How to Smell: Branch & Vine


First impressions: Top notes

Spray Branch & Vine on your wrist. Now smell. What’s the first word that comes to mind?

Perfumer Charna Ethier found her inspiration for Branch & Vine in her overgrown, untended garden that had become a tangle of vines and leaves. Picture a wild, green scene sparkling with morning dew at the height of summer, and you’ll see how well it matches the smell that explodes from Branch & Vine at first spray. It is intensely, bitterly, vibrantly green, and many have likened the first impression to the smell of a ripe tomato garden in the summer. Does it call to mind a specific nature scene for you?

Two of this scent’s top notes are sunflower and green orange. The sunflower oil might be recognizable to you when you concentrate on it, but the overall effect is true to the scent’s name: green and sunny.

Branch & Vine is an eau de cologne, a concentration that is meant to be sprayed lavishly and often. So don’t hold back on the Branch & Vine. If you find the initial burst of greenery to be strong, you’ll notice how quickly it tames itself, like the scent from a cut stem that melts into the air.

Sensations and scenery: Middle notes

What you might not notice is the way the pretty floral heart is forming in the background. And just when you think Branch & Vine might veer too vegetal, that floral heart emerges. Jasmine, neroli (the bloom from the flower of a bitter orange tree), and mimosa lighten up the verdant greens and beautifully recreate a walk through a garden after the sun has dried up the night’s rains and warmed the flowers enough to coax out their natural scent.

Yet even here, when the flowers come forward, everything happening in Branch & Vine seems to be in service of the greenery. Stems and leaves are fully on display and, although they share the spotlight with the petals, they never really take a backseat.

If you live close to nature, these scents will likely smell very familiar to you. Do they feel comforting? If you live in a concrete jungle, far removed from nature, what does this scent make you feel? Does it make you feel happiness? A longing for some time away from urban life? The urge to grow a little garden in a planter on your balcony?

Integration: Base notes

If you’re wondering about the “branch” in Branch & Vine, here it comes in the form of grassy vetiver and fir, as though this wild garden of our imaginations is not far from a cool, tall forest. Violet leaf keeps the green theme going strong, yet the floral notes have not faded.

Now that the scene of this garden has been fully painted in your mind, are you surprised by how much life that garden actually holds? It’s not only branch and vine, but also leaf and stem and petal. Can you pick out three distinct pieces: the petals of flowers, the bitter green of the vines, and the soft woods of the branches?

Try wearing Branch & Vine in the summer, when it can make you feel in sync with the natural world around you. Try it again in the winter, when you need to be reminded that under the ice and snow lies a world in wait.


Read more How to Smell guides or get your full bottle of Branch & Vine.