Tag Archives: green notes in perfume

Pure Sylvan Magic: Papillon Artisan Perfumes Dryad

dryad
John William Waterhouse: Hylas and the Nymphs

Ever since Liz Moores launched her perfume house, Papillon Artisan Perfumery in 2014, I have been impressed, nay, blown away by the calibre of her fragrances.  My superlatives have overtaken each other on each new launch and this fifth scent, named Dryad, was much anticipated by me and the many cohorts of Papillon fans.   To say that I was not disappointed would be a vast understatement.  In fact, I feel that this was made just for me, even though I know it wasn’t.

hamadryad
Hamadryad by John William Waterhouse

My favourite  scent genre is the mossy green chypre.  It’s hard to get the good ones these days, especially since IFRA made everything so safe that the fragrance industry suffered casualties in the purge. Green chypres have never quite regathered themselves into that glory-days retro mustiness that I am always seeking: like the end of the rainbow, it eludes me the nearer I get.  Well, there’s a happy ending to my quest and that rainbow has ended in my lap with a pot of gold, because that’s how I felt when I sprayed my sample of Dryad.

Dryads are mythical wood nymphs, whose lives are intrinsically entangled to the tree they inhabit. When the tree dies, so do they. There’s a wonderful message in Dryad. In all the hectic noise of modern life, it is time we slowed down and inhaled the moss and the leaves and listened to the birdsong, because when the trees die, so do the dryads.

It didn’t surprise me at all that Liz Moores chose this as the name of her fifth fragrance: after all, she lives a sylvan existence nursing broken wings and wrangling stripy tailed lunatics in the heart of the New Forest.  So the big question is of course, what does it smell like?

What does Dryad smell like?

Dryad opens with bergamot and oakmoss and a mass of herbs.  I find it rare for oak moss to come out straight away:  it’s usually a base note, sneaking in at the end.  Dryad, though, is all about the oakmoss and it’s pretty much the main figure in this beautiful composition. The greenery is all encompassing: musty, mossy and mysterious, like a dark route through a forest.  There’s fauna as well as flora: deer tongue absolute has been used to beautiful effect.  Deer tongue has a  herby/tobacco accord and  it certainly makes its presence felt. This is everything you find in the woods.

Woburn Abbey
Woburn Abbey

The middle phase reminded me of genuine, vintage, Dior Diorissimo: that classic green ily of the valley chypre. You can still buy Diorissimo of course, but it’s not the same as the slightly dirty version I smelled from a vintage bottle a few years back.  That bottle of Diorissimo gave me a whiff of sweaty, talcum powdered inner thigh.: not so much a sexy smell, as a womanly smell.  It’s no sterile baby powder, but powder it most certainly is. The nymph tries out a ladylike phase before returning to her feral roots.

parfums Christian Dior
vintage Dior advertisement

The base of Dryad, whilst never wavering from the chord I’ve named Oakmoss Major, is a little bit Guerlinade, but greener. There is narcissus and jonquil (a very vernal dafodilly posy) and they merge and move around like weather clouds from one phase to the next.

orieldavies
Oriel Davies Gallery

My overall sign off from Dryad is a picture in my mind of green damp woods, overrun by thick moss, a delicate glove from a vintage handbag, a  whiff of Diorissimo and  a fluffy talcum puff.  Oh, and the warm flanks of a startled faun.

Stockists

It’s not quite launched yet, but I’ll update when it is.  You can currently buy Papillon fragrance from the website or from branches of Les Senteurs in the UK. Check the website for further stockists in Europe, USA and Canada.  My sample was very kindly sent to me by Liz Moores, and opinions are my own. Papillon has an excellent sample service. You can read my reviews of  the other Papillon scents here:  Anubis, Tobacco Rose, Angelique, Salome.

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Y by Yves Saint Laurent: Retro Elegance

JohnLewis.com

I noticed recently that a small selection of YSL past favourites have been re released into a carefully curated Heritage range.  I have always wanted to try Y by YSL, having read of its legendary  green notes and its mossy finish- which is usually enough to get me hooked.  I was not disappointed and upon finding a bottle in my local House of Fraser, I duly drenched myself in it.

y by ysl

When first applied, it reminded me of a bottle of perfume that has been sealed for a long time before being opened.  There is a slightly “off” tang about it, like an old vintage perfume that has yellowed with age.  I realise that doesn’t sound like praise, but it is, I can assure you.  After a few moments there is a touch of green bitterness, not unlike Clinique Aromatics Elixir, and the aldehydes- sharp and uncompromising, dominate throughout the opening number.  Y then dies down quietly in a powdery green chypre that fans of Chanel No 19 and Guerlain Chamade will enjoy.

Every flower is here: all the heady, blousey ones- tuberose, rose, honeysukle, hyacinth, jasmine. There is Orris root to, which calms any stray sweetness into submission.

The basenote is where this really gets my loyalty for life (actually, it had me when I took its lid off).  With classic, textbook chypre characteristics, Y has a slightly bitter, slightly powdery finish heady with thick oakmoss, amber and patchouli.  There’s benzoin, styrax and a touch of civet too, just to drive the point home.

