L'Occitane La Collection de Grasse Cèdre et Oranger (2013) {Perfume Review & Musings} {Men's Cologne}


Cèdre et Oranger (Cedar Tree & Orange Tree) by L'Occitane en Provence is the new masculine addition to the Collection de Grasse. It is said to reproduce the sensation of a light breeze blowing through trees... 

The perfume opens on a fresh, bitter orange impression with some fruity nuances and dusty woods. You already feel the resins. The fragrance morphs soon afterwards into a less subtle rendition of a men's scent: enters the business-suit accord. It is as if male urbanites all wanted to smell like a weathered ship deck beaten by the elements and brag about sea voyages. Maybe not. So many men's colognes nowadays would have you believe that they are there for you to express your inner sailor. Fortunately, this ship built with noble cedar planks manages to circumnavigate the obstacle laid out by the reef of banality. After paying passing lip service to the masculine olfactory cliché du jour, Cèdre et Oranger concentrates on what matters to nose Karine Dubreuil - nature - and in this case a beautiful rendition of cedar wood in all its splintery and saw-dusty goodness. Think Christian Lacroix Bazaar for Men, tuned down, way down.

As the fragrance progresses, it melds with your skin better and better to the point where the composition I re-title mentally as "Peau de Bois" or "Bois de Peau", exploring the semantic field opened by fragrance names such as Féminité du Bois, Bois de Violette, Miel de Bois, all by Serge Lutens who knows how to pen his perfumes (The second option, "Bois de Peau" sounds better because the first one evokes by association a less elegant French expression, "peau de vache"  - A Bitch, for men and women - and an even less elegant one which will remain in its dictionary of French slang)

The fake sea-voyage accord remains underneath the more interesting elements, but it is neutralized enough to a minimum level that you could live with it without feeling like it makes you look like you lack imagination in your choice of perfume. Cèdre et Oranger is a skin perfume which plays with the gourmand dustiness of Virginian cedar wood and the sweet amber of Italian oranges. There are discrete rosy shades of floracy. All the notes, including vetiver, are turned into a subtle dusting powder for the skin. Women could wear it although the perfume leans in the direction of a masculine fragrance a bit more, but in the end, it is about the smell of your skin enhanced by talc-like sweet woods & "spices", the latter in the sense of bringing out the flavor of something, here that of your skin. 

Fragrance notes: Orange, lemon, bergamot, pine needles / Virginian cedar wood/ vetiver, musk

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