Green and Simple

By Jo Phillips

Perfumers speak a language not always accessible to us mere mortals, so what is meant by a green fragrance? and why do we feel this is a time to not just peek at them but celebrate them?

Firstly let us just get to the basics, remind ourselves and clarify (if you are not quite sure) what core terms are being thrown about.  There are four key groupings of perfumes; FloralOrientalWoody and Fresh  scents. These are in turn divided into three sub-groups so for the  Floral Family, the sub-groups are Floral, Soft Floral, Floral Oriental.  Orientals cover Soft Orientals Orientals and Woody Orientals, with the Woody group being Woods Mossy, Woods, and Dry Woods.  Fresh, as expected are, Citrus, Fruity,  Green and Water.

So we are in the category of Fresh, looking at the sub category of Green.  Green notes usually then mean fresh and lively and they are used to make a fragrance feel crisp and, dare we say, spiky. Often included are green leaves, tea leaves, the essence of freshly cut grass, marine plants, moss, herbs like mint and basil, and bamboo. Green notes are most commonly used in sporty fragrances and summer editions of more commercial perfumes, however Ulrich Lang  has created a green fragrance unusually for autumn called Aspu.  Now Ulrich is one of those perfumers that is always worth watching.

Why? Well because the NYC based brand created in 2002 is usually very ahead of the curve when it comes to trends in perfumes; if Ulrich Lang does green, then trust that this will become a trend in the coming few years.  However speaking to Ulrich about this launch he explained this was not  just about creating a green scent for both men and women  but creating a perfume that reflects how we as a community are feeling in the present day.  Stressed and time poor, all of us also have just too much STUFF….so this is a fragrance that reflects the needs of many; to simplify our lives, to clear out and refocus.  This is a clean green pared back smell  (not of course in composition) but a feeling that suggests a return to simpler times, or if you like, maybe the clairvoyant that is Ulrich happens to be looking in his crystal ball towards our need for a more simple life going forward. 


Ulrich Lang created the perfume line, with longtime friend, Britt Biegelsen after he had worked for L’Oreal  and the pair had worked together in the art publishing arena in New York City.  Therefore it is  no accident that the visual interpretation of the brand is always a stunning image.  Contemporary photography is part of the development and packaging of each fragrance so each new launch has a new artist to interpret the perfume visually on the box.

So for the new launch of Apsu  the eau de toilette feature artwork from New York-based photographer Matthew Porter, with the image of  a graphic palm leaf. The name APSU is a  mythological terms which roughly translates to ‘fresh water’, a  nod to the watery notes that as we know are part of the fresh group on scents.  So think of a wonderful selection of greens mixed with bergamot coriander and violet leaf representing the  rich yet light spirit of nature and water.  The middle notes consist of white tea,  jasmine, iris and  the base that finish off the scent are a  blend of white musk, frankincense and amber-like woods.

There is a warmth to this perfume; although a green fragrance, it does include wood.  This is another trend to keep an eye out for out. Many new perfumes  are a mix of  groups so it may be a  fruity will be mixed with a  woody or a floral with  say a citrus.  So as well as Ulrich with his crystal ball perfumers are becoming more and more like alchemists.

We hope by explaining  just a little of why this is an important fragrance please enjoy the shoot below on other scents that sit with in the subcategory green and simple. The shoot visually translates these perfumes’ essences  through references to nature and clean imagery.

Shot 1

Tory Burch, Jolie Fleur VerteThis ‘Pretty Green Flower’ fragrance features Mandarin Orange, Neroli, Jasmine, Lily-of-the-Valley, Green Notes, Cedar, Sandalwood and Musk

Cacharel, Noa– Tender powdery top notes of Freesia, Peach Skin, Peony and Musk lead to the floral heart of White Flowers, Ylang-Ylang and Rose. The base gives a warmer, woodsy sensation with Coffee and Incense touches. 

DKNY, Be Delicious– The fresh opening features Green Notes, Violet Leaf, Apple, Grapefruit and Magnolia. The heart brings Tuberose, Lily-of-the-Valley, Rose and Violet, while the base is Sandalwood, Amber and Musk.

Ermenegildo Zegna, Acqua di Bergamotto– This stunning Italian scent opens with sparkling notes of Citruses with dominant Bergamot while refreshing floral-herbal notes, characteristic of South Italian coast, follow after. The freshness of the composition is provided by salty notes of the sea water and sea air, making the composition a true Mediterranean touch perfect for summer.

Rituals, Eau des Indes The Citrus Aromatic fragrance features Ginger, Bergamot and White Tea.

