Green. An often neglected category, relegated to a bygone era of style. Green represents boundless freshness and inspiration from nature, from inky and dark sylvan themes to crunchy and bright retro hues full of herbs. Whether it’s the central aspect of a composition or an intriguing injection, green fragrances always have something impactful to say, and tend to break away from the status quo.
Find your green! No matter what you’re after - at Men’s Biz we’ve got a snapshot of greens of all sorts.
Perhaps the most popular green for men - mossy greens offer a bitter and shady edge typical of many traditional masculine fragrances. Mossy greens are the perfect staple in the perfumed wardrobe, and are especially wonderful when dressed up. There are two notes in particular responsible for this effect: oakmoss and artemisia. As the name suggests, oakmoss is a lichen that grows on oak trees, and is crucial for the moody, deep, and bitter aroma that marks classical Aromatic Fougère and Chypre fragrances. It gives fragrance incomparable length and substance, and forms an essential base note. On the other hand, the similarly bitter artemisia is a herbal and anisic green infection that serves as a top note.
For a classical application of oakmoss, look no further than to Trumper’s Eucris, which contrasts the bitter and earthy depth of the note with the celestial and pure green of lily-of-the-valley. Ultimately tempering each other in synergistic combination. The warm, glowing spice of caraway and enticing cassis rouse the senses, making way for the darkest of greens, secured on a base of sandalwood.
Etat Libre d’Orange’s Eloge du Traitre is modern masculine retro, stirring oakmoss with two further sources of bitterness: a shower of pine needles, in all of their toasty aromatic greenness, then enhanced with the savoury spiciness of bay leaf; and on the other hand the singing herbal green of artemisia. A picture of the forest in the dead of night, illuminated only with the pale and clear light of the moon. Intensely herbal, appetisingly bitter, and archetypically a very noteworthy Aromatic Fougère.
For a mossy green that dispenses of all of the retro associations, Etat Libre d’Orange’s Hermann a Mes Cotes achieves this by swapping out the old with the new in the form of clever synthetics. Most notable is ‘Geosmin’, an aromamolecule evocative of petrichor, or, freshly rained on earth, standing in for oakmoss. And then, a dose of ‘Pepperwood’ creates an aroma of slinky pepper with a present woody line running through it. A modern and dark verdant wood, Hermann is shadowy and nocturnal, a fragrance that wears like a shadow tinted green by your side…
Evocative of salubrious freshness as opposed to the inky and nocturnal, fresh greens are tonics for the perfumed soul; scented pick-me-ups. They’re refreshing, bright, and perfect for the daytime. Make note of herbal notes such as basil, mint, and wormwood (absinthe), the unmistakable citrusy green of zesty lime, and the deep earthy supporting note of patchouli.
You or Someone Like You (Etat Libre d’Orange) is like warm diffusive light on freshly cut grass, combining this distinctive aroma of green with the energetic freshness of glorious, and often tenacious, mint. This is extended with grapefruit, rose, anise, and cassis: altogether a bursting medley of immanent and triumphant clean green purity.
Similar freshness is found in Trumper’s West Indian Extract of Limes Cologne. A straight up exhilarating dose of the most exquisite and superlative quality lime essences: zesty yet tart, almost floral with flashes of complexity. Splash on abundantly, and enjoy the effervescent and ephemeral freshness.
Viride (Orto Parisi) is Latin for ‘green’, and true to the maximalist style of the house, Viride is pushed to its limits, where the characteristically herbal, zingy, and woody-inflected green bounty of rosemary, thyme, sage, mint, and aniseed are made strong, and fortified with a heavy dose of ambery musky woods. Fresh and long-lasting, Viride is a cooling and radiant woody clean with a serious side. Viride reminds us that even underneath calm purity is sublime violence and rupture. A statement fragrance.
Green is abundant in nature, and the green floral is a unique entity in the perfume lexicon. Intensely fresh, daring, and highly distinctive, the green floral has often been reserved for the uncompromising connoisseur. And even better, it’s making a comeback.
Take the first step into true green with the liminal Vetiver Dance (Tauer), which magnificently turns the typically woody smoky note of vetiver into a refreshing green wood; floral-like with its combination of the pulsating herbal green of clary sage and lily-of-the-valley, brightened with grapefruit. This is a vetiver featuring infinite brushstrokes of different greens, carefully backlit to give a mysteriously shadowy and spicy base.
For the greenest of greens, give the award winning Nuit de Bakélite (Naomi Goodsir) a go: an obsessively green tuberose - sap, stem, petal, and all made larger-than-life, then intensified with the bracingly intense green of galbanum, bitter artemisia, and peppery herbal angelica - a whirl of retro greens. This is fractured with the deep notes of leather, immortelle and styrax: drenching the composition in the heat of raw sunlight.