Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Bowling Green by Geoffrey Beene

Total Reviews: 44
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)
The list of fragrances that Bowling Green has been compared to is incredible. Along with my own comparison to Tsar the total runs to 35.

This is quite a phenomenon; in my opinion it means that 1) although obscure, Bowling Green is very popular among those who have smelled it - or why would they bother to expend so much mental energy on writing about its correspondences? and 2) it reminds so many people of other things because it's actually rather characterless; suave, but generic.

Bowling Green is a bit citrus, a bit soapy, a bit aromatic, it has a bit of Tsar's cool breeze blowing through it; it's a bit fruity, a bit green, a bit herbal, and spicy. The base is a bit woody and a bit mossy, but more than a bit - it just smells good, and its hard to put your finger on why, nothing really stands out.

It's a kind of "sent - bon". A nice, slightly low grade scent with no great distinction; it has neither outstanding materials nor an original idea.

The departure can be a bit overpowering at first, and the evolution grinds to a halt in the mid section, but once it has achieved stasis Bowling Green becomes above all, irresistibly nice. Nice, because fougère is nice, and this is a typical average fougère.

(The version to look for is the Sanofi bottle with a cloth tied round the cap.)

30th August, 2016 (last edited: 05th September, 2016)
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
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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
I'm suprised to see lemon as a top note, not so noticeable to me.

When wearing Bowling Green all I can think of first is fir/forest green and then some fresh herbaceous notes. Then maybe somewhere in the background some citric, maybe.

I can't make up my mind as to whether this is a cool/cold or wart/hot scent. I'm also surprised to see it gets overwhelmingly a spring/summer vote. When I've worn this I tend to think of it more as a cool climate fragrance.

Another thing about this Geoffrey Beene product is that it brings to mind more formal events and a scent for those over 30. I'm not going to hold it against you if you're younger and give it a go though.

12th March, 2015
Genre: Fougère

Bowling Green’s sunny, green herbaceous opening accord is the perfect olfactory expression of its name. The grassy notes recede only slightly with time, making way as they do for a succulent lemon that’s a dead ringer for the one that anchors the wonderful Monsieur Balmain. A warm, well-defined cardamom, soft lavender, and some bracing coniferous notes fill out the structure, and once these manifest themselves Bowling Green goes along on a steady, linear course for a couple of hours before shifting into a sandalwood-and-spice dominated drydown. Oddly transparent and “modern” smelling for something done in the mid ‘80s, and I’m sad to see it discontinued. On the plus side, it can still be found very cheaply, and is very much worth owning for fans of green and citrus fragrances.
09th June, 2014 (last edited: 10th June, 2014)
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Green freshness

Lemon, bergamot, lavender and basil - the opening blast has lots of traditional citrus, but the added herbal greenness is striking. With a touch of fruitiness that is balanced by just the right amount of cardamom. Moss adds another note, and cedarwood arises in the base. Whilst the later stages are nice, is is the first hour after the opening that is phenomenally good. Adequate silage and projection, but pretty much gone after two hours, although I get the occasional whiff another hour. Very well done, straightforward without fuss.

