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9 Best Mossy Woods Scents in Perfumery: Earthy, Damp & Vibrant Green

Even if your idea of outdoorsy is picking a restaurant with a patio for brunch, there’s still a lot to love about mossy wood scents. This subgroup in the woods family focuses on the green, damp, and slightly funky aspects of the forest.

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9 Best Mossy Woods Scents in Perfumery: Earthy, Damp & Vibrant Green

You may also see this group listed as chypre – there’s some overlap with fougere (fern-like) fragrances, as well.

Notes like tobacco, oakmoss, and patchouli are common in mossy woods scents. And while this subgroup leans masculine, there are plenty of feminine scents to be found, too.

Our Top 9 Picks for Mossy Woods Scents

Interlude Woman by Amouage

Best Overall

There’s no better word to describe Interlude Woman by Amouage than sexy. This is the perfume for the woman who wants to make an impression but doesn’t need to impress anyone. This 2012 scent by Karine Vinchon Spehner is sweet without being cloying, attractive without being showy.

Top notes of marigold, ginger, and grapefruit move into a heart of incense, walnut, and rose with leather, oud, and oakmoss in the dry down. That’s just a sampling of notes, though. There’s a lot going on here, and it’s worth sampling before buying.

Fernweh Editions Fern & Petals Candle

PROSCONS
Complex, seductive, leans unisexToo busy and heavy for some, pricey
  • Sillage: Excellent
  • Longevity: Excellent
  • Appropriate for: Cold weather, night out
  • Price: $$$$

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Terre D’Hermes Perfume

Best High-end Mossy Woods Scent for Men

The name of Terre D’Hermes Perfume suggests an earthy scent, and that’s definitely what you get here, albeit a bit more refined. This 2009 scent by Jean-Claude Ellena is an edit of an earlier EDT, and it adds smooth, summery citrus to the original’s earthy, woody notes. 

Top notes here are orange and grapefruit, with a middle note of flint. The base is woodsy notes, oakmoss, and benzoin. The overall scent has an elegant but earthy masculinity – think gentleman farmer on summer vacation.

PROSCONS
Classy, great year-round Some find it a bit mature
  • Sillage: Very good
  • Longevity: Very good
  • Appropriate for: The office, everyday
  • Price: $$$$

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Oud Immortel by Byredo

Best Niche Mossy Woods Scent

Wearing Oud Immortel by Byredo will make the everyday feel a little more adventurous. This 2010 unisex scent is light enough for the office, but it still evokes the feeling of being on a hike in a thick forest during the rainy season.

Top notes of limoncello, incense, and cardamom move into a heart of oud, patchouli, and rosewood. Base notes of oakmoss and tobacco lend a damp, earthy tone to the whole scent. If you’re looking for a summer scent that’s a bit different, try this one out.

PROSCONS
Damp and mossy without being too funkyNot a strong oud
  • Sillage: Very good
  • Longevity: Very good
  • Appropriate for: The office, warm weather
  • Price: $$$$

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Rien by Etat Libre D’Orange

Best Gothic Mossy Woods Fragrance

Rien by Etat Libre D’Orange is not a scent for a wallflower or perfume newbie, either. This 2006 Antoine Lie unisex scent is what a vampire might wear to an industrial music concert – smoky, dark, and a bit dangerous.

Top notes of aldehydes flow into a heart of incense, leather, and black pepper. A base of patchouli and oakmoss gives the fragrance a pleasant smoky funk. This definitely isn’t a safe blind buy, but it’s worth a try if you like other Etat Libre D’Orange scents, especially Hermann A Mes Cotes Me Paraissait Une Ombre.

PROSCONS
Dark, smoky, and funkyLove-it-or-hate-it fragrance, not for the office
  • Sillage: Very good
  • Longevity: Excellent
  • Appropriate for: Night out, cold weather, special occasions
  • Price: $$$$

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Vetiver Patchouli by Montale

Best Mossy Woods Fragrance for Everyday

With the name, you might expect Vetiver Patchouli by Montale to be overly heavy. But this 2019 unisex fragrance is light enough for the office and even warm weather.

Top notes of carrot and pink pepper add a burst of brightness before giving way to middle notes of vetiver and jasmine. The dry down is a soft, spicy patchouli that wears close to the skin. Overall, this is a smooth, elegant, and classic fragrance, if a bit mature.

