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)
Redbeard describes this well. It has much in common with the cool water/freshman/git/aspen/garrigue/chez family, but there seems to be a certain natural botanical herbal feel to this one that makes it classier than all of those aforementioned family members but GIT. It's also the most masculine of them all besides Garrigue and Aspen. Yet it is still nearly as floral as any of them besides GIT. Overall a wonderful scent. An excellent value that sits above it's price point just like many L'Occitane scents......Caswell Massey's best imho.
Within the same family as Cool Water or GIT, but with more natural-smelling botanicals...it really feels like I'm smelling a bunch of mashed and extracted plant parts, much more so than with CW or GIT. The sweetness is much less than in GIT (which I think is a bit too sweet) and it also doesn't have the sharp astringence that I get from Cool Water when I breathe deeply over the spot that I sprayed. It lasts reasonably well to boot. Just watch out when buying because with Greenbriar you get 1.7 oz at the same price as 3.0 oz of most of the others (not that it's expensive by any means). Fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately) it has its own unique bottle, as opposed to the standard C-M men's one. I might replace my Cool Water and GIT sample with this when they run out in about 5000 years!
Mid: French lavender, Russian sage, modern florals
Base: patchouli, cool musk, labdanum absolute
Note that the fragrance notes are different from the BN description. I got these off the box, they are the same for the scent and the accompanying soap. Probably the BN reflects the earlier formulation which would have (on the face of it) been greener and more herbal. The new elements, in particular the ozone and cool musk, are a concession to the modern “fresh” market taste. This starts with a an orange-floral and fresh ozonic blast which is a bit sweet. There are some good herbal-green notes, and light patchouli. The drydown is a pleasant dusky green with a slight soapy air. The freshness and ozone is not excessive, and make this a pleasant but not brilliant summer scent.
I've purchased this for my husband many times and we like it. It's kind of soft, not loud at all. On him it's very clean and fresh smelling. Not strong at all. Although I like it, it is a bit boring, blah, plain.
Soapy; standard conventional; inoffensive green smelling; mens club bathroom smell. Nice. All right. Reminds me of the the glass cylindrical containers in golf course mens rooms with the comb in the blue water. Who ever actually uses those combs? Who would use this? Oh, right, my dear departed dad would I guess. A cologne of happy memory.
21st November, 2007 (last edited: 11th January, 2008)
I've got the newer version and I agree that it definitely isn't anything to wait in line for. It DOES smell like Cool Water, which itself smells like Creed GIT. I've got GIT on my left and Greenbriar on my right, and the Greenbriar really tries to be like Creed with synthetics. That being said, it isn't BAD... it just isn't particularly innovative or interesting. For $10 or less, it's worth it. Anything more is questionable.
Classic (i.e., the old stuff). Bores me to tears (i.e., the new).
The old Greenbriar was a light delight: bracing, crisp and refined (but not formal). My girl-friend like it also and used it nearly as much as me. Sorry to hear it has changed. The old version was early cool Spring in a bottle.
I've been using original Greenbriar since 1987. it is by far the best aftershave I've ever used and I've used a LOT. What was Caswell Massey thinking when they replaced it with the mundane "new" fragrance? I've poured mine out. If they put as much into promoting the original as they obviously did into the packaging and creation of the "new" scent, I think they would have found it a top seller. I predict the "new' scent will be gone within a year. i've yet to meet anyone who likes it or will purchase it again. If anyone knows if the original can be purchased, please let me know where.
Beware the new Greenbriar. The old classic was very green and long lasting, with an ambery drydown that had a bit of a bite to it. I can highly recommend this one. The new one is a Cool Water clone that has no reason for its existence. If people wants something that smells like Cool Water, I'd venture to guess that they would purchase Cool Water.
I am a big fan of original Polo (favorite flaa/winter scent) and agree with the earlier reviews: this is similar, yet more subtle. The big factor, I think, is the absebce of the leather note at the end--the drydown is very different as a result. If you like Polo, this is a good one to try--might be a warm weather alternate?
Being that Greenbriar has been around much longer than Polo, "Polo smells like a heavier Greenbriar". It is cleaner and more pleasurable to wear, absolutely superior quality.