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  1. #1
    kumquat's Avatar
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    Default Oak moss- can we talk?

    How much do you love oak moss and how do you get your fix?

    This link shows the old vintage formula for Acqua di Parma Profumo-
    http://ismellthereforeiam.blogspot.c...-overlook.html

    It's one of the few references I've found that shows oak moss for this one- I was pretty sure it was in there.

    Another one (or two) I love are-
    vintage Rive Gauche (femme) & Vintage Coty Chypre parfum.

    Current formulas include- Caron- French Can Can, French parfum .

  2. #2

    Default Re: Oak moss- can we talk?

    Absolutely adore the stuff - I either sniff a bottle of it or wait until some falls off our tree
    Last edited by lpp; 17th January 2014 at 09:35 PM.

  3. #3

  4. #4

    Default Re: Oak moss- can we talk?

    When I'm jonesing for an oakmoss fix, I'll hit up some vintage Mitsouko extrait.
    That said, I do also like the fake stuff - Veramoss.
    Admittedly it doesn't come that close to the real deal and I don't like it in reformulated classics, but some modern perfumes put it to fantastic use, e.g. L'Heure Fougueuse for Cartier. It lingers on coat collars for an age and I enjoy catching whiffs of it.
    Last edited by gandhajala; 17th January 2014 at 08:50 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Oak moss- can we talk?

    So many vintage chypres to love...

    I just got a vintage Miss Balmain, and these days it's love. And of course, I second the defunct Chypre, just the basic accord in all its beauty; but not just the parfum, the 1980s reissue edt is perfect as well.

    Interestingly, I didn't think oakmoss was so important to vintage RG, but am not an expert. (I prefer Calandre anyway).

    cacio

  6. #6

    Default Re: Oak moss- can we talk?

    I've got a bottle of oakmoss absolute -- occasionally I'll just wear it neat (diluted, of course).

  7. #7

    Default Re: Oak moss- can we talk?

    I must agree with both French Cancan parfum and Diagheliv. They are extraordinary scents.

    I want to mention Memoire Liquide Mousse de Chêne too. ML describes it as "Autumnal scents of moss, bark, leaves and damp earth -a scent that is dusky, soft and hushed like a walk in the woods."

  8. #8
    kumquat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oak moss- can we talk?

    Guerlain- Sous les Vent & Vol de Nuit ​would be a couple of others that really deliver.

    Vintage -Miss Dior, Cabochard & Carons- Fleur de Rocailles, Nocturnes, Nuit Noel, Narcisse Noir, Tabac Blond
    most of them, really

    Jean Patou- Normandie, Invitation, Colony, (Ma collection, basically)
    Last edited by kumquat; 17th January 2014 at 11:02 PM.

  9. #9
    Dependent danieq's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oak moss- can we talk?

    I'm still not sure that I know what oakmoss smells like. Other Mitsouko, Chanel No 5 and No 19 I'm not sure what I've smelled that has it. Well, Miss Balmain, but I didn't care for that at all.

  10. #10
    kumquat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oak moss- can we talk?

    Oak moss is green and leathery. It gives the scent a firm base and catches at the back of your throat.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Oak moss- can we talk?

    Norne has a massive oakmoss note, too.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Oak moss- can we talk?

    Proper old Miss Dior parfum has a great green layer of oakmoss sitting there all lovely and reassuringly at the bottom.

    If I'm not in the mood for Miss Dior then I've still got:

    Miss Balmain
    Cabochard
    Mitsouko
    Chanel No 19
    Bottega Veneta
    Boucheron
    Cristalle
    Obsession
    Vent Vert (original version)
    Ivoire (vintage- the modern version is much lighter)
    Mariella Burani
    O de Lancome

    and probably a few others too.


    Can you tell that I'm a bit of an oakmoss whore?
    'I suggest we learn to love ourselves before it's made illegal.'

  13. #13
    kumquat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oak moss- can we talk?

    I am with you, Sfmedusa. There isn't much I wouldn't give for an unhealthy dose of the dark green stuff!

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Oak moss- can we talk?

    Quote Originally Posted by deadidol View Post
    I've got a bottle of oakmoss absolute -- occasionally I'll just wear it neat (diluted, of course).
    Just curious - how long does that last on you?

