When looking at the 10 colors in the Pantone 2013 Spring forecast, there is an emphasis on one certain area of the rainbow, so to say. These colors, I’ve been ignoring up to now, not because I don’t like them, I do (opposed to the dreaded Monaco Blue). It’s just that they belong to a group of colors I tend to neglect, both with perfumes and in my life in general. But no more, it’s time to tackle the GREENS! This weeks focus color has been is Tender Shoots 14-0446, a very lively chartreuse.
When just looking at Tender Shoots 14-0446, the notes I think of are tender leaves, fresh grass, maybe with a few nondescript spring flowers thrown in and tart fruits like green apples, unripe mangoes and limes. Lots of scents features those.
And as I’m currently in an experimental mood, I thought this is a good opportunity to try something different with my post format as well. I spend more time working on my blog posts than I’d like to admit. I get a kick out of feeling my language has a comfortable flow, to, as exactly as possible, catch my feelings about a scent and turning them into words. But sometimes I ask myself if I might be working to hard. So, in this post, I’m keeping my descriptions rawer and just see what happens if I resist the urge to polish things (I usually axe about 50% of what I write, today you’re getting this weeks full edition!). Please, if you have any opinions on this, let me know what you think!
Monday Feb 4:
Frederic Malle Outrageous. Starts out as a nondescript green-colored fresh-smelling cleaning product that actually doesn’t smell very good. Like ecological washing powder with too little natural scent added (price vs. how bad a smell people will tolerate). Or like biting into a green apple that you forgot tho rinse and there are traces of pesticide along with the apple taste. Why on earth would Frederic Malle put something like THIS in his portfolio? Probably because these type of anti-scents are what some people think they want and they sooner trust a cool label than their own sense of smell. I could talk about that for a long time, but I’m not getting into that discussion today! Still, this one was so bad, I couldn’t stop smelling it, again and again, just to be horrified and sit there, shaking my head. And little by little the scent opened up. At the forefront there is a very artificial green apple accord. Underneath there are orange blossoms, actually quite dirty. There is something about that fresh apple/dirty orange blossom combo, once I pinned it, that ended up rather endearing. This is exactly the type of scents that I feel my life is too short for, but color-wise it’s all Granny Smith apple green and a good match for Tender Shoots 14-0446.
DelRae Debut. Starts out with lily of the valleys, compared with Diorissimo, the eternal lily of the valley reference, these ones have more body, there might be some ginger in there? At Fragrantica people talk about getting lots of lime, but I’m not getting any. I wonder if the top notes of my sample might have evaporated? The heart is timid but has a very natural feeling and beautiful linden blossom that goes on forever and ever. Debut will be absolutely stunning in spring when the weather starts to warm up, same category as Andy Tauers Zeta – a gentle pollen-packed yellow floral. Must try again. My favourite DelRae so far and possibly full bottle worthy. Light pastel yellow, like linden blossom.
Tuesday Feb 5:
Guerlain, Sous le Vent. Chyphre perfection. Starts with a breif burst of minerals and citrus, very much like in Vero Kerns Mito, then it’s all oakmoss – for easily 16+ hours. I do not see any colors for old school cyphres like this one. The leathery and spicy ones might be brown or tan, this one (except for the start that’s Grayed Jade) I really can’t say, but I do love it very much and I’d gotten a bottle a long time ago if they were more easily available.
Estee Lauder, Pure White Linen. Tania Sanchez described this one as a green floral with a great woody muguet drydown. She was right about the drydown, it truly is beautiful. The downside is that I had to go through 4 hours of fabric softener misery in order to get there! Squeaky clean white. The only chance I’ll ever wear it again is if I sprayed it on my clothes, hid them in the closet for at least a week until the scent is far into it’s drydown. Then – maybe.
Wednesday Feb 6:
Atelier Cologne, Trèfle Pur. Within 5 minutes of putting this on, both my kids had commented on how good I smelled! It starts out lemony, the official notes say bitter oranges, but lemon is what I get. As the citruses fade Trèfle Pur turns into a whispering green meadow, full of grass, clover and trees. A good scent for work as it’s discreet and inoffensive and at the same time it keeps reminding me that the world can be very beautiful and that I shouldn’t get hung up on the petty things. Grassy green.