I should point out that I cannot make any comparisons between this and previous formulations as I haven’t smelled them.  Suffice to say, I was overjoyed to find a bitter, mossy green chypre on a modern day beauty counter.

YSL Y is fabulously retro and I fear that a youthful modern nose, attuned to sweetness and berries may wrinkle in disdain, which may explain why it’s not on the bestseller lists. Yves Saint Laurent Y is a classic-a green bitter chypre that you don’t have to seek out on eBay.  It already smells vintage and it makes this nostalgic chypre fan very happy.

Stockists

Y is available from House of Fraser, John Lewis, Amazon UK and Harrods

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Yves Rocher Fraîcheur Vegetale de Verveine: Bargain Verbena

verbena

As I may have mentioned, I’m a big fan of Yves Rocher products.  Their fragrances are all good quality, beautifully packaged and very good value. Every now and then I treat myself to a box of stuff from them and it never breaks the bank.  This month I spent £10.70 (plus postage) and received the following:  A 50ml bottle of Comme Une Evidence EDP,  a small tube of anti ageing cream, seven samples, a bottle of Lily of the Valley shower gel, a mini bottle of Lagoon shower gel, and a 125ml bottle of Fraîcheur Vegetale de Verveine. Not bad, eh?

My primary purpose for ordering was bagging myself the aforementioned bottle ( it’s a bit of a mouthful!) of Verveine/Verbena cologne which I’d had my eye on for a while.  As luck would have it, the price went down, so it only cost me £7.75.

Here are the notes, and as you can see they are simple but beautifully done:  Musk, Lemon, Lemon Verbena and Honeysuckle.

I initially thought it strange to see Musk alongside a zingy citrus, but this works beautifully.  The initial note when first sprayed is a very zingy blast of lemon and lime, smelling like a long remembered fizzy drink from my childhood. It’s thirst quenching and refreshing, with the slightly soapy Verbena making this a gorgeous pick me up.  Despite being an eau de cologne, longevity isn’t bad at all at around four hours.  I don’t mind that about colognes as half the fun is refreshing yourself with a bracing respray.

Packaging is quite similar to the Elizabeth Arden Green Tea range, and there is in fact a green tea version too.  All in all, great value and a bargain for the summer.

Incidentally, it looks as if this is not available on the Yves Rocher USA site, but it is available on the Yves Rocher France site and Yves Rocher UK site.  Apologies to my dear overseas friends!

 

 

 

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Eau de Sisley 1: The Ultimate Summer Fragrance

sisley1

 

If you had to make a cologne, you would naturally ask for some citrus fruit, maybe Grapefruit,  maybe some nice Herbs, and you’d probably end up with something pretty cologne-y.  Eau de  Sisley 1 has done all of this, ticked all the boxes and gone a step further.

What’s the most refreshing drink you can have on a sunny day?  Maybe a sparkling Gin and Tonic or an Iced Tea?  Sisley has included both.  Yes indeed, Eau de Sisley 1 has juniper from Gin and refreshing notes of Tea along with the requisite  astringent Grapefruit giving this cologne a sparkle you will never tire of on even the most humid of days.

jw054-350a-cocktai-gin-and-tonic_1920x1200_69161
photo by foodcracks.com

Cutting through the heat, this is bright and sparkling from the word Go and  the hints of Juniper and herbs (Thyme to be precise) make this  a botanical revitalizing delight.

Even the base note stays zingy, which is no mean feat where citrus is involved.  In fact, I thought the base of had a lot of Vetiver in it, but in fact I was mistaking it for  a combination of Herbs and Musk.

Lasting power  is also pretty good for a cologne, I would say around five hours.  Cost isn’t cheap (around 62GBP for 50ml), but you wouldn’t wear this out in Winter, so it would last you around a year if you rotated it with other scents.  It’s unisex so you could always buy it for Father’s Day and “borrow” it , she wrote with a sly wink.  (Innovative or shameless? You decide!)

My warm gratitude goes to friend of the blog meganinstmaxime for very kindly sending me this and many other wonderful hard-to-get samples.  Thank you Megan!

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Cartier Baiser Volé (2011)

baiser vole

I must apologise to Cartier, since I truly love  Eau de Cartier and its flanker Essence D’Orange, but I have been disappointed lately in other Cartier scents.  As you may know, I recently reviewed the fist-eatingly expensive Baiser du Dragon and found it overpriced and baiser bottlerather an anti climax. I then tried Delices de Cartier., and found it had no staying power on me and left me smelling like pencil shavings. Determined to love the brand, I soldiered on and tried Baiser Volé. Oh dear.

 Baiser Volé left me underwhelmed. It’s not bad by any means, but its glossy packaging and posh Zippo style bottle out-glams the content within. Its top notes, middle notes and basenotes are Lily and Green notes.

It doesn’t change at all and it lasts around four hours. Sadly, as much as I love Lilies and ImageGreen notes, this left me very strongly in mind of Neutradol room deodorisers. You know, those white pots that you leave in a corner until your home smells of Baiser Volé?

At least four Fragrantica members agree that this smells very similar to Yardley Peony, which is only £9.99 for 50ml. Just saying…

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