    (3107)
    Remember that while it is perfectly acceptable to criticize the content of a post - criticizing the poster is not.
    Mean spirited, nasty, snide, sarcastic, hateful, and rude individuals don't warrant or deserve other individuals' acknowledgement or respect.

  15. #15
    kumquat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oak moss- can we talk?

    Quote Originally Posted by cacio View Post
    So many vintage chypres to love...

    I just got a vintage Miss Balmain, and these days it's love. And of course, I second the defunct Chypre, just the basic accord in all its beauty; but not just the parfum, the 1980s reissue edt is perfect as well.

    Interestingly, I didn't think oakmoss was so important to vintage RG, but am not an expert. (I prefer Calandre anyway).

    cacio
    Yes, Rive Gauche was wimpified with the loss of oak moss, among other things, during re formulation.

  16. #16
    Basenotes Junkie Trilby Lark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oak moss- can we talk?

    Sous le Vent and Mitsouko are two of my favorites and the mossy note is deeply captivating. This thread inspires me to explore oak moss more.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Oak moss- can we talk?

    Quote Originally Posted by hednic View Post
    Just curious - how long does that last on you?

    (3107)
    I have it diluted to 20% (it's already at 50% in DPG), and it lasts hours -- even stains the skin. It's brutally powerful though, so I dab it.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Oak moss- can we talk?

    It is one of my favorite notes... I get my fix from a number of great vintage fragrances, but the one that probably has the best representation I have encountered is vintage Captain Molyneux.
    Current Top Favorites:
    1) Portrait of a Lady (EdP Frédéric Malle)
    2) Giorgio for Men vintage (Giorgio Beverly Hills)
    3) Dia Man vintage edt (Amouage)
    4) Les Nombres d'Or Vetyver (Mona di Orio) - tie
    4) Lalfeorosa (O'driù) - tie

    6) Anat Fritz Original Formula and Classical (Anat Fritz)
    7) Captain vintage (Molyneux)
    8) Tzora (Anat Fritz)

  19. #19

    Default Re: Oak moss- can we talk?

    I'm a big fan, and I think the current Mitsouko parfum is pretty darned good. I also like The Afternoon of a Faun, Lush's Devil's Nightcap, Jacomo Silences, and Odalisque.

    I don't generally get embroiled in the search for vintage perfumes, so it would be great to hear what others think are good current renditions, if there are any...?

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Oak moss- can we talk?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kagey View Post
    I don't generally get embroiled in the search for vintage perfumes, so it would be great to hear what others think are good current renditions, if there are any...?
    Due to IFRA restrictions on the ingredient, vintage is the only way to go to get a good dose of the real thing to my nose (I dislike the sanitized IFRA compliant oakmoss that a few compositions have utilized in recent days, and others using the good stuff have to use such a small quantity due to the restrictions it is near-useless). That said, one current composition bucks the trend, and it has already been mentioned... Diaghilev by Roja Dove. Other than that, it is vintage or non-IFRA compliant indie perfumers, IMO.
    Last edited by drseid; 18th January 2014 at 05:37 PM. Reason: Spelling
    Current Top Favorites:
    1) Portrait of a Lady (EdP Frédéric Malle)
    2) Giorgio for Men vintage (Giorgio Beverly Hills)
    3) Dia Man vintage edt (Amouage)
    4) Les Nombres d'Or Vetyver (Mona di Orio) - tie
    4) Lalfeorosa (O'driù) - tie

    6) Anat Fritz Original Formula and Classical (Anat Fritz)
    7) Captain vintage (Molyneux)
    8) Tzora (Anat Fritz)

  21. #21

    Default Re: Oak moss- can we talk?

    It's really all over bar the shouting

    Stock up on whatever you can.

    I have a bottle of the 2013 Mitsouko and it's pretty good, and a friend sent me enough Diaghilev for a couple of 'full' wears, but neither really compare with stuff from a decade+ ago before they started whittling away at things. What's been lost is a sense of space . . . the air between the notes. Remember bergamote is also in the firing line, so the canopy overhead AND the forest floor have now been compressed, flattened. The chypre was a three dimensional being - Turin's description of the three key elements forming a room that you can then furnish with all manner of things - peach, plum, port wine, leather, iris, jasmine, patchouli et al - is now essentially a flattened cardboard packing case. You can still squeeze some stuff in but there's no room for them to breath - we're almost living in a two dimensional universe now.

