I finally got a chance to smell this fragrance from a sampler and I didn't get offended by it, in fact, I almost "loved it at first sniff". First of all, M/Mink should be titled "M/M Ink". M/M is a design firm in Paris (they designed the famous Bjork "Post" album cover) but I forget why Byredo includes it in the perfume title. Like Byredo's Pulp, a scent all about fruits, M/Mink is about the scent of ink. I grew up in Hong Kong and practiced Chinese calligraphy in grade school. I am very familiar with the scent of Chinese ink, and when I smell M/Mink, all my memories come back. My friend, who is a Taiwanese Chinese woman, said the same thing about this scent and she liked it very much. For those who have traveled in China or Hong Kong, you might have stumbled across some stores that sell sun-dried seafood such as squid, scallops, and abalones. The smell is salty, pungent, fishy, but sweet. That smell, is M/Mink. I am considering buying it, but will wear it discreetly, in winter.
M/Mink by Byredo, 2010
Rated #3638 in Fragrances
M/Mink smells like the "good twin" to a lot of awful masculine fragrances with notes like honey, iodine and ozone turning into urinal and men's locker room: male body fluids with added cleaning fluids. M/Mink features a honey note that's almost, but not quite sickening: more murky wood than urine. I tend to categorically dislike fragrances with honey in them, but this I find wearable and interesting. There's also a touch of salt which reminds me more of sea breezes than body fluids, though there's an intriguing hint of naughtiness about it. M/Mink smells old, murky and musty like the perfume clinging to a vintage fur, but it also smells very outdoorsy, wild and free: woody and animalic. I'm surprised that previous reviewers call it chemical and artificial because to my nose it's very natural-smelling, organic, feral, warm. It does have the intense "pow!" of synthetic smell molecules though. It's a "brown" scent for sure, thick and dense and reminiscent of burnished woods or the glint of light in guard hairs. Actually, it reminds me a lot of Neil Bartlett's wonderful novel "Skin Lane". I'm also a bit surprised that previous reviewers categorise it as masculine. I completely disregard gender designations on scent, but to my nose M/Mink is traditionally feminine, like an old-world perfume. I guess it's the combination of sweetness, warmth and dirtiness that does it - masculine fragrances tend so often to have something nauseatingly fresh, cool, clean, antiseptic about them, like deodorants, even when they feature notes like woods and musk. M/Mink is the antithesis to that. Perhaps it tends to disagree with male skin chemistry?
Ugh. Pine disinfectant mixed with bitter, metallic bilge water and noxious drain cleaner. There's no fur, hide or musk anywhere in here (it would be a blessing). Come to think of it, anything 'Fecal' would also be a relief. This smells like a concentrated, grotesque version of the bitter, metallic, Byredo house note that runs through all of their perfumes... amplified a million times into a monster. Without question this is the most obnoxious, offensive smell I've come across in 20 years of fragrance sampling... and I'm a lover of unusual, daring experiments, bizarre combinations and own several 'challenging' scents. A perfumery disaster IMO, completely unwearable, antisocial, incredibly expensive and horrible in the extreme. Absolutely ghastly.
People talk about happy scents, melancholic scents, sexy scents - M/Mink is about fear. Not that it smells of anything scary that's nameable, but it conjures up the alertness, adrenaline, and vague unease each time I smell it, my main reason in avoiding buying an otherwise daring and attention-grabbing scent. M/Mink smells of synthetic things. I couldn't name a note, though that fierce top is almost like scotch pine burnt then left to cool. The honeyed drydown is neither thick and natural nor brightly candied, just a warm glimmering from behind. The bleak top fades over time, becoming more and more about frankincense, but the tension is never lost in the growing resinous accord. On my list of fragrances everyone should smell once.
When did ugly become the new daring? Someone spilled honey on the floor and the janitor sprinkled Dustbane on it to clean it up. Ghastly.
I like this one. M/Mink is certainly very unusual and it has a cