Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Parfums de Nicolai- L'Eau Chic

I don't enjoy L'Eau chic by Parfums de Nicolai. There. I said it. and believe me, it's painful to say that I can't see the point of this fragrance from one of my favorite perfumers, Patricia de Nicolai. I get that L'Eau Chic is supposed to be a light and harmless summer thing; it's probably geared towards the random tourist who happens upon the Nicolai store in Paris and steps inside unprepared. That person is less likely to buy Vetyver, Vie de Chateau or Maharnih Intense, so the minty fresh L'Eau Chic is a safe bet. I just expect more from Patricia de Nicolai. A lot more.

L'Eau Chic has an interesting note list that immediately made me think of Frederic Malle Geranium Pour Monsieur. However, the Dominique Ropion fragrance is weird and brilliant, while L'Eau Chic is as bland as its name and never manages to rise above laundry soap and toothpaste.

The opening of L'Eau Chic is watery and only slightly herbal. There's kind-of-lavender and kind-of-geranium, and my nose (and heart) try to cling to them and get more. But it's just enough, and soon the diluted mint mouthwash becomes the more prominent note. All of that is quickly drowned by sudsy water and a sad and generic pale laundry musk. Supposedly, there's another white musk in the base that makes L'Eau Chic very long lasting. However, I'm utterly anosmic to whatever Patricia de Nicolai used to anchor the fragrance, because all I get is the sheer faded soap that (thankfully) goes away after about an hour. So far I've drained a couple of samples, about 4 mls worth of this perfume in my attempts to befriend it (who doesn't want to be chic?). I'm sure this thing has its fans and its market, but I had enough.

Notes: Bourbon geranium, peppermint, spearmint, lavender, sandalwood, Roman chamomile, iris, clove, pimiento, white musks.

Parfums de Nicolai- L'Eau Chic ($5, 30ml) is available from Luckyscent, Parfum1, MiN NY, and Osswald.

Watercolor by Jojo LaRue.


  1. L' Eau Chic doesn't sound like my idea of chic at all. For green and chic, I still reach for Le Temps d’une Fête quite often. It's balance of greens, white flowers over sandalwood and moss are perfect.

  2. I think might be careful assuming an unsuspecting audience for a Nicolai fragrance. She is a perfumista favourite and her packaging and advertising (such as it is) is not likely to appeal to the random tourist. While in Europe, I thought her Richelieu, Courcelles and London boutiques were rather hard-to-find and not conducive to "street traffic", really, but the signage may have changed in recent years. In any case, many of the scent bloggers I know - Denyse, Octavian, Victoria - really enjoyed this one. I certainly like it and own it, along with a lot of other Nicolai fragrances, so the fans and/or market it has are not necessarily unfamiliar with Nicolai... or Geranium PH for that matter.


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