Published on June 15th, 2016 | by The Perfume Expert
Berdoues Grands Crus Colognes Review
The ultimate Summer fragrance collection!
If you can’t get away this Summer, then travel the world by your nose, with Berdoues newest collection entitled Grands Crus. A perfume collection that is inspired by the notes found during travels to exotic locations around the world.
Take a trip through scent and experience the lushness of a Brazilian rain forest, a soothing cup of tea in India, or the romantic falling of petals falling from a Cherry Tree in Japan, and more.
Each of the 7 fragrances (including the newest addition to the Grands Crus collection Vanira Moorea) capture the essence of each location using the finest of ingredients sourced straight from those lands.
The Grands Crus collection features:
Assam of India, a tea fragrance. Somei Yoshino, a delicate chypre floral. Oud al Sahraa, a zesty oriental. Arz El-Rab, a floral oriental. Selva do Brazil, a green scent. Scorza Di Sicilia, a citrus fragrance. And the latest release, Vanira Moorea and sweet vanilla scent.
Although not marketed as such, Berdoues Grands Crus Colognes collection is ideally suited for Summer weather and hot climates!
One reason why these are perfect Summer scents is because of the traditional Cologne format (meaning lighter than an EDT, not meaning “men’s” cologne) which adds a “splash” or “eau fraiche” like use for these gorgeous scents. This means they are intended to refresh and be spritzed liberally throughout the day.
…and trust me….they are addictive.
The other reason why I think of this as the IDEAL SUMMER COLLECTION is because each of these fragrances are light and airy, vibrant and effervescent. There isn’t anything heavy or cloying about these colognes, which makes them very appealing once the temperature rises.
But just because these are breezy colognes, don’t assume that they are weak or overpowered by alcohol. The longevity is much greater than a typical cologne, and the ingredients in these scents are of the highest quality, hence their name Grands Crus, inspired by the wine terminology of great wine growth, meaning, “the best of the best”!
Selva do Brazil
Translation from Portuguese meaning ‘forest of Brazil’, this scent evokes the lush depths of the rain forests of Brazil from it’s green leafy canopy to the forest floor and everything in between.
The most fascinating thing about this scent is the juxtaposition between light and deep, dry and moist.
The fresh airy green note of the Petitgrain from Paraguay adds the lightness, whereas the Brazilian Tonka Bean adds the moist dewy depth. This is a really organic representation of a forest and I think it’s quite original.
I’ve never before experienced both freshness AND depth in one scent. In a way, Selva do Brazil is deceptive, just like I imagine first stepping into a lush forest without being aware of the mystery ahead.
Along with these two notes is another interesting facet of Guaiac Wood from Argentina. This notes adds an underlying sharpness to the fragrance, and helps to maintain that crispness in the scent after the Petitgrain has faded.
Selva do Brazil is the perfect unisex cologne and would suit hot climates. The perfect refreshing scent on a hot Summer’s day. Because of it’s organic green facets, this fragrance would be appreciated by those who love the outdoors and appreciate nature.
Pretty in pink! A feminine fragrance inspired by Japanese Cherry Blossom trees. In particular, it gets it’s name from one tree specifically called the ‘Somei Yoshino’ which is a cherry tree that grows on Mount Yoshino where it offers Japan’s most symbolic blossoming.
More than just pretty, this fragrance is supposed to evoke serenity and contemplation.
The serenity of this scent comes from delicate and dainty Cherry Blossoms with additional notes of Shiso from Japan and Jasmine from India. But it’s the green Patchouli from Indonesia that adds the depth and evokes contemplation.
Just like the Selva do Brazil, there is a real unique juxtaposition in this scent between smooth and sharp, sweet and bitter, fleeting and serious.
The floral nature, especially the Jasmine add a heady and sweet nature to the fragrance, but the Patchouli battles right back with a leafy green, almost bitter quality.
Although all of the Grands Crus collection is said to be unisex, Somei Yoshino is definitely more feminine in nature. A wonderful scent for those who have a spiritual side, perfect for a sunrise meditation in a blossoming garden.
Assam of India
As soothing as a tall glass of iced tea on a hot Summer’s afternoon!
