“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.

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

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


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 of 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 dress cat
painting by John White Alexander


green dress1
painting by John White Alexander



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

  1. First off, I love the pics that you’ve used on this post Sam. I suppose my most enduring of men’s green scents, has got to be Penhaligon’s English Fern. I’ve used it, of and on, since the days when Sheila Pickles owned Penhaligon’s. It’s also an ideal scent for a woman to wear, so if you’ve never tried it, you should give it a go.

    1. Hello Prince Barry and how lovely to hear from you! I love fern scents and I love Penhaligon’s so that’s a great tip! xx

    1. Hello Violette- and what a beautiful name! I have never tried Kamasutra or anything by Song of India, but I am always delighted to receive recommendations. I shall look out for that one. Thank you! Sam xx

      1. I just found the most magnificent green fragrance. Remember Me by Al Haramain. It’s a rounded green like a spring morning and features violets and iris

      2. Hello Violette- what a beautiful name! Thanks for the tip- I adore green scents and I’m always on the lookout for a good one. Best wishes Sam xx

  2. Love this post and I think green scents are possibly my favourite genre. I wore Alliage / Aliage (why are there two spelling versions?) a lot in the 90s, which is a powerful shoulder pads one. Last summer I wore Cristalle Eau Verte which I think is a bit fruitier than Cristalle. Also spent a lot of time with Pell Wall’s Viva Verde (discovered Pell Wall through your blog), it’s very green and radiant, perfect on a summer’s day, I’m not feeling it in the weather we have currently though!

    1. Hello Anne, lovely of you to drop by. You and I are on the same page with our green scents. Definitely my favourite genre. Cristalle Eau Verte is gorgeous isn’t it? I’m so pleased that I got you into Pell Wall. you are returning the favour by telling me about Viva Verde, which I have neevr tried. I am so getting onto that! Thank you so much xxx

  3. The original Ma Griffe was my favourite green fragrance throughout my 20’s and 30’s. The reformulated Ma Griffe that was brought out in 2013 isn’t worth even testing. Another discontinued green was Trussardi in the mock crocodile while flacon. These days I get my green fix from mens colognes, or from Firdous attar, either from Al Haramein, or a generic attar purchased off Ebay. I also decant some 4711 in a small glass bottle and make my own green floral from it, by dissolving essential oils of vetiver, clary sage, jasmine and sandalwood in it.

    1. Hi Louise and thanks for dropping by. I find it fascinating that you mix your own! I adore 4711 and it sounds really fab with those extras in. I shall look out for your other recommendations. You’re clearyl a woman of taste! best wishes Sam xx

      1. 4711’s fun to play with, but I will let you know, even with the addition of essential oils, it’s still cologne strength. Essential oils don’t seem to have much longevity unless used in a lotion or oil. Still, I get a really bracing, earthy green that is wonderful on hot days, and I make it up in a little roller ball so I can take it with me and reapply throughout the day.

      2. Hi Louise, you really know your stuff! I love colognes but mourn their short longevity. Atelier Cologne is the answer for me, although a lot more spendy than trusty 4711. I love the idea of a roller ball decant. Rollerballs are so great for handbags, aren’t they? No waste and when you apply, they don’t fill a room and bother people like a spray can do.

        best wishes

  4. Hello from across the pond! During the summer, I consistently reach for Eau de Campagne (Sisley). I wouldn’t even try it for a while because I initially thought it was disgusting and smelled like pure tomato. It goes to show you have to give things a real try because I LUUUUV this one!

    1. Hello Ingrid and thank you so much for dropping by. I love Eau de Campagne- it’s a fabulous choice and a totally elegant classic that will never go out of style, like you by the sound of it! xxx

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