In defence of the eau de Cologne, and the beauty of simplicity.

PrinceRF

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Apr 3, 2020
Castile is a great iteration of the EdC style - although it's an EdT - which is super light and fresh. Enjoying it greatly today.
 
Jul 7, 2012
Castile is a great iteration of the EdC style - although it's an EdT - which is super light and fresh. Enjoying it greatly today.

+1

I love when perfumers do one of two things with the eau de cologne style: either create one with amazingly high quality - or - putting a different spin on it, with really high quality. Castile is a perfect example of the latter. It's awesome. Bortnikoff's Musk Cologne is another.
 

cpp214

Basenotes Dependent
Jan 20, 2011
I went through a phase a few years ago of actively seeking out the best Eau de Cologne style fragrances I could find. I only have two EDC-styled fragrances left in my collection - AdP Colonia Essenza and Bruno Fazzolari Five - and they are both excellent, but I rarely wear them.

A few gems that standout from the many I've tried in this style are:

Art of Shaving Lemon - an amazing lemon/neroli that could easily be mistaken for niche in my opinion. Excellent performance.

Eau de Guerlain - the benchmark EDC for me. Citrusy, minty, herbal, refreshing. Doesn't get any better imo.

Maitre Parfumer et Gantier Pour le Jeune Homme - one of the best performing in the genre. Unique composition.

Malle Cologne Indelible - the best niche take on an EDC I've tried. One of the finest/best uses of Musk I've ever smelled in a cologne. It elevates the citrus and gives it outstanding longevity.

Dior Escale a Parati - In some ways I would describe this one as a "barbershop" EDC, though at times it veered too feminine for my taste. Outstanding nonetheless.
 

Renato

Basenotes Institution
Oct 21, 2002
Interesting thread thanks, but I'm not actually sure which category of scent it is about.

You mention 4711 and Colonia in relation to Eau De Cologne - which to my mind are the more short lived type scents, that are pretty hopeless no matter how nice they initially smell. It's a lot of money to spend on ADP Colonia or Eau Sauvage in order to put them on, drive to some event, only to find they're already on their last legs when one gets there.

On the other hand people here are talking about scents labelled EDC which don't bear much relationship to those light Colonia-type ones, and which I'd put in a separate category despite having the same name.
For example, my bottle of Guerlain Vetiver EDT from 2000 lasts about five or so hours on me, whereas my splash bottle of Guerlain Vetiver EDC from the same time has weaker output, but lasts about 14 hours on me. Similarly, my bottle of Guerlain Habit Rouge EDT is good for about eight hours, while my bottle of Habit Rouge EDC is no slouch either - it smells lighter and a bit different from the EDT, but is good for about six hours.

Regards,
Renato
 

slpfrsly

Physician, heal thyself
Basenotes Plus
Apr 1, 2019
I'm wearing/trying Castile by Penhaligon's for the first time. It's a lovely iteration of the genre - classic, yes, but with distinct modern touches. There's something like calone in here that gives it a real lift to the white musks, which could otherwise be overbearing (and tends to ruin Acqua di Parma's Colonias for me, which are obvious reference points for Castile, as they're similar aromas).
 

Jack Hunter

Basenotes Institution
Jul 29, 2009
Guerlains Eau de Cologne is a Summer favorite of mine. I wore it once walking through a forest on a hot Summers day. There were a lot of bugs and flies about and they did not go near me because of the citronella oil within the scent.
 

Subhuman

Basenotes Junkie
Jan 21, 2010
The only EdCs I have in my collection are Hermés Orange Verte and Eau de Guerlain. It's hard to banish a deeply-ingrained notion that a $100+ bottle of fragrance should last longer than two hours, but I'm trying. Eau de Guerlain lasts longer than a typical eau de cologne, but the Hermés really is fleeting, and it gives me sad face every time those glorious top notes fade to essentially nothing (not even real oakmoss anymore).
 

Robert G.

Super Member
Nov 19, 2009
I'm completely enamored by ADP Note di Colonia I. The quality is outstanding as is the presentation. Of course I didn't pay the full retail price for it, which is ridiculous. At current secondary market prices of about a $1 per ml it was a good opportunity to load up on it. I didn't even bother to sample the rest of the line as the first one in the line checked all of the boxes for a high quality and surprisingly long lasting EDC for me.
 

LiveJazz

Funky fresh
Basenotes Plus
Mar 16, 2006
I don't wear a ton of pure bred Eau de Colognes, but I do gravitate toward classic scents that are inspired by this style, namely Dior Eau Sauvage, which is more or less an Eau de Cologne that has been chypred. It is my summer standby.

I do also have a soft spot for Acqua di Parma (original), and more recently I've been into Nicolai Cologne Sologne, which replaced Castile as the neroli in my collection.

