Monday Question – What Is Your Favorite 2014 Perfume Release So Far?

So many launches, too many to know them all, we know, we complain, but in the end we are still excited about new perfumes to smell, new scented experiences to make and new lines to explore.

2014 is half way over, so what is your favorite perfume so far this year?

Vero’s Rozy made a splash, a new Malle is out, Jul et Mad launched another winner for their small line, there is the exciting new launch of Papillon Perfume…. and so many more.

Which one is your new love?


My Answer:

My perfume frenzy has slowed way down, so I don’t go out of my way to smell stuff anymore, and despite that I had some great surprises this year so far.

Frederic Malle’s Eau de Magnolia was one of them (I ordered it unsniffed, people! Luckily it worked out!), Aqua Sextius by Jul et Mad was the second (despite the butchered latin, sorry, I’m a nerd!)

So far 2014 is an excellent year in my opinion.

What about your top favorite new release?

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Class Act – Review: Papillon Artisan Perfumes Anubis, Tobacco Rose and Angélique

By Tara

I can’t remember a time when I’ve been this impressed by the launch of a new fragrance line. British perfumer Liz Moores is the creator of Papillon Artisan Perfumes and this is her first collection of three eau de parfums.

All three are of extremely high quality and incredibly long-lasting. The compositions are original twists on classic themes and wonderfully wearable (plus the bottles are gorgeous too). They are truly artisan, made by hand using a high percentage of raw materials.

Here are my thoughts on each perfume in more detail:




Includes notes of suede, jasmine, pink lotus, immortelle, frankincense, myrrh and saffron.

Anubis was the Egyptian god of death and embalming and at first it does indeed smell like an ancient balm used to anoint the body in some kind of sacred ritual. It has the quality of a precious oil more than a perfume. The opening is bold and masculine leaning and deeply resinous.

As it settles it becomes a lot less primal and far more refined. The immortelle blends in perfectly, adding body and a touch of sweetness to alleviate the intense dryness of the resins. I notice a sweetly floral undercurrent and an almost buttery note which reminds me of the saffron in Cuir de Lancome. It’s as if flower petals and saffron fronds have been infused in oil and massaged into a soft piece of suede.

Several hours in and it changes again, turning dark and smoky as birch tar leather spiked with incense takes over. Amazingly, the embers smoulder on the skin in this manner for the rest of the day and long into the night.

Anubis is very striking and extremely sophisticated. It’s a statement perfume which would wear particularly well in cool weather. Transporting, sensual and mysterious, you can’t encounter it without being utterly compelled. I can imagine some finding it more than a little addictive.

Tobacco Rose


Includes notes of Bulgarian rose, rose centifolia, oakmoss, beeswax, hay and ambergris.

Tobacco Rose starts off rosy green like a bud encased in leaves. Within half an hour it opens up to reveal a vivid red rose in full bloom. I haven’t come across a rose that is so close to the scent of the real thing. It feels like I’ve rubbed rose petals onto my skin and am left with a strong impression of their scent. Plush and intoxicating, this rose may be at the point of tipping over into decay but right now it is living and breathing at its absolute peak.

The distinctive honeyed sweetness aided by the beeswax is perfectly counterbalanced by hay and vetiver, creating a background of dark earthiness. This intensifies towards the end as the rose returns to the soil from which it came.

Although the composition also features rose centfolia, I happily find it dominated by the deeper Bulgarian rose Otto. I’ve loved this essential oil for a number of years but never really found it in perfume form to my liking. Tobacco Rose has now fulfilled that desire perfectly with its rich, seductive beauty.

It has turned out to be my unexpected favourite of the three. I can’t get enough and find myself craving its aroma. Liz has far surpassed her goal of combating the common perception that rose fragrances are old-fashioned.



Includes notes of mimosa, orris, white champaca, frankincense, osmanthus and cedarwood.

