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Thursday, April 16, 2009

How Green was my Saturday

By Tom

This week I decided I was not going to review anything from ScentBar or any of the rest of the usual suspects. I went to Longs Drugs thinking I'd go slumming, only to find the fragrances under lock and key. I cruised through Sephora and smelled several of the new Eaux des forgettables, ones whose names I don't even remember so incredibly self-effacing they were. Then I cruised through Bloomingdales, where I stopped at the Chanel counter.

If you are of a certain age and from the preppy East, if you are female you at one point wore Cristalle. If you're a man you knew women who did. Marina wrote of it as "perfect white dress of a scent" and it is; it's clear and cool with refulgent greenness that's as lovely as a spring day. It has a sly sillage that begs one to approach and bask in its glory. It's just a touch too girly for me (memories are hard to break), but I think it needs to be rediscovered.

The last stop was at the request of my friend, to Kiehl's store on Robertson, where she bought one of their excellent lotions and I tried the new "Forest Rain". It also opens green, with a piney soapiness that would be perfectly acceptable in a floor cleaner or car freshener, but is less alluring in an actual cologne. Like floor cleaner, that "Rainforest Fresh" accord has pit-bull tenacity, just less subtle. Luckily after four hours you're out of the woods as it were and free to try something else.

Cristalle is $70 for 2 ounces at Neiman Marcus, etc.

Forest Rain is $38.50 for 1.5 ounces anywhere Kiehl's is sold

Image source,


Blogger elle said...

I definitely need to retry Cristalle. Are they doing a flanker for it or rereleasing it? Thought I saw something about this somewhere, but I may be thinking of something else altogether or simply hallucinating.
Too bad about Forest Rain. Liked the sound of it.

12:06 PM EDT  
Blogger krnszn said...

I wore Cristalle years ago. Probably won't go back, but I'll be anxious to try the new Eau Verte! Re: drugstore scents, I keep eying Tommy Girl at my local CVS. That lock and key, though, is really a deterrent!!!

12:09 PM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

Ahhhh.Cristalle. I had a brief moment with it when I was trying to remember how to be chaste and pure:)

All kidding aside, it is very pretty, just not for me. I tend to like it on others a lot though!

1:07 PM EDT  
Blogger lovethescents said...

Cristalle is wonderful, and I look forward to the eau fraiche, once it's released in my area.

I had acquired a sample of Forest Rain and mixed it with some of that scentless body cream we have at the hospital. I rubbed it into my patient's legs post-bath and the rooms smelled clean and fresh for a change!

4:04 PM EDT  
Blogger Alyssa said...

Tom, I've been meaning to pick up a tester of Cristalle for awhile now, and your review, combined with the recent news about citrus oils, pushed me right over the edge.

I CAN and WILL overcome my fear of the preppy girls who tortured me throughout my girlhood... Private Collection let me dispense with their mothers. Cristalle will take care of the daughters.

4:52 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Not sure about the flanker, but I don't think I would have reached for it if it was there. Cristalle is that good.

5:43 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I wonder if they're afraid of shrinkage of of agressive over-application?

5:44 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Consider it camo! :-)

5:44 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


It's not out here, at least not at Blooomingdales. I wonder though, how much fresher could it be?

5:45 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Forward! Own the scent!

5:46 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wore Cristalle (the original) in the 80s, I loved its cold greenness. Now it's reformulated and I don't like it, but a strange thing happened. I'd been trying for a year to create "my perfect green" in my perfume lab, and I finally got it, and called it "The Green Lady"- got a hold of some vintage Cristalle in Switzerland, and lo and behold, I'd recreated the original, almost note for note! So now I have one of my old favorites again....Olfactory memory is precise!

1:11 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I could be wrong, but I have a feeling that Chanel is releasing the flanker because Cristalle is going to be phased out. I asked about it at my local Nordstrom; of course, the SA knew nothing, but when she checked the stock at other stores on her computer, she saw that very few bottles remained.


9:26 AM EDT  

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