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  1. #1

    Default What is it about galbanum....

    ... that hits me so hard and so good? Some of my favorite perfumes, that is, favorite to the degree of being identity-imprints for me, are very forward with galbanum:

    Inoui by Shiseido

    Givenchy III (the original)

    Silences by Jacomo

    Coincidentally, they are among my most-worn in rainy, cold weather. Especially rain like today's in my part of the world: cold thunderstorms, alternating between drenching downpours and hail and then partly sunny skies with towering cloud masses sailing through. Odd how I seem to physically crave the austere green exclamation point of this note in the turbulence of stormy wet weather.

    I don't regularly wear Chanel 19 anymore, but I did go through a few bottles in the past and loved it. I also remember intensely the vintage Vent Vert - especially in parfum, which could make your eyes roll back in your head.

    Anyone else react so viscerally to this particular ingredient and the perfumes it ehances?

    J.

  2. #2

    Default Re: What is it about galbanum....

    Yes. I do.
    Chamade, Miss Dior, and No. 19 are among my favorites.
    I was impressed by the new Givenchy III.
    I also love Ayalitta and Grin, the all-natural fragrances by Ayala Moriel.
    How about Estee Lauder Private Collection and Aliage? And Balmain Ivoire? You must try those, too.

  3. #3
    Basenotes Institution
    mikeperez23's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is it about galbanum....

    Yes! Love it, even when it's featured in masculines.

    Try Devin by Aramis next time you're walking past an Aramis counter. Same goes for Infusion d'Homme by Prada.

  4. #4

    Default Re: What is it about galbanum....

    Aliage - yes! I wore this so much in my horseback riding days that I swear my horse would not have known me without it.

    In the Infusion d'Homme, I mostly smell the orange blossom - I'll have to sniff again.

  5. #5

    Default Re: What is it about galbanum....

    I really appreciate galbanum as a note. I think of it as a deep green type, with dark leaves and herbal-evergreen aspects.
    odysseusm

    "The force that through the green fuse drives the flower // drives my green age..." Dylan Thomas

  6. #6

    Default Re: What is it about galbanum....

    Also try Jean Louis Scherrer
    http://www.basenotes.net/ID10211862.html

    Wonderful green chypre although it needs to be applied in moderation -- it's pretty dense in a mossy (damp forest undergrowth) kind of way.
    Last edited by kess; 17th February 2009 at 08:56 PM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: What is it about galbanum....

    I hear you, odysseum.

    I've been on train rides through various countrysides in spring, passing by hillsides completely covered in the greenest of new grass, so full of juice and life and vibration. Along comes a swooshing breeze that turns all the separate blades of grass to show their silvery undersides in a long curving wave so the hillside suddenly looks tipped with frost. That's how galbanum makes me feel.
    Last edited by Jardanel; 17th February 2009 at 10:25 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: What is it about galbanum....

    It's a strange thing, but most of what I appreciate in what galbanum contributes to a perfume formula is in its contradictions. It's dry but not warm. It's refreshing but not in the way of mint or citrus or aquatics. It's vegetal but feral too. It's not floral but it reminds you of flowers. It smells primeval but imparts the most civilized elegance. It's a mystery and I like it that way.

  9. #9

    Default Re: What is it about galbanum....

    Quote Originally Posted by Jardanel View Post
    I hear you, odysseum.

    I've been on train rides through various countrysides in spring, passing by hillsides completely covered in the greenest of new grass, so full of juice and life and vibration. Along comes a swooshing breeze that turns all the separate blades of grass to show their silvery undersides in a long curving wave so the hillside suddenly looks tipped with frost. That's how galbanum makes me feel.
    Oh I like that! I love green nature! Thanks for sharing that lovely image, you've painted a marvelous impressionistic scene.
    Cheers,
    odysseusm

    "The force that through the green fuse drives the flower // drives my green age..." Dylan Thomas

  10. #10

    Default Re: What is it about galbanum....

    It is such a grand ingredient, it gives 'green' scents such depth, and body. Glorious!
    Quand on boit l'eau, il faut penser à sa source

  11. #11

    Default Re: What is it about galbanum....

    Huge in Galbanum (and wonderfully used):

    Y - Yves Saint Laurent
    Vol de Nuit - Guerlain
    Ivoire - Balmain


    and as Purplebird mentioned, Miss Dior (extrait if possible), the full top note is Galbanum!.

    cheers!

