.

      • A-ha! It finally came to me — Perfumers Workshop Tea Rose. I know some may love it, but that constant cloud of it turned me off from rose scents for years, decades even!

        • When I was in junior high, a girl brought a bottle of Tea Rose to Home Ec class and broke it. The classroom was practically a Hazmat site, and like you, I couldn’t stand the smell of rose in perfume for years.

          • In the obsessive early days of my perfume hobby, I bought a bottle of Tea Rose for $10 at Marshall’s – cheap! rose! I love rose! – but I couldn’t wear it, so I tried using it as a linen spray. My long suffering husband, who likes almost everything I wear, had a fit when he smelled the sheets and I had to change them immediately. Because I didn’t want to waste the Tea Rose, I tried putting it in the bathroom – nope. I tried the old trick of spritzing light bulbs so the scent would warm and radiate; even that was like nuclear rose. It went to Goodwill. I still love rose, though.

            • That’s too funny, Rosarita! When the DH comments negatively AND it doesn’t work as any type of home spray, you know it’s time to give it up. Hopefully, it found a happy residence elsewhere.

          • Oh, mercy, Laurel! That must’ve been rough! But in all fairness, it would have been pretty awful, too, had it been Giorgio, Poison, etc.

  4. Sometimes the formula changes from year to year if any perfume has natural ingredients. It’s almost like wine in a way. A bottle that was made this year is going to taste different from last years batch. But in short of a reformulation, it can be a little fun.

    • You’re so right, dear, it is rather like wine in that respect. A tiny bit of difference can be interesting.

  5. Thanks for the review, Ann, I’ve been wanting to try this as another fan of PdN and 30ml bottles. I have a bottle of L’Eau Chic that reminds me of a freshly washed shirt that dried on the clothes line, but it’s like a cologne and disappears quickly. Rosine’s Rose d’Homme has that little puffs of fragrance just for me type of feeling.

    • Howdy, lady! Have not tried those you mention, but they’re on my list now. I’ve only sampled one of the Rosines (can’t remember which) but will ever-so carefully dip my toe a bit further into that line. If they have one that’s at all similar to Tea Rose, I’m giving that one a pass … 😉

  6. Ann, I am another fan of Odalisque, but I can’t comment on any changes because I’ve only ever smelled it out of my bottle. 🙂 I bought my bottle about 5+ years ago, and it seems full-strength to me. I enjoy wearing some light scents like YSL Paris Jardins Romantiques, SL Clair de Musc, L’Occitane Green Tea, Chanel Eau Premiere, 28 La Pausa, and Apres L’Ondee. They’re all good for days when I don’t want to be overwhelmed, or when I’m singing in choir, or feeling a touch allergic or headachey.

    • Hello, Dina! Glad to see another Odalisque fan. Some nice scent choices there; I need to dig my samples of those two Chanels and wear them again. And I remember liking the SL Clair de Musc a while back, so need to re-try that one. Thanks!

  7. Dear Posse
    The Dandy’s a big fan of light and slightly fleeting scents when there’s heat in the air.
    And neroli is a favourite note, so maybe one of those highly splurge-able 30ml flacons might be winging its way here sometime soon.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

    • I couldn’t agree more — neroli is one of my faves for summer as well. Which 30-ml Pdn will you choose?

      • Dear Ann
        Perhaps Odalisque.
        Though I need to check, as I think I may have a sample of the pre-reformulation.
        We have a store here in London and I could ask them when it changed – who knows they may even answer honestly being generally very nice folks.
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy

        • That would be great! Please do let us know what you find out; I’d really like to try old and new side by side just to see. Thanks!

  8. I love PdN’s Weekend and Musc Intense. It’s a great line that’s worth exploring. As far as light scents, just about anything I spray on is light except perhaps the Mugler perfumes. I’m a pretty heavy sprayer and by the time I get to work I think I’m the only one who can smell anything most of the time. People are surprised by my love of perfumes because I’ve yet to skunk the office. Well, I did skunk the office last summer when the dogs got sprayed but that’s a totally different story.

    • Oh, no, Poodle — a real-life skunk tale! How on earth did you get them “un-stunk”? Does tomato juice really work or is that just an old wives’ tale?

      • Dawn dish soap, Dr. Bronner’s peppermint Castile soap, baking soda. Skunk spray is oily so the dish soap helps get it off a bit. I think the Castile soap does too. Baking soda is good for odors. Nothing gets it out completely though. They smelled reasonably good when dry but if they got wet you could smell it for months. A whisper of skunk. I have yet to meet anyone who’s had results with tomato juice.

        • Bless your heart — that took some serious sudsing, didn’t it? But glad you got most of it out. Tell those pups that if they ever see (or sniff) a skunk from a mile away, to hot-foot it in the opposite direction. 🙂

  9. I tend to prefer light scents, and I try to be conscious of not offending colleagues when I know we’ll be sharing a crowded conference room or a vehicle. I have loved ones who apply with a heavy hand, and even if I like the scent, it becomes a turnoff when that’s all I can smell (or it drowns out MY scent for me!) This actually happened to me on my wedding day, and Diorissimo deserves better!

    • I, too, have to be very careful in my application and scent choices. That is bad when someone else’s overapplication takes over your fragrance. So sorry to hear that happened on your wedding day.

  10. I’m in the same boat. I try to spray only enough to enjoy it myself. Perhaps a better question for me is which scents am I just UNABLE to rein myself in on. My Ormonde Jayne Woman I simply cannot restrain myself to one tiny miserly spray. 31 Rue Cambon tempts me to abandon every time. But today I’m wearing just a dab of Joy on my wrists. And I found just a tiny spritz of Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino was great for a flight earlier this year.

    I’m very interested by the PdN line and haven’t explored it yet. I’ll have to add these to my wish lists for sampling 🙂

    • Hi, Beth! Do try the PdN line– it’s really nice and has a little something for everyone. That’s too funny about the the OJ Woman and the Rue Cambon; I’m like that with Carnal Flower — want to spray myself silly, ha!

      • I have to go back to my sample of Carnal Flower. I’m seeing it’s name pop up everywhere today and yesterday and now I”m obsessed. That one and Fracas scared me a bit when I was new to perfume. Now I think I will feel differently!

        • Beth, do give CF another whirl, perhaps with a light touch to start. Don’t tell Musette and the other Fracas fans on here, but that one still scares me a little bit 🙂

Comments are closed.