Tea fragrances are becoming very popular, and this one, even though is based on the smokey black Assam tea from India, is refreshing and light thanks to a vibrant dose of sweet Lemon from Menton.
Sandalwood from Mysore is also present but just a hint of it to enable the longevity of the other notes. The Sandalwood adds a slight woodiness. But the bulk of this fragrance is the soothing, lingering black tea and fresh Lemon that makes this slightly sweet and smokey cologne another gorgeous Summer scent.
Even though this is black tea, it does smell more along the lines of a green tea fragrance and I believe this is because of the Lemon.
This fragrance reminds of me drinking iced tea of the porch watching a storm roll in after a hot Summer’s day. Although the Lemon keeps it fresh and effervescent, the Tea adds somewhat of an aqua note which is an unexpected. When mixed with the Sandalwood the dry-down becomes slightly more earthy, like the smell of rain in the air!
Once again, Assam of India veers to the feminine side, and would suit those who prefer a calming and peaceful fragrance.
This is my favorite fragrance in the collection because of the ambiance it creates and the memories it evokes of Summer as a child.
Scorza Di Sicilia
Meaning ‘Sicilian Bark’, this fragrance’s GENIUS mixture of citrus and woods, makes it the most vibrant scent in the collection, a real ode to masculine citrus!
Scorza Di Sicilia centers around the citrus of Sicily, Calabrian Citron, and is a real eye-opener. Upbeat and lively.
However, the addition of more serious notes of green Virginian Cedar and dry Indonesian Vetiver make this one of the most sophisticated citrus fragrances on the market. These two notes add real forest green and dry grassy facets that compliment the bright citrus notes.
And because there is not traditional base notes, Scorza Di Sicilia really is breath of fresh air from first spritz! But this is not your typical citrus fragrances. It’s not juicy, or fruity, or overly “lemony”.
In fact, the citrus is perfectly melded into the Ceda and Vetiver that it becomes an entirely different thing. And in it’s dry-down, it warms on the skin to give a grassy freshness that reminds me a bit of drift-wood on the beach.
Scorza di Sicilia is the epitome of what a Cologne should be! Fresh, citrus, dry, cool.
A great unisex fragrance; however, I would recommend it more to men, as this is an exceptional example of a citrus fragrance that is also masculine and grounded. This is one of my top recommended citrus colognes for men!
This is a perfect fragrance for the beach or on the yacht sailing round Lake Como while drinking Lemoncello in the sun!
Inspired by the cedars of Mount Lebanon, Arz El-Rab is one of the most original takes on Iris that I’ve ever smelled!
Iris is a powdery note and is typically used in sophisticated women’s perfumes as it’s a mature and refined floral note.
However, when combined with the warmth of Ginger from China and fragrant green woods like Virginian Cedar it becomes a classy masculine cologne that would make any woman swoon!
Comforting and cozy the soft Moroccan Iris is, but edgy and bold and at the same time due to the spice and woody notes.
Another great juxtaposition from Berdoues, combining soft and edgy in one captivating scent.
But just like all the other Grands Crus colognes, Arz El-Rab remains breezy and never too serious. A great Summer cologne for men and perfectly refined enough for the office or formal affairs.
Oud al Sahraa
Contrary to it’s rich ingredients, this is one of the lightest and coolest Oud scents you’ll ever smell!
Creating an Oud scent in a Cologne form is virtually unheard of, why I don’t know, as it is the PERFECT entry point for those wanting to try an Oud but have been too intimidated to do so before.
Oud is an extremely popular note in perfume right now, and it’s typical use is to add exotic depth, to warm a scents, or add opulence. It is usually rich, potent, and certainly an acquired taste.
But unlike all mainstream Oud fragrances, Oud al Sahraa is different in that the Malaysian Oud facet is delicate, almost translucent and remains cool and at the tip of your nose. I believe that this is achieved by the genius pairing of Italian Mandarin. Again, another great juxtaposition of light and dark.
Even with the addition of Myrrh from Namibia, this fragrance still is quite airy considering it’s strong oriental roots.
This is a great scent for those who are usually put off by Ouds, and it would be an ideal Summer night fragrance. Perfect for hot climates, Oud al Sahraa is a lively and mysterious scent that lingers in the hot humid night air.
