Elizabeth Arden Blue Grass: Still Going Strong After 79 Years


 Named after the Blue Grass of Virginia and created in 1934, Elizabeth Arden’s first fragrance is, in my opinion, rather better than her later, modern offerings. You can keep Sunflowers,  Splendor,  Red Door and Green Tea. I’ll just take the Golden Oldie thanks.

 My grandmother wore Blue Grass and always smelled good. This was her “treat” perfume. I couldn’t resist buying a bottle recently. The formulation has certainly changed some, as I remember Nanna’s bottle smelling more powdery and yet sharper at the same time.

At first spray, this is strongly aldehydic. Aldehydes are chemicals used in soaps and detergents and they are often characterised by a high pitched, soapy scent. First by Van Cleef and Arpels is a textbook example: it has a definite whiff of Palmolive in among the greenery, which is no bad thing at all in my book.

Blue Grass contains a big hit of green Fairy Liquid before retiring into an interesting Lavender, Carnation, and Geranium hybrid. One reviewer said it reminded them of Guerlain Jicky, and that was like a revelation to me. I didn’t get on with Jicky, but I am quite enamoured by Blue Grass. There are definite notes in common: Lavender, Jasmine, Bergamot and Sandalwood to name but a few. However, I find Blue Grass fresher and more vital than Jicky: sharper and more astringent. Blue Grass also has spice, and by that I mean spicy flowers such as Carnation and Geranium, rather than Nutmeg or Cinnamon. In fact, for about five minutes after you spray it, the soapy Carnations throw a loud party, before they calm down and behave themselves.

Ideal for a hot cleavage in stifling weather, this would be great kept in the fridge. To me, this is like a sharp eau de cologne, and being a fan of Hesperides, I’m thrilled to have found this. For a mere £6 from my local Wilkinson, this not only proves that classics can be had for a song, but also proves that you can find an old classic in unlikely places. You might have gone in for some Febreze and a new flask, but you will come out smelling zingy, with a hint of subtle powder.

Some reviewers compare this to the smell of air freshener in a urinal, or liquid soap in public toilets. They’re not wrong, (that’ll be the aldehydes) but to someone who longs for the day a perfume smells like Wright’s Coal Tar Soap, this is right up my street.

5 thoughts on “Elizabeth Arden Blue Grass: Still Going Strong After 79 Years”

  1. Now this is one we can agree on. I love Blue Grass, and yes, it’s fantastic in the summer. I find it fresh and funky with no flowers or frilliness. *sigh of relief* I really don’t much like flowery perfume, preferring lavender, citrus, fern or spices. As you know, I adore Jicky, but I can’t afford to splash expensive Guerlains on every day, and this is fabulous. I’d much rather be stuck in an office lift with someone wearing Blue Grass than Prada Candy.

  2. I couldn’t agree more. (Yay! we like the same perfume for a change!) What I like is that the floral notes used are quite harsh spicy flowers, like geranium and carnations. It’s almost like a floral for floral haters. The anti floral!

    I also like it because it’s a bit eau de cologne- so sharp and fresh. At six quid a bottle, it’s a real treat to find something you love in a price bracket that won’t sting.

    Oh and so agree about Prada Candy. Walking in a crowd yesterday, the brown sugar and sweet candy vanilla miasma was overwhelming!

  3. By the way, my Nan smelled of Coal Tar soap, a smell I adore. But when I went through a phase of trying to be posh I said she smelled of Lapsang Souchong tea. How up myself was I? (Though I do maintain that they smell very similar.)

  4. Very pleased to see (rather belatedly) positive comments on Blue Grass, which I have always enjoyed. Fresh without being sharp, its close to a fougere, and a wonderful alternative to citrus colognes (rather ubiquitous in hot weather) or mumsy floral bouquets. I have many expensive niche perfumes, but often reach for this, and I bet they could pass it off in some niche lines, at times it smells quite modern. I get quite a lot of clove (probably carnation) and grassy notes, balanced well with the fresh flowers.

    1. Hello Alice, and welcome to IScentYouADay! I’m always glad to find a fellow fan of Blue Grass. It’s cheap price scares some people off, but the likes of you and I know that it’s a hidden gem!

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