Saturday Question: What Is Your Favorite Herbal Note?

Summer is a perfect “salad season”: all herbs and leaves are “in season,” all vegetables are local, and some of them are quite tasty. But what about herbs in our perfumes?

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #125:

What Is Your Favorite Herbal Note?

Do you have one? Do you own any perfumes with that note?

My Answer

I’m more of a floral gal, but I can think at least of one herbal scent that I like in perfumes – mint.

Mint is quite a mundane scent, widely used in teas, chocolate, chewing gum and beauty products. And still I find it appealing in perfumes.

Annick Goutal‘s Nuit Etoilee is probably the only full bottle of perfume that has mint as a prominent note. But there are several more that I wouldn’t mind owning. One day.

Rusty and Annick Goutal Nuit Etoilee

How about you?.

What Is Your Favorite Herbal Note?

78 thoughts on “Saturday Question: What Is Your Favorite Herbal Note?

  1. I hope tea counts. I do enjoy teacentric fragrances but if not lavender. Not particularly lavender soliflores but in those scents where lavender adds a bracing, refreshing quality. Mon Guerlain, Jicky, Clinique Wrappings, 4711 & classic colognes all get lift from lavender.
    My most beloved herbal fragrance is SL Fourreau Noir

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  2. In fragrance immortelle, I have it in my herb garden.
    In food dill is my absolute favourite, followed by lemon verbena in freshly made tea from it, and cilantro in curries and mexican food.

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  3. WOW Undina,
    I love this question. Herbal notes are some that I really love.
    My first thought even before reading your answer was mint. I love how it can add zing and dazzle to a fragrance.
    Also I love bitter green artemesia/wormwood, plush green basil, crisp bittersweet ivy and weird assed tomato leaf.
    In food I add tarragon at the end of cooking Pumpkin Soup, it adds the most beautiful scent texture.
    Portia x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The rosemary in Eau de Minimes is sublime. I had a 15 ml bottle which I thunked a few summers ago and I could kick myself for not buying that honking 200 ml for dirt cheap before the company pulled all bottles and then replaced with new fragrances at significantly higher “niche” prices :( Portia reminded me that tomato leaf may also be an herb so another one that got away is Pucci Sole 149 (big regret not buying from Sephora) along with Folavril which pairs it with mango. Another Annick Goutal with ivy which I love is Eau de Camille, and yet another regret of a bottle that was thunked and not replaced before it was discontinued. The basil in Rosellini’s Manifesto was so good. But I also like it in Lime, Basil and Mandarin. And finally sage….Wood Sage and Sea Salt and Pacifica’s new Sage Me which reminds me of the scent of Wedge Licorice’s fur. This was a fun Saturday question because it forced me to research herb notes and made me realize that I DO like some herbs in my fragrances :)

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    • I snagged the really honking 400/500ml bottle if Eau de Minimes & have never got rosemary.
      You’re right about Rossellini’s Manifesto. A total herbal chypres masterpiece.

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      • ooo I have that one still…that’s the one that has lots of vanilla, right? The one I had but want again is very citrus, aromatic and herbal. Fragrantica lists it as “Eau de Minimes”….wonder if that’s the wrong name? The bottle that I still have from this brand that smells like boozy vanilla is called “Eau de Missions Cologne” by Les Couvent des Minimes. That one was extremely popular because it was supposed to be a dupe for Spirituelle Double Vanille so you are very lucky to have a 500 ml bottle! Mine is only 34 ml.

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  5. Oh my goodness!!!! How could I forget a perfume from one of my favorite perfume houses??? St Clair Scents First Cut which has lavender, immortelle, rosemary and tomato leaf. You can definitely smell all the herbs in that one!!!!

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    • and I thought of one more….Natura Paramela from Brazil (I think)…a treasure from a good friend…discontinued and impossible to find…it has rosemary too (I am sensing a theme here) and citrus and honey…it’s one of the best citruses in my collection…and the bottle fits perfect in my hand.

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  6. I love mint! So refreshing and uplifting during the scorching days of summer! My favorite scents Guerlain AA Herba Fresca and Dame Perfumery Minty Man.

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  7. Love herbs. Mint, basil (Paris-Deauville!), rosemary… I feel like most of the time the herbs are fleeting wafts in the mix, but always a nice little surprise to the perfume.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Fabulous question! I love mint also, Nuit Etoilee being an all time favorite. Heeley’s Menthe Fraiche is also a good one. My second favorite herb in fragrances is basil. Love it in perfumes and especially in candles. I adore Cire Trudon’s Abd-El-Khadr candle which has gorgeous mint and basil notes. It’s supposed to smell like Tunisian mint tea, which I have never tried, but would love to try some day. Rosemary is divine in soups and with chicken especially.

