Eau Folle fragrance notes

    • Citrus, Green notes, Floral notes, Leather

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Latest Reviews of Eau Folle

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In The Shock of the New, critic Robert Hughes wrote

In art there is no progress, only fluctuations of intensity.

For the Green Chypre, the seventies was a period of high intensity.

After Y appeared in 1964 nothing much happened. But then, in 1970, two important works appeared; Givenchy III, which many people know and love, and Eau Folle, which almost no one knows. It's possible to see them as starting with Y and going in different directions.
Where Givenchy III was a tweedy and green mossy chypre, Eau Folle took a different route; a woody, sparkling Bitter Lemon with a touch of green leather.
They both have restrained bouquets but, despite being classified as women's scents, neither feels very feminine by today's standards.

From Givenchy III an obvious line of descent can be traced to classic Green Chypres like No19 (1971) Alliage (1972) and Coriandre (1973).

And likewise, it's possible to see a connection between Eau Folle and Diorella (1972). But Diorella is a hard act to follow, so it wouldn't be a surprise to find that Eau Folle got lost in a perfume backwater - and came to be seen as just an outlier of the Mossy Cologne style.

But Eau Folle has an obvious link to the woody-citrus, floral and moss found in later works like Lancôme's androgynous Trophée (1982), and Sport de Paco Rabanne (1986).

If you look at my review of Trophée, you'll see how the gender mixed Eau Folle can be traced forward through the Lancôme, and then on to the Shared green tea, citrus and floral of cK One.

And to quote Hughes again

Value rises from [within the artwork] itself - from its vitality, its intrinsic qualities, its address to the senses, intellect and imagination ... and the uses it makes of the concrete body of tradition.

In all these things Eau Folle is exemplary.

I just wish it lasted a bit longer.
12th September 2022
My review is for a vintage full mini bottle of the "Toilette Fraiche" with no discoloration, evaporation, or increase in viscosity. Despite that, I believe there to be a little bit of "vintage skank" at first, indicating a low level of damage.

This opens with a huge blast of blindingly sweet aldehydes atop lemon, bringing to mind vintage Climat edt. Very soon, though, the similarities end. Eau Folle immdiately launches into a dirty citrus with authentic animal notes. The "green" is in the form of Galbanum, to my nose. Not a fresh green, but an earthy, dark, mossy green. My best guess for the heart is a classical accord with Jasmine, LOV, & Rose. Base is Oakmoss, Civet, and maybe Patchouli. Overall impression is tart and dry, not oily, and definitely unisex.

This fragrance is intruiging and quite dated. The citrus/leather theme is one of my favorites- the notes cancel each other out in a way that both can be overdosed. See vintage versions of both sexes of Eau de Rochas, vintage Diorella, Eau Fraiche & Eau Sauvage, vintage Balmain Monsieur, Eau de Patou, Boss Spirit, and Eau de Fraicheur by Worth for comparisons. A difficult wear for anyone not a lover of vintage pragrances.
24th July 2017

At first I assumed "Folle" meant "bird," as in "Cage aux Folles," but I learned that was incorrectly translated as "Bird Cage." "Folle" actually means "mad woman" or "eccentric woman." It can also mean an independent, unique woman, I imagine, by today's standards.

So, "independent woman water," eh? Not the most romantic or descriptive name available. This is a wonderful strong citrus, supported delicately by cumin and oak moss. Very unisex in today's world and reminiscent of my favorite Laroche, J'ai Ose. A real winner and a great summer scent, especially in the warm evenings.

I was lucky enough to find a two dram bottle of the edt on Etsy for a mere $15, so it is out there and very much worth trying.

26th July 2016
Amazing they discontinued this gem... smells like Dior's eau fraiche also discontinued but not impossible to find. It echoes its time (1970's). Fresh lemony, like a field in the sun untainted by man.. but visited by precious fresh breeze carrying the most seductive of senses... if you are lucky enough to have stumbled upon it. I love it.... Have a 110ml bottle certainly an unusual size... perfect in every way and it didn't have to cost me a fortune like the discontinued dior...
31st January 2007