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?
Photo 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
Photo 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!’
Photo Stolen Pixabay
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.