One Thousand Scents

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Classics Illustrated: Comme des Garçons Citrico

Sometimes you deliberately look for a list of notes in a scent, knowing that it's not usually going to tell you anything useful but wanting at least some sort of idea of what you're smelling. Sometimes you stumble across the list by accident, particularly when you're looking for a nice picture of a bottle to go with your discussion of the scent.

Luckyscent has the following list of notes for Citrico, the third of Comme des Garçons' Cologne series:

bitter orange, bergamot, neroli, cedar, sandalwood, lemon

All I can say to that is, "No it isn't!"*

Here's what I smelled right from the beginning when I wore Citrico: a citrusy granita, mostly lemon, sparkles on your skin. As it melts, it reveals a cluster of herbal green with a strip of lemon peel: the green leaves unfurl to reveal a single rose. Citrico isn't a rose scent--it's unquestionably a classic cologne--but the rose is there, large as life. The ending is pale and vaguely woody, more like the abstract idea of base notes rather than an actual third act, and it's not far from the beginning: a couple of hours, maybe, on my skin.

Citrico isn't the most original cologne on the market, to say the least. Of the three Series 4 scents, it hews most closely to what most people think of as a cologne, in structure, ingredients, and longevity. But it's beautifully made, and the rosiness is a charming surprise. I don't need another cologne, particularly not a huge bottle, but if someone were giving them away, Citrico would be my pick.

* Fragrantica says rosemary, iris, musk, neroli, bergamot, rose, lemon blossom, bitter orange and lemon, which seems at least a little closer to the mark.

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