    I like Diaghilev but it's what I'd call a 'smug chypre', in that even this one, clearly a labour of love, lacks space and doesn't have much in the way of a story to tell - it's smells and feels goooooood, but there's no drama, no romance really. It takes the same lush 'aha' opening that was executed so masterfully with Cosmic (Solange) and what seems to me to be the same extended feelgood factor of M and combines them (without the madcap patch n the kitchen sink humour inherent in Cosmic). It's an absolute winner, a crowd pleaser of sorts (amongst those of us who know and enjoy the chypre accord) but it's just a bit smug about it and once you get past the 'well, thank goodness, smells like the real deal' sense of gratitude, the diminished geography of the thing becomes apparent . . . to me, at least. It just cannot stand up to scrutiny when contrasted with even a Vol de Nuit EDC from 30 years ago in terms of 'expanse' because the raw ingredients just ain't there anymore. I sense both of these are constricted, throttled almost, whereas a chypre should be open and expansive.

    Still, these two show dedication and honest concern and should be applauded and enjoyed for what they are, no question about that

  22. #22

    Default Re: Oak moss- can we talk?

    Oakmoss by Parfums Regence is linear, strong and wonderful but devilishly hard to find. I got mine at Jacqueline's in San Francisco.

  23. #23
    kumquat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oak moss- can we talk?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kagey View Post
    I'm a big fan, and I think the current Mitsouko parfum is pretty darned good. I also like The Afternoon of a Faun, Lush's Devil's Nightcap, Jacomo Silences, and Odalisque.

    I don't generally get embroiled in the search for vintage perfumes, so it would be great to hear what others think are good current renditions, if there are any...?
    If you do decide to look for it, the Acqua di Parma Profumo in the dark red box is the old formula. It truly is the best chypre out there, bar none. And, as I say, I get my French Can Can parfum from the French shopper on Ebay. ShopFranceinc. Nuff said. There's always Tabac Blond, too!
    Last edited by kumquat; 18th January 2014 at 02:15 PM.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Oak moss- can we talk?

    Quote Originally Posted by mr. reasonable View Post
    I like Diaghilev but it's what I'd call a 'smug chypre', in that even this one, clearly a labour of love, lacks space and doesn't have much in the way of a story to tell - it's smells and feels goooooood, but there's no drama, no romance really. It takes the same lush 'aha' opening that was executed so masterfully with Cosmic (Solange) and what seems to me to be the same extended feelgood factor of M and combines them (without the madcap patch n the kitchen sink humour inherent in Cosmic). It's an absolute winner, a crowd pleaser of sorts (amongst those of us who know and enjoy the chypre accord) but it's just a bit smug about it and once you get past the 'well, thank goodness, smells like the real deal' sense of gratitude, the diminished geography of the thing becomes apparent . . . to me, at least. It just cannot stand up to scrutiny when contrasted with even a Vol de Nuit EDC from 30 years ago in terms of 'expanse' because the raw ingredients just ain't there anymore. I sense both of these are constricted, throttled almost, whereas a chypre should be open and expansive.
    Great summary of Diaghilev -- I fully agree! It's a beautiful scent that sort of pummels you with the whole "luxury" thing, but you kind of want to let it do so. Proper oak moss is in the hands of the indies these days: House of Matriarch, Slumberhouse, Sonoma Scent Studio etc. are all using copious amounts in unique, forward thinking ways.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Oak moss- can we talk?

    Quote Originally Posted by deadidol View Post
    Great summary of Diaghilev -- I fully agree! It's a beautiful scent that sort of pummels you with the whole "luxury" thing, but you kind of want to let it do so. Proper oak moss is in the hands of the indies these days: House of Matriarch, Slumberhouse, Sonoma Scent Studio etc. are all using copious amounts in unique, forward thinking ways.

