Born a king on Bethlehem's plain,Welcome to We Three Kings week. This week, I and nine other bloggers (see list below) will each be reviewing three perfumes, to represent the three gifts of the magi: gold, frankincense and myrrh. The first up for me is gold, the gift that symbolized kingship on earth.
Gold I bring to crown Him again,
King forever, ceasing never
Over us all to reign.
Gold is the colour of Christmas for me. Gold decorations are on my tree, gold paper and bows wrap my gifts, and golden candlelight fills the apartment in the evenings. When I was a child, my sister and I would always receive a golden navel orange in the toe of our stockings. The smell of orange peel brings back memories for me of Christmas mornings.
Nothing captures the glorious, bright golden smell of orange peel better than Frederic Malle's Bigarade Concentrée. Based on a bitter orange essence developed specially for Jean-Claude Ellena, Bigarade Concentrée reminds me most of the smell of clementines. Every year I like to get a little wooden box of these Moroccan delicacies in December and the opening of Bigarade Concentrée smells exactly like peeling one of these little jewels.
As it warms up on the skin the intense bitter orange of Bigarade Concentrée becomes more sheer and floral with just a touch of rose, like a rose, orange and gold sunrise. Then another type of gold becomes noticeable, a beautiful sweet, golden hay note. Hay is like liquid summer sunshine; it's sweet and grassy and works really well with the orange and rose. A light dry cedar provides a base that compliments but never overpowers the other notes.
Bigarade Concentrée was a pleasant surprise for me. I wasn't expecting to fall in love with a bitter orange perfume, especially in winter, when I usually drift towards spices, incenses or warm ambers. Orange seems to me like it would be a summer scent. But after trying Bigarade Concentrée on a window-sniffing lunch break, I knew by the end of the day that I had to own a full bottle. From a deceptively simple list of notes, Jean-Claude Ellena created a golden treasure that I will wear year round.
Nose: Jean-Claude Ellena
Notes: bitter orange, rose, hay, cedar
Three Kings Icon ©2010 Megan Ruisch
Please visit all these other blogs during We Three Kings week: