Sunny, breezy orange blossom has long been one of my favorite floral notes. However, it often verges on too heady, as in Serge Lutens’ Fleurs d’Oranger, a gorgeously crafted fragrance that approaches but misses perfection on my skin, or Caron’s Narcisse Blanc, which is too sweet and cloying for my taste. In other compositions, it’s blandly cheerful and soapy, as with Jo Malone’s version. I adore Caron’s decadent Narcisse Noir, where orange blossom becomes sultry when paired with incense, but that is a different animal altogether. L’artisan Fleur d’Oranger very fashion parfum on this season. I didn’t even realize that I had been craving a fragrance which captured the purity and delightful, girlish innocence of orange blossoms until I tried L’artisan’s recently released Fleur d’Oranger. According to L’artisan’s website and various sales assistants, there was a particularly fine crop of orange blossoms in Tunisia, and they were hand-picked in order to create this limited edition fragrance. Other notes include petit grain and beeswax.
Immediately upon spraying the fragrance on my skin, I’m hit with prickly green notes reminiscent of fresh-cut flower stems and young leaves. But those quickly retreat to the background as the stunningly pure orange blossom note emerges–sweet but not heady or cloying. You can almost feel the sunshine warm your skin as your body is cushioned by grass, an endless blue sky stretched out above your head, and a gentle breeze wafts the scent of the blossoms towards your nose. I detect beeswax as well, which recalled another favorite fragrance evoking the happy innocence of childhood, Annick Goutal’s Eau du Ciel. Every time I sniff my wrist, I just want to sigh with giddy delight. It’s like a euphoric drug. Instant happiness with each sniff.
Not so pleasant is the financial commitment to maintain this happiness: $250 for a 100 mL bottle. I understand that the ingredients are super high quality and all, which will jack up the price, but I do wish that there were other sizes available. I’m losing thousands of dollars this winter to pay for flights and hotel stays for interviews, and I’m not even making a salary yet, so I’d be hard-pressed to make a splurge like this–particularly when I have so many nearly-full bottles in my collection already. But a girl can dream, right? *grin*
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