Perfume Directory

Mauboussin (2000)
by Mauboussin

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Mauboussin information

Year of Launch2000
GenderFeminine
AvailabilityDiscontinued
Average Rating
(based on 90 votes)

People and companies

HouseMauboussin
Parent CompanySelective Beauty
Parent Company at launchDiana de Silva

About Mauboussin

Mauboussin is a feminine perfume by Mauboussin. The scent was launched in 2000

Mauboussin fragrance notes

  1. Top Notes
  2. Heart Notes
  3. Base notes

Reviews of Mauboussin


The original Mauboussin, the perfume that caused Luca Turin to crown Christine Nagel "Queen of the Biblically Rich Orientals" is 18 years old as I write this--an age that could either put a perfume firmly past its sell-by date, or come pretty close to establishing it as a classic. I don't know if this was the perfume that officially put the term "fruitchouli" on the map, but it's among the best of a sometimes goofy genre, and its creation date suggests that it's pretty high up on the family tree, even if it wasn't the first.

The bog-standard fruitchouli structure is apparent from first application--fruity-sweet on top, spicier on the bottom. Luca Turin (yes, him again) identifies this structure as a turn-of-the millennium innovation in perfumery, a femmey top laid over a masculine base; but I think it's really a straight-up classical trope, a fruity chypre. with additional fruits plumping out the bergamot, with a sometimes tamed patchouli (in place of oakmoss a la Coriandre and its ilk) in the base, and warm amber materials tying the whole thing together. Mauboussin precisely fits the template, each part ticking down like clockwork.

The boozy fruit is, of course, a salute to Diorella and all the great fruity chypres of yore (and now, including throwbacks like Jubilation 25 and Le Parfum de Therese), and the patchouli-dominated base also nods in Roudnitska's direction. And something in either the bergamot, or the amber materials, or both, pulls Mauboussin in Diorella's sweet-tart direction and never quite lets go. The fruitiness seems to scoop up every stone fruit that ever lived, with the lush, honeyed fleshiness of peaches, apricots and nectarines laid against a slightly sour plum note (this may be where teardrop gets Branston Pickle). While the tension never really resolves, it's clear that in Mauboussin the sweet fruits have the advantage, and they lead the charge into the drydown.

The normally bony chypre structure is rendered almost unrecognizably curvy in Mauboussin. Where the resiny connecting tissue might show in a more classical chypre, here the laubdanum is reinforced with a king's ransom of sweet amber notes, vanilla and opoponax and maybe a bitter touch of myrrh. As the perfume dries down, the fruits seem to mellow from summer yellow to autumn gold, and the timbre of their sweetness links with the amber tones.

In its base, Mauboussin gives off puffs of cedar along with just a touch of piquant patchouli. This is where Christine Nagel's deft touch with oriental perfumes really shines, because her best creations don't seem to dry down so much as relax without deflating. Even in their late stages, they still send out recombinant bits of their main accords,
and this preserves an ineffable sense of freshness. I've recently noticed, with Galop d'Hermes, exactly how brilliant Ms. Nagel is with drydowns; that perfume zags where you expect it to zig, and finishes like a song that shifts into a completely unexpected and lower key toward the end, and ends on a bluesy 7th chord, just a little moody but still beautiful. Mauboussin doesn't feel as tricksy in its later stages, but the cedar lightens the base without dominating everything else. Cedary drydowns often feel like a cop-out to me, but not this one--the cedar feels almost floral, and it brings the end of the perfume back to its jasmine opening.

I can't think another perfume at this price point that so clearly illustrates what a genius perfumer can do with inexpensive materials. The resulting perfume may not smell like wads of cash, but wears with a surprising delicacy for all its heft. It's also amazingly versatile, since its ambery-sweet qualities work in cold weather while its fresh-floral qualities hold up in hot weather without wilting. Its vanilla smells delicious without turning claggy or cloying--perfect for a day in the sun or a snuggle under a coat. It's joyous and sweet enough for young people, but it has enough gravity for grownups. Regardless of how Mauboussin was marketed, I don't think it has a gender. It's lighthearted enough for daytime wear, but it has enough heft for evening. Like another one of Nagel's masterpieces, Theorema, it's excellent company for the wearer, and it lasts all day and well into the night. At current prices, this is an ideal throw-and-go for a weekend trip or a proper vacation--even if it's the kind where you never leave the house.
07th July, 2018
My review is based on Extrait and EDP in 2/3 purple top - 1/3 silver bottom - red interior box with Place Vendôme address, which I assume is the original version.

The EDP opens with a blast of plum and mirabelle. They are intensely syrupy and saturated with sugar, which occasionally remind me of the jammy mirabelle note in Givenchy Dahlia Divin. But when amber and earthy patchouli soon burst into the scene, these stone fruits become much more boozy and medicinal, as if someone poured a bottle of plum liqueur on a floor covered with mold and dirt. The combination of boozy plum and bitter, dirt-like patchouli is indeed reminiscent of Annick Goutal Mon Parfum Chéri, par Camille, but Mauboussin EDP is less dry and austere, and is instead more enveloping thanks to the caramel warmth of benzoin.

