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  1. #1

    Default Bitter Citrus Comparisons

    In the spirit of Wicozani's Vetiver thread, followed by Paul's Sandalwood thread a month or so ago, I thought I'd start a bitter citrus comparison thread (this also follows closely on the heel's of the "longing for spring" thread, in case you can't tell that I'm tired of the cold weather). Let's look at some citrus favorites that are less sweet than they are sharp, crisp, and/or bitter. I'll start with a few, moving up in price:

    1. Monsieur Balmain: Starts with a huge blast of cool lemon and then dries down a little spicier; also quite reasonable (less than $20).
    2. YSL Pour Homme: the drydown reminds me a lot of the Balmain, but in the beginning less lemon and more spice.
    3. Geo F. Trumper Eau de Portugal: Received this from a fellow Bnoter, a GREAT bitter lemon. Along the same lines as the Balmain, but a little sharper, crisper, and has an edge of class lacking in the Balmain.
    4. MPG Racine: Citrus, vetiver, and some woods. Like most MPG, not particularly pleasant or easy wearing, but still unique and worth the effort.
    5. Creed Bois de Cedrat: Along the same lines of YSL Pour Homme and Balmain, only a little woodier and with that Creed hint of class.
    6. Malle Bigarade Concentree: Stinky oranges. I love it.
    7. Bond Little Italy: Bitter oranges; sort of an orangier version of the Trumper. Honestly, for the price, this one is NOT one of my favorites, but in the middle of a sweltering hot summer, I think it's quite nice.
    8. Guerlain Pamplelune: Grapefruit all the time! Added patchouli and some funky kick in the base makes this one a neat alternative to the Malle.
    Putting them in order of personal preference, I'd say that my top choice would be the Malle (assuming money were no object), followed by the Creed, Trumper, Balmain, YSL, MPG, and finishing up with the Bond. The best in terms of all-around value would definitely be the Balmain.

    So, what are some others? Feel free to amend/alter/ or change the ones I've written above.
    Last edited by rach2jlc; 28th November 2008 at 07:34 PM.
    Is there any point in saying everything? -Basho

  2. #2

    Default Re: Bitter Citrus Comparisons

    Declaration - Cartier

  3. #3

    Default Re: Bitter Citrus Comparisons

    Quote Originally Posted by Jock_With_Scents
    Declaration - Cartier
    Barry,

    I've not tried that one... could you describe it or compare it to something else? What kind is it... spicy, bitter, sharp, etc?
    Is there any point in saying everything? -Basho

  4. #4

    Default Re: Bitter Citrus Comparisons

    It has Bergamot, and Bitter Orange at the top, then Cardamom comes in with birch, cedar, oakmoss, vetiver. Some complain it has the stinky factor that you and I both love in Bigarade Concentree. That is what I like about it!
    Very classy. Jean-Claude Ellena has been quoted as saying this is his fragrance he is most proud of. Dirty older brother to Terre d'Hermes maybe?
    Last edited by Jock_With_Scents; 7th February 2007 at 07:54 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Bitter Citrus Comparisons

    I dont think that Bois De Cedrat contains a bitter citrus note - if you include it in the list, then you should also include Trumper's GFT.

    I would say Creed Neroli Sauvage belongs in the list more than Bois De Cedrat.
    -

  6. #6

    Default Re: Bitter Citrus Comparisons

    Quote Originally Posted by zztopp
    I dont think that Bois De Cedrat contains a bitter citrus note - if you include it in the list, then you should also include Trumper's GFT.

    I would say Creed Neroli Sauvage belongs in the list more than Bois De Cedrat.
    My list was just to get us started... by no means are there just seven! Yes, please add/change as you see fit. As for "bitter citrus," I guess maybe we're just defining it differently. I was just trying to differentiate it from sweet citrus (like MPG Centaur, Mat; Male, Cologne Sologne, etc). Perhaps we can start another thread soon with "sweet" citrus comparisons.

    As we all know, though, everybody's nose is different. I've had BdC before, but most recently I got my bottle from you... so it's neat how we get different things from it.
    Last edited by rach2jlc; 28th November 2008 at 07:33 PM.
    Is there any point in saying everything? -Basho

  7. #7

    Default Re: Bitter Citrus Comparisons

    I like Monsieur Balmain and love Bigarade Concentree. Balmain is a lovely everyday summery frag. The lemon smells very natural - sharp and juicy, freshly squeezed. It develops a waxy feel fairly quickly- which I don't mind. The base is light but lasts pretty well (and at less than £10 for 100ml I can forgive a lot).

    I think that Mona di Orio Lux has a similar range of top notes, but executed with more panache. The sharp blast of the top-notes (Lemon Sicilia, Litsea Cubeba, Petitgrain Bigarade) is followed by wonderfully smooth heart and base notes of sandalwood with vetiver and amber. It keeps a citrus edge to it for quite some time.

