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.
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!