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Eau d'Hadrien – The quintessential summer fragrance – July 7, 2014 New Fragrance Listing.

Orange garden, Villa di Castello in Florence - by Sailko Aug 2008

Wikimedia Commons

About this time of year, most perfume reviews, lists and blogs feature citrus based frags. It’s not surprising really since summer and citrus frags go together like hugs and kisses. That’s because citrus fruits are tropical fruits, they thrive in heat. Whether juicy, luscious, sweet, tart or bitter, they are refreshing and the perfect foil for summer heat. One citrus frag comes up time and time again in online discussions as the reference summer scent: Eau d'Hadrien by Annick Goutal. Here’s what Victoria at Bois de Jasmin says about Eau d'Hadrien "Among quintessential summer perfumes, Eau d’Hadrien rules supreme." Here’s what Marina at Perfume - Smellin’ Things says about it: "Eau d’Hadrien is my favorite Annick Goutal fragrance; it is also my favorite citrus scent. Moreover, it was Eau d’Hadrien that single-handedly converted me into a fan of citrus scents…”  Oh, yeah, Eau d’Hadrien can do that – it did it to me in 2007 when I splashed out and bought my first bottle of EdP, in the numbered butterfly bottle. Hey, true love is never cheap.

Launched in 1981 Eau d’Hadrien was inspired by Belgian writer Marguerite Yourcenar's 1951 novel, "Les Mémoires d'Hadrien" about the about the life and death of Roman Emperor Hadrian. The novel was a huge success and Annick Goutal, a fan of the book, wanted to create a fragrance that evoked the timeless freshness of a Mediterranean citrus grove.

Eau d’Hadrien, the EdP, opens with a zesty, effervescent note of juicy fresh lemon. The freshness, and trueness, of the lemon note here is mouthwatering and speaks to the quality of the ingredients in the juice. A note of fragrant, bitter citron appears. Cultivated since ancient times, citron was the first of the citrus fruits to appear in the Mediterranean basin, its appearance here is a nod to the ancient world of Emperor Hadrian. Grapefruit, fruitier than the citron, extends the bitterness, but softens it too as it blends into a gentle floral sweetness – I smell ylang-ylang – that counterbalances the bitterness so that the citrus freshness shines. It’s here that I get Goutal’s signature rose note, like a valentine hidden in the citrus grove, it adds another floral facet to the fragrance. As it develops Tuscan cypress, woody, earthy and camphorous comes forward, and gives Eau d’Hadrien the smell of warm skin – male or female.

The drydown is refined and graceful, an olfactory expression of  walking through a citrus grove on a sunny day – the citrus fruits, some flowers, the smell of sun-warmed skin. But it is the lemon! Vibrant at the start, it fades but never disappears.

My love for this fragrance, and the pleasure it gives me, has never waned.

The EdP concentration might not be for everyone, some may prefer the Les Colognes Eau d'Hadrien version launched in 2013 where the zestiness of the lemon has been toned down and replaced with bitter petitgrain and bergamot, softened and sweetened with mandarin. There is a green aspect to the cologne that comes from basil and rosemary, while orange blossom adds a floral dimension. Musk rounds it all out at the base.

I wouldn’t be without either of them in the summertime, so we offer them both to you today.

Today, we’re adding both Eau d'Hadrien EdP and Les Colognes Eau d'Hadrien  to our Decant Store. Decants of Eau d'Hadrien EdP 2007 $8.00. Decants of  Les Colognes Eau d'Hadrien are $5.00