Perfume Directory

Blue Grass (1934)
by Elizabeth Arden


Blue Grass information

Year of Launch1934
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 83 votes)

People and companies

HouseElizabeth Arden
PerfumerGeorges Fuchs
Parent CompanyRevlon Inc > Elizabeth Arden Inc
Parent Company at launchElizabeth Arden

About Blue Grass

Relaunched in 1989.

Blue Grass fragrance notes

Reviews of Blue Grass

Long before the Elizabeth Arden company became a juggernaut of brand portfolio management, they were actually known for quality well-composed perfumes that sat in the same upper-middle class market space as Coty or Revlon. Those other cosmetic companies also grew into portfolio management firms too and seldom put out their own house-branded fragrances these days, so in another conversation there could be something said about there being no money in marketing proper perfumes to the middle classes anymore, but I'll spare everyone the hypocritical socioeconomic injustice rant because this is a review about perfume, a luxury good that symbolizes decadence. Blue Grass (1934) is one of the earliest perfumes from the house, and was composed by Georges Fuchs who was on loan from Fragonard for the task, a task he fulfilled rather ably. For obvious reasons Blue Grass is an aldehydic perfume created in the wake of the monstrous Chanel No. 5 (1921), a perfume which made popular the heavy use of aldehydes, a note that had otherwise been powering the openings of perfume to a lesser extent since the dawn of the chypre, but Blue Grass is surprisingly not a chypre. Instead, Georges Fuchs cleverly infuses the aldehyde floral with the base of a fougère, a rather neat trick considering the fougère had yet to be fully-pegged as a masculine style at this point. There is the typical lavender/tonka/oakmoss fougère structure in Blue Grass, but it is obfuscated with white florals and chypre-like arrangements of woody notes to hide it, and ultimately the perfume is rendered rather clean and safe compared to its contemporaries.

The opening of Blue Grass is the expected huge push of aldehydes and bergamot, with orange blossom and powdery notes similar to D'Orsay Etiquette Bleue (1908) coming into the fore. From this opening a bit of that lavender peeks into the accord, easy to miss if you don't know to look for it, but serving the purpose to round off the otherwise harsh opening into the floral heart. Jasmine, rose, and carnation make a very classic floral combination in this heart, something which many have smelled countless times in other old 20th century perfumes shilled to women, and it honestly never gets old if you're a fan of florals from an age before the use of synthetic-adulterated "absolutes" taking the place of honest-to-goodness oils. The powderiness remains into the heart, with narcissus and tuberose joining the jasmine to add a tiny bit of fleshy musk-like virility, but it doesn't stay. Blue Grass is still mostly a "proper lady-like" scent, but not without its flirtations. The base is a nice sandalwood the likes of which you won't see again due to over-harvesting, and coumarin does more rounding and building of the indolic musk that starts in the heart, with sweet benzoin and oakmoss serving as skin retention. Blue Grass finally succumbs to its own powderiness at the skin level, reminding me a bit of D'Orsay Intoxication (1938) in the final moments, sharp, resolute, and serious. The fougère accord softens and pads what would otherwise end up a really rather cold floral experience, and that's perhaps the magic in the method of Georges Fuchs, since this accord instead makes Blue Grass soapy, clean, and welcoming, just not sexy even by standards of the day.

The person wearing Blue Grass in the 21st century is someone with an immense appreciation for classic styles of perfume and wearing it for personal enjoyment only, as something like this is so far from the norm now that it's amazing Elizabeth Arden even still bottles it in whatever reformulated version exists on the market today, but here we are. Wear time for my sample is over 8 hours with moderate sillage, but there are so many permutations of this I can't speak authoritatively on it. I imagine the reverence for this is on a much more minor scale to that of Chanel No. 5 or Jean Patou Joy (1930), as the perfume "my mom and her mom wore so I wear" kind of deal. Men could easily pull this off if they like powdery white florals, and enough of that fougère accord underpins it all that this could easily sneak in as a post-modernist barbershop kind of scent like Caswell-Massey Jocky CLubs (1840) once the aldehydes and indoles burn off. Likely there is more respect for Blue Grass in middle America than in Europe, since Elizabeth Arden was the brand bought by many Midwestern girls who dreamed of Chanel someday but tired of Avon from Mom, using their first bit of spending coin to grab a bottle from the local general store and "smell like a lady". As for me, generations of time and shifting gender paradigms have rendered Blue Grass as rather unisex in tone to my nose, and it's a real gem of "the old ways" that smells slightly atypical for the era but is clean enough to hang with "younger" styles, so long as it hangs in the back of the room on someone bookish enough to make it work. Thumbs up.
23rd December, 2019
I've been wearing this since the late 70's, early 80's. Has it changed? Yes. Do I care? No. It is still one of my "go to" aldehydic perfumes. It comes on strong, for the top and middle notes. The base is sweet and mellow.

I like the lavender and lily, on top. The spices, carnation, and rose fill the middle. The base of Tonka, musk, benzoin, and cedar, are just right.

I am taken back in time, to more innocent times of my youth when I wear this. I'm old now -- I can get away with wearing this.
24th September, 2017
A very dry and fresh combination of lavender, neroli and bergamot, fading with the gentle support of carnation, rose, jasmine, tuberose and narcissus, to a warm powdery base of sandalwood, benzoin, musk and tonka.

This took me by surprise as what I read about it did not form an olfactory premonition in my head. It is quite singular and a refreshing splash for spring and autumn.

One of the greats from 1934. Highly recommended for both men and women. I think men would particularly like this for the dryness of its floral notes.
04th March, 2014
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Green with elegance

the relaunched version:

Orange, lavender and aldehydes in the opening blast settle down quickly into a traditional floral drydown dominated by jasmine and rose. At this stage I get a strong indolic component with benzoin admixed in the background. Some green notes emanate, and in the base a tonka with wood impression forms the finale. Less green that its name promises, not intrusive and at times not without elegant restraint. Four hours longevity.

21st August, 2013
I always wanted to be able to wear this one. We've all heard the stories about Elizabeth Arden, her farm in Kentucky, and her race horses. Unfortunately what may smell like lovely blue grass on my friends and relatives smells on me like what Elizabeth's race horses have unloaded on that beautiful blue grass.
03rd September, 2012
I've been looking for a new lavender fragrance recently and I realized just the other day that this one has a fairly dominant lavender note so I decided to go to my local drug store today and spray a little of it on myself. I have to say, it's actually pretty nice! It goes on mostly smelling like lavender (on me) and when it dries down it gets a somewhat spicy smell that reminds me of some men's body washes. It also vaguely reminded me of fragrances like Cachet by Prince Matchabelli or Halston by Halston. When I got home I sprayed some Cachet on myself just to check. There is a definite similarity in the way the two fragrances come across, but cachet definitely seems light and subtle by comparison. Blue Grass is stronger for sure. It says here that it's marketed toward women, but I would say that this one is actually unisex, at least, based on the way it smells on me. I mostly like it, but I keep thinking that I'd love to have a bar of soap that smells like this. I'm not sure if I'd actually wear the perfume. Plus, I noticed that the longevity of this fragrance isn't great. I also tested Touch of Pink by Lacoste on my other arm and I noticed that Touch of Pink, even though it's an extremely light, subtle scent, actually has greater staying power. I could still smell that one clearly after washing my arm with soap and water, but Blue Grass mostly washed off! may as well be a scented soap as opposed to a bottled fragrance. That's the only real negative thing I have to say about it though.Aside from that, it's pretty nice.
03rd September, 2011

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