Apples and Oranges

Sorry this is late – I’m still getting the hang of things.

<sigh>  Lord, I love a fruit.  I do.    I have run through nearly every lemon, lemon/lime concoction out there  and  I was Jo´s  Grapefruit gal back when you could only get it in London and her husband would take orders over the phone. The whole reason I´m even on the Posse is a tortuous journey. a quest for my high school love, Bigarade by Nina Ricci ( I got it and, uh….well, okay – what was all that about?).  So I know my fruit.  And fruit is funny.  Lemon can so quickly turn to furniture polish and while I usually  luck out on that drama I can still get smacked in the head by too much sugar or the Evil Musk Drydown indigenous to so many Lemons.  Grapefruit can be beautiful (helloo, Pamplemousse Rose, you weasel) or scorch your nose hairs (sorry, Jo).

However nothing incites as much polarity in my fruit-lovin´ self as orange (my love for Agraria Bitter Orange is legendary).   But bitter orange can go so razory it makes your teeth hurt, like my one night stand, Bigarade Concentree.  I swear I loved you,BC.  I did.  But you sunk your fangs in the  pith and green rind and it was a  Sad, Sad Day in Orangeville.

So I was excited when I literally stumbled (as in, I tripped and sent the bottles flying) across the Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine at Neiman Marcus.  Notes from the N-M site:

Cologne Absolue concentrated at 15%.
Top notes: blood orange, bitter orange
Heart notes: jasmine, geranium from South Africa
Base notes: amber woods, tonka beans, sandalwood

Well, alrighty then.  If there´s jasmine or tonka bean in there it has been stuffed in the back of Orange´s gym locker.  Orange isn´t goofing around here, trust me.  And she´s gonna be on the playground for awhile.   You would think orange´ + cologne´ would mean gone in 20 seconds.  Uh, no.  I was  surprised to find this bad girl with her claws still in nearly 3 hours after application.  Very exciting!

Too bad I can´t stand the stuff.

Turns out that for all my fruit lovin´, it seems  I love the idea´ of fruit better, at least with orange.  Most of the orange scents I adore whisper in the ear of an orange, while veiling themselves in other, complimentary, notes.  Orange Sanguine is like you just spilled orange juice all over the kitchen (and in your shoooes!), the ants are coming out of the woodwork, you´re late for a meeting (so you’re stuck with – and in- the shoes).  It´s sticky-schweeeet.  And very orange.    I´m thinking it might take the pith out of that Bigarade, if it doesn´t kill it outright. My money’s on the new girl.

So the Orange Sanguine was a sticky mess.  This did not bode well for the new Marc Jacobs splashes with all the fruit and cookies and everything.  I´ve never been a huge Marc Jacobs fan, beyond his handbags but he did an excellent Lemon and hey!  I was right there so…what the heck.  Nerves shot from the orange juice and the ants  I squinted at this year’s splashes from the corner of my eye  – he has Apple, Pomegranate and Biscotti (apparently the Biscotti is a reissue). Well, I don’t want to smell like a cookie so I passed Biscotti by and, liver aquiver, gingerly approached  the Apple“Oh, crap.  Apple?  This is gonna smell like a county fair, I just know it”

Waitaminit! This is what I´m talkin´ about! This is not about smelling like an apple.   This smells nothing like an apple.  It smells like the ideal of an apple – a crisp, juicy, tart Granny Smith, all freshness and springlike and full of zesty life.   I was stunned at how much I liked it.  According to Nordstrom´s site this year´s offerings are supposedly ” inspired by the decadent indulgences of a patisserie” .  Well, maybe if the patisserie just put a dewy, chilled bowl of Granny Smiths on a sidewalk table.  And that sounds just fine by me.   I don´t know how it will play in intense heat but it´s a perfect  late-May Saturday morning scent, maybe with that first sleeveless dress of the season?

Sources:  Atelier Cologne – Neiman-Marcus (all over the) counter ; Marc Jacobs Apple Splash – Nordstrom counter

(update:  Bigarade Concentree + Orange Sanguine = YUM! perhaps, like its juicy namesake, it’s the perfect mixer)

  • Bus Rental ny says:

    Your writing is clear, expressive, and very pertinent to your subject.

  • ScentRed says:

    I purchased a sample of Bigarade Concentree for my hubby last Spring but it lasted about 2 seconds on him. I liked it so much I tried it on me and found it lasted quite a bit longer. I’ll be looking for this once the warm weather arrives.

