The Spruce Caboose
Pierre Bourdon’s Green Irish Tweed (GIT) is my second favourite fragrance from the house of Creed and probably one of the most iconic smells in the history of commercial perfumery, thanks to the popularity of his legendary successor - Cool Water. To the average nose, the two are extremely similar; but to a long-time fragrance enthusiast, there are significant differences that set them apart, both in quality and genre of scent.
But perhaps the biggest oversight that I’ve encountered to date is the lack of appreciation for the elegant simplicity of GIT that gives it an air of sophisticated refinement. In essence, it’s a violet leaf fragrance – a perfectly balanced one at that – with prominent supporting notes of lemon verbena, sandalwood and ambergris. It’s green, it’s bright, and it’s smooth. But most importantly, it’s SIMPLE. Every other note is essentially a frivolous accoutrement pandering to the sensitivity of the detail-oriented.
So how can a designer aquatic perfume like Cool Water (CW), with so many other notes - barely two of which are shared with GIT - smell exactly like its predecessor? Well that’s just it. It doesn’t. In fact, to date, I’ve smelled more than 5 different fragrances that attempt to emulate Pierre Bourdon’s original creation, with only varying levels of success. The reason all of them fall short is simple – they do TOO MUCH.
Rasasi’s Egra is no exception. In fact, it’s far closer to CW than anything else. But whereas CW takes on the garb of mint, rosemary and aquatic notes to fill in for the classic GIT greenness, Egra jumps headfirst into a pine forest. No, it’s not all that close to Aspen (my very first perfume ever). Aspen is far sharper, emptier in the mid, with a touch of cheap amber in the base. It’s definitely far from Tres Nuit – a scent that basically takes GIT and dunks it in a vat of lavender and sugar water.
The truth is that Egra pretty much rests somewhere in that relatively synthetic expanse between CW and GIT. It definitely has a strong and obvious CW presence with a good dose of dihydromyrcenol, but lacks those patented aquatic notes in favour of a strong violet leaf, spruce and juniper. It also shares more notes in common with GIT, albeit without the characteristic verbena.
So what is it exactly that we have here? Well, if someone were to ask, I would simply say that Egra is a greener version of Cool Water, incorporating the same piney-ness from Aspen, but with the subtle smoothness of Green Irish Tweed. In my opinion, it’s the version of Pool Water….ahhh….I mean Cool Water…that I’ve been waiting for – greener, livelier, perhaps a touch soapier, equally versatile and did I mention just as affordable?
But as a straight-up clone of GIT, would I prefer it over Tres Nuit, Stag Black, Le Parfait, Raghba, Aspen or any other popular smell-alike? Probably - although I do like the sweetness in Tres Nuit. For me, the greenness is just there, the longevity is better than most and the price is right. True, the bottle may be a little difficult to hold at first (pro tip: spray just next to the pointy end), but the atomizer works fine and you can even see the juice level between the thin black slats.
Diagnosis: My hat goes off to Rasasi for producing another winner. And although it’s not quite as amazing as Fattan (a near perfect and better performing clone of TdH Parfum), Egra is definitely no slouch. Bottom line, if you love Cool Water, you’ll love this. No question.