& other stories, Moroccan Tea– Woody and Oriental, the top notes are Cardamom, Mint and Lemon; middle notes are Orange Blossom, Mate and Almond; base notes are Cedar, Sandalwood, Musk and Brown Sugar.


Shot 2

Ralph Lauren, Fresh– Introducing the wearer with zesty Mandarin Orange, Watermelon and Lemon, the fragrance gradually warms into Magnolia, Freesia and Rose.

Roberto Cavalli, Uomo This decadently concocted perfume includes Saffron and Violet before fading into a sweeter Honey, Lavender and ending with Patchouli, Cedar and Tonka Bean.

Liz Earle, Botanical Essence N*9– Top Notes:  Blackcurrant bud, Bergamot and delicately spicy Red Ginger begin the perfume which sensually ends with notes including Damask Rose, Patchouli Haitian Vetiver and Vanilla.

Calvin Klein, Deep Euphoria  Elevated and sophisticated, this fragrance is constructed with the top notes of Cascalone, Mandarin Leaf, White Pepper. The middle notes are Rose, Jasmine Sambac, Peony, Geranium before giving way to the base notes: Musk, Patchouli and Mineral Woods.


Shot 3

Comme des Garçons, Amazingreen– With top notes of Palm Tree, Green Pepper andGreen Accord, the perfume stills into Ivy, Coriander and Orris Root before exploding with notes of Gunpowder, Incense, Vetiver and White Musk.

Maison Martin Margiela, Promenade in the Gardens– With a scent reflecting its evocative name, this perfume is made up from the top notes: Freesia and Coriander with middle notes of Turkish Rose, Peony, Jasmine Sambac and base notes of Vetiver, Patchouli, Australian Sandalwood.

Maison Martin Margiela, Tea Escape–  Romantic and, yes, fresh, the top notes are Bergamot, Pink Pepper and Mint. Middle notes. Green Tea, Jasmine, Osmanthus and base notes are Rice, Mate and Milk.

Maison Martin Margiela, (Untitled)– Reinterpreting aromas of greenery after rain, the perfume is made up of the following notes: Galbanum, Bitter Orange, Musk, Boxwood, Incense and Jasmine, Virginia Cedar.

Barbour, For Him– Pink Pepper, Lavender, Patchouli, Leather make up this elegantly simple scent.



Shot 4

Chloe, Fleur de Parfum– Described as a sensual veil, this perfume begins with the top notes: Bergamot, Verbena, Grapefruit. The middle notes are Rose, Peach, Cherry Blossom, Black Current before ending with White Musk, Milky Almond.

Philosophy, Amazing Grace 20th Birthday Special Edition Beginning with Mandarin Orange, Grapefruit, Bergamot, this perfume takes you into the middle notes of Rose, Jasmine, Freesia before ending with Musk.

Ralph Lauren, RomanceThe green top notes are made up of Ginger, Chamomile, Lemon and Rose. The middle notes, Lily, Carnation, White Violet and Lotus offer a floral heart before settling into Patchouli, Oakmoss and White Musk.

English Heritage, Citrus and Basil Room Fragrance-Top notes provide a strong opening with a focus on Citrus, Grapefruit, Lime and Orange. Middle Notes: Basil, Bay and Jasmine. Base Notes: Patchouli and Wood.

Heyland and Whittle, Olive and Fig Room Mist– Effortlessly chic, this home accessory is made up the following notes: Pepper, Green Olive, Fig.

Chantecaille makes an appearance in the form of this iridescent mermaid eye colour.


Shot 5

Tom Ford, Vert de Fleur– This recently launched fragrance includes Vetiver, Galbanum as well as other floral notes.

Beaufort, Fathom V–  Beginning with notes of Earth, Green Leaves, Aquatic vibes, this perfume drifts into the middle notes: Cumlin, Lily, Black Pepper and ends with Vetiver, Moss and Salt.

Creed, Original Vetiver–  The zesty opening includes Lime, Ginger and Mandarin Orange before delicately shifting into middle notes of Iris, Haitian Vetiver and Sandalwood. Ambergris and Musk form the base notes to create a lingering animalistic aura.

Acqua Di Parma, Colonia Club Citrusy openings seem to be popular because this perfume also opens with zest; Lime, Lemon, Petitgrain, Mint, Mandarin Orange and Nerolu make up the top notes. Middle notes include: Geranium, Lavender, Galbanum and base notes once again see animalistic qualities: Haitian Vetiver, Musk, Ambergris.



