GREEN WITH ENVY: OUR FAVOURITE SPRING SCENTS

A season imbued with new possibilities. White rail fences create a border for the blossoming pastures around, while the psithurism of the rustling leaves brings forth the promise of new awakenings. This idyllic picture is good enough to make one ache with the anticipation of warmer weather after a frosty winter. Take a stroll along the spring garden path, and embrace the scents that mimic this priceless moment suspended in time. So called “green scents” are there to make the ephemeral last, and to be enjoyed any time; we’re smitten, and want to share with you too!

Fresh, bracing, and outdoorsy, green scents are the perfect foil for springtime, as they can lend their carefree quality to both men’s and women’s sensibilities. It’s perhaps the only category of fragrances to be instinctively classified by hue; with green being pervasive in the natural world, it’s second only to blue as most people’s favourite colour. According to psychological studies, it influences our emotional state and creates feelings of serenity. And so do green smells!

Green fragrances reproduce the herbaceous quality of trees in budding laboriousness, freshly mowed grass, and verdant foliage. This category, rich in materials with a herbal, mossy, and/or cooling profile, makes our sense of smell come alive, like grass comes alive with the warm showers of springtime. It includes some of our most beloved fragrances -sometimes as refreshing as roughly snapped leaves, and other times as rich and nuanced as a sunny forest.Green shades can technically veer into two main directions: fresh or resinous.

Leaves, floral notes with green elements (lily of the valley, narcissus, hyacinth) and herbs are classified in the former (accounting for Green Florals); some citrus peel materials (bergamot, notably) and grass resins or oriental bushes (such as galbanum and patchouli, respectively) are classified in the later, accounting for Green Chypre perfumes and Aromatic Citrus fragrances.

Among our favourites, the jewel-inspired Peridoto by Omnia Profumi merges its floral components with citrus accents to open the vista to an orchard; it is the green richness of patchouli which undercuts it with shade and brings forth that exhilarating springtime feeling. Five (Bruno Fazzolari) is a great example of an aromatic green citrus fragrance with delicate wisps of herbal touches alongside neroli (the green-smelling distillate from the flowers of the bitter orange tree), which give a jolt to the rest of the composition. We love taking this outside for a daytime stroll at this time of the year.

If you want the lush and intoxicating flavour of narcissus, the blossom of springtime inspiring the mythical tale of the self-loving youth by the same name, then look no further than Fazzolari’s Au Delà - Narcisse. Here the natural absolutes of this innocuous looking, yet potently fragrant, flower are used without constraint on costs. Here the axis shifts to Floral Chypre: elegant, impossibly feminine, old school, purring with sensuousness.

Lighter spring scent is Pivoine Vert (Histoires des Parfums). Just before red overtakes green, in the blossoming phases of the peony flower, Gerald Ghislain envisioned a green floral fragrance which hides the blossom amidst ivy leaves and berries. Imagine a crisp spring morning when the sun comes out in the sky to shed good humour and optimism and you put on a light trench-coat over a pastel-coloured cotton shirt. The effect is so refreshingly good, you can almost feel the dew drops on the petals, you can almost feel the luxuriously cooling cotton on your skin.

Furthermore, straightforward materials with a green profile comprise fig leaves. The compelling fragrances inspired by the fig tree create a serene feeling of tranquillity, thanks to the soft character of the leaf which is both bitterish and lactonic, i.e. milky. Although the lactonic facet can sometimes recall coconut, turning this a bit further ahead into summertime, fig scents are nevertheless perfect for spring, as they retain the balance between bitter and sweet, without recalling suntan lotion. Here at LKNU we’re smitten with Eros Fig by Libertine Fragrance, and one could say, with a name like that, that would be natural! Fact is the tender green bits erupting under the fruity nectar are mouthwatering, making us hanker after a picnic on a plaid blanket under a majestic fig tree.Vetiver, on the other hand, is technically a woody scent, coming from an exotic root grass spreading exponentially underground. Yet because green packaging was first used for the seminal "stand alone" Vetiver fragrance (that of Carven in 1957) and all the others copied the colour scheme after it, the association of vetiver with "green" has stuck! Abel’s White Vetiver is perfect for the warmer days, because the minty top note enhances the cool note of the Haitian vetiver grass oil in the heart of the formula. Smothering with caramel makes it balanced for the mid-season between scorching sun and biting winds, and beautifully unisex.

Green fragrances can lean a bit more sophisticated too, borrowing facets from the Fougère and Chypre classification.

For the former, we explored Haxan (Parfum Prissana), inspired by dark occult ceremonies and rites of fertility, ebbing and flowing in alternate light and darkness. The inclusion of bracing galbanum, and pine needles, lend greenness and uplifting qualities. It’s a surprisingly easy to wear fragrance, given its magical proclivities. Papillon’s Dryad, on the other hand, is the more ethereal image we typically tend to associate with springtime rites. The fusion of galbanum with oakmoss (the lace-like parasitic growth on oak trees) enhances the greener elements of the domineering springtime florals -narcissus and jonquil, the latter a botanical varietal of the former with clusters of yellow flowers.

And with this piper's calling into the greening fields, we can't but dream a bit. "And a new day will dawn for those who stand long, and the forests will echo with laughter". We're catching the whispering wind before it blows away... 

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