I cannot say that I am not a fan of orange blossom perfumes, but I rarely pick orange blossom or neroli scent when discovering a new perfume range. For me, orange blossom absolute (and neroli essential oil) is a perfume by itself. They are effortlessly beautiful–amazing just the way they are.
Orange blossom absolute is an expensive raw material, so perfumers rarely abuse them in the formulations. And it is not very impactful either when used in a low quantity (to fit the budget). So, what to do? Each perfumer has their own trick; either recreate them or pair them with other ingredients to enhance their effect. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. From my personal perspective, money talks.
Skeptical, that’s the word; I am skeptical about orange blossom and neroli fragrances. So when I looked at the perfumes in Scents of Wood’s subscription box, Oranger in Chestnut is bof. I am curious to know the brand’s interpretation but a bit nervous about being disappointed.
I END UP LOVING ORANGE IN CHESTNUT!
Yes, Orange in Chestnut is the first to write because it is my favorite from the line. After all, I don’t save the best for the last.
To give you a bit of background. Scents of Wood (a.k.a L’Ame du Bois in French) is a young fragrance brand, born in the USA, and a brainchild of Fabrice Croisé. The brand takes forests and trees as the inspiration for their whole creations. If it is not original enough, they age their organic alcohol in wooden barrels for months before using it for their perfumes. I have never seen anyone done anything like this before.
The alcohol (solvent) used in Orange in Chestnut is not ordinary because it has been aged in a chestnut barrel–an extraordinary fragrance in extraordinary alcohol. Isn’t it fantastic?
Orange in Chestnut opens with a bright and beautiful neroli scent.
Gently, a juicy, aldehydic, fresh, and bright orange bigarade settles in and immediately light-up the fragrance. The whole experience is similar to picking a bouquet of orange flowers from a fragrant orange tree in the early morning: the blue sky, the glowing sunrise, the fresh breeze, and the dewy leaves. This sensory experience feels holistic and engaging.
Orange in Chestnut is a cologne, but not entirely. Its audacity is hard to neglect, thanks to the powerful amberwood, Amber Xtreme, from IFF. The amberwood captures the orange tree and expands it in its own bubble, creating a sumptuous floral notes, rich and creamy citrus, and a crisp natural greenness that harmonizes with the orange’s aldehydic facet. The amberwood carries a somewhat marine and animalic breeze that blends elegantly with the orange blossom, creating a velvety veil around the orange tree. I found this aspect incredibly addictive.
The journey towards the dry down is even more impressive. The transition is smooth and feels intimate. I see the citrus is settling down with the amberwood and the floral with the woods. The woody accord is tender and soft, elegantly unveils the dry and smoky cedarwood. The musky and ambery silhouette reminiscent of cashmeran prevails, giving a suede finish to the woods. All of it is remarkably noble.
Orange in Chestnut, another masterpiece from Carlos Benaim.
I am not surprised since this is not the first creation of his that I love. Orange in Chestnut has become my favorite orange blossom fragrance.
I love the simplicity, balance, and finesse. The orange blossom smells clean and straightforward. I love the part where the orange and neroli gives brilliance to orange blossom without going too far in the cologne territory. Otherwise, it’d be monotonous.
I adore the way Carlos Benaim works with Amber Xtreme, Cashmeran, and Cedarwood in Orange in Chestnut. This concoction gives a powerful boost and, somehow, elegance. It presents a fun yet charming personality, like someone who always knows what to say in an awkward encounter and knows how to react on uncomfortable occasions, someone who can make their companion feel comfortable.
Smelling this, I wish, one day, I could be as wise and as marvelous as he is as a perfumer.
Scents of Wood is a brand that is worth discovering.
Fabrice, the founder, is an extremely creative and curious person. He has a weekly live chat on Instagram every Tuesday. Fabrice also does Instagram Live with other founders and brands. So, in case you haven’t, follow Scents of Wood Instagram now. It would be best if you tuned in to know new updates from the brand and also Q&A. Check Scents of Wood’s website to subscribe to their box and shop their perfumes and candles.
Drop a message below if you have any comments or questions!