Monday, March 3, 2008

Perfume for the Occasion : Saint Patrick’s Day

Originally celebrated mostly in areas with large and active Irish communities such as the US and Canada, as well as the UK and Ireland itself of course, Saint Patrick’s Day has, in recent years, become more and more popular: The 17th of March has become a celebrated holiday in many countries as diverse as Japan, Russia, Germany, Argentina, Denmark and South Korea.

Celebrations are, of course, themed around the color green - and as food blogs start writing about food dyes and all-green themed menus and fashion blogs start putting together green outfits in anticipation of the holiday, For the Love of Perfume and Fragrance Bouquet devote this month’s Perfume for the Occasion on wonderful green fragrances fit for the day. Considering St. Paddy’s day almost coincides with the official beginning of spring on the 19th of March, these choices should satisfy those early spring green cravings as well!

The Floral:

Cabotine by Gres: An intensely green floral, Cabotine is ultra feminine and youthfully innocent. Despite its greenness, this fragrance has a flirtatiously sweet overtone. And too, despite the fact that its scent murmurs of innocence and femininity, it is also strong and determined: Cabotine is extremely long lasting, offers powerhouse sillage and a strong, seductive trail. It garners heaps of compliments and I have noticed that men seem to be particularly attracted to it. I believe Cabotine’s ingredients must have been compromised somewhere along the line, as it seems to me that the scent is not as sparklingly stunning as it used be. Too, it seems to be a tad soapier nowadays. Having said that, this does remain a gorgeous green floral, whose many admirers (including myself) are happy to see still in production.

The Pure:

Eau de Lierre by Diptyque: Diptyque’s Eau de Lierre can be likened to a dance between a dryad and a nyad: The most beautiful, lifelike, leafy notes embracing with watery notes reminiscent of frozen, crystal clear water from the purest of untouched springs. This absolutely gorgeous scent is almost deceptively transparent. You wear it, you forget about it for a bit and then suddenly you find yourself surrounded by the most beautiful, erotic green light scent, emitting from something in your vicinity. And then you realize the scent is coming from your own skin and find yourself with your nose glued to your wrist for the rest of the day! Even though the scent does not have much of a development once on the skin, it does differ depending on who’s wearing it. This difference becomes especially apparent when smelling it on a man rather than on a woman. Eau de Lierre becomes darker, herbal and mysterious on male skin. On female skin it is fresher, sheerer, brighter, its delicate sillage dropping more than a little hint to mischievous eroticism. I love this one – it is my favorite pick for the occasion!

The Wild Child:

Wild Hunt by CB I Hate Perfume: This is one of those fragrances that make you instinctively close your eyes when you smell them. I received a little sample of this in the mail, in a carefully put together packet by a wonderful, generous reader. I do not often come across Brosius’ creations (in fact this is only the second one of his scents I’ve had the pleasure of sniffing), so I didn’t really know anything about it. Still, without any prior expectations or knowledge, I knew immediately that this was the smell of the forest and a visit to the CB I Hate Perfume website proved me right. I subsequently dabbed this on my partner’s wrist and his reaction was even wilder than my own: “Oh my God!” he exclaimed, sniffing his wrist with a bewildered expression on his face. “I used to smell like this all the time! ... That’s how I used to smell!” I looked at him quizzically. “I used to play in the forest every day when I was a kid and that’s how I used to smell when I came back home!” he explained further. I smiled broadly. He doesn’t always get the scents I proffer him right, often proclaiming that an ambery scent smells floral for example, but he definitely nailed this one. Wild Hunt is indeed the scent of the forest: Extremely earthy, green and magnificent. Leaves, freshly dug up dirt, twigs and vines... a whirlwind of scents that can evoke powerful memories. It is, an experience. Through it all I smell a bright, yellow vein, like a ray of sunshine that breaks through the thick canopy: the scent of fresh chamomile flower heads.

The Sophisticate:

Cristalle by Chanel: Utter sophistication and marvelous elegance is what Chanel’s Cristalle is all about. This magnificent Chrypre is an aristocratic, blue-blooded creature that unfortunately often finds itself in the shadow of Big Sister No. 19, which I consider inferior. Still, Cristalle never complains. Complaining is far beneath her. Stoic, elegant, beautiful and richly nuanced, Cristalle is the brightest green emerald. The development of the scent is subtle and dreamlike: every change that takes place can be likened to a feather light caress that never takes the wearer by surprise, but rather lets them embark on a journey of greens that is at once comforting and fortifying against any hardship. This is a scent for a woman that speaks with her silences, as well as her expressive, eloquent eyes, rather than with a loud demanding voice.

