Coriandre Eau de Toilette 
Jean Couturier (1973)

Average Rating:  27 User Reviews

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Coriandre Eau de Toilette by Jean Couturier

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About Coriandre Eau de Toilette by Jean Couturier

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Jean Couturier
Fragrance House

Coriandre Eau de Toilette is a women's perfume launched in 1973 by Jean Couturier

Fragrance notes.

  1. Top Notes

  2. Heart Notes

  3. Base Notes

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Reviews of Coriandre Eau de Toilette by Jean Couturier

There are 27 reviews of Coriandre Eau de Toilette by Jean Couturier.

Coriandre is iconic and isn't given nearly as much reverence as it should. Perhaps because it is still in production and doesn't have a price tag that some infer is a sign of value or quality (these two constructs are ripe for more discussion and dissection). Coriandre isn't merely a "cheap and cheerful" yesteryear scent, it was at one time proudly displayed on the counters of Neiman-Marcus and Bloomingdale's. It was a luxury and still felt luxurious long after it moved to drugstore shelves and discounter sites.

I have an older bottle and a newer bottle, and as to be expected, the dry down differs just a bit, but not enough to matter really. Older bottles have more of a civet note and a higher percentage of oakmoss, but newer bottles are a joy to wear, I guarantee it. The openings are both the same, a conflagration of soapy aldehydes, that eponymous coriander that is warm, spicy, herbaceous, almost rosewood-like (they both share a high content of linalool). A peppery, pungent, musky angelica combines with this crisp, green-stemmy rose and almost sour, perspiring geranium (ooh la la), simmering down to the most luxurious green floral soap I could imagine. Certain moments almost remind me of Green Chartreuse liqueur.

Into the base, it gets muskier, duskier, dustier, and more shadowy woods cool. I absolutely love Coriandre; it hits all the right buttons much like Habit Rouge—an immediate embrace from first sniff. It deserves more love. Also, the bottle, much like the fragrance, with its green malachite accent, is a feast for my mid-century design oriented eyes. Hubba hubba.

A green chypre with powder and plasticky flowers.
Nothing wrong with that but I don't like it myself, it's a bit too sour and lipsticky for my taste.

Old fashioned, "timeless" lady scent. Regardless of her age, she handles herself well.

This is a very old school scent. Green, earthy, a bit moisty and slightly dark but in a positive way.

Civet, moss, vetiver and musk are the dominant notes here. Flower notes are very noticable too, but the base notes are the main players of the entire idea.

It reminds me of some old school male scents such as Givenchy Gentleman and Hugo Boss Boss Number One. Coriandre is a scent that, as if it's "thinking loudly" about becoming a woman's barbershop, but also holds that thought and doesn't really go there.

This is a scent for strong, bold women and maybe even for some guys too. Solid, dignifying, womanly. Timeless? I don't know. Art is in the eye of the beholder. I wouldn't want to fool anyone, it does smell dated, but that doesn't mean it smells bad.

For someone to have a clear picture about the evolution of fragrances, but also about the picture of society through decades, this is most certainly one of the pillars.To smell Coriandre is a good pointer to understand the idea, the way of thinking and feeling of the society back then, not to "like" or "dislike" the way Coriandre smells today. Coriandre is a "zeitgeist" of a time past that shows us through scent how it was back then to think, to feel, to simply be.

Originality 6/10
Scent objectively 7/10; subjectively 3/10
Longevity 8/10
Projection 7/10

I purchased this as a result of sebastion on YouTube talking about it being such a good chypre cheapie. I gravitate towards Chypres and could not get over the price of this. This was a blind buy that did not disappoint. At first spray it smell like Magie Noire by Lancôme which is an all time favorite for me. Both my aunt and my mother wore that scent so it provides scent memory, however, the vintage version far exceeds the new one. While this scent does at first spray remind me of MN, it evolves into a different direction. It is sharper than MN and colder. Where MN is smooth and has warmth to it, Coriandre goes in the opposite direction. It starts out very strong but becomes tame rather swifty. If you are looking for a nice Chypre for warmer weather I think this is your girl. Plus let's be honest, the price can't be beat on any accord.

