Perfumes To Usher In Spring


Spring made a brief visit to the East Coast of the USA before being chased out once again with heavy snows. Yet, my intense longing for the freshness and lightness that spring tends to bring has sought an outlet in scents that can usher in the spring. Below are some of my favourite fragrances—besides those mentioned in my earlier Fragrance of Spring article—that never fail to make me feel as if I am smelling the spring air. Or else, they seem to capture the duality and the vibrancy of this beautiful season. Of course, it does not mean that these are fragrances to be worn only in the spring. On the contrary, they are perfumes that can evoke the spring any time of the year. …

Note: there are more fragrances mentioned in my Fragrance of Spring article, the list below is an additional one.

Andrée Putman Préparation Parfumée is a quitessential creation by perfumer Olivia Giacobetti. The sheer woods are layered with a warm note of pepper, resulting in an elegant and radiant fragrance.

Annick Goutal Eau de Ciel (water from the sky) is a sheer composition of iris and rosewood. Intimate and delicate, it is one of the most uplifting fragrances, and yet it retains a certain melancholy quality that marks the evanescent spring. Another charming Annick Goutal floral is Le Chèvrefeuille. Le Chèvrefeuille is a crisp, citrusy blend of narcissus and honeysuckle, a lacy floral bouquet.

Armani Privé Eau de Jade is a classical cologne with pronounced green notes reminiscent of crushed leaves and grasses. Somehow, few perfumes work better than Eau de Jade in evoking the brilliance of new green leaves.

Christian Dior Cologne Blanche takes the idea of a classical masculine cologne and gives it a completely unexpected twist with the combination of sweet almond, vanilla and orange blossom.

Despite its name, Eau d’Italie Sienne L’Hiver evokes the brooding beauty of early spring, when snow still covers the landscape, but the first greens are beginning to appear. It combines the earthy dampness of soil, the nutty warmth of last year’s leaves and the crispness of the spring breeze. Serge Lutens Bois et Musc possesses a similar character as well—juxtaposition of warmth and freshness, with a nutty tinge of decay.

Guerlain Herba Fresca is another rejuvenating green fragrance. Mint, basil and grasses… It is the scent of a cool breeze.

Sheer yet rich, Helmut Lang Eau de Cologne, without a doubt, is one of the best musk dominant fragrances. Although marketed as a masculine, it is perfectly suitable for women. The juxtaposition of the radiance of its heart and the musky warmth of the base makes it outstanding.

Putting on Jean Patou Cocktail immediately makes me feel like a film noir actress— dry martini, subtle whispers of tobacco and a touch of lavender cologne worn by my dashing co-star. This austere chypre composition is not light hearted; therefore, the set is Paris in the spring, circa 1940s.

On the other hand, Jean Patou Vacances is the scent of spring in Provence. A perfume that brings a smile to my face and makes me feel as if something wonderful is about to happen. A gem!

Lancôme Climat is an arrangement of aldehydic sparkle and green floral notes. It is a stylized version of spring—a glossy photograph of a city on a warm April day, rather than the bucolic landscapes of Fragonard’s brush.

Ormonde Jayne Champaca is a fragrance for which I instinctively reach as soon as the weather warms up. Crisp and airy, it seems to capture the brilliant colors of spring and its effervescent character.

Robert Piguet Bandit is marked by a pronounced animalic darkness; however, its green floral accord scintillates like melting ice. There is something unforgettable in this juxtaposition. Despite its strength and intensity, Bandit manages to retain a striking and elegant beauty.

The Different Company Osmanthus is a floral with a decidedly masculine character. The delicate apricot accent is hidden under an opaque, chalky note; the jasmine redolent sweetness is toned down by the green notes. Composed in these series of contrasts, Osmanthus retains a certain lift, which sets it apart from other florals. Lacking the honeyed richness or pronounced indolic heft, it simply soars.

Photo of Audrey Hepburn from



  • juliette: Eau du Ciel was my HG in the 90’s, loved its airy etheral qualities until one day I found it too “flowery”.
    I ‘ve always been curious about Andrée Putman Préparation Parfumée, any idea where to find it?
    Serge Lutens Un Lys would be my quintessencial spring scent any time of the year. March 21, 2007 at 4:46am Reply

  • Mercedes Rey: Wonderful review, as always!!!!I would add Osmanthe Yunnan (Hermessence), Rose Ikebana (Hermessence), Mûre et Musc (L´Artisan Parfumeur),Cologne Bigarade, Angeliques sous la pluie,an many others!!! March 21, 2007 at 6:05am Reply

  • Mercedes Rey: Wonderful review, as always!!!!I would add Osmanthe Yunnan (Hermessence), Rose Ikebana (Hermessence), Mûre et Musc (L´Artisan Parfumeur),Cologne Bigarade, Angeliques sous la pluie,an many others!!! March 21, 2007 at 6:05am Reply

  • aryse: I think that most of Robert Piguet’s perfumes (disappeared, hard to find, discontinued or available) are perfumes for spring.That is true for Bandit (as you said) but also for Baghari, Cravache (fresh chypre leather), Futur (great chypre green) and Jeunesse (his ultimate perfume very light and fresh).
    In my opinion, vetiver by Guerlain (which is the symbol of dynamism) and Canoe by Dana (wonderful fougère which is the link between Fougère royale -Houbigant- and Brut by Fabergé and now Angel) are also perfect perfumes of spring.

