Thursday, April 06, 2006

Green Perfumes and the Cool and Airy Trend

Remember a few posts back, I'd said that I thought Green perfumes were coming back with the 1950's-Country Western trend? Marc Jacobs fits right in with his new Splash series, 1 (Rain), 2 (Grass) and 3 (Cotton). How quaint, how simple, how COOL & AIRY! And how do these smell? As cool and airy as marine (synthetic watery) perfumes can be (though you may feel differently). I liked Grass the best, the obviously green comeback kid--nothing since GAP Grass of the '80s has anything smelled so grassy--and I might have bought it if it didn't remind me so much of another mariney Green, Donna Karan Be Delicious, which I've had for about a year and think I've worn all of twice and ended up passing onto someone else. But these new Marc Jacobs scents are easy to wear for many people and are selling well, so when you have a chance, test these out, and do Holly Hobbie and the country town of Clover proud.

Green is perfect for bridging us over from the prim and proper '50s trend to the simple and down-to-earth Country Western trend because both seem to promote the clean, virginal, traditional (in a sexless, modest or puritanical way) type of femininity. I would be interested to see if the new Men's scents will now play into the Wild Cowboy trend and be all Wild Musk and Wild Leather, perhaps? If you have any cowboy fragrance sightings to report, be sure to let us know here on Pink Manhattan!

I have friends who will not go near Green because to them they smell too old-fashioned. I happen to love Green perfumes, however, and here are some famous ones: Estee Lauder Pleasures, Aliage and Private Collection, Jessica McClintock, Bulgari Eau Parfumée au Thé Vert, Elizabeth Arden Green Tea and my favorite classics Christian Dior Diorissimo, Pierre Balmain Vent Vert and Ivoire and Chanel No.19. There are many complex perfumes that incorporate green notes within Floral, Oriental and Chypre genres such as Christian Dior Miss Dior, Estee Lauder Beautiful, Giorgio Beverly Hills and Vivienne Westwood Boudoir. The first perfume to start the Green trend was Carven Ma Griffe (1946) which became a favorite of young debutentes of the time. Greens have been popular in the '50s and '60s into the '70s but overall, they have not been as popular as Floral and therefore have not been produced as much.

I personally prefer my Greens to not be too powdery; on the other hand, if the green notes add bright lift within a composition, I adore them. Many of my favorite perfumes have green top notes such as leaves, apple, galbanum, lily-of-the-valley (muguet), cucumber or violet. I use Calla lily in my perfume, Pink Manhattan, to add freshness to my blend. Greens are sharp notes, which is why they register in our minds as "fresh". Because they're sharp, they're often seen as aggressive scents as well, which might explain why entrepreneur Coco Chanel herself loved No.19 which, although it's clean and crisp, I wouldn't call a dainty, virginal scent. All this is to say that not all Greens are alike, either. Green was also the preferred choice of gamine beauty Audrey Hepburn (sources say she loved Ivoire) and free-spirited bombshell Brigitte Bardot (Vent Vert). I'm interested these days to see where the fresh scent trend is going, since it's not the '90s anymore and the types of fresh notes that are available to perfumers have vastly upgraded with technology (similar I think to how the electronic musical instrument sounds get better, too). ~More to come~