Three Neroli Fragrances To Brighten Winter

I’ve been looking for a nice neroli perfume for ages. Both orange blossom and neroli are derived from orange blossom flowers but the methods of extraction differ and this results in markedly different scents. Orange blossom absolute is thicker, sweeter and more floral while neroli essential oil is tarter, greener and brighter.

After sharing my wish to find a good neroli fragrance, my mate Esperanza of L’Esperessence very kindly sent me a selection of samples from her home in Holland. They were the perfect antidote to the grey skies and mood that accompanies January in London.




Grand Neroli, Atelier Cologne

Notes: Neroli, Lemon, Sicilian Bergamot, Petitgrain, Galbanum, Moss, Birch Leaf, Musk, White Amber and Vanilla.

Neroli lends itself to the cologne style so you’d expect Atelier Cologne to do a good job with it. Grand Neroli is not quite as zesty as the Heeley but still starts with that lemony tang. It moves from tart, through floral, to green. It’s the most nuanced of the three and I like the way it changes and develops over time. True to the brand’s remit, this is a full- bodied take on a cologne with good lasting power. However I find the musk quite prominent and that’s a deal-breaker for me. It’s a white musk which fades through the day and isn’t headache inducing like some.





Oranges and Lemons, Say the Bells of St Clement’s, Heeley

Notes: Orange. Lemon. Bergamot,  Mandarine, Neroli, Petitgrain, Earl Grey Tea, Ylang Ylang and Vetiver

We used to play a singing game to “Orange and Lemons” at children’s birthday parties when I was little which means this perfume has a very happy association for me.  As is often the case with old English nursery rhymes, the lyrics dating from circa 1740 are pretty grim when you look at them:

Oranges and lemons,
Say the bells of St. Clement’s.

You owe me five farthings,
Say the bells of St. Martin’s.

When will you pay me?
Say the bells of Old Bailey.

When I grow rich,
Say the bells of Shoreditch.

When will that be?
Say the bells of Stepney.

I do not know,
Says the great bell of Bow.

Here comes a candle to light you to bed,
And here comes a chopper to chop off your head!
Chip chop chip chop the last man is dead

The fragrance goes on zingy as you’d expect with the presence of lemon but it’s not so bitter as to make me wince. The projection lessens considerably after about 2-3 hours but this is citrus-heavy and citrus accords have limited longevity. However, the lasting power was very good despite the closeness to the skin. The Earl Grey tea accord is a nice idea but wasn’t noticeable to me. St. Clement’s is simple but very cheering and easy to wear. It’s my favourite of the three.




neroli yves

Neroli, Yves Rocher

Notes: Bigarade (bitter orange), Bergamot, Orange Blossom, Neroli and Musks.

Neroli is part of the Secret d’Essences collection of signature fragrances using quality raw materials. This is really pretty. It has none of the tart lemon of the two previous iterations. This feels more like a perfume than a cologne and you could say it leans more traditionally feminine in style. Neroli has a lovely golden hue with no interruptions. It has just the right balance between sweet and sour.  This is probably because unlike the other two, it contains orange blossom which adds that floral syrupy-ness but also means it’s not a straight-up neroli fragrance. Sadly, its longevity wasn’t great on me but at around £30 for 50ml, you can afford to re-apply during the day.


Orange Fruits Wallpapers 3.jpg












Have you tried any of these? Do you have any more neroli fragrances to recommend me in the comments?



Filed under Perfume Reviews

28 responses to “Three Neroli Fragrances To Brighten Winter

  1. Bee Wyeth

    Lovely choices – especially the Yves Rocher. I find that one lasts quite a while on me compared to most of the Ateliers that I’ve tried. I’d add a vote for Guerlain AA Flora Nerolia which may lean too much into jammy orange blossom but i think it is quite uplifting.


  2. Matty 49

    Another vote for the Guerlain


  3. Ooh, these are good – I am a particular fan of the Yves Rocher as well. Another neroli I would recommend is Annick Goutal’s, just called Neroli, I think. Where do you stand on Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino, as I have a big decant of that if you are interested?


