Thursday, 8 January 2009

KORRES - Saffron / Amber / Agarwood / Cardamom EDT

I've just returned from holidays in Athens, where I was first introduced to the Korres Natural Product line. Korres is a Greek company whose roots lie in Athens' first ever Homeopathic Pharmacy, and since 1996, has offered safe botanical products for hair and body. With a number of light Body Water products already to their credit, I was delighted to learn that they were launching 3 brand new eau de toilette fragrances at the time of my visit...

Rose Wood / Blackcurrant / Cyclamen
A feminine scent, rich with dark rose petals, fragrant cyclamen, dark berries and green leaves.

Saffron / Amber / Agarwood / Cardamom
A scent for men, bold, warm, exotic and commanding with its notes of saffron, agarwood, and cardamom.

Pepper / Jasmine / Gaic Wood / Passionfruit
A bracing unisex perfume, carefully balancing piquant peppercorn, rare Gaic wood and soft fruity florals.

Though I secretly wished Korres had come up with a series of less complicated names for their new edt's, I can understand their desire to strip each scent back to its botanical basics. For a series of fragrances whose formulations do not contain phthalates, polycyclic-musk compounds and nitro-musks, the "natural product" tag certainly rings true. All three offerings are well-composed, and excellent value for money.
I was particularly taken by the men's edt: Saffron /Amber /Agarwood /Cardamom
With a lineup of components as such, one might imagine a stink-bomb of dizzying accords, but Korres has approached this cologne with astonishing sensitivity. The saffron is present from the get-go, as is the agarwood and cardamom. I would comfortably draw parallels between this edt and YSL's M7, though, perhaps with the volume turned down. The amber note it contains - composed of botanicals - does not lend the honeyed heat one might expect from a scent containing amber... rather it establishes a feeling of semi-transparent warmth, upon which the cardamom, saffron and agarwood rest comfortably. It is a scent that can be applied liberally without fear of offending others in close contact with the wearer. In some regards it is a cleaner, truer version of its more famous competitor.

I ran across this cologne whilst buying cold and flu caps at the local pharmacy in Piraeus. With only small change in my pocket at the time, I postponed my purchase until a later date. At a mere €34 for 100ml, it was certain to reside comfortably in my collection. The SA mentioned there was a Korres boutique at Athens airport, and I decided I would grab a bottle or two upon my departure. Some days later, I checked in my luggage, squeezed through security with my liquids allowance under careful scrutiny from Greek customs, and made my way for the store. Imagine my disappointment when learning that the boutique had sold out of Saffron / Amber / Agarwood / Cardamom! 
An hour or so later, I boarded the plane, savouring the spritz I had released from the tester onto the back of my hand. Despite all her treasures, I have found yet another reason to return home to Greece. Toute suite!


Anonymous said...

Welcome back Dimitri.
Those three sound lovely. I hope they are sold in the US.

Dimitri said...

Hello and thanks Arwen :)
Yes, Korres is sold in the US as well. Go to for more details (though, right now the new products are yet to be added to their product range).

Perfumeshrine said...


I was most eager about this one and you have made me now certain that I must try it (so thanks!). If I do end up buying it, it would be my pleasure to send you a decant for you to savour!

Dimitri said...

Thank you E!

This new line is well worth some closer inspection :)
I very much enjoyed your article on these scents too. I would not refuse a small decant if you were willing to part with some juice... and Im sure I can return the gesture in kind :)

pikake said...

I cannot wait to try these. I am very pleased that they have created a phthalate free perfume. In general though I feel a bit mixed about Korres.

They tout themselves as a botanical, holistic company, yet still continue to use questionable ingredients. You only need to check out the ingredient lists on Sephora and look at their lip balm. They contain propylene carbonate, which is an ester of propylene glycol, a petrochemical (from oil). They also have polyethylene, which is used to make plastic bags. They also list "aroma" which can be code for phthalates. I actually wrote them about this and never got a straight answer about whether or not phthalates were in their balms, so I chose not to buy them.

Anyway, I am truly glad they are making these perfumes. And I will try them. But I wish they were more clear in their marketing. Or would be more clean in all of their ingredients.

Anonymous said...


the saffron one smells amazing but doesnt last long at all on the skin.