10th August, 2013
I love this scent and it is (was) a very good deal for the money, I still own maybe half a bottle but I will not miss it once it is gone because ther are other scents that are very similar to replace it.
Trophee (Lancombe) is almost indistinguishable, but I still like BG better. M pour Monsieur (Marc de la Morandiere) is practically identical, with the difference that MpM is made with better quality materials, but it is hard to find. Finally, Loewe pH is a much better version of BG, so if you are missing BG get yourself a bottle of Loewe pH and will forget BG for good. Loewe pH is much better, refined, sophisticated while maintaining the spirit of BG alive, in another words, BG is to me the crude version of LpH.
At any rate, BG was a better value for the money because it was priced well below all those just mentioned.
23rd September, 2012 (last edited: 05th October, 2012)
This was one of my first frags waaaay back in the day. In the early 90s, I received a gift box of this and some other odds and ends. Christmastime, snow, youth, winter with high school girlfriend, writing music... kind of brings me back. That's what this fragrance is for me these days. Does not quite smell like the things we're wearing anymore, but this crisp pine, winter morning still serves a wonderful purpose.
When I first tried this, I may have been about 15 or 16. This was certainly a bit too "mature" for someone of my youthful exuberance. I was immediately drawn to the "conifer forest" aspect of it. That's what got me right away. This is a fragrance that hits you right off with a piney/juniper shocker. It seems to be the life of the thing. I do detect the bergamot and citrus now that my nose has matured, but it's not the focal point. As this dries down, it turns into a pine/juniper hybrid tree covered in aromatic mosses. I wore this every day in my teen years, getting compliments such as: "You smell like a pine tree", or "you smell like the woods"...
If you can find it, get it.
08th August, 2012 (last edited: 10th August, 2012)
I can't believe I've never reviewed Bowling Green. Well, time to correct that situation. BG is a very pleasant scent. It basically is a minty-mossy combination. Not much more than that. It is kind of green and has a nice, easy-going soapy light-green vibe. The mint gives it some freshness. There is nothing irritating or phony about it; however there is nothing exceptional about it either. If you like green scents, then check it out. For me, I'd say that it is nice and easily available... but not compelling. I think it is a scent with a wide appeal, and it is still somewhat different in that it is not sweet, aquatic or heavy.
29th December, 2011
In fell swoop, BG wiped out a decade of bad fougères. True to its name, BG is monumental green, similar to the great Polo (Green) but more restrained and laid-back. They also share a similar structure - piney balsam, herbaceous juniper, and woody (patchouli, moss, cedar) drydown. Nobody knew how good this was until CK Eternity for Men came out and the new emperor suddenly stood with no clothes on.

Sadly, it's been discontinued but you can still find a bottle on the cheap i.e. Ebay. BG may not get the praise and press of Grey Flannel, but it's just as good. Understated and elegant.
18th August, 2011
I love the first twenty minutes of Bowling fresh, so uplifting, so peppy. But then it kind of goes syrupy sweet. It's still great, but not AS great. It is very much like Drakkar Noir (which I can't take) if it had a summer version. Bowling Green seems to never have really found its place. It was around for a good twenty years, and it's a shame to see it go...but I kind of understand why. At first it was ahead of it's time, then it was behind the times, and now it's out of time. Luckily, the original LaCoste in the square green bottle with the white accents is still around. If you like Bowling Green, I think you'll love LaCoste original (1984). It seems to be what Bowling Green just missed being. A bit drier and none of that syrup.
19th June, 2011
I bought Bowling Green for 10$ at a discount store. I never smelled it before and I just took it as I love Grey Flannel. What a surprise. It has a shiny / transparent opening with sparkling green notes, lemon and lavander (i also get juniper somewhere). After that it stays linear for quite a while to turn in the very end into a bloder spicy-woody-citrusy drydown (tones of cedarwood, be advised). This scent is quite intense, has a nice projection and some lasting power. Nothing really exceptional and for a few aspects it runs on the edge of cheapness but it smells definitely good and it's perfect for spring-summer time. Very Nice!
05th April, 2011 (last edited: 13th February, 2012)
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Such a shame that this has been discontinued. I find Bowling Green rather similar to Chanel Pour Monsieur and its neighboring scents (Monsieur de Givenchy, Eau Sauvage, etc.), though it's lighter, greener and slightly less complex. If you've smelled Chanel PM concentree you know what to expect, though Bowling Green is much lighter and has no vanilla (though its sandalwood is sweet enough to hint at it).

The opening combines citrus, herbs and spice; the lemon note lasts quite a long while, and the drydown is beautifully classic - spice and refined woods, again quite similar to Chanel PM.

This doesn't have quite the depth of the Chanel or Givenchy offerings, but it does have a beautiful, simple clarity. It smells focused and unadorned rather than cheap. Sillage is modest, longevity very good.