Angélique immediately makes me think of classic French perfumery. It is decidedly Guerlain-esque in feel at first with its combination of high quality iris and almond-like mimosa. It has a gentle character but doesn’t lack presence. The fuzzy apricot tone of osmanthus adds a subtle fruity accent. There’s a gorgeous spring-like, dewy freshness at this opening stage that is no doubt due to the champaca.

Further down the line, it takes on marshmallow style sweetness and becomes pillowy, soft and a tad powdery in texture. The overall effect is delectable but not quite edible, like a pâtissier’s grand confection that looks too fabulous to eat. It’s super pretty and brings to mind pastel shades of pink, lemon and baby blue. Effortlessly elegant, you could wear it with jeans and a T-shirt and instantly feel pulled together. It’s a “go anywhere, do anything” type of perfume that still has heaps of style.

Angélique is soothing and comforting but there’s a feeling of melancholia about it too. It’s bittersweet, like a smile tinged with sadness.

Les-Senteurs-new-store-frontHopefully these mini reviews have piqued your interest. The perfumes are available exclusively at Les Senteurs in London for the next six months and you can find a sample service at Liz is in talks with retailers abroad, so fingers crossed fragrance fans overseas will get to experience this quality collection soon.

Do any of these three new perfumes appeal to you?

Posted in By Tara, Fragrance Reviews | Tagged , , , , | 53 Comments

French Summer – Review: Jul Et Mad Aqua Sextius

By Sandra

Julien and Madalina are the beautiful couple behind the relatively new perfume brand Jul et Mad, one of my favorite newcomers in the field of perfumery. They are sharing their love story with us through the launch of perfumes which each capture a special moment in their journey together as a couple. We have already been introduced to the first three installments (Stilettos on Lex, Terrasse à St.Germain and Amour de Palazzo) and I have been eagerly awaiting what they would do next.

aqua sextius

Finally, this May we have a new perfume – Aqua Sextius – and this one marks their union in Aix-en-Provence as a married couple. Aix-en-Provence is a beautiful city slightly north of Marseille. I remember being struck of how such a beautiful ancient city could remain virtually untouched by the hustle and bustle of nearby Marseille.

Julien and Madalina wanted to share a perfume which had aspects of a Mediterranean afternoon and of the celebration of their marriage and future vacation spot. Their website describes Aqua Sextius as follows:

A sensation of absolute well-being, celebrating the joy of life. This extraordinarily fresh perfume astonishes by its superb composition and by its longevity.
Named after the original Latin name of Aix-en-Provence, known as “the city of 100 fountains”, this exclusive fragrance perfectly describes this most beautiful summer retreat, where the time flows in the rhythm of its legendary thermal sources…

The Accord: Green Chypre – Citrus Amber

A true explosion of freshness evoked by an invigorating citrusy and green notes accord, and in perfect balance with the fig, mimosa and subtle white flowers… all reminiscent of a beautiful, sunny and festive destination. The marine notes, the eucalyptus/mint accord gradually warmed up by the ambergris, the special woods and mosses bring a strong personality to this exquisite perfume, while prolonging this extremely pleasant feeling…

Aqua Sextius was created by Cecile Zarokian and includes notes of bergamot, lime, lemon, orange, grapefruit, green notes, eucalyptus/mint, marine notes, mimosa, white flowers,fig, labdanum, ambergris, cedarwood, guaiac wood, oakmoss and musk.

The perfume opens with a burst of citrus and bright sparkling green. The start is a wonderful cologne shining brightly and twinkling with bergamot and lime. Easy going, relaxed and ready for a summer’s day in the sunshine. It is so refreshing and sadly only lasts about twenty minutes before the feeling becomes more breezy. It is as if I am sitting by the ocean now and that the wind is picking up.

