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August 19, 2005

Fragrance review: Juste Un Reve by Parfums de Nicolai

Frangipani

The ubiquity of tropical fragrances should not make one overlook Juste Un Rêve (1996), which like the name suggests is a dream of a fragrance. A dream of lush flowers dropping petals onto hot sand and of sweet haze of carefree summer. A burst of opulent monoi warms up the skin like a ray of sunshine. There is nothing bashful about its sumptuous scent redolent of coconut and white peaches. Yet, it is a perfect setting for the intertwining melody of luscious sweet rose and banana tinged jasmine. Creamy and satiny, it is a fragrance that stays close to the skin, yet entices if one is lucky to get close enough to the wearer. A whisper of iris balances out what could have been an overly sweet and lush drydown, resulting in a perfectly ornamented composition, which could not be described as anything but stunning.

I never fail to be surprised by the lack of attention Parfums de Nicolaï receive in the States, not only because the fragrances are masterfully composed, but also because the range of both personal and room fragrances is diverse and exciting. Perhaps, it is because the products are much more reasonably priced in Europe, while in the States, they incur a heavy markup. Parfums de Nicolaï were founded by Patricia de Nicolaï, a descendant of Pierre Guerlain, Jacques Guerlain’s brother, and her husband Jean-Louis Michau in 1989. The house has several boutiques, the locations of which can be discovered directly from Parfums de Nicolaï. Fragrances and ancillary products are available online at Beautyhabit, First-in-Frangrance, New London Pharmacy, Senteurs d'Ailleurs.

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