The wearing o' the green: Chanel No. 19, Balmain Vent Vert, Puredistance Antonia.

Top o' the mornin' to you, my fragrant friends! It's Saint Patrick's Day!

                          Yes, I'm Irish.                                     via
Today, many of us wear green, pin on shamrocks, and drink green beer. Most of us don't know why (or care). I'm not going to go into a history of St. Patrick or Ireland, mostly because I'm short on time - the Guiness isn't going to tint itself.

But I will take this moment to say Happy St Patrick's Day to all. And, of course, talk about celebratory perfumes!

The way I look at it, we can choose to honor St. Patrick with perfumes scented with wool. Or tweed. Or eau de sheep. Or lager. If none of those work for you, there's always GREEN!

Here are my  favorite green perfumes:

Chanel No. 19 is not Irish, but it is very green. Made in 1971 (like me, and all other perfect things) by Henri Robert, No. 19 was the last perfume made with Coco Chanel before she died - or so the story goes.

The opening is bracing and intense green galbanum and hyacinth - almost the personification of Spring itself! Ostensibly containing bergamot, neroli, rose, ylang, jasmine, and a host of other notes, mostly all I get is that intensely green opening, some iris, and a cool leather base. The scent, for most if its wear, is light and dry and cool in a nearly powdery way. And on my skin, it lasts for ages. It's one of those scents that I'm always aware of having on; my nose never seems to forget its there.

Some consider No. 19 cold or stand-off-ish or even a bitch. Not me! It's my comfort scent. It is often what I spray on after a long, trying day. I sleep with it, and I use it when I need to find my center. I wear the modern EDT, but look forward to meeting the vintage (a yellow-green, not the acid green of today). The word on the street is that the vintage jus is even better. I don't doubt it, but I still love the current version.

Vent Vert is another galbanum-strong least at the beginning. It came before No. 19 in creation, but not in my sampling. It was the beginning of the green family of scents. Compared to No. 19, it is warm and cuddly. The opening blasts you awake and lets you know it's time to pay attention! This green is grassy and leafy. Fairly quickly, the green is joined by beautiful florals: some rose, some hyacinth, a bit of jasmine. This in turn melds into a lovely mossy woods that becomes part of your skin. It's amazing. To me, it's like walking through very green woods in the Spring. On me, Vent Vert is neither strong nor terribly billowing, though others praise its sillage. Maybe because my sample is dabbed, not sprayed?

I'm wearing an undated vintage EDT. Vent Vert has undergone at least two major reformulations and who know how many tweaks. The original was created for Balmain by Germaine Cellier in 1947. Calice Becker oversaw the relaunch of Vent Vert in 1990, which was then re-relaunched in 1999.

Antonia is the second  perfume  (of three so far) from uber-luxury Austrian brand Puredistance. At 25% perfume oil, it's pleasantly strong and long-wearing, which is nice, because if you buy the Swarovski crystal flacon for $2,870, you'll want to savor each drop! A more reasonable vial of 17.5ml is $198, and samples are a whopping $19.

But the smell? It's a bright, Spring-y green opening. Florals (jasmine, rose, ylang ylang) waft continually over a soft but persistent green base. The drydown is a green-vanilla. If Vent Vert is a walk through green woods, Antonia is a stroll through a May garden in delicious bloom.

Antonia was signed by Annie Buzantian. The scent was launched in 2010.

                                                                  Biking in The Motherland.                                                           via

What are you wearing today? (I've got No. 19 on my left arm, Vent Vert on the right ---and I haven't even had a beer yet.). Are there notable Irish scents? Do you wear green perfumes? If so, which are your favorites?


  1. I wore Chanel 19 yesterday but I forgot to put a green perfume today so I plan on fixing that with some vtg Vent Vert tonight. :)
    Happy St. Patrick's day!

  2. I'm actually wearing Chanel no. 19 today - I've been wearing rather heavy, rosy scents for quite a while and suddenly craved something green, something with a bit more brains ;-)

    I have the Eau de Parfum version - why, I really don't know, when I bought it some years ago I wasn't so much into perfumes yet and it was probably the "more of a good thing"-thinking that made me choose the EdP. Now I'm interested in trying the EdT as well. I don't find it austere. Elegant, yes. But not distant. It provides me with a kind of "it will be alright" feeling and I never second guess my fragrance choice during the day when I wear it.

    It's St. Patrick's day indeed - and my late dad's birthday - so here's to him, to Chanel no. 19 and to St. Patrick!

  3. Hi Jen! I"m also a big fan of green perfumes. Aliage by Estee Lauder has been a favorite since high school(1970's). I sampled a bottle at Ulta recently and it smelled less interesting than I remembered so I ordered a vintage version from ebay and it is wonderful!

    Givenchy III and Guerlain's Chamade are a couple of other loves. You're right on with your description of Antonia-I'm playing with a sample and think it will be a perfect scent when we're a little closer to spring here in the Pacific NW : )

  4. I wasn't original: Chanel No 19 as well. Diorella was my second choice but I didn't have time this morning to open a new bottle.

    luckyscent offers 0.7 ml sample of Antonia for $5, $20 - for the manufacturer's sample set of all 3 perfumes, 1 ml each. I haven't tried them yet but plan to do it eventually.


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