I’ve waited a long time for the latest Korres perfumes to arrive in the U.S. I guess the colognes are not destined for a Sephora near me, so I ordered samples from Europe to satisfy my curiosity. I’ll start with the most disappointing of the Korres perfumes I tried: Vetiver Root Green Tea Cedarwood.
Vetiver Root Green Tea Cedarwood
Vetiver. How can you go wrong with the lovely, robust, and delightful-smelling root? Korres submerges vetiver (the tiniest drop) in cheap aroma notes. Vetiver Root Green Tea Cedarwood starts off with over-powering, phony-smelling citrus (“citrus” you’ll often encounter in department store sport fragrances for men). What “wood” there is in Vetiver Root Green Tea Cedarwood smells decidedly imitation (there’s not even a “veneer” of real wood scent). The “earthy” aspect of the fragrance is jarring and “dirty” (as in ‘unwashed’). In mid-development, Vetiver Root Green Tea Cedarwood has a ‘watery’ aspect (not water mixed with green tea, but more like menthol mouthwash). Where’s vetiver? Where’s green tea? Where’s cedarwood? At the end of its development, Vetiver Root Green Tea Cedarwood smells like plastic combined with a “forest-scented” supermarket air freshener. This fragrance is cheap smelling from start to finish and, ain’t it always the case?, the longest lasting of the Korres perfumes I tried.
Saffron Amber Cardamom
Saffron Amber Cardamom lists notes of saffron, agarwood/amber and cardamom. The fragrance starts off a bit “musty” (like a long-closed room), but it turns sweet quickly. The accord of saffron (light, and hovering around the edges of the fragrance), amber (vanillic and smooth) and cardamom makes a festive and “inspiring” fragrance that reminds me of winter holidays and good cheer. (“Amber” fragrances always make me feel happy.) Saffron Amber Cardamom is “amber light”…a fragrance that is more Eau de Cologne than Eau de Toilette; it’s perfect for bedtime or when you want a super-light skin scent (there’s not much diffusion). Saffron Amber Cardamom smells like an old-time L’Occitane fragrance: it’s quaint (without being “frumpy”), has a simple structure, and smells good. At the end of its development, Saffron Amber Cardamom presents a wonderful-smelling ‘toasted’ tonka bean note. Unlike the artificial-smelling Vetiver Root Green Tea Cedarwood, Saffron Amber Cardamom smells natural. Unfortunately, Saffron Amber Cardamom is the most fleeting of the Korres perfumes reviewed here (it lasts about three hours on me).
Pepper Jasmine Gaiac Wood
My favorite of the Korres perfumes is Pepper Jasmine Gaiac Wood. (The days I wore it, I was asked many times: What are you wearing? Followed by: I love it! ) Pepper Jasmine Gaiac Wood has peppery jasmine blending with a delightful “round,” resinous wood note (smelling of gaiac and rosewood) with a touch of dry clove/carnation. Pepper Jasmine Gaiac Wood is also natural smelling and reminds me of a few favorite (and long discontinued) Aveda fragrance blends from the 1990s. Pepper Jasmine Gaiac Wood has a retro vibe; it smells a bit like old fashioned soaps and aftershave lotions. As the fragrance dries, it sends out a wood-y/sweet tobacco-like aroma that’s smooth and soft in character. Pepper Jasmine Gaiac Wood has good lasting power and sillage, and it’s the most masculine of the Korres scents I tried.
The Korres perfumes cost £24 for 50 ml (currently, about $40 US, although if you live in the US you will have to try hard to smell them). For buying information, see the listing for Korres under Perfume Houses.
Note: top image of Guaiacum officinale via Wikimedia Commons.