    And, Invasion barbare, the marvellous masculine fragrance created for MDCI by Stephanie Bakouche is, for me, a perfume of spring too.It’s a complex formula where the soft and the wild, the fresh and the sensual interact with warm, precious oriental notes.

    Have you the same opinion dear Victoria ? March 21, 2007 at 6:22am Reply

  • chayaruchama: Good morning, Vika !

    We must be channeling each other, this morning…
    I’ve been opening and sniffing all of these recently, in anticipation !
    Hope all is well with you and yours… March 21, 2007 at 6:35am Reply

  • Gail S: Hah! I just re-found my bottle of AG Eau de Ciel a couple of days ago and sprayed it all over. I hadn’t worn it in several years and had almost forgotten about it. did smell nice on the 85 degree day. March 21, 2007 at 3:58am Reply

  • Elle: Knowing that you were going to do this list this morning, I came here first thing so that I could choose from your list what scent to wear today (despite this grinch like cold front that’s come in). Again, I’m left wanting to wear them all simultaneously and having to make brutal Sophie’s choice decisions. I’ve gone for Jade on one wrist, Climat on the other. I look forward to them fading out by afternoon so I can go on to a new set. If I were going to be working at home today, I’d have used my ankles to expand the number I could wear. 🙂 March 21, 2007 at 8:24am Reply

  • Katherine: I love Floris’ Malmaison as a Spring perfume – despite its clove-spiciness, it has a light, fresh mood that’s perfect for crisp sunny days before it gets too hot.

    I’m surprised not to see anything hyacinth-scented mentioned. I love their scent: I cut a single stem from my garden, and it’s scenting a whole room – glorious! March 21, 2007 at 9:01am Reply

  • Judith: What wonderful choices (both in this and the earlier article, which I missed when it came out). And I love the picture–it’s just perfect! I would add the lovely EllieD, which I have just tried; it’s beautifully springlike. March 21, 2007 at 9:21am Reply

  • aryse: That is very amusing Victoria,

    Today I am wearing Invasion barbare too 😉
    I received yesterday the small box with the 5 perfumes of MDCI.Wonderful.

    I will have really a great pleasure to read your comments about this perfume.

    Have a nice day. March 21, 2007 at 9:44am Reply

  • Robin: Great list, even if you’ve left off my beloved Diorissimo 🙂

    Nobody talks about the Andree Putman any more, which is a shame. March 21, 2007 at 10:37am Reply

  • AngelaS: You chose the perfect photo for this post! I want to change into a spring dress right now. And I love your fragrance choices. One of my favorites for spring is Chant d’Aromes, too. March 21, 2007 at 11:48am Reply

  • violetnoir: Can you believe I own only one of these fragrances you listed V? It’s Climat, and I love its green vibrancy. I had Vacances, but unfortunately I broke the bottle you sent me. 🙁 What a klutz!

    I guess Spring isn’t my favorite season…but it sounds like it’s yours. 🙂

    Hugs! March 21, 2007 at 11:50am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Gail, it does! The more I wear it, the more I am charmed by it. On this thought, Folavril is another beautiful spring fragrance. March 21, 2007 at 9:10am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Juliette, Andrée Putman Préparation Parfumée is sold at Beautyhabit,, (UK based). Very interesting fragrance.

    I agree on Un Lys, although because it is so strongly associated with the summer lilies I remember from my childhood, it always falls into the summery domain. Yet, there is some beautiful freshness and sparkle to this fragrance. March 21, 2007 at 9:12am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Mercedes, definitely! I cannot agree more. I wrote about Angeliques sous la pluie and Osmanthe Yunnan (and Jean-Claude Ellena’s creations in general) previously as fragrances that smell of spring. They are very special. March 21, 2007 at 9:13am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Aryse, I cannot agree more on Invasion Barbare! I have been planning to write about it separetely. What a beautiful fragrance! March 21, 2007 at 9:14am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Chaya, thank you! This morning I am wearing Invasion Barbare and Ambre Topkapi and thinking of tropical springs… March 21, 2007 at 9:15am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Elle, oh, I so much admire you for such planning and judicious use of space. 🙂 Beautiful choices! Now, I am curious to hear what you will wear during the second shift. March 21, 2007 at 9:17am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Katherine, I mentioned them in my article Fragrance of Spring, which I published on Monday. Hyacinth is an ultimate spring favourite. I am still sad that L’Artisan Jacinthe du Bois was discontinued. March 21, 2007 at 9:18am Reply

