Thursday, October 24, 2013

Review - "Thé Vert & Bigarade" by L'Occitane en Provence

After a long, hot and difficult day at work today I found myself heading home from the city and being pulled in by the specific gravity that L'Occitane stores seem to exert. The plan was to just pick up a bar of my favourite Verbena scented Extra Gentle Soap (summer in a bar of soap, quite simply) and then exit.


Oh well, when the spirits need a little boost why not treat oneself to a new fragrance? Something summery and uplifting was on the cards. It's been an unseasonably hot Spring in Sydney, and we have had devastating bushfires and a pall of smoke that has drifted over the city from areas around Sydney. I could use a boost, and so after 2 sniffs on a fragrance card I grabbed a bottle (and my soap) and made my purchase. I didn't even try it on skin, because that's the kind of reckless badass I am. Ahem.

I haven't done all that well with the search for a new signature summer scent yet, such as the misstep with Amazingreen, but I had a good feeling about this. At $80 for a 75ml edt it wasn't super cheap, but not a bank breaker either. Caution was thrown to the wind in favour of some retail therapy.

Thé Vert & Bigarade by L'Occitane en Provence (2013)
Eau de Toilette, 75ml.
Top notes: Orange, Bitter Orange
Heart notes: Green Tea, Yerba Mate
Base notes: Cedar
Nose: L'Occitane creator Olivier Baussan and perfumer Karine Dubreuil.
Perfect for both women and men, the spirit of the lively Thé Vert & Bigarade Eua de Toilette is as refreshing as a cool break on a warm summer day.

A classic fragrance, this Eau de Toilette includes green tea extract from Japan and the essential oil of bitter orange from the Mediterranean. Energising upon first contact, the fragrance evolves with sparkling citrus notes in an accord of sweet and bitter orange, with an aromatic base includes notes [see above].
 [Notes and description by L'Occitane en Provence]

5 Minutes
The first spritz of Thé Vert & Bigarade (trans: Green Tea & Bitter Orange) opens with a lovely blast of a white floral orange blossom and the by now quite familiar "green tea" accord. Within a few minutes however the heady powdery blossom subsides a bit and a juicy orange fruit note becomes more noticeable. The blend of orange, green tea and blossom is light and fresh, quite feminine for a 'unisex' fragrance, and quite delicious.

30 Minutes
At 30 minutes my reaction to this is Oh, yum. The powdery floral notes have started to retreat, taking some of the feminine edge off the fragrance. What is left is a juicy, cool combination of orange fruit and peel, green tea and grassy green and hay notes (possibly from the yerba mate?). At 30 minutes the projection and sillage are quite good. I've had to make peace with the fact that light and fresh, and being a sillage beast, are not common bedfellows. Well, actually I still fight it, because even in a summer fragrance I want a little value for money you know? So far this fragrance seems to be holding up very well.

2 Hours
At the 2 hour mark Thé Vert & Bigarade has become a little less grassy green and more of a study in a cool green citrus with a soft woody note. The green tea is still noticeable but more like a soft element of the slightly bitter citrus. (It has a feel that reminds me a little of some elements of Terre de Hermès, the woody citrus elements that is, yet without the flinty mineral notes that give Terre de Hermès its edge. Also, there is no cluttered sense to this fragrance which also reminds me of the signature spare style Jean Claude Elena uses at Hermès.) There is nothing harsh here, but a well rounded fresh scent with a decent amount of loft. Projection and sillage are still pretty good and in no way disappointing.

Verdict
This is a well crafted, refreshing and uplifting fragrance that leans a little to the feminine side for a unisex. I actually have no problem with that, my yin sits pretty comfortably beside my yang, but I can see it being more popular with women than most blokes honestly. Actually, this would be a really nice fragrance for someone quite young and a good option away from those sugary sweet confections that are aimed at young women and girls. It's interesting without being especially edgy, but fun and fresh. I like it. This will definitely get some wears this Summer.

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