Green & Galbanum: 40 posts

Hermes Eau de Narcisse Bleu and Eau de Mandarine Ambree : Perfume Reviews

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When I reviewed Annick Goutal colognes recently, I mentioned that the trio would be great for those who are new to this fresh citrusy genre. The Hermès cologne collection would be my other recommendation. You can have a cologne flight starting from the champagne dryness of Eau d’Orange Verte and continuing with the white wine effervescence of Eau de Pamplemousse Rose. If you’re ready to try something more challenging, Eau de Gentiane Blanche offers a cocktail of green peppers and milky sap oozing from dandelions.

hermes-cologne

With Eau de Narcisse Bleu and Eau de Mandarine Ambrée having recently joined the collection, you have even more interesting choices. The fragrances round out Hermès’s cologne offerings with the elegant interpretation of spring flowers and sweet citrus. Both fragrances are polished and refined in a way that is typical of most fragrances by Jean-Claude Ellena, and either would be equally suited to both men and women.

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Ann Gerard Perle de Mousse : Perfume Review

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When I first smelled Ann Gérard Perle de Mousse last year on a cold winter day, this delicate perfume didn’t seem quite right. Its sun-dappled demeanor needed a white seersucker dress, a picnic basket, and a mild spring breeze. In other words, it felt like a perfect warm weather fragrance that could be both casual and elegant, a rare combination.

Monet-Springtime

Perle de Mousse was created by perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour for the jeweler Ann Gérard, whose warm Cuir de Nacre would tide me over while I waited for spring to come. (Ciel d’Opale is the only fragrance  from the trio that didn’t move me.) Though it’s already March, we still get the occasional snow fall here in Belgium; yet, the sun becomes more generous, prompting the freckles to bloom on my cheeks. It’s now time for Perle de Mousse.

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Jean-Louis Scherrer Original : Perfume Review (New and Vintage)

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Jean-Louis Scherrer is one of the hidden classical gems. In the US, you might have to search for it at the discount shops, but the Europeans can easily find it at most perfumeries where it sits someplace between Ralph Lauren and Stella McCartney on the alphabetically organized  shelves. The tall oblong bottle filled with pale green liquid is not flashy, and the first whiff of the perfume doesn’t reveal anything extraordinary–leafy and peppery, with an unmistakable  wet earth note that you find in many classical green perfumes. It takes a few moments for Scherrer to weave its spell.

jean-louis-scherrer

Classical is the best way to describe Jean-Louis Scherrer, because it’s a perfumed time capsule. Taking a deep breath of this green, earthy perfume is like stepping back three or even four decades. They don’t make them like this anymore. Scherrer was launched in 1979 by a French couturier who dressed women like Françoise Sagan, Jackie Kennedy, and Claudia Cardinale. Shortly thereafter, he added Scherrer 2 and Nuits Indiennes (now discontinued) to the collection.

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Hermes Jour d’Hermes : Perfume Review

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It might seem strange to wear a gauzy floral perfume during the first weeks of winter, when warm, rich scents might seem more appropriate. But Jour d’Hermès has so much radiance that it lights up the darkest of days, and this trait, along with a coquettish playfulness, is what caught my attention. It’s the latest addition to the Hermès fragrance collection, and like many recent launches, it was created by perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena.

Jour d’Hermès has the weightless presence, brightness and luminosity of Ellena’s other fragrances. It’s a delicate vignette of floral notes that unravels into the drydown of musk. The description may not seem exciting, and it’s true that Jour d’Hermès doesn’t have the opulence or drama that you might find in say, a Serge Lutens composition. But despite its understated presence, it has so many facets that it’s exciting to wear. It’s also an uplifting and happy perfume, as if Ellena infused the liquid with some of the Mediterranean sunshine.

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Balenciaga Florabotanica : Perfume Review

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Wishing that all of my US friends stay safe, dry and prepared as the storm approaches! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that everything will be ok. I’m thinking about you!

Florabotanica is a good illustration of where most big brands, even those that start out with good intentions, end up as they chase market success. The first launch by Balenciaga, Balenciaga Paris, was a transparent violet leaf composition that wouldn’t be out of place in the L’Artisan Parfumeur collection. Not surprisingly, it didn’t take off that well. People need time to appreciate something unfamiliar, and the only way to do this is to support the brand and spend resources on educating the staff. In other words, you need time, money, and some new marketing tactics, all of which are in short supply at most fragrance houses today.

So, after the perfunctory flanker to Balenciaga Paris, L’Essence, we  have Florabotanica. It was composed by perfumers Olivier Polge (who also created Balenciaga Paris) and Jean-Christophe Hérault. The inspiration behind Florabotanica is described by Balenciaga as “not just a pretty flower, but a pretty dangerous flower.” This time Balenciaga took no risks. If you find transparent roses dangerous, then yes, I suppose that Florabotanica is right on the mark. I found it just pretty and meek.

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