    For lovers of tart fruits, I would suggest Acqua Fiorentina by (wait, let me first put on my protective helmet) Creed 😉

    It’s fresh, crisp and tart. Although there’s apparently some citrus in there, I mainly just get puss-puckering plum in the opening. The middle winds into a pretty floral and ends in a warm sandalwood. Perfect for a warm Spring day.

  • Winifreida says:

    AAAAh gee, another note that’s lurking waiting to destroy my slight build-up of funds!
    Musette I loved that Ricci Bigarade many moons ago, and see a few bottles lurking on the ‘bay, but I’ve held off, thinking its a note that someone would be doing really well in the age of frooties – but then came the news that IFRA was taking a lot of citrus out – (you would wonder what that is going to do to the orange juice market???).
    So will the new one by Tauer be the grail?
    What ARE the best bigarades?

    • Musette says:

      The Ricci Bigarade was more of a time-related memory than olfactory (others, like Heaven Sent and Coty Elan, stuck with my scent memory a lot better). I think the hunt was more important than what I actually found (eBay, 3 different bottles).

      I have to say my absolute LOVE is Agraria Bitter Orange, which smells nothing like orange – it smells exactly like Constant Comment iced tea, only better!

      xo >-)

      • nozknoz says:

        Musette, I used to have and love the Agraria potpourri. Is there an actual perfume or cologne now, or are you using a room spray or oil?

        I’m not much of a citrus fan, but I do like the combination of lemon and leather in Azuree.

        Thanks for this delightful review!

        • Musette says:

          sorry I’m so late on reply. They have an actual cologne, though it looks as if they are currently out of stock. It’s lovely!

          and you are welcome. I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

          xo >-)

  • Dante's Bra says:

    Not a big fan of the citrus either, but I just got some Shaal Nuur lotion and the citrus works so nicely with the vetiver– not too sweet, not too sour/raspy, and keeps it from being too musty. It’s on sale at a bunch o’ discounters right now…!…!

    • Musette says:

      I’mo dig out my Shaal Nuur sample – I don’t recall any citrus!:o

      xo >-)

    • ScentRed says:

      Oooooo. I’m anxiously awaiting on one of these discounted Shaal Nur body lotions. I have a teeny sample of the EDT that’s down to vapour and was hoping that this would help fill the void. So it’s a hit with you?

      I LOVE the EDT. The hit of lemon is powerful but very brief (on me, at least) and then it quickly settles into that incensey, spicy floral wonderfulness. Mmmmmmmmmm.

      I was recently burned by buying a bottle of Cashmere Mist after falling for the body creme which are like completely different scents to me. I was hoping that I wasn’t going to be disappointed going from the Shaal Nur EDT to the body lotion. Fingers crossed 🙂

      • ScentRed says:

        Holy bunch of broken grammar Batman! Sorry for the sloppy post. Long day…brain’s no longer functioning…

      • Dante's Bra says:

        The lotion’s great, lil’ sweeter than the EDT i think ( i just have a sample, but I think that’ the next FB). The lemon doesn’t last long, similar to the EDT, too. Hope you like it!

  • AnnieA says:

    I’ve had no luck with orangey scents like Bigarade or Eau de Fleurs de Cedrat, as they turn into marmalade on me. I do have as a summer scent Clarins Par Amour Toujours, which smells of clementines to me.

    Completely as an aside, I did try Safran Troublant and Patchouli 24 on different arms. The latter smelled of smoke for the first hour, and then started smelling a lot like the former, a sort of savoury pudding. Both were pleasant, but probably won’t buy either.

    Will wander over to Holt Renfrew this week and have a sniff at that Apple…

  • maidenbliss says:

    You had me going until ‘too bad I can’t stand the stuff’- I was almost excited until then. Seems I’m not the only anti citrus/fruity tuitty around here. If I want an orange, I’ll eat one. Does this make me a freaky freak?:@):(|)3:-o ….orange you glad I didn’t say banana=))=))

    • Musette says:

      Step. away. from. the. ~o)

      This is definitely not a cologne for anti-citrus lovers. Heck, even if you love citrus, you have to be prepared for a LOT of it.

      xoxo >-)

      😕 are there any banana fragrances? Should there be one? We have pineapple, fig,orange,lemon,apple, pomegranate …..???

      • zeezee says:

        We-e-e-ell, I probably wouldn’t want to *know* if there were any banananana fragrances, but certain jasmine scents have a definite banana vibe to me. Marc Jacob Blush, for example. Might be I’m just picking up more banana than I oughta, though – I smell it in my jasmine tea, too.

