Five Favorite Green Perfumes for St. Patrick’s Day

There’s such a wonderful freshness to green fragrances, it would be a shame to only enjoy them on a day honoring the “wearin’ o’ the green.” Green florals – especially galbanum ones – are some of my perennial favorites, so here’s a short list of some I really love:

narcissus bouquetFirst, and always: Parfums de Nicolai Le Temps d’une Fete. This lovely green thing has, as I’ve mourned over the past year, been first reformulated to be lighter and then labeled by the perfume house as “available on demand.” (It is nowhere to be found on the PdN website, though Parfum1 and LuckyScent* have the 1 oz bottles in stock, $45 to $50.)  Notes: galbanum, narcissus, jasmine, hyacinth, styrax, opoponax, oakmoss, sandalwood, patchouli, woody notes.

Green-gold perfection, love at first sniff for me. I have waxed rhapsodic about it many times since I started blogging in 2009.

green gold creamGuerlain Chamade. Another beautiful green floral, but one that melts from chilly green through golden heart to creamy-yellow drydown, a transformation I like to think of as being extremely romantic. I have a decant of 1980s parfum de toilette that’s quite powdery, a bottle of 1970s eau de toilette that has deteriorated aldehydes up top but smells wonderful after ten minutes, and a cherished 2ml bottle of parfum. Gorgeous. I hear it still smells, unbelievably, like itself. Notes: aldehydes, galbanum, hyacinth, jasmine, bergamot, rose, lilac, clove, muguet, tolu balsam, peru balsam, sandalwood, amber, benzoin, vanilla, vetiver.

floral-centerpiece-04Chanel No. 19. Another chilly one, but so beautiful in its reserve. I have some vintage EdT (the new stuff is thin, I say) and recent EdP (rosier than the EdT, far less vetivery and without the hint of leather present in the old EdT). Oddly, I never liked the parfum. It’s almost too backbony for me – too much iris, I think.  Nobody does iris more thoroughly than Chanel.  Notes: neroli, green notes, bergamot, iris, narcissus, rose, muguet, vetiver, sandalwood, oakmoss, and leather.  A silvery, elegant green.

RosesPink-IrisJacomo Silences.  Another silvery green, this time with streaks of pink and cool gray-lavender.  There’s so much juicy galbanum in my bottle of parfum de toilette that it practically slaps you upside the head before trailing those silky rose-and-iris ribbons past you.  I have not smelled the EdT, but I am guessing it would be perfectly at home on a man; the PdT is a little rich and floral, perhaps, for the typical man’s usage. Notes: orange blossom, galbanum, bergamot, lemon, green notes, cassia, iris, jasmine, narcissus, hyacinth, rose, muguet, vetiver, musk, sandalwood, oakmoss, cedar and ambrette.

[The fragrance was “updated” in 2013 and rereleased as Silences Eau de Parfum Sublime. I whined about it until I smelled it, and then I changed my mind: it smells lighter than original Silences and has a more floral, less mossy character.  Notes for the updated version:  aldehydes, galbanum, blackcurrant bud, pear, rose, iris, narcissus, woodsy notes and musk.  Silences Sublime, as I like to call it, smells a great deal like the way I had expected Chanel No. 19 Poudre to smell. It is better than No. 19 Poudre, if you ask me, and worth smelling if you can get your hands on it. (New London Pharmacy has it in store and online; that’s where I got my bottle.)]

green and whiteCrown Perfumery Crown Bouquet. Green and white, that’s all. I find it spectacularly beautiful and refreshing, though you absolutely must like galbanum (it’s another smack-in-the-face with this cool green note). Sadly, this was discontinued when Clive Christian bought Crown Perfumery and then axed all its products so he could use their lovely crown-topped bottles. (Curse you, Mr. Christian. For shame.) Notes: galbanum, green notes, hyacinth, tuberose, orange blossom and gardenia. Described by Crown Perfumery as “the greenest of all green florals,” it was composed for the… um… interesting Wallis Simpson, the American divorcee for whom King Edward renounced the throne of England. The fragrance is, once past its green attack, very simple and garden-like, and I find it very lovely.

