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Noel au Balcon Eau de Parfum by Etat Libre d’Orange

$85

luckyscent.com

“Noël au balcon, Pâques aux tisons”, goes an old French saying, meaning that if it’s warm enough to spend Christmas at the balcony, at Easter you’ll need firebrands. And État Libre d’Orange leaves no doubt as to quite what type of firebrand they have in mind: the kind who prances around the Christmas tree in a red corset, half-unlaced like a present in the process of being unwrapped. The name is also an allusion to another typically French expression, “il y a du monde au balcon” – the balcony is crowded – meaning, this time, that someone’s décolletage is overflowing…

With its lusciously rounded top notes of honeyed mandarin, apricot, vanilla, cinnamon and orange blossom, Antoine Maisondieu’s Noël au Balcon certainly conveys a sense of mischievous, festive flesh. The firebrand part kicks in with an unusual, nose-tingling red chili pepper matched with the bitter, slightly citrusy flavor of nigella sativa, better know as black cumin but also, provocatively, as devil-in-the-bush (no snickers!) or, in France, as Venus’s hair.

After the heat’s died down, Noël au Balcon moves smoothly to a patchouli, amber, musk and vanilla base lit up by ylang-ylang-like solar notes. Now the firebrand’s really ready for trouble.
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