This is a pleasant surprise; Ruban D'Orange récolte d'hiver by L'Occitane (Orange Ribbon winter harvest) is better than what I expected and full-bottle worthy. The perfume, with its name suggestive to me also of a treat, a confiserie - I somehow picture a guimauve ribbon - arrives in the midst of our fall days to appeal to our sense of contrast and tempt us with its sunny thirst-quenching notes. This summery aspect is not the end of the story however for it subsides in due course as the perfume also develops a warm amberey and woodsy character that is very much in tune with the season....
Ruban D'Orange is a very juicy scent, in the best sense of the term, realistically evoking the transparent pulp of oranges bursting with juice. It smells very natural, a great point in my opinion. The fragrance brings back memories of glasses of freshly pressed orange juices made savory with the addition of salt. As this reference constitutes an aesthetic compass for me, I am delighted. The citrus that dominates to my nose is mandarin. One can perceive the passage from sweet oranges to the bitter type as the scent plays with these two tonalities in succession but the softness of mandarin predominates.
Somewhere in the middle of the development the perfume starts smelling a bit heavier and less compelling, more banal, a little reminiscent of a perfumed candle as I remember it.The lasting originality of the drydown however redeems the scent offering an harmony that is a little bit less than classical. The orange or rather the mandarin ribbon running throughout the scent contributes to the fresh, luminous facet of the drydown. The vetiver, Tonka bean, cedarwood, and amber (?) have a marked sensual presence whithout being heavy. There is actually a progression towards the airy based on the cedarwood, citruses, and a late-arriving and invigorating mint note. There is also an iced-tea-with-a-slice-of-lemon-please facet. On me the fragrance is tenacious.
The perfume deliciously reminds me of the old custom fallen into disuse of offering fresh oranges wrapped in silver paper at Christmas at the time when those were rare and expensive.
Top notes are lemon, Sicilian mandarin, sweet orange, and bitter orange from Sevilla. Heart note is fig-leaf. Base notes are vetiver, Tonka bean, and cedarwood.
A 3.4 oz bottle retails for $40. Ancillary products are a shower gel $18, a soap $4, a soft skin scrub $34, a soft skin milk $21, and a lip gloss $10.