Summer is winding down. As the air cools, Eaux de Cologne seem to lose what little power they have; they fade away as quickly as you can apply them to skin. Still, I crave citrus fragrances as the temperature drops, and there are quite a few citrus perfumes that can stand up to fall and winter weather — Parfum d’Empire Yuzu Fou is one of them.
Yuzu Fou (‘crazy yuzu’) Eau de Parfum includes notes of kumquat, bigarade orange (Citrus aurantium), yuzu, mint, green bamboo, verbena, neroli, blond cedar and white musk. Yuzu Fou begins with a mélange of citrus rind and juice aromas that will make you “fou” if you try too hard to differentiate between the cascading scents of sweet (and fleeting) kumquat, sour, lemony yuzu and powerful bigarade orange (also known as Seville orange).
The dominant note, bigarade orange, or “bitter orange,” in Yuzu Fou is not sweet; though this type of orange is used to make candy and marmalade, Yuzu Fou will not make you think of desserts. Bigarade orange in Yuzu Fou is bitter, and its aromatic rind’s perfume is “spicy” (smelling of oily, unripe citrus peel mingling with fresh green coriander and cumin seeds).
During Yuzu Fou’s development, you’ll notice several “green” notes: menthol-mint, crisp verbena, a cilantro-like aroma, and an interesting “green-wood” scent I’ll assume is “bamboo.” As Yuzu Fou dries down, cedar joins bigarade orange and together these two notes produce a slightly “sweaty” accord. Yuzu Fou reminds me of Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle Cologne Bigarade, but with much better lasting power and sillage.
Yuzu Fou is a hardy, cold-weather-resistant citrus perfume, and like many other Parfum d’Empire fragrances (Wazamba and Aziyadé to name just two) it packs a wallop. Since Crown Perfumery’s sensational Crown Imperial fragrance was discontinued, Yuzu Fou has become my favorite winter citrus perfume. Please comment if you know of other “frost-proof” citruses for winter.
Parfum d’Empire Yuzu Fou is $110 for 100 ml and $75 for 50 ml; for buying information, see the listing for Parfum d’Empire under Perfume Houses.
Note: top left and right images via Wikimedia Commons.