A Magical Greenery Tour

Hello friends!

I have had a very exciting week: after my post, in which I talked about how green and I don’t always get along in perfume, Portia sent me 11 numbered samples of some of his favourite greens. I tested two a day and journaled my immediate feelings and impressions. When I began, I had no intention of trying to guess what they were, but the allure of numbered mystery vials was too much for my brain. Often an immediate association came to mind, whether fragrance or house. Some might find this useful, and though none of my speculations were correct, I think you could take them as “in the style of” recommendations.

And now, to the perfumes!

 

Green Samples

 

Green No. 1

A lovely melon note under fresh green spiciness. Ma Griffe? Something of that era. Very gentle, reminds me of humid spring day. And I love humidity.

Peau d’Ailleurs by Starck (2016, Annick Menardo). I had never heard of this house, but I’m looking forward to wearing my sample again, as apparently it features geosmin heavily. Perhaps that was the humidity?

Green No. 2

While it begins light and crisp, the drydown is potent and long-lasting. Quite stiff and proper though sweet. Too high pitched for me, but a crowd pleaser, I suspect. O de Lancome-esque.

Sampaquita by Ormonde Jayne (2004, Geza Schoen). Oh my! I have tried to like this so many times due to its name and being on sale rather often. I’ve always found Ormonde Jayne to be too proper for me, I like them, but I feel I cannot love them. And no, I don’t just like the wild ones, but my proper quota has been fulfilled by quite a few classics. I’d recommend Ormonde Jayne as a house to others, but it seems we are not to be.

Green No. 3

Sweet like a green apple. Fruity, galbanum on a pillow of musk. It reminds me of Fidji, or rather my image of Fidji, which I haven’t smelled in 15 years. Very charming and young, the youth of another era before the invention of fruitchoulis.

A Scent by Issey Miyake (2009, Daphne Bugey). I remember trying this when it came out as the bottle was so appealingly minimalist. I liked it, but having little interest in greens or fresh at that point (I was deep into gothic orientals) a quick spray was as far as we went. Now I’m thinking this is a fun one to keep an eye out for, if it is still around.

 

Greenery

 

Green No. 4

I feel this one is thoroughly modern and playing homage to vintage. There’s a definite touch of cumin in there under the mossy forest floor. I would like very much to wear this scent, it has many secret qualities that appeal to my imagination.

Eau de Gloire by Parfum d’Empire (2003, Marc-Antoine Corticchiato). And straight to the top of the want list this goes! I would like to carry Eau de Gloire in my purse, always at the ready to secretly bolster the day. This was one of two standout favourites during my magical greenery tour. I was so enthralled with it that I emailed Portia begging to know what it was, but he held out until I had sampled everything!

Green No. 5

Chanel No. 19?

Futur by Robert Piguet (1960, presumably reformulated since then; Aurelien Guichard). It was a little sweeter than No. 19, but if you’re a No 19 fan you might like to spend some time with this one to see if you also love it.

Green No. 6

A tart fuzzy green with a touch of heliotrope to begin with. I immediately thought “Zoologist”, though not one I’ve smelled. Strong black tea. Smoke. Absolutely charming and interesting, reminds me of a great reading experience. 6 is the stand-out for me, it’s just so drinkable and fine. It made me a little emotional, the play of tea and fruit and smoke.

Eau de Givenchy, vintage (1980, Daniel Moliere and Daniel Hoffman). This was my favourite of the whole collection. I absolutely loved it. Looking up reviews, there’s a lot of talk about “a perfect spring day” and no talk of tea and tartness. Perhaps trying things without reading about them first has a lot of merit. This one I tested for two days.

 

Greenery

 

Green No. 7

A vile and antiseptic concoction infiltrated by sweaty cumin. A sweetness develops. By the drydown, it’s quite rich and acceptable. Amouage?

#2 Spiritus/Land by Miller et Bertaux (2006). I had quite a visceral dislike for this, but by the drydown it had mellowed into a well thought out fragrance, but not something I enjoyed. I see it has teak in it, which may contribute to my antiseptic response. Amouage and I have a troubled relationship, but one factor that brought Amouage to mind with Spiritus/Land was the high quality of the ingredients.

Green No. 8

Oh my! I want to say Cristalle, or rather the fantasy of Cristalle that I had when I began my perfume journey. It’s luminous! It reminds me of a beautiful yellow wine. I’m wondering why I don’t have whatever this is in my collection!

