Thursday, March 17, 2011

Coty - Émeraude


Happy St Patrick's Day everyone! Being of Irish descent on my mother's side, we always wore green on March 17 and went to the parade. No one is more sentimental about Ireland than an Irish-Canadian on St Patrick's Day, and we're not even Catholic. I love St Patrick's day even more now that it's been almost universally adopted as a spring celebration. I go to the Parade in Toronto and see so many people of different colours and nationalities cheerfully wearing green clovers.

A few days ago, planning this St. Patrick's Day post, I chose to review Émeraude. I've been focusing on green perfumes this month, and I hadn't even tried my vintage bottle yet. Full of anticipation, I took off the cap, sprayed and thought... "Huh, Émeraude isn't green at all." Surprise! It's an oriental.

That's what I get for not reading other reviews first. Created by Francois Coty, the founder of Coty, Émeraude was released in 1921. Its citrus top and creamy vanilla plus wood base predates the much more famous Shalimar. Although Shalimar is the critical darling of the perfume world, I'm still not comfortable with it. I prefer my Émeraude.

My bottle is vintage edc. I'm not sure of the date, but I would guess that this was a drug store tester bottle from the 60's or 70's. It opens with a hint of citrus, but nothing like the strong lemon I get from Shalimar. the heart of the perfume opens quickly, within a few minutes I am smelling a powdery, creamy rose and jasmine blend over a vanilla amber and wood base. It's very smooth and, because it's only an edc, not very strong, but it's lovely. The base notes are slightly musky and leathery. In the far dry down, the wood notes reveal sweet violet tones.

I find Émeraude pretty and comforting, if the teensiest bit "old lady." I've never smelled the current formulation but I can recommend the vintage. I'll have a photo of my bottle up later today.

House: Coty
Nose: Francois Coty
Notes: Top notes are orange, bergamot and lemon; middle notes are jasmine, ylang-ylang, rose and brazilian rosewood; base notes are amber, sandalwood, patchouli, opoponax, benzoin and vanilla.
Where to buy: I got my vintage bottle at Fritsch's Pharmacy


  1. This sounds magical-- millions of miles away from the bottle of Emeraude that once made my head snap back in horror when I picked it up from the drugstore counter for a sniff. Coty should be ashamed of itself for putting this classic formula out to pasture and substituting a vile impostor.... I LOVE the graphic, by the way! It reminds me of the wonderful vintage sheet music images my library department uses in our displays (we are the sole repository of the county's entire sheet music & libretto collection).

  2. Oh, the vintage Emeraude...{smiles}...reminds me of what I imagined the perfect green cocktail would be like when I was a kid. You know, something like a grasshopper, green in color only, basically plush and sweet and comforting.

    Dang. Fritsch's again? Wanna be a personal shopper?

  3. Hi Olenska. I love the old turn of the century St. Patrick's Day greeting cards. They seem to have been very popular.

  4. Hello ScentScelf: Why don't you try calling Michael Fritsch? I don't know if he ships, but I know he deals to bottle collectors, so there's a good chance. Contact info at the bottom of this post:

  5. The vintage in Emeraude has a richness that has been ruined in the newer versions circulating. The dumping down of the Coty firm is a sad historical case indeed. Imagine how average consumers not cognisant of the brand as you and I are view the house nowadays... SHAME!

    Hope you had a great St.Patrick's!


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