Shot 6

Atkinsons, Posh on the Green– This scent, for a lady or a dandy, opens with Petitgrain and Coriander that interferes with the heart of Mint, Galbanum and Pink Geranium. The composition ends with smoky Vetiver and Cedar.

Penhaligon’s London, Blasted Bloom– The green opening with Wild Berries, Aquatic Accord and Green Leaves eventually warms into Eglantine Rose, Pink Pepper and Hawthorn before ending with Alaskan Cedarwood, Moss, Musks, Clearwood.

Berdoues, Selva do brasil This elegantly aromatic perfume includes Petitgrain, Tonka Bean and Guaiac Wood.

Merchant of Venice, Dalmatian SageThe Lemon, Grapefruit and Clary Sage make up the opening of this perfume before the middle notes take us through Pepper then settling into Cedar and Vetiver.



Shot 7

Atelier Cologne, Vétiver Fatal– Woody Aromatic, this fragrance is made up of notes such as Calabrian Bergamot, Sicilian Lemon, Bitter Orange, Tunisian Orange Blossom, Violet Leaf, Plum, Haitian Vetiver, Cedar and Agarwood (oud).

Ulrich Lang, ApsuSimple and green! Top notes: Green Leaves, Coriander, Violet Leaf and Bergamot. Middle Notes: White Tea, Jasmine, Water Lily, Pink Pepper and Iris. Base Notes: White Musk, Cedar, Amber and Olibanum.

Creed, Green Irish Tweed Described as evoking the sensation of walking through the Irish countryside, the fragrance is made up the top notes Iris, Lemon Verbena. The middle notes then take us through Violet Leaves and the base notes end with Ambergris and Mysore Sandalwood.

Penhaligon’s London, English Fern Delicate green notes make up the beginning of this perfume Geranium, Lavender. Clover forms the heart and the Base Notes are Patchouli, Sandalwood and Oakmoss.




Shot 8

Maison Martin Margiela, Flower Market– Notes of Freesia, Grass, Rose Petals, Sambac Jasmine and Tuberose form this beautifully chic scent.

Sisley Paris, Eau de Campagne– The Eau de Campagne is rich in scents of Basil, wild herbs and Lemon. The citrus notes emphasize the unique odor of Green Tomato leaves and floral scents of Jasmine, Plum, Lily of the Valley and Geranium. Lightly woody, with aromas of Oakmoss, Musk and Patchouli.

Bronnley, Wild GreenTop notes are Orange Blossom, Coriander and Bergamot in a fresh citrus opening whilst the subtle middle notes are Violet Leaf, Cardamom and Pink Pepper. Base notes are Incense, Patchouli and Leather.

Jo Malone, Basil and Neroli– top notes of Basil, which turn into a fresh floral heart of Neroli, with a base of White musk and Vetiver giving off earthy tones.

Atelier Cologne, Trèfle Pur– Notes of Bitter Orange, Cardamom, Sweet Basil, Clover, Violet Leaves, Moss, Patchouli and Musk make up this perfume like a breath of fresh air.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian, Absolue Pour le Matin– The scent of a summer morning, this perfume is contracted from Bergamot, Sicilian lemon, Moroccan White Thyme, Tunisian Neroli, Iris, Amber and Violet.



Shot 9

Diptyque Paris, L’ombre Dans L’eau–  A slightly sweeter take on green with the notes: Rose, Musk, Bergamot, Mandarin Orange, Blackcurrant and Cassis.

Olfactive Studio, Panorama – Initial refreshing Citruses, Lemon and Bergamot turn into the following middle notes: Violet Leaves, Fig leaves, Bamboo, Cardamom, Galbanum and freshly cut Grass. The central note is Wasabi, vigorous and penetrating. The base provides fresh feeling with flavors of Fir balsam, Myrrh, Patchouli, Musk and Labdanum.

Etro, PatchoulyTop notes are Orange, Artemisia and Bergamot; middle notes are Sandalwood, Rose and Geranium; base notes are Cypress, Amber, Patchouli, Vanilla, Mint and Musk.

L.T Piver, Vetiver A fresh fragrance with Vetiver, Patchouli, Nutmeg, Lavender and Green Apples.

Lola James Harper, The Rainy Days in Lake District, 7– What you see in the title is what you get; a peaceful combination of Myrrh, Labdanum and Ylang Ylang.

Lola James Harper, The Promenade in Vingennes Wood, 6–  This edition of Harper’s green scents include Green Tea, Lily and Wood elements.



