Mary Greenwell Plum


“Fragrance is always the last touch of magic to any look I create”- Mary Greenwell

Mary Greenwell is a successful make up artist who, when looking to expand, took the agreeable route of creating a perfume range rather than a make up range.  As someone who only has five items in her make up bag, but a groaning dressing table whose legs are buckling, I applaud this decision. The nose behind the scent is the legend that is Francois Robert (who is also the nose behind Friedemodin, more of which anon).

Mary Greenwell, House of Fraser
Mary Greenwell, House of Fraser

You could be forgiven for assuming that Plum would be a fruity soliflore- that’s what I was expecting and my heart wasn’t fully in it prior to trying this.  However I couldn’t have been more wrong and Mary Greenwell Plum is actually a complex and feminine scent that unfurls its layers like a dance of the seven veils.

At first spray, Plum has, as you would expect, a dash of plum, but the plum is accompanied by so many friends that it’s is never allowed to completely dominate.  For example, alongside the plum comes peaches, usually a No-Go in my book, but it adds an agreeable booziness here that compliments the citrus notes of Bergamot and lime and strikes a pleasant balance.

Into the middle phase and here come the white flowers- all of them!  Gardenia, rich creamy tuberose, jasmine and orange flower.  It gives a richness to the boozy plum and fruit that to my nose became almost a nuttiness. Just as all these white flowers are blooming away, a chypre accord comes into play and the whole thing settles down into an ambery, mossy symphony, but always with that boozy plum in the background, which serves to enhance rather than distract.

What makes this cleverly put together is its ever changing face, rather aptly for someone in the business of changing faces.  Just when you think you’ve named it, the scent enters another phase which keeps you guessing.

It is, as I say, complex, and all the more intriguing for that.  Mary Greenwell has a range of only four scents: Lemon, Plum, Cherry and Fire.  The Perfume Society has a sample in their Holiday Collection Discovery Box and I know that Jo Fairley is a Mary Greenwell fan.


I stumbled across Plum by dint of pure serendipity.  In swapping a bottle of scent  online I was offered a bottle of Plum and accepted, knowing nothing about it.  Sometimes the universe just wants you to try stuff.  Oh and did I mention the gorgeous pink and green packaging?  The bottle is in a little stand with a cover, and has a distinctively heavy lid that could break a window.  It exudes both class and playfulness.


Mary Greenwell Plum is available from Harrods,,  and Prices are very reasonable at under £40 for 50ml.

Update 2017– you can buy Plum from the Fragrance Shop UK, but hutty up. It’s at a great price but limited stcok.

NB Muse in Wooden Shoes wrote a lovely review of Plum and you can find it here.  Also, our dear friend Portia at Australian Perfume Junkies has reviewed it here.

My own lovely bottle
My own lovely bottle


10 thoughts on “Mary Greenwell Plum”

  1. Woo Hoo. thanks for the Link Love.
    This was RAVED about when it first emerged. It was the Next Best thing. I never saw a bottle of it here in Australia but Parfum1 had it for a while.
    I love the idea of it unfurling its layers like a dance of the seven veils, great imagery. perfect.
    Portia xx

    1. Anytime Portia!
      It’s unique- I can’t name anything it smells like off the top of my head. It changes all the time and I was expecting to cost a lot more than it does!
      warm wishes as ever. xxx

  2. I like Plum enough to wear it from a small decant I’ve got from a friend but probably not enough (yet?) to go for a bottle. Interesting that I also usually don’t like peach note in my perfumes (as well as tuberose) but in Plum neither of those notes bothers me.

    1. Hi Undina and thanks for stopping by. It’s weird isn’t it? I’m not keen on fruity stuff and would avoid Peach with a most definite revulsion, but here it seems to work. It’s so cleverly made.

    1. Hi Megan

      It’s a pity you can’t get Perfume Society Discovery Boxes shipped out there, they are amazing and had a sample of this in a recent one that’s still available. Maybe I should invest in some of those little sample phials and start spreading the joy.

  3. On the sample list it goes. And I looooove the packaging. I wonder if one had to be a teenager–or tiny child, whatever–in the early eighties to find that combination of pink and green irresistible.

    1. Laurels, you are not alone. I was born in 1970 and I adore cerise and green! Gorgeous! I’d have a whole room done like this if I didn’t live with boys.

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