  • Marina: Wonderful list! I especially love Cologne Blanche, Vacances and Climat. I must finally get my hands on a big bottle of Vacances. It really is the only lilac scent I enjoy. March 21, 2007 at 9:51am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Judith, thank you! I absolutely love the photo too. It captures that sense of lightness and freshness that spring brings. March 21, 2007 at 10:44am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Aryse, I very much enjoy this line–every single fragrance speaks to me! Very special. March 21, 2007 at 10:48am Reply

  • Dushanchik: Vikochka, what a wonderful, heartwarming list! I have to share my today’s scented bliss: I’m wearing AdP Colonia aftershave gel plus Ferre’s Bergamoto Marino layered w/ Rochas Lui – I am in orange blossom heaven! 🙂 Spring is definitely in the air, and now I long for summer…
    (((Hugs))) March 21, 2007 at 3:20pm Reply

  • carmencanada: Dear V., inspired by your list, I wore Bandit today in the fierce cold that is gripping France (along with giboulées, those sudden gusts of strong wind, rain and hail…). Big mistake, somehow. I was counting on the florals that come out on my skin in the heat, and got the dreaded ashtray note. Don’t you hate when that happens? Perfumes rarely turn against me… It must be the new moon. March 21, 2007 at 3:53pm Reply

  • Heather: A wonderful list, Victoria. I am not at all a spring fragrance type. My wardrobe contains almost no florals or aldehydes. I’m much more attracted to spicy, woody, smoky scents. However, I just adore “Sha” by Alfred Sung in the spring. It was a limited edition a few years ago and it always reminds me of lilac blossoms in the rain. It’s one of my favorite going-to-bed scents, as well. March 21, 2007 at 3:58pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Marina, getting a new full bottle of Vacances is my dream. I adore that fragrance. March 21, 2007 at 12:06pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, mentioned it earlier! 😉 As for PP, I am also surprised not to hear more about it. It is a very lovely, Giacobetti-esque fragrance. March 21, 2007 at 12:08pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Angela, I love Chant d’Aromes too, although it has taken me a while to realize that the version I like is the older one. The new take on it is something bland and aldehydic. Not very interesting, to be honest. March 21, 2007 at 12:09pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, I love the smell of changing seasons in the air, which is especially obvious with spring and autumn. I do not like the heat of the summer, nor the cold of the winter. However, the romantic in me can find something to love about each new season as it is developing. My favourite season is perhaps the autumn, although the spring comes very close. March 21, 2007 at 12:10pm Reply

  • March: Showing up late to tell you how much I’ve been enjoying these spring posts, particularly in the middle of the changeable weather we’ve been having. You answered my only question already: where to get the Andree Putman? It sounds like a must-try.

    I am wearing Shiseido Inoui today and finding it very spring-like. Must be the galbanum, but I love the dirty base. 😛 March 21, 2007 at 5:53pm Reply

  • Dusan: Vika,
    my friend has managed to buy me CHERGUI and she’s coming back in a few days! Yeey! I’m so happy, jumping up and down, really an embarassing sight 🙂
    Now I have to save up quickly for ISM and Chêne by mid-April 😉
    Hugs March 21, 2007 at 6:13pm Reply

  • Karin: I wore Bigarade today…and wrote a review for my blog — it is spring here!

    I used to reach for the lily of the valley fragrances for spring growing up, but I think spring in Michigan was crisper than it is here. I tend not to reach for them so much here, though I might give it a try tomorrow. March 21, 2007 at 3:27pm Reply

  • k-amber: After reading your review, I tried Eau d’Italie Sienne L’Hiver and turned out be one of the best three scnets ’06 to me. That is foody in pleasant way and yummy on my skin! Thank you, Victoria 🙂

    I have a plan to wear OJ Champaca this spring. The fragrance is very uplifting.

    Kaori March 21, 2007 at 9:41pm Reply

  • Ina: Love your list! I particularly agree on Champaca. There’s something about it that’s 100% spring-like. I cannot wear it in any other season. March 22, 2007 at 12:12am Reply

  • Julie: If a perfume can be a soul mate, Bandit is mine (probably a Scorpio thing). Some day, I would like to smell the original, but I have bonded with the modern version. It’s leather and floral notes keep me calm during crazy work days. Osmanthus is a new one I’m trying – you’re right, it does soar, and takes my mood with it. March 23, 2007 at 9:06am Reply

  • Julie: If a perfume can be a soul mate, Bandit is mine (probably a Scorpio thing). Some day, I would like to smell the original, but I have bonded with the modern version. Its leather and floral notes keep me calm during crazy work days. Osmanthus is a new one I’m trying – you’re right, it does soar, and takes my mood with it. March 23, 2007 at 9:10am Reply

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