Ginestet’s Botrytis recalls stroll through Oporto, Portugal

Botrytis by Ginestet


photo thieved from Fragrantica

There was a reason why my Botrytis perfume sat in the back of my sample tray for such a long time. I have never heard or seen the word Botrytis before, so I had no context to make me reach for the tiny glass vial. Oftentimes, the name of the fragrance is the key that unlocks my curiosity. If the name fails to associate my psyche with something, then the perfume remains on the shelf. Let me help you relate Botrytis with a story you may be able to relate to.

Ginestet is a more than hundred years old French house of legendary Bordeaux wines and presented this perfume in 2008. Botrytis means “noble rot” or a benevolent form of grey fungus that affects wine grapes. Now I am starting to lean in because I appreciate a story behind a name. From what I can gather,  noble rot is a good thing and intensifies sweetness and adds flavor to the wine. Sommeliers (so mel e yayz) often use the words “honey,” “beeswax” and “ginger” to describe the flavors that botrytis adds to wine.  Ooooohhhhhh.  Now, I understand the relationship between Ginestat and Botrytis and I am open to giving it a try.

Botrytis bursts open, to me, with a strong whiff of port wine. Port is a dessert wine made from grapes grown on the steppes of the Douro river in Portugal. In the city of Porto, at the mouth of the Douro river, the wine is produced by several companies for distribution throughout the world. During a visit to Porto, we toured the Sandeman facility. Their logo has to be the most suave in the world. I love it. The Sandeman logo, the barrels and the wine itself  is what came to my mind upon sniffing Botrytis. Our tour guide wore the black cloak during  our tour. Super cool stuff.


Port wine is sweet and ripe, very sweet and ripe. People drink port wine as an aperitif. I love the idea and the romance of port wine. It smells glorious.

Quickly, after the port wine infusion, Botrytis warms to a buttery honey dipped very lightly in port wine. In a Botrytis universe, the honey is the sun, the wine is the moon and far, far away a star twinkles.

Here we go again. This time to the tobacco fields of North Carolina. My family had a tobacco farm and I can recognize the smell of the different stages of tobacco processing in a skinny minute. I know the scent of tobacco when it is on the stalk, off the stalk and cured. Cured tobacco is one of my favorite smells.  I have stuck my face into the leaves on many a day. I used to sit on the bales of tobacco in the back of the truck while my Granddaddy hauled it to the market.


I imagine you have guessed that the star twinkling far, far away is tobacco. A nicely balanced, well composed gourmand with a slight, slight breath of smoke is a thing of beauty to many people. Mostly, I detect clover honey and wine in Botrytis.  Wrap your mind around this –  sweet wine, jars of honey, butter and tobacco. Does that sound wonderful to you?

The sillage is weak and stays close to the skin, but the perfume has staying power. On me, the honey remained evident for over 6 hours.

Notes listed: Honey, Dried Fruits, quince, white flowers, amber, grapes and gingerbread.
No Perfumer listed.

Southern Personality Group: The Whispering Wisteria
Rating: Gimme Some Sugar ♥♥♥

Would you like to sample Botrytis? Please leave a comment below and I will be happy to direct you to a point of sale.

Or leave a comment about your experience with Botrytis. Do you think it is like white on rice or does it deserve some sugar?



2 Comments Add yours

  1. Mary Weeks says:

    Please tell me where I can find this one! I can’t wait to test out my own North Carolina nose and see if I can pick out that “star twinkling far away”!

    Anxiously awaiting!!


    1. Paige Hales Gordo says:

      Hi Mary,

      I am certain you will be able to pick out the tobacco note. I suggest you try They offer vintage, exclusive, niche fragrance samples in different sizes. I would go with a 1.5 ml glass spray vial and if you love it, then buy the full bottle! Let me know what you think! Thanks for reading.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s