  4. Thanks, V. I remember trying Neroli Portofino on holiday and disliking it but afterwards I wondered if it had turned. I tried AG’s Neroli a long time ago so it’s time for a re-test. I think I recall Victoria being a fan of that one.


  5. The St. Clement’s is all the awesome and one of favourites on Mael. And the Tom Ford is lovely, but he is banned in this household .:)


  6. Love this review! Another blog discussed perfumes and seasons, and I love citrus and florals in the summer, woods, patch, incense in the winter. I have some Ateliers, Cal Clementine, Orange Sanguine, and Mandarine, but I’ll look into all three. I agree about the musk in virtually ALL of the Atelier colognes.


  7. Sandra

    Hi Tara, Inloved Grand Neroli- so good all year round. I have to try the Yves Rocher. Neroli is definitely uplifting when the skies are so grey. Mid winter cheers. Sandra xoxo


    • Hi Sandra,
      It’s nice to be reminded that these grey days don’t last forever. January is such a bleak month. February is only bearable because it’s a short month and March is round the corner. Do try the Yves Rocher!


  8. Out of the three you reviewed, I tried only Grand Neroli, and while I quite liked it, I never went beyond a sample: Atelier Cologne does too many citrus’s: I like them all but I just do not need that many 🙂

    I was going to mention the same two perfumes as Vanessa – AG Neroli and TF Neroli Portofino. If you have time, take a look at my very short comparison of all three perfumes.

    I’ve never heard/read that children (?!) song before, so I was taken by surprise by its conclusion (I know, you warned – but I thought that the song itself wasn’t the happiest, as I was reading it, and I didn’t expect the finale). How exactly did you use it for parties? 🙂


    • At some point, Atelier Cologne are going to run out of citrus fruit to turn into perfumes 🙂
      Enjoyed your neroli comparison and very interested to read Neroli Portofino was unpleasant on your skin at first try also. I tried it in 2009 so also wonder if it was re-formulated later.
      The game was a funny one. Two kids would form an arch with their arms while the other children crept continuously through it in a line, all singing the song. The arms would come down and catch one child at the “Chop chop chop” point. I have to say I don’t think we ever sang the last line of the rhyme above. I can’t imagine anything less likely at children’s parties these days.


  9. I’ve tried the one in the middle with lemons and the long name and loved it. It’s a happy perfume. 🙂
    And I’m sure I knew of one other neroli perfume I liked but can’t remember what it was.


  10. crikey

    I’ve not tried the other two, but I love the bright lift of St. Clements, though it lasts about three minutes on me. (we played the full gruesome version in the playground, with violent dropping and grabbing whoever was last to go through the arch while everyone else ran away yelling.

    I have a real love of orange and bitter orange notes in scents, even in weird combinations. I get longer lasting oranges from Cirebon, though, and the drying orange peel of Bapteme de Feu makes me happy, though there’s no sparkle in that, with it sitting in damp gunpowder and cloves.


    • crikey, I’m so happy to hear you also played this strange, gruesome game as a child! I was hoping someone else did. I was started to feel like some sort of little Victorian 🙂

      Orange scents really give me a boost so I’ll have to check out those two you mention, which are new to me.


  11. Hayley

    Love Hermes neroli dore, got an ace deal on a gift set on eBay £36!! Want to try the Heeley


  12. Hi Tara! xxxxx Honestly I’ve never tried any of these three, which makes me feel like doing a bit of exploring. I have been wearing orange and mandarin fragrances in the last few weeks as they are cutting through this summer heat quite nicely. I should widen my choices to neroli, sounds like they are just the trick for winter days too.
    Lots of Love


    • Hey Tina!
      Oh yes, do widen your range to nerolis. I think you’d really appreciate their tart edge and brightness. It sounds like you’re having a blockbuster of a summer out there at the moment.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Have you tried the Neroli Outrenoir by Guerlain yet Tara? Smoky tea and neroli, very interesting.
    Portia x


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