Monday Question – What Is The Best Citrus Perfume?

Summer is near (at least on this hemisphere, forgive me Aussies and South Americans!) and it is the time to wear a fresh, light and sunny citrus scents.

Which one do you recommend?

In your opinion, what is the best out there?

Which one is the most long-wearing?

Which one is a great deal?

Which one has the highest quality smell to it?

What is your experience with citrus scents?

Do you like them or do you avoiud them?

Please give us your citrus recommendations!

question-markMy Answer:

I enjoy a good citrus fragrance very much. There is nothing more uplifting, smile-inducing, more energizing than a tart and zesty scent.

I love Guerlain’s Pamplelune, Jo Loves Pomelo, Hermès Eau de Pamplemousse Rose, Arquiste L’Etrog fascinates me, but I need to explore it more, Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine and Frederic Malle Bigarade Concentrée are fantastic orange scents.

Can’t wait to hear about your favorites!


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105 Responses to Monday Question – What Is The Best Citrus Perfume?

  1. Undina says:

    I’m not a huge fan of this genre but there are severalperfumes that I enjoy (in addition to a couplefrom your list): Annick Goutal Eau d’Hadrien, Jo Malone Grapefruit (I like the cologne and I love a shower gel), Jo Malone Verbenas of Provence and Odin 02 Owari.

    • Olfactoria says:

      That sounds like a very nice list. I want to try the Odin, since I have had good experiences with the line. Spealing of shower gels, the L’Occitane Verbena line has fantastic bath products!

      • leathermountain says:

        I agree about L’Occitane. I am powering through my verbena salt body scrub…. And scheming how to make my own. I think I can do this with kosher salt (admittedly, not quite as nice as the flaky form that L’Occitane seems to use), an oil that works well on skin (I’ll try jojoba or apricot kernel, since I have some), and a yummy essential oil. I’ve got some fantastic lemon myrtle from Enfleurage (the store, not the method), and I also want to try to make a ylang version. Assuming it works out…. then I could do the math and see about the cost comparison.

        Also, I’m pondering recreating the flaky salt by slowly evaporating a saturated salt solution, just leaving it out in the sun. I believe that’s how the ocean does it, and whooo-hoo for using solar power at home (low tech)!

  2. brie says:

    Classic favorite citrus Eau D’Hadrien (mum wore it often and it reminds me of her) and 4711 (grew up in a very European household and we had bottles of it everywhere!) Current favorite Orange Sanguine which surprisingly lasts for hours on my skin!

  3. Ines says:

    Well, I don’t generally wear citrus perfumes – I mean, quite a lot of them have citrusy openings and that is enough for me.
    Those I like that would fall into this category, Pamplelune (which is on your list too), MdO Lux – for languid, summery evenings, Heeley’s Oranges and Lemons Say The Bells of St. Clements (I had to look-up that name, can’t remember it).
    And one that is very orangey but which I adore – FM Bigarade Concentree.

  4. Civava says:

    Guerlain’s Mandarin-Bazilic, Entre Naranjos by Ramon Monegal.

  5. Hi Birgit, mine would have to be Chanel Eau de Cologne. I think this genre, whilst perhaps more limited than others, requires a lot skill to create. Flowers, woods and resins are naturally complex and therefore they are often more forgiving. A poorly constructed citrus formula is very obvious and substandard raw materials stand out more, particularly with naturals. Chanel’s Eau de Cologne is so wonderful in how subtle it makes itself known to it’s wearer and gently fades making you go back for more within an hour. Tom Ford Neroli Portofino and Frederic Malle Cologne Bigarade are up there for me also.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Clayton, I completely agree that Chanel’s Eau de Cologne is totally worth the investment, it is among the very the best out there (I have a big bottle to back up that statement. 😉 ).

  6. Veni from Prague says:

    I like f.e. Guerlain´s Pamplelune, L´Occitane Verbena Sorbet, Yves Rocher´s Fraîcheur végétale – Verveine…

  7. Lady Jane Grey says:

    I’m a huge fan of all citrus : A Shot of Thai Lime over Mango; Cologne Bigarade; Pomelo; Orange Sanguine; Lime, Basil & Mandarin; Blenheim Bouquet; Mulholland… I just bought Hermes’ new cologne Mandarine Ambree – a beauty I have to reapply every 2nd hour. But hey, finally a bottle I have the chance to use up in just one season…

    • Olfactoria says:

      You are my citrus (and oud, although not necessarily at the same time) expert. You turned me towards a good many citrus scents.
      Thanks for sharing your faves!

