Perfume Directory

Mandala (2017)
by Masque

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Mandala information

Year of Launch2017
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
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People and companies

HouseMasque
PerfumerChristian Carbonnel

About Mandala

Mandala is a shared / unisex perfume by Masque. The scent was launched in 2017 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Christian Carbonnel

Mandala fragrance notes

Reviews of Mandala

I had real difficulty with Mandala, a reaction with some aroma-chemical or other, that produced a gassy, urinous smell. I gave it some time to settle on my skin, but that only re-inforced it. I haven’t had a reaction of this sort with a fragrance since CB I Hate Perfume Musk, which produced the same piercing gassiness. Beyond salvation.
10th April, 2019
A big hilltop monastery kind of incense – smoky yet in quite high relief, with bold yet somehow not stifling spicing and the uplift of greenish woody tones. I smell pines, the notes say cedar. There is something quite fatty just beneath the mix, almost like slightly off coconut cream, which may be the nod to ambergris – whether it adds something to an otherwise bracing composition is, I suspect, down to taste. Personally, I find it muddies the composition – but what’s a little mud when the effect being aimed for here, one feels, is of a certain craggy salt-of-the earth ruggedness.
The evolution is towards a more standard-issue frankincense with a sweet woody backing, however with the generous spicing preserved intact. I do however, miss the greenness at the start, which lingers tantalizingly in the air of a room in which one is sitting.
12th January, 2019
Masque Mandala is a really amazing juice straight from the woodland's inscrutable undergrowth. For all the lovers of woody/resinous pushed up spiciness this vaguely "indie" concoction could be the right beast. Opening alternates a sort of immediately intense fruity/viney spiciness, a plain stark woodiness (cedarwood in particular, yet emerging from the background) and a sort of woodsy aromatic mintiness straight from the angelica's greenness and the oakmoss (a mossy labdanum's sylvan general presence) from the deep dark/green forest. There is longly a sort of vaguely acid (ostensibly fruity and viney) tartness (a vibe which is typical of frankincense while combined with a intense fruity spiciness) apparently arousing the idea of a pomegranate/raspberries-presence (elements which are definitely not listed). Cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg represent the core of this "kind of artisanal" juice and these elements are strictly blended with frankincense and animal resins in a sort of almost "gluttonous" wild/bucolic mélange which is "nestled" in to a really dark woodsy general atmosphere of dry leaves, pine needles, bay leaves, laurel, dried fruits, berries and barks (an aura somewhat in the middle between Serge Lutens Fille en Aiguilles, several super spicy Slumberhouse's and the fruity/boozy Les Liquides Imaginaires Bello Rabello). I get for a while a sort of North American Indie's alchemic wild/artisanal "crudeness" but finally the juice cleans itself up in order to disclose a more civilized and dry spicy/chypre incensey soapy nature (delicate and balmy-woody). Dry down is quite stimulating with its kind of yummy appeal, really warm, smooth, still powerfully incensey, kind of "edible" (fruity-liquorous) and woody in to a creamy/resinous way.
P.S: finally a sort of more gassy woodiness "resists" and this final phase smells less definitely interesting and more nowadays "ordinary" and synthetic.
05th November, 2018 (last edited: 06th November, 2018)
Genre: Woody Oriental

For all its complicated pyramid, Mandala reads to me mostly as a straight-up frankincense composition. Its dry, craggy incense note is treated in high relief and juxtaposed with nutmeg in a manner that is suggestive of black peppercorns, though pepper is one thing I do not see listed in the published pyramid. However, if peppery incense has you imagining a Comme des Garçons Black clone, you’re barking up the wrong tree. Mandala is far less smoky than CdG Black, and lacks the older scent’s complexity and nuance. To my nose, Mandala is much more of a plain brown wrapper frankincense, more along the lines of Avignon among the CdG lineup, if considerably more harsh and jagged-edged in olfactory texture.

As Mandala develops, the dry frankincense gradually gives way to sweeter cinnamon and cloves, and there is more interest for me in this transition than in the more conventionally liturgical earlier phase. It is here, in the juxtaposition of incense and spices that the Indian connotations of the name are conjured. It is also here that Mandala channels to a degree another in the Comme des Garçons Incense Series – this time the lovely Jaisalmer, which blends incense with dried fruit and sweet spice notes. Mandala never seems to me to live up to the complexity promised by its published pyramid, but it is a perfectly pleasant, if not terribly distinguished, incense fragrance. I’m only disappointed in it insofar as Masque Milano has set itself a high bar with much more interesting and original previous releases like Montecristo, Russian Tea, and Romanza. In such fine company, Mandala can’t help feeling like an anticlimax.
23rd August, 2017

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