Céline Ellena envisioned a magical formula.... Verveine is closely tied to the cycle of nature and the daily life of a perfumer who searches for inspiration in her plant garden. The perfumer drew inspiration from the plant’s natural environment to create three worlds of scents to describe it: sun, earth, and water. The sun symbolizes energy and light, with the hint of white grapefruit zest. The water is a delicate bouquet of white petals mixed with the freshness of a summer rain. The earth diffuses a soft, sensual perfume of warm, light-colored wood and roots.
Hey, whoever wrote this PR should mosey up to Paris and assist their imagination-challenged brothers and sisters in perfume public relations who are stuck in a rut of writing "sexy" (what's sexy about men in skyscrapers, attending business meetings?)/predictable/aspirational drivel.
Verveine opens with a punch of spicy-sparkling grapefruit (yep, it smells "sunny"), followed quickly by vibrant lemon verbena (as if you're rubbing the leaves between your fingers). Verveine's floral (rain) element is dominated by Litsea cubeba (citrusy, tangy and fleshy), one of my favorite perfume ingredients — if I move back to California I'm definitely growing one of these trees! While writing this review I was sitting next to a tiny vase filled with tendrils of blooming jasminum polyanthum. Suddenly Verveine (on my person) and the delicate blossoms seemed to "communicate;" as the aromas of perfume and flowers mingled, they became stronger. Perhaps the dying blossoms and captured, liquid jasmine recognized kin, no matter how distant and different, and reached for each other?
As Verveine moves into its final stages, it remains interesting and fresh (cedar and iris root have been given a verbena oil bath and then dried and pulverized into citrus-tinged powder).
Fragonard Verveine Eau de Toilette is available now at Beautyhabit; other items in the Verveine line include soap and room fragrance diffusers.
* Listed fragrance notes of verbena (beebrush), grapefruit, Litsea cubeba, ylang-ylang, jasmine, iris, cedar, amber, patchouli.