    Just curious to all experts - do any of the "indie" houses follow IFRA regulations? I understand Arabian houses have knockoff's that do use copious amount's of oakmoss (read these on some BN thread - probably dealing with alternates for vintage Paco Rabanne PH).

  26. #26

    Default Oak moss- can we talk?

    Quote Originally Posted by badarun View Post
    Just curious to all experts - do any of the "indie" houses follow IFRA regulations?
    Many don't. They're either small enough not to care, or they eschew massive distribution in lieu of creativity. Sonoma Scent Studio, for example, won't ship out of the US (although that's more because of postal restrictions than IFRA), and a couple of others have turned down potentially huge deals so as not to compromise their work. Playing by IFRA rules is really only important if you plan to get your scents into mass circulation and out of the underground. With that said, there are work arounds, and solid replacers are being developed at a steady rate these days. The current oak moss replacers (that you'll smell in quite a few thing -- almost mineralic in profile) aren't great, though.
    Last edited by deadidol; 18th January 2014 at 05:26 PM.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Oak moss- can we talk?

    Quote Originally Posted by deadidol View Post
    Many don't. They're either small enough not to care, or they eschew massive distribution in lieu of creativity. Sonoma Scent Studio, for example, won't ship out of the US (although that's more because of postal restrictions than IFRA), and a couple of others have turned down potentially huge deals so as not to compromise their work. Playing by IFRA rules is really only important if you plan to get your scents into mass circulation and out of the underground. With that said, there are work arounds, and solid replacers are being developed at a steady rate these days. The current oak moss replacers (that you'll smell in quite a few thing -- almost mineralic in profile) aren't great, though.
    So will these houses be eligible to enter for any international awards for best parfum etc (even if the parfum they entered is within IFRA regulations)? I guess IFRA might have a hand in those - unless they are chosen from among online forums like BN / fragrantica etc...

  28. #28
    kumquat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oak moss- can we talk?

    That's an interesting point. Some I forgot to mention are the Ajne scents from California. I don't know if they use real oak moss but a couple of favorites are; Savoir & Printemps​.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Oak moss- can we talk?

    Quote Originally Posted by badarun View Post
    So will these houses be eligible to enter for any international awards for best parfum etc (even if the parfum they entered is within IFRA regulations)? I guess IFRA might have a hand in those - unless they are chosen from among online forums like BN / fragrantica etc...
    I'm not sure how that would work. I know that some view awards in general as somewhat unimportant, but I can't imagine there's much of a connection that would get in the way. The IFRA is more concerned with keeping certain chemicals out of mass circulation than anything else.

  30. #30
    kumquat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oak moss- can we talk?



    Houbigant- Aperçu
    ​Still available. Now this is some great oak moss, baby!

  31. #31

    Default Re: Oak moss- can we talk?

    Chypres have always been my favorite category of fragrance, even before I knew they were called chypres. Unfortunately, almost all of my favorite oakmoss-heavy fragrances have been discontinued ...thank goodness for carefully stored new-old-stock!

    Among my favorites that I still wear and love are the classic chypres Gucci No3, La Perla, vntg Miss Dior, Givenchy III, classic Balmain Ivoire, Aromatics Elixir, Azurée, Knowing, Molyneux Quartz, Jean Louis Scherrer, Aliage, Private Collection, Ungaro Diva, Sisley Eau du Soir, Cartier So Pretty, Miss Balmain, Jean-Marc Sinan and Halston ...some of these are actually still available, but given proper storage, vintage will *always* be better, of course.

    Although not specifically chypres, I also have several favorite floral greens, floral-aldehydes and a couple of florientals with chypre-y, oakmoss-rich bases, such as Chanel No19, Deneuve, Vent Vert, Gucci No1, the original Calvin Klein, Royal Copenhagen Flora Danica, K de Krizia, VCA FIrst, Capucci Yendi, Ralph Lauren Lauren, Safari and Tuxedo, Guerlain Parure, Rive Gauche, Caron Pour Une Femme, Ysatis, Rochas Mystère and Versace.

