Scented Advent, December 13

Scented Advent, December 13

In a total change of direction, today’s Guerlain sample is a 2021 addition to “L’Art et la Matière”, Herbes Troublantes, by Thierry Wasser. Apparently, it used to be a cologne called Un Dimanche À La Campagne. This new version, an eau de parfum, is categorized as a “citrus aromatic”, and is it ever! The first word that came to my mind when I dabbed it on my wrists was “zingy”. It has a very fresh, green, bergamot-dominant opening. Luckily, I quite like bergamot; in fact, I like it a lot.

Once the bergamot fades into the background, a neroli accord appears, with unspecified “green notes.” Like bergamot, it is fresh, green, slightly bitter, aromatic, and very much a citrus note, but it also has the floral aspect of orange blossom. At this stage, Herbes Troublantes becomes softer, though it is still very aromatic in a green citrus kind of way; and if pressed to name the green herbs, I would choose lemongrass or lemon basil. The only base note identified for it is white musk, which to my nose means that it just gets softer and more reminiscent of clean linen. The overall impression I get from Herbes Troublantes is that of a citrusy herb, perhaps like lemongrass or even citronella (the plant, not the oil). It’s very pleasant and I think I would like it on my husband.

Clumps of green lemongrass
Clumps of lemongrass; image from Rural Sprout.

The name of this fragrance is intriguing: it means “disturbing grasses (or herbs)”. Really, there’s nothing disturbing at all about Herbes Troublantes. It succeeds in its goal of capturing the spirit of a cologne, in eau de parfum concentration. It lasts longer than a cologne, of course, but I don’t think it lasts as long as other scents in the collection.

What do you think of the idea of evoking a cologne in an eau de parfum? Wasn’t that the whole concept behind Atelier Cologne? now sadly no longer distributed in North America although one can still find it to buy online.

Perfume Chat Room, October 28

Perfume Chat Room, October 28

Welcome to the weekly Perfume Chat Room, perfumistas! I envision this chat room as a weekly drop-in spot online, where readers may ask questions, suggest fragrances, tell others their SOTD, comment on new releases or old favorites, and respond to each other. The perennial theme is fragrance, but we can interpret that broadly. This is meant to be a kind space, so please try not to give or take offense, and let’s all agree to disagree when opinions differ. In fragrance as in life, your mileage may vary! YMMV.

Today is NOT Friday, October 28, because I am a day late in posting! We have just wrapped up a week-long visit to New Hampshire, to see my father-in-law who will turn 92 next month. He is doing well, sharp as ever, and we’ve had a lovely week spending every afternoon with him, going right after lunch and staying until his dinner arrives. We’ve enjoyed a week spent in the gorgeous New England fall, though the fall foliage was just past its peak. The reddest leaves tend to fall earliest, from the maples, but there was still plenty of breathtaking orange, gold, yellow and brown to admire. We went on some good walks including a lakeside trail that follows the shoreline and an old railway track.

And of course, I’ve enjoyed smelling the fresh New England fall air, which to my nose is a blend of wet leaves, soil, pine and balsam, damp moss, ferns, chrysanthemums, and lake (I would include sea water if we were on the coast). Probably some petrichor too, as we had a few showers this week.

Rainbow over New England lake

I’ve also been enjoying some of the Guerlain samples I was sent with my order from the Guerlain boutique in Las Vegas. A few I’ve really liked: Oeillet Pourpre, Herbes Troublantes, and Frenchy Lavande. They blend well with the fall air. I like Oeillet Pourpre very much, but I don’t think it is significanty better, to my nose, than L’Artisan’s Oeillet Sauvage, which I love. I might prefer it slightly to Lutens’ Vitriol d’Oeillet, which I also like very much.

I can’t believe that Halloween is upon us! Do you have any special Halloween plans or traditions? Ours, to the detriment of our waistlines, is that I go out and buy far too much candy in hopes of many little trick-or-treaters, then we don’t get as many as I had hoped, and we “have to” eat all the candy. I’m trying to do better this year!