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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 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

 

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Library of Fragrance: Why I’m Excited by This New Launch

the_library_of_fragrance   For a long time I have remained uninspired by new High Street fragrance releases.  Every now and then there’s a few I like, but I have been generally underwhelmed.  There seems to be a sea of cupcakes, vanilla and berries infiltrating every tempting bottle I approach.  Even the good ones seem to lack the oomph I seek.  I’ve even started to miss the Eighties with their outrageous “look at me!” sillage, and  even the Nineties with their gentle simplicty.   It is little wonder I almost always buy online these days.  Such is my frustration that I have started experimenting with layering and looking at soliflores to create my own ideas about what I want from a fragrance.  I certainly can find very little from the raft of new releases put under my nose these days. Parfum_Patchouli_ml However, as if a nice person somewhere was reading my mind, along comes Library of Fragrance and kindly gives me my own mixing deck. Library of Fragrance  may sound like newbies until you know that they are actually famous fragrance realists Demeter.  Due to a legality, they cannot use that name in Europe and so over here in the UK, they are called Library of Fragrance.

You can find the range in Boots the Chemist on your local High Street.  They are even in my own small local branch, so you don’t have to live in a big city to access them. The cost is very reasonable indeed at £15 for one bottle or £25 for two (one for you and one for me), which makes Christmas shopping suddenly look very tempting. So far I have tried six of them ( There are 28) and will be reporting back one by one.

So far I love them all. What excites me is that I can pretty much make my own scent of the day. ( IScentYouaDay can Scent Me a Day!)  by layering simple  Patchouli over Musk, or using the greener than green Four Leaf Clover on its own, or even by using the composite scents such as Rain, Snow or Moonbeam. libfrag4 No longer do I have to wait until the fragrance industry stops targeting launches at 17-27 year olds.  Finally we fortysomethings ( who look younger, obviously *cough*) can get our mitts on an array of well made perfumes with a choice that hasn’t been made for us by a focus group and a finance forecast.

Accessible, affordable, lots of variety, good quality… what more could I want? Oh yes, and you get Boots Advantage Points if you buy them, which can’t hurt. In the States and Canada, you can read these reviews as if they are Demeter as they are the same product with a different trading name, so please don’t feel left out if I waffle on about Boots.

Watch this space as I review them individually soon.