As Long As There’s Music (Perfume Thoughts: Music For A While, Frederic Malle)

375x500.47795Nowadays I have this love-hate relationship with the House of Frederic Malle. They have done (and still do) beautiful perfumes, of course, but the brand has gotten so mainstream and everyone knows about it now that it has lost its niche status for me. It used to be just available at certain stores (only Barney’s) but now everywhere you turn it’s there – Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, you name it.  It’s as ubiquitous as Jo Malone, and its exclusivity is long gone. So it took me a while to sample ‘Music For A While.’ But I have been reading a lot of best of lists from 2018 and this has been showing up a lot, so I had to see for myself.

It’s very nice. It has a lavender base, so it skews masculine, but it has a pineapple note. It’s a mixture of a generic barbershop scent but with a modern ‘Aventus’ twist. There’s a roughness to it – a lot of patchouli shows up on my skin, and if you ask me, it really does skew more masculine. It’s also very crowd-pleasing – there’s no edge to it, and with the Malle price points, I want something that will make it more unique. I think what is missing is the ‘wow’ factor. I enjoyed it, but it failed the ‘hyperventilation’ test for me. I wasn’t craving it afterwards.

But then again, I know that the house has started doing 1 oz ‘travel bottles’ recently, so perhaps I might be tempted, but nah, I can think of other Malle releases I would get first.

(Update – I am writing this now hours later and there is this beautiful pineapple drydown that is just wonderful. Plus, about 7 hours after, it is still going strong – this scent is tenacious! And now I want this!)

Hives (Perfume Thoughts: L’eau d’hiver, Frederic Malle)

375x500.2797Yo, I have re-discovered Frederic Malle’s ‘Leau d’Hiver’ and I am a changed man. I found out, while going through my samples, that I had a 10ml ‘travel size’ of this, and it was a glorious surprise. I remember loving this when I first smelled this years and years ago, but I was kind of scared that the word ‘hive’ was in the name, as I am very allergy-pobic. But that’s a stupid fear. This is a great soft scent with a heliotrope note. I have a friend who collects anything with a heliotrope note, and maybe I shy away from it because she ‘owns’ the note, but this is a nice, calming, and very unique scent. I know the visual for this perfume seems to be flower-infused icicles and that really fits  However, on my skin, this scent feels not as cold – it actually has a warm comforting vibe, more cashmere-y than anything else. It a little deceptive – light and airy but like a winter warm embrace.  And I am happy with my 10 ml bottle. My five sprays this morning has help up pretty well and I don;t think I need a full bottle of this. I can make do.

Eau de Outrage (Perfume Thoughts: Outrageous, Frederic Malle)

o.45935Whenever people hear that I love perfume (and collect) more often than not, they always ask me ‘Do you have Frederic Malle?’ The snarky reply would be ‘Of course, any perfumista has,’ but of course I am much nicer than that (most of the time) Truth is, I love Malle perfumes, and for me collecting all of them would be more ‘aspirational’ than anything else because of their price. But sure, I own a couple of bottles and honestly, use them sparingly. I would love to own all of them and use them everyday, but of course, the likelihood of that happening is tiny.

The other side to that equation is that the perfume snob that I am, I now kind of look at the brand with some wary. It has become so popular, every knows about them, people consider it the Hermes bag of perfumes, and frankly, a lot of people wear them. So now I kind of put my nose up on them. But in my heart of hearts, I love them because in the end, they are good perfumes, done well with fantastic ingredients. I mean, you see where your money is going when you purchase a bottle.

Which brings me to Outrageous. This is a collaboration between Malle and Sophia Grojsman, who Malle considered as some kind of idol. And why not? She created Opium and Paris for YSL. This was originally a Barney’s Co Op exclusive from way back, and I always thought of it as ‘diffusion Malle’ because it was priced more accessibly. I have had numerous samples of this, but never really immersed myself into it. Recently, it has now been added to Malle’s regular roster, and I got another sample recently, and tried it.