Cœur de Vétiver Sacré by L’Artisan Parfumeur (2010, Karine Vinchon-Spehn). One of the few L’Artisans I have not tried and yet another reason to adore the early L’Artisans, full of quirky masterpieces. I will be tracking down this sadly discontinued wonder to join my L’Artisan beloveds. I am quite thrilled to have tried this beauty, since it has always been on my radar as a L’Artisan I had missed out on.

Green No. 9

Guerlain Vetiver?

Tzora by Anat Fritz (2012, Geza Schoen). Well, isn’t that interesting. I was very careful during our green tour to only test two a day and not confuse my nose. I wore nothing else. Being in lockdown helped, as there are no other scents in the air, and the mood and temperature plodded on at a steady sameness. I’ve tried Tzora before, and I own Guerlain Vetiver. I ended up testing both side by side. Other than Tzora being a little richer and missing that delicate nutmeg, they were so close I thought it was my imagination that they were even different scents.

Green No. 10

Minty. Camphor. Sugar. Heeley Esprit du Tiger? It’s lovely, I could bathe in it! It is sugared in the most delicate and lovely way.

Oriental Mint by Phaedon (2011, Pierre Guillaume). This features “resins”, which, I suspect, is where the tiger balm accord comes in. I think it’s better than the Esprit du Tiger, not as simple. A very fun scent! I could see this being a bottle I wore excessively for a summer.

Green No. 11

I have spent some hours thinking on what this reminds me of. Lovely lemon, very fresh and bright to begin with. It then magically develops into a delicious sherbet! It’s as if a gelato maker sniffed the orchard air and rushed to capture the wonderful citrus and springtime scent in a gelato. I think this is a Hermetica, it feels like Hermetica DNA.

Granville by Dior (2010, Francoise Demachy). Oh my, how fantastic this is. I hope you all are able to try Granville, especially if you love lemon. Vividly natural ingredients.

And so we end our magical greenery tour. Through the testing phase and the reveal, I’ve been inspired, besotted, perplexed and gobsmacked. It has been a very enjoyable journey during this time of no travel (one of perfume’s secret powers). Thank you, Portia, for your samples and your wonderful enthusiasm to share your loves.

 

Greenery

 

Images: samples (Narth), greenery (Undina)

44 thoughts on “A Magical Greenery Tour

  1. So interesting and revealing. Eau de Givenchy just happens to be one of my all time favourites, I love it – but of course it is no more (the fairly recent Mythique version wasn’t at all bad, but the 2018 edition bears no resemblance to the original). Glad you got to smell the true one!

    You have inspired a lemon lemming in me with the Granville. I just didn’t know that it was lemony so now I have to smell this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I remember liking Granville when I tried it many years ago, though at the time price seemed a little too high for citrus/light perfume. I’m not sure how much they charge now after revamping the line, but I suspect that the price is less intimidating compared to how much niche and high-end mainstream perfumes cost these days.

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      • It’s interesting isn’t it how what was once quite high a price is now comparable to niche? I really loved it but also wouldn’t necessarily spend that much on a perfectly wonderful lemon :)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved and wore Eau de Givenchy as well for several years. Sadly now reformulated. I cherish the memory. I own Eau de Gloire, although I don’t wear it much. You may want to try Corsica Furiosa by the same house, it’s very interesting and probably my favourite green scent.

    Liked by 2 people

    • How old are your bottles? I saw that recently the brand has slightly changed packaging again (and introduced back 50 ml bottles), and I wonder whether they reformulated perfumes this time.

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  3. I really enjoyed reading this Narth. What a fun idea. The funny thing is I love quite a few green scents but the only one on your list I’ve even tried was Sampaquita. The world of fragrance is vast indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It certainly is SonomaVelvet. I feel like it’s just getting vaster.. many years ago there were only a handful of current houses I had yet to try, many were pharmacy scents from Italy (some of those are amazing). Now there are probably dozens of houses. I have resigned myself to only paying attention to buzz for the new ones, and that’s a little sad.

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  4. And I thought I liked green perfumes! :) Out of your list, I tried only 3.

    Will any of these join your collection any time soon?

    My favorite green perfumes would be Chanel No 19, Jo Loves No. 42 The Flower Shop, Parfums De Nicolai Le Temps D’Une Fete and DSH Vert pour Madame.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes I think I had tried only 3 as well. I’d love to add a few of them, the Gloire especially. I will most likely add the L’Artisan as soon as I see it listed somewhere, I’ve got about a dozen of them and my fondness for that house, particularly the early years means it is fated. I LOVED having this incredible opportunity to try all these. Portia put so much thought into the collection :)

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  5. I like the idea of blind testing samples very much. It shows how influenced we get by reading reviews or even names and houses. Although I love green perfumes, I must admit I’ve tried very few of the mentioned ones. I’m curious about the rest and they go straight to my “to try” list.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think it’s a pretty nifty idea to blind test. I know people say they are all about the juice but I’m influenced by the whole story told by the perfume, for better or worse.

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    • So beautiful.. I’m quite sure if a niche scent came out with eau de Givenchy (the vintage one) people would be swooning.

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  6. Heya Narth,
    What a fab write up of the whole adventure. Seriously, I could have sent you 40 samples within the genre and still missed some I adore. I did see Undina loves La Temps d’Une Fete! It was one of the fragrances that didn’t make the cut, nor did No 19 or Niki de Saint Phalle. Not only did I want you to smell some of my faves but it was important that I gave you a broad cross section of fragrance with green in, hopefully ones you weren’t very familiar with; all the better to lure you into green love.
    It made me so happy that you found some greens to bond with in there, even to the point of adding a couple to your wish list.
    Very happy outcomes all round.
    Thank you so much for taking up the challenge 100%. It brought me at least as much pleasure as it did you.
    Hugs,
    Portia xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • I had a lot of fun Portia! I had Niki de Saint Phalle a long time ago but I swapped it away.. I wonder if I would love it today. Did you know there is an island in Japan full of Niki de Saint Phalle sculptures? I was looking at this island online because of the pumpkin sculptures by Yayoi Kusama and I kept seeing all these other ones that were so familiar in style.. I spent ages trying to remember why these were familiar and suddenly the perfume box popped into my head and yes it as her! https://www.setouchiexplorer.com/niki-de-saint-phalle-on-naoshima/

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  7. Hello. I left perfume after it absolutely saved my life around 2013ish and have had a bit of a rollercoaster life since then. After a few years of this, I am finally coming into a place of feeling at peace and in routine. Today, I randomly tried a terrible department store sample after not having worn perfume in half a year, and the drydown had me suddenly reminiscing on the days when I had fully immersed myself in the perfume community. I went for a little lurk on Brigitte’s old blog, and saw your name – a flood of emotions came as I didn’t really remember the details of our interactions, but do remember that you were the only person to read my blog when I first started. I remembered always feeling very welcomed by you. You may not remember me, but, I definitely remember you – and now that I’m hoping to get back into sampling/testing (I just did an unexpected intercontinental move and haven’t seen my sample collection or my fragrances since September!) I look forward to following along on your blog and using it as my little step back into the world of perfume again. I felt a little overwhelmed – where do I start after being away so long?? – so it’s nice to see your name and remember the fuzzies of feeling supported (even if I don’t remember the details!). So glad you are still involved in fragrance. Sorry for my absolute NOVEL <3

    Liked by 2 people

    • PS I spelled Birgit’s name wrong (sorry) AND feel so good to also see another familiar name: Portia! I totally understand if no one remembers me (I wrote under other names – Zubi being one of them – but it was such a long time ago); I’m just SO incredibly excited to see people who were such a big part of my healing process when I first found perfume. FUZZY FEELINGS ALL AROUND

      Liked by 1 person

    • This is why we need perfume people in our lives, because perfume is just as meaningful as music, art, books.. it can have a powerful psychological meaning for us but of course you can’t always talk about these experiences the way you can talk about music to anybody :) Welcome back to perfume land. I also had a big break and when I came back felt like I could never catch up.. and indeed I cannot as there are now far more houses and scents than before. But there will always be plenty to sniff and think about and enjoy without my previous try everything compulsion :)

      Liked by 1 person

      • I hear you. Do you also find that you go blank on names of fragrances you once knew well? I’m like… I USED TO KNOW THIS! Hopefully once I get back to sampling it’ll all come back to me.

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        • I tend to have a good memory for fragrance names. Sometimes I can smell something in the street or a plant and a fragrance from years ago jumps into my head. Doesn’t always make for great conversation when no one has the same points of reference! It will ALL come back to you..

