Rose Pivoine by Patricia de Nicolaï for Nicolai Parfumeur Créateur 1998




Hey there fumes,

Only twice in my life have I been engulfed by the scent of peonies. Once a friend who came for lunch brough them as a gift and told me that they only open if the house is filled with love. Needless to say they never opened but they did fill the house with their glorious scent. It was utterly heavenly.

The next time was in south Korea with Jin and a bunch of our mates. We had gone to visit Mummy and Pappa and across the road there was a bush with the most enormous magenta peonies covering it. The bush itself was easily taller than me and in the cool misty morning the scent travelled across to us. Like a zombie I was drawn across the road to get close to these exquisitely fragrant blooms, they were calling me and I could not resist.

So every time I smell even the cheapest, nastiest, ugliest peony scent recreation I am taken to one or both of those moments. Thankfully todays fragrance is all class.

Rose Pivoine by Nicolai Parfumeur Créateur 1998

Rose Pivoine by Patricia de Nicolaï

Rose Pivoine Nicolai Parfumeur Createur FragranticaFragrantica

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Red fruits, Roman chamomile
Heart: Rose absolute, Rose essence, Geranium
Base: Woods, Musk

Dry, sizzling opening leads to red fruity roses that are fresh and dewy, the change in the first 20 seconds is marked. I love the watery feel that comes through, it’s so pretty. This is the style of fragrance that has saturated the mid-price designer market. Patricia de Nicolai was doing it last century and doing it better than any of the imitators. There’s a fresh, velvet rose petal pressed against your cheek, you’re burying your nose into a blooming peony. There is also the powdery yet crisp snap of geranium leaves rubbed or crushed as you wander past the bush. All done in a transparent, aquatic style, very watercolour.

Rose Pivoine Nicolai Parfumeur Createur pink peonies PexelsPDI

I know some women who wear scents like this. I grew up with them and now they are Mums and business runners. Big glasses and beautiful pearly white toothed smiles (not the ultra white of American TV), well maintained and presented women with trophy cars/handbags/houses and a couple of kids at exclusive Sydney private schools. There’s something eternally casual about these women, even when they dress up for galas. They are not brittle social X-Rays but living, breathing women who work really hard on their businesses, families and relationships but can still cackle at a girls dinner or drinks at the club. This is their style, a very fragrant yet sheer, fresh and pretty scent that is absolutely luscious when you get caught up in a hug.


Of this style I think Rose Pivoile a very well made version, it’s seamless, reeks of good ingredients and quite gorgeous.

BeautyHabit has $45/30ml and samples

Is there a peony fragrance that you like?
Portia xx

10 thoughts on “Rose Pivoine by Patricia de Nicolaï for Nicolai Parfumeur Créateur 1998

  1. Adore adore peonies. They say “family” and “women” to me in the most loving, open, big-hearted way. My one grandmother grew them and my other grandmother loved them, would go into raptures every time she saw a peony bush. We planted one at her gravesite. They’re my sister’s favorite flowers and they bloom around the time of my daughter’s birthday. We planted one at the grave of our good pupful Hayley, too.

    My favorites are the pale pink ones and I particularly love Sarah Bernhardts, which smell halfway to roses to me, but with a soft green freshness.

    That might be why my favorite peony fragrance isn’t labeled as peony, but rose: MDCI Rose di Siwa. Horribly expensive, but to me totally worth it. I have a decant for which I paid beaucoup (but not as much as a full bottle, of course). Another would be the discontinued Victoria’s Secret Pink: plain old Pink from the early 2000s, a pretty green/peony/freesia scent.

    I didn’t care for the PdN, which surprised me until I realized that the geranium had taken over.


    • I love them for the same reason but don’t grow them because my only flowerbed is close to my front door, and, well, ANTS!


    • Hey Mals86,
      Great to see you.
      Love the Sarah Bernhardts, in the mountains/hills near Sydney peonies grow beautifully, on the plains the temps are too warm and humid.
      Geranium is an added plus for me, I love it’s crisp snap.
      Portia xx


  2. Magenta peonies as tall as a man – those sound spectacular! There are lots of peonies in bloom in the US Midwest right now, my neighbor has a long hedge of pinks very close to my porch and they smell fabulous through the open windows. I am glad to read your review of Rose Pivoine, it’s been on my list of things to try for years now. It sounds lovely for summer.


    • Hi there Rosarita313,
      I wish I could find the Korean peony pictures but I have a feeling they might be on Jin’s phone.
      Perfect summer choice.
      Portia xx


  3. Floris Zinnia reminds me of peonies, at first. Following this to learn more because Grandma grew peonies. They, and poppies, remind me of her. Snapdragons remind me of Grandpa.


    • Hi Gina,
      We used to grow Zinnias, Poppies and Snapdragons in our childhood yard. Quite a few childhood times were my sister and I chasing each other with Snapdragon flowers. GGGGGerr Gaaaarghhhh GRRRR. so fun.
      Portia xx


  4. I love peonies! One of the most beautiful looking flowers – like a frothy ball gown. My favourite peony perfumes is Stella In Two Peony by Stella McCartney. I so wish it was still available. Reminds me of a great time in my life when I met my now husband.
    Great article as usual. Thank you 😊


    • OMG Renren,
      I think they are frothy ballgowns too. What heavenly frocks they make.
      Portia xx


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