It’s a beauty. A nice tropical cocktail of a perfume perfect for the higher temperature days to come. It has breezy notes of tangerine and green apple, and bergamot makes it zing. It has cinammon that rounds it up, and is finished off with white musk that is not generic smelling. It is full-bodied but feels light, and it stayed with me for hours, which is unusual for a citrusy scent, proving the worthiness of its price point. It seems a tad dated, like this was something from the nineties or early aughts – but that could be me projecting – I don’t know why, but it feels like an Annick Goutal to me for some reason. Nowadays, this is not terribly niche-y in unique wise. But all in all, I would be happy to add this to my collection, as it were. Just don’t ask me if I have it.


Frozen (Perfume Thoughs: Alber Elbaz x Frederic Malle Superstition)

Photo Aug 27, 5 11 47 PMI sampled Frederic Malle par Alber Elbaz Superstition a couple of months back when it first came out. I was at Barney’s and there it was, taunting me, seducing me. I remember loving it, and at the same time I was trying to ignore it. Why? $$$$$ Malle fragrances can tantalize you, but it still feels forbidden because of he outrageous price points. I remember liking, maybe loving it, at that time. Floral Aldehydes , I remember – the ones my friend says smells like Pond’s Cold Cream.

But I do like perfumes that smell like that, they remind me of he glamorous old-fashioned perfumes, It is reminiscent of all things Chanel. I visualize a ball with ladies wearing sparkly gowns and the men in black tuxedos.

And this perfume smells old-fashioned with a cold sparkly opening of green bergamot, all from an ice bucket. Then chilled pear follows with a jasmine heart that’s a bit musky, joined with a musky rose. All of these is gauzified – the aldehydes making sure it’s presence is felt.

This is the kind of fragrance that people will call “grandma’s perfume”  The wearer of this perfume will match it with an elegant all-black outfit instead of a romantic lace. This woman knows herself and knows what she wants. The roses are not sweet, the peach is slightly green.

If its price was cheaper, I would grab it tomorrow. I know I will look for excuses not to get it (I’m a Virgo, we are always practical)  But I know in my heart of hearts, this love will not fade.

The Scent Of Going Away From Me (Perfume Thoughts, Superstitious, Frédéric Malle x Alber Elbaz)

alber-e2The idea of Frédéric Malle x Alber Elbaz is so wonderful – “a grand aldehydic floral” – that I wanted to sample it just as I finished reading that description. Even its name is alluring: Superstitious. The notes, as described are as follows: Turkish rose, Egyptian jasmine, peach, apricot skin, labdanum resinoid, sandalwood, Haitian vetiver, patchouli, mask.

That’s a lot right there, and when you first spritz Sueperstitious, you kind of smell all of them right away. My skin always skews sweeter, so I got a little more peach and ‘apricot skin,’ which, I am guessing, is its rind? It’s not too sweet on me, and I particular like its dryness. But maybe because I am in a dry climate area that the aldehydes – here it is fizzy and soapy – came out so strong that it  smelled way too clean on me – and you know I don’t like clean. Even Louise, my Malle Sales assistant, said “this is turning a little more soapy on you.’ And yes, she is right, I was laughing with her because on me, it smelled like I bathed in Dial Soap – the orange one – and my skin smelled freshly-soaped as if I just stepped out of the shower. I thought, well yes, that’s an interesting idea, but is this idea worth its price point. Honestly, I gave up and put it on my ‘close, but no cigar list.’

Then I got home, and I started smelling it on me again. And the long dry down (about a couple of hours later) proved to be much more appealing. Yes the clean aldehyde apricot Dial soap accord is still there but there was also something that jolted me – a cold incense note that is quite wonderful, smoky sweet and quite unique. And my heart started to palpitate – wow that Dominique Ropion is a genius Elbaz himself described the perfume as such: “the perfume of a dress, the silhouette that lingers after it has left a room,” and I get what he is saying (it’s not just flowery press release after all)

Superstitious is a great gauzy soapy scent that maybe too much when it is there, but is haunting when it starts to leave. And I am madly in love again.