Where many neroli and orange blossom perfumes can tend to be sharp, regal, pungent – rather imposing and a touch over-florid, Lorenzo Villoresi’s delicate, Florentine interpretation is more about love, early summer, and introspection: a tender and lovably enveloping scent that lingers, gentle and close to the skin, with a soulfully comforting drydown. An image comes, at this stage of the Dilmun, of falling asleep in a close friend’s guest room, early evening, as the sun is setting.
On first spray though, Dilmun is more like an orchard of orange trees in blossom.
You are at a picnic nearby, the scent hanging in the air with the green of the trees. Citrus notes and laurel leaves, as well as hints of other flower essences such as jasmine and rose, form a wreath of breathful but reticent floralia around which a curious accord, (elemi, cedarwood, opoponax) entwines the orange blossom petals subtlely but quite beautifully. If you like orange blossom, but don’t want it screechy or scratchy, you can’t go wrong with this.
I have always found the scent of orange blossom flower in full bloom really hypnotic – few scents in nature cast such a spell – but find also that once the essence has been captured and distilled, it loses much of this bewitchment. Orange blossom perfumes sometimes have a lurid, garish quality to them, almost sickly (especially if they are combined with sandalwood and vanilla, which is often the case), and I must say that I myself rarely wear them. For my personal tastes, to do the flower justice, it is important to cradle it with other, gentler essences, to draw out, civilize its raw power, yet let the essence shine, unmistakeably, somewhere at the scent’s palpitating, nerolic centre. Penhaligon’s Castile is a very successful scent in this regard – smooth and clean (soap-like, almost); dry, smiling, and lightly seductive, like orange blossom flowers picked and hidden; nestling secretly behind muslin gauze.
14 responses to “THE OTHER SIDE OF ORANGE BLOSSOM: : : : : DILMUN by LORENZO VILLORESI (2000) + CASTILE by PENHALIGONS (1998)”
Lovely. I can’t remember what orange blossom perfumes I’ve smelled before but I think of it as completely magical, youthful early summer, an excitement that is too special to be romantic almost and so I love the idea I get here of an open and gentle kind of introspection.. 🙂
Me too; I think it is a truly uplifting smell, but also garish when there is too much citrus in orange blossom themed perfumes. Castile is very gentle, probably too much for most people, but I really like it. The Dilmun captures that excitement you mention better.
Another magical post.
I adore orange blossom beyond all others, but I have yet to find a fragrance that captures it in a way that feels right to me. These sound like maybe, just maybe …
Which ones have you tried?
Dilmun is rather lovely I think.
That last visual image is stunning. I want to smell that!
The smell of calm….
What about Penhaligons Orange Blossom perfume
As I remember I liked it, as I like all of their soliflores, but Castile has a very attenuated, soaped, gentlemanly/ ladylike quality that quite appeals to me. It’s very soothing.
Two more for my list. I love orange blossom, and I haven’t seen reviews for either of these before. Dilmun sounds really amazing.
More calming and full than amazing, but definitely worth a try.
I got a decant of Dilmun and it is absolutely lovely. I think I’ll need another decant by the end of the summer. It’s a shame LV is so hard to find in the US, but thank you for bringing this delightful scent to life for me.
Following a tip off about an orange take on my preferred style of ‘wispy scent’, I sought out Castile, liked it, copped for a bottle, and am forever giving people unsolicited decants of it in perfume packages in a bid to spread the love. Orange blossom flowers ‘nestling secretly behind muslin gauze’ is spot on.
I am delighted I am not alone in my
appreciation of it!
Ooooo…I like the sound of the Penhaligon’s Castile. I love that clean soapy relaxing aspect of orange blossom. I know what you mean about the sickly ones. I can’t wear those either.