The first fragrance by J-C Ellena? It is also one of his best, at least for me. I really enjoy the herbal-green-freshness since it suits me perfectly here in the hot, humid climate. It is not very long-lasting, but what is here in the tropics where scents are beaten into submission. Just keep on spraying is a perfectly fine solution.
Completely unisex and a keeper.
Eau de Campagne is perhaps the most uncompromising green scent I’ve worn. It’s also one of the finest. It displays all of the elements that characterize Jean-Claude Elléna’s best work – clean lines, concision, focus, and clarity – without the stinginess, the anorexic pallor, or the penchant for self-repetition he demonstrates when working below his potential. Unlike say, Cologne Bigarade or Terre d’Hermès, it does not smell like something cobbled together from the leftovers of Déclaration. Nor does it follow the overused pseudo-cedar + tomato leaf + froot du jour formula of the Hermès “Jardin” series. For me Eau de Campagne stands with Déclaration, Globe, and Bois d’Iris as one of the most original and appealing of Elléna’s compositions.
In Eau de Campagne Elléna gathers some of the most bitter, sharp, and refreshing green notes, including galbanum, tomato leaf, and basil, spikes them with a very tart lemon, and highlights their herbaceous character with a deeply aromatic geranium leaf. All of this rests upon a bone-dry, chypre-like vetiver and moss foundation, with a resolutely green jasmine as the only remotely sweet element in the entire composition. With so much that is green, herbaceous, and citric in its composition, it will come as no surprise that Eau de Campagne’s middle notes are neither very potent nor enduring. On the other hand, the nutty, spicy, and ever-so-slightly smoky vetiver-based drydown that arrives after about two hours is as hauntingly beautiful an effect as you’re likely to find in modern perfumery.
Like the equally bitter Campari, Eau de Campagne will strike some as pleasantly astringent, and many as unpalatable. Too bad for the many. For lovers of foliar fragrances, Eau de Campagne belongs next to Chanel’s Bel Respiro, Aramis Devin, and Diptyque’s late, lamented Virgilio in the pantheon of green scents.
I remember when I first discovered Eau de Campagne as if it were yesterday, though it was likely over 10 years ago. I had been dutifully trying out various designer ‘masculines’ in a shop and having a ‘Is it just me?’ moment, because they all seemed to be blurring into one another. Then the sales assistant picked up a bottle that looked as if it had been designed by the owner of one’s neighbourhood pizzeria and handed me a sprayed card. Oh yes, this was IT! There was no way I was walking out that shop without it. It was singular in a way the others weren’t and – despite my coming to it decades after its creation – free from cliché.
Today it is the perfume I have gone through the most bottles of. I love what it does to me, I love it despite its shortcomings.
There are times when I have been walking in untamed meadows overrun with an abundance of vegetation that the urge to somehow merge into this setting, be wild and natural, a scuttling, slithering thing, comes upon me. Eau de Campagne brings that feeling home.
Its opening salvo of bitter greens – tomato leaves, basil, grasses, glints of mint, and goodness knows what other foliage – makes the lungs expand with pleasure. There are curls of enlivening lemon zest here, a mossy undergrowth keeping things sharp, and a suggestion of flowers hiding under the tall grass. This gorgeous impression remains, though the progression is away from the sap and juice of the opening towards a dryer herbal territory, and several hours later a bit of soapiness and the chemical undergirding becomes a touch more evident. What doesn’t change is the feel of something uncultivated and open – truly a scent of freedom.
It is remarkable that J-C Ellena pulled something so fully formed and with such a marked personality out of the bag right at the start of his perfumer’s career.
One does need to spray liberally, which doesn’t bother me one bit. I think Eau de Campagne is probably the reason I plumped for the name gimmegreen here on Basenotes.