    Others I've enjoyed in the past (and would gladly welcome again to my wardrobe should I come across well-kept stock) include Cuir de Lancôme, Magie Noire and Paloma Picasso. And although not my personal favorites, YSL Y and Carven Ma Griffe are worth a mention as both contain a hefty dose of oakmoss ...that is, *once* contained a hefty dose of oakmoss.
    Last edited by Evangeline; 18th January 2014 at 08:48 PM.
    Science is not only compatible with spirituality, it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light-years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual. ..Carl Sagan

  32. #32

    Default Re: Oak moss- can we talk?

    I'm still impressed with Chypre Mousse...
    We want a 'Niche' forum.

  33. #33
    kumquat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oak moss- can we talk?

    Thanks for that exhaustive list, Evangeline. I especially love Azureé. Vintage MaGriffe is fantastic!

    Brian, I'll look into who makes Chypre Mousse. It sounds familiar.

  34. #34

    Default Re: Oak moss- can we talk?

    I obtained an oakmoss absolute sample and it smells exactly like what I'd expect if I found an oak tree with moss growing on it and stuck my nose in the moss -- a deeply musky/mossy, yet slightly sharp green scent. An analogy? Think mushrooms growing in rich, black earth. The note is clear in vintage Coty Chypre and vintage Mitsouko. In others as well, I'm sure, as I hope to discover when I resume the Learning Chypre thread.

    Wow, you can practically smell it from kumquat's photo:

    Quote Originally Posted by kumquat View Post


    Houbigant- Aperçu
    ​Still available. Now this is some great oak moss, baby!
    Last edited by ScentFan; 23rd January 2014 at 03:19 AM.

  35. #35

    Default Re: Oak moss- can we talk?

    It's totally amazing when bits of our old oak tree with oakmoss (Evernia prunastri) attached drop off after a storm - sniffing it just embodies vintage scent to me.

    .

  36. #36

    Default Re: Oak moss- can we talk?

    Quote Originally Posted by lpp View Post
    It's totally amazing when bits of our old oak tree with oakmoss (Evernia prunastri) attached drop off after a storm - sniffing it just embodies vintage scent to me.
    Mind how you go there. That's dangerous stuff!

  37. #37

    Default Re: Oak moss- can we talk?

    I definitely miss it in good ole Z14

    Thank goodness i was able to buy some oakmoss bottles

  38. #38

    Default Re: Oak moss- can we talk?

    Quote Originally Posted by saminlondon View Post
    Mind how you go there. That's dangerous stuff!

    Climbing the tree to remove some would certainly be a little dangerous, but the tree is protected so we have to buy the stuff

  39. #39

    Default Re: Oak moss- can we talk?

    Oakmoss? YES, PLEASE and THANK YOU!

    Vintage Trussardi, Paloma Picasso and Mitsouko for me. All full of mossy goodness and worth hoarding while the going is good.
    We live only to discover beauty. All else is a form of waiting. ~Kahlil Gibran

  40. #40
    kumquat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oak moss- can we talk?

    Cool, IPP, that's the real thing! I never thought about looking it up to see what it looked like.

  41. #41

    Default Re: Oak moss- can we talk?

    Quote Originally Posted by lpp View Post
    It's totally amazing when bits of our old oak tree with oakmoss (Evernia prunastri) attached drop off after a storm - sniffing it just embodies vintage scent to me.

    .
    Very interesting, Ipp. This is what oakmoss looks like, dried?

  42. #42
    kumquat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oak moss- can we talk?

    I believe that's it, in situ. ​Growing on an oak tree.

  43. #43
    Dependent danieq's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oak moss- can we talk?

    Scentfan, that is live Oakmoss. Dried would be........well, shrunken and less green I would venture. This stuff, or something similar grows all over the forests here in the States too. Probably not the exact same one, but next time I go to a forest, I'm going to be sniffing those that are there to see what I smell.

  44. #44
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    Default Re: Oak moss- can we talk?

    I'd venture to say that it doesn't have a very strong odor. The essence required for perfume is distilled and intensified. (Experts required for the correct terminology)!

  45. #45

    Default Re: Oak moss- can we talk?

    Quote Originally Posted by kumquat View Post
    I believe that's it, in situ. ​Growing on an oak tree.
    Yup - it's alive, well & happy on an oak tree in that pic.!

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