Eau sOleil Eau de Toilette from the Eau Fraîche Collection by Patricia de Nicolaï ($45 for 30 ml; $95 for 100 ml). Patricia de Nicolaï's company sent me a few samples - just enough to addict me. Now, I must have a full bottle.
In order to celebrate the summer solstice, Patricia de Nicolaï launched this new, fifth member of her lovely Eau Fraîche Collection. "Seeing the success of my Brume d'Oreiller, inspired by orange flower oil, I thought it would be interesting to create a fragrance that used citrus characteristics," said Nicolaï. "This is why I imagined Eau sOleil as an ideal summer fresh fragrance in which neroli reminds us of the smells of our childhood." Perhaps her childhood. I didn't have the opportunity to grow up in a place resplendent with citrus zest.
Eau sOleil is an uber-citrus fragrance partnered with soft floral notes - in other words, my kind of fragrance. The first impression of Eau sOleil is a sublimely fresh blend of bergamot, lemon, mandarin, ylang ylang, and petit-grain de citronnier, notes that marry with a zing. A little sagebrush and thyme add a hint of herby woods, but just a hint. This fragrance opens with a zesty splash, light, and sunshine. It's cooling as it awakens the senses.
It's hard to put my exuberance with Eau sOleil into words. You must smell it. Parfums de Nicolaï are not easy to find in the U.S., but fortunately they are available at Beautyhabit. You can contact them to purchase a sampler. For $15, they will send you three fragrance samples of your choice to try before you buy. I'd recommend a few other Patricia de Nicolaï choices, such as Number One or Kiss Me Tender to fill out your sampler. They will give you a good idea of the range of Nicolaï's masterpieces.
Patricia Nicolai is a woman with fragrance in her blood. The granddaughter of Pierre Guerlain, she was trained by Jean-Paul Guerlain and worked extensively in the corporate fragrance world before realizing her dream: a small, family-owned company where she could express her artistry in her scents, without having to deal with a committee.
Her fragrances, made only with the finest materials, are full of subtlety, nuance, and seamless transitions as they develop on the skin. Delicate and complex, they have earned her unanimous respect in the small world of French perfumery. She was the first woman to be awarded the prize of Best International Perfumer from the French Society of Perfumers. Now that I own about 11 of her fragrances, I know why. You should get to know her too. Now, I'm off to find my to-buy list so that I can add Eau sOliel.
Photos courtesy of Patricia de Nicolaï, landsofwisdom.com, and publicdomainpictures.net