Those who read me regularly know I am one of the happiest perfume lovers at the current renaissance in the number of new Eau de Cologne releases. A Colognoisseur by nature of the name has to be a supporter, and I am. I have said on more than one occasion that the creativity in this sector over the last four years has been imaginative leading to some truly great Nouveau Colognes. It was why when I received the press release for the latest release from Editions de Parfume Frederic Malle called Cologne Indelebile by perfumer Dominique Ropion I was anticipating something grand.
In my recent review of Amouage Opus IX I spoke of the contrast between emotional and technical approaches to perfumery. I believed that Opus IX was an example of the emotional and the raw ragged edges that can bring with it. Cologne Indelebile is the paean to the technical. This is an eau de cologne which has been patiently constructed to produce a singular post-modern riff on the form.
M. Ropion builds Cologne Indelibile in a precise manner with each phase distinctly present and accounted for. Eau de Cologne starts with citrus so does Cologne Indelibile. Bergamot and lemon provide a sharply delineated splash of tart citrus. Eau de Cologne usually combines a floral and an herbal component. Cologne Indelebile eschews this for a solely floral heart. Neroli is the floral chosen and it is pretty much all that I smell when I wear this. The note list says narcissus is also here but I never detected it. Eau de Cologne finishes with a bit of spice. Cologne Indelebile in an attempt to live up to the permanency the Indelebile in the name promises uses a collection of white musks. The note list calls them “technical musks” and that is truth in advertising. This is a detailed mixture of multiple musks to provide the laundry-fresh finish they are known for. It is here where I have my problem with Cologne Indelebile. This feels over-engineered to me and it sucks all of the life out of the fragrance for me. I usually love these kind of musk cocktails; this was like a high pitched whine that wouldn’t abate.
Cologne Indelebile, true to its name, lasts 10-12 hours but the great majority of that is the white musk finish; with average sillage.
If you haven’t tried many of the Nouveau Colognes, and you really like white musk, Cologne Indelebile is going to be something that will be perfect for you. For me I found that Cologne Indelebile didn’t bring anything new to the current cologne portfolio. For the first time an Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle fragrance did not engage me. Which makes in not Indelebile but Peu Memorable (forgettable).
Disclosure: this review was based on a sample provided by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle.