The best green, woody and herby perfumes for women who hate floral fragrances

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From grass to moss, non-floral plants have inspired some of this season’s best perfumes. Here are the green, woody and herby fragrances we can’t stop spritzing.

Florals for spring. Groundbreaking.” Miranda Priestly was talking about clothes, but she could just as easily have been referring to perfume. Women’s fragrances are often dominated by floral scents, from the ubiquitous rose, jasmine and gardenia to the slightly less common – but still hugely popular – tuberose, iris and peony.

These perfumes can be dewy and romantic (see Fresh’s Rose Morning Eau De Parfum) or pack a powerful punch (like Frédéric Malle’s Carnal Flower EDP). Whatever end of the spectrum they fall, floral fragrances are decidedly feminine – but they’re not for everyone.

Because some of us would rather smell like a dark wood than a glade of bluebells; are more intrigued by the scent of nettles and moss than sweet blossoms. Freshly-cut grass, just-turned earth and the woody richness of bark are all wonderfully soul-enriching scents that are just as robust and evocative as flowers. And thankfully, a host of perfumers are waking up to the idea that there’s more to nature than petals.

From unexpected woody notes like birch, eucalyptus and cypress to herby wonders like mint and coriander, here’s our pick of the best green fragrances to buy now. 

  • Moss

    Picture this: the sun strobing between the trees of a mossy ancient wood where crab apple trees thrive, a stream trickles away in the distance and small creatures scuttle underfoot. This is the image that the team at Haeckles want to conjure up with every spritz of their Blean Woods perfume. With citrusy top notes leading to a smokey moss middle that crescendos into woody birch tones, it’s enough to spirit anyone away to a forest realm. 

  • Stems and stalks

    You know that sweet, earthy and largely overlooked aroma of cut stems that comes with a bouquet of flowers? In Malin+Goetz’s Stem Eau de Parfum, that scent is taking centre stage with the bright stalks of green hyacinth, rose and muguet, mandarin leaves and greens from wild freesia. It’s a radiant, lovely perfume that Stylist Loves editor Kat Poole loves so much, it’s a staple of her collection all year round. 

  • Herby hot rocks

    Prefer your perfumes more warm and sensual? 701, a unisex fragrance from French brand Bon Parfumeur, has been created to conjure up an evening spent paddling in a creek, the rocks hot on the skin and the water refreshing. The carefully crafted mix of eucalyptus, coriander and cypress is perfect for transporting you to somewhere a hell of a lot more relaxing than the office. 

  • Mint

    Inspired by a Greek myth in which the nymph Minthé is expelled from the underworld and transformed into the fragrant plant we all know, Diptyque’s new perfume is a fresh affair – and we’re not talking about the one with Hades that got her tossed out in the first place. Here lively geranium holds the crisp green herb aloft while patchouli centres it with warmth. 

A version of this content was originally published in Stylist’s sister email Emerald Street, now Stylist Loves. Find out more and subscribe for similar stories direct to your inbox

Product imagery: courtesy of individual brands

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