“Thomas, AKA The Candy Perfume Boy, is explaining everything you need to know about fragrance families. From chypre to fougere, after reading this blog series, you’ll be an expert in the different types of olfactive groups.”
It was the great philosopher Kermit the Frog who once mused on the struggles of being green. “It’s not that easy being green,” Kermit said, or more accurately – sang, and in the world of perfumery, this holds true. You see, green perfumes have sort of had their day. Big in the ‘70s and ‘80s, when green aldehydic florals and sporty green chypres were a thing, they’ve struggled to find their place in more modern times. BUT, there is hope, because we still have many classic green scents on the market – fragrances that feel as if they haven’t aged a day, as well as a handful of exciting takes on the genre that are starting to prove that it may not be so difficult being green.
What is a green perfume? Well, it’s a fragrance that evokes greenery – it’s as simple as that. Through leaves, grasses and aquatic plants, these fragrances paint a picture of the green world around us. They can be mean, green galbanum machines, but also relaxing cups of steaming green tea, and all that’s in between. Whatever you may think about green fragrances going into this article, prepare to have your mind blown by a veritable banquet of vivacious verdancy.
To help you traverse the world of green I’ve picked out four fragrances; two classics that show the rich history of the genre; and two contemporary twists that show how exciting the green renaissance is. Enjoy!
#1 The Handsome Green
Vetiver is a truly beautiful material with a wealth of facets, one of which is green and grassy, and this is showcased to their fullest in Guerlain’s iconic classic. Drenched in zesty citrus notes and wrapped in sweet tobacco leaves, the salty warmth of green vetiver blades give a handsome elegance, transporting one to a timeless place on a breeze of masculine spices. Everybody should have a bottle of this in their collection, and it serves as proof that green doesn’t have to be scary, it can be dashing too.
#2 The Relaxing Green
One of the important genres within the green family is tea, and no tea fragrance is more iconic than Eau Parfumee au The Vert by Bulgari. It was the first proper tea fragrance, and it defined a genre, blending a green tea accord with delicate jasmine flowers, coriander and musk. There’s something so calm and comfortable about this fragrance – it’s like sinking back into your favourite armchair and sipping on a relaxing cup of serenity. I’ll take mine with two spritzes, please.
#3 The Fresh Green
Stinging nettles – that’s the inspiration point for Wander which, I’ll say right now, is my all-time favourite fragrance from Miller Harris. Evocative of hardy nettles peeking through the cracks in paving slabs, Wander is a juicy and sharp green fragrance with a soft, mineral air. The watery greenery of the violet leaf with the forest-y richness of galbanum, figs and woods creates a contemporary take on green that is fresh, modern and handsome. It’s beautiful.
Love the sound of Wander Through the Parks? Discover similar scents of the city in our review of Miller Harris’ Forage collection.
#4 The Future Green
Aura is a modern interpretation of green, one where the idea of bioluminescence takes centre stage. Pairing classic ingredients of rhubarb, orange blossom and vanilla with unconventional, forward-thinking aroma chemicals (tiger liana and wolfwood), Aura is the most unusual of greens – a glowing neon green. It’s juicy and sweet, like giant palm leaves filled with sugar rain, with hints of smoky wood caught on the breeze. If this is the new direction for green scents, then colour me intrigued.
Read the full review of Aura here.
There’s more! Read the previous instalments of the series below…