Parfums de Nicolai; L’Eau Chic

Notes: Bourbon geranium, peppermint, spearmint, lavender, sandalwood, Roman chamomile, iris, clove, pimiento, white musks

It is impossible to have a better pedigree than Patricia de Nicolai. The grand-daughter of Pierre Guerlain, was trained by Jean-Paul Guerlain, she was the first woman to be awarded ‘best international perfumer’ from the Society of French Perfumers in 1988. She is now the current president of the Osmothèque, the perfume museum at Versailles. Quite an impressive resume! She also owns her own small company, Parfums de Nicolai, where she has complete control to realize her own vision. And how lucky for us because her vision is quite striking.

The inspiration for L’Eau Chic is the geranium-scented soap Madame de Nicolai recalls from her childhood home. This is definitely a soapy/fresh fragrance and, at the same time, it’s so much more than that. L’Eau Chic manages to be refreshing without giving off cleaning product or air freshener vibes. Nor would I really refer to it as a ‘green’ fragrance, despite the freshness (and the green tint).

Geranium is at the center of this composition, yet I don’t think of this as floral. Lavender adds a cool herbal quality, dialing down the floral. The pimiento and clove open up the spicy, peppery facets of geranium, and the spice enlivens L’Eau Chic so that it feels almost effervescent. It positively jumps off the skin, radiating a piquant freshness. But the mint is the star note to me. It is present throughout wear-time, blending well with the lavender, and off-setting the spices so that L’Eau Chic never veers off-balance into something too spicy or overbearing.

This is a perfect composition, delicate but surprisingly tenacious; the fresh factor never wears off throughout wear time. I could see L’Eau Chic working all year round, but it’s especially perfect for keeping you refreshed on those sticky, humid summer days. I will never think of ‘soapy’ fragrances in the same way again after trying L’Eau Chic. This is a standout.

I couldn’t resist snagging a full bottle of this. Chic to death.

Parfums de Nicolai; L’Eau Chic: $45 for 30ml // $115 for 100 ml. Samples and full bottles available from Luckyscent.

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2 thoughts on “Parfums de Nicolai; L’Eau Chic

  1. Both notes list and your description sound very interesting. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

    I’m not too familiar with this brand: so far I’ve tried just two perfumes and had a 50/50 result – one worked for me perfectly – Le Temps D’Une Fete (I have a small decant of it) and one – Odalisque – didn’t work out for my skin/nose; but I’m curious about it and will keep trying when I get a chance.

    1. No problem, if you end up trying this one, I hope you like it! I’m so intrigued by this brand, but I haven’t tried either of the PdN offerings that you mentioned yet. I’m also trying ‘New York’ and ‘L’Eau Mixte’ both of which I like, but they’re sharp and more masculine in vibe.

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