    Taylor Old Bond St Limes - more sour than bitter, moves to a powdery 'gentlemanly' base - again great for those fresh-shaven open-shirt here-comes-summer days.
    .
    .
    "The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for", Allan Chalmers.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Bitter Citrus Comparisons

    Fantastic, I love works-in-progress threads like this, if I can use that term to help suggest the developing nature of the thread.

    I think I need help spotting bitter citrus rather than mere citrus. Then there are all the other citrus like elements that aren't exactly citrus precisely, like cedrat or verbena, but that we casually refer to as making a citrus scent.

    Last week I wore Rochas's Moustache and for the first time was really knocked out by how great it is. It's a bit bitter, a bit sweet, a very yellow citrus, and all over a great base of white powder, and I don't mean the kind that makes you very happy but can bring time in prison. I'm not sure that it will count as a bitter citrus though, and similarly with Signoricci, another of my super favorites. So much of the citrus dryness that it has seems to be from the woody base, but I'm not sure finally exactly what it is, I just think citrus when I put it on.
    --Chris
    That girl, that bottle, that mattress and me.

  9. #9
    nearfantastica
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    Default Re: Bitter Citrus Comparisons

    Quote Originally Posted by rach2jlc
    Barry,

    I've not tried that one... could you describe it or compare it to something else? What kind is it... spicy, bitter, sharp, etc?

    John,

    To me, Declaration reminds me of Bulgari PH with a dirty kick. Almost as if you took a hint of that stinky orange, added some lemon and mixed in some of the slight smoke/tea character of Bulgari PH. It's a good fragrance, but was unfortunately far to feral on my skin. My dad wears it quite proudly, though.
    Bulgari is sexy, on it's own.. in a serious/stuffy kind of way, but with the added sweaty citrus note, Declaration thrusts it's head forth in a very healthy nod, to Dior's Eau Sauvage.... but then quickly recoils in Bulgari PH modesty. It's certainly worth a try. There are three versions and I suggest the Concentrated one.

    a.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Bitter Citrus Comparisons

    C&S Citrus Paradisi is a very unique, sharp combination of citrus and pepper. Diptyque Eau D'Elide is a unique combination of Citrus and lavender. Not sharp, but different.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Bitter Citrus Comparisons

    Quote Originally Posted by nearfantastica
    John,

    To me, Declaration reminds me of Bulgari PH with a dirty kick. Almost as if you took a hint of that stinky orange, added some lemon and mixed in some of the slight smoke/tea character of Bulgari PH. It's a good fragrance, but was unfortunately far to feral on my skin. My dad wears it quite proudly, though.
    Bulgari is sexy, on it's own.. in a serious/stuffy kind of way, but with the added sweaty citrus note, Declaration thrusts it's head forth in a very healthy nod, to Dior's Eau Sauvage.... but then quickly recoils in Bulgari PH modesty. It's certainly worth a try. There are three versions and I suggest the Concentrated one.

    a.
    Nice desciption.
    I agree. Declaration is not a real citrus to me. It's more balmy, smokey , woody to me. A bit dirty yet very classy and balanced. I almost forgot about this one.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Bitter Citrus Comparisons

    Good effort rach2ljc!

    You should give Czech & Speake's Neroli some due consideration, as it is spicy, bitter sweet & quite refreshing.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Bitter Citrus Comparisons

    Hermes' Eau d'Orange Verte--if only it lasted longer than 10 minutes! Even the Concentree is fleeting, but a lovely bitter citrus while it lasts.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Bitter Citrus Comparisons

    How about YSL Live Jazz ? I find bitter grapefruit note quite attractive (alongwith the coriander).
    -

  15. #15

    Default Re: Bitter Citrus Comparisons

    Quote Originally Posted by DustB
    I think I need help spotting bitter citrus rather than mere citrus. Then there are all the other citrus like elements that aren't exactly citrus precisely, like cedrat or verbena...
    --Chris
    Cedrat is most definitely citrus, it is a citrus fruit similar to lemon but larger.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citron
    Verbena is a herb.

    As I smell it, bitter citrus means non-sweet, acidic, sharp citrus. Many orange frags are sweet (Eau de Orange verte, Acqua Di Parma Capri) but some are made from bigarade (bitter orange). Other citrus which is bitter would include cedrat, lemon, grapefruit, bergamot, lime, kumkwat. To me a bitter citrus frag is one dominated by and featuring citrus, not where citrus is one of the top notes in a blend. Many eaux de cologne feature what I would call "dry" citrus rather than bitter citrus. They have a little sharpness but this is smoothed by other notes. Acqua di Parma which contains prominent featured lemons is strongly sweetened so does not qualify as bitter to me.

    Neroli has some bitterness, but has a strong floral sweeter component. I would describe it as having sharpness rather than being bitter.