The opening of Eau de Campagne is a sharp, fresh, green salvo of, as many others seem to agree, basil and tomato leaf. I also get what reminds me of a spicy and dry geranium. Very vegetal and brings back memories of playing in the garden as a child. This is not a very long lasting part of the fragrance, and it quickly fades into a soapy, moderately sweet and leathery, mossy accord after about half an hour. A very clean and invigorating green scent, just not as sharp and vegetal as its early self.
Longevity seems to be its only downside. It lasts about 3 hours maximum on my skin, and has quite weak sillage for the final third of its life. This might make it a good choice for at work though, as it is not likely to offend, yet it is still a bit different.
Eau de Campagne is very invigorating and a delight to wake up with early on a sunny morning fresh out of the shower. I highly recommend finding at least a sample for the experience of a truly green fragrance.
Eau de Campagne opens with a gorgeous tomato leaf note supported by other herbal green notes evoking a fresh day out in the Spring countryside surrounded by vegetation. It is super fresh, and really pleasant smelling. The scent then turns slightly soapy clean, mixing with the now subdued tomato leaf creating the heart notes. The scent is relatively short lived (as you might expect from an Eau de Cologne), with minimal projection.
Eau de Campagne has got to be Jean-Claude Ellena's best work outside his masterpiece, Terre d'Hermès. Here, he shows his early skill in perfectly presenting the smell of a countryside meadow and it's associated gardens. It is a minimalist but impressive composition that rightly went a long way in putting him in the top tier of noses when it was first released. I wish the longevity was greater, the bottle more interesting and the price lower, but Eau de Campagne is a superb classic EdC that merits everyone give it a sniff, and certainly it is full bottle worthy. 4 to 4.5 stars out of 5.
Visiting my friend Marcel in his hospital bed the other day, I was surprised to find him in a mood that was almost ecstatic. "As you well know, mon cher Nitram," he informed me, "I have long been anxious to recapture lost time. Well, here I have a veritable bottle of precious, elusive memories! At the first sniff of Sisley's Eau de Campagne, I was immediately transported back to my childhood! There I was, all of eight years old, dressed in my little sailor suit (de rigueur attire for children of my generation), crawling through the summer undergrowth at the bottom of our garden. The smell of cut grass and tall, dusty nettles, warmed by the sun, surrounded me on all sides, interspersed with the occasional whiff of herbs and tomato plants from our kitchen garden. Although a somewhat delicate child, I was determined to keep on crawling, in the vague hope that, somewhere in the midst of all this fragrant foliage, I would meet up with my first love Gilberte, also eight years old, and, nose to nose, we would declare our undying devotion to each other!"
At this point in his monologue, Marcel was interrupted by a huge, frowning nurse who informed him briskly that he really should stop getting so excited and eat up his tapioca pudding.
A vivid green fragrance that is fizzy at the top/ intense and quite legible with a mossy/earthy drydown. Tomato leaf and basil give this frag a herbaceous and vegetal vibe while the spiciness of geranium add its own kick.
If you like the original Pour Monsieur (Chanel), Diorella, and Cristalle -- even Vent Vert, you will like this too.
Don't complain about its longevity, just re-apply and freshen up!
This is JC Ellenà how I like him. Appearantly simple yet very complex. An incredibly compelling bitter green composition that opens with a burst of sharp bergamot and assorted herbaceous / leafy notes. An invigorating blend made out of tomato leafs, basil, and an extra-bitter geranium note. A perfect unisex fragrance that you will surely dig if you like Cristelle, Grey Flannel or The Unicorn Spell. Among the best in its genre.
18th June, 2011 (last edited: 04th August, 2011)
Eau de Campagne’s journey is a brief one, but certainly quite eventful. The opening is bold, and nothing short of fascinating. It feels wild, green and contains the chlorophyll from a thousand roughly torn nettle stems. There is a suggestion of citrus in the opening, but it is clearly not meant to have much of a presence. This is a brief phase, and Campagne quickly dries into something dry and herbal, with a diminished green undercurrent. Drying down, it freshens and probably reaches its peak of pleasure giving qualities. It is relatively short-lived, expensive, but different enough to warrant the outlay.