Just released, Vanira Moorea is the newest addition to the Grands Crus collection!
It is a fitting addition to the collection, as there wasn’t a sweet fragrance in the collection before it.
Vanira Moorea is inspired by the French Polynesia and is a tropical and sexy skin scent centering around smooth decadent Vanilla from Tahiti.
The fragrance is livened up with fizzy Petitgrain from Paraguay and Brazilian Orange. These citrus notes when combined with the Vanilla make for a real beachy scent that melts into your skin.
This is the BEST version of Petitgrain that I have ever smelled. (and is also used in Selva do Brazil) It’s and exquisite mixture of citrus and green, swaying onto the fresh green side which really wakes up the fragrance upon first spritz. It reminds me of the smell of torn green leaves when you can smell their bitter juices.
After the cologne settles in, the Petitgrain and Orange dissipate and it is straight-up Vanilla from sunrise to sunset.
This makes it probably the most linear cologne in the collection, but this is forgiven because it is Tahitian Vanilla, and one could never tire of smelling Tahitian Vanilla, nor do they need anything else!
Vanilla doesn’t always have to be feminine but in this case, Vanira Moorea is definitely a woman’s scent. A real sultry, sticky, and sexy fragrance for those hot steamy Summer nights!
After spending quite some time getting to know each of the Grands Crus colognes, I have found a particular moment or mood for each of them. Whether it’s wearing Assam of India on a rainy Summer’s day, or Scorza Di Sicilia on the beach, to Somei Yoshino at a garden wedding, or Oud al Sahraa on date night.
There really IS something for everyone in this collection, and because of the minimalistic yet high quality ingredients, the scents remain unobtrusive, likeable, and highly wearable for a variety of tastes.
Although Berdoues is famous for it’s traditional french perfume concoctions, there isn’t anything stuffy or too mature in this collection. In a way, this collection is very mainstream but in the most respectable and well done way!
I certainly give Berdoues credit for taking a long-standing and traditional perfume house into the modern age by creating a collection that is minimal, clean, fresh, contemporary, and wearable!
In fact, I wouldn’t just stop at one. I would recommend choosing multiple scents in this line, and because of the simplicity of notes, I’d even try layering to create your own unique scent!
I really appreciated the airy nature of each scent. Not that they were weak (some even lasted longer than my usual EDPs!), but because there was an air of transparency within every fragrance. It’s hard to explain what I mean, but it’s almost as if there is a wash of scent that is more natural, free, and fresh on the skin, not an “I just sprayed perfume on” feeling.
I believe that this breezy nature to the Grands Crus collection is because of the exceptional combination of high quality perfume oils used but in a Cologne format.
But the most impressive thing about this collection for me was the clever juxtaposition within each fragrance. Not sure if this was intentional or not but every scent in the collection seemed to include notes that spar off of each other in a rather genius fashion.
For example, the softness of Iris paired with edgy Cedar in Arz El-Rab, the sharpness of Petigrain combined with the smoothness of Tonka Bean in Selva do Brazil, or the sweetness of Lemon mixed with the smokiness of black Tea in Assam of India.
Every cologne seemed to play on the notion of light and dark, dry and wet, airy and earthy. This produces some of the most delightful scents that play on your senses and transport you to a different world.
Each of these playful fragrances have a personality and ambiance of their own that accentuate the environment your in. They may be inspired by exotic far-away places, but just by wearing them they create an alluring surrounding all-in-themselves!
No need to pack a bag to travel, just spritz on a Grand Cru.
To order your own Berdoues Grand Cru fragrance visit:
BeautyHabit in the USA prices are $80 each
HarveyNichols in the UK prices are £60 each
[Fragrances for review are Press Samples courtesy of Berdoues. But this in no way affects the opinions of the author.]
The Perfume Expert Rating
Summary: These light and refreshing colognes are perfect for Summer, not only because of their breezy concoctions but also because they are highly wearable and fun! And a great value for the amount and quality. There REALLY is something for everyone in this collection! I wouldn't just stop at one either, have fun layering for your own personal mix! Lower ratings are a reflection of the lower sillage and short longevity of a Cologne but this in now way takes away from the quality or enjoyment of the fragrances.