  8. Sandra says:

    I don’t wear citrus perfumes as a first choice. But one of my favorites is Yuzu Fou by Parfum d’Empire and the new Hermes Mandarine Ambree. I am getting wonderful ideas of perfumes to try.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Oh, yes, how could I forget about Yuzu Fou, it’s great!
      Still haven’t smelled the new Hermès scents, shame on me (I fear that boutique, it wreaks havoc on my impulse control). 😉

  9. I’m so not a citrus perfume person… Not in my genes… But as with all rules, F.M. Bigarade Concentree and Hermes Eau de Pamplemousse Rose are two much loved exceptions and full bottle worthy!
    Experiencing the aftermath of Greek Easter… actually need some citrus to wash away the meat feast!

  10. Nana says:

    I am a huge citrus fan and i find that it does go so well with our African climate… In winter, I even layer citrus scents over my more heavier scents like the SL ambre sultan or the Jeux de peaux…
    My fav in no order are: Hermess concentree de pamplemousse rose, Yuzu Fou Parfum d’empire, Aqua Di Parma bergamoto, and in the main stream lines Eau de Cartier, Essence d’orange and Chanel Crystal. I would like to try de frederique Malle bigarrade but its a bit too pricey…

  11. snobbycactus says:

    My most preferred are:
    Acqua Viva of Profumum Roma — pure blast of highly dosed citron (it is even oily due to its concentration) and it has a huge staying power..
    Pamplelune of Guerlain is unbeatable for a bitter grapefruit version…
    And I haven’t yet meet my preferred oranges scent… Maybe reading your blog I will get ideas where to search…. 😉

  12. Safran says:

    My favourite and most versatile citrus scent is Bigarade Concentrée, I’ve been wearing it for 10 years now! Before BC, I used to wear Eau d’été from Nicolai in summer. Still love it, but don’t wear it anymore, it belongs to a certain time for me. The other one, I regularly wear, is Orange Sanguine from Atelier Cologne, it never fails to lift my mood! Yet, after reading your Jo Loves A shot of Thai lime over Mango review, I think this could be a candidate to expand my range ;o).


  13. annemariec says:

    Un Jardin sur le Nil, definitely. I think you reviewed it way back, Birgit, with a wonderful photograph of the sun shining through leaves. I often think if that image when I wear Nil; it’s perfect. My old citrus staple was Eau de Givenchy, but even I have moved on from it now, and have Nil as my first choice. I decided that Eau de G. is the sort of herbal-citrus cologne that, like so many others, traces its lineage back to 4711. Which is fine, but essentially quite repetitious and the genre seemed exhausted to me. But Nil backs up its citrus with a whole other set of notes (fruit, lotus, incense) and is very original.

    So apart from that I don’t need a lot of other citruses in my life. Instead, last summer I spent a lot of time with Annick Goutal’s Neroli.

  14. Ellia says:

    My two “must have” fragrances for summer of citrus family are Guerlain’s Pamplelune and Hermes Un Jardin en Mediterranee.. I absolutely love them and can’t imagine my summer without those guys 🙂 For now I’m dreaming to try A Shot of Thai Lime over Mango by JoLoves – it seems Thai Lime could become a nice addition to my collection..

  15. Oooh! Tough question! Most of the fragrances that I love tend to be citrus ones: Orange Sanguine, Eau des Merveilles, Fils de Dieu, Eau d’Hadrien and Les Nuits d’Hadrien. I have to throw Acqua di Parma Colonia in there too. Nothing makes you feel fresher when the weather is humid and sticky!

  16. Have to agree with the commenter who loved the Chanel Cologne, don’t wear it, but it is a wonderful one, for lasting power the old Guerlain LE, Philtre d’Amour goes on and on. There’s also a new Atelier called Patchouli Mistral which is actually a kind of grapefruit scent with good lasting power.

  17. Lila says:

    I also really enjoy Frederic Malle Bigarade Concentrée as well as L’Artisan Batucada. I actually prefer both of those scents for men. They have a fresh, masculine quality to me. Even though it lists only citrus flowers and not the fruit, I detect a fruity orange in Seville a l’Aube.