There are countless green scents out there and I had to deliberate quite a bit before settling for these four choices, which I tried to make as diverse as possible for your enjoyment. But what are your favorite green scents? Have you already started wearing them in anticipation of the spring weather?

Images:,, Flickr (originally uploaded by Crinity), Flickr (originally uploaded by gotigersjf)


chayaruchama said...

I go green in Ma Griffe, Crepe de Chine, Replique, # 19, Aliage, Eau de Campagne, In The Summer Kitchen.
I DO love CB's Wild Hunt !
Un Bois Sepia fills the bill, too.
Chanel's Bel Respiro would be nice- if it lasted.
There used to be Vent Vert- but I can't abide the remake- I've tried multiple times; it just smells flat, thin, and sour to me.

[BTW- check your mail ! You SHOULD be getting a package...]

tmp00 said...

You are really making me lemming that Diptyque..

Anonymous said...

Dear Divina,
Here are my spring favourites (very similar to yours!)
Chanel Cristalle - lovely, lovely!
Cabotine - I found a sweet little bottle of this cut price last year!
Diorella - my new purchase, and sort of like Cristalee, so happy.
Estee Lauder Private Collection: the epitome of elegance.
Thank you for this superb post on such a horrible cold English day.

Anonymous said...

P.S. Sorry about the typing error, I meant "like Cristalle" of course!

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love green notes in perfume; here are some of my favourite:

Annick Goutal Eau de Camille

Creed Green Valley, Selection Vert and Original Vetiver

Shiseido Tactics

Estee Lauder Private Collection

I recently smelled Iskander, by Parfum d'Empire and I think chayaruchama's description of Vent Vert fits this one too; and L'Artisan's Verte Violette on my skin is heavenly for the first 30 seconds, horribly sweet for the next 3 minutes and gone forever before I even decide to scrub it away.

Anonymous said...

D, I'm not Irish, just love your choices and like how you didived them. I loved Cabotine and Cristalle years ago, Eau de Lierre I just got acquainted with last week, very leafy green. Great choices for the Green Day.

Anonymous said...

Now Im curious about the CB scent too, it sounds so interesting! As for me I've been more into florals than greens lately. Maybe a little ol'fashioned, but i've been wearing Anais Anais


Divina said...

Chaya my dearest, as always your choices are fabulousness itself! (just like you!) Regretfully I've never smelled vintage Vent Vert and have instinctively shied away from smelling the reformulation a number of times. I wish I could smell a drop of the original, which has been described by a close friend as "indescribably raw and utterly glorious".

And guess what I got from my next door neighbour when I came home from the Uni yesterday? Your packet! I have already tried a number of things (I know I should have rationed, and tested appropriately but I just could NOT help myself) and there will be reviews coming soon!

Divina said...

Tom, I hope it won't be a disappointment! I am definitely more enamoured with Diptyque than others - it is a line that really speaks to me. So many elements speak to me of my birthplace and of memories past. There's so much summer and spring bottled in this line it just makes me delirious.

Unknown said...

I'm just really learning to appreciate green scents, so this is a very interesting list. You definately have me intrigued with Eau Lierre, Divina. Probably the greenest scents I have are DKNY Be Delicious (it turns into a very sappy green floral on me) and Body Time's Green Fig (a very green grassy sap fig, with lots of galbanum).

Divina said...

Linda my dearest your choices are wonderfully elegant and totally fit you! I would LOVE to smell Diorella on you - I have a feeling that it will really compliment you in springtime!

Big big hugs!

Divina said...

Oh, Edwardian, you brought back memories! I had completely forgotten Tactics even existed! So wonderful that you use this one. I need to see if I can find it here.

Divina said...

Dear Sabina,

so lovely to read your kind words, thank you! :) I'm very glad you enjoyed Eau de Lierre. It's not getting too much love: We need to spread the word!

Divina said...

Christine, Anais Anais was the first full bottle of perfume I ever owned. Can you believe I haven't gone back to smell it since my childhood? Thinking about it now I don't understand this behavior at all. I will revisit it one of those days. Maybe it will be good for Forget me Not?

Divina said...

Jen, I think there is a good chance that you'll like eau de lierre. It has a very beautiful musky undertone that I think you will especially appreciate!