I'm giving a thumbs up to the modern Greenbriar. It's really quite nice.
It's got that effect that happens when you add leafy vetiver to neroli and it creates a grassy green aroma that's simultaneously fresh and citrusy (the best known example of this is probably Mugler Cologne). It then places this in an aquatic setting that reminds me of CK One or Chez Bond, in place of the lemon and bergamot these types of scents usually use. The end result is pretty brilliant. You get the modern aquatic freshness with the questionable stuff taken out and replaced by grassy green citrus. No stupid metal smells or fusty violet leaf or dumb melon, just a perfect coming together of two forms of freshness.
My only small complaint is that, especially after a few hours, the grassy neroli mixing with the soapy undertones of the aquatic bits does smell like a fancy version of Irish Spring soap. I would have preferred some Creed-esque ambrox or something in the base to keep things rich, but I guess that's the trade-off you have to expect from a scent that often sells for twenty-something dollars. Personally, I like the Irish Spring smell and don't consider it a problem. In fact, if I ever use up my bottle of Chez Bond, I'd seriously consider replacing it with Greenbriar.
I bought it several years ago, but I remember it didn't match with my taste. A sharp and strong mix of herbal effects, but I felt it was terribly unfit for my skin. I do like herbal fragrances, but this one was very heavy and not harmonious. I guess it's the classical EdT you can love or hate, without half-ways. Surely I did not love it at all.
14th October, 2012 (last edited: 27th October, 2012)
My bottle of Greenbriar must be the original formulation, because it smells nothing like Cool Water. Nor was "ozone" (listed on the current packaging) in common use in perfumery in 1984, when Greenbriar was introduced . What it DOES smell like is a much-diluted version of Polo's top and middle notes --- the opening is fresh and green but with an ambery-woody undertone. Instead of Polo's rich tobacco-leather-patchouli base, Greenbriar's drydown is a subtle. smooth, somewhat sweet amber accord that keeps the greens going. It's somewhat reminiscent of Halston 1-12 or Grey Flannel, but softer and more subtle.
Overall, it's quite pleasant, but not nearly as distinctive or long-lasting as one would expect from an 80's fragrance, especially one in the lineage of Polo.
Well, Shamu said it very nicely: Cool Water meets Irish Spring.
An endearingly modest fragrance from Caswell-Massey. The 1930s golfer on the box, the beautiful green-glass bottle and the printed claims of CM's ancient history lead you to think you're getting something very traditional. The presence of "ozone" and the fact that the frag is about one degree off from Cool Water dash that particular hope.
That said it's really quite a nice fragrance - I find it smoother and better-blended than the current hectic formulation of Cool Water, and it's quite inexpensive. A likeable cheapie. I don't know if I'll be buying a bottle, but I would take this over Cool Water any day.
It's a good thing I often revisit fragrances I've hated, because I'd be missing out on a lot of good scents. After getting Greenbriar shaving soap recently and liking the way it smelled, I decided to try the the EDT again. I have to revise my review, because this is good.
If leprachauns wore cologne, they'd probably wear Greenbriar. It may not be the most natural smelling fragrance, but it's one of the greenest I've ever smelled. It crertainly does resemble Cool Water and Aspen at first; in fact, for the first 15 minutes I'd say the three are just about identical. Where Greenbriar marks it its own territory is in the drydown, which is smells very much like Irish Spring soap, only softer and without the astringency of soap, thankfully. I do not detect any patchouli, amber or labdanum in this, nor any silly things like ozone; in fact Greenbriar smells much greener than the note pyramid would suggest, and I'm reviewing the current formulation of this. It smells clean, warm, smooth, well balanced, and most importantly - GREEN!
I can't say I prefer Greenbriar over other green marvels like Wild Fern, Pino Silvestre or Acqua di Selva, but this is a very good, solidly made fougere that is suitable for all times of year, on any occasion. I'm glad I revisited Greenbriar. Thumbs up from me now.
MY RATING: 8/10
20th September, 2010 (last edited: 20th December, 2010)