As I write this review, the temperature in Seattle is nearing 70 degrees; it hasn’t been so warm here since last October. Fueled by optimism, I’m taking my spring shirts, even short-sleeved shirts, out of storage, and I’m “rousing” my spring and summer perfumes from their winter hibernation closet. (Come March, I need a break from heavy oudh, musk and wood fragrances.)
I’ve also been having a recurring “scent fantasy”: I’m sitting in the middle of a bright citrus grove, and the trees are full of ripe lemons, oranges and limes (and since it’s a fantasy, some orange trees are in full bloom as well). One citrus cologne that helps me conjure this scene is the recently reissued Penhaligon’s Extract of Limes — an old favorite of mine.
Extract of Limes was created in 1963 and disappeared sometime in the Nineties; it’s now part of Penhaligon’s 2009 Anthology Collection. Extract of Limes includes notes of lime oil, lemon oil, petitgrain oil and neroli — about as simple as it gets; no base notes need apply.
Extract of Limes begins with the scent of spicy-milky lime peel and juice, quickly followed by fresh lemon and petitgrain aromas. As the citrus oils and petitgrain calm, neroli appears and remains for the duration, providing a refreshing and calm finale (neither too soft nor too powdery). Extract of Limes reminds me of the Floris Limes fragrance (once available in a sensational talcum powder formulation that improved my mood the moment I sniffed it).
Extract of Limes will not make you exclaim: “Strange! Original!” It’s a classic citrus cologne, made with high-quality ingredients (the citrus smells real), and it has better-than-expected lasting power.
Penhaligon's Extract of Limes is available in 100 ml Eau de Toilette for $130; for buying information see Penhaligon’s under Perfume Houses.