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  9. A timely question for me, as I just mentioned red thyme in a recent Instagram review I did of Carthusia 1681. It’s a pretty obscure note, but one that always stands out to me. Please don’t ask me to name other perfumes with the note, as I can’t think of any at the moment! I just know it is a very distinctive note to me. I also remember when I reviewed Olivier Durbano’s line several years ago that he used sage in a lot of his perfumes, and I really found it different and enjoyable. Like you, I also like mint. So basically, I can’t name one! And does violet leaf count? I love its bitter green note.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not sure about the violet leaf… Can you eat it? :)

      I have no idea how red thyme smells, but I was surprised to find thyme note in one of my most favorite discoveries of 2021 – J-Scent Yuzu.

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  10. I love the Saturday question-this is a particularly good one!

    I love the smell of fresh marjoram, and cannot understand why it isn’t in any fragrance I know of.
    I love thyme, which I remember was in the older Diptyque body washes.

    I love basil, and I can find it in L’artisan’s L’eau de L’artisan, eau de Campaigne by Sisley. I remember smelling Isabella Rossellini’s Manifesto when it came out-I recoiled. I wanted a perfume-y perfume – think flowers, not even fruit. the shock of basil was too much for me at that time. But I still remember smelling it, and I think I’d like it more, now.

    I love mint, and can find it in Nuit Etoilee (why wasn’t this more loved? Why did it get so many bad reviews?).

    I was wondering about the new vegetal fragrances from L’artisan – if they have vegetables, do any of them have herbs, too?

    I’d love a fragrance that smelled like an herb salad, with a cucumber note.

    Hope everyone has a relaxing weekend :)

    Sincerely,

    Carole

    Liked by 1 person

  11. So many mint recommendations-how about Madragore, for spearmint, instead of all the beautiful peppermint suggestions? And eau de Sud, which has basil, tarragon, and I can’t think of what all else. And the obvious….Herba Fresca :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh I like eau de Sud as well!!! Another bottle I finished decades ago. Wondering if Eau d’Hadrien also has herbs…another favorite of mine

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      • Nuits d’Hadrien has juniper, basil & caraway a spice I know.

        I’ve just opened my scent cupboard & looked straight at L’Occitane Verbena/Verveine. Lemon Verbena is of course the star of the show & they do seasonal variations. Mint, Citrus & sorbet to name but a few.
        Must admit to preferring the original

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    • Pickles, my cat, Chicken, as well as Arthur The Stray Who Won’t let me pat him after five years of feeding him twice a day, love organic catnip. They don’t want it diluted in any way. Every year I plant a few but they roll around on it till the poor plant just…expires lol. Thanks for speaking up, Pickles :0 I enjoy your view on the world.

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  12. I wouldn’t say I have a favourite herbal note, as I don’t court them in perfumes, but rather hope I will still like the composition despite their inclusion. That said, I do enjoy the tomato leaf note in AG Le Chevrefeuille and the tarragon note in Guerlain Sous le Vent, and whatever herbal notes are in one of the Eau de Sisleys whose number escapes me, hehe, so I probably do quite like herbal notes on the sly. ;)

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    • I’m going to get my bottle of Chevrefeuille and sniff it now. Somehow I missed that tomato leaf note in the past. I do love that fragrance, though. Hopefully I can identify it. Thanks for the tip!

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    • I haven’t smelled AG Le Chevrefeuille in a long while… I think I would have liked it more today than I did years ago. But I think that you’re mixing it with Folavril – that was the one with the tomato leaf.

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  13. So many herbs and recommendations! I’ll join the love for several already mentioned: First Cut, Manifesto, Nuit Etoilee, Paris-Deauville. I love the basil in Manifesto. I also really like juniper, which is a note in Juniper Sling, and also Scenthusiasm. A’mmare, Carthusia’s new scent, has a great rosemary note.

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  14. I just discovered another lovely scent with herbs, Nicolai’s Cap Neroli, thanks to alityke posting it with description on Instagram. I got it at 25% off. Woo hoo! And a nice small bottle, too. it has really nice rosemary and mint notes that are very green and strong when you first spray it on. Delightful!

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