Agree with Wappa above that Eau de Guerlain is a really nice long lasting option that remains true to the classic EdC theme.
 

slpfrsly

Physician, heal thyself
Basenotes Plus
Apr 1, 2019
I wore Italian Bergamot by Zegna today. It's rare that I would give a full sample a wear like this in the week but I thought it safe and clean enough to avoid any problems.

It's a good example of a modern eau de cologne in my opinion. A very good example at that.

It starts off with a very lovely bergamot, soft and rounded but still undeniably a citric, green freshness. It's a very harmonious aroma, a clever use of notes to produce a ball of scent as such, instead of any sort of structure. At a distance, it simply feels like it could all just be a sweet woody citrus - and that it is perhaps 'just' or primarily bergamot. But it definitely isn't.

It's basically a tonka scent. Which is strange, because tonka doesn't necessarily link to bergamot or to an eau de cologne. But I think they've been very clever with what they've done - they being Zegna. The scent basically opens with bergamot but also immediately with a lovely rosemary and of course a fairly woody tonka supported by white florals and musks. It's right there all at the start, there's no transition from citrus to 'fake citrus' like some other perfumes do. As such, the main aroma is mostly rosemary and tonka. It creates this lovely sudsy, fresh, creamy, warm yet almost totally non-cloying fresh aroma. It has heft to it as well. It's still going, now, on my skin and shirt after a full day's wear.

The rosemary is the herbal link to the eau de cologne. It's being used to imitate some of the bite and zest of citrus rind but it also has its own quality which is going to conjure associations with traditional colognes. Neroli is strong throughout and just retains the citric/fruity element, which is why I think this stays as an eau de cologne. Perhaps the most interesting and unexpected reference I have from wearing it is Guerlain's Cologne Imperiale. The use of tonka in a cologne is obviously far from unprecedented and I think Zegna have made something of a nod to the past with Italian Bergamot. Although sweet and woody from the tonka, the clever use of other notes keeps this fresh, citric, and all the rest of it. I don't think it's quite to my taste (I was trying it to see how much I liked it as I probably favour bergamot as a formal/work citrus but never found one I really loved) but it's a very good fragrance and a very good modern iteration of the eau de cologne.
 
Jul 7, 2012
I wore Italian Bergamot by Zegna today. It's rare that I would give a full sample a wear like this in the week but I thought it safe and clean enough to avoid any problems.

It's a good example of a modern eau de cologne in my opinion. A very good example at that.

It starts off with a very lovely bergamot, soft and rounded but still undeniably a citric, green freshness. It's a very harmonious aroma, a clever use of notes to produce a ball of scent as such, instead of any sort of structure. At a distance, it simply feels like it could all just be a sweet woody citrus - and that it is perhaps 'just' or primarily bergamot. But it definitely isn't.

It's basically a tonka scent. Which is strange, because tonka doesn't necessarily link to bergamot or to an eau de cologne. But I think they've been very clever with what they've done - they being Zegna. The scent basically opens with bergamot but also immediately with a lovely rosemary and of course a fairly woody tonka supported by white florals and musks. It's right there all at the start, there's no transition from citrus to 'fake citrus' like some other perfumes do. As such, the main aroma is mostly rosemary and tonka. It creates this lovely sudsy, fresh, creamy, warm yet almost totally non-cloying fresh aroma. It has heft to it as well. It's still going, now, on my skin and shirt after a full day's wear.

The rosemary is the herbal link to the eau de cologne. It's being used to imitate some of the bite and zest of citrus rind but it also has its own quality which is going to conjure associations with traditional colognes. Neroli is strong throughout and just retains the citric/fruity element, which is why I think this stays as an eau de cologne. Perhaps the most interesting and unexpected reference I have from wearing it is Guerlain's Cologne Imperiale. The use of tonka in a cologne is obviously far from unprecedented and I think Zegna have made something of a nod to the past with Italian Bergamot. Although sweet and woody from the tonka, the clever use of other notes keeps this fresh, citric, and all the rest of it. I don't think it's quite to my taste (I was trying it to see how much I liked it as I probably favour bergamot as a formal/work citrus but never found one I really loved) but it's a very good fragrance and a very good modern iteration of the eau de cologne.

Holy moly, that's one heck of a review! Love it!

Italian Bergamot is one I've been meaning to try for ages. I put a sample in my cart last month, but removed it at the last minute to go with something else instead... and now I'm regretting it! I'd love to smell along while reading your review.
 

Zenwannabee

Super Member
Sep 15, 2009
Coming late to this thread, but as a huge fan of drugstore and barbershop frags, I love this genre. For casual and relaxed, yet spruced up, nothing for me beats the likes of Tabac EDC, Brut, and Old Spice.
 
