I Fell for Le Labo's Santal 33 Just Like the Rest of the World and I Don't Care if That Makes Me a Sucker
I mean, even Justin frickin' BEIBER wears it.
I LOVE gourmands. You can track the evolution of vanilla fragrances from my teens to my mid-twenties. But I desperately need to try something new. And like my hair, I always need to do something drastic.
So I went on a search for something “green” and made a mental note that I would avoid vanilla entirely if possible. This led me down a path of citrus, florals and chypre fragrances I would have originally steered clear of. I also became aware that I wasn’t a fan of straight up green fragrances, which made things... complicated.
I was faced with a challenge: find something green and spring-like that doesn’t smell like body wash or grandmother. For someone with a relatively unsophisticated understanding of perfume, I had to learn very distinctly what I did and did not like.
I continued my search. Trial and error led me to understand that I don’t like super-powdery fragrances, and too much citrus makes me think of a bathroom. I need depth in my fragrance.
So I still wanted “green” and aimed to find a scent that completely avoided vanilla, a note I always fall back on. I wanted something new, but everything green gave me a headache. I narrowed my choices down to Carven Le Parfum, which is more of a white floral. Beautiful, but not quite green enough. Untitled L`Eau by Maison Martin Margiela also caught my attention. It’s a citrusy, green fragrance, opening with mandarin orange and lemon but the dry down was a little too warm.
Why couldn’t I find something green I loved!? I felt doomed to my vanilla gourmands.
Then I discovered Commodity’s Moss. This was leaning a bit away from the bright green I had initially hoped for, but it was earthy, which is still green in my books.
It opens with petitgrain (orange leaves), bergamot and elemi (balsam)—I absolutely LOVE the opening to this. As it sat on my skin, it developed into a more woody, mossy scent (duh). It mellows out a bit with some oakmoss and orange blossom, keeping the scent fresh but still having depth. After it dries down a bit you’re left with a very sultry, rich cedar. It’s like the smell of damp woods after a rain. It’s green, but not in a light fruity way.
It’s like the gutsy, weathered green perfume of my dreams.