Verge; Viper Green

By Jo Phillips

Viper green? the a colour of a Porsche? a newly found snake? No its a divine new fragrance from the Ex-Nihilo team.

Ex Nihilo (meaning out of nothing) the Paris based perfume house known for tapping into the ideals of the very spirit from the hey-days of French perfume making, yet taking them forward into this modern world of niche scents. The brand’s collection is already made up on 20 fragrances with the newest being the superb Viper Green.  As sexy and vibrant as the name sounds it truly lives up to its label.  A perfume that is as dangerous as a viper and as fresh as green plants, which makes for a heady combination, and one that is as unisex as any perfume can be. So what makes it up?  What makes it both sexy and green so that is concludes into such a powerful perfume?

It starts at the top with Galbanum, Angelica root and  Green Mandarin.

Galbanum is a popular ingredient used in fragrance. A bitter aromatic gum resin extracted from types of Asiatic plant species, often used as a base in Chypre style fragrances.  It is intensely  green with a woody edge  think forrest green, rich, deep and with a spicy edge. Alongside the Galbanum is Angelica root . When used in perfume it usually refers to the dried root of Angelica Archangelica. A musky scent with hints of spice, green and wood but more commonly known outside perfumery  for its candied stalked used in patisserie.  Then there is the Green Mandarin. An essential cold pressed oil from the peel of the unripe green fruits. It is tangy and fresh, yet has slightly bitter, citrus undertones.

These top notes make for the initial sweet green, spicy yet crisp hit, and following on the middle notes are made up of  Sambac Jasmine absolute, Iris absolute and  Rosyfolia.

Jasmine is considered one of the most important oils used in perfumery (probably only second to the Rose)  and is intensely floral scent, warm with undertones of fruit and tea.   But  Jasmine Sambac is slightly greener  and so pairs perfectly with other green notes but still holds its remarkable ‘gush of floral’. It is synonyms with romance, temptation and passion.   Next the Iris.  The Iris process starts with the rhizomes/roots that are known as orris roots. These are collected, washed, with the surface layer removed, cured and stored for as long as 4 years.  The scent is sweet, powdery, woody with a slight violet edge. And finally in the middle is Rosyfolia, a synthetic  molecule  created by Givaudan in 2016.  A fresh, diffusive rosy, muguet smell; its  application brings new facets to much used floral notes.

And so to the base Vetiver from Haiti, Patchouli from Indonesia, Powdery accord.

Vetiver is a tropical grass, with its oil being extracted from the roots; its woody earthy,  smoky, slightly sweet and has been used in fragrance for centuries, especially traditionally in mens perfumes and pomades.  Most Vetiver now comes form the Caribbean island of Haiti.  Then comes the  heavy and strong scent of patchouli that has been used for centuries in perfumes and comes from the mint family of plants . The oil is a strong and  intoxicating; dark, musky-earthy, its been compared to wet soil, but with a sweet tinge. Finally  the powdery accord is as it sounds, soft, cloudy, hazy, cotton and comforting.



The bottle is the same shape as all of the bottle across the brand but it styled slightly to represent the  very heart of the fragrance with a snakeskin-like texture on the cap of the bottle, with a fresh green colour of the fragrance that shines through the glass body hinting at its allure and its danger. This is a fragrance that will arouse desire; its addictive passionate and sexy, so perfect for the mood of a femme fatale or a Casanova, or just for when you feel in the mood (or not) for something fresh, daring yet comforting. A wonderful new accent to the world of green fragrances.



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