Eau de Colognes have always seemed rather uninspiring to me. They don’t feel full of promise the way perfumes do.
They are a practical pick-me-up rather than something to make you swoon. Cologne Indélébile (“Permanent Cologne”) may not whisper a tantalising story in my ear, but it is surprisingly luscious.
Cologne Indélébile was created by one of the most renowned noses in the business: Dominique Ropion. Frederic Malle has worked with him on a number of fragrances for Editions de Parfums including Carnal Flower and Geranium Pour Homme.
Released this past April, the notes for Cologne Indélébile include bergamot, lemon, narcissus, orange blossom, neroli and musks.
It’s in the style of classic colognes in as much as it has a simple, largely linear structure. You really have to like orange blossom to like Cologne Indélébile because it’s orange blossom for 12+ hours. Rich, slightly syrupy and a little heady, it contains all the best parts of that gorgeous material.
It’s top quality stuff and the updating lies in its exceptional radiance and staying power. Don’t expect twists and turns or novel accords – you won’t find them here. Cologne Indélébile was modelled on the traditional cologne and should be approached as such. If you thrive on complexity, you may be left wanting.
In the early stages, the orange sweetness is cut through with slashes of sharp lemon. Cologne Indélébile wouldn’t be very cologne-like if it didn’t start off with that trademark citrus zing.
After an hour or so, it’s orange blossom all the way. There’s neroli and bergamot in the mix but the orange blossom is what gives it body. Unfortunately I don’t get any narcissus.
Whereas last summer’s Eau de Magnolia extended the cologne’s top half with the addition of a chypre base, Cologne Indélébile uses musks – four “technical” musks to be precise.
I was rather apprehensive when I heard this because my musk comfort zone is extremely small. However, to my surprise, the musks fail to make an impact on me. They are apparently mostly of the white variety so perhaps I’m just anosmic to them. Those who do get them, seem to find them extremely voluminous.
Whereas colognes usually feel attenuated, Cologne Indélébile feels substantial. It has great heft but manages to feel weightless. It combines the transparent feel of a cologne with the potency of a parfum.
Of course, this is not a new concept in niche – thik Atelier Cologne or Mugler, but no one has done it with this degree of quality, volume and longevity.
I can see Cologne Indélébile coming into its own in hot weather. It will mirror the sunshine and keep you beautifully scented from morning well into the night, without ever feeling overwhelmed.
This is supersized cologne for a modern generation.
Have you tried Cologne Indélébile yet?