What makes a life-long Francophile and perfume lover, with fantasies of living in the Loire Valley, sit up and take notice? A fragrance entitled Vie de Château…commissioned by a modern-day count no less — the Comte de Cheverny. Perfumer Patricia de Nicolaï’s aromatic take on aristocratic country living contains notes of: grapefruit, hay, tobacco, patchouli, musk, fern, cut grass, oak moss, vetiver, and leather.
Vie de Château starts off powerful and sweet with notes of grapefruit (think grapefruit lollipops), hay, and to a lesser extent, dried tobacco leaf. It has a “blonde,” sugary, sunny feel. A clean patchouli and minimalist musk are the next notes to appear (within five minutes of application) and they do little to lessen the fruity sweetness of Vie de Château. I do not find the ‘greens’ at all noticeable in this perfume — fern, oak moss, grass and vetiver are barely there. The leather is not apparent either, but Vie de Château is a great layering scent — add your own spice, leather or black tea fragrances to it for added dimension and variety.
This delicious, summery eau fraîche is gender neutral and the lasting power is very good. Life at de Nicolaï’s château is bright, generous, calm, comfortable and…traditional. I’m buying a bottle for summer. I’ll give myself a liberal spray of Vie de Château and regard, with count-like disdain, the weeds, peeling paint and slugs of my own dominion — far from the Loire Valley, alas!
For buying information, see the listing for Parfums de Nicolaï under Perfume Houses.
Note: image via Groupement Philatélique Régional Centre - Loire.