The Green Fiend


– A review of Jacomo’s ‘Silences’
Once upon a time in the Seventies, women were not afraid to be audacious or unique, either in their choice of perfume or their personalities. “Not for unassuming women”, read the copy for Yves Saint Laurent’s ‘Rive Gauche’, and if any perfumey slogan sums up an era, that would be it, equally applicable to Rive Gauche, Chanel no. 19, the teen-market version Revlon’s ‘Charlie!’ or any number of chypre/green/assertive scents of the time.

It was a bolder, more individualized decade, and the scents launched in the 1970s reflected that boldness, that audacity of spirit and daring and ‘You’ve come a long way, baby!”

And so I have, no longer anywhere near the 6- through 16-year-old I was in that decade, but one thing has stayed with me always – my penchant for the Green Fiends – scents that wave their galbanum flags loud and proud, scents with serious intentions for women you don’t mess around with.

Along the way, I found it was a perpetual quest to locate the ultimate Green Fiend. Chanel no.19, a perennial favorite, is very ladylike in its assertiveness, the kind to rap you lightly with a Japanese fan if you ever go too far. ‘Knowing’ by Estée Lauder is a rosy-green chypre that is as bracing as it is bitter, and this lady is not afraid to use her very expensive handbag, should you overstep your bounds, nor timid in the least to admit her relationship with her siblings, Lauder’s ‘Aliage’, Clinique’s ‘Aromatics Elixir’ or Prescriptives’ ‘Calyx’, none of them in the slightest unassuming, and all of them carrying metaphorical Hermès Kelly handbags with some serious punch behind them, or else some serious books inside them.

So on a whim, I wished for a bottle of a Green Fiend I had somehow managed to miss in my quest for green with a capital G.

Creeping in on sinuous, snaky tendrils of emerald green, Jacomo’s Silences arrived. Right away, I could tell this was no unassuming woman, this was a quietly commanding Helmut Newton glamazon, standing tall and proud in her six-inch spikes, not shouting her presence so much as insinuating herself into yours.

You can tell she is a blood relative of Chanel no. 19, the family likeness is right on her face, but whereas Mademoiselle Chanel is intimidating, Silences is intimate and more muted and by far more…green. This is the green of deep, uncharted forest, where unexpected flowers bloom.

After that sharp, bracing burst of galbanum, almost bitter, almost resinous, a hyacinth begins to bloom and grow, gathering more flowers in its wake, a hint of rose, a whisper of narcissus, the slightest touch of lily of the valley that keeps the hyacinth in check, keeping it from becoming too heady, too much, always erring on the side of class and elegance, always cool but never cold.

Those flowers stay with you a long, long time before they fade away to a verdant whisper of woods, a touch of amber, a tinge of something akin to regret. It lasted at least six hours on me, and was never less than stunning.

If Silences were a Tarot card, she would be the Major Arcana card called The Priestess, for that slightly chilly self-sufficient air she wears, that intimation she knows infinitely more than you could ever think to ask. She keeps her distance, and the distance only intrigues you more and lures you further in to those secret, green depths. She carries a touch of melancholy about her, a slightly pensive, eerie air, and even so, she inspires devotion, love and acolytes.

I’ve worn this during a heat wave this past summer, and it was the olfactory equivalent of air conditioning, keeping me cool, calm, collected and above all – grounded in the heat. But even in this wet and far cooler autumn, she reminds me that all things return, that even Spring will return, and so will I, longing for the secrets hidden in that emerald-green shade that is ‘Silences’.

This should receive far more attention than it does, but some of us do what we can to spread the word.

Can be bought for much less than the blood of your firstborn child in many locations, among them Amazon and here:

Notes according to the Jacomo website:
Top note : Narcissus absolute, Iris from Florence, Rose, Blackcurrant absolute, Galbanum
Heart note : Calendula, Bulgarian rose, Lily of the valley
Base note : Oak moss, Ambrette, Sandalwood, Vetyver

Notes according to Basenotes:
Top Notes: Galbanum, Green Note, Bergamot, Lemon, Orange Blossom .
Middle Notes: Orris, Rose, Muguet, Hyacinth, Jasmin.
Base Notes: Moss, Cedarwood, Sandal, Musk .

Read more here:

Image: Copyright: Helg of Perfume Shrine

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9 thoughts on “The Green Fiend

  1. Lovely post! I am so in love with green scents right now. Galbanum is like a soothing balm to me, even if it is sharp and cold.
    I'm ordering a ton of greens/green chypre decants, and Silences is among them.

  2. You have a lot to look forward to! Silences is fast becoming a perennial favorite! And if you come across something else truly stunning, let us know about it! There might be other Green Monsters I have yet to know about…

  3. Oh, I cannot wait to see what you think of Puredistance Antonia… I think you are really going to appreciate it. She's stunning!!!

    1. Goodness, Dee – how absolutely FABULOUS to see you again! 🙂 Thank you! Do you know, I had forgotten about this review…it’s hard to imagine It was written 2 1/2 years ago! We’ve come a long way since, you and I…and now that Spring looks like it might actually arrive, I really, truly should wear SIlences again. Thank YOU for reminding me! xo

      1. Thank you Sheila!! It’s good to be “seen” 😉

        haha, isn’t it funny, how we sometimes cycle through things? I’m so obsessed with Silences (again), and I think you nailed exactly what that is:

        “this was a quietly commanding Helmut Newton glamazon, standing tall and proud in her six-inch spikes, not shouting her presence so much as insinuating herself into yours.”

        I have been getting so many compliments on this fragrance, I had a moment where I thought, “I could wear this everyday for the rest of eternity.” I wish that I could remember where I first found it–it may well have been this review…

      2. Dee, if you had yet to hear of it before, that could very well be the case! I wished for it blind based on PerfumeShrine’s review – it checked all the right, green floral chypre boxes, was lucky enough to land 100 ml of the vintage PdT (now not a little less, alas!) and..yes. I think that’s what the French call a ‘coup de foudre’ – love at first sniff! 😉 You know how it goes…

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