29 giugno 2017

Jacques Fath Green Water (1946 - 2015)

Green Water - Eau de toilette givrée
ad by Maurice Van Moppes (1953)
Give me a cologne that's not the classic citrus cologne. I'd like it more modern, with a green, aromatic touch but not too butch. Well, it should render the feminine freshness of a petals fall and the flawlessness of a sleek linen jacket.
These were my references in 2015 while thinking what to let people smell during Serial Classic, my workshops about historical or famous fragrances that started or made popular the various olfactory families compared to nowadays interpretations of the same theme.
It ain't easy for sure to find a contemporary embodiment for aromatic hesperides, a family started by Jacques Fath's Green Water.
During the session the original formulation knocked everybody's socks off: the minty refinement of this eau givrée still smells so up-to-date they immediately asked whether it's still available. It almost looks like chez Jacques Fath the creative director Rania Barakat Naim was listening to us: a few months later a major brand repositioning brought back Green Water to its former glory.

Vincent Roubert
Born in 1946 from the genius of Vincent Roubert, Green Water takes a break from the classic structure of the hesperidic cologne for two features. The first is the citrus character doesn't rely on a basket of zesty citrus fruits. Instead it uses a load of neroli, the far more precious bitter orange blossom essence (nowadays it costs more than 3000 €/Kg) that's definitely less tart and more dewy, fruity and sensual yet slightly bitter too. Aiming to emphasize the bracing herbaceous facets of the flower, Roubert marries it with a fragrant bouquet of tarragon, basil, hints of lavender and above all mint in a brand-new concoction that immediately became popular among customers and friends, both men and women.
One can only imagine the charming Ava Gardner splashing herself during a shooting break on the set of The touch of Venus. Or again the sex appealing Yul Brynner (back in time his nude pics were so much-talked about) who adopted Green Water as a signature scent through all his life: a wisp of smoke through the lips and the unfailing cigarette, the gaze and that fresh touch getting the atmosphere even hotter.

Ava Gardner in 1946 on the set on The touch of Venus - Yul Brinner

Sixty years later what a big surprise to find again Green Water at Esxence 2016 as part of Fath's Essentials collection created by Cécile Zarokian. I guess she still remembers the smile on my face while smelling the blotter, at least as much as I remember hers as I told her I own the vintage one. While being the formula inevitably different, M.me Zarokian did an outstanding job in bringing back Green Water, unmistakable and sparkling as just sprung out of Vincent Roubert's hands. This is even more remarkable given the hitches she faced, first of all the impossibility for the brand to access to the original formula.

With Rania Naim and Cécile Zarokian at Fragranze 14
In fact the Osmothèque Versailles was able to exactly recreate Green Water thanks to Yves Roubert, Vincent Roubert's son who years ago put his father's book of formulas (among which the mythical Iris Gris) directly into Jean Kerléo's hands. Unfortunately the non disclosure policy of the Osmothèque forced the perfumer here to an odd fate: rebuild the perfume by recursive approximation, trip after trip to Versailles to make comparisons. The only guide were Monsieur Kerléo's tips: "Neroli, more neroli!". And again: "Monsieur Roubert used two kind of mint to give a multidimensional, more natural vibe".

Yul Brynner - George Platt Lynes (1942)
The result is definitely worth it. Relying on the naturalness of a generous 5% of natural neroli essence and on the agrestic chill of mint (peppermint and wild mint), the biting citrus and leaves pillar straight from the Mediterranean kitchen gets as close as possible to the cheerful elegance of the original. The current basenote just shifts the chypre footprint to a more musky and mineral tone and yet it keeps the energizing roughness of vetiver from Haiti. Even the essential packaging, a cylindrical glass wrapped in a white label like it was in fashion in the post-WWII, is amazing as it preserves the legacy style.
By now Green Water has become a summer must to me. While it makes me feel flawless in the morning, the greatest enjoyment comes at night wearing it à la Yul Brynner let's say: just out of the shower, profusely spilled on the naked skin to feel its shiver while skimming over the bedsheets.

  • 1946 - Jacques Fath launches Green Water by Vincent Roubert
  • 1967 - Jacques Fath Parfums joins L’Oreal Group that relaunches Green Water in a more modern packaging.
  • 1993 - Green Water is reformulated and relaunched with spearmint, too functional and recalling dental care products.
  • 2002 - Further reformulation for IFRA compliance
  • 2015 - Panouge Group repositions Jacques Fath Parfums relaunching Green Water
Topnotes: neroli, bergamot, tangerine
Heartnotes: mint, basil, tarragon
Basenotes: vetiver, oakmoss, ambergris

Nessun commento:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...