Moving Past Cristalle with Liz Earle's Botanical Essence No. 1

My introduction to Cristalle EDT was by way of its sophisticated sillage wafting gracefully around a woman who has since become one of my dearest friends. Megan and I met over sixteen years ago, and Cristalle remains her signature scent, at least in my mind. Her father bought her a bottle in Paris twenty five years ago, so when you’ve been wearing a fragrance for that long, a signature it becomes. When I asked her more about her perfume, she made it very clear that she wore the EDT, not the EDP, and that it was becoming difficult to find.

So off I went to The Perfume House in search of Cristalle EDT. When I arrived, there it was, its square columnar perfection ready for me to purchase. And I did. But no matter how much I loved its scent, I could not move past the feeling that Cristalle belonged to Megan, not me.  I felt like a bit of an imposter when I wore Cristalle and upon telling that to Megan, she graciously gave me her blessing to wear it, but it never felt comfortable on my skin. I ultimately gave it to my grandmother who would never have spent nearly that much money on herself for a bottle of perfume. Fast forward sixteen years, and I have finally discovered a chypre that is reminiscent of Cristalle EDT, yet different enough to suit me.

Liz Earle Botanical Essence No. 1 has several top-notes in common with Cristalle EDT like bergamot, lemon, and petitgrain. While Botanical Essence No. 1 lacks oakmoss, the hallmark of many chypre perfumes including Cristalle, it possesses the aforementioned hesperidic* top notes as well as rose, patchouli, cedarwood and vetiver which are frequently used in the creation of a chypre. In addition to Cristalle EDT, Botanical Essence No.1 resembles Annick Goutal’s Eau de Sud and Clarin’s Eau Dynamisante. All of these fragrances are green and citrusy in the opening and woody-aromatic in the heart and drydown, but I find Botanical Essence No. 1 to be slightly warmer and rounder than its counterparts. It’s not as austere as Cristalle, is a little smoother than Eau de Sud and less “spa-aromatherapeutic” than Eau Dynamisante.

When I first tested Botanical Essence No.1, I was immediately impressed. I enjoyed its sparkly greeting and welcoming herbal notes of cardamom, coriander and nutmeg. The drydown was just as alluring, with tonka bean adding an unexpected touch of sweetness and cedarwood adding body and comfort. But it wasn’t until just today, that I was fully won over by Botanical Essence No. 1. Early this morning, I sprayed this EDP on my wrists before I gave much thought to my day. After sitting down to a breakfast of oatmeal and glancing at my dayplanner I remembered my acupuncture appointment at 10 am. I wondered if I had made a perfume mistake. I had never worn fragrance to an acupuncture treatment and became wary of my spritzing decision. The concern passed quickly though, and off I went. While I was having my “rest” (after being poked with what felt like 50+ needles) I drifted into a quasi-meditative state. The restorative and comforting qualities of Botanical Essence No.1 began to envelop me, and it was blissful.

Seven years ago, I had a blissful moment of a different sort when I found that bottle of Cristalle in my grandmother’s medicine cabinet after she died. It was empty, but I hope its gorgeous scent made her feel full.

One lucky reader gets to share in my bliss because the Liz Earle people are giving away a full bottle of Botanical Essence No. 1 to a Scent Hive reader. Leave a comment and you’ll be entered. Extra entries as well if you follow Scent Hive on Bloglovin,Twitter, Google Friend Connect, Facebook’s Networked Blogs, or subscribe to Scent Hive. Please let me know in your comment what you did so you get the entries you deserve! Drawing will close Sunday July 11th at 9pm PST. Drawing is now closed.

