4/7/21

Neroli Woods (Banana Republic)




I purchased this scent blind, not because I read about it beforehand (I didn't), or have any affinity for the designer brand (I don't), but because neroli is an uncommon example of a simple and linear note that usually smells expensive. Neroli is the creamy bath suds of triple-milled luxury hotel soap. Neroli is the salted citrus spritz of $30 beachside resort drinks. Neroli is the Ferrari of green floral materials. Neroli is sex with a very expensive woman. Neroli is Italy in a bottle. In this obscure Banana Republic scent, I expected it to be functional at worst, and likable at best. Well, I lucked out. I love this fragrance. 

It's important to gain perspective on neroli as a popular contemporary note. Tom Ford's Neroli Portobello Mushroom Sauce and Penhaligon's Castile suffer from imprecisions of balance and concentration, making thir over-produced flourishes smell loud and stodgy. At one-tenth their price, Neroli Woods smells soft, unpretentious, elegant. Here the nose employed excellent materials to conjoin a golden citrus top note to a delicate white floral base, and the result is refreshingly natural and luxurious for designer fare. I find that it extends the neroli of 4711 well past the ten minute mark, and into the workday. 

I would guess the name Neroli Woods is aimed at males, yet the only woody hues are whispers of jasmine and cedar undergirding the star note. If you're a wet shaver like me who wears hesperidic splashes and wants a solid neroli scent to pair with them after a shave, stop here. I don't fully understand the artistic concept behind the Icon Collection, I don't know how the pedestrian Banana Republic landed such first-world perfumes, and I've discovered it's better not to ask questions when such fortunes are granted. I just tell myself, "Be grateful Bryan, and enjoy." 

14 comments:

  1. How's the longevity/sillage?

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    1. Longevity: Between 4 and 8 hours. Pretty noticeable for the first few hours and then tapers off a bit by lunch.
      Sillage: Decent. Not stellar but a touch above average for a citrus floral theme.

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    2. I'd add that the one mark of a good frag is how it "reanimates" when skin temperature rises. This frag comes back as beautifully as if it was just applied when I break a sweat.

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  2. Hmmm... I bought BR's Pure White 90, Cypress Cedar, Vintage Green, Gardenia Cardamom for about $20 each at Burlington Coat Factory while visiting my aunt in Florida last year. They are all quite amazing, like the quality you'd expect from Jo Malone, L'Occitane, or Byredo and much longer lasting. The names don't quite fit the scents though. Pure White is green tea & grapefruit, Vintage Green is a very floral green tea & fig ( I was expecting vetiver or something more vintage/classic?), Cypress Cedar is a less dry more juicy citrus version of Terre D'Hermes, and Gardenia Cardamom it a knockoff of Ellie Saab Essence No9 Tuberose. All very "on trend", modern, fresh, clean, and smell & perform like pricier niche products. I shall have to pick up Neroli Woods if I find it!

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    1. I've been wearing it a lot in the warmer weather and can attest to its holding the positive trend. Banana R. is doing something very right.

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  3. You're two lucky something...

    Close to $60 for those bottles here, ordered from Denmark... Hardly any scents goes below $20 anymore.

    This corona-year surely drives the prices up, on everything.

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    1. Come to America, Sofus. I paid $19 for my bottle!

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    2. Since they won't give me a visa, I have to sneak in through Mexico.

      Seems easy enough.

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  4. I was really impressed with this too. Very realistic neroli note. I think it better captures the smell of orange blossom water than Neroli Portofino, which does lean a bit sweet. Vintage Green also blew me away.

    I was also impressed with Ferrari's Bright Neroli.

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    1. Wish they hadn't dc'd Bright Neroli, I was going to buy a bottle of that and never got around to it. I'm interested in Vintage Green but I've heard it's not as "green" as people expect. But given the quality of BR's Icon line, I would probably blind buy any of them now at discount prices.

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    2. Vintage Green is green, but definitely not going to satisfy you if you want to smell something more aromatic like Polo, or more grassy like a vetiver based scent. If you like Jardin en Mediterranee, Dune, Ferragamo Pour Homme, and even Dior Homme Cologne, you'd like this.

      Bright Neroli is still available at discounters as of now, so you can still get a tester for a really price.

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    3. I saw they had 1 bottle each of oud mosaic, black platinum, and cypress cedar when I bought neroli woods. Might return and pick up the cypress cedar or oud mosaic.

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    4. The Oud Moasaic is ok. Smells like a weaker, slightly smoother alternative to Franck Olivier Oud Touch. I'd just go with that one tbh

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