An excellent and refreshing citrus/herbal fragrance from the forties.
The bright citrus combination of bergamot, lemon, orange, and petitgrain is classic, here supported with an herbal array of clary sage, basil, lavender and peppermint. Dazzling in and of itself, but given some weight and warmth with the tonka bean and musk.
Simple, elegant, très sophisticated.
The closest thing to it in my experience is Borsari's Acqua Classica, which came much later in time.
Deserving of its niche in the history of men's fragrances.
With a name that conjures up images of stagnant pools and algal bloom, Green Water doesn’t sound very promising...unless, like me, you have a weakness for green notes. Green Water goes on a little rough, with minty green and lemon top notes that are oddly harsh and discordant on my nose. The citrus is acidic enough to suggest vinegar, and the mint is insufficiently rounded to avoid the impression of toothpaste or mouthwash. The powerful geranium note that emerges next adds body, but the juniper berry that comes with it sticks out like a pimple on Green Water’s face. Meanwhile, the citrus remains distractingly sharp, and the whole composition fails to cohere. In short, while it’s the kind of scent I ought to like, the execution is badly flawed. I’d venture a bet that Vincent Roubert’s 1947 original was better blended and incorporated superior materials to the Green Water Fath sells now. For a more convincing essay in mint and geranium, I suggest Dominique Ropion’s Geranium pour Monsieur for Frédéric Malle, and as a minty citrus I prefer Creed’s much more natural Sélection Verte.
This is a review for the older formula of Green Water in the more classic-looking green bottle, with a section comparing it to the latest formula in the current fancier modern style bottle.
Green Water (older formula) opens with very natural smelling spearmint supported by a gorgeous grassy herbal lemon verbena. The spearmint stays throughout the scent's limited development, but it very slowly recedes as time passes, allowing the grassy herbal lemon to take more of the starring role with the mint now in the supporting role. Hints of other light herbs and florals add further support to the two key notes but they are so well-blended it is difficult to identify them. The only identifiable base notes are a relatively well-concealed oakmoss and light musk tandem that start to peep into the late heart of the scent through the dry-down, with the spearmint reclaiming its starring role as the lemon verbena finally disappears late. Projection is below average to average and longevity is above average.
Green Water (older formula) is a great example of mint done right. It is extremely natural smelling and outside of the substantially more expensive Menthe Fraiche by Heeley you can't do better (or even as good). The mixture of the lemon verbena and spearmint works extremely well, and the oakmoss while very subtle plays a key role in supporting the scent during its later stages. Green Water (older formula) stays fresh 'till the last, and is quite the invigorating one indeed. It may be pretty minimalist and linear in its development, but Green Water (older formula) is an excellent scent and an even better value in its older formula guise, earning a strong 4 stars out of 5. A definite strong buy on this version of Green Water by Fath.
Now for a quick comparison with the current formula in the more modern clear bottle that sells for only about $25.00 a large bottle... The two formulas open very similarly, but the spearmint and lemon verbena in the older formula are just a hair more pronounced and natural smelling. Also, while completely missing from the older formula, in the current formula a musty indolic jasmine undertone just starts to peep through into the top notes, barely detectable at this point. It is the heart notes where the two scents strongly diverge... The older formula stays pretty linear, with the main change in the early heart being the spearmint and lemon verbena swap starring and support roles, but in the current release they all but disappear, being engulfed by the now very strong musty, almost moldy jasmine that dominates with just the faintest whiff of a lavender floral undertone. The dry-down is where the scents are again quite similar where the spearmint regains the focus in the current version as the musty jasmine recedes and all but finally disappears (the spearmint never left the older formula) with both scents having the oakmoss undertone support. The main difference is the oakmoss is just a tad stronger in the older formula and the current formula never completely shakes its musty undertone... Projection is below average and longevity is poor to below average in the current release.
The bottom line is the older formula is far superior to the current formula and would without hesitation be the one I'd buy (although I now own both). The current formula gets a good to very good 3 to 3.5 star out of 5 rating in its own right and for the money is an exceptional value, but the musty jasmine heart is just not the same stuff and is somewhat unnecessarily off-putting. I really do not know why the house of Fath added that in, but they should strongly consider removing it as it ruins the great minty herbal nature of the scent.
01st December, 2012 (last edited: 02nd December, 2012)
Are we all talking about the same EDT here? The Green Water I know has been around for over 60 years. It is minty but not very green and not very fresh. However, according to the Fragrantica website, there is a Green Water that was launched in 1993 and that one is really green (and no minty note is mentioned in the olfactory pyramid).
In my book, a green fragrance must have some very noticeable green notes. When I first tried Green water, I was expecting grassy notes or a hint of lime or citron. Not mint! As a rule, I don't really like mint in perfumes. To me, mint is something you put in liniments and medicinal ointments. I find Green Water (1947) musty and drab. It is not as fresh and energizing as one would expect.
However, if there is such a thing as the Green Water (1993) listed in the Fragrantica website, I suppose it could be really green and fresh (it does contain lime, green notes and oakmoss).
Top notes: Lime, green notes, mandarin orange, carrot, basil, petit grain, bergamot, lemon
Middle notes: Ginger, jasmine, lily-of-the-valley
Base notes: Amber, musk, oakmoss
Are there two versions of Green Water? If so, maybe the most recent one could have my thumbs up. Who knows?
A great refreshing green/musky scent. Not too rich, just right. It doesn't pretend to be a bold luxury product, it is, comparable to a light grassy Chablis. The drydown is soft and remains multifaceted.