Magnolia is a tricky flower to imitate. In nature, it smells perfectly balanced and beautiful; in fragrance it seems much more problematic, often inaccurate, harsh, and unpleasantly sour ( something I've experienced even in fragrances using real magnolia absolute extracted from the flowers themselves ). Given this, SMN's version is an especially heartening success.
The top notes are a bright, fresh, green-floral accord of galbanum and magnolia, without the powdery aldehydes of many older green florals or the aquatic notes so common in modern ones. In the drydown the whole fragrance seems to bloom like the opening of a bud, a gentle jasmine, muguet, and musk joining the magnolia accord, adding softness without covering the green tartness inherent in magnolia.
This is quite a simple fragrance, but very charming and wearable, with adequate sillage and good longevity. I highly recommended it; it's easily the best magnolia I've tried, and was just perfect for the hot summer day I experienced it in.