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The website www.fragantica.com is an invaluable resource in finding perfumes that include particular notes. I find it particularly useful when seeking out gifts for friends because if I know roughly what they like I can find scents containing variations of those notes. I was actually looking for something for myself when I was tempted to buy 'Cardomomium Vegetalis' by Berdoues. I was getting towards the final drops of my much loved Agent Provocateur and wanted to find something similarly spicy.
I'd never heard of Berdoues before I was introduced to them via Fragrantica. The company was founded in Toulouse in 1902. Since then four generations of perfumiers have plied the family trade and the company has established an enviable reputation for its "1902 Eau de Cologne Premium Collection".
I suppose that Berdoues must be something like Jo Malone, but with a much longer heritage. They predominantly make colognes and although they blend essential oils, they use only a couple of different ones in any scent and each individual fragrance has the name of the core ingredient. The products are suitable for men or women and since I bought this, Himself has used it more than me, but it's fair to say that with drawers full of different perfumes, I do like to vary what I wear. That said this one has been very popular and will definitely be re-ordered.
The packaging is very simple, and expensive looking in an understated way. The bottle, which sits in a smart white box, has the look of one that might have stood on the shelves of a Victorian apothecary. It's about five inches tall and an inch and a half in diameter at the base. The sleek silvery cap maybe plastic but it has been given a metallic coating which looks more luxurious. The lid fits perfectly and there's no danger of it slipping of if you have the bottle rolling around in a handbag or weekend bag.
The scent is dispensed by a non aerosol vaporiser which gives a generous but not excessive amount of spray. My first impression was that this scent is very similar to Jil Sander 'Sun'; however, this is more in style than actually smelling very similar but both fragrances are idea for wearing in hot weather (indeed Jil Sander 'Sun' was designed exactly to be able to be worn in hotter weather).
Three essential oils are blended to make up this cologne - orange blossom, lavender and cardamom. Some people might think of hot, spicy curries when they think of cardamom but they should, instead, think of that perfume-y smell you get when you split open a cardamom pod and crush the little back seeds. This is the cardamom you get from a mug of fragrant chai or an Indian spiced pudding. It's very warm and appeals immediately to the senses.
The orange made me think of Jo Malone's Orange Blossom cologne but here that note is tamer. This is the note I pick up as soon as the spray hits my skin; it's juicy and zesty but very slightly floral too. Then the lavender comes into play; clean and fresh and ever so slightly antiseptic.
This fragrance has surprising longevity for a cologne. The cardamom outlasts the orange and lavender elements by some distance, being detected on the skin hours after first spraying the scent, and the orange hangs around longer than the lavender.
I bought it primarily for the cardamom which I definitely got and enjoyed, but I also loved the combination of the cardamom with the lavender and orange. Another thing I loved was that the ingredients that the cardamom has been blended with are not at all what you'd expect to find alongside cardamom; together they form a sunny fragrance which has just the right level of spiciness.
I was delighted with this purchase and will definitely be buying it again. I'd also quite happily purchase another product from the collection (there are twenty in total, most are unisex, a few are described as being for women) without trying them first.
I purchased my 100ml bottle from www.strawberrynet.com and paid £23. I was happy with the price paid as I think this has gone a long way with two people using it.
(I have since found out that Marks and Spencer stock a small number of the colognes in 245ml bottles (Violette, Lavande, The Vert, Naturelle, Tonique and Vetiver) for £8.50 each, however I am not certain that they are from the same range as the product I bought so will look into this)