I’m attempting to be ladylike today. Wearing Givrine makes me want to talk like Celia Johnson in Brief Encounter and wear a tight skirt suit and court shoes. It might well have that effect on you too. E Coudray Givrine was created in 1950 and to me, at least, embodies all that was elegant about the decade.
Packaged up in a bottle that any dressing table would gratefully accommodate, Givrine is an interesting blend that doesn’t quite sit in any particular genre. It’s a floral, but it’s more than that. It has green touches, but it’s not quite green. It has melon and cucumber, but isn’t a calone. It also has kumquat. Yes, kumquat. I believe this may be a modern addition from Nose Evelyne Boulanger, since Paris wasn’t awash with them in 1950.
What I like about Givrine is its retro feel. There’s Lily of the Valley, a touch of talc and a bunch of peonies in there somewhere too. There’s enough citrus to stop this being too powdery: namely lime and kumquat, which is like a small tightly concentrated herby-lemon. It smells both clean and traditional: not quite laundry clean, more like kissing a pristine aunt wearing face powder. The base is woody and musk, with light touches of patchouli and sandalwood. Longevity is robust at around seven hours.
Givrine has been modified for the modern palate without losing its classic feel. It makes me think of those maribou puffs for talcum powder that ladies used to get every Christmas when I was growing up. Add in some of my beloved lily of the valley and you have a happy Sam in a floaty cloud wishing you a very good evening.
E Coudray Givrine is available from Escentual or Cologne and Cotton, from whom I obtained my sample and the second photograph ( Thank you!).
E Coudray Iris Rose was just one of twelve scents contained in The Perfume Society Exquisite Essences Discovery Box . I have been dipping in and out and liking what I sniff but this one coshed me with a club and dragged me back to its cave. I’m in love and powerless to fight it.
I have had a chequered past with iris. Some iris scents make me run in the other direction (Editions Frederic Malle Iris Poudre, I’m talking to you) while others drew me in like a smitten kitten. E Coudray Iris Rose is the latter and it has shot to the top of my lengthy wish list, which is no mean feat if you saw how long it is.
Opening unsurprisingly with Iris and Rose, this is a dominantly iris fragrance that reminded me of Chanel No 5, but with fewer aldehydes. Imagine a version of Chanel No 5 where they took almost everything out except the flowers. Now add some musk and violets. If that sounds good to you, then you will love Iris Rose.
According to Fragrantica, there is also Labdanum, vanilla and tonka bean in here somewhere, but I could find no trace. There were violets and heliotrope alongside the iris, which made me think of Guerlain Apres L’Ondee, only this is more floral. The base has musk, woods and patchouli, but its the musk that emerges as the frontrunner when all’s said and done. The iris is like ironed sheets and clean parchment, and has none of the rooty carrotty-ness that it sometimes has in other scents. The blend of rose and iris together is seamless and beautiful to the point where I feel I should Brangelina its name to Riris or Rosis. There is a hint of powdery lipstick-ness as it finishes with a long lasting flourish and this gives Riris/Rosis a retro feel that cries out for a vintage dressing table.
You can get a sample of E Coudray Iris Rose in the Perfume Society Exquisite Essences Discovery Box. You can buy a full 100ml bottle from Escentual or Amazon UK.