To my eternal shame, I do not own a bottle of Cologne Indelebile by Frederic Malle. And I should, for it is a new classic fragrance in the cologne style (surprise!) of which I am a huge fan. What sets Cologne Indelebile apart from other classic of the genre such as 4711 and Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino (and, I would argue, Mugler Cologne) is the innovative use of a new molecule which has finally made a long-lasting citrus note. Typically, citrus molecules are incredibly volatile, which makes them inclined to “fly off” the skin very quickly (which is why they’re used as top notes regularly, they’re usually the first notes in a fragrance to reach your olfactory nerve), but this means they don’t last very long as a smell, simply because they essentially “evaporate” more quickly than note which is comprised of more stable molecules. Cologne Indelebile (literally: Permanent Cologne) is a citrus that lasts. And lasts. I need a bottle.
In the meantime, however, I make do with the Cologne Indelebile body wash and body milk that arrived a little while ago, and it’s keeping me happy enough until I can save up the pennies to splash out on the matching scent too. Now, I’m not a huge user of body lotions generally (I’m mostly oily-skinned, and just don’t need them, sorry!), but I do use them for layering scents quite regularly, and this lotion is brilliant for layering summery citrus scents over. The shower gel lathers well, and it’s perfect for waking you up on a somewhat sluggish morning. Used together you’ll smell clean and fresh all day.
All that said, what does Cologne Indelebile actually smell like? Well, up top it’s a blend of neroli, orange blossom and bergamot, which manages to be both incredibly fresh and clean, and heady at the same time. It’s a slightly green take on citrus, rather than a simple lemony or orangey one, there’s a leafy note below the juicy fruit, and it finishes with a set of clean laundry and skin musks. Projection is low, someone else would have to get very close to you to know you’ve showered in it, but it definitely lasts on the skin.
The Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle Cologne Indelebile body wash and body milk are available from Liberty in the UK, and cost £35 and £60 respectively.
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