Cédrat Intense’s top note is more lemon than citron (cédrat); specifically, the sort of sweet, candied lemon you’d encounter in lemon curd or a citrus crème brûlée. A dry, pungent woody-aromatic accord enters by way of a corrective, with hints of rosemary, sage and thyme that quickly direct the citrus away from the dessert tray and toward the brisk, salty-tart grapefruit aura of Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune or Citrus Paradisi.
Cédrat Intense is more emphatically floral than either of those grapefruit compositions, and once its crisp green floral accord emerges in full to bolster the woody citrus, the Nicolaï indeed approximates the unique, flowery complexity of citron peel. Perhaps I’ve been sniffing fragrances for too long, but I’m fascinated by the way the components of the citron illusion emerge and fall into place in sequence – enough so that I’m tempted to apply Cédrat Intense from time to time just to smell it happen again.
The drydown arrives quickly, as expected in any predominantly citrus scent, but it’s very pleasing in its arrangement of warm, rounded wood notes and gently musk. I’d comfortably recommend this scent to citron fans, alongside Guerlain’s more buoyant, though ephemeral, Eau de Fleurs de Cédrat.