I’ve got to hand it to Heeley for consistency. At this point I’ve tried nearly the entire range, and except for Cardinal, (which I am alone in finding rather bland in its straightforward approach to frankincense,) every entry has smelled not only of fine ingredients but of a distinctive, yet never gimmicky, approach to composition. All have been at once stimulating and delightfully easy to wear. Verveine d'Eugène is no exception, my only disappointment being that it’s taken me so long to get around to trying it.
Lemon verbena does not smell precisely like lemon, nor does Heeley’s Verveine d'Eugène smell literally of lemon verbena. Instead, Heeley has wisely chosen to suggest an idea of lemon verbena – of an herb that impersonates/approximates a citrus. The method? A clever blend of intensely green herbaceous notes, including basil, thyme, and bitterly astringent tomato leaf, with an extremely tart citrus. The opening accord is a real kick and the pants – the kind of thing that seems revolting one moment, perversely compelling the next. Think Czech & Speake’s Citrus Paradisi or Maître Parfumeur et Gantier’s Jardin du Nil for examples of similarly disturbing/alluring effects.
The balance shifts from puzzling and provocative to unambiguously pleasant as the supporting clean musk, soft floral notes, and mellow woods slide into place beneath the green citrus accord. The result is bright, brisk, and refreshing, with a peculiar savory – almost saline – quality that I’ve experienced in few other scents. (Heeley’s own Sel Marin and Diptyque’s late, great Virgilio among them.) The full effect is fleeting, as might be expected of something based largely on citrus, but it’s great fun for the hour or two that it lasts. The clean musk and wood skin scent that remains as a drydown is pleasantly smooth, but far less interesting than the effervescent green citrus phase. That part pleases me enough to reapply often.
Verveine opens with a splash of zesty, juicy green notes, tart and fruity, with a humid, earthy-hay note and an accord of "vegetable", dense, tasty, almost rural and somehow edible notes (the rhubharb, I guess). That is pretty much it, it smells like a nice and unusual exploration of all the nuances of green, with just some citrus drops, a discreet and subtle woody base, and perhaps a light floral accord (lavender oil?). A nice simple scent, lively, vibrant, refreshing but also dense, organic, "green" like a vegetable garden with a hint of "freshly laundered clothes" (and to be honest also a hint of "dishwasher liquid"). A bit linear but invigorating and relaxing, with a slightly smoky and salty drydown, always keeping it green and juicy. Nothing stunning but well-made and peculiar, a different "green scent" for the summer.
Effectively Heeley Verveine is an extremely fresh concoction starting with a classic lemon grassy accord of lemon/verbena, sour blackberry, dusty cardamom and light mint. In the initial phase the juice is hesperidic and fizzy (sour and sparkling) with an aqueous and refreshing aromatic/citric accord really green and lemony. The fizziness is soon flanked by the transparency of the jasmine's floral ethereal intervention. The aroma persists still lemony and grassy in a less tart and more delicate and floral way which becomes more and more smoother as soon as a soothing musky/vanillic (blackcurrant flavoured) embrace starts enveloping the classic (a la Dyptique or line 4711 Maurer& Wirtz, some Xerjoff- as Modoc- or Penhaligon's) sour introducing accord. The final outcome is a white and windy musky/floral combination with an hesperidic tenacious temperament. Pleasant.
Pros: Grassy/citric, floral and soothed by musk and balsams
Cons: Lack of uniqueness"</p>
16th August, 2013 (last edited: 07th January, 2015)
Not a scent most people will fall for deeply because thoughtful, but completely reliable and imminently wearable.
I experience this one as mostly herbal. Very little of what I recognize in verbena do I find here. I chose it hoping for a citrus, and I was wrong. BUT, as a verbena + really light floral, it is terrific. I find this one great as a composed, well-put-together man's fragrance without any of the cliches common to the genre (woody amber, citrus, and now this Raid-smelling tonka note best typified by Midnight in Paris).
I think this shares some common base with some other Heeley's I've smelled: Sel Marin and Esprit du Tigre, as different as they all seem.
The overall aura of this fragrance has a heavier fresh shampoo quality about it. The top is heavy with lemon with some tartness from the rhubarb and the beautiful freshness of verbena. It is also a touch salty in the top as well. As the scent dries down more of the sweetness from the rhubarb comes out and I love it at this point. There is also a funky characteristic going on in the top, I think must be the black currant. When this fragrance finally dries down it's gets slightly creamy with a gentle jasmine with white musk. The jasmine is not dominant, if it were I would hate it. I think of this fragrance as unisex but have a feeling ladies would love this more than men. For me this is just OK.