Speaking in London’s Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green, in a grandly panelled room with a vast back-drop wall specially decorated in green, and a pile of bottles, tossed gallery-style on the floor, perfumer Jean Christophe Herault said through an interpreter: “It was important for me to express the strength of nature, in particular the jungle. I didn’t want this to be a twee interpretation of green. I wanted this to be the apogee of green.”
Jean Christophe Herault said he was asked by the company to come up with a green scent, but didn’t want to go for the obvious.
"What I was trying to avoid was using the main ingredients used in green perfumes like galbanum, which is so often used in women’s perfumes. I also wanted a departure from using citrus at the top to achieve a fresh and green note. Instead it’s quite original the way Amazingreen has been created, the choice of ingredients are quite singular or distinctive."
The vegetal, green accord is described as a ‘kaleidoscope’ by the perfumer who says that the traditional fragrance pyramid does not apply to this creation. “This is a more binary creation” he says, “the vegetal and the mineral running side by side.”
Amongst the singular green notes which the perfumer pointed out in Amazingreen was ivy leaf, which he pointed out was at once familiar and comforting to people. “The smell of ivy reminds me of my childhood in Normandy, it has quite a strong emotional attachment, but it’s also a common smell that people will find recognisable. It’s got a bit of a crunchy and crisp smell, an energetic smell running through its veins.”
Green Pepper was also used, which although spicy, does have a recognisable vegetal note to it: “It’s often called the ‘cold spice’ because you have the contrast between something sensual and something cold,” says Herault.
Under the mineral accord, the perfumer included his recreation of the smell of ‘silex’, the latin word for ground flint stone.
The ‘explosive’ accord includes vetiver, smoke and a recreation of the smell of gunpowder. “The gunpowder adds a rebellious and illicit presence” he says, “the vetiver brings refinement and elegance.”
Asked if such unusual notes created a problem as far as IFRA guidelines were concerned, the perfumer said: “It’s a game. All you need is your imagination to get round the regulations and create what you want to create”, though he added “of course we respect IFRA rules which protect the consumer.”
Amazingreen was commissioned by the Comme des Garçons (who have a licensing agreement with Spanish perfume House Puig) and Jean Christophe Herault says he worked very closely with the marketing department to develop the perfume. It is likely that this latest addition will sit with the more mainstream, yet interesting, end of the Comme des Garçons stable. The perfume is unisex.
Amazingreen will be available exclusively through Selfridges in the UK from the 3rd of July and then through selected outlets on the 3rd of August including escentual.com, Harrods and Harvey Nichols.
Update 17 July: Amazingreen is also available at Aedes de Venustas and First in Fragrance.