  18. Lila says:

    Oh, and how could I forget Ananas Fizz by L’Artisan! Yumminess in a bottle!

  19. Amy Bella says:

    I might need to expand my horizons in this area… the only citrus fragrances I have are Pamplelune and L’Eau de L’Artisan. I wore the L’Eau yesterday on a 75 degree sunshiny day. Six or seven sprays lasted for about as many hours! I wanted to love Orange Sanguine, but after the initial burst of pure delight it turned weird and plastic-y, like a doll’s head. So strange, because the opening smells so natural! Maybe I’ll buy a new sample… it’s been a couple of years.

  20. I don’t often wear straight citrus, but two I love when it’s hot that don’t get a lot of love are Diptyque Oyedo (bright lime, slightly minty and actually feels cool on the skin!) and Moschino Funny, which is a grapefruit with some blackcurrant that is nicely tart and sweet and lasts a long time if you “spray until wet”

  21. I’ve been wearing Eau d’Orange Verte for decades now… it’s just so perfect a cologne to me I’m always confused when people don’t like it!

  22. odonata9 says:

    I love citrus scents! Here are my favorites:
    Orange – Guerlain AA Mandarine Basilic
    Lime – AA Herba Fresca (minty lime) or Smell Bent Blimey Limey! (creamy lime)
    Lemon – Fresh Brown Sugar (I swear it’s more lemony than Lemon Sugar!) and Lostmarch Din Dan. The Lemon Cloud one is nice too, but not as zingy as these. Carthusia Mediterraneo is another good lemon.
    And for overall citruses, PdN L’eau Mixte and Eau d’Ete are excellent as well. I will be springing for a bottle of the d’Ete soon – it’s so reasonably priced!

  23. Isabeau says:

    I love philtre d’amour by guerlain and when it is really hot I also love the body spray of la prairie!
    And when I go for a run grapefruit by comme des garçons is à Great energy booster!

  24. Isabeau says:

    And recently I discovered George by jardins d’ ecrivains! Wow this has also a great citrus opening

  25. Tara says:

    i’ve yet to find the right citrus for me so today’s Question is very helpful – i’m making notes!

  26. brie says:

    Since there is “citrus” in the name may I also include Sonoma Scent Studio’s newly releases Spiced Citrus Vetiver….a full bottle has my name written all over it!!!

  27. Liz K says:

    I love citrus in the summer, especially grapefruit. Un Jardin Sur le Nil and YSL In Love Again are favorites as well as Eau d’Hadrian, 4711, and Emeraude (the vintage splash which I was allowed to wear on special occasions as a child…it was a BIG deal at the time) and my recent cheap-ish thrill, Fresh Hesperides Grapefruit.

    • Olfactoria says:

      I must try the Fresh scents when in the US, I keep heearing good things about them. They seem exactly right for a cheap thrill summer scent.
      I love your favortites, Liz!

  28. Eau d’Hadrien was a big favorite for many years. It has nown been dethroned by Acqua Decima.
    I’m not a big fan of citrusy fragrances, but I like to keep one on hand, for therepautic use.

    • Olfactoria says:

      You are a big fan of Eau d’Italie, aren’t you? Must try this newest one…

      • I find their fragrances very wearable. I end up wearing a lot the ones I didn’t find too interesting at first. Magnolia Romana is a staple for me and the new Acqua Decima is very uplifting. I generally prefer a more opulent style, but their fragrances always feel right.

        • Olfactoria says:

          It’s the same story with me and Hermès. For everyday life something light, but beautiful just works better. 🙂

          • I haven’t been too lucky with Hermes. They don’t seem to agree with me. Rose Ikebana smells like celery on my skin. I would like to revisit Iris Ukiyoé and Vanille Galante.

  29. mridula says:

    I have tried Atelier Cologne’s Grand Neroli and it is amazing. I hope I will save enough soon to acquire this beauty. It is a ribbon of gold light.

    • Olfactoria says:

      It is a wonderful summer scent indeed, Mridula! The Ateliers are all lovely, great line.

    • Heather says:

      Save up the extra for the soap as well. Between the spray and the soap, the longevity really increases! I had to change fragrances after a hormonal change due to surgery, and this is my new one. I love how it’s never constant. i get whiffs of variations on the theme all day long. Sometimes pure neroli, sometimes sugary lemon, sometimes musk, sometimes really green. I grew up around a lot of citrus groves, and the smell is a perfect replica of the air when the trees are blooming.