  • Tom says:

    I liked this because is was so literal. Of course, I didn’t like it enough to actually buy it :d

  • mjr17 says:

    Well, I guess I’m in the minority here. For starters, I usually despise fruity fragrances & have little threshold for things that are “sweet” (except when it comes to fancy cocktails and, of course, chocolate!) For me, Orange Sanguine was an exception. On the test strip, it was very orange juice and sugary; but on my skin the orange fruit & sweet are perfectly calibrated and bolstered by intoxicating soft florals that sort of waft up through the fruit just like the scents of new flowers do on a breezy spring or early summer day. I was sort “eh” when I smelled this a NM counter, but when I tried the sample at home I was won over completely.
    Next time I’m at Nordies I’ll give the MJ Apple a good sniff. I’ve never tried the MJ Lemon – is it still available or was it LE?

    • Musette says:

      Now, see….if I’d gotten what you got I’d be all over that OS! That was what I was hoping for, instead of spilled orange juice. Given your description of what OS does on your skin, I’ll bet you will end up loving the Apple.

      The Lemon was LE, and is now only found online and at discounters like TJM ($19, marked down from $68! gotta love it!)

      xo >-)

  • Disteza says:

    Have you tried Mandarin Mandarine by Serge Lutens? It’s definitely the ‘idea’ of orange, tarted up with some woods, and definitely toes the line betwen bitter and sweet. Not all Lutens are big and scary, some are just bitter and passive-agressive. 😉
    Fruit is not really my thang, which is somewhat surprising given my gourmandy leanings. It’s hard for me to find a good fruit note that doesn’t scream “FAKE!!!” so loud that it can heard, um, smelled, a mile off. Durn mixed metaphors!

    • Musette says:

      Lemons are easier to fake-as-real than any other fruit, I think. I was serious about Marc J doing a decent lemon (last year? 2? sometime around then. I still have a big jug of the stuff). And LEMON IS FAKE

      • Musette says:

        wait – somehow that posted before I finished.

        what I was saying…

        LEMON IS FAKE is somehow easier to deal with (less annoying??) than other fruits. Jean Nate? So fake you can smell the plastic! And that’s o-kay! Fresh Lemon Sugar? Wanna talk toeing the line – that one is on a highwire with the sugar piranhas circling below.

        But I love ’em both.

        Somehow orange can’t quite manage that, imo.

        And no, have not tried MM by Serge. He freaks me out enough as it is.;)

        And go ‘head! Mix those mets, baby! Like orange juice, metaphors are the perfect mixers!

        xo >-)

  • BPerf says:

    I love Bigarade Concentree and Pamplemousse Rose.
    What about Hermes Elixir de Merveilles? Lots of orange there… more peel than actual fruit, but talk about everlasting! Love the after(taste) on my clothes.

    • Musette says:

      I hate Hermes.

      I love Birkins.

      I love Kellys.

      I love Bombays.

      I love Pamplemousse Rose.

      I hate Hermes.


      Life is sometimes unfair, dangit!

      The chocolate and vague musky drydown in EdM is a deal-breaker for the ol’ >-). I thought I was in LOVE – but on my third wearing of EdM I realized the drydown was close to bringing up my lunch.

      xo >-)

  • DinaC says:

    While I really like orange blossom and neroli, I don’t enjoy the scent of orange fruit too much. Too often, fruity scents smell artificial and are reminiscent of Bonnie Bell lip smackers, jolly ranchers, etc. I have discovered that I like a nice green fig scent, like L’Artisan Premier Figuier Extreme. Mmm, now that’s a fruit I can handle. I like the smell of real raspberries, but don’t know of any scents with raspberry note. I guess I’m still exploring the world of fruity scents. Hard to find ones that aren’t sickening sweet, or too foody.

    • Musette says:

      I agree with you on Fruit – it’s a thin line. I cannae speak to fig overmuch – it doesn’t agree with me. Now March…:-? FIG QUEEN!

      Like I said in the post, I prefer fruit-whisperers rather than fruit-bludgeoners. OS is def a bludgeon.

      xo >-)

  • Shelley says:

    Well, hmmm. I have a decant of the Orange Sanguine coming my way; hope it doesn’t make my blood boil! (arf arf arf…trying to be more, erm, sanguine about things, and therefore peppering my humor with humours…ACK! make me stop…) 8-|

    ‘Twould be nice if the MJ’s turned out to hit a certain spot, as they are relatively easy to come by, and a near bargain in crazy price point land. (And my poor, poor Eau de Patou, long discontinued…oh Eau, I hardly knew ye…)

    Thanks for the, ahem, orchard of delights this a.m. :d

    • Musette says:


      where’s the ‘blood’ emoticon when you need it!

