Tag Archives: Green notes

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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“Lettuce Spray”: The IScent Guide to the Best Green Scents

sea circe
Circe Poisoning the Sea by John William Waterhouse

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.

garden
photo from hello-moments-s.tumblr.com

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 lake
gardentipsandtricks.com

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:

 Chanel Cristalle.

cristalleWe 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 o de lancomewith 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

lizardengreenteaElizabeth 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 jr-eau-des-deliceswas 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

fragrantica
fragrantica

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 ma griffe adsee 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

gin-and-tonicArt 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 Chanel No 19neroli, 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.

photo by stormfashion.dk
photo by stormfashion.dk

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.

green and white dress
painting by Daniel F Gerhartz
green dress1
painting by John White Alexander
green dress cat
painting by John White Alexander

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Balenciaga Rosabotanica: Roses Among The Greenery

rosabotanica

Now the kids are back in school, I finally had the chance to skulk around in Debenhams Perfume Hall without reprisals.  Bravely soldiering through the enticing displays, I managed to whittle my list down to Perfumes I Hadn’t Tried Before, rather than revisiting old favourites. I was aiming for Florabotanica, but the Tester wasn’t there. I’m quite glad, because today, reader, I found a fragrance to fall in love with. Call it serendipity, or call it Rosabotanica.

rosa-adRosabotanica opens with an abundance of green notes:  glorious leafy fig and tomato leaves. Even greener were the orange leaves, aka petitgrain, which added a zingy bitterness that was most welcome.  This delightful opening was enhanced by touches of citrus, namely grapefruit.  After this vibrant opening, the roses and hyacinth start to come in. The rose smells authentically deep: red and velvety.  I could almost feel those cool, waxy petals. The green figgy notes stop it from being cloying. Not that I mind cloying rose- I’ll take my rose in any old form, I’ve never turned one down. The rose hooks up with the fig and all settles down into a beautiful floral scent with a good dose of woody cedar and earthy patchouli as the base notes settle down for the day.

My only wish is that it were stronger, because I wanted to really marinade in this. Rosabotanica has all the best bits from a fresh garden: grassy cuttings, fresh figs and green tomato vines. The rose is delicate yet rich and the hyacinth always says spring to me. I’d wear this all year round and every day.

Stockists

You can buy Rosabotanica from Debenhamsallbeauty.com or Amazon UK.

 

 

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Friedemodin Jardin Mystique: Like A Raindrop in a Garden

jardin mystique

 Jardin Mystique from Friedemodin is one of a range of four perfumes from Nina Friede and Elisabeth Modin, two friends united by their love of travel and their love of fragrance.  You may recall my glowing review of Friedemodin Vertine earlier in this blog, which, as a fan of green notes, was nothing short of a delight to me.

Jardin Mystique is in a similar vein and left me equally charmed.  Whilst it purports to be more about the flowers than Vertine, it retains a light greenness that keeps the floral notes as fresh and transparent as a raindrop.  In fact, you can wear them together:

“The leafy freshness of Vertine enhances the green wild notes of Jardin Mystique”- Friedemodin

Convallaria majalisJardin Mystique opens with Cassis, Bergamot and Grass notes, and the blast of green grass with the almost bitter black currant tones of the Cassis makes a refreshing change from all the sweetness that is, in my humble opinion, vastly over used in modern launches. (Enough with the caramel!)

As the grassy opening act conjures up a picture of dew frosted gardens in my head, out comes one of my favourite scents: lily of the valley.  Couple that with the kind of jasmine that adds a light handed hint of white flowers (petals only, there is restraint here) and you have a floral that is both delicate and distinctive.  As all of these green and floral notes merge and bloom, a faint hint of woodiness creeps in to give the ending a bit of longevity.  It feels as if the light and airy notes would float away without it. I would have named it sandalwood, but it appears there is no sandalwood here, just white woods and a hint of patchouli leaves.

Created by genius Francois Robert, a prolific nose who is also the nose behind Mary Greenwell Plum,  Friedemodin Jardin Mystique is an exquisitely blended scent which to my nose reminds me of my childhood in the seventies.   It has a classic, almost retro feel to it that harks back to a more innocent time somehow, like grass and daisies.

My only note of gloom is how fast I went through my 5ml spray.  I did find that I couldn’t smell it anymore on myself after around an hour, but apparently it was still there as others could smell it.

Stockists

Friedemodin is available in the UK from Harvey Nichols, or from the Friedemodin website, where you can also find a worldwide list of stockists.  I would like to express my thanks to Friedemodin for the delightful set of 5ml samples they sent me.

4160 Tuesdays Ealing Green

fragrantica
fragrantica

 

Sometimes when I want to really get a feel for a fragrance, I decant a few drops on a scarf which I drape over my bedroom door.  If I like it every time I go into my bedroom (usually with a pile of laundry… we’re not that sort of blog), then I know I properly, really truly like it.

So it was with 4160 Tuesdays Ealing Green.  I like green scents, always have, so if its got Green in the title, I’ll be interested.

