Thursday, January 26, 2012

Citrus & Wood

Now this is the way to do a woody citrus scent!  Since the 1990s, the men’s fragrance market has been crammed with woody citrus fragrances, the huge majority of which are so boring they’d put heavy coffee drinkers to sleep.  Only a small minority, such as Essenza di Zegna and Lanvin L’Homme,  manage to rise above rubbish like Terre d’Hermes.  Yardley’s Citrus & Wood needs to be added to that small list of excellent woody citrus scents.

Yardley should have named this “Citrus, Spice & Wood”, because it’s just as spicy as it is citrusy and woody.   This is a power-packed fragrance, containing a huge number of citrus, spice and wood notes, and you can tell by the way it smells.   Look at this list - bergamot, lemon, lime, grapefruit and orange, pepper, cumin, ginger, carrot seed, patchouli, sandalwood, cedar, birch, vetiver and even more.  It must have been a herculean task for the perfumer to be able to rein in all these smells and balance them out.  Whoever composed Citrus & Wood succeeded in doing this with flying colors, and managed to keep the overall scent dry and transparent.  It is a substantial fragrance, but not at all heavy or overbearing.

When you first spray this on, it smells like a pretty typical citrus and wood scent – bright cheerful top notes with the sharpness of wood.  Give it about five minutes, though, and you’ll smell how this scent separates itself far above all the other members of this dull genre.  What makes Citrus & Wood unique is a subtle, brown-hued earthy smell underlying everything ; it adds complexity, masculinity and depth to what is already a sparkling and very masculine scent.  The addition of earthy ingredients like cumin and carrot seed to a fragrance like this is innovative, and I believe it’s what makes Citrus & Wood so unique.  This is a much spicier and more assertive fragrance than most others in this genre, yet it’s never brash or crude.

It’s such a comfortable fragrance to wear.  Everything – the citrus, the spices and the woods  - is prominent but perfectly balanced.  It’s a scent framed in a conservative style, but with a daring edge.   The pepper, ginger and patchouli move this a little bit outside its conservative box, and give it some balls.  There’s amber and vanilla listed in the base notes, but thankfully I can’t smell them, and the scent always remains nice and dry. 

This is the kind of scent that’s going to satisfy both perfume enthusiasts as well as your average consumer who wants to buy something that is both classy and very masculine.  This fragrance shows that a scent doesn't have to be boring to be conservative.  It’s also very affordable – I’ve smelled niche fragrances that cost ten times more and don’t smell anywhere near as good as this.  It has a scent that projects well and easily lasts all day, so we’re talking excellent value here.

Citrus & Wood is a no-brainer for any fan of masculine, spicy or woody scents.  It’s a delight to wear, and is a truly great fragrance.

MY RATING:  9/10

Fragrance House:  Yardley London


  1. How would you compare it to Homme de Gres? It sounds like they are similar.

  2. Great scent, great price, great blog!
    Thanks for the recommendation.