"You shall submit to the love of three oranges, the love of three oranges!…Day and night…in search, in search of three oranges! Yearn for them, yearn for the them!" – Fata Morgana from the opera L'Amour des Trois Oranges
In Sergei Prokofiev's 1919 surreal, satirical fantasy opera, The Love of Three Oranges (L'Amour des Trois Oranges), the witch Fata Morgana curses the Prince with an obsession for (of all things) three oranges!
Details from “Orange Grove of Citrus Trees” ©️ Jane Small
Today lovers of the scents of citrus trees, blossoms and fruits might consider the witch's words more a blessing than a curse. I, for one, am happy to submit to the love of any number of oranges and yearn for all things citrus. From the twigs, and the leaves, to the blossoms, fruit and pith, the scents of the bitter orange tree and its neroli blossoms, fill my heart with joy. When I imagine my favorite and quintessentially citrus/neroli fragrances, three oranges come immediately to mind – Parfums de Nicolai Eau sOleil (2013), Cap Neroli (2018) and perfumer Patricia de Nicolai's latest and most amplified orange, Parfums de Nicolai Neroli Intense.
By Gail Gross©
Patricia de Nicolaï, anticipating the creation of Parfums de Nicolai Neroli Intense, traveled to Nabuel in Tunisia, to the land of citrus groves, searching for and exploring the diverse facets of neroli and the bitter orange tree. Her experiences with the atmosphere of the harvest and the orange trees of Tunisia informed and inspired the new Parfums de Nicolai Neroli Intense.
Young Woman in a Garden of Oranges, 1891, Pascal Adolphe Jean Dagnan-Bouveret
The opening of Neroli Intense is like an early morning stroll through a grove of orange trees, just as the fruits begin to ripen in the Northern hemisphere. The immediate cool, fresh green impression, slightly bitter and dry with a zest of green orange peel, is colored by the sweet and gentle anise-like characteristics of tarragon. There is no mistaking petit-grain, the essence of the leaves and twigs of the bitter orange. Within moments the fresh, slightly aqueous opening of Neroli Intense becomes warmer and thicker as nearly ripe oranges and mandarins add richness to the blend. The aromas of neroli and orange blossoms are supported and focused by Pittosporum flower, the Japanese Mock Orange that has a woody/musky orange blossom note all its own. The lush, white floral heart of Parfums de Nicolai Neroli Intense remains in place for at least six hours, gradually giving way to the smooth animalic beeswax, redolent of honey, hay and pollen. A breath of patchouli and white musk provide the perfect refined foil and a delicate finish to the initial intensity of the leaves, fruits and flowers.
Orange Tree Branches. 1889. Berthe Morisot
Creating perfume is often compared to composing music. Harmonic references (and The Love of Three Oranges) aside, my background as a musician and a plant nurseryman leads me to experience Parfums de Nicolai Neroli Intense as a perfume inspired by horticultural practice and brought to life by a sequence of scented "accords". I have always been fascinated by the fact that the orange fruits we love are rarely produced on trees grown from seeds. Instead commercial orange trees are built, from the ground up, grafted onto hardy rootstock – very often the roots of the bitter orange tree! Patricia de Nicolai, has taken every aspect of the tree into consideration – leaves, bark, twigs, blossoms and fruit, amplifying each facet by using diverse fragrance materials with unique citrus profiles and building, in scent, her very own bitter orange tree – Parfums de Nicolai Neroli Intense! Notes: Neroli, mandarin, orange, tarragon, Pittosporum flower, orange flower, Petit-grain bigarade, beeswax, patchouli and musk.
Disclaimer: I would like to thank Parfums de Nicolai for my cherished bottle of Neroli Intense. My opinions are my own.
Gail Gross – Senior Editor
Art Direction – Michelyn, Camen, Editor in Chief
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Parfums de Nicolai Neroli Intense courtesy of ZGO PERFUMERY© who was in Paris visiting the Nicolai boutique last month
Thanks to the generosity of Parfums de Nicolaï we have one 30 ml bottle of Neroli Intense available to one registered reader worldwide. Be sure to register or your comment will not count. To be eligible please let us know where you live, tell us what appeals to you about Gail's review of Neroli Intense, and your favorite from Parfums de Nicolai. Draw closes 10/7/2018
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