  30. Frederic Malle – Bigarade Concentrée is The One for me, nothing else really comes close.

    But I have quite a few favourites in this genre: Annick Goutal – Eau d’Hadrien, Humiecki & Graef – Eau Radieuse, Guerlain – Eau de Guerlain, Eau de Cologne Imperiale, Xerjoff – 1861, Hermès – Eau d’Orange Verte, Concentré d’Orange Verte. Yves Saint Laurent – Live Jazz as well maybe.

    I’m always on the look out for a good citrus of sorts. 😀

  31. Véronique says:

    Citrus in summer is all you really need. I enjoy plain cologne, such as Chanel’s one but also citrus such as Eau de Rochas, and fruity citrus like Aqua di Gio from Armani. Eau de Rochas is of cours very well known and popular. But I just feel it’s the perfect floral citrus for woman like Eau Sauvage is the perfect citrus for men. It’s a little bit 70′ though. I have just ordered L’Eau d’Italie from Eau d’Italie. Apparently is a great citrus. Let’s see. And I want to try some new Rochas, like Cascade for instance and Guerlain’s like of cologne, particularly the one with verbana.

  32. Figuier says:

    I find the damp British climate doesn’t really call for citrus or cologne, but European summers (or a stiflingly hot & airless day in London) cry out for Eau D’Hadrien, Eau Sauvage, Eau d’Orange Verte, Bulgaria Eau de The Vert, O de Lancome (especially the newish orange blossom one), Cologne du 68. I also like a sour-ish grapefruit, such as that in Parfumeria di Pantelleria’s Dammuso; Pamplelune, while lovely, is just too sweet on me. Lime in perfume isn’t really my thing.

    • Figuier says:

      Oops, autocorrect hijacked my post – that’s ‘Bvlgari’!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Great list! Thanks for reminding me of Cologne du 68, it’s a beautiful scent.

    • Véronique says:

      Truly, I do wear citrus when climat requires fresh air. I agree, with you statement about the climat. There are bad days in summer when I prefere fruity citrus or flower citrus rather than plain citrus. But I would wear oriental or “sillage” perfume in summer even if it’s raining. I leave in a city and today the weather is warm, but not quite sunny. I enjoyed my Cologne from Chanel exclusifs. And for instance, I find Eau de Rochas is a citrus that you can wear no matter what the climat is and where you leave. My mother had it one on Xmas day and it was ok, for her and for us. It’s just that my mum comes from Sicily and she only has one perfume mood : citrus. She has a citrus mind… no sorry, mood !

  33. Alice says:

    I wore Cristalle (and nothing else) for years, but now find it a bit difficult to wear – perhaps I just overdid it, or maybe my tastes have changed. Currently I don’t have a citrus, although I tried and liked Patricia de Nicolai eau d’ete. In very hot weather I reach for my Labo neroli 36!

  34. clever says:

    I love my citrus-favorites are Jo Malone Lime Basil Mandarin, Frederic Malle Outrageous, Chanel Cologne, Cristalle, Eau Sauvage, L’Eau Neuve Lubin, Eau d’Orange Verte

  35. Eva S says:

    Citrus-perfumes are not my biggest perfume genre, but a favorite is PdE Azemour les orangers. I’ll have to try the Freeric Malle, I bought the sample coffret but haven’t gotten around to trying them all yet!

  36. I’m not saying it’s the best out there, but I love wearing Chance eau fraîche of Chanel during hot summer day. It’s so light, fun and full of citruses. It’s my favorite among all the declinations of Chance maybe it’s because it’s doesn’t really smell like the rest of the bunch.
    I would also like pamplelune of Guerlain and for more orange notes, I’d say Clinique Happy. But it’s really rare that I like those kind of smell. That’s why I love so much the eau fraîche of Chance Chanel : it’s green and full of citrus and the balance is masterly done !

  37. Isabelle says:

    as I am rather on gourmand and fruity parfums, I never wear Lemon’s which tends to be on the fresh and light side. However, I wonder whether some you ever encountered a good lemon tart, lemon curd perfume? I tested recently coney island of Bond 9, which was quite on the Lemon curd side, but the price is ridiculous for a product which is after all quite “linear”….

  38. Pingback: Monday Question – What Is Your Favorite Vanilla Perfume? | Olfactoria's Travels

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