I have a low tolerance of boozy plum amber, so the initial phase of Mauboussin EDP is quite difficult for me. But once the booziness and the almost sticky syrupy texture calm down after about 3 hours, the fragrance achieves a wonderful balance between dry woody and opulent oriental, with the medicinal and slightly ozonic patchouli being the central force to keep the sweetness of plum and amber in check.

I can see the reference to Mugler Angel because of its earthy and almost sharp patchouli undercutting the rich sweetness, Cartier Le Baiser du Dragon because of both being unapologetically boozy, Kenzo Jungle L'Elephant because of the strong plum note. But Mauboussin is still quite different in smell, because Angel has a much sharper contrast between fierce patchouli and gourmand chocolate while Mauboussin tends to unite them in harmony right from the beginning, Cartier is more almond-y while Mauboussin is dominated by plum liqueur, and Kenzo is much drier and spicier while Mauboussin seems mellower and more creamy in character.

The Extrait has an overall similar olfactory profile with EDP on my skin, but the evolution from boozy plum to the amber patchouli woody oriental dry down takes almost 6 hours instead of 3 hours, and the plum feels more ripe, more luscious and even more boozy, with a more noticeable unctuous caramel undercurrent.

The sillage of both concentration are heavy to moderate, with EDP lasting for at least 14 hours and Extrait up to 18 hours on my skin.

Despite its glowing reviews, I would incline to consider Mauboussin as a quite polarising fragrance and would suggest against blind buying: its concentrated plum liqueur opening can be cloying and its medicinal, bitter patchouli can be interpreted as brash. However, if you enjoy these two aspects and are looking for a rich woody oriental adorned with lavish stone fruits, Mauboussin is definitely worth a try.
11th May, 2018
I really love this big, long-lasting perfume. But I don't smell Jasmine or rose or fruit at all, or vanilla. I smell patchouli and fire and an ambery note at the bottom. Patchouli is not my favorite note by a long shot, precisely because as in this perfume it tends to take over the whole show on my skin. But somehow, in Mauboussin I love it. Combined with the kind of burning leaves smell I get from this it works. Reminds me of another patchouli bomb, Queen Latifah Queen. Nice, big, unisex.
01st November, 2015
This opens with ripe, plummy, autumnal fruits underpinned with amber. And also, for a few disconcerting minutes, I get the distinctively sweet-tart, piquant scent of Branston pickle! Two hours in, the fruits fade, leaving a woody, creamy, soft amber, & five hours in all that's left is a faint vanilla base.
Fruity scents are not really my thing, & although I quite like the drydown of this one, it didn't especially grab me. I will try it again when autumn comes though, as I think it might work better for me then.
08th May, 2015
Glenn Miller might turn in his grave. The sound of swing became firmly established in 1939 as war engulfed the world. Mauboussin Jewellers of Place Vendome in Paris were celebrating their 100 year anniversary and it stayed within the family until 2002. Two years before the sale Christine Nagel had been commissioned to create a perfume worthy of the Mauboussin reputation, which now carried a 160 year tradition and was as recognisable in France as Tiffanys is in New York. (Shame that Tiffanys bought the French Crown Jewels)

Today Christine Nagel sits with Jean Claude Ellena in the Hermes Bleachers, where her Eau de Cartier is simpatico with the transparent Ellena style.. Is she proud of Mauboussin? In a published interview Ms Nagel said she would have given her life's work, her eye teeth, her soul to the devil (you see, I forget exactly) to have created Feminite du Bois.....perhaps Mauboussin may have been her sincerest form of flattery, given that she would never have imitated it too openly. Plum, woods, patchouli, amber, and rose are all to be found in this delectable darling which morphs beautifully into French élan from its caramel beginning. I love it. It's the full orchestra, everything but the kitchen sink, but dang, it works, just like Glenn Miller's big band. I want a boned corset with a big taffeta lined dance skirt. I want to be in the mood to wear Mauboussin. If you have perfume eating skin, if you don't mind getting a glow on, letting music fill the air, in the shank of the night, when the doin' is right this is for you and you can tell 'em I'll be there.
28th March, 2015
Genre: Oriental

Mauboussin is a sweet, spicy, gourmand oriental fragrance that falls somewhere between Jaïpur and Coco on the stylistic spectrum. It opens on an intense caramelized orange rind note, then transitions quickly to a complex accord of sweet amber, cinnamon, ylang-ylang, jasmine, and dried fruits, all anchored by vanilla, pathcouli, and the barest touch of smoky leather. Mauboussin is potent, tenacious, and relatively linear, pumping out sillage for hours before it fades into a vanilla-amber skin scent. It may not be terribly original or exciting, but it is very pleasant and well-crafted in all its intricacy: an easy scent to enjoy, for either gender.
29th July, 2014 (last edited: 30th July, 2014)

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