This is a very good cologne, no contest there. However, there were and are as many out there as good, so this really does not strike me as being outstanding in that category. A burst of lime, which settles down with a pleasant lavender underscoring. As per its type, it lasts only about an hour.
Twelve ingredients: Grapefruit, Lemon, Citron, Bergamot, Limette (top); Magnolia, Lavender, Rosemary, Verbain, Neroli, Benzoin, Iris (middle); no base notes.
The company ceased producing its three colognes (Italian, Russian French) in 2009 and now only produces three home fragrance sprays (Ambre, Bois, Cuir) and candles. It is next to impossible to find the old colognes on line - you may try Ebay where their European price is around 59 euros.
Institut Très Bien's Cologne à la Francaise is hands down one of the most beautiful fragrances I've ever smelled. It is simply that good. Cologne à la Francaise is an exquisite, ethereal mix of citrus and floral notes that is charming but never obvious. I would have to say that it is more feminine than its sister fragrance, Italienne, which has a good dose of petitgrain in case you've smelled that. As a point of reference, Cologne à la Francaise is similar in style and quality to Chanel's Eau de Cologne and Dior's Cologne Blanche- both winners in in the cologne class. Bravo!
Here are the notes, courtesy of The Perfumed Court: Chinese magnolia, Israeli grapefruit, Sicilian white lemon, Calabrian citron, Sicilian bergamot, Mexican limette, Provence lavender, Moroccan rosemary, Provence verbain, Tunisian neroli, Siamese benzoin and Florence iris.