Perfume Directory

Bowling Green (1986)
by Geoffrey Beene


Bowling Green information

Year of Launch1986
Average Rating
(based on 157 votes)

People and companies

HouseGeoffrey Beene
Parent CompanyRevlon Inc > Elizabeth Arden Inc
Parent Company at launchElf Aquitaine > Sanofi Beauté

About Bowling Green

Bowling Green is a masculine fragrance by Geoffrey Beene. The scent was launched in 1986

Bowling Green fragrance notes

Reviews of Bowling Green

Bowling Green was a long-awaited follow-up to Grey Flannel (1975), and like it's predecessor, was a very verdant and herbaceous scent that went against the grain of most musky, mossy, and animalic scents which proved to be the apex predators of the masculine fragrance scene. However, this unique anti-establishment theme did not impart the same level of success as Grey Flannel, and eventually led to Bowling Green's discontinuation. It was revived once by EA Fragrances when they acquired the Beene portfolio, then retired again, yet this is always so highly-rated by critics and collectors in spite of it's long track record of commercial failure. I feel Eau de Grey Flannel (1996) was an intended replacement since it too was rather light and herbaceous as well, but also faltered in sales, leaving only the original Grey Flannel as the continuing Geoffrey Beene masculine. What happened? It's hard to say because all the masculines from this house are good for what they tried to be, but I guess lightning doesn't strike twice. On it's own merit, Bowling Green is exactly as it sounds: an extremely green and fresh fragrance, almost a revival of green chypres from the early 70's but in male form, a la Aramis 900 (1973) minus the rose and jasmine indole.

Bowling green opens with a brutally sharp bergamot to let you know it's still from 1986, but afterward, a very high-quality lemon verbena note that gets compared to Creed Green Irish Tweed (1985) appears, but this doesn't stay in "GIT Territory" for long and soon moves through basil and juniper before hitting the pine forest middle. I compare the next phase of this slightly to Pino Silvestri (1955) but only in it's use of prickly pine needles in the scent. The pine is not dominant here, as it has to sit alongside lavender, artemisia, cinnamon, and cardamom. There is a jasmine here, but it's fresher than the indolic variety of Aramis 900, reminding me of the jasmine "ghost note" from Grey Flannel, but as an actual ingredient rather than just implied. The base is fairly light and free of the usual crotch funk animalics popular by the mid 80's, giving it a finish similar to Drakkar Noir (1982) but without the gray scale monochrome drab aura of that cufflinks-and-tie scent. Patchouli, oakmoss, cedar, amber, sandalwood, and balsam fir take this back into the garden grove of the opening, ending in a dry crispness and subtle woodsy warmth that underpins all the citrus and coniferous freshness of the opening. Bowling Green isn't quite "aquatic fresh" but holds up lightyears better under the modern "simple and clean" mindset than the bulk of it's 80's ilk. I'd say this stuff rests somewhere between an 80's sport scent (before sporty meant mimicking deodorant), and a 90's "freshie" with a slight throwback to the antique eau de colognes in it's opening.

Bowling Green probably just didn't have the sophisticated charm to accompany it's theme like Grey Flannel, which was far more daring as a male floral chypre in an age of aromatic fougères anyway, whereas Bowling Green was more like a simple green herbal chypre flying in the face of neon-lit testosterone powerhouses. It definitely doesn't have the galbanum bite of stuff like Aramis Devin (1978), but Bowling Green is a rare breed of bitter green regardless of preferred decade, and the perfect spring/early summer scent, when the air is just warm enough to carry it aloft. Unfortunately, this stuff doesn't have the power for colder weather and is too casual/simple for office use, but those who often work (or play) outside during pleasant times of year might find it appealing. If you want a good, unassuming green scent for warm weather days when you don't want your scent trail to make a "statement", then you can't do much better than Bowling Green. Quite a shame this stuff never really got it's due, but for the price, this is an easy blind buy, especially for the guy who loves outdoorsy chypres hut finds the flower power of Geoffrey Beene's masculine debut a bit too challenging. If there is any criticism here, it's in the sillage and longevity, but for these prices, you can just spray on more throughout the day!
30th March, 2018
Mind blowing stuff, really. This had to have been inspired by Green Irish Tweed.

I am amazed that something like this isn't as loved as something like Fahrenheit. Although they are so very different, they both present that classic aura, they bring you back to the 80s, but they are both still very modern.

Bowling Green opens up with an amazing lemon verbena note, I mean, breathtaking, vibrant, uplifting, even better than the lemon verbena top note in Green Irish Tweed, which is hard to top. It blends smoothly with a noticeable bergamot. About 10 minutes in, the bergamot fades, the lemon verbena remains strong, and it becomes more herbal, and green. The pine note is excellent, it's not modern, but it's not dated, it fits in well. As it dries, it becomes more lavender heavy.

Unfortunately toward the 2 hour mark, the beauty starts to fall apart. Not to say it's bad, because it's still good, but not great. The base smells sort of cheap. It's hard to tell what I am even smelling at this point. A somewhat wet mossy, musky, floral. It kind of incorporates pieces of Grey Flannel, only much much lighter.

The first 2 hours are gorgeous. Even younger guys will probably love this. Don't be biased and dismiss a fragrance for its age. If this was remarketed and redone today, with a different label, I guarantee people would talk about what a modern classic this will be.

We are fortunate that Geoffrey Beene either brought this back out of discontinuation, or somebody found a massive stockpile of this somewhere and they've been selling all over the internet for $15-20 bucks for a 4 oz bottle. One of the best bang for your bucks out there. I have not smelled the original, and I am sure it's been reformulated just like everything else has, so I can't say how this used to be. I can say how it is now, and it is excellent!
24th May, 2017
For an inexpensive juice, Bowling Green impresses. Snappy summer barbershop with bergamot, flawed only by its quick fade like Eau de Grey Flannel. It simmers down to a pachouli base; I don't love that element, it's OK. This would make a splendid Vacation favorite during a month at the Cape.
16th March, 2017 (last edited: 30th March, 2017)
Not the one in the picture, this is the original Sanofi one with a little cloth tied round the cap.

It's different, evidently. I get a little citrus and it's spicy and green but the pale sweet fruity core - that runs all the way down - smells like pear. And that makes it a little ... flaccid.

Pear fougère. Nice but not outstanding.

30th August, 2016 (last edited: 14th September, 2017)
ad_scott Show all reviews
United Kingdom
This is a remarkable scent. On first sniff it is Drakkar Noir's cousin, however I prefer Bowling Green as it's more natural, calm and classy than its kinsman. I don't mind Drakkar Noir but I found it too stout and more on the artificial side.

The name of Bowling Green fits well with the scent - it's different tones of green grass and trees which are taken care of by a greenkeeper. EDT is sturdy in projection, sillage and longevity.

Remindful of the putting green at the golf club after a little rain in spring time. Fresh lemon in the opening then it calms to pine and fir. It's different greens all the way through, like a lavish golf course or a graceful landscape; not any woods really, just greens. Bowling Green is a classic, every gentleman/fragrance collector should own it.
11th March, 2016
Oviatt Show all reviews
United States
So aptly named, this is a stroll along an herbaceous border in an English garden, the freshly cut grass clinging to your shoes. This is all about freshness and being out of doors as opposed to the urban, indoors refinement of the monumental Grey Flannel. This never found its market the way that Grey Flannel did and--as often happens with sophomore efforts--it was fairly quickly sidelined. For many years I kept a bottle of this in my shaving kit, so I associate it with travel to fun places. One of my travels took me to stay in a house in the English countryside and when I came down in the morning, my hostess couldn't get over how good I smelled--she told me that she wore Vent Vert and that my cologne smelled like a manly version of the Balmain perfume.
11th August, 2015

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