July 19, 2010
It has been a very good year for perfumers to re-interpret the eau de cologne style of fragrance construction. Each new iteration has seen some of the most talented perfumers we have, take the classic architecture of eau de cologne and impose their own design on this venerable style of fragrance. L’Eau Mixte is Patricia de Nicolai’s version for her Parfums de Nicolai line of fragrance.
Patricia de Nicolai has shown a deft hand with citrus throughout the many fragrances she has designed. Just on the masculine side of things the lemon in New York and grapefruit in Balle de Match, Mme. de Nicolai knows how to coax liveliness out of what are some of the most ubiquitous notes in perfumery. Because Eau de Cologne relies on a citrus opening, most commonly, I was very much looking forward to the spin Mme. de Nicolai would impart to this style of fragrance. Her choice is to respect the tradition of citrus top, floral/herbal heart, and oakmoss base. She then makes some interesting additions to this to make L’Eau Mixte an Eau de Cologne all her own.
The citrus she chooses to use at the beginning of L’Eau Mixte is lemon and this is a much brighter lemon than the one she used in New York. The lightness is entirely in keeping with an eau de cologne and she matches it with blackcurrant and peppermint. This adds a hint of berry and the peppermint stands in for the more traditional rosemary as the herbal component. I have not been a fan of mint in many fragrances as it, unfortunately, conjures up oral health products more often than something I enjoy in my cologne. In L’eau Mixte the peppermint has a lot more of the herbal nature of the raw leaf over the more familiar aspect. Instead of lavender in the heart, Mme. de Nicolai chooses a spicy rose which adds a significant depth to L’Eau Mixte. The oakmoss in the base hews to the tradition but the addition of woods and vetiver take it in new directions. What really adds to the base is a collection of sheer muscs. It is this combination of basenotes which allow L’Eau Mixte an unusual longevity for an eau de cologne. Beyond that it adds an extra layer of complexity not usually seen in this style of fraqgrance. It has the ability of making this feel thoroughly modern.
L’Eau Mixte has average longevity and average sillage.
In many of the new interpretations of eau de cologne that I’ve tried in 2010 I have been impressed with the originality that talented artists find in something which should feel so familiar. Patricia de Nicolai has found her own eau de cologne muse and has created an original addition to this oldest form of blended fragrance.
Disclosure: This review was based on a sample purchased from Luckyscent.
-Mark Behnke, Managing Editor