A charming quartet – Jacques Fath’s Essentials

Most of perfume loving people have heard about Jacques Fath at least a few times during your perfumistahood, especially if your fragrance affair continues for the last couple of decades. The brand, originally a haute couture creators started to produce scents in 1946. You would probably know of famed Iris Gris or Green Water. 70 years later, in 2016 the brand (now owned by Panouge) decided to launch a new collection of fragrances to refresh their portfolio.


Green Water was originally introduced by Jacques Fath in 1946. The idea for the contemporary creation was to bring a very close equivalent that meets all the regulatory restrictions and still remains true to the original. The real formula was lost but a perfumer had access to Osmotheque for a reference. Green Water begins with a zesty shot of lemon and lime. It’s a juicy splash that instantly provides a lovely refreshment. Just 5 minutes later it becomes delicately spicy with tarragon and cloves. But most importantly Green Water is abundant with neroli oil. Original creation had plenty of it and in Fath’s Essential one neroli content is as high as 5%. You can really smell the amount of soapy floral tones that start floating around you.

As a neroli lover, I find this to be heaven. I always associate the smell of neroli with a feeling of cleanness and cold refreshing showers. In Fath’s Essential Green Water it’s less cold than I’d have imagines. Mostly because there is a lot of mint and basil that effuse their aromatic charm and Mediterranean warmth. Apart from the aromatic side they also introduce the green element. I find crydown to be rather clean and musky, sweetened by mandarin orange. There is also a portion of vetiver and oakmoss that push forward this more dry and woody feeling. Green Water surely provides instant freshness and could be used with abandon during summer. And it lasts for a few hours.


2nd fragrance in new Fath’s Essentials collection is called Vers le Sud. This composition opens with a lush image of a green meadow in the morning, when everything is stll covered with dewdrops. The aroma here reminds me of fresh cut grass and open fields, where you can smell the distinctive aroma of green elements warmed by the sun. Suddenly a splash of lemon appears to bring a smile to one’s face. Then some lavender comes forth to introduce a floral element to the green opening. Personally I find this lavender to be much more floral than herbal. Then there is also a bouquet of flowers in Vers le Sud, without any species as a dominating one. After a while I could smell some violet that is a mix of watery and powdery tones. Another note that appears is a sea note.

You won’t find this accord to be overly oceanic or marine, it just adds this hint of a sea spray because you smell how Vers le Sud gains a bit salty vibe. Fig leaf is another great note in this fragrance. It’s rich, green aroma introduces a lovely scent of the Mediterranean area – the smell of sap entwines with more milky aspect of fig. Drydown once again is musky but this time there is a bit more dirtiness to it. Woody part also seems to be stronger than in Green Water. And there is oakmoss again which is always in plus if you ask me. I love me some chypre. This particular fragrance wears very casually and I’m sure many people would enjoy it.


A 3rd creation – Bel Ambre, it provides a side jump from the previous two as it’s not that much fresh and cologne-oriented. It opens with a bright aroma amber than shines through the entire lifespan of this fragrance. Amber has a mid weight here, it’s not airy nor is it a heavy oriental. It’s in the middle. Just as the liquid on your skin starts to dry off, supporting notes of juniper and black pepper arrive. They have a fresh spicy edge combined with aromatic properties. After around 15 minutes Fath’s Essentials Bel Ambre reveals a magnificent orris root note. This is divine! It’s woody, almost buttery and creamy with a light powdery undertone. And it literally melts together with amber before white floral part of this fragrance appears. This is not your typical iris but it’s an iris to die for.

So, moving back to white flowers. The bouquet is nice but it doesn’t have a big power. You can smell them clearly as they blend with spicy amber & iris concoction but there is no specific white flower like jasmine for example, that would take the lead. It’s better that way I think. Amber can truly reign in Bel Ambre. Bergamot or lemon were basically non-existent in this perfume to me. The drydown was sensual with lightly spicy musk, woody vetiver and… soft leather. It has an almost plush feeling, it’s very playfull and seductive. I would definitely wear it on a date.


The fourth, last one and at the same time my least favorite in Fath’s Essentials by Jacques Fath is Curacao Bay. This fragrance is started by a zesty lemon accord that instantly becomes more acidic and more reminiscent of citrus rind and albedo. It is followed by a generous dose of frangipani. For the first 5 minutes it smells kind of tropical (reminds me of coconut) but then something weird happens and it starts to me like some boiling rice. I don’t know if it’s because of musk that appears next and has a powdery vibe or if it’s sea note. In this perfume marine accord is quite accentuated. It makes Curacao Bay feel aromatic – like a day at the beach. As the composition evolves it becomes more dry on my skin, despite tangerine and orange appearing in the meantime.

Later on Curacao Bay reveals a light white flowers part and again it’s a general accord without dominant flowers in it. Then I detect petitgrain which I find to be dusky. It’s like green leaves covered with dust to me. In the drydown there is a tart black currant that has a nice fruity flavor. There are also woods that have some substantivity and heaviness. There is also ambergris that smells mineral and salty – confirming the leading theme of ocean in this Fath’s Essential. This is a specific kind of fragrance and you have to like this kind of salty, mineral aromas to fully enjoy. As long as I consider every perfume I smelled as an added value to my knowledge I’ll be happy that I tried this one too.


These were 4 Fath’s Essentials. As you can see each fragrance is pretty different but you can also find some elements that link one perfume to another. Personally I noticed that all of them have a woody base that is kept in similar style. Also vetiver and oakmoss seem to link Green Water and Vers de Sud. The fragrances have been developed by Cecile Zarokian and as I was discovering the line I was happy she was the one who told me about each fragrance. Green Water, Vers le Sud, Bel Ambre and Curacao Bay are in parfum concentration and they come in 50ml or 200ml bottle.


8 thoughts on “A charming quartet – Jacques Fath’s Essentials

  1. hajusuuri says:

    These sound super wonderful, Lucas! I don’t know which one(s) to pick. I wish these came in a coffret of 15 mLs. Cecile Zarokian seems to be in a lot of demand!

  2. Holly says:

    These really do sound charming, and it’s so nice to know that this house has been revived with Cecile Zarokian at the helm.

  3. Undina says:

    I agree with hajusuuri! We need these in smaller bottles! I could agree even to 30 ml 🙂
    Thank you for telling us about these perfumes: I would have missed them otherwise.

  4. […] Silver Iris & Santal Carmin, Aedes Cierge de Lune, Histoires de Parfums Ambre 114, Jacques Fath Bel Ambre, Maison Francis Kurkdjian Grand Soir, Masque L’Attesa, Puredistance Sheiduna, Serge Lutens […]

  5. […] them that are just like a bit of shade – they make you feel more at ease when it’s hot. Green Water, Cedrat Enivrant, Le Jardin de Monsieur Li, Nuda Veritas are just a few examples from a longer […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: