Weekend in Normandy by Patricia di Nicolai for Nicolai Parfumeur Createur 2009


Post by Anne-Marie


A word about name changes and formula tweaks: according to Fragrantica, Nicolai released a fragrance called ‘Weekend in Deauville’ in 2009 as a limited release, but re-released it in 2011, apparently just named ‘Weekend’, with some additional fruity notes (apple?). Now it’s ‘Weekend in Normandy’.

Weekend in Normandy by Nicolai Parfumeur Createur 2009

Weekend in Normandy by Patricia di Nicolai

This was going to be a very brief review. ‘I went to Paris. I bought Nicolai’s Weekend in Normandy. I loved it in the shop. At home, I hated it. How could that have happened? Gloom. The end.’ What’s in this stuff?

 Week End Nicolai Parfumeur Createur FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Tarragon, mint, basil
Heart: Jasmine, ylang-ylang, galbanum, cardamom, lily-of-the-valley, apple, calone
Base: Musk, cedar, leather

Standing in the Nicolai boutique on the Rue des Archives, I clearly smelled the herbs in the top. I really did, all three of them. It was like being back home in my own garden in summer. Tarragon, mint and basil are my favourite herbs of all. Back home though, all I could smell was calone. Now I’m a calone-hater from way back when it first started stink out fragrance floors in the 1990s. I can smell it in teeny amounts, such as Nicolai’s Fig-Tea, which I reviewed in these pages a short while ago. I know it can work, especially in fruity fragrances such as Badgley Mischka, where it balances out the syrupy-sweet notes very nicely. In Fig-Tea I occasionally get a whiff of salt, which is an aspect of calone I do appreciate and which cuts through the denser, fruity accord in Fig-Tea. If anyone can use calone to its best advantage, surely Patricial di Nicolai can

Week End Nicolai Parfumeur Createur Beige abstract See-Ming Lee FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

But the calone is too much for me in Weekend in Normandy, matched as it is with so many other fresh, green notes. (If there’s any ylang-ylang in there – then my ol’ man’s a dustman.) So the question is– why was I not repulsed at first sniff? I don’t know, I just don’t know. Was I over excited to be there (it was fulfillment of a dream), over-eager to find a fragrance to love and treasure as a souvenir? Maybe. The only thing that gives hope is that when I reluctantly brought out my bottle tonight to take a dutiful spritz for this review, I again got those herbal notes – quite lovely.

It did not take long for the Calone Monster to come stomping in to trample all through the herb garden. But I’ve also noticed this time that worn at some distance from my nose – at the back of my neck for instance – the fragrance loses some of its aggressiveness, and becomes almost pleasant. It’s faint praise I know. Almost like saying ‘If someone at the end of my street wears it, I’m quite fine!’

Week End Nicolai Parfumeur Createur Beige girl StockSnap pixabayPhoto Stolen Pixabay

Further reading: Bois de Jasmin and Perfume Posse
Parfum1 has $45/30ml
Surrender To Chance have samples starting at $4/ml

Has anyone else had weird about-turn experiences like this with a fragrance? Please share.

And now I can’t stand it any longer. Bye for now, I’m off to the shower.

12 thoughts on “Weekend in Normandy by Patricia di Nicolai for Nicolai Parfumeur Createur 2009

  1. Hi Anne-Marie,
    This happens to me quite often. I might love a sample, purchase the full bottle only to be disappointed or worse. A friend of mine is convinced that the samples and testers are actually filled with better versions or batches of a fragrance. I am beginning to believe this may be true even though I would like to think that it is simply a matter of atmospheric pressure or what I had for dinner…
    Azar xx


    • Hey, Azar, that’s exactly what I have been thinking and a friend who used to work as an SA in a beauty/perfume department of a major London store tells me I am right. If only we could find out if this is true … she said it even applies to shampoo samples in sachets, and face creams!


      • Wow! If that is indeed true about fragrance it would save me a lot of money as I would buy only testers or samples and decant them to my perfume bottle collection 🙂 The business about the face creams is much more disturbing to me. If I like something in those little sachets I tend to immediately make a purchase. And yes, on a couple of occasions I have noticed a big difference between the sample and the purchase. Sigh.


    • So they make two versions of something? I’m skeptical – think of the production costs! A more common scenario for me is that I buy a sample or test a fragrance thoroughly in store, save up for a FB, and when it arrives I wear it proudly for a while only to find that after a while I start to feel indifferent towards it. This is purely a psychological reaction, I’m sure: longing for something is a more interesting mental state than possessing it.

      I like you atmospheric pressure idea though!


      • I am also skeptical but with all the reformulation and sometimes simply cheapening of products for corporate greed, what if the samples you get are the leftovers of previous versions? Stella would be a good example. It still smells much the same except it’s watered down and has no staying power, but samples from STC and others could easily be of the original Stella.


    • I feel like this is true too. It’s like they make the samples with the more costly, good version and then reformulate to a cheaper alternative and bottle it. I have one perfume where the sample smells amazing and lasts a long time on me yet the full bottle is just a pale version of it.


  2. I try everything at least three times, or else think of it as the equivalent of a blind buy. How scents can change so much from one day to the next I don’t know, but to my nose, they often do. Maybe our noses are temporarily dazzled by a prominent note, the way a bright light might dazzle our eyes?


    • Yes, that may be it indeed. When we travel and get a rare chance to visit a perfume boutique, we WANT to be dazzled.


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