*I’m not affiliated with any commercial fragrance operation in any way. You probably already knew that.

What about you? Floral greens that you love?

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8 Responses to Five Favorite Green Perfumes for St. Patrick’s Day

  1. Tatiana says:

    Chanel No. 19 is my all time favorite green scent. I’ve never smelled either the EdP or pure perfume, though. I also love Jacomo Silences and PdN Le Temps d’une Fete. My new love is Vero Profumo Mito in the EdP or Voile d’Extrait. I find the EdP a tad bit greener, the Vd’E more creamy floral. Crown Bouquet sounds lovely. I’ll have to try and remember that one in case I stumble across it somewhere. I’m not really one to actively search for discontinued scents.

    • mals86 says:

      Chanel No. 19 was something I fell for not at first sniff, but by the second or third! The different versions do smell somewhat different although all of them are recognizably No. 19. The EdP is friendlier (my daughter bought it in the Rome airport – it’s not sold in the US in the usual Chanel outlets) and the EdT more irisy, I think. I love both.

      I didn’t love Mito – it seemed very Cristalle-ish, and I just don’t love Cristalle… well-done, just not very me.

      I think I bought my Crown Bouquet when someone… can’t remember who, maybe Flora/Donna at Perfume-Smellin’ Things… recommended it. It was at the discounters then, about $32/50ml bottle. I bought it unsniffed, loved it, and bought another as I knew it wouldn’t be made again. I doubt it’s findable now, unless by an Act of Perfume Fairy. :(

  2. Portia says:

    I love your green post, and St Patrick’s Day. Green is my favourite colour as it was my Mum’s whose birthday was on St Patrick’s Day.
    Niki de Saint Phalle is one of my favourite greens and though I know Fracas is a BWF it also feels very green and sappy through part of its life on me. 19, Chamade, Silences and LTdF are all in my collection, LTdF directly because of you.
    Do you wear your greens much outside spring & summer?
    Portia x

    • mals86 says:

      Oh, I wear my greenies all the time! Well, maybe not Crown Bouquet – that might be the lightest and springiest of these five. I do like to be seasonal and rotate my collection from the bedside cabinet to the hatbox on the dresser, but sometimes I just want to wear Chamade or LTdF or No. 19 (the EdT only in cooler weather, though, probably because it’s so TOUGH), and I’ll root through the collection to find whichever one is calling to me.

      I’m so glad LTdF made its way to you. I adore it.

  3. Sacre bleu says:

    I love Envy, and have it in both edt (more green, I think) and in edp.
    I enjoy Le Temps d’une Fete.
    I love Cristalle edt.
    When the green is crisp but not razor sharp, I am drawn to it.

    • mals86 says:

      I don’t like Envy… am not sure why. I was surprised that I didn’t like it. (Don’t remember which version, edt or edp, it was, and my sample is gone now anyway.(

      DOn’t love Cristalle either, but then it’s very citrusy and that just doesn’t do the trick for me.

  4. Totally behind here for real estate reasons, but I do love me a green perfume post!

    Chamade is the one I really feel I must smell again and the Crown Bouquet. Gorgeous perfumes both of them.
    Why not so many new greenies- are they still on the outs with consumers do you think? I mean there was the new Chloe and the Balenciaga but that was largely violets which sort of don’t count.

    • mals86 says:

      I thought the Balenciaga was boring – but then I like my greenies assertively green, and that one was just pale. Pleasant, yes. And I did like L’Eau de Chloe, but the insistently clean patchouli in it started to get to me every time I wore my sample. Gah. (Mind you, I hate dirty patch, but there’s something about that heart-patchouli note that seems screechy to me.) There was so little galbanum in No. 19 Poudre that it might as well not have had any, IMO.

      CHamade is wonderful. I don’t know why there aren’t many new greens – wonder if they are still identified with the ’70s? That’s retro-cool right now, but perfume fashions don’t seem to circle around the way clothing fashions do.

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