Jean Couturier was something of a creative consultant/director in the 1960's and 1970's, serving in the same capacity that Frédéric Malle, Serge Lutens, and Roja Dove served, and launching his own perfume house much like they did after assisting designers for years. Unlike those latter names, he did not try to turn his namesake perfume house into an ultra-luxe affair that sold perfumes at double to quadruple the market price of the average designer, but the 1970's was not the era of the billionaire, and the middle classes still contributed to the lion's share of luxury spending, meaning a modicum of accessibility was still needed for success. The house of Jean Couturier focused on its connection to Grasse, is perfumed mostly by wife Jacqueline Courturier, and was sold alongside designers at most high-end boutiques or department stores that chose to handle the brand. Coriandre (1973) would be the debut scent, and eventually the crown jewel of the house, purportedly inspired by childhood memories of Jacqueline herself. This is mostly a green rose chypre with a characteristic namesake coriander head note, but combats its own spice with a sweet soapy progression that makes it softer and more approachable than many of the sharp or icy chypres making the rounds in the women's market at the time.

Coriandre opens with what you'd expect: a big old fat coriandre note resting on bergamot and aldehydes, with angelica and a tiny bit of neroli to keep the bergamot from being too strict on the nose. The coriander recalls a lot of Latin cuisine when used this strongly, but within minutes the traditional floral heart of rose, jasmine, and geranium takes over. Once the core of Coriandre is reached, the scent profile becomes rather unisex in a dandy way to me, since the geranium and rose play tug-of-war over hedione in the same way they do many classic turn-of-the-20th-century masculines and 21st century niche creations deliberately trying to be "dated". Civet and patchouli warm up the approach to the base in a very academic way for a chypre, with animal virility and green diffusive richness dragging Coriandre back to something more teasingly feminine in the later stages, especially since most masculines trending in the 70's were focused on tonka and oakmoss sucker punches thanks to the re-emergence of the fougère earlier on. Sandalwood and oakmoss dry it up nice and neat, acheiving the expected aromatic finish of a chypre, adding bits of vetiver to dial in that 70's green vibe which was everywhere then. Wear time is long as Coriandre is pretty tenacious for an eau de toilette, but sillage is not beastly. Cozy, inviting, old-fashioned, demure, but sometimes a bit teasing in demeanor, Coriandre is in stark contrast to things like the sternly "modern" Chanel No. 19 (1971) or extroverted "tomboy" Revlon Charlie (1973) and wears quite casually as a result.

We were a few years away from the commanding "icy bitch" chypres like Jacomo Silences (1978) that set the trend into the 80's, so it was still fashionable to be passive with a bit of free-spirited whimsy, which is the mood Coriandre conveys to me most. I'd say Clinique Aromatics Elixir (1971) is the only thing really close in mood and execution to Coriandre, employing a similar rose and jasmine savon, just greener and clearly not as passive in sillage, being more assertive but still positive in attitude. If you're a fan of vintage chypres and are looking for a green-hued rose with a lot of gender fluidity and a spicy warmth that is more friendly than your average chypre from this period, Coriandre might be for you. Otherwise, this is just overall a nice and well-balanced rose/geranium perfume with a novel top of culinary spice and a traditional oakmoss base that won't send you reaching for an inhaler from scratchiness or an insulin injector from sweetness. You could call Coriandre a "happy medium" chypre if you want, but that is an oversimplification. Granted, a tolerance for coriander in perfume is needed, but this stuff maintains a cult following and is still produced (now in various concentrations with flankers), so Couturier must have done something right. Vintage is preferred for those who want the feel of sandalwood and real oakmoss in the finish. Thumbs up.

Spiced slightly on top. Sharp green. Very floral middle. Tart. All the flowers blend well into one bouquet of spring blooms; blooms that remain into the summer weather. Sunny. Very old-fashioned in its style and creation. No sickly sweetness here. I went through a big bottle of this in the early 90's. I had then, considered this a good, work-day perfume. My "sample" for this review wasn't from an older, vintage bottle. It might have been from the early 90's. It still smells great IMO.

The base is more alluring with its more rich, deep notes. An animalic vibe appears. Earthier, herbal notes, as well. Moss stands out. Sandalwood, also. It was great to revisit Coriandre. I would not seek out a newer version for fear of disappointment.

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