I am not going to pick out all of the notes because I find them truly beautifully blended and thus difficult to pin point exactly what I am smelling. A few of them do pop up distinctly such as the mint and the fig. Around the 40 minute mark the mint shines through and has a cooling effect on me and I love the way it mingles with the citrusy opening. The fig note is subtle and rounds out the perfume’s citrusy minty start. Funnily enough I cannot pick out any florals while wearing Aqua Sextius. The feeling I get when wearing this is sitting in a cafe on a tree-lined street and near a fountain. It does oddly give off the vibe of running water. I have no idea how Ms. Zarokian managed to do this, and it is a beautiful effect because water and green and sunshine are just what summer and happiness are all about.

I am completely in love with the dry down of Aqua Sextius. At about one and a half hours in I have hit the dry down phase. It is warm, cozy and enveloping and ever so slightly animalic. It is sun kissed skin walking in the late afternoon light of Aix-en-Provence. There are woods intermingled with leaves and blossoms and then comes the musk but not an entirely clean musk.

I love the way Ms Zarokian uses the ingredients in this perfume to mix up my idea of how it should smell. To make the whole composition more interesting the dry down is a bit of a shape shifter. The woods and musk are predominant but there are snippets of the mint or the fig at times and there is a slight undertone of green mossy woods. Really lovely and a perfect companion for the leisure strolls during the summer months.


The longevity was over 12 hours on my skin, which in my book is a miracle for a summer perfume.

Have you already tried Aqua Sextius? Would you like to?

Posted in By Sandra, Fragrance Reviews, Jul Et Mad | Tagged , , , , , | 33 Comments

Monday Question – Do You Store Your Perfumes Differently According To Season?


after a long weekend in the country (from Thursday to Sunday, lucky me!), I am back for the last week before school is out for the summer and life’s routines are out the window… ;)

So today we are off to one more peacefully normal Monday and another Monday Question.

Ae you afraid for your perfume collection in the summer heat?

Do you store your perfumes in the same space year-round or do you have weather-related emergency procedures in place?

Do you approve of fragrance refrigeration?



My Answer:

I do worry a bit about the possibility of my perfumes going off in summertime. But I do not move them into cooler quarters (they are in the coolest room of the house to begin with, protected behind closed closet doors). I fear that the high humidity in a fridge would damage the labels of some bottles, which would drive me crazy.

I recently fretted a lot when my bottle of Eau de Magnolia was on its way to me from Germany in 37 C, it arrived hot as a good cup of tea, but still seemed as pretty (and refreshing!)   as it should.  In my defence when I ordered it, it was still a balmy 22C. Still, a horrifying experience for a perfume lover. No more impulse buys in the heat of summer!

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Unassuming Beauty – Review: Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle Eau de Magnolia

By Tara

The brand new Eau de Magnolia has a breezy loveliness about it. At first I wondered if it was too understated to make an impact next to its more striking companions in the Editions de Parfums line-up, but now I think not. It’s such a pure pleasure to wear that I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes a big hit over the summer.


The perfumer behind this latest release, Carlos Benaïm, created the magnolia based Jurassic Flower candle and room scent for the same brand. A discussion between he and Malle about the similarity of magnolia’s odour structure to that of eau de cologne (as revealed by headspace technology) was the starting point for Eau de Magnolia.

As you might expect, there are cologne-style hesperidic notes above the magnolia but then it’s anchored from below with weightier materials. You can see this from the following notes list:

The top note is Calabrian bergamot; middle notes are magnolia, vetiver and patchouli; base notes are cedar, moss and amber.

In the opening you have the fizzing, dancing bergamot but I also get lots of lemon in the form of zest over ice. It’s refreshing and tart but not eye-popping sour. This stage lasts on me for the best part of an hour and feels like the perfect way to start the day in late spring/early summer.

When the effervescence fades it leaves a light sherbet coating on the magnolia petals revealed underneath. it’s a very fitting progression considering the flower is said to have a lemony facet. That light citrus uplift remains well into its development.

The magnolia itself has a drenched quality, as if it’s been doused with sea water: A magnolia flower filtered through an aquatic lens. It’s not the marine melon of calone, it’s just very fresh and dewy as opposed to waxy and creamy (the way the magnolia is in Zelda for example).

So don’t expect to encounter a photorealistic magnolia when you lift your wrist to your nose. Eau de Magnolia is an artist’s impression of the flower rather than a nature study.

While it’s very translucent and hazy, its radiance gives it plenty of presence. One thing it definitely is not however, is a Big White Floral. It’s too silken and subtle for that, despite its luminosity.

I find the heart of the perfume so relaxing it makes me sigh deeply, become heavy lidded and long to while away a languid afternoon on a hammock in the shade. It’s also very pretty in a completely unconscious way, like a naturally alluring woman who is oblivious to the effect she has on the men left in her wake.

As time wears on, the gauzy flower becomes surrounded by a good deal of soft green moss and is grounded by very clean vetiver and patchouli. Nothing is allowed to overwhelm this delicate Southern Belle.

olivia de havilland gone with the wind

A delicate Southern Belle – Melanie Hamilton would surely like Eau de Magnolia

Despite the “eau” in its name and the cologne style start, it is actually a mossy chypre in the drydown. Not the older, austere kind but the loose limbed, fruity variety. That’s the beauty of Eau de Magnolia, you get the lightness and sparkle of a cologne as well as the depth and lasting power of a sophisticated chypre.

I think even those who were hoping for a life-like magnolia may well be won over by its sheer charm.

Posted in By Tara, Citrus, Cologne, Floral, Fragrance Reviews, Frederic Malle | Tagged , , , , , , , | 44 Comments

People In Perfumeland – Arielle Weinberg Of Scents Of Self

Ari of Scents Of Self is a very special person. She is very young, very quirky, sometimes weird, always funny and incredibly likeable. She blogs about perfume. Most of the time, that is. Other times she blogs about what is dearest to her heart at the moment. And then there is Zelda… it is never boring at Scents of Self – The Nerdy Perfume Blog.

Thankfully today you don’t have to take my word for it, just read her interview…

aro blog

A good day starts with…  all days, good or bad, start exactly the same: with the cat, Zelda, biting my feet at 7 AM.

zelda (1)

Editor s Note: I would forgive her for biting my toes – that innocent face!

I’d never leave the house without… my Nintendo 3DS. Someone has to save Princess Zelda.

I always feel good when… I can help someone.

My favorite thing in the world is… Kanye West’s water bottle tweet.


The next thing I want to buy is… Sylvia Plath: Drawings, a collection of, well, Sylvia Plath’s drawings.

The place I always come back to is… The National Aquarium in Baltimore, and the Temple of Dendur exhibit at the Met. My favorite part is the pool where you can throw pennies.

My personal style is… dresses with full skirts and cinched waists, sorority t-shirts and Pikachu pajamas at home. My style icon is Victoria Beckham; I love the structure of her dresses.

My favorite perfume… L’Artisan Parfumeur Safran Troublant, with Lubin Idole EDT and Frederic Malle Lipstick Rose tied for second.

When I travel I always… get less writing done than I think I will.

To relax I need… a body of water to stare across.

When I have a bad day… I have an ironclad routine: I make a cup of decaf green tea, then paint my nails with a Miyazaki movie playing in the background.

I like to gift people with… books. My mom is getting the new Wes Anderson book for her birthday. Shhh, don’t tell!

I find my inspiration… frustratingly rarely.

Something I would never want to miss… My little brother’s high school

My last mistake was… I knew the Modcloth Start Spreading The Mews dress was going to sell out in my size, but I hesitated for too long. How am I supposed to spread the mews now?!


In my fridge there is always… leftovers from Daisy, gimlet ingredients.

On my nightstand I keep… Please see photo! The Mitsouko box, gorgeously hand-painted by Olenska of Parfumieren, holds my favorite decants; the books are A Journey To The Center of the Earth, Howl’s Moving Castle, and Andersen’s Fairy Tales; “Pond Smelt” is a graphic novel by my favorite cartoonist, Jane Mai; the nail polish is Deborah Lippmann’s Ruby Red Slippers.


The perfect weekend starts with… please refer to question #1.

My role model is… my grandfather Harry, a Holocaust survivor who spoke eight

Something I always want to be asked in questionnaires like this is… Why do you take so much time between blog posts? Answer: I get depressed a lot.


Now don’t you agree with me? About Ari being incredible likeable? And funny? (And a bit weird and wacky to boot?)

I look forward to seeing what Ari does in the future, I hope she lets us take part through her writing.

Posted in Interview | Tagged , , | 45 Comments

The Lady Is a Tramp – Review: Tramp by Lenthéric (now by Mayfair)

Hello delicious Olfactoria’s Travelers,

Portia coming to you all the way from Australian Perfume Junkies and Perfume Posse and today I’d like to introduce you to something a very dear frag buddy of mine in Australia gave me a sample of. Scott is his name and he is fast becoming one of the best sniffed vintage frag lover in town.

Every so often he will come to trivia or my place with an out of the blue gift of an astounding, fabulous, lost, rediscovered gem. On a few occasions he has walked in and given me a small atomiser and he is so damn proud of himself that he is almost sniggering. Recently he walked in, handed me the vial and said quite loudly then name of the frag….

Tramp Mayfair  FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Tramp was ceated in 1975 by Lentheric.

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Floral notes, citrus notes, oriental notes

Well, they forgot to mention aldehydes, this is a zingy, sparkling full throated glamour girl roar. What a fun, fruity opening and this was probably very reasonable priced when released. To me it is a wonderful perfumy fragrance in the old school of lavish over application and shoulder pads, a scent that had to drown out the mousse, hairspray, fabric softener, Casablanca lilies, powder, lipstick, gloss, cigarettes and every other full on fragrant piece that made up the puzzle in the 1970s.

Tramp Mayfair _magnetaria DeviantArtPhoto Stolen DeviantArt

Though Tramp is not a huge 1980s scent it definitely points in the direction of such monsters (that I love) as Giorgio, Poison and Opium. Harking back to the 1950′s Youth Dew but brighter, more insistent and let’s face it, sluttier. YAY! The dawning of the age of free love. I reckon the women wearing Tramp were probably happy to be associated with it’s fabulous name. When I wear it I am THRILLED when somebody asks me what my fragrance is, it’s definitely slightly snigger worthy.

I wish I was better at picking out notes for you but sadly I am pretty rubbish at it. At a bad guess I would saycarnation, rose, (I think there might be the sharp sweetness of marigold and a little bit of slightly green white flower), some spices, resins but really I have no clue which ones. Later through the development I get a scent memory of a bathroom deodoriser that one of my Aunties had that I always thought was the height of elegance, and something that could be almond meal?

Tramp Mayfair stevienicks11 ilovecatparty

Photo Stolen ilovecatparty

Have you ever tried this remarkable gem? I have a very generous few ml but now I’m on the hunt for a bottle. So freaking good, and that name… TRAMP!! Not just a TRAMP but a SuperTramp!

Portia xx

Posted in By Portia, Fragrance Reviews | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

Monday Question – What Are The Top Three Perfumes On Your Wishlist Right Now?

What is on your wishlist?

Money and availabilitiy nothwithstanding, which perfumes would you want the most?

Do you always buy the first thing on your wishlist next or do some scents skip the line?

How many items are on your list right this moment?


My Answer:

My Top Three on the list are:

Opardu by Puredistance, L’Eau d’Hiver by Frederic Malle and Hermès Brin de Réglisse (on which I did a 180 a few months back, from hate to true love, so I’ll have to change my lament into a love song asap).

Unfortunately I tend to skip like crazy, some old faithfuls have been on my list for ages, being overtaken again and again by newcomers who bewitch my senses. I feel bad about that, but you know how it is with love at first sniff…

My list is not that long right now, and I do not intend to buy everything on it, but I like to keep a list where it is possible to dream, and not take budgetary or availability issues into consideration. So this dream list currently contains 8 perfumes.

What about you? Top Three? Total number? Can’t wait to hear about your lists!

Posted in Monday Question | Tagged , , | 81 Comments

My Favorite Things – Summer 2014 Edition

I haven’t done a Favorite Things post for a while, so today I want to compile a list of things that I do, see, crave, use or love at the moment and hope you will share yours in the comments.



I’m loving the newest Malle creation – Eau de Magnolia by Carlos Benaïm – very much. A sparkling floral on a mossy green base that is easy to wear but never banal or simple. Elegant and light-hearted, ideal for the summer or anytime you want to feel like it is summer. (Tara’s review is coming up next week.)



An old favorite I have been enjoying these days in the evenings (when the heat relents a bit) is Opardu by Puredistance. Soapy, wistful, hazy and elegant, always elegant.



I am re- (re-, re-) reading the Harry Potter books (Ines-style) and thoroughly enjoying the world Rowling created. I read the first book with the boys, after they had pestered me for some time. The first volume is not too wild, so I agreed and they loved it and completely soaked up this new universe. By now they are playing Quidditch every night and are happily subtracting points from their houses for bad behaviour… :)

Parallel I am reading Juggling by Barbara Trapido, I’ve recently finished Sister by Rosamund Lupton and The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer. I can recommend all three.

TV Shows:


My husband and I love quiet evenings at home, binge watching TV shows. Maybe that is sad, maybe it is a sign that we are old and boring, but I am not apologizing. We are enjoying ourselves too much for that.

We recently watched Game of Thrones, The Good Wife and The Black List. Next up is the last season of Dexter and House of Cards… and I hope the new season of Downton Abbey will be out soon. I’m addicted!



I still am very much into yoga. I have joined My Yoga Pro, a program that gives you access to over 200 hours of classes and courses, you can track your progress and it includes a community feature as well. It is a very new platform, but it is off to a great start and the teacher, Erin Motz is lovely and very engaging and down to earth.



I am anticipating a surprise weekend getaway in July with my husband (it’s my birthday present from him!) and looking very much forward to our yearly trip to Italy in August. This time we will explore Florence before spending a relaxing week at the seaside.

In November another NYC trip is in the cards (and hopefully an opportunity to meet with lots of NY based readers?!).



Sunscreen is the buzzword right now and I am not really totally happy with my hot weather skin routine. I’m currently rotating La Roche Posay Anthelios SPF 50+ cream, Vichy Capital Soleil Tinted Sensitive Skin Sunscreen SPF 50+ and Chanel UV Essentiel SPF 50+ depending on my mood and the amount or lack of makeup I wear that day.

I would be grateful for your sunscreen recommendations!

What are the things you love right now?

Posted in Ramblings | Tagged , , , , , | 50 Comments

Who Said It’s Not Easy Being Green? – Perfume Lovers London, 22nd May 2014

By Tara

The New Cavendish Club is sadly closing so we gathered at the venue behind Oxford Street for one last time to explore the wide range of fragrances with a green facet.

Event organiser Lila Das Gupta led through the evening and started by explaining that whereas previous genres we had explored had been more ‘linear’, green was not. In Leather perfumes we had suede at one end and chorizo or newly ridden saddle at the other. When we explored iris perfumes we had rooty, carroty at one end and powdery, violet at the other. Green perfume was more like a country with very important regional hubs.

Green perfumes were described by Lila as having elements which reflect “The Great Outdoors” and crushed leaves and fresh smells from nature.

