One Thousand Scents

Friday, March 21, 2008

Wishful Thinking: Miller et Bertaux Green, green, green and green

Yesterday was the first day of spring, but you'd never know it around here. We've been having a brutish winter that will not end; yesterday we were treated to an ice storm, making everything slick and glassy, following by driving rain, which made it all the slipperier. Now it's snowing.

So I took matters into my own hands yesterday, breaking out the spring scents and trying to will spring into appearing. It didn't work, but I felt a little better. A little.

Springtime scents are green and fresh; they evoke the possibility of new life. If there's still snow on the ground, they remind you that it won't last forever, that life will be returning to your barren patch of earth. When I wear them at a time like this, I can actually believe that the ground will be thawing and the crocuses will be showing their heads some time soon.

Naturalist David Rooks called the blue morpho butterfly "the bluest thing in the world"

and if you're stuck inside on a hideous, icy, faux-spring day, then Green, green, green and green by Miller and Bertaux is the greenest thing in the world. It bursts out of the bottle--flings itself out--in a tumult of greenness: a sprightly, bitter gin-and-tonic smell with a big wedge of lime and a camphoraceous leafiness at the same time. There's nothing pretty or understated about it: it's just a full-frontal assault of green.

There's not a whole lot of development; the camphor note dies away eventually and the scent becomes a little less forceful and angular, but it's green to the very end, boosted by herbal notes and a bristly shock of vetiver. You can see why it's the perfect antidote for hateful late-winter weather. (The other day I applied Green, green, green and green to the backs of my hands, as always, and then a few minutes later smooshed on some St. Ives Swiss Vanilla lotion because the winter's taking a toll on the skin, too. I was baffled and then delighted to discover that the combination created a scent not unlike Safran Troublant; the lotion damped down the extreme greenness of the scent and let the spicy-medicinal elements come to the fore, which, combined with that french-vanilla scent, made for an unexpectedly pleasant fragrance. You never know what will happen when you layer scents, even inadvertently.)

The three Miller and Bertaux bottles are, as you can see, the same, but with a different colour-coded sphere bobbing around inside. (Their first scent is called For You, and their second is Spiritus/Land. The three are meant to be mixed and matched, if you like.) Here are the boxes:

and aren't they great? Like little tiny wardrobes!

A few other fragrances that say "springtime" to me, scents that I will be counting on to get me through days like this: Demeter Meyer Lemon, the dark-green Cabochard and Jacomo de Jacomo for those overcast days, Lagerfeld Photo, and of course Yves Rocher Homme Nature, which has been my go-to spring scent for years.


  • I really like the Miller et Bertaux line - I have the first three fragrances and wear them quite a lot.

    Nice review on Green, green, green and green - I, too, get that great lime at the beginning that never seems to go away (at least on my skin). Although, as you mentioned, it doesn't develop much, I love it for it's tenacity.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:00 PM  

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