Paris Jardins Romantiques (Yves Saint Laurent)

Green Floral fragrances for women ought to be marketed to men. Why, you ask? Because nothing throws people more than a guy who smells like muguet.

Back when women actually wore floral perfumes, a guy may have had a harder time pulling something as delicate as Paris Jardins Romantiques off. But since most of your standard lilies and roses and violets have been replaced with burnt sugar and Body Shop chemicals, smelling of actual flowers is a real departure from the new "norm." Considering the history of Victorian dandy toilet water, and how rose and lilac were barbershop notes, there's no reason why a modern man can't update. After all, if Pinaud's Lilac Vegetal aftershave were any more feminine, well, . . . I really don't know what would happen. Something weird, to be sure.

Which brings me to this 2007 flanker for the infamous Paris by YSL. Billed as Romantic Garden-in-a-Bottle, the scent lets loose with an airy blend of muguet, rose, and violet. The lily really steals the show, rounding off the floral accords with grassy notes. The smell of muguet always makes me think of grass, its blades rippling in a cool, dewy breeze. That's the feeling with PJR.

Eventually a smidgen of carnation gives a little spicy kick to a restrained drydown of rose and violet. The violet never gets a leading part, and is relegated to a supporting role, quite far behind the lily. Even the rose isn't all that forward, although it weaves in and out of the scent's heart. I'm inclined to think that this version of Paris is much less feminine, and far more unisex than the original. If the flowers were fuller, then no, not for boys. 

But with this much greenery, and so much lily, the garden is pruned to my liking. I can't say that PJR is an eye-opener, a mind-bender, or a magical garden. But it is quite pleasant, simple, and perfect for those days when you need a little romance in the garden. Would I buy a bottle? I much prefer the bitter tonic of Eau de Givenchy and Chevrefueille Original, but in a pinch, this would do nicely.