Botanical Essence No. 1 is derived from 98.6% all natural ingredients. Here is a statement from Liz Earle’s PR folks regarding the other 1.4%:

Over 98% (98.6%) of the ingredients used in Liz Earle Botanical Essence No. 1 are directly derived from nature; the remaining 1.4 % ingredients are solvents, stabilisers and synthetics. These ingredients, whilst not naturally derived, are commonly used when formulating a fine fragrance. They are really important as they make sure the fragrance lasts when it is applied. They also help to make the fragrance smell continuous: essential oils such as the ones we are using can smell quite sharp and distinctive, and these ingredients help the fragrance smell rounded and balanced. If we didn’t use these ingredients the fragrance wouldn’t last as long on the skin, and the complex blend wouldn’t be as well rounded and such a pleasure for the wearer.

It is available at, $78 for a 1.6 oz bottle.

* Please see this very informative post at Bois de Jasmin regarding the Hesperide (citrus) family of perfumes.

Posted by ~Trish

Disclosure: A sample of Botanical Essence No. 1 was provided for this review by Liz Earle’s PR company. The opinions in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.


63 thoughts on “Moving Past Cristalle with Liz Earle's Botanical Essence No. 1

  1. I’ve tried Cristalle edt several times, but there is something so subtle that doesn’t quite fit my taste; on the other hand, I’d love to try Botanical Essence No. 1.

  2. Hi, I would love an opportunity to win this fragrance. Also, I’m very interested to see what effect the 1.4% of other ingredients has on the composition. I subscribe to Scent Hive on email and blogger. Thanks 🙂

    1. Hi Laura,
      I found the longevity to be exceptional in this fragrance, maybe the 1.4% adds to that?

      Thanks for the follows, that’s 3 entries for you.
      Good luck!

  3. Hi again! I would love to try this fragrance. It sounds enchanting. I follow you on twitter, via email and google friends. 🙂

  4. Yes please do enter me- I like this very much and it is in this herbal, citrus, chypre family- well constructed, it felt like they had taken a lot of time.

    The piece about you finding your Grandmother’s empty Cristalle bottle brought a tear to my eye I must say- I’m very sure it did fill her up, the fact she kept the empty bottle shows how much it meant to her.

    1. Rose,
      I agree, it feels like they took their time creating this fragrance.
      Thanks so much for reading, it means a lot that my piece touched you.

      Best of luck,

  5. Lovely to read of the blissful moment! And thanks for including Liz
    Earle’s explanation of the “other 1.4%”–so often, we do not get let in on that kind of information… I would love to try this fragrance! I follow you in my Google reader, am subscribed via email. Have a great day!

    1. E,
      I was glad to receive such a thorough explanation of the other 1.4% 🙂
      Thank you for the follows, 3 entries for you!


  6. I hope this is open internationally but since I couldn’t find anything saying otherwise, I guess it is. 🙂
    I love perfumes that can give comfort or help with meditation. And this one sounds wonderful (plus I just love nutmeg and coriander). 🙂

    Additionally, I’m your twitter and google follower.

    1. Ines,
      The PR people didn’t mention any shipping restraints, so I think you’re good! You’ve got 3 entries 🙂

      Good luck!

  7. Thanks for the opportunity to try this lovely sounding fragrance! Loved the story about your grandmother…
    I follow you on twitter, fb and subscribe to scent hive.
    *love your blog!*

    1. You’re welcome Margaret. Glad you enjoyed it, and the story about my grandma 🙂

      Thanks for the follows….4 entries!

  8. Botanical Essence No.1 sounds like a perfect classical scent! I would love to be entered in.
    Facebook, Blogloving, Twitter, Subscriber

  9. This sounds fabulous from your description, and I’d love to try this perfume and see if it’s like what I’m imagining. I’m a subscriber to Scent Hive.
    I really like how you weaved the scents and personal stories together – lovely!

  10. Please enter me! I love a green chypre and I’ve never tried this. I subscribe to your RSS, follow you on Twitter AND on Facebook Blog Connect 🙂

  11. Hi Trish!

    I am captivated by your description so much I had to enter! I am following you on Networked Blogs now and have been following your on Twitter and FB for a while now 🙂

    I have not heard of this line and very excited to add it to my list of things to try!

