Spring, sprung – Tom from Perfume Smellin’ Things

Roxana Illuminated Perfumes GreenWitch

Yes, you’re reading the byline correctly; I’m making a special guest appearance here on the Posse! Of course, I’m still at Perfumesmellinthings; while Marina is taking a short Vacation, March and Patty kindly allowed me to participate in Roxana’s celebration of the Solstice by publishing me, and I thank them as well as Marina who made the suggestion.

This weekend is the Solstice, the date where Winter cedes to Spring, at least on the calendar. I can wage that in parts of the country people are looking at the calendar and the weather report and thinking “really?”

Roxana Illuminated Perfumes is celebrating the Solstice with the release of a green chypre called GreenWitch, inspired by the eponymous novel by Susan Cooper.

Chypres are perhaps my favorite kind of fragrance. Donna at PST earlier covered the genre in far more detail that I ever could, so I won’t even try. GreenWitch is a literal green: galbanum, limes, fern and tonka with a base of vetiver, patchouli and (YAY) oakmoss. This time of the year can in some parts of the country seemingly stretch for eons facing grey weeks awaiting that day when the trees finally bud and the grass is finally green (one that I remember seemingly happens overnight, like a blessing). While I would welcome this at anytime of the year, the sharp, deep springiness of this scent is particularly nice heralding (hoping for?) Spring.

Please visit the other participating blogs:

Bitter Grace Notes

The Non Blonde

Scent Hive

The Windsphere Witch

Perfume Shrine

Portland Examiner

Illuminated Perfume Journal

  • Kate says:

    Oh yes, a chypre with galbanum too! Must try. And now must sing: oooo, oooo, witch-ay woman, see how high, she fly-ie-ies…

  • tmp00 says:

    never read them; now I have to!

    • March says:

      Well, they’re definitely kids’ books — I read them when I was 11 o so, I think, for the first time. But they’ve held up well. They’re deliciously spooky without being graphic. I reread one recently and thought the writing has held up nicely.

  • March says:

    Hey, Tom — dropping by late to say 1) How much I LOVE THOSE BOOKS. They were great; passed them on to the girls.

    And this one sounds very much like something I want to try!

  • Nava says:

    Hey Tom,

    So that’s what a real chypre is supposed to contain? Not like all these “modern” ones, eh? :d

    Another fun fact of the solstice: sunspots. As an XM satellite radio subscriber, driving around in the middle of the day during March means you can’t listen to your fave 70s tunes without the signal constantly cutting out. A small sacrifice during the season of rebirth. 🙂

  • Tom,
    Such a lovely review filled with your trademarked humor….I loved it! I adore this one, I think that it’s Roxana’s best yet. I haven’t stopped wearing it since it arrived!

  • sweetlife says:

    Ah! I’ve been waiting for this release! I have a tiny sample of Greenwitch and she is very fine indeed. Like a country cousin of No. 19 in parfum–no less sophisticated, but with all her stays undone and bare feet on the warm earth instead of leather heels. Fabulous!

    (And so funny to see you over here, Tom!)

  • Roxana says:

    A pleasure to have your wit and your gentlemaness as part of this blogging affair as the earth enters the green time. Much gratitude to Marina for suggesting the Posse. Bowing low to March and Patty for hosting you!

    Oakmoss is an actual tree lichen found primarily on Oaks in Europe.
    There are varieties of Evernia prunastri available that do not have the chemistry that IFRA has “issues” with. Don’t you all find it rather incongruent that Tobacco companies can sell cigarettes that cause and kill yet IFRA doesn’t want certain components used in perfume?

    • Flora says:

      Amen to that!

      • tmp00 says:

        Double Amen!

        Not to mention when was the last time there was a horrible car smash from scented driving?

        • Louise says:

          What’s scary is how many times I’ve been inattentively driving while huffing my wrist… 8-|

          • Musette says:

            Sweetie, I once almost ran off the road (country road – but still) because I was driving and trying to open a sample box (Tommasina, anybody?). Then….because I’m not that smart I nearly ran off the road AGAIN! because I was too stupid to pull over so I could apply the juice!

            I’m a better perfumista now – and a safer driver:):”>

            xoxo >-)

          • Musette says:

            OOps! I meant “Tarantella”


            l-) >-)

    • Winifreida says:

      O god don’t get me started….

