I own, and keep coming back to L'Eau Mixte when in a Cologne mood, finding it far more interesting than other options. Even Chanel´s reference Eau de Cologne, while deservedly "reference" feels like an impeccably blended, high quality concoction of the same 'ole recipe.
When growing up my father had box sets of these English Leather bottles with big wooden-nob caps. I always like the one simply entitled LIME, not realizing at the time that it a staple of vintage perfumery then as it is now. I guess there is something to be said for creating the perfect cologne, but really... who - not glued to your arm for hours and able to analyze every twist and turn along a fragrance trajectory - is going to see any of these as more than 'citrus and stuff' ???
So for the price (PdN's are outstanding, especially when you take the plunge for the biggie bottles!) you can´t do much better in DIVERGING from the same 'ole, same 'ole than this relatively new release from Parfums de Nikolai. It is the freshest and most sparkling of the lot, and smells far less like modern cleaning scents than others in this category (which says far more about our associations with citrus than it does about the quality of true COLOGNES.
The citrus is there. More lemon than lime, with the somewhat unique addition of grapefruit (I detect this less than others). The powerful additives here are the Mint and BlackCurrant - adding a fresh, green depth to the top notes, and quite impressively maintained throughout, as the fragrance descends more warmly into the realms of florals / white muscs in the base. To not be misunderstood, this is one of the CHILLIEST bottles I own. In shaking up the traditional, it never arrives at a woody/warm base; it merely hints that it might. The rose and wood merely soften and smooth out the bite of the neverending citrus, blackcurrant, and mint notes. Perfect in the summer. Incredibly COOL.
Her latest creation, L'Eau Chic seems to be exploring this same summery cool-down direction, only without the citrus.
Finally. I am NO EXPERT in colognes. Hell, I think I don´t even really like them for their levity and casual freshness. But Occasionally I come across some that really cool my head and body, and this L'Eau Mixte is one of my very favorites.
Just as a reference (since I literally dragged several bottles out and sprayed both paper and skin to get my own reference... here are the other verified (and borderline) colognes that sit on my shelf...
CHANEL EAU DE COLOGNE - Beautiful Lemon, warming up. Perhaps Perfect as a Cologne, but basically indistinguishable to me, and quickly fleeting.
ACQUA DI PARMA COLONIA ASSOLUTA - Lemon and Neroli classic quality cologne - now "Dauchafored" in the mid and base notes to turn it into something far warmer, woody, and spicy in the end. Really wonderful, just skirting around the true Cologne recipe so perhaps not a good comparison. The cologne for those bored of colognes.
HERMES CONCENTRÉ D'ORANGE VERTE - Bitter Orange Accord (though I get as much BITING lime as anything). Really pungent, and then mossy. Great longevity for a cologne. Much warmer on the skin than on clothing - like a different cologne all together. Many prefer the original Eau, but it always felt like an after-shave that was gone within the hour, so I stick with the concentré.
MAITRE PARFUMEUR ET GANTIER BAHIANA Caipirinha Lime de Persia, Mandarin, and an accord of Sun-Oiled BEACH. Wonderful summer sensuality scent. But far too timid. Woeful lasting power for so beautiful a scent.
PARFUMS DE NICOLAI CEDRAT INTENSE Here, Patricia has done with a citrus cologne what she did with patchouli in her Patchouli Pour Homme (now Patchouli Intense). Look out! Raw, INTENSE, and really incredible. I had not experienced the CEDRAT before. The initial bazooka blast is lemon, but what i find most potent after little time is the warmth of peppercorns and wood, a spicy depth that is marvelous under the citrus. Hot Hot Hot for something that you would imagine to be Cool Cool Cool. Another variation, but safely considered a STRONG cologne.