    PS: Dior has another Glabanum-infused fragrance: Jules...it's "for men" but I know the ladies at Basenotes know better...
    Last edited by castorpollux; 18th February 2009 at 01:21 AM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: What is it about galbanum....

    Miss Dior was a deep true love for me. It was the scent that really signaled my exit from my teens and into adulthood (or what seemed like it at the time!). I remember one winter a long time ago when a massive rainstorm had knocked out most of the power in my part of town, leaving me stranded without a trolley home. I was determined to walk the 2 miles in the dark, cold rain. I had a little bottle of Miss Dior parfum in my handbag. I dabbed some on "for courage". I got home safe and sound, actually enjoying my ability to navigate in the dark. I credit Miss Dior with giving me the confidence to rise to the situation. Alas, when the first reformulations started to occur, I stopped buying Miss Dior, because it just seemed like it was only 75% of what it was.

    Y was a favorite of a dear friend of mine who had a house in a canyon full of old redwood trees. In the winter, I'd spend the night at her house, hearing the branches drip with rain and breathing in that wonderful redwood smell. If you've ever been in a grove of redwoods during the middle of a wet winter, you know how the trees seem to emit a vapour around them. When I'd get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, I'd always take the lid off her container of Y dusting powder and enjoy the scent - it just seemed to fit perfectly with the rain, the huge trees, the mystery of the night. Indelible memories.
    Last edited by Jardanel; 18th February 2009 at 02:19 AM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: What is it about galbanum....

    I like it.
    Alone, it smells like crushing fresh deciduous leaves in your hand til you see the chlorophyll.
    But it combines well with almost everything, same way a plain green leaf does.
    Anyone who likes Galbanum should try/own something here:

    This range is the highest ratio of Galbanum I've smelled yet.

  14. #14

    Default Re: What is it about galbanum....

    I love it too. To me, any bitter aromatics have a sort of medicinal mystery to them--not boring in any way, but rather some kind of miraculous secret that heals both physically and emotionally. When I drink orange bitters in a tonic water, I feel similarly as when I smell galbanum. I love Chanel No.19 for its galbanum which seamlessly blends into vetiver in the drydown.

  15. #15

    Default Re: What is it about galbanum....

    Galbanum is an anti-spasmodic. I think that makes it rather soothing. My name is Ruggles and I'm a spaz.
    Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 18th February 2009 at 03:57 AM.

  16. #16

    Default Re: What is it about galbanum....

    I think galbanum must be my favorite note because so many of my treasured scents contain galbanum. I love the scents already mentioned, plus, most especially -- Murasaki and Fidji.

  17. #17

    Default Re: What is it about galbanum....

    I suggest VENT VERD by Balmain.....

  18. #18

    Default Re: What is it about galbanum....

    Count me in, bigtime.

    Two years ago, Andy Tauer came to [then] Luilei, in Brooklyn- to launch Reverie au Jardin, and to go to Scent Bar.
    He had vials of raw ingedients for display and discovery; it was no secret that oakmoss and galbanum had me in another terrestrial sphere.
    He teased me about it- no more than he expected.

    For Madini-cheap, there's Hanane- a very galbanic chypre, cheap 'n' gorgeous !

  19. #19

    Default Re: What is it about galbanum....

    Quote Originally Posted by DULLAH View Post
    I like it.
    Alone, it smells like crushing fresh deciduous leaves in your hand til you see the chlorophyll.
    But it combines well with almost everything, same way a plain green leaf does.
    Anyone who likes Galbanum should try/own something here: SISLEY
    This range is the highest ratio of Galbanum I've smelled yet.
    Great suggestion, DULLAH. I love the Sisley Eau de Campagne, it is so green! The tomato leaf note is so true to form.
    odysseusm

    "The force that through the green fuse drives the flower // drives my green age..." Dylan Thomas

  20. #20

    Default Re: What is it about galbanum....

    I'm so thankful for this thread. For some reason I didn't realize that many perfumes I adore (Scherrer, Chanel 19, Chamade, Silences, Vol de nuit... and more) share this note. I always chalked it up to oak moss in some, orris in others.
    Last edited by Nostalgie; 18th February 2009 at 11:42 AM.
    "You...put on cologne to write?"(From Midnight in Paris)

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  21. #21

    Default Re: What is it about galbanum....