    • Tommasina says:

      How about banning peanuts? Now, that would make FAR more sense… said the girl who has trouble with chypres… 😮

  • Musette says:

    Tom –

    This scent sounds delicious!!! I love green!!

    I would wax lyrical about Spring – yesterday I was in a cotton sweater and sandals. But we’re in the midst of a blizzard today.

    Yesterday I was in a cotton sweater and sandals.

    Did I mention that?

    xo >-)

    • ScentRed says:

      I feel your pain Musette. Yesterday it was 65F and sunny, today it is 35 with flurries. I took my kiddies out this morning in little Spring coats and we all nearly froze – talk about a rude awakening. Soon it will be Spring though, right? Until then then at least we have our scents and friends to keep us warm 🙂

  • Scent HIve says:

    So fun to you at the Posse Tom! GreenWitch is certainly a unique and vibrant fragrance, perfect for the Spring Equinox!


  • maidenbliss says:

    Just read about Roxana’s beauty-full scent on Scent Hiveas well. It sounds absolutely gorgeous. I wish Roxana had samples that were a little less expensive because there are those of us who do buy a lot of samples and it can add up quickly. Alas, I’d try more of them.

    • tmp00 says:

      Yes, but they’re very concentrated so you’re getting a sample of the full-on stuff, not watered down. I wish I could afford full bottles of each of the ones I love…

  • Hello Tom! Nice to see you here. (Aren’t the Posse ladies great? 😡 )
    This made me realise just how lucky we are living in climates where spring is rampant: “This time of the year can in some parts of the country seemingly stretch for eons facing grey weeks awaiting that day when the trees finally bud and the grass is finally green (one that I remember seemingly happens overnight, like a blessing)”. It’s a blessing indeed.

    To answer Heidi above, I believe indie (non EU) perfumers who operate without reporting to IFRA can tweek a bit their compositions to suit their needs, although obviously not by very much. But it’s doable at the moment for as long as they can source the proper ingredients 😉

  • Heidi says:

    I’m totally curious, what does ‘oakmoss’ mean? Like, really oak moss? Without adhering to IFRA standards?

    I’m always a little uncertain of what to think when I see ‘oak moss’ listed in perfume notes now. Do they mean tree moss? Didn’t the IFRA ban that too? Do they mean an accord that ‘hints’ at oakmoss?

    • tmp00 says:


      I’m not sure what the whole fuss is about. But this is out of California, so we can do what we want. :)>-

      • Scent Hive says:

        Ha! Exactly.

        Did you ever hear Steve Martin’s routine back in the day when he talks about smoking pot, and says that in California you need to be careful because “You can get a ticket for that”.

        I love his old comedy albums.


  • chayaruchama says:

    Hey, Tomski !

    This was a lovely thing, no ?
    Like many of Roxy’s scents.
    Happy Spring ;-):x

  • Louise says:

    Hi Tom! So glad to see you hear :d/

    I’ve been reading up on the Green Witch (Chaya has a nice review on Bitter Grace Notes)-and she is calling my name.

    Off to order some Roxana samps 😉

    Happy Weekend to all!

  • Shelley says:

    Oooh, two days in a row. Like I said before, I’ve got no problems with green. Literal green. Take me there. :d

    …and as both a general and personal interest, this Solstice baby is going to point out that this time of year, when the earth finds a point in it’s meanderings that day is equal to night, is the Equinox. Winter ceding to spring is the vernal equinox…though gosh darn it, it started SNOWING last night! Guess Ol’ Man Winter is deciding to Not Go Gentle Into That Shortening Night. ;))

    • tmp00 says:


      You’re right and I even knew that. Vernal and Autumnal Equinox. Duh! Maybe it’s because I’m a close to Solstice baby I had it on the brain? :d

      • Shelley says:

        Why, I can’t *imagine* substituting “solstice” for “equinox” in one’s mind, just because it is near and dear to one’s heart… {insert whistling dude here} 😉

  • Flora says:

    Tom, I also found this one easy to love. How wonderful that there can still be a REAL chypre perfume made today! So glad American indie perfumers don’t have to answer to IFRA. 🙂

    • tmp00 says:

      I agree! Go USA!

      • Louise says:

        In discussions with one American parfumeur, she mentioned that she has had to stop using several IFRA-restricted ingredients, including oakmoss. This is because her insurance will not cover these ingredients, she can’t sell to Europe, and quantities of these ingredients are now difficult to obtain. So, boo-American parfumeurs are also affected b-(