Gold Standard and Landmark Greens

Eau de Campagne, Sisley

eau de campagne

Lila: So, tonight the regional hubs are made up of ingredients. And the most important ingredient of all, when it comes to green, is galbanum. When people come to visit me to help them find a perfume I use this fragrance to see if they like green perfumes or not. It’s a real litmus test because if they like this, they are definitely going to like something green. It’s very much a classic of the genre, by Jean Claude Ellena and released in 1973. It’s a full-on perfume that shouts ‘green’. It is a favourite of Grant Osborne, founder of Basenotes (and he’s a bit fussy about perfume). It’s quite linear, but lovely all the way through. Definitely stood the test of time…

It features tomato leaf and galbanum. Galbanum is probably the most important ingredient in green perfumes as I said. No self-respecting green perfume would be without it.

Here is some galbanum sap for you to try. The plant is an umbel and related to the carrot family, and it has a very strong, lasting scent.

Alliage, Estée Lauder


Lila: Released in 1974, sadly this one seems dated now, though I applaud Estée Lauder for keeping it in production for the people who like it. It feels like the Farrah Fawcett-Majors of the perfume world – it might have been fine then, but I’m not sure it’s doing too much now. Interestingly, it was the first perfume to be marketed as a sports fragrance – the ads showed women playing tennis and being active. We should definitely smell it as a reference point –it’s very much talked about on forums.

Comments from the group included “Horrible” “Essence of talcum powder” and “A bit musty”.

Lila: It’s a landmark in the land of green perfumes but hasn’t really stood the test of time. It’s a period piece.

Chanel No.19

chanel 19 EdT

Lila: This was the last perfume that Coco Chanel selected when in her 80s. It was made with her in mind. It’s classic but not old-fashioned. It has galbanum with iris which turns everything velvety. For me, wearing it feels like it’s a crisp, white shirt. I always feel well dressed in it. This is the EDP. I find it warm, soft and comforting at the same time (the opposite view to Luca Turin’s elegant description in The Guide). It’s a classic in the green canon.

Cristalle, Chanel


Lila: This is light galbanum and clean jasmine. It’s often worn by women who don’t really like perfume or are unsure about which perfume to choose. This is the EDP but there’s also a fresher, Eau Verte version. It won’t frighten the horses, but it is really pretty. It features a lot of hedione which is the aromachemical answer to jasmine. A lot of you may not have smelled it. It’s certainly one everyone should know. It may be safe, but it’s popular because it’s lovely.



Eau Thé Verte, Bulgari


Lila: This is another Jean Claude Ellena perfume released in 1993. Michael Edwards gave a very good talk on the history of cologne at the perfume fair in Milan a couple of years ago. He said it was the first time tea was used as an ingredient in western perfumery and it was a milestone in the history of perfumery, spawning later blockbusters such as CK One. Thé Vert is very fresh and belongs to the cologne territory.

It was novel in its day and a surprise hit for the jewellers Bulgari, but it’s interesting to see it’s at the discounters now and not particularly popular. We’ve also got Elizabeth Arden Green Tea, a lovely, fresh perfume that was created by Francis Kurkdjian. He’s not too keen on his back-catalogue these days, which is a shame, because it’s still a very nice perfume.

Chai, Robert Piguet

chai piguet

Lila: A lot of brands have released tea and light jasmine perfumes to appeal to the Far Eastern market.

Group comments: “Inoffensive” “Not warm and milky like chai” “Teenagers first fragrance”.

Lila: And while we are on the subject of Cologne, if you haven’t already, don’t forget to smell the Thierry Mugler Cologne. It’s a wonderful one for people who don’t like what traditionally goes into a cologne. It’s not floral at all, it’s refreshing, light and green and wonderfully affordable.

Blackcurrant Bud


Lila: Blackcurrant bud is another interesting ingredient in the green list of ingredients – it has an odour profile which can remind some people of box hedge and Sauvignon Blanc – for others that sour note is more like a pissy, urinal smells. It’s intriguing.

Enchanted Forest, The Vagabond Prince

vagabond prince

Lila: This was the first perfume released by the perfume website Fragrantica. Elena and Zoran, the founders are both Russian and they started their own perfume company called The Vagabond Prince. Enchanted Forest was their first release. It’s supposed to be evocative of their childhoods in Russia and was created by Bertrand Duchaufour.

