well... I have to come clean about the slippage of Mark Birley out of my top 5 or even top 10!!!! after all my evangelism on its behalf... I mean I have acknowledged that I rarely wear it anymore but. . .
I wore it recently, and... well, admittedly there was this slight problem in that I'd worn tenacious LV Garafano the day before and the stuff will not wash off completely for a couple of days, so it got a little polluted. nonetheless I find the stuff is starting to smell rather strange to me. a combination of incense, soap and...cdg Soda! weird.
I wore it for a few years exclusively and I really hope this isn't the end. Hope that in the fullness of time and life I will be led back to wearing it sometimes. But for the time being I am on a really different kick/path. And it's right there with so many others now, in that if I wear it... I simply wish I were wearing something else. (and I HATE that feeling, like wishing I'd worn something else, intolerable!)
Even Frederic Malle himself seems to have a bad attitude about it. He acted as though I'd discovered the skeleton in his closet when I brought out the box for him to sign. I spoke to him of my desire to make some "harsh soapy fragrances" inspired by Santa Maria Novella and he said "mark birley!" at the mention of the word soapy. He certainly isn't into soapy these days. (I think the hallmark of malle scents is their clarity, which really kind of ... eliminates incense, soap notes which are noisy/fuzzy). As far as my "soapy" idee fixe goes, it really isn't nearly soapy enough, however.
It certainly is a very important fragrance to me. Without it I would never have been led onto the fragrant highways and byways. If I had happened to smell someone wearing any of a number of other scents, my interest might have been piqued, but... the people I encounter in close enough quarters to smell usually don't wear cologne and if occasionally they do it's not anything like SMW or Palisander or etc etc etc/ The last time I smelled anything on a guy it was Kenneth Cole Black (which smelled exactly like anybody else whose scent I've noticed over the past few years).
So, I think I might favor it in certain circumstances, but those circumstances are becoming rare. An interview of some sort? Even then I think I would likely go for something else.
For sitting on a plane for 12+ hours, yes, I think it still might be the perfect scent for that. But more cause it's a good secure choice on behalf of the person sitting on either side of me than for my own pleasure. Although I also think such a situation is one in which one might really appreciate and take pleasure in MB again, appreciating just what it can do very well.
(It still might in the top... something, 25?)