    Creed citrus bigarade
    Malle Bigarade
    Creed Bois De Cedrat
    Guerlain Eau de Fleus de cedrat,
    Trumpers limes

    All these are noticably bitter to me (just the ones which spring to mind)
    Last edited by hirch_duckfinder; 7th February 2007 at 11:19 PM.
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  16. #16

    Default Re: Bitter Citrus Comparisons

    I would say that Burberry Weekend has a little bit of the bitter citrus notes in its topnotes.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Bitter Citrus Comparisons

    I've only worn Burberry Touch a couple of times, but it seems to have a very sharp citrus note in it. Also, eau de Grey Flannel starts off with the same kind of sharp citrus note to my nose.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Bitter Citrus Comparisons

    Don't forget Citron Citron

  19. #19

    Default Re: Bitter Citrus Comparisons

    you are, rach, in fact, wanting rare and fabulous Citrus Paridisi for even starting this thread! And when you try layering it with Bigarade Concentrée.

    well...

    and what about that creed pamplemousse (sic)

  20. #20

    Post Re: Bitter Citrus Comparisons

    I certainly like my citrus bitter! Sweet, musky and powdery ones often lack the refreshing nature citrus fragrance should, in my opinion, have. Colonia Assoluta is prime example of this, what's the function of citrus in this one, when the drydown turns horribly sweet and cloying?

    My favourites in this category include already mentioned Racine and Bigarade Concentreé. I'd also like to add Villoresi's Uomo and Santa Maria Novella's Acqua di Sicilia.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Bitter Citrus Comparisons

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny_Ludlow
    I certainly like my citrus bitter! Sweet, musky and powdery ones often lack the refreshing nature citrus fragrance should, in my opinion, have. Colonia Assoluta is prime example of this, what's the function of citrus in this one, when the drydown turns horribly sweet and cloying?

    My favourites in this category include already mentioned Racine and Bigarade Concentreé. I'd also like to add Villoresi's Uomo and Santa Maria Novella's Acqua di Sicilia.
    Wearing Racine this morning. It doesn't work at all in 15 degree weather, I know, but it does make me think of warmer temps...
    Last edited by rach2jlc; 8th February 2007 at 08:05 PM.
    Is there any point in saying everything? -Basho

  22. #22

    Post Re: Bitter Citrus Comparisons

    Yeah, Racine opens up on warm weather, it's a glorious scent indeed.

    I have a feeling you'll enjoy it eventually, considering you like Secret Melange so much. I'm also a big fan of it. Both are raw and natural; similarities aren't that evident, but they share a certain character, that is very typical to MPG.

    By the way, your current rotation is a wonderful one! I love Timbuktu and Helmut Lang. This makes me think I should try Le Labo's Patchouli.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Bitter Citrus Comparisons

    Just thought I'd bump this one up again, since it is very nice here in the Southeast today (about 60 and sunny!)

    Since originally posting, I've also picked up CdG Citrico. Of the one's I posted before, I think this one is a really neat, fair priced alternative. It isn't as nice as the Malle, but it is less sweet than Cologne de Sologne, lasts longer than Eau d'orange Verte, and has that slight odd CdG twist about it that makes it more fun than Neroli Sauvage. So, I look forward to trying this one out more this summer.

    Wore Bond Little Italy yesterday (almost the same weather as today). It's less bitter than it is sour. I really don't get the appeal of this one when there are so many other good ones out there for less $$$.
    Last edited by rach2jlc; 27th February 2007 at 09:39 PM.
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  24. #24
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    Default Re: Bitter Citrus Comparisons

    Quote Originally Posted by rach2jlc
    Just thought I'd bump this one up again, since it is very nice here in the Southeast today (about 60 and sunny!)

    Since originally posting, I've also picked up CdG Citrico. Of the one's I posted before, I think this one is a really neat, fair priced alternative. It isn't as nice as the Malle, but it is less sweet than Cologne de Sologne, lasts longer than Eau d'orange Verte, and has that slight odd CdG twist about it that makes it more fun than Neroli Sauvage. So, I look forward to trying this one out more this summer.

    Wore Fire Island yesterday (almost the same weather as today). It's less bitter than it is sour. I really don't get the appeal of this one when there are so many other good ones out there for less $$$.

    I just saw a bottle of Citrico, when I was on my lunch hour, at a high-end boutique...I've mostly shyed away from the CdG cologne series (I'm exploring the Incense series now) but I will try now - considering your bitter citrus suggestions, you & I have similar tastes in citrus scents. Tip indeed!

  25. #25

    Default Re: Bitter Citrus Comparisons

    I agree with a lot of your choices- also you should try Eau de NY by bond very fresh on a hot summer day- it has Vetiver in it.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Bitter Citrus Comparisons

    My Mascara,
    Either you are a Bond No. 9 rep or you are their biggest fan ever. You have mentioned a Bond scent in every post (bout 15) you have made on this board so far. Can I get some Bond samples from you by the way?

  27. #27

    Default Re: Bitter Citrus Comparisons

    Quote Originally Posted by Jock_With_Scents
    My Mascara,
    Either you are a Bond No. 9 rep or you are their biggest fan ever. You have mentioned a Bond scent in every post (bout 15) you have made on this board so far. Can I get some Bond samples from you by the way?
    ...or could you at least tell your coworker Claire to start answering her emails?!! (j/k)
    Last edited by rach2jlc; 28th February 2007 at 02:59 AM.
    Is there any point in saying everything? -Basho

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