PROSCONS
Great for daily wear, truly unisexLeans too woody for some
  • Sillage: Very good
  • Longevity: Very good
  • Appropriate for: Daily wear, cold/warm weather
  • Price: $$$$

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Irrévérent by Histoire des Parfums

Best Unexpected Mossy Wood Fragrance

Irrévérent by Histoire des Parfums has some notes you wouldn’t expect to see in a mossy woods fragrance, like coffee and oud. But somehow, it all works together in this 2017 unisex scent by Luca Maffei. You’ll certainly leave an impression wearing this one.

Top notes of elemi, lavender, and bergamot add a light, aromatic vibe. The heart is much darker and richer with coffee, oud, and styrax. The dry down is warm and mysterious with patchouli, amber, and sandalwood.

PROSCONS
Eclectic, multi-facetedNot for everyone, some find the gourmand notes overpowering
  • Sillage: Very good
  • Longevity: Very good
  • Appropriate for: Night out, colder weather
  • Price: $$$$

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Patchouli by Molinard

Best Everyday Mossy Wood Fragrance for Women

Patchouli by Molinard, as you might expect from the name, is for the true blue patchouli fans. You get both the earthy greenness and creamy woodiness from the namesake plant in this 2015 fragrance.

Top notes of orange, geranium, and neroli move into a heart of pure patchouli. The dry down features notes of sandalwood, musk, and vanilla. If you love patchouli but want something more sophisticated than hippie, give this one a try.

PROSCONS
Extremely long-lasting, strong but sophisticated patchouliOnly for patchouli fans, too heavy for the office
  • Sillage: Very good
  • Longevity: Excellent
  • Appropriate for: Date night, special occasions
  • Price: $$

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Mystique Forest by Victorinox Swiss Army

Best Budget Mossy Wood Fragrance for Women

Mystique Forest by Victorinox Swiss Army is a great feminine fragrance from an unexpected brand. This 2014 fragrance is green, earthy, and a little fruity. It’s great for daily wear in the summer or as a vacation scent.

Top notes of lemon, cardamom, and apple move into a heart of magnolia, oak, and carrot seeds. The dry down is pure vetiver plus moss. Cheap enough to buy blind, this scent is a perfect addition to your summer rotation.

PROSCONS
Affordable, great for summer Some think it smells like air freshener
  • Sillage: Good
  • Longevity: Very good
  • Appropriate for: The gym, warm weather, the office
  • Price: $

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Aramis by Aramis

Best Budget Mossy Wood Scent for Men

Yes, Aramis by Aramis might have been a scent your grandfather wore. But don’t let that stop you from trying this 1966 scent by Bernard Chant – it’s pure old-school masculinity in a bottle. Wear it the next time you’re looking to feel like Connery-era James Bond.

Top notes of myrrh, artemisia, and bergamot transition into a heart of patchouli, sage, and cardamom. The dry down features notes of leather, oakmoss, and musk. This one transitions well from day to evening, though doesn’t smell as good in the warmer months.

Fernweh Editions Candles

PROSCONS
Affordable, incredibly masculineMore mature scent, doesn’t work for every guy
  • Sillage: Good
  • Longevity: Very good
  • Appropriate for: The office, day-to-evening
  • Price: $

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  TOP PICKS AT A GLANCE  
Interlude Woman by Amouage
  • Complex and seductive
  • Unisex
  • Excellent sillage and longevity
VIEW LATEST PRICE →
Terre D’Hermes Perfume
  • Classy
  • Great year-round
  • The perfect office scent
VIEW LATEST PRICE →
Oud Immortel by Byredo
  • Damp and mossy
  • Not a strong oud
  • The warmer weather scent
VIEW LATEST PRICE →

Final Thoughts

With both light and heavy fragrances appropriate for men and women alike, the mossy woods subgroup is surprisingly versatile.

If you’re looking for a fragrance a little off the beaten path, give it a try. Natural fragrances are in vogue, and discovering which woody aromas suit you is a priority.

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9 Best Mossy Woods Scents in Perfumery: Earthy, Damp & Vibrant Green
9 Best Mossy Woods Scents in Perfumery: Earthy, Damp & Vibrant Green
Writer

Selena Marc is a fragrance enthusiast, freelance writer, and dog mom living in Houston, Texas. When she's not writing about her favorite new perfumes, you can find her enjoying yoga or a morning hike.