Shot 10

Lalique, L’insoumis-An intense aromatic combination of Bergamot, Rum and Basil prelude to the masculine heart of Lavender, Black Pepper and Clary Sage. Ending the composition is Haitian Vetiver, Moss, Patchouli and the Clearwood Molecule.

James Healey, Verveine D’eugèneSaid to be The favourite scent of the Prince Imperial Eugène Bonaparte, son of Napoleon III, this perfume includes Bergamot, Rhubarb, Cardamon, Lemon Verbena , Blackcurrant, Jasmine and White Musk.

Byredo, La TulipeTop notes include: Freesia, Cyclamen and Rhubarb with the middle notes of Pink Tulips and the base notes, Vetiver, Blonde Woods.

Acqua di ParmaCedro di TaorminaSpicy and rich, this fragrance opens with Petitgrain, Citruses and Basil before moving into Lavender and Black Pepper and ending with Cedar, Vetiver and Labdanum.

Diptyque, PhilosykosA beautiful Fig scent that also includes hints of Coconut, Green notes and Cedar.

Thameen, Green PearlOpening the scent is a biting green note of Apple with Mandarin Orange, Neroli and Bergamot. At the heart, Green leaves part to reveal Green tea Artemisia, further animated by a dusting of Pepper. At the base, Tonk, Oakmoss and Musk.



Shot 11

Diptyque, Sapin Scented Candle Woody and citrusy, this candle also includes Mandarin to add small zest to a Winter season scent.

Heyland and Whittle, Wild Lemongrass Reed Diffuser– This home accessory gives your surroundings a crisp Lemongrass scent with peppery, green Olive notes.

Cire TrudonBalmoral–  A luxurious home scent with cut Grass, Foliages and Mint in the opening. Middle notes include Freesia, Iris, Thé and Base Notes end the experience with Musks, Pine Wood and Sap

Heyland and WhittleOrganic Alpine Soap– Scented with Aromatic and Moody notes, a ‘bracing walk through the pine forest on a frosty day’. 

Fornasetti, Giardino Segreto: Top Notes: Cypress, Ivy, Bergamot, Pink Peppercorn. Middle Notes: Cistus, Labdanum, Maquis, Thyme. Base Notes: Cedar Wood, Vetiver.

Culti Milano, Thé: A balanced and pure blend of bergamot and Japanese green Sencha tea, complemented by a note of guaiacum wood.



Shot 12

Cire Trudon, Gaspard Scented Candle– Top Notes: Blackcurrant, Bourbon Geranium. Middle Notes: Jasmine, Mandarin, Rose. Base Notes: Orange Tree, Mysore Sandalwood, Bourbon Vanilla.

Molton Brown, Fabled Juniper Berries and Lapp Pine Scented Candle Top notes of Juniper Berry, Violet and Elemi with a heart of Pine Tree, Cedarwood and Clary Sage. Base notes of Balsam, Oakmoss and Musk end a scent that wraps your home in a cozy aroma.

Culti Milano, Thé– A diffuser with extracts of Bergamotto Sencha Tea and Woods.

Lola James Harper, The Promenade in Vincennes Wood – Energised by travel, music and friendship, this eau du parfum harnesses Green Tea, Lily and Wood.

Lola James Harper, The Red Garden of Tata & Jeddo – This particular fragrance takes inspiration from two close friend’s garden, filled with exotic plants and giving off tones of Oakmoss and Carrot.



Shot 13

Shay & Blue, Pine d’Antibes Candle– The unmistakeable scent of Silver Fir and Pine Cone begin the scent before the burst of winter Snowdrops and White Pepper come in.  A smoky-soft base of Vetiver and Beeswax add a final depth as the scent reaches its base notes.

Robbie Honey, Tuberose Candle– Creamy petals exude an intense perfume that are softened with Sandalwood and Amber. 

Green & Spring, Revitalising Reed DiffuserBlends the invigorating fragrance of Peppermint with the stimulating and enriching properties of Fennel and Oakmoss.



Shot 14

Birch & Brook, Evergreen Candle– Green top notes of Fir balsam, crushed Pine and a warm, woody base of Cedar, Musk and Amber.

The White Company, Line & Bay Candle– An exciting fusion of Mandarin, Pink Grapefruit, Bergamot, Orange, Lime and Lemon is laced with Jasmine Buds, Lime Blossom, Ginger and crushed Bay Leaves. Finished with warming notes of Patchouli.

Heyland & Whittle, Olive & Fig Candle– The candle equivalent of Heyland & Whittle’s elegant reed diffuser.

The White CompanyAutumn CandleA crisp combination of fruity notes such as Pear, Quince and Apricot blended with Musk and Amber.







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