Bigarade Concentree by Jean-Claude Ellena for Frederic Malle 2002

Hey Hey APJ,

Yes, I know I’ve said it before but I love the crossover months, where it is cool and crisp morning and evening but warms through the day. I love the mid seasons, warm enough for a t-shirt but cool enough that you need a jumper tied around your waist in case. These are the seasons in Australia when we usually get the most rain too. There are metal rooves both front and back of my house and I love to hear rain drumming on them, right outside my office I hear it on the back verandah roof and splashing in the pool. HEAVEN!

Bigarade Concentree by Jean-Claude Ellena for Frederic Malle 2002

Bigarade concentree Frederic Malle FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bitter orange
Heart: Rose
Base: Cedar, grass, hay

Bigarade Concentree was one of the first of the Frederic Malle line that I studied in any depth because my BFF Kath has a bottle. we went together with EmmaKate who used to manage a niche & fine fragrance store in Sydney and she spent an hour taking us through the range, we had every scent on a card and all of the cards locked in greaseproof paper and cellophane. We were allowed pick three samples each to take away but Kath had decided there and then that she wanted Bigarade Concentree in her life for good. I have been lucky enough to smell it on her for a few years now and it is irrevocably entwined with her for me. I will try to be objective.

Bigarade concentree Frederic Malle orange tree PixabayPhoto Stolen Pixabay

I tell you what, when I spray Bigarade Concentree on myself I am transported to my childhood. We always had an orange and a lemon tree, I think Mum had planted them when they finished building the house. My two main memories of the orange tree are Mum grousing over the trouble it was and the orange juice we used to drink made of the oranges from the tree. At the start of the season the orange juice would taste like the bitter orange smell of the opening of Bigarade Concentree and Mum would add sugar to sweeten it enough for us to drink. JCE has captured my memory and bottled it, there is even the smell of the taste of the pith from eating the orange quarters down into the white.

Once the main orange note has calmed, though it never leaves completely, something rose-ish moves across my nostril-vision but it’s a hint towards rose note like a rose I’ve ever smelled, maybe a rose in an orange grove? The orange still walks all over the rose. Pounds the life out of it leaving me with a grassy? Still kinda grassy/pithy/animal/zesty citrus, the citrus still front and center, HOW have they done this. Incredible use of a note that usually is gone in two minutes. 5+ hours of citric goodness and still more almost fragrance before it leaves me completely, my ability to smell it anyway.

Bigarade Concentree Frederic Malle Oranges Gunther Hagleitner FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

Further reading: Scent For Thought and Scentrist
Frederic Malle has €75/3 x 10ml
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $6/ml

Have you tried Bigarade Concentree? How was your experience? What did you think of it and why?

Thanks for taking a moment to wander through my fragrant thoughts,
Portia xx


20 thoughts on “Bigarade Concentree by Jean-Claude Ellena for Frederic Malle 2002

  1. Great review, Portia ! I have tried Bigarade many times, own the body lotion (not making you jealous here 😉 love love love it.

    Do not scent any rose but I will give it another try and see what happens.


  2. Hi Honey.
    Have not tried it. Never cared for orange until recently trying the new ELdO Cologne.
    Yum. I will keep a lookout for it. The Malle shop in Vienna has gone now so it might take a while. Bussi.


  3. It’s always wonderful to find a happy childhood memory bottled for you like this and yours is a lovely one.

    For some reason I thought this had a good dose of cumin in it so I’ve steered clear. Have I got that wrong?


    • Hi Tara,
      Damn it. I sent what was left of my sample off today in a care package. My skin smothers cumin, it creates a soft herbal wash rather than a sweaty or urinous vibe so I’m not the person to ask.
      I think Undina is a cumin amper, she would know. (I may be wrong but I have a stirring of recollection)
      Portia xx


      • You are too sweet Portia! I just checked Basenotes and yes, a lot of people report a rather unpleasant cumin/body odour note.

        No doubt, as you say, your skin plays this down.

        Hugs x


  4. Thank you for these fragrant memories, Portia!

    I love the smell of orange, every part, the fruits, the flowers, the leaves. I like eating the pith (its supposed to be good for you). Your post brought back memories of orange trees and other citrus from my childhood in Florida. My mother made orange juice too and we had the same issue with the early fruits.

    There are certain types of citrus that can be grown even in the climate of the PNW but I haven’t tried them yet. I haven’t tried Bigarade Concentree either but will make a point of finding some.

    Azar xx


    • Those oranges in my childhood have rarely been bested Azar. Nowadays I expect to be disapointed by the oranges I buy in the market and am often proved right.
      I bet the Florida oranges were, and still are heavenly.
      Portia xx


  5. Lovely review Portia. I loved this one quite a bit and now they are no longer available in Vienna. Wonderful memories that you have. We had two banana trees next to the pool in Argentina. I think I have eaten enough bananas to last a lifetime. xoxo


  6. i have yet to try a malle. i was all about finding carnal flower in my tuberose phase- but spring is sprung and it’s time for my favorite scenats: petitgrain, orange blossom & neroli!

    the two malles which interest me most are Geranium pour Monsieur and Biagarade. thank you for putting it in my mind i should seek out Bigarade!

    home made orange juice sounds delish btw!


    • Hey there Einsof,
      I LOVE GpM. You have great taste in Malle.
      Surrender To Chance has a Malle set you can buy and try them all at home.
      Portia xx


  7. Nice review. 🙂 I’m not a big fan of citrus fragrance but I love oranges. Right now where I live, tons of orange blossoms are blooming and everywhere’s filled with its gorgeous smell. My hubby made some orange wine last winter and they were one of the best he ever made. 🙂


  8. Not very fond of agrumes/citrus dominant perfumes, except perhaps in a “aromatherapeutic process” ! Better than “Orange Sanguine” though.
    I prefer the orange in the “Noir Epices” perfume in the same Editions de parfums. Some say it is too classic, in a quite old-fashionned way, but on the contrary it seems to me very “avant-garde” (even if I prefer PoaL and Musc Ravageur) !


    • Interesting Nymphomaniac,
      I get that you like your orange added to other notes and yes, it create an interesting ride and Bigarade Concentree will not be for everyone, that’s a given.
      I like Noir Epices too. Did you ever try Tauer’s Eau d’Epices? It has some fairly interesting background citrus in it too.
      Portia x


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