Eau de Campagne may not be the most unique scent in the world - its basic structure is the traditional Eau de Cologne - but what sets it apart from the crowd is an intense greenness. This has leafy green and mossy notes in spades, and they last for the duration of the scent. This seems more like an EDT concentration, because I find it to be a lot stronger and longer lasting than most EDC's I've worn.
The one downside to EdC is personal and subjective - it just does not work on my skin for some reason. My wife used to wear this fragrance, and it smelled wonderful on her skin. Once it hits my skin however, it smells sour and lacks the sprightly green feel. It's like my skin sucks the life right out of this fragrance.
Personal issues aside, Eau de Campagne is a delightful and underrated fragrance. It's a must try for any fan of green smelling scents.
MY RATING: 8.5/10
This is a bit like wearing a salad, but I love it. The scent is like summer in a bottle-- tomato leaf and basil and lemon and grass and a bit of mossy muskiness, extremely refreshing. Like going into a herb garden and grabbing everything and mashing it all up. When I first apply it, I inevitably get the sense "Wow, this stuff is so sharp and strong and I'm going to have a headache" but after 30 minutes it's mellowed pleasantly. Not a lot of staying power, not a lot of sillage, but my goodness it smells nice.
Sampled this recently and was quite impressed by the scent - upliftingly fresh, living greenery with a mossy vetiver drydown. I don't find the top notes harsh at all and I suspect a modern update-type of reformulation may be responsible for rounding off these edges. The quality is still impeccable and the composition bears all the hallmarks of a Jean-Claude Ellena classic - crystal clear notes, clean lines, ethereality.
EAU DE CAMPAGNE lasts about 2-3 hours on my skin on average. Not particularly unacceptable for an 'eau' but it does make me scrutinise the hefty price tag just a little bit closer.
I don't get to much notes here. For my nose it's plain oak/woodmoss with some citrus. It recalls the odor of the subtropical Canary Isle' forest above 2000ft, provided by orographic clouds from the Atlantic. As much oak/woodmoss as can be. Moist, woody, bitter, quite fresh compared to the climate at seelevel, but still comforting due to that much sun.
Highly appreciated, does not bother, just smells good, most anytime. So - the scent starts vanishing right from the start for my nose. But I have been told - the first time ever - that I might have taken a huge overdose of fragrance. 5 hours after the application! I myself perceived only a hint of it then. My curious inquiry yielded "woody, dry, cosy". And may be "light" if not overdone, though. But still it didn't mask who I am, either.
I think that's fine for me! In my conception it pays to peek at the older recipes. The temporary orotundity with all that Iso-E-Super duped perfection ain't without alternatives.
Agree with Vibert. This is indeed an uncompromising green scent. Its tart opening may be too much for most people but patience will give way to an exceptional dry, herbal, slightly woody scent. It reminds me of my childhood, the simple pleasure of playing and tumbling in the grass.
What a charming, complex, suave bitter-green!
I recommend this to anyone who laments the reformulation of Chanel 'Cristalle'.
It has all the elements the Chanel tossed out for the sake of marketability: It's bitter, it's harsh, and it has the sense of real greens -- like a big herb-salady affair.
Perhaps 'Cristalle' could have just been re-issued for men, instead of candied, diluted, and stripped of character?
Oh, well, just as happy to have the 'Eau de Campagne'!
The initial herbal burst may be too pungent for many. I agree that in the first hour or so, there is nothing pleasant in this fragrance, it's just a raw smell of nettles and a lot of other herbs, but if you give it some time, it will develop into a very nice, smooth and refined scent. The absolutely wonderful drydown deserves the tolerance of the much too green, ultra-sharp opening.
Given the pitiful suckup to newness that has got classic companies churning out mediocre new scents year after year and cannibalizing their own best work (Guerlain, anyone?), you've gotta love a company with the self-confidence to come out with a new perfume every 15 years without fail. They really mean it.
