In an effort to shake off the gloomy torpor of February, and in acknowledgment of the lettuce and courgette shortage, I thought it was high time I looked more closely at my favourite perfume genre: the green note.
I always put green notes into three categories: there’s the hesperide green, the mossy green and the floral green. Hesperide greens are usually light, airy and citrussy and smell clean and crystalline, like Elizabeth Arden Green Tea. Mossy greens would be chypres such as Chanel No 19 or Lancôme Magie Noire. Floral greens would be Chanel Cristalle, Issey Miyake A Scent or Balenciaga Florabotanica.
Green scents give me that hit of purity and greenery I need when I’ve been stuck indoors or when I tire of Orientals (rarely happens, but you know…). The biggest perfume love affair of my life was my twenty year stint with Chanel Cristalle. In all weathers and on all occasions, and even on my wedding day, it was my signature scent until I got promiscuous and sprayed around behind its back.
I have about twenty five favourite green scents. Here is a curated list of some of my favourites:
We had a very happy twenty-year marriage, Cristalle and I. We’re not together anymore, but I think of it fondly and may rekindle our affair one day. What can I say? I had wandering nostrils and couldn’t stay faithful. For years, this light, green scent with a mossy base fragranced my every move. As Edith would say ( who wore Robert Piguet Bandit, incidentally) Je ne regrette rien.
Lancôme O de Lancôme
Lands on skin like tiny lemonade bubbles and broken ferns. Bursting with bergamot and lemon, this is greener than Kermit and as refreshing as standing under a waterfall. O de Lancôme is a classic that has never gone out of fashion, even though they don’t use real oakmoss any more *sob.*
Elizabeth Arden Green Tea
Elizabeth Arden Green Tea is an accessible classic. It does what it says on the tin, but it does it well and without fuss. I adore all the flankers too. They are a safe bet as a blind buy if you like light green floral scents, or as a gift. I particularly like Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Revitalize.
Le Jardin Retrouvé Eau des Delices
You may recall my recent foray into this revived brand from Paris. I was kindly sent several samples last year and every single one of them was divine. Eau des Delices is a fabulously citrussy, herby green that smells like a greener, cranked up, version of the classic 4711 cologne, only greener than green with an extra big dose of green. It’s the lime, neroli, mandarin and oakmoss that gives it that eau de cologne oomph, but with more lasting power.
4160 Tuesdays Ealing Green
4160 Tuesdays Ealing Green is one of my favourite 4160 Tuesdays scents, and that’s saying something. This is as green as a grass stain on your knee at a picnic. It’s also a firm favourite over on Mumsnet, and has a delicate herby, grassy vibe going on. It reminds me of maypoles and madrigals.
Carven Ma Griffe
Now we’re in deep moss territory and I can’t see the exit. Didn’t want to find it anyway. Carven Ma Griffe was everything I’d hoped for. Entrenched in the classic chypre genre, with a blast of retro aldehydes in the opening, Ma Griffe was launched in 1946 and is as ladylike as wearing a skirt suit to the milliners.
Art de Parfum Gin and Tonic
Art de Parfum was another brand that I came to know late in 2016. I fell hook, line and sinker for the delightful Art de Parfum Gin and Tonic. Just enough greenery and tonic bubbles and flowers to keep this unfolding prettily throughout the day. It’s my SOTD.
Chanel No 19
This beauty has an icy detachment that makes me want more. With neroli, lily of the valley, bergamot and oak moss, Chanel No 19 is both unique and unmistakable. Perfect your look of hauteur, look down your nose, then spray as much as you damn well please.
Library of Fragrance Grass and Four Leaf Clover.
Library of Fragrance does green notes extremely well. Library of Fragrance Grass reminds me of the kind fairy-tale grass that the Billy Goats Gruff wanted to eat. It’s sweet, clean and juicy. Library of Fragrance Four Leaf Clover is deliciously sharp and pretty and has that just stepped out of the shower vibe.
How about you?
So that’s my round up of my favourite green scents. I had to resist the temptation to make this about ten pages long, but I’d happily own the lot of them. What’s your favourite? Do let me know, I love to hear from you.