One of my favourite perfume groups are the Green scents. Green perfumes tend to focus more on the foliage of the flowers and tend to be fresh with a slightly sharp edge as opposed to the sweetness you get with flowers. This is often due to the addition of aromatic green leaves, grasses and herbs. As you can imagine, they are often shared or unisex scents, as they are simply fresh and invigorating vs traditionally “pretty” or “sexy” feminine scents that have sweeter more floral notes. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good floral, but I also adore the crisp fresh breeze of a scent that comes with green scents. They evoke the feeling of being outside, maybe in a meadow or a garden, either in warm sunshine or even a cool fresh rain shower. Coming into our hot summer months, these are perfect and I crave them. Here are just a few of my most loved Green Perfumes:
Balmain Vent Vert The Mother of All Green perfumes, in my humble opinion. Now, this has been reformulated since it was originally created in the late 40s, and there is much consternation over different versions. I will keep it to the present version that looks like the bottle in the photo ad above. It is simply green perfection. There is a touch of floral sweetness in this one, but only a breath of it. It is like sweet grass on a hot summer day with a gentle breeze blowing through it, carrying the scent through the air. A key ingredient in many green scents is galbanum, which is a plant resin. It has an intense green scent with a peculiar musky/skin accord. This was heavy in the original Vent Vert and is more gentle in this version but still there. Gorgeous. This is my biggest compliment getter without question and one that just becomes “me”. The edt has fantastic lasting power and it’s perfect for day or night.
Sisley Eau de Campagne I was telling a friend about this the other day. It was a really hot day & I’d spent the day outside in the sunshine. After showering & changing I spritzed some of this one on. I described it to my friend as “showering with fine, expensive French soap, then settling down to enjoy good food & wine in a garden in provence”. It really has the sense of “garden” in it, which is likely due to the tomato leaf note, which is bracing and GREEN. It was launched in the 70s and has a cool laid back feel to it, with that cool French “je ne said quoi” feel. Very unisex with a soft dry down that stays close to the skin, Eau de Campagne has a cooling calming effect. Perfect for hot summer days and nights, and perfect for sharing.
Chanel Cristalle Another iconic Chanel scent, this one from the 70s, Cristalle spells green, fun yet elegant and stylish. To me this is a light airy green, like a soft summer breeze. It smells just like summer, with a dash of citrus to keep it cool. Caveat- only the Eau de Toilette is worth wearing in my humble opinion. They made an Eau de Parfum in the 90s in order to deepen the original scent to make it “wearable” during cooler months and to perhaps make it last longer on the skin. Light airy scents tend to lack longevity but in my opinion Cristalle fails as an Eau de Parfum. It looses it’s spirit and soul and becomes heavy and weighted which to my humble nose, does. Not. Work. Keep it light, wear a Halston flowy wide leg pantsuit or wrap dress and you are ready for a hot summer day.
Remember, Cristalle is the perfume that Chris Noth once said- aka Big on Sex & The City- brings him “to his knees”. Duly noted… (ps- another obscure 70s scent by Molyneux “Quartz” smells sooo close to Cristalle, even the names are similar. Worth sniffing out if you can find it. It’s usually quite a deal…)