Jul 7, 2012
Cologne Sologne by Nicolai is a surprisingly good interpretation of the Eau De Cologne style. I have a sample I've been enjoying lately. I'm tempted to pick up a bottle, but it leans just enough toward the classic style that I'm not sure I'd wear it often enough to want a bottle... my tastes lean heavily toward the modern side of the spectrum... but it's tempting.
 
D

Deleted member 26357295

Guest
If we talk about "Eau de Cologne" style fragrances, I think my favorites are:
Acqua di Colonia by Villoresi
Vetiver by Adolfo Dominguez
Cologne Indeleble by F.Malle
Acqua di Parma Colonia.

If we talk about fragrances in "Eau de Cologne" concentration, I must say that in recent months I have been able to purchase:
Chanel Nº5 EdC
Chanel Nº19 EdC
Shalimar EdC
Mitsouko EdC
Shalimar EdC
Miss Dior EdC
Vol de Nuit EdC
Nuit de Noël EdC
Narcisse Noir EdC
Infini EdC

And they all seem to me somehow unisex and simply fabulous!
I don't understand why the tradition of launching an EdC version of fragrances on the market has been lost. Yes, it is true that there are very famous cases (Terre D'Hermes, Dior Homme, etc) but it seems that the market is more focused on Parfum, Absolu, Elixir...

Which doesn't make much sense if it seems that in recent years they make us understand that people prefer softer and more discreet fragrances and that "strong" perfumes are no longer worn. Anyway, I guess it would be pure marketing.
 

slpfrsly

Physician, heal thyself
Basenotes Plus
Apr 1, 2019
I like the Villoresi as awell but the use of clove and bay leaf just pushes it over the edge for me. It's quite a hard wear for the type of scent it is. It's very Villoresi, and it's a nice aroma, but it loses something in wearability I found.

I think the change to stronger concentrations is the fact people want the idea of more for less. They want 2-3 sprays to last all day. Most synthetic perfumes can do this and if they slap on a 'Parfum' or whatever on to the end of it, people will go for that over the Eau de Cologne Concentree thing that Atelier and Acqua di Parma tried to push a few years ago. At the same time, people want light/fresh fragrances for the most part, which is probably why 'cologne' is not used in the naming of a fragrance. I agree it's all a bit confusing and like wrapping yourself in a knot.
 

H_West

Basenotes Dependent
Oct 14, 2015
Cologne Sologne by Nicolai is a surprisingly good interpretation of the Eau De Cologne style. I have a sample I've been enjoying lately. I'm tempted to pick up a bottle, but it leans just enough toward the classic style that I'm not sure I'd wear it often enough to want a bottle... my tastes lean heavily toward the modern side of the spectrum... but it's tempting.
Interesting. As a huge fan of the category I have seen Cologne Sologne being mentioned several times. The only one I've tried from Nicolai is New York Intense, and that one was so far off to the "classic" side as it wasn't fun anymore. I couldn't wear it. I don't know if classic is the word, but I'm borrowing it from you to make it clear. I guess I will sample it if possible, but I won't gamble on a bottle. I do love a lot of cologne classics but it is not worth the risk with this one.
 

cheapimitation

Basenotes Dependent
May 15, 2015
Tried Malle's Cologne Indelebile today. Another pleasant take on the theme. Probably deserving of several wearings to get to grips with its nuances.
The musks in this are really something unique. Totally different from the white musk of Chanel EDC, they get really warm and almost dirty but by no means an animalic musk. More like sun baked skin. I'd call it a dark yellow musk as opposed to white musk, but that sounds kinda gross.

I'm also a huge fan lately of the Cologne Indelible body milk, again because of the musk base it sticks around quite well for a lotion.
 

slpfrsly

Physician, heal thyself
Basenotes Plus
Apr 1, 2019
The musks in this are really something unique. Totally different from the white musk of Chanel EDC, they get really warm and almost dirty but by no means an animalic musk. More like sun baked skin. I'd call it a dark yellow musk as opposed to white musk, but that sounds kinda gross.

I'm also a huge fan lately of the Cologne Indelible body milk, again because of the musk base it sticks around quite well for a lotion.
I gave it a full wear today and understand it much better. It's not what I first thought. There's neroli, but there's also a creamy (yet cool) sweet floral base that lasts forever. It's still going strong. I'm not sure this is technically an eau de cologne in anything but a very modern sense. I have my reference for it, what it reminds me of, and I think this is actually better/more wearable than that.

In terms of the thread, however, I do think it's only a cologne in the loose sense. But I'll hold my judgement on that. The first time I tried it I thought there was a strong herbal/green accord in the first 5 minutes but I didn't get that today. Only bergamot in to neroli and then a lovely sweet-floral musk.
 

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