Balmain Vent Vert. Now this was a surprise! After work I couldn’t resist spraying some on in a store and it started out sharply green. After 5 minutes most of the sharpness was gone and what was left was a murky greenness and a faint mushroom smell. Then things got even worse as the greens started turning sour. But, then, 15 minutes later, things snapped back into focus again. Sharpness was back and fronting something similar to the hyacinth soap accord that opens MDCI Cyphre Palatin, only without the gunpowder! That, I did not see coming. Unfortunately, it couldn’t keep up with Cyphre Palatin and for the next hours the soapiness softened and mellowed until there was hardly anything left. Defies color pinning at the moment but might be a candidate for Grayed Jade. Must try again!
Chanel Cristalle Eau Verte EdT. This went on my other wrist as I was trying Vent Vert and wasn’t nearly as interesting. First lemons, then lemony magnolias, then watery magnolias. An ok, but unfortunately not very interesting. match for Pantone Lemon Zest 13-0756. When reading up on Fragrantica in retrospect, I realize I should have gone for the regular EdT and not the Eau Verte. Next time!
Thursday Feb 7:
Kerosene Wood Haven. I reached for this one as I remembered reading at Cafleurbon that it smelled like the ”magical elven forest of Lothlorien” from The Lord of the Rings. ”A green magical place where the Dark Lord cannot see or trespass”. A lovely description for a good scent, only I found it much more woody than green. First up was a medicinal, bitter wormwood note. Very dry and sobering, snapped me right awake in the morning. According to the official notes list there is no wormwood present, but there is grapefruit and a number of other woods and I think the wormwood happened as my brain bundled them all together. As the scent wore there was a melange of wood, pepper and vetivier, a lot more classic masculine than the scents I usually wear. It lead to a good discussion with my male coworkers about what scents they like. Maybe I should start doing ”Masculine Mondays”? The color I get was like unfurnished teak, left out in the sun for a long time, turning into a silvery gray. Will wear again!
And since I hosted a wine tasting later that day, no more perfume. We tried 4 wines to go with Peking Duck, and for a very brief summary, if you ever wonder about what to serve with this particular dish, for whites, there needs to be some sweetness in the wine to match the sauce – the one we liked best was a half dry Mosel (Germany) Riesling. For reds, a full bodied full on fruity California Zinfandel was great!
Friday Feb 8:
Woke up with a huge craving for Etat Libre d’Oranges Fils de Dieu, which also starts very green, with limes and coriander, before moving on into oriental rice and vanilla territory. As I’ve reviewed this one already I’m keeping things short. The intro is a very good match for Tender Shoots 14-0446, but when everything is summed up, it’s more of an off-white to me.
When leaving work I realized we had a snow storm coming on so I couldn’t resist getting some Diorissimo from a shop tester on my way home. I must say, I do enjoy wearing this! There is no choking ”freshness” making me sick in my stomach, it’s a straight forward lily of the valley soliflore, very focused and lasts a long time on my skin. For some reason (and everyone is free to disagree with me here) I feel it’s champagne colored rather than the expected lily of the valley white.
- Although Tender Shoots 14-0446 is a very spring-like color I enjoyed it very much, even though we’re in the depth on winter here. It’s cheeriness and energy, just as with Lemon Zest 13-0756 was a needed contrast to the calm and dampening snow surrounding me.
- My dayjob moved 2 weeks ago and I now work smack in the middle of Stockholm. I pass several perfume stores on my way to work every day and the two best ones are a mere 10 minutes walk away. This, and the fact that the restaurants are better, shorter time to travel to work, I get to work right next to the shops I never had time to visit before etc etc. has brought such an immense improvement to my everyday mood you wouldn’t believe it. I’m SO LUCKY!
- Green scents are not a staple in my rotation. Between the opulent orientals, florid florals and skanky drama queens, they get sadly neglected. It’s not that I have anything against them though, so I’m glad I did this week, giving them some attention, finding that I like them. We’ll see if I feel the same way after tackling Emerald and Grayed Jade…
- I had hoped that focusing on Tender Shoots 14-0446 would make me eat more greens. That did not happen.