And speaking of cheap - at the beginning of February 2011 I was able to find an eau de toilette and aftershave gift set for $20 on Amazon. Now in early March the same set is going for around $100 - I wish I had stocked up when I had the chance!
08th March, 2011
Bowling Green stands as one of my all-time favorites. Smelling this is like walking through a sun-slanted coniferous forest path on a warm morning while drinking a freshly cracked Sprite. The cardamom is fiercely pronounced to my nose and I can certainly see why this might turn some off, but it's an uplifting and energizing scent that makes those really early mornings tolerable. I instantly feel happier wearing it and would give it a sixth star just for that quality.
24th March, 2010
None of the other reviewers --- nor, for that matter, the pyramid listing here --- have mentioned Bowling Green's single most distinctive note. Spearmint! Along with the citrus-lavender-juniper opening chord is a healthy dose of spearmint, which gives BG its springtime-fresh uniqueness. Comparisons to Drakkar Noir are accurate, but think of this as a young green sapling which will eventually grow into the mature and fully developed tree of Drakkar Noir. Bowling Green is lighter, less spicy-woody, and less intense, with much more prominent green notes (did I mention the spearmint?) It also has a kinship with Jacques Fath's Green Water (which has prominent mint notes as well).

Bowling Green is at its best on a sunny spring morning, all light green and sparkling with dewdrops. Much more distinctive than the horde of bland aqueous nothing scents of the nineties claiming to be "fresh." A light splash or spritz of this will wake you up and lift your spirits --- it also makes a good afternoon pick-me-up.
23rd March, 2010
I wanted to really like Bowling Green and eagerly looked forward to trying it, but now that I have it on I recognize it as a scent that I couldn't be around from the 1980's.

It smells good, but gives me hot flashes and a dull headache. My wife initially gave it tepid approval, then said it had a soapy dry down that she didn't care for.
10th January, 2010
A wonderfully fresh green frag unlike pretty much anything else that came out in the 80s, which opens with some strong citrus notes (not too disimilar from lemon bathroom cleaner, but nicer than that if that makes sense) before settling down to a light herby and soapy-clean base which, to my nose, completely misses out most of the middle notes and heads straight for the base. Fortunately that base is so pleasant, it's not really an issue. Longevity and sillage are pretty good for something as light as this and, like the main Beene frag, its reasonable price point belies its quality - there are similar frags out there which cost two or three times as much and aren't half as good. Even though Bowling Green is officially discontinued, it's still thankfully easy to come by on the 'bay and other online sellers.
07th January, 2010
One of the finest green and gold symphonies of masculine fragrance. It opens bright, light and sharp, citrus-green, tangy and refreshing,yet not at all harsh or crude. Very soon (not unlike, indeed, a gradually warming sun sending down its rays upon green summer lawns) some exquisite shafts of gold begin to seep into this sharp, refreshing opening. The interplay between green and gold continues, unfolding some truly sumptuous notes as it does so. Gradually, the lazy, luxurious gold gains predominance, but never completely annihilates the clean green tang of the introductory phase. Marvellous olfactory music! I love it dearly.
Bowling Green seems to occupy a place where quality meets democracy, and nearly everyone approves. It's not surprising that some reviewers have described it as a scent that can be worn at any time of day and on any occasion. And nor is it surprising that it has been compared, on the one hand, to niche perfumes like Nicolai's New York and, on the other hand, to popular scents like the much loved, much reviled Drakkar Noir. It has affinities with both but remains, finally, its own splendid self.
12th December, 2009
Eaudemi Show all reviews
United Kingdom
1. Take 25 lemons and 2 fistfuls of fresh lavender.
2. Rub your face in it.
3. Allow to settle for about 40 minutes.
4. Empty 5 large tablespoons of celery salt into a hot cup of indian masala chai.
5. Throw all over yourself making sure your clothes are saturated.
6. Spend 4 hours trying to get away from the smell.

A rewarding experience for those that are rewarded by such experiences. I wasn't.
04th December, 2009
Love the opening of amazing lemon and soapy lavender. It just feels great and wonderful to wear. The rest kinda peters out but lingers for quite sometime. I like the seamless transition from citrus top, green middle to the soapy mossy drydown. This is something to put on in the morning to wake up. Very energetic and I like it.
30th September, 2009
The opening is gorgeously green with just the right hints of spice but as it progresses towards the drydown, all I got was sackloads of cardamom. I noticed Lavender, Jasmine and Artemisia listed in the heart notes but on my skin these florals were absent; overwhelmed no doubt by the rampaging spice notes. Perhaps the sultry weather is to blame. In any case I went home for a quick scrub before anyone mistook me for a sweaty "Spice Guy'.