This was a rather polarising fragrance. The best comments were “Horrid and amazing” and “Blackcurrant flavour throat lozenges”. “It’s a strange sweet and sour fruity mix with a lot of strength”. Serge, from Belarus, who was in the audience said it reminded him of picking raspberries and blackcurrants at his grandparent’s house and brought back happy childhood memories. Callum from Les Senteurs did not like it but felt strangely attracted to it he said.

Lila: Other fragrances in this category are Blackberry & Bay which was is very refreshing and a best-selling hit for Jo Malone. Also Mad Madame by Juliette Has A Gun which I gave to a group of women to try and they thought it was really sexy. It’s down to me that a certain sector of suburban west London now smells of Mad Madame!




Aedes de Venustas

aedes de venustas

Lila: Aedes de Venustas is a shop in New York. I’ve never been but I’d love to go – it looks all baroque and mysterious. Anyone in the room ever been?

Grant (from Basenotes): It’s like a random aunt’s bad attic, in a good way.

Lila: It was done by Bertrand Duchaufour and for me it smells like the moment when you pull the rhubarb out of the ground, twist the leaf and toss into the compost heap. It’s very fresh rhubarb with a grapefruit note and a slight bit of incense. It has a lot of zing to it. Rhubarb is another popular way to get a green element into a perfume.

(For another rhubarb fragrance see Hermessence Rose Ikebana, a favourite of Olfactoria’s)

Green Jasmine

jasmine de grasse

1932, Chanel Pure Parfum

chanel extrait 1932

Lila: This one was criticised when it came out because it’s lovely rather than a self-conscious masterpiece like the rest of the Les Exclusifs range. For me, it doesn’t need to apologise for anything, it’s a beautiful haze when I wear it; it feels slightly white and slightly green. The pure parfum is my favourite strength.

Comment from the group “Lipstick-y”

Lila then ran through other kinds of green fragrances:

  • Linden blossom (Ciel d’Opale by Ann Gerard and Tauer’s Zeta) which is a subtle, smell, like putting your nose in a pollen-rich, green flower.
  • The modern Vent Vert we have here is perfectly nice but I can’t believe it’s anything like the great perfume by Germaine Cellier it once was. Sometimes described as one of the greatest perfumes of all time…
  • Grey Flannel, by Geoffrey Beene is a cult fragrance on Basenotes, much discussed. Here for reference.

Lily of the Valley


Lila: Noses are getting tired, but we still have to talk about Lily of the Valley. Edmond Roudnitska nailed with Diorissimo (which we don’t have here). Muguet is still popular on the continent. Muguet by Yves Rocher which is wonderful and budget perfume you can buy on the continent. It’s a comforting smell and if you don’t like white flowers very much, lily of the valley is a good choice.


fig fruit

Lila: On the whole, I do not like fig at all. It always strikes me as very artificial because when you put your nose in a fig, it doesn’t smell like that at all. I love the fig note in Neela Vermeire’s Ashoka and last week this perfume landed on my desk, with a fig note I actually like.



Some vetivers are more green and citrusy and some are more smoky. We’ve had a whole evening dedicated to them, so we won’t discuss them tonight but we’ve brought them out because people love them so much. Highlights are Sycomore by Chanel, Vetiver Vert by Chech & Speake and Infusion de Vetiver by Prada.

Violet/Violet Leaf


  • Violetta is a pretty violet by Penhaligon’s. If you love parma violets as many of us do, you will love this cheerful fragrance.
  • Urura’s Tokyo Café by 4160 Tuesdays features a violet note along with rose, raspberry leaf and woods on top of a resinous base.

Green perfumes have long interested me and I particularly love wearing them in early spring and on hot summer days. Many thanks to Lila for showing us the wide range of fragrances this genre encompasses during another lively evening.

Are any of these favourites of yours or is there something missing?

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