Eau de Campagne is a wonder. For me it fills the bill as a light, refreshing citrus (replacing Eau d'Orange Verte when that ran out), plus of course the "greenness" for which it is justly renowned, and lots of other complexities.
I especially like the sour/bitter undertones, which some attribute to tomato leaves. To me it's more rosemary and okra.
There isn't space enough here to do justice to this true modern classic.
Speaking of the fewness of Sisley's releases, I must say that Eau de Soir is gorgeously feminine (held in reserve as a gift when I decide there's a woman who's worthy!) and a total foil to Eau de Campagne.
Unisex? Most assuredly, but let's just call it "butch."
This is a 5 stars fragrance, if you like green you must try EdC, your nose will be full of fresh grass juice and tomato leaves, a refreshing scent from a company with a philosophical view: "fragrantia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem". EdC is already 38 years old and it's here to stay, a classic unisex .
Fragrance notes for Eau de Campagne
Top: bergamot, lemon, basil, wild herbs, galbanum
Mid: tomato leaves, lily of the valley, jasmine, geranium, plum
Base: oak moss, patchouli, vetiver, musk
“A brisk, spirited green fragrance... dynamic, original.”
This is a lovely, distinctive, and very GREEN scent. I really appreciate it. The opening is zesty and invigorating, with excellent natural lemon and basil notes. The tomato leaves are well conveyed and the basil-tomato leaf-galbanum trio ensures a very green outing in the garden. There are lovely floral notes nestled amidst all the greenery. The dry-down has green grassy vetiver and a hint of oakmoss. The galbanum and a hint of plummy bergamot persists even at this late date.
This is an excellent tonic pick-me-up. Highly recommended for green fans!
13th January, 2008 (last edited: 10th October, 2014)
I like FOETIDUS' review! For myself, I enjoyed quite a brisk citrus note in the opening of Eau de Campagne, which seems to be the perfect accent to this foliage filled frag! I adore the mossy drydown. This eau de toilette is truly unisex as well.
The most thoroughly satisfying "green" scent I know of. If natural organic had a scent this is it. The tone is totally pastoral and of growing green plants. No figs, no citrus nor vetiver or creamy plant milk that you encounter in other "green" fragrances - but just greens here. Tomato leaves and cut grass scent the opening while the drydown becomes more dried grasses and hay. When I think of green in fragrances this is the one that comes to mind. A refreshing encounter with the green earth.
I cannot be without this in the summer. Every perfume collection should have a palate-cleanser and this is mine. The perfect antidote to any overly strong, sickly, sweet or artifical scents. Just wonderfully refreshing.
04th October, 2006 (last edited: 01st June, 2008)
Wow, here it is—the whole meadow, the whole herb garden, and the whole salad all wrapped up in one package. Eau de Campagne is awesomely green—and so refreshing. It starts vegetal and stays vegetal for hours. Is it linear? No, not really. The green of the fragrance changes considerably as it progresses. It starts with the ‘high’ sharp verdant timbre of the tomato leaf and of just-cut-grass with just a touch of fresh celery for a slight aromatic effect. As the time wears on, the scent lowers the olfactory vibrations to spring grasslands, maple leaves, and mossy copses. The dry down is subtly grassy and mossy.
Green fragrances are usually not my thing, but I find this one very compelling.
Incredible grassy meadow scent - blades of grass on a hot summer day with layers of salad greens and tomato leaf. Excellent lasting power, and not overlyharsh as some green scents tend to be.
Oddly this one doesn't have any reviews yet, sells a lot worldwide to my knowledge. EdC is a very mossy green unisex scent with a super distinct tomato leaf note in the top. Perhaps leaning slightly to the feminine side, EdC is still herbal and dry enough for any guy to pull off. It lasts forever which is good considering the hefty price tag. Reportedly a favourite of the Swedish Queen Silvia.
Must say it definitely smells more modern than something launched in the early 70's. A classic from a original and somewhat excentric french company.