I am letting my earlier review stand as well, to illustrate the learning process that one can go through in scent analysis. I understand the elements here better. I still can't endorse this scent. Basically, it is too sweet and "thick" to suit me. I retired this for a year or more, and deliberately tried it in cold weather. For me, it would be lethal in warm weather. I hoped that a very cold day would make its rich elements appealing rather than oppressive. Nope, not for my taste.
This is NOT a green scent. The citrus is bergamot, sweet and tangy. The spice (which I had thought was clove) I now identify as pepper. It is OK, fairly dry in and of itself. The lavender is poorly done: not herbaceous or crisp; rather it is thick as a brick. What I had identified as vanilla I now believe to be oak rendered through the oakmoss. The same vanillan note one often finds in some wines after oak-barrel aging is what I find here. Vanilla - wood - oak... sweet and heavy. I blame the problems of this scent on the poorly-done lavender and the particular type of oakmoss. This is a fougere, I should like it... and I just don't.
I struggle with this one. I want to like it. I like fougeres. At times MPH has interesting elements, but at other times I'm challenged to find something good to say.
In a nutshell, the patchouli is an obstacle and the vanilla verges on deal-breaker.
The scent starts with a pronounced clove note. As is often the case with cloves, the note alternates between a cool, airy style and something sweet and piercingly aromatic. Much the time, this phase suggests either barbershop or a formal and freshly-pressed white shirt. Even here, there are troublesome foreshadowings of the vanilla note. More and more, a very tangy brown patchouli note emerges. By the way, the only thing "green" about this scent is the bottle. It is always some variation on a brown scent. The patchouli is not really attractive to me but in and of itself is not obnoxious. The vanilla always keeps threatening to overwhelm, but never quite does that.
Secret here (for me) is a microscopic application and a lot of patience. Many hours later, the drydown is acceptable and somewhat enjoyable.
In summary, this has three notes which are very low on my totem pole: clove, patchouli, and vanilla. At times it is rather sweet. If even slightly over-applied, it becomes oppressive on my skin.
On the plus side, the scent is well-made, not synthetic, classy in its own way.
My reservations are due entirely to me not liking the particular elements. But the scent, as a construct, is well done and has great longevity. Hence my neutral rating.
14th January, 2011 (last edited: 03rd December, 2014)
MPH is an old school gentlemanly fougere - definitely not as bracingly herbal as it may sound from the notes, more smooth like a softer Penhaligon's English Fern. It has the same sweetish anise/licorice/fennel accord that reminds me pleasantly of the smell of actual, living ferns. It's a dry sweetness but definitely a sweetness nonetheless and yes, now that the previous reviewer har mentioned it, there may be a discreet, non-dirty patchouli note adding to that effect. Apart from that I can't really pick out any notes - no citrus, no oakmoss... It's a very mellow and linear scent altogether. Not too bad, but not too good either.