Ealing Green, like all 4160 Tuesday scents has a lovely back-story which I will duplicate in full from the 4160 Tuesday website.

 “I’d long wanted to make a scent for Ealing, my adopted home. I met my husband at Ealing Studios on Ealing Green, at a wedding. Then I was invited to make a midsummer scent for a charity evening, using plants and flowers named in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, so I combined the two ideas and created the scent of Ealing Green on a summer evening, but in the early 17th Century.” Sarah McCartney.

You can smell the grass and the thyme notes that are listed and the scent reminds me of maypoles and monks and madrigals.  This is a very clean scent and I was surprised there was no mint there, but that could have been my mind playing tricks on me with the  zingy herbal grass and thyme.  This takes refreshing to another level altogether, although it stops short of being astringent.  I also love the  quite distinct whiff of violets, which I adore in fragrance.  The whole shebang ends up in a happy mélange of  my beloved oakmoss, some roses and the very faintest hint of earth like  damp knees from a  picnic.

Ealing Green lasts around six to seven hours on me and despite it being a deliciously pure and summery scent, it also goes very well on ice cold skin in modern day ice cold Wales.  It is now all over my favourite scarf and the scent has lasted days on fabric. Ealing Green has done many a school run in the past few days, and has made these chilly mornings a little more bearable.

Stockists

Ealing Green is very reasonably priced, starting at £6 for a 4ml splash bottle, and rising to £10 for a handbag sized 7ml bottle, £40 for 30ml, £60 for 50ml, and £90 for 100ml. When you think how much scent sells for on the High Street ( and its often same-old-same-old) , I regard this as a bargain.

You can buy 4160 Tuesdays from the website,   as well as in person from 4160 HQ ( let them know first to check they’re about),  or from Burgin’s in York, and from Rouiller White.  In the USA and Canada you can buy a selection of 4160 Tuesdays scents from Indiescents, LuckyScent and excitingly- the Virgin Atlantic website to buy before you fly.

www.pgwodehousesociety.org.uk
www.pgwodehousesociety.org.uk

4160 Tuesdays London 1969: A Refreshing Retro Breeze

stylus.com
stylus.com

4160 Tuesdays  has a knack of giving perfumes such great names that you’re brimming with the anticipation of a little voyage into a vignette before you even put it on.  It’s like having a pair of shoes called “Magic Carpet” or a coat called “Russian Princess”.  Immediately, life gets more interesting and fantastical through the power of suggestion.

Thus it was in merry, hippy Carnaby Street mood,with “here comes Georgie Girl” in my head, that I first tried 4160 Tuesdays London 1969. Now you may notice that certain brands have a recognition factor. This is no bad thing:  The old Guerlains have it and you can usually tell a Serge or a Tauer by its je ne sais quoi.  4160 Tuesdays has it too:  a kind of rich, woody blank canvas base that makes it recognisable…or so I thought until I tried London 1969.

Alert with zingy lemon, zesty grapefruit and a kind of lime sherbert that took me back to my childhood, London 1969 is like licking a lolly on a hot day in a floppy hat, in glorious techniclour as you mingle with the cool cats outside Biba.  No, I wasn’t around then, ( it was the year my Dad looked at my Mum in a funny way though, I was born the following year) but Sarah McCartney is the Doctor Who of perfumers: she can take you back in time and space with a mere smell.

The Dark Heart of Havana had me sipping coffee in a Cuban Pavement Café, Time to Draw The Raffle Numbers was all polished floors and marmalade in an empty church hall, and The Lion Cupboard had a whiff of peppermints, old wood and pocket fluff and made me feel pleasantly Narnia-ish.

wikipedia
wikipedia

If you like Annick Goutal Eau D’Hadrien on steroids, or O de Lancome with the volume pumped up, or Miller Harris Le Pamplemousse, then I can almost guarantee you’ll love London 1969.  And the sky will be blue, and your sunglasses big, and there will be red buses and black cabs and optimism.  It’s glorious, as is the sunshine.

London 1969 is available on the 4160 website.

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Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Herba Fresca: A Meadow in a Bottle  

herba

Despite the grass in my garden currently being sodden and the earth being on the boggy side, and despite the fact that we are bracing ourselves for torrential rain later (again), I haven’t given up on my Pollyanna fantasy of wearing fresh summer scents whilst wafting around in the sunshine.

garden

Trusty Guerlain has created a brilliantly green and grassy scent in Aqua Allegoria Herba Fresca.  I must admit I didn’t used to like it due to the inclusion (which is by no mean heavy) of Green Tea.  I didn’t used to like Green Tea at all as a note, finding it metallic and cold.  However, since trying Green Tea flankers from Elizabeth Arden, and exploring the note further, I have come round to the fact that since it is best friends with my favourite Bergamot, I ought to get to know it better.

MARCH2011 375

Indeed Herba Fresca challenges my preconceptions on a couple of levels.  A few years ago I would have rejected not just the Green Tea, but the Mint too.  Today, having been around the block a bit in terms of fragrance, I fully embrace Herba Fresca and want to have this beautiful gilded bottle on my dressing table.

