I had just received a flacon of Norell eau de cologne, the last one of the three concentrations that was left for me to discover. Let me tell you right away that my first reaction was simply: "Wow!". I opened my package, spritzed some on and was instantly smitten. I think even more so than with the Norell eau de toilette. It is a delectable nectar on which I shall have occasion to return when I review it in more detail, together with Norell the pure parfum concentration, as promised.
As Norell edc evolved on my skin, it made me irresistibly think of Le Parfum de Thérèse by Edmond Roudnitska for Frédéric Malle, of all perfumes! I hope this does not sound too sacrilegeous to either Malle or Roudnitska aficionados. But yes, Le Parfum de Thérèse has, if not a twin sister, at least, a closely related cousin in the perfume world. It is a "poor cousin", if you will, because the price tag of Norell is set considerably lower, but it should not be assumed that it is a poor cousin in a pejorative sense. Norell eau de cologne smells delicious. Even my picky husband let out a mmmmm... of appreciation. It is also somewhat misleadingly called a cologne because it is in fact pretty tenacious...
Briefly, because this column is not for reviews but for kinship and comparison shopping, I will state the resemblances and differences. The main reason why Le Parfum de Thérèse and Norell Eau de Cologne resemble each other is that they both develop a pronounced melon aroma, either as a note for LPde T or as an accord for Norell edc. Norell's long-winded drydown smells like the top meloney accord of Thérèse; the difference is that the melon note resorbs itself pretty quickly in Thérèse, while in Norell edc, it prolongs itself and endures. They both offer the same fruitiness allied with a pleasant tartness. They both smell of a sophisticated dewy green melon.
The differences are that Thérèse is more peppery and has more of an animalic drydown. Its structure is also very different, it being a leaner, more minimalist perfume than Norell edc. However, it is sometimes uncanny to see how closely they smell like each other. Another point in favor of Norell edc, besides its dirt cheap price, is its tenacity. Thérèse, at least on my skin, does not stay on as long which can be a little frustrating.
I note that both perfumes contain mandarine and vetiver notes. There are no melon notes to speak of in Norell but the fruitiness might be a result of the mandarine brought together with the sweet, round, floral heart composed of jasmine and other flowers.
Norell does not have the borderline nauseabond note that Thérèse has in its drydown, a touch that makes it a connoisseur perfume. Norell is prettier and rounder. It even smells, ever so slightly, at some point, like some of the perfumed plastic erasers of my childhood, especially the ones I remember from Japan.
I insist that this comparison is for Norell, the eau de cologne, not the eau de toilette which does not smell at all like Le Parfum de Thérèse.
There are some very good deals for Norell eau de cologne at some of my affiliates: