Post by Anne-Marie
I bought my bottle of Coriandre a couple of summers ago during a visit to Hobart. There’s a perfumery there called St Cloud that I loved years ago when I lived in Hobart. I still I remember the thrill of buying a teeny bottle of Chanel No 19 parfum back in 19 … oh, never mind …
The business has moved premises but when I got chatting to the guy I was charmed to discover it is still run by the same people. Riding this wave of nostalgia, I could not resist a 100 ml bottle of Coriandre.
Coriandre by Jean Couturier 1973
Coriandre by Jacqueline Couturier
Photo Stolen Fragrantica
Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Aldehydes, coriander, orange blossom, angelica, bergamot
Heart: Violet root, lily, jasmine, rose, geranium, iris, ylan ylang
Base: Sandalwood, patchouli, musk, civet, oakmoss, vetiver
If you are worried that Coriandre will smell like coriander (cilantro), do still give it a try it. It does not remind me of the leaves, but the warmth of the seeds is there (much less pungent than the actual spice). It will not remind you of food in the least.
Photo Stolen Wikimedia
Coriandre is essentially a green fragrance, a chypre, but not as stemmy as, say, Balmain’s Vent Vert or CHANEL’s Bel Respiro. There is no chewy galbanum, and no juicy citrus. It makes a great fragrance for summer if you like to avoid citrus colognes. The effect is herbal, a little spicy, woody and earthy, and quite dry. I struggle to think of anything like it, really, although the mossy element dates Coriandre to before the 1990s.
Coriandre crackles with intelligence and wit, easily a unisex fragrance. It’s like a country cousin to CHANEL No 19 or Rive Gauche, much less refined. It’s as if Coriandre dropped out of law school and set up a pottery studio in a farm shed on Mum and Dad’s property.
Photo Stolen Pixabay
The fragrance reformulated in 1993. I’m reviewing the modern EDT, which is mostly what you see at the online discounters now. I can well believe that Coriandre is not what it was: the scent on skin often strikes me as too woody and harsh. The sillage is lighter, greener and much more nuanced. Longevity on me is moderate.
On the day I bought my bottle of Coriandre I had no internet access and it was a true impulse buy. Only when I got home did I realise that I probably paid twice what I should have. I’ve no regrets though. I helped a long-standing small business to survive another day and I had a fun experience. There was no tester but the guy in the shop opened his only bottle so I could sniff it. He keeps Coriandre pretty much for one customer, he told me, a man who buys it once a year for his wife whose signature it is. Wondering who this fascinating, unknown Coriandre-wearing lady was, I hardly noticed as my credit card leapt out of my wallet and did a little dance across the counter towards the till. Sold!
Until next time – keep spritzing everyone!