The overall impression and notes list of this is very comparable to Annick Goutal's Nuits d'Hadrien (2003). I like them both. Both build a tangy, zesty citrus scent with a spicy heart on a warm base of amber, musk, patchouli and sandalwood. But there's a crucial difference between them: Typically for its time, Eau de Rochas incorporates a floral aspect (rose, carnation, narcissus), whereas the "Hadrian's Nights" are flowerless and strongly emphasize the spicy aspect by including cumin and juniper. The result is completely on the gourmand side and can no longer be called fresh or "cologne-like". It's a deep, intimate, "corporal" waft; evoking the shirt of someone who has spent a very hot day cooking Iranian stew with lots of lime in it. The zesty citrus aspect lives inside a dark, aromatic armpit. "Eau de Rochas" also has a slight gourmand quality to it - a sort of lime pickle impression - but its spiciness is comparatively moderate and counterbalanced by subtle florals. This makes it a much easier to wear daytime scent. It's briskly sour, zesty, herbaceous, spicy, while preserving just a hint of a flower-soapy, old school sense of chic. It passes as formal, nonetheless carries true wildness in its heart.
A sophisticated monument of "electric" cologne with a dominant brightly citric/herbal/floral minty accord. Neroli, bergamot, basil and rose-jasmine-carnation provide a supremely classic-naïf cologney vibe while an anisic/licoricey/lemony presence discloses a touch of cool "latin" aromatic exoticism. The juice is freshly tart and sparkling, recalling several Guerlain Aqua Allegoria or 4711 Echt Kölnisch Wasser. Dry down is muskier with an amber/patchouli dominant presence (and quite refined on subtle florals). A classic timeless concept. Stunning bottle from a left back glorious past.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, we are told. Rochas' startlingly original "sour" lemon scent for men, Moustache, from 1949, was the first to my knowledge, to introduce this unusual take on a citrus cologne. The note was referred to as a bit of animalic to anchor the citrus blend.
In 1966 Dior copied the formula with its Eau Sauvage, but balanced it differently, relegating the sour notes to the background.
In 1970 Rochas took its old formula for Moustache, and probably encouraged by the success of Dior's copy, polished it off, made it subtler, and re-introduced it as a feminine, Eau de Rochas.
All this is fascinating to me, and all three of these are hits in my book. Since Eau de Rochas was originally intended for women, the sour or dirty note is not as pronounced as it was in Moustache. Still i is to my nose a very light version of that great masculine.
The citrus blend of bergamot, lime, lemon, verbena, grapefruit and mandarin never fades, supported as it is by the patchouli and amber. A great summer scent in whichever of the three you decide to invest.
Despite containing lime, mandarin, lemon, grapefruit and bergamot, this doesn't feel like a cologne. The structure is confused; lacking coherence, the various blocks do not pull together and somewhere between the citrus, dry powder and a sour floral note it loses its way. In the modern version the result is well described as 'queasy' by RachelGrigg on another fragrance review website.
Appearing a year later than the simpler and superior dark mossy citrus of Ô de Lancôme in a virtually identical bottle, it is tempting to speculate that it was a 'me too' version that copied the form but didn't understand the spirit of the thing.
There's something about this wonderful scent that makes me want to wear a floaty, diaphanous dress and sit by a pool sipping a cocktail. It perks me up and relaxes me at the same time with its beautiful blend of lime, grapefruit, lemon, carnation, coriander a smidgen of patchouli, oakmoss, musk and sandalwood.
I really can't imagine a more suitable concoction to spritz on when the heat is on and the days are long.
As it melds with my skin it becomes very sensuous and could easily be unisex in the way the Eau Sauvage became in the 70's.