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    • Hi Melissa! It’s good to see you. Of course, I remember you. You had a blog “She Blogs it All,” if I’m not mistaken. I still have a couple of samples that you shared with me almost 8 years ago.

      Coming back to perfumes should be even easier than it was the first time around: back then there was a legacy of great perfumes that any self-respecting perfumista should have tried. These days, with 4K+ new perfumes released every year, you start first with whatever you can get to try for free (though, these days it might be a little hard with all the restrictions). Then, if you decide you want to buy any samples, find first a couple of bloggers (or participants in SOTD group on FB, Instagram, NST or one of the perfume forums – whatever is easier for you) with whom your tastes have a lot in common and just copy them: it’ll save you a lot of money :)

      There are at least several others who you might have seen here or on Olfactoria’s Travels blog back then – Tara (she used to write as a guest writer on OT, and now she has her own blog – A Bottled Rose), Vanessa (Bonkers About Perfume), Ines (All I am – a redhead).

      Welcome back.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ohhhhhh, how your comment made me so happy. Thank you! <3
        The number sounds overwhelming. I'll likely stick to reading blogs by people whose opinions I trust and then pick and choose from there! Thank you for the tips. Since when do hobbies feel overwhelming? Haha! I also look forward to slowly getting back into blogging as well, but probably only about frags that I love with all my heart. Like Yosh's Sombre Negra, which my HEART still breaks for.

        And yes, I recognise those names :) :)

        Liked by 1 person

      • Also, Narth, I must apologise for coming onto what I now realise is YOUR post with “HI UNDINA IM BACK!!!” Goodness, I felt embarrassed.

        I have to say, Green no 6 sounds like a ME scent, and your notes for number 7 remind me of my first ever notes for Tauer frags, hahahaha! I was angry and short and I’m pretty sure some of the words you used are the ones I used in that first little scribble in a note pad that I had done after my first ever test (after discovering NST, actually).

        I’m an Amouage fanatic and Memoir is actually my number 2 favourite (Yosh Sombre Negra being my number 1), but I hear you. RE: cumin – have you tried PdE Aziyadé? It’s *apparently* cumin but all I get is cola sweets! Sometimes I wonder whether I smell like cumin to everyone else when I drown in it, but, I love it too much to stop.

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        • I’ve had a big cumin breakthrough recently but it doesn’t mean I like all cumin.. or, as I’ve come to realize, it’s very very dependent n what surrounds it. Green will NOT do. Mix it with amber or something else warm and I’m good. Don’t worry about where you post your replies, it was nice to meet you! I saw in one of your other replies you are in Adelaide, I am in Melbourne :)

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        • My best Amouage has been Lyric Woman but I’ve not managed to have a really excellent test of many of them. There was a certain theme that once I noticed it I couldn’t unnotice it and it’s things difficult with me and Amouage. But believe me I want to get over this! I need some time alone with them, not just random spritzing in shops.

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    • In the future.. and in the past :) So much out there. And to think I’ve been happily sitting on my Guerlian Vetiver not caring! I really did need to be green inspired. Though thinking about Guerlain Vetiver I think I’m going to spend the evening in it. Very calming, very focusing, very chilled out introverted scent. Perfect on this cold rainy night.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. So many green scents I haven’t tried! I have been wanting to try Dior Granville for a long time, I should search for a partial bottle online locally and take the risk of a blindbuy for once. Your comments about it made me more certain I will like it.

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  9. Fascinating! In the 70’s and 80’s I wore a lot of green-centric perfumes, Aliage by Estee Lauder, Vent Vert, Silences by Jacomo and Must de Cartier with it’s big whack of galbanum. Then I want through a period when I didn’t like green notes at all, but I started warming up to vetiver. I love Chantecaille’s Vetyver and Guerlain’s Vetiver and I’m learning to like a little bit of galbanum again in some of the newer florals, like the new Gucci florals that have come out in the last 2 or 3 years. Thanks for posting your sampling experiences!

    Liked by 1 person

    • When I was first into perfume I couldn’t do greens and vetiver in particular. I liked it very much in theory and very not much in practice. Galbanum was my green, I often enjoyed a big hit of that but unlike other notes having a few was enough. Then I took a perfume break for some years and when I came back I loved loved loved vetiver.

      I find these personal changes fascinating, and at times frustrating.

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