A second wearing on a cooler day however brings a noticeably different dimension: it is a lot greener and the spices less rampant. I could also detect a fleeting powdery floral note before it gets chased away by the spice. As much as I like the masculine green opening, I can only give this a neutral. Certainly one of those scents that should come with a user's manual stating: "For use in COOL DRY WEATHER only."
07th September, 2009 (last edited: 08th September, 2009)
JaimeB Show all reviews
United States
I seem to remember an incarnation of this from the 1970s, but I must be dreaming. It goes on great, like gangbusters, but quickly goes much quieter. Still, it never backs away beyond detection until the very end. People classify this as a spicy scent, but I would call it spicy-green, since the spice seems to be there mostly to liven up the green bits. This is very pleasant to wear, especially in the daytime and in fine weather. The notes are the uplifting kind, so it works to sustain or create a good mood for me. I've seen the "drugstore" version of this, but I think the one I have must predate that, because it seems to retain the complexity I remember from the original.
07th September, 2009
I suspect the ingredients in the original version of Bowling Green may have been of a different caliber than in the low-end $9.99 product offered today at every discounter in the US. In any event, what I wore gave me little pleasure - an extreme blast of cheap soapiness that wore on for a good half hour, before evaporating into a decent but unexciting blend of herbs and spices. The high-end version of this, to me, appears to be Miller&Bertaux's No. 2 Spiritus/Land and I'll gladly pay the vastly higher price for the genuine pleasures it has to offer.
22nd July, 2009
It is true that the very top notes have something in common with Drakkar Noir, but Bowling Green is, first and foremost, green. It's a slightly stilted name, but actually quite perfect when I think about it. The top is sharply citrusy and the base gets leafy with a little sweet spice: sort of an evolution from a vivid yellowish-green to a brown-tinged forest green. Just about every stage of it is pleasant and I don't think many people would find fault at all, which in and of itself is an accomplishment. I don't know why they discontinued it (or did they?); I think it may have been their best because it seems so much more universal in its appeal than Grey Flannel, and Eau de GF is cheap and dull. I feel like you could wear a big dose of this at the office (as I once did by accident) and be perfectly fine, or so my female coworker seemed to think.
11th July, 2009
Bowling Green” is magnificently a classic composition with individuality yet modern & masculine, bears personality, solid contender to any latest (& childish) fruity-fresh fragrance offerings. Very clean, sharp and fresh fragrance that starts with an intense citrus-fruity blast that calms down to a moderate woody aroma with the hint of spices.
06th March, 2009
I adore this fragrance. The mid notes of cardamom and cinnamon are absolutely awesome and something I will never tire of and the drydown, well, there is no other way to describe it other that it is simply amazing, period.

One thing is for sure, from start to finish, this is a winner. Hands down, my favourite of the Geoffrey Beene collection.

A huge thumbs up!
23rd July, 2008
nadroj Show all reviews
United States
This is my absolute favorite! I was so sad when I found out it was discontinued. From the opening blast of citrus/juniper/grass to the more subdued but still vibrant drydown, I love it. I am still able to find a few bottles here and there at perfumania and places like that, so I still have enough to last me quite awhile, but I do miss the soap, aftershave, etc.

I still can't find anything to replace it!
03rd July, 2008
tanto Show all reviews
United States
Interesting fragrance. I used it for a few years. It was a nice clean, brisk scent for men. It reminded me very much of a more citrusy version of Drakkar Noir however, a bit more "lively". I preferred Bowling Green over Drakkar Noir without a doubt. Sorry it was discontinued.
21st May, 2008 (last edited: 18th June, 2008)
All the reviews are right, but for those unable to track it down, I would highly recommend Eau de Rochas Homme. It's much more fleeting, but the first few minutes, then hour, are worth the rather expensive admission price. Initially similar to BG (but better), with gin and sparkling limeade tones, EDRH gently fades and stays constant, whereas BG fades to peppery spice and lasts quite a while longer. Both are 2 of the best lemon / lime concoctions. Monsieur Balmain (a great lemon and liquorice blend), also hard to find, and Acqua di Parma (a great lemon and rose combi) are also both recomended.
07th November, 2007