Some designer brands are household names (Dior, Gucci, Chanel, et al), but Zadig & Voltaire doesn’t have that status.
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While lacking that immediate recognition, the Paris-based company more than makes up for it with accessible and affordable releases. Their youthful and optimistic vibe has appeal way beyond their primary demographic.
The house has generally released fragrances in male and female pairs, which are designed to fit together, but has recently taken a unisex direction.
Where known, the name of the perfumer is included in brackets after the name of the fragrance.
Our Shortlist For Best Zadig & Voltaire Fragrances
Zadig & Voltaire Tome 1 La Pureté EDT (Nathalie Lorson)
A bit of background to this scent.
The brand was ahead of its designer peers when it launched the unisex Tome 1 La Pureté in 2009. That collaboration with the uber-cool niche company Le Labo has been discontinued, but the female flanker from 2012 is well worth checking out.
It starts out light and fresh with soft notes of orange blossom, bergamot and peony.
Notes of almond, tonka bean, and jasmine get the milky treatment, with powdery musk and earthy patchouli leaving a sensual trail.
Very nice indeed!
Zadig & Voltaire This is Her! EDP (Sidonie Lancesseur & Michel Almairac)
This 2016 release is probably the brand’s most popular scent. One sniff will tell you why it’s such a huge success.
It starts out with a combo of fresh jasmine sambac and the rosy spiciness of pink pepper.
And then the pièce de resistance: a deliciously creamy confection of vanilla and chestnut.
The creaminess keeps on coming in the drydown with sandalwood (a regular feature of Zadig & Voltaire perfumes) supported by a note of cashmere wood (the synthetic is also known as Cashmeran) with its smooth muskiness.
We’ve smelled a lot of gourmands and this one is undoubtedly up there with the best.
Zadig & Voltaire This is Him! EDT (Nathalie Lorson)
Wood, smoke, spice and all things nice… To paraphrase the nursery rhyme, we reckon this pretty much captures the attraction of this 2016 release.
The hot spiciness and earthiness of black pepper meets the slight bitterness of grapefruit in the opening.
There’s more warm spiciness from the notes of incense and vanilla. FYI: The latter is sugar-free.
The milkiness of sandalwood concludes the composition with the utmost elegance.
Zadig & Voltaire Just Rock For Him! EDT (Nathalie Lorson & Aurélien Guichard)
The black and gold bottle isn’t the only thing we love about this 2017 release. Created by two of the best perfumers in the biz, it also happens to be one of the best incense fragrances on the market.
It opens with the warm, vanilla-ish overtones of tonka bean, which is further enhanced by a black vanilla note.
The smoky incense note makes its presence felt early in the fragrance’s progression.
Sophisticated yet accessible, it’s complemented by a twist of spice, settling on a base of earthy patchouli.
Even the most ardent niche snobs have succumbed to its charms, so do whatever you have to do to get your nose on it, as it’s not easily available in the United States.
Zadig & Voltaire Girls Can Say Anything EDP (Quentin Bisch)
Cute name for a cute scent.
This 2018 release by the perfumer Quentin Bisch opens with a big peony note of floral freshness and a bit of iris powderiness in the background.
Tonka bean and vanilla build on the slight sweetness of the peony, while musk and an amber accord give it warmth.
It’s described as a floral fougère, but it’s more on the floral side of things. Either way, it’s very pretty and pleasant stuff.
The flankers in the range, Girls Can Do Anything EDP and Girls Can Be Crazy EDP, are also worth checking out.
Zadig & Voltaire This is Love! For Him EDT (Nathalie Lorson)
This 2020 release affirms why the French label gets it right in terms of terrific value and quality.
The intro features crisply fresh bergamot, followed by a note of sunshine-kissed orange blossom. The effect is uplifting and moreish.
It’s then the turn of a large dose of warm and creamy sandalwood in the drydown to wrap up it up rather nicely.
Deceptively simple as 1, 2 , 3, it’s oh so effective and sensual. And gives pricier sandalwood options a run for their money.
Zadig & Voltaire This is Love! For Her EDP (Sidonie Lancesseur)
At first, we only loved the funky bottle of this 2020 release. The juice seemed too girlie-sweet for our, ahem, sophisticated tastes. We’re glad we gave it more time, especially in cooler weather, when it positively shines.
The opening features touches of fresh and spicy ginger.
There’s a hint of powdery and airy violet too.
It’s the warm, cosy and comforting vanilla-sandalwood combo that makes this EDP worth coming back to.
Zadig & Voltaire This is Us! EDT (Mathilde Bijaoui)
Vanilla fragrances don’t have to be expensive to get our approval.
There’s vanilla, the sweet and cosy kind, from the get-go in this 2020 release. Sandalwood adds a creamy dimension.
Powdery musk and the spiciness of the synthetic Cashmeran mingle with earthy patchouli in the drydown.
Thumbs up to the brand for going the unisex route with this EDT. Let’s hope more designer brands have the vision to snap out of the male-female marketing straitjacket. Come on guys, it’s 2022!
The freshness of the genderless 2022 release, This Is Us! L’Eau For All EDT, might just tempt you too.
Zadig & Voltaire This is Him! Vibes Of Freedom EDT (Nathalie Lorson)
Looking for something that’s modern yet timeless with a dash of intrigue? Then get your nose on this 2022 release.
The opening is fresh and clean with notes of lavender and mandarin orange.
The cool spice of cardamom is infused with the sensual smokiness of incense.
We especially love the cedar-centric drydown. Its smooth and soothing softness is complemented by the earthiness of patchouli.
Richard Goller is a fragrance and grooming blogger. His blog is called Fragroom. A senior editor with 20 years' experience, his blog allows him to combine two of his passions: engaging content and the always-intriguing world of fragrances. When he isn't blogging, you'll find Richard indulging in his newly found passion for balcony gardening.