      You will be BEGGING me for a hit of BC to cut the sugar. Just you wait, li’l missy…just you wait8-x

      xo >-)

  • mals86 says:

    I may be the *only* person who doesn’t really care for citrus… so far the only citrusy things I like are a) Eau Sauvage and b) Bath & Body Works’ Aromatherapy Energy Orange Ginger. Thassit. Citrus just sort of bores me, and while everybody else is yakking away on the blogs about which citruses they loooove, I’m standing by nonplussed, wondering what’s wrong with me that citrus does nothing for me except make me yawn.

    Apple, though, makes me happy. (It’s official: I Am A Freak!) I don’t know that I need to go hunt down the MJs, but I love apple in, say, PdR Rose d’Ete, and although that’s a note that others find off-putting, it never bothers me.

    • Musette says:

      I LOVE Rose d’Ete (don’t tell March, okay? I will get bounced out of the club). And it’s that apple note that zings! it, imo!

      And it’s been official for some time, hasn’t it? Except I thought you were a ~:> Freak! (and who’dathought I would EVER have the opportunity to put that emoticon to literal use?=))

      xo >-)

      • mals86 says:

        Well, I’m not ~:> Freak, *I* am 3:-o Freak. I guess. To be perfectly honest, I only got the cows by default because The CEO came with them. (Bizarre GWP, no?)

        • Musette says:

          Oh, for goodness sakes! I’m so sorry! I linked to the both of you through here (actually you cam through ~:>F) sometimes I get in a hurry and get mixed up!

          And yes, that is a bizarre GWP=)) I was hoping for a Lear jet and a box of emerald cut 11cwt diamonds as my GWP. I got hulking twin boys with no manners……:-< Give me the 3:-o !!! xoxo >-)

    • JolieFleurs says:

      Nope, you’re not the only one who deosn’t care for citrus. It’s a deal breaker for me…..except for Musette’s legendary Agraria Bitter Orange. She done got me hooked.

    • zeezee says:

      Oh no, you’re in good company. (Said she, modestly) As of late there have been a *few* exceptions, but they are few and far between indeed. I kinda-sorta like Bigarade Concentree, Colonia Assoluta and Cologne du 68 as citrus+ scents (the plus making them worthwhile to me), but straight-up lemon juice bores me. Or… does Eau des Merveilles count? I could definitely drink *that*.

      I did try the Biscotti, by the way, and didn’t find it cookie-ish at all. In fact, it was (dun dun dun) citrus, more than anything.

  • Furriner says:

    I was at Neiman’s (in Chicago) a while back, and wanted to check out Mandragore Pourpre…which they didn’t have. The SA directed me away from the Goutals (after telling me that AG was going out of business)… which I had shown an interest in, and was pushing the Atelier line. They told me they were made by Van Cleef and Arpels. I asked for samples… I was vaguely interested in one of the line… but the only sample she would give me was Orange Sanguine. I agree with you about spilt orange juice. I like the smell of oranges. I spent all winter hoping to smell of clementines, but no luck!

    • Musette says:

      I wonder why they keep flogging that VC&A connection? They did it to me, too, and were :-w when I pushed them for clarification – turns out VC&A distributes it, much in the manner of LVMH for everything from champagne to handbags. Maybe an attempt to attach a luxury label to an unknown brand?

      The SAs at that particular counter can be SO weird.

      Has anybody else heard of AG going out of business?

      xo >-)

      • Furriner says:

        According to Gaia at The Non-Blonde, AG’s distributers went out of business, but now they have a new one.

        I agree they were all weird at that counter. Never again!

  • Aubrey says:

    Ditto on the Orange Sanguine. It’s just too literal (though I’m more of a fan of orange blossom, grapefruit-when-done-right, lemon, mango, etc than I am pure orange).

    Maybe some of the other Atelier’s would be a better choice for you? The Trefle Pur is very nice (still fairly crisp, fruity, etc) but mixed in with other notes.

    • Musette says:

      The TP was nice, if I recall. Not enough to prompt me to drop a bill-and-a-half but nice.

      “Literal” is the perfect word to describe Orange S.

      xo >-)

      ps. have you tried Bigarade Concentree? I prefer it to the Cologne Bigarade only because CB lasts .03 seconds whereas BC lasts a bit longer – I’ve clocked it in at 4.3 minutes at its zenith. Definitely NOT clementines but combined with the OS, it really goes all sunny without being schweet.