After trying Santa Maria Novella Acqua di Colonia yesterday, I thought I would start today by spraying on as many orange blossom perfumes as I could dig out of my jumble of samples & bottles. There were more than I thought, so I am limiting myself to the Italians. I can't wait for summer — it is so much easier to try a whole mess of fragrances at once when you can go sleeveless and apply right up the arms to the shoulder. Paper test strips just aren't as much fun.
One of my favorite Italian orange blossom scents is i Profumi di Firenze Zagara. It starts rather sharp and very heavy on the bergamot, but calms to a lovely orange blossom with citrus notes and just the right amount of sweetness. It is very sparkling, cheerful and summery, and has good lasting power.
Santa Maria Novella Zagara is another orange blossom that is very much worth a try. This one also starts a little sharp, but when it dries down it is warmer and spicier than the iPF. Very nicely done and I enjoy wearing it. Like most of the SMNs, it is short-lived and must be re-applied frequently.
Some time ago I heard that Borsari also made a Zagara scent, but after a futile attempt to find a bottle anywhere online, I gave up. A few weeks later, I was looking for something else in my fragrance notes and realized that I had already tried it. And in fact, it was apparently not a memorable fragrance: a very light, basic zagara that faded very quickly.
Mazzolari, the Italian perfumery chain, brought out its own line of products some years ago and has recently repackaged and expanded the line. Their Zagara fails to charm me. It is strong but flat, and has a heavy base that drowns out the orange blossom after it dries down.
Hierbas de Ibiza is more of a blend than the others listed here, but worth a try if you love orange blossom. It is a light, dry citrus-herbal that dries down to a soft floral with pronounced orange blossom.
Did I miss one?
See also: Back to orange blossoms