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September 13, 2005

Fragrance review: Cologne Blanche by Christian Dior

Prudon_josephine

One of the three colognes released by Christian Dior in 2004 under the guidance of Hedi Slimane, Cologne Blanche was composed by Francis Kurkdjian. All three fragrances are well-composed, with the attention to detail that cannot be left unnoticed, from the high-quality ingredients to the understated luxury of the packaging. If the name cologne leads one to expect thin and bland citrus concoctions, Cologne trio will definitely be a wonderful surprise. The colognes are quite varied, from bitter herbs and caramel undertones of Eau Noire to chilly elegance of Bois D’Argent. Cologne Blanche is an epitome of refinement, with its marriage of indulgence and comfort set against a ravishing delicacy of almond base enriched by the softest of musks.

Gilded notes of bergamot and orange are like radiant ornaments on the backdrop of sumptuous softness, delicately intertwined with the herbal whisper of green herbs. It is as if a branch of rosemary got caught in the fruit basket, its piney scent adding a rejuvenating element. The feeling of understated sensuality is an interesting touch, considering the essentially “straight out of the shower clean” aura of the composition. However, there is something ethereal and alluring about the fragrance that makes one want to lean in and inhale the scent emanating from the skin.

The stunningly elegant drydown is reminiscent of inhaling the bittersweet aroma of peach stone, which alternates between milky green almond and lusciously sweet nut. A mere hint of confectioner’s sugar subtly scented with vanilla foils the understated musk of the base. If I am to imagine a fragrance Napoleon would like on Joséphine (a woman of whom he said in his letters, “I must see her and press her to my heart. I love her to the point of madness, and I cannot continue to be separated from her. If she no longer loved me, I would have nothing left to do on earth”), Cologne Blanche would be it, fitting Napoleon’s fastidious cleanliness as well as Josephine’s predilections for exotic musks.

Cologne Blanche, like the other two colognes, Bois d’Argent and Eau Noire, is available in 4.2oz, 8.4oz, and 16.9oz bottles, and can be found at Eluxury and Neiman Marcus.

Painting: Pierre-Paul Prud'hon. Portrait of Empress Joséphine. 1805. Oil on canvas, Louvre. Abcgallery.com

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