Review: Jacques Fath Green Water — 4.0 points

Eau de cologne is a family of fragrances which are very widespread and well-known so much so that we know this summer staple by heart. From cool citrus and herbs to warm woody, ambery note — you know how it unfolds and what to expect. Its seems that nothing more could be done to improve upon this universally beloved harmony.

But when that happens, it offers a pleasant surprise. Such is the case with Green Water (2015), which was re-launched along with the revival of Jacques Fath brand. Reportedly, perfumer Cécile Zarokian set about bringing back the spirit of Green Water by frequently visiting the perfume archive Osmothèque to smell the original 1946 formula of perfumer Vincent Roubert. As she could not bring back a sample for analysis, she worked closely with perfumer and founder of Osmothèque, Jean Kerléo, who also happened to be privy to the formula. Whether the result is close to the original, I cannot say simply because I have not smelled the original. But, I can surely say that the re-launched composition makes me re-think the possibilities eaux de cologne have to offer.

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That Green Water is an eau de cologne is no doubt, but it is in the special accent and restraint that set this eau de cologne apart from its brethren. The first spritz is of fresh citrus and neroli, and these hesperidic notes are accompanied by a lot of sweet mint and its coolness. This gives Green Water a unique refreshing effect. Next is a subdued orange blossom that lends a subtle but persistent floral touch. And, typical of classical eaux de cologne, a sprinkle of herbs and spices, such as basil, tarragon, and a cuminic note, imparts an agrestic accent. Everything is rendered with such softness and balance it feels elegant.

The cool citrus and herbs are classically paired with the warm rough-hewn notes. A grapefruit-like vetiver note reciprocates the citrusy idea of Green Water and remains until the dry down. It is complimented by mossy and ambery notes that gives a nostalgic vibe of an old-school eau de cologne.

All of this elegant transformation happens subtly and close to skin. That being said, the only complaint I have against Green Water is its extremely fleeting and quiet nature. I have at most an hour of wear before the show is over. But while it lasts, I revel in its layered complexity and subtleties, from the refined citrus, mint, neroli, and herbs to the warm mossy vetiver. I imagine old-fashioned glamour rendered with a soft touch. Now, a copious splash from the 200-millilitre flacon might just be the volume one needs.

Source: spirale-rp.fr

 

Review: James Heeley Vetiver Véritas — 3.5 points

Vetiver Véritas (Heeley, 2014) may be spelling out ‘V-E-T-I-V-E-R’ true to its name, but it does not attempt anything beyond the boundaries of a nice vetiver. I like it, but I cannot find much to be excited in the composition, except for its very good vetiver material and a cool minty contrast.

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The minty opening gives a cool sensation that has an interesting promise. Then, Haitian vetiver comes forth with all of its beautiful and ugly hues. It showcases the raw facets of vetiver: woody, earthy, nutty roots with a sharp note reminiscent of the bitterness of grapefruit.

I find that its vetiver is certainly good, but in comparing Vetiver Véritas with other counterparts, it feels somewhat lacking. It lacks the depth of orchestration of Vétiver from Guerlain (1959). Neither does it possess the polish of the monolithic inky roots of Encre Noir (Lalique, 2006). And, even if its grapefruit facet in the dry down is somewhat reminiscent of Sel de Vétiver (The Different Company, 2006), Vetiver Véritas is never quite as daring because it does not aspire to more than a few embellishments.

I have lamented sometimes that it could have gone with more than a tweak in the minty top. I might just as well mix mint oil and vetiver oil. Nevertheless, I think this is quality material, and vetiver fiends will be pleased with both its cool sensation in the opening and the rich nuances of its vetiver.

Source: jamesheeley.com

Review: Hermès Eau d’Orange Verte — 5.0 points

The classical eau de cologne revolves around essences of citrus and herbs. It is a popular style of perfume because it is bright, fresh, and vivacious. Its ebullience is imminently attractive, and I would be hard-pressed to find one who dislikes such a jovial personality. But when the next perfume of this style is just another happy citrus, it is somewhat anti-climactic. It may smell good, but the excitement or the unexpected is no longer there because the character of its classical citrusy blend has been diluted.

Therefore, it is a challenge to execute an original composition of this genre. It must possess the simplicity of freshness, but also be compelling. Such combination is what gives Eau d’Orange Verte (Hermès, 1979) a strong character.

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Created by perfumer Françoise Caron, it had been known as ‘Eau de Cologne d’Hermès’ before being re-named in 1997. Its classical freshness is a well-blended mélange of citrus: bergamot, lemon, and petitgrain. Its verdant accent recalls citrus leaves and twigs. The cooling touch of crushed mint and the fruity blackcurrant buds give a chic twist to what would otherwise be an astringent eau de cologne.

Towards the dry down, Eau d’Orange Verte is still fresh with lasting green and fruity notes. It leaves a fresh trace on skin, keeping me entertained throughout. And when set against the dusky notes of oakmoss and slightly powdery musk, the composition acquires a vivid contrast. Such bold pairing of citrus and woods is reminiscent of Pour Monsieur (Chanel, 1955), another classic citrus chypre, but the character here is marked by a crisp green accent.

With such a distinctive personality, Eau d’Orange Verte stands out amongst the brethren of citrus blends. Its marriage of green citrus and mossy woods creates a fresh and vibrant original composition. A citrus cologne par excellence, it is simple, yet memorable.

A note on reformulation: The current version, which is a re-formulation by perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena, also preserves the green citrus, but softens the contrast by tuning down the mossy notes. The result is more rounded but still excellent. It feels spontaneous and elegant.

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A note on the deodorant and shower gel: For a more prolonged experience, there is the shower gel and deodorant stick. Both have the same bitter-green impression that leaves residual freshness, but without the mossy chypre. I think they would make a nice gift together with the eau de cologne.

Source: usa.hermes.com