Coriandre by Jacqueline Couturier for Jean Couturier 1973

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Post by Anne-Marie

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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

Coriandre Jean Couturier FragranticaPhoto 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.

Coriandre Jean Couturier Coriander WikiMediaPhoto 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.

Coriandre Jean Couturier Wheat Girl Greyerbaby PixabayPhoto 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!

Further reading: Now Smell This and Perfume Shrine
FragranceNet has EdT $23/100ml before coupon

Until next time – keep spritzing everyone!
Anne-Marie xx

11 thoughts on “Coriandre by Jacqueline Couturier for Jean Couturier 1973

  1. Hey there Anne-Marie,
    I really love Coriandre but it gets neglected because of Niki de Saint Phalle and CHANEL No 19. I know they are all really different but those two are the ones I reach for when I need green. And Fleur No 1 by 1000 Flowers too.
    Thanks for the reminder.
    Portia xx

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    • It was a great era for greens, the 70s. EL’s Private Collection is another. Oh, and there’s a late entry – Wrappings (1990). Hard to find though, that one.

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  2. Hi Anne Marie,
    I remember the original version and have been afraid to try the reformulation. Thank you for your lovely review. I might just give the new Coriandre a try for old time’s sake!
    Azar xx

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    • Ah, that’s a tough one though. Will you spoil the memory? I have not smelled the original, so while I like Coriandre, I don’t know what I’m missing.

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      • I’d be more than happy to send you a sample? I have a vintage bottle myself, and while it’s undoubtedly green, on me it’s also just a tad – dare I say – skanky?! cheerswendy

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  3. I think it is worth paying a little more sometimes for a good story! This sounds lovely and I especially love the picture. So much sunshine, and you can almost smell the dried grasses.

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  4. Hi Anne-Marie,
    Love your story about the little perfume shop in Hobart…. There are not very many independent perfume shops these days. 😦
    This is one I’ve always wanted to try but have never seen around. I really need to be on the lookout for this.
    I have heard this compared to Agent Provocateur first fragrance… I am curious to know if you’ve tried that and how they compare.

    Thank you.
    Tim

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  5. Hi, I absolutely love Coriandre. It has a scent all of its own, a chypre, very green. I used to wear the original formula back in the day and it really had a punch and would last all day. I have a bottle of the reformulation and as with most reformulations it sadly has had all the oomph taken out of it. I still love the fragrance but it is really softened down, not so much sillage and not much staying power. I read a fabulous comment from a blogger once that at her funeral she wanted her friends to play Al Green and wear Coriandre. I thought that was such a great wish. Cheers from Canada.

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