Parfums d'Orsay was first founded during the Romantic period as Maison Parfums d'Orsay by Count d'Orsay, reportedly in 1830, this date according to the brand but other dates are also put forth. 1908 is the more recent date at which the brand was brought back to life by German and Dutch investors with the approval of the d'Orsay family. The first date nevertheless alludes to a period in which the famous French dandy and man of many talents Comte Gabriel Alfred Guillaume d'Orsay (1801-1852) was creating perfumes in Great Britain where he had taken up residence.......
He was also reputed as a skilled painter and sculptor and a fastidious fashionista who would not hesitate to change his gloves eight times a day, a trait of personality that had earned him the nickname "the archangel of dandysm" bestowed upon him by poet Lamartine. But foremost, he might have been one of the best-known incarnations of the Romantic lover. Like the Guerlain creators who could not dissociate the art of perfumery from the art of love, the perfumes he created were for a woman, Lady Margaret or Marguerite Countess of Blessington, of whom he was so enamored that he married her very nubile step-daughter Harriet, who was then 15, in order to be able to stay near her as there was a Count of Blessington.
The odd couple divorced very quickly, but Alfred continued to follow Margaret and her husband and they were able to live together after the Count's death.
On the backdrop of such Romantic turmoil, if the tender Tilleul (Lime Tree) was created in the 20th century, either in 1955 or 1960, according to different sources, it retains a romantic bucolic personality with its pristine evocation of a world in which nature is conducive to day-dreaming. It is a simple scent in as much as its aim is simple, to attempt to recreate faithfully the balmy summery atmosphere of a gentle garden planted with linden blossom trees. It is the best linden perfume we know of, the truest we have been able to experience so far and at the very least, should remain a reference for us in the future.
The notes of the fragrance are softly green and honeyed with a light aqua texture, like the natural scent of linden or even going a step further, a delicate infusion of linden blossom. The drier blonde summery cut-hay note brings a slightly more masculine feel to the mix which overall feels like a unisex scent. The soft green facets are, apart from the linden blossom, reinforced with angelica, honeydew, and lemon leaves. The mellow tinge of honey is expressed by beeswax and honeydew, the former which tends to smell a bit more in the longer dry-down of candle wax, thus breaking a bit the illusion of promenading in a linden tree garden swept by the breeze, but then making one think of the same historical period lit by burning candles. The cut-hay note makes the scent seem more bucolic and innocent. It is a restful, peaceful scent which can only give rise it seems to childlike dreams. Parfums d'Orsay saw this very well as they now also propose a night perfume version of the original called Tilleul Friction de Nuit (Linden Tree Night Rub.) You can wear it or you can also sprinkle your pillow with it and feel transported under the boughs of a linden blossom tree, as if you had fallen asleep in the park.
To us it recreates almost exactly the out-of-this-world scent that envelops you when you arrive in the garden of the eccentric Belcourt Castle in Newport in the summer, which is a late 19th century estate. It is like a linden blossom sea washed upon you, mingling the linden blossoms and the subtle scent of the ocean.
Top notes are lemon tree leaves, angelica, honeydew. Heart notes are linden blossom and cyclamen. Base notes are Acacia wood, beeswax, and cut hay. The bottle was designed by the artist Restrepo.