The mint reminds me a little of  LUSH Smell of Weather Turning ( see my earlier review):  a pleasing combo of mint, hay and tarmac that frankly, I am a bit addicted to.  In Herba Fresca, created by none other than Jean Paul Guerlain, the combination of Green Tea, damp green grass and  Mint makes this so refreshing that they should find another name for refreshing: Revitalizing? Invigorating? Reviving?.  I wouldn’t say astringent: it’s not as harsh as that.  It has Lemon but is so much more than a citrus. It’s more botanical, yet carries the memory of dewy grass on your skin for as long it lasts.

green lake

I couldn’t really find the Cyclamen or the Pear, but I was very happy to sniff and sniff at this pastoral beauty as the rain drizzles on the windows. Longevity is about four hours, possibly five, which is about the going rate for an Eau de Toilette.  The price is under £40 but you get a generous 75ml bottle for that.  I wouldn’t turn one down at any time of the year.

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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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Boss Jour Pour Femme EDP: Can It Be True? A Hat Trick?

 Image

I know it seems like all I do is complain about identical new launches, but I appear to have stumbled upon a miracle.  In the last three days I have discovered three decent newly launched fragrances that I actually like. Not only do I like them, but they are not made of candy floss, nor overloaded with vanilla, nor are they mere run of the mill fruity florals. I may need smelling salts.

In my lovely Discovery Box from the Fragrance Shop (I’m getting round to writing about it!) was a sample of Hugo Boss Jour Pour Femme. Seeing how thrilled ole Gwyneth is with it in the ad campaign did it no favours in my book.  I may be getting old but it feels like only five minutes ago that she was equally thrilled with Estee Lauder Pleasures sitting there in her meadow, all smiles.

Gwynnie aside, I was seriously thrilled to see that Boss Jour Pour Femme has a strong lime accord and no soft red fruit of any kind whatsoever.  There’s no Vanilla and no sugary sweet note to be seen.

Top notes are Lime and Grapefruit blossom: both present and correct and both of which give this a wonderfully uplifting citrus green opening.  Middle notes are Honeysuckle, which if I had my way, would be toned down a notch, but then it has Lily of The Valley, which if I had my way, would be turned up a notch. There are Freesias and White Flowers and the mood is light.  Basenotes are Amber and Birch, but neither wipes out the Lime and the Lily of The Valley.

I’m going to stick my neck out a bit here. As you know I am a passionate champion of Gucci Envy and there has been nothing like it before or since. However, I will be so bold as to say this has a little in common with the much missed Envy in that the Freesia and Lily of The Valley are so white they are almost green, if that makes sense. In fact, this smells similar to Isabella Rossellini’s Manifesto too, which also has some notes in common with much missed Envy.

Boss Jour Pour Femme is a follow up to last year’s Boss Nuit Pour Femme, which I pretty much ignored. If this hadn’t been included in my Fragrance Shop Discovery Box, I would never have tried it, so I guess I have to thank whoever decides what to include in those delightful black boxes once a quarter.

Who’d have thought it? A fabulous Lime and Lily of The Valley mash-up that smells clean, non juvenile,  and rather wonderful.

I bet Gwyneth got loads of free bottles. Gwyneth gets everything.

 

Andy Tauer Pentachord Verdant: Experience Required But Not Essential

 

verdantfull_kopie_1

I’m a Green fan. I’m hard core. I like them bitter. The more bitter, the better. If you hate Green notes, I’d be amazed if you like Tauer Pentachord Verdant. And boy, is verdant the word!

The Pentachords are a series of three fragrances made up of five notes each. Its simplicity is its charm. Andy Tauer never has to please a committee when he creates perfume and that’s why I am a devotee of the brand. I always love to see what he’ll come up with next.

In topping up my depleting supply of Carillon Pour Un Ange samples (Cannot live without it now), I added a Pentachord sample to the cart, and I was surprised, by it, but not disappointed.

Firstly, there are no flowers here, it’s like a dark canopied forest with a freshly turned floor after a heavy rain. It’s green like nettles, leaves, broken ferns and moss. Not a whisper of a petal. Like I said, it’s hard core. The Petal People ran away scared, but the Green Guerillas merely tutted and marched on through the branches. This didn’t faze them.

Pentachord Verdant is almost one dimensional, in that it doesn’t change much, although there is a tangy basenote that I thought was Ambergris. In fact I was mistaken and it was Amber and Tobacco. To me, this smells like a green tobacco, unripe and unsmoked and still wet.

So extreme is this that it just about borders on smelling of leaf mould. It’s pungent but stops just before it goes off. It’s rank and high, like rotting undergrowth turning into new fresh soil ready for green shoots. Wonderful!

I can’t help thinking  that now I will have to track down the other two Pentachords: Pentachord White and Pentachord Auburn. This got my interest, kept it, and made me into a fan.

Tauer samples are available from Scent and Sensibility or Les Senteurs in the UK. Or if you happen to be in Zurich, pop into the shop and go nuts with your plastic. I know I would.