The elusive yet omnipresent orange

Tu as volé, as volé, as volé, as volé, as volé, as volé l’orange. Tu as volé, as volé, as volé l’orange du marchand. (You stole, stole, stole, stole, stole, stole the orange. You stole, stole, stole the orange from the merchant.)

Non, vous êtes fous, c’est pas moi, j’ai pas volé l’orange; j’ai trop peur des voleurs, j’ai pas pris l’orange du marchand. (No, you’re crazy, it wasn’t me, I didn’t steal the orange; I’m too scared of thieves, I didn’t take the orange from the merchant.)

—Gilbert Bécaud, “L’Orange” (The Orange)

A few days ago, my other half was doing some work on one of his bicycles that involved a citrus degreaser—though natural, it smells really artificial and just plain stinks. (Certain skincare products made to smell like oranges stink too.) I couldn’t open the windows because it was too cold, so I tried to “smoke out” the odor by burning sandalwood incense. This masked the scent for a while, but the smoke ended up irritating my nose and throat with lingering dryness.

Today, I am wearing a better combination of these notes, if you will, in Essential Parfums Orange X Santal by perfumer Natalie Gracia-Cetto. It gives us bitter orange peel paired with the hollower, drier aspects of sandalwood. To my nose, it leans “masculine,” and reminded me of a popular cologne of the 90s: Calvin Klein CK be. I never tried the EdT, but rather the body spray, possibly a knock-off version. To my relief, the memory association has some validity, as mandarin orange and sandalwood are listed as notes for CK be.

Orange X Santal is angular shapes and sharp lines while it lasts, which isn’t all day without reapplying. Other listed notes are cypress, basil, and oakmoss; this probably explains how the fragrance stays in an aromatic, slightly rough, “hollow” register. I wore it to the gym and it felt in place. It does soften eventually, to something more like a pastel.

3 thoughts on “The elusive yet omnipresent orange

  1. That photo makes me hungry 🙂

    I am not sure I’ve ever tried CK be perfume because I didn’t like the bottle (yeah, I know, it’s shallow, but before I discovered decants, for me perfume was a complete experience).

    My favorite combination of these notes is Jo Malone Orange Bitters.

    Liked by 1 person

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