This is a review of the original pre-2007 version prior to the current release: the opening is floral-sweet, very sweet, based on jasmine and violet, I don't get any citrus. After about twenty minutes all the sweetness has evaporated, and from now on it is a floral scent that remains without any sweet note. In the drydown rose and lily of the valley are added, and develop into a very nice, elegant and balanced floral. This is one of the very few non-sweet scents marketed for men I know where lily of the valley is employed convincingly. Well blended and with good silage and projection; close to the skin after a couple of hours with a total longevity on me of over five hours. A very nice fragrance.
This review is obviously for the reissue in 2007. I'm going to qualify my comments by saying it was a warm day 80 F so short sleeves and in & out of doors off and on all day - so there may have been a bit of environmental pollution resting on my exposed skin.
I tested with a generous dab to the wrist and - frankly - all I got was a fairly stron Ivory soap. Very little citrus note whatsoever. It did progress somewhat with the middle being best of all then reverting to a lighter version of Ivory soap.
I don't dislike the smell of the soap but I don't figure I have to spend this kind of money to smell like it.
Opens with a clean and not tart lemon and chamomile blending. There's also something from the Chinese kitchen coming through but I just can't place it. Soon lavender appears and a growing similarity to Blenheim Bouquet becomes clear. Like with most lemon fragrances the lemon can't stand up too long and within 3 hours I'm left struggling to pick out the lemon underneath the light lavender and fragrant wood.
There is something important to note here and it's that I've never come across chamomile in a fragrance before. When I smell it here, paired with lemon, it surprises me that the pairing is not more common, it really seems like a natural choice. But really that's by the by in this case as ultimately this novelty can't raise my interest in this rather boring lemon fragrance.
It opens with a crisp citrus accord, it really is zesty! Not too sharp for me but others might be challenged. The lemon, orange, and bergamot are very well blended, in a way that lets the wearer detect each accord but without any dominating.
As it transcends to the heart I get lavender and chamomile. This is the first time I've ever detected a chamomile accord in a fragrance and it works! Again, I must mention that the blending is masterful.
The dry-down is a combination of oakmoss, wood, and musk, It isn't very long lived but I get 4 - 6 hours with liberal application. The journey however is fantastic.
Together with GFT and Colonia Assoluta, L'Eau Neuve now stands head and shoulders above the rest of my citrus frags. It is classic but modern and never becomes animalic (which was my major gripe with Eau Sauvage). This is a complex composition that I believe would be a nice addition to any citrus lover's wardrobe.
This one opened up really sweet, a fruit note that didn't smell like lemon to me. Then it dries down into very soft, powdery lemons and the only real fault I can find with it is that it flits in and out of perceptibility.