  12. Finally someone who understand the feeling of “perfume belonging to someone else”. That’s what I tried to explain to so many people…

    1. It’s a difficult concept to explain to people who aren’t as devoted to perfumes as some of us 😉
      Good luck in the drawing,

  13. I would love to be entered in the drawing! I’m following you on Google Friend Connect (and need to remember to find you on facebook when I’m not at work)!

    1. Thanks O! That’s 2 entries, but I’ll look for your follow on FB and then add one more!
      Best of luck,

      1. I just did it this morning. I didn’t even know about networked blogs, so I added a bunch! (I’m Julie Souza on FB)

  14. I still have the Cristalle 1/2 oz purse spray and 1 mini FULL; I`ve gotton to where I open and sniff, then replace the cap! 🙂 Maybe this creation from Liz E. will let me dab and spritz w/ satisfaction! Thank you for a well-done blog that is always devoured and not glossed over! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for the sweet compliment Linda! I think Botanical Essence just might be perfect for you
      Good luck!

  15. Cristalle was always a melancholy scent. though absolutely lovely. I would love to try the Botanical Essence, perhaps it will have the beauty without the melancholy?

    I follow you on FB, a Google Friend Connect (via my other email) and am a subscriber – and I absolutely love your blog! Thanks for taking all the time to do this!


    1. A,
      I know what you mean about the melancholy aspect of Cristalle. An interesting juxtaposition with its bracing notes, no? I am very interested in your thoughts of Botanical Essence. Maybe you’ll win and you can let me know! 🙂

      And that’s 4 entries!

      Oh…and thank you so much for the kind and encouraging words 🙂

  16. Would love to try this- love the sound of the cardamom and corriander notes. Please enter me in the draw..
    (I follow you on twitter and facebook)

    1. Yes! Coriander and cardamom have become faves of mine as well, and to have them both in one scent is a gift 🙂

      Thanks again for the follows, that’s 3 entries for you!

  17. Thanks for the review. I have been curious about the Liz Earle scent and waiting for a review! You had me and “Eau dynamisante” and “nutmeg”. I am following you on twitter, and I would love to be entered into the draw! (I’m in Canada, so I don’t know if I would be eligible.)

    1. I have admired Eau Dynamisante for years now, but have never been able to wear it. I am so glad to have this lovely alternative.

      Best of luck!

      PS: No word yet on the international shipping, so I think it’s OK 😉

  18. Wow seems like there is quite a bit of interest in this =P Nature perfumes are great! I follow you on Twitter, facebook, subscribe to the blog, na djust Google Friends Connected..

  19. Hi Trish–Cristalle is one of the many fragrances I have worn and loved over the years, so I’d LOVE to try a mostly-natural alternative 🙂
    I subscribe to your blog, and I have you on Facebook and Google FriendConnect as well–thanks!! Renee

    1. Thanks for all the follows renee, that’s 4 entries.

      Best of luck! I hope you get to try this Cristalle-esque fragrance!

  20. this sounds gorgeous! thank you for such a touching post, and for the opportunity to maybe smell something wonderful…

  21. Reading about finding the empty bottle of Cristalle in your grandmother’s medicine cabinet made me misty-eyed — but in a good way 🙂
    If it’s not too much trouble, may I please be added to the draw?

    1. Thank you for saying that, and thank you for reading 🙂

      Of course you can be in the drawing, and best of luck!

    1. Thanks for the follows Pamela, that’s 2 entries for you. Both Cristalle and Botanical Essence are worth seeking out!

      Best of luck,

  22. I was given a sample of Liz Earle’s No1 Essence as I had wanted to try it. I have to say it is absolutely beautiful!! The initial smell is of Lemons but it then settles down to a warm woody smell. I only put it on my wrists and could smell it all afternoon. My Husband said it’s very sensual and classy! So I would love to get this in my Christmas stocking this year?

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