Coriandre (Eau de Toilette) by Jean Couturier

Coriandre 1973 Eau de Toilette

20.12.2021 - 02:26 PM

Green Ice

This review is based in a recent bottle of de Parfum de Toilette (green metal spray).

They say this perfume has been reformulated, that it is just a pale shadow of its former self... Honestly, I have never known the previous iteration of this fragance (and perhaps, I am very fortunate because of that: may be I wouldn not find the new one so enticing), but I find the current formulation fantastic. For me, it is like some sort of missing link between vintage YSL Rive Gauche and the current Sisley Eau du Soir. It is miles away from the ultra-sweet, simplistic and overly synthetic perfumes today in vogue. It smells classy, and yet not dated. It inmediately recalls some sort of expensive vintage herbal soap. It has the pressence and character that all the perfumes of good French maisons had thirtly years ago, and that today is just a memory.

Coriandre is cold, sparkly and demure, and yet brazen and direct. Floral, green, powdery and soapy. It opens with a huge blast of aldehydes, a tiny bit of coriandre, that, despite of the name, is not the main player, but a sort of constant chorus, and frosty angelica. Then comes the heart, a greenish and crisp rose surrounded by geranium and some iris, which is waxy like old lipsticks and Manley crayons. I love roses and iris when they are cold, wild and casual; I hate them when they seem to have come from Norma Desmond's dressing table. The roses and iris of Coriandre are somewhat in between. The background is a huge powdery cloud of white musks. I barely detect the patchouly and the civet.

The advertising, with a blonde, Grace Kelly-like lady sitting with one of the sleeves of her blouse torn is a very good summary of what this fragance is about. Coriandre, cool and yet warm, could have been the signature perfume of a Hitchcock's heroine, apparently unflappable and yet very passionate. It is ladylike and polite (but not stiff), but it is more that it shows. I can imagine this being worn by Scarlett O'Hara or Mina Harker in Coppola's Dracula, wrapped in green velvet cloth. It could be the signature fragance of Asís Taboada, the main character in Emilia Pardo Bazán's novella La insolación (The Sunstroke): a young, wealthy widow woman who longs for freedom and pleasures, but who is constricted by social conventions, although, in her conscience, feels she had done nothing wrong. A woman who only used iris perfumes, because all the others gave her headaches.

Sillage is moderate, lasting power is good.

Totally recommended for lovers of vintage fragances and green perfumes.
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