    I'm a fan of the greens, and galbanum is delightful.

    Besides the scents mentioned above, all of which I enjoy, I can also add Cabochard and Ma Griffe, both of which contain a good deal of galbanum.
    This week, 'Chanel Cuir de Russie: Skin Scent' at http://thescentimentalist.blogspot.com/

  22. #22

    Default Re: What is it about galbanum....

    I am not sure, but Chanel Bel Respiro may have galbanum. I know I can smell some similarities to No. 19. What do you think?
    Evenstar

  23. #23

    Default Re: What is it about galbanum....

    My favourite green note! I learned to love it in Yohji Yamamoto Yohji.
    "Wovon man nicht lesen kann, darüber muss man schreiben."

  24. #24

    Default Re: What is it about galbanum....

    Bel Respiro is loaded with galbanum, that's why I bought it! I also have the eo and use it in two of my own scents. It's green, but never sweet. It's really rather dark and bitter, and gives fragrances the edge. The original Chanel Cristalle had it as well. The only negative is, that as a top note, it's gone in about 15 minutes. Givaudan has supposedly solved this with a synthetic galbanum note that lasts a long time, but I haven't smelled it. I like the natural.

  25. #25

    Default Re: What is it about galbanum....

    Was anyone else surprised, as I was, to see that galbanum is extracted from a umbelliferous, fennel-type plant? I don't know exactly what I was expecting, but it wasn't something resembling (in appearance anyway) the wild anise growing in the vacant lot next door. It reminds me of the surprise that most people express when finding out that patchouli is not extracted from a bark or woodchips, but from a broadleafed plant.

  26. #26

    Default Re: What is it about galbanum....

    Yes, I was surprised when I first saw a live patchouli plant in an herb garden. I nipped off a tiny corner of a big, green leaf on this small, low-growing plant, and behold--patchouli.
    Last edited by purplebird7; 18th February 2009 at 11:21 PM.

  27. #27

    Default Re: What is it about galbanum....

    Quote Originally Posted by Elf View Post
    Givaudan has supposedly solved this with a synthetic galbanum note that lasts a long time, but I haven't smelled it. I like the natural.
    I was shocked at how much Spirogalbanone didn't smell like Galbanum. I realize it has more facets, but it missed on the critical one.

  28. #28

    Default Re: What is it about galbanum....

    I'm pretty sure I don't know what the note galbanum smells like. (I am still in diapers when it comes to fragrance knowledge!) I will have to put several of the mentioned fragrances on my test list, but is there a particular fragrance that smells the MOST galbanum-y? The Sisley?

  29. #29

    Default Re: What is it about galbanum....

    Topping this thread because I just wanted to thank those who suggested Sisley's Eau de Campagne. Tried, loved, and am now planning to buy. My wallet, of course, does not thank you.

    The green, green blast of the top notes is incredibly bracing and uplifting. What fascinates me about this scent is how it goes from bright to soft and back again throughout its development. Oscillating, almost. The galbanum rallies again in the drydown, returning to show who's really the boss of this fragrance.

    Cheers,
    J.

  30. #30

    Default Re: What is it about galbanum....

    Oh, great, now I have to try another frag (Eau de Campagne). My wallet hates you (kidding).

    I guess I'm also a galbanum person, since nearly all of perfumes listed here are part of my harem.
    “Auntie Mame [is] a froth of whipped cream and champagne and daydreams and Nuit de Noël perfume. She's not mortal at all.”- Patrick Dennis

  31. #31

    Default Re: What is it about galbanum....

    I think that some of the mystique about galbanum is because it takes us deep into the dark places of nature, the damp and shadowy forests. It heightens the senses with its bitter edge but, once we become accustomed to it, the soothing comfort sets in.

    Bel Respiro is a tame approach to galbanum. It approaches the darkness but, unlike others, I feel that sweet contradiction works its way into the overall effect. Cristalle unabashedly sweetened the mix, and it was perfect when I was in my college years so many moons ago.

  32. #32

    Default Re: What is it about galbanum....

    Ditto to everything you said, Merbert. One of galbanum's strongest facets for me is that it represents refreshment without the contemporary cliches of minty/citrusy/aquatic. It's like a window into the ancient definitions of being purified, re-sanctified, re-vivified.

  33. #33
    kumquat's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is it about galbanum....

    You all really must go to the E Lauder counter & try Azuree. For a really wild ride, I double-dog dare you to try Aliage. It's weird but wonderful, like something from the Hobbit Cave.

  34. #34

    Default Re: What is it about galbanum....

    [QUOTE=Jardanel;1438000
    Coincidentally, they are among my most-worn in rainy, cold weather. Especially rain like today's in my part of the world: cold thunderstorms, alternating between drenching downpours and hail and then partly sunny skies with towering cloud masses sailing through. Odd how I seem to physically crave the austere green exclamation point of this note in the turbulence of stormy wet weather.

    I don't regularly wear Chanel 19 anymore, but I did go through a few bottles in the past and loved it.


    J.[/QUOTE]

    Yes, Yes, Yes !!! I too went through a Chanel 19 phase (er, obsession) during a late winter/Spring season. There is something about cool, damp weather that makes this scent come alive for me. And conversely, I can't wear it in warm weather. At all. It absolutely curdles on me then. But ohhh, in cool weather, outdoors, and in the office, this scent sparkles for me.
    "You can't change the past, but you can ruin the present by worrying about the future."

    "Three essentials for a good life: Someone to love, somewhere to go, and something to look forward to."

  35. #35
    Hillaire
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    Default Re: What is it about galbanum....

    When I think of that Incredible Galbanum hit, I think of Safari every time!
    Also Shiseido original Zen has a powerful dose ala Silences.

  36. #36

    Default Re: What is it about galbanum....

    I agree on No.19 in cooler weather--works much better for me in the California winter (which is like spring or fall to most other places)

  37. #37

    Default Re: What is it about galbanum....

    Quote Originally Posted by DULLAH View Post
    I like it.
    Alone, it smells like crushing fresh deciduous leaves in your hand til you see the chlorophyll.
    But it combines well with almost everything, same way a plain green leaf does.
    Anyone who likes Galbanum should try/own something here:

    This range is the highest ratio of Galbanum I've smelled yet.
    Yesss!
    One serious Eau De Campagne lover here too!
    Did anyone mention yet that it was created by Ellena? Year 1974 if I remember correctly...

  38. #38
    BN better than ever
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    Default Re: What is it about galbanum....

    Quote Originally Posted by Jardanel View Post
    It smells primeval but imparts the most civilized elegance.
    Beautiful observation about so much that is perfumery.

    Hugging you, Jardanel, for starting and feeding this thread. You've done me--and all of us--a favor by focusing on a note that's fallen to the periphery of my consciousness. And as a lover of green scents, that's just dumb of me.

    Particularly enjoyed your Miss Dior-courage story and appreciate the dramatic imagery (and sniffagery?) it inspired.
    In a world where 6 million people are added each month, every landscape matters.

  39. #39

    Default Re: What is it about galbanum....

    Thank you, Quarry! I'm just grateful to have this place, where we can speak our language among friends.
    Last edited by Jardanel; 25th March 2009 at 04:46 PM.

  40. #40

    Default Re: What is it about galbanum....

    Quote Originally Posted by tigrushka View Post
    My favourite green note! I learned to love it in Yohji Yamamoto Yohji.
    I already loved galbanum by the time I discovered Yohji, but Yohji and Must de Cartier were revolutionary uses of galbanum with Oriental base notes, and made me look at it in a whole new way.

  41. #41

    Default Re: What is it about galbanum....

    I tried Balmain IVOIRE recently and really fell hard for it. What a beautiful composition!

    How many of you have tried the foresty-green RAINFOREST by Ayala Moriel? It features galbanum.

    I also notice that galbanum is the first listed ingredient in GREY FLANNEL.

  42. #42

    Default Re: What is it about galbanum....

    Quote Originally Posted by Perfume_Addict View Post
    I already loved galbanum by the time I discovered Yohji, but Yohji and Must de Cartier were revolutionary uses of galbanum with Oriental base notes, and made me look at it in a whole new way.
    I love Must, too, and that "green opening - ambery vanilla drydown" combo is pure dynamite!
    "Wovon man nicht lesen kann, darüber muss man schreiben."

  43. #43

    Default Re: What is it about galbanum....

    Quote Originally Posted by tigrushka View Post
    I love Must, too, and that "green opening - ambery vanilla drydown" combo is pure dynamite!
    Yes - and I don't wear them often enough! I'm rationing my Yohji, since I wore it recently and one can't get it anymore, but I think I'll wear Must today.

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