Emerald Luck


– a review of Atelier Cologne’s ‘Trèfle Pur’ Cologne Absolute.
Most artists and certainly writers are a superstitious bunch. There are omens that must be in place before you can write, certain objects, rituals, things to drink, chew on, do to distract yourself from what you’re actually doing – which is to conjure word rabbits out of thin air where no rabbits were before…

I’m no exception. I have, as you know, the Holey Cardigan of Alexandria – a moot point in July – the ancient band T-shirt that states ‘This Blood’s For You’, the beatified iPod playlist that shuts up that part of my brain that would much rather procrastinate on YouTube …you get the idea. Since I usually write late at night, peppermint iced tea is very important. So are my two notebooks…one large blue journal/notebook/idea book that goes where I go and is used for all my writing projects, and one small brocade notebook I use for my perfume related stuff, where I only write in pencil. The pencils I also bite on while I write.

This past spring, another kind of superstition/omen arrived that has since become an indispensible part of Things That Must Be There So The Writer Can Write. I was, well, lucky enough to receive a sample package from Atelier Cologne, containing samples of five of their colognes along with the postcards used to illustrate them. Four of them arrived intact and were infinitely appreciated this past spring. The postcards were framed and hung on my wall.

The fifth – Trèfle Pur – arrived in a few dozen glass shards in the envelope, and had soaked into the postcard that illustrated it. When I realized from the copy that this was a clover-based cologne, I wondered whether that was supposed to be a bad omen?

What I did realize was this: Trèfle Pur was such a perfect, joyous, happy green I was heartbroken that it had shattered in the mail.

The Green – and green-eyed – Monster, that would be me. Say that magic word – my favorite color, my favorite perfume family – and this Ferdinande the Cow wants nothing more than to sit quietly under the cork oak tree and …smell the green…Green is my instant happy, whether we’re talking plants, clothes or perfumes.

All hope was not lost. I still had that saturated postcard. I never knew why, but I took that still damp postcard and promptly placed it in my journal/notebook and closed it shut before the luck ran out!

Since then, that postcard has remained in the notebook, still fragrant these three months later, perfuming my notebook and anything that went into it. It permeated another postcard that went on to other places, hopefully with a little bit of me and that four-leaf clover luck attached to it.

And every time I have an idea that needs to be written down, the beginning of a review, a musing, a to-do list, poetry I write in cafés while waiting for friends, rewrites of passages from my novel, quotes and poems from other books, dreams, doodles and aspirations…all of them carry that aura…of Trèfle Pur.

I tell myself that it’s lucky, you see. So far, I have yet to see any evidence it may be anything else.

I’ve always been on the prowl for the perfect, the flawless, the epitome of emerald green in a perfume. Not green-floral, not green-chypre, not green-woody, green-oriental, not vetiver nor oakmoss…but just plain, simple, peerless green. In my quest, I’ve come across any number of surpassing perfumed treasures and pleasures. I’ve loved many, and I still do.

Yet none of those green loves were quite so viridian, so fresh, so happy as this one. Technically, Trèfle Pur is a fougère, but this fougère has none of the barber-shop vibe of so many fougères, there are no definite masculine overtones or indeed any overtones at all.

Trefle Pur is verdantly perfect, and perfectly enough. The combination of bitter orange and violet leaves – not a whisper of floral to be detected anywhere – swirl off the skin so softly and sweetly, it’s all I can do to just sit for a Ferdinande moment and…smell the green. The combination of clover absolute with a hint of cardamom and more than a hint of basil, the bouncy, happy, warm drydown of neroli, patchouli and musk all sing their chorus around that luckiest of leaves – clover.

If you could bottle your anticipation and rainbow-tinted hopes for every spring, if you could somehow roll all the rain-soaked meadows and fresh-mowed lawns that steam in the sunshine following a summer thunderstorm into one, if you could capture the joy of nothing more nor less than being alive in the moment, just this moment…it would, in my mind at least, smell like Trèfle Pur. It never cloys and never bores me, and it never fails to make me happy in the moment, whatever that moment happens to throw my way. I can’t think of anything better for a spring day or a hot summer day, and it lasts beautifully for a cologne – I’ve detected it over four hours later, but really, I just needed another excuse to reapply for that one breathing, laughing moment life was just…perfect, I sat still for an instant and…smelled… the emerald green of lucky!

So why did I put that Trefle Pur-soaked postcard in my journal? To paraphrase from the ad copy…

“She had a good feeling about it. That’s the thing about luck, you feel it or you don’t. That moment, she felt it.”

So I did!

The postcard is still in my journal. All I have to do is open it, see the image below – and smell the green, the emerald green of…luck!

Notes: Bitter orange, cardamom, basil, clover absolute, violet leaves, Tunisian neroli, patchouli, moss, musk.

Image of Trèfle Pur postcard from the Atelier Cologne website.
Disclosure: Sample was provided by Atelier for review, but alas, it broke in the mail! Luckily, the lovely Undina saved the day and sent me a small sample!

Atelier Cologne Absolute Trefle Pur is available from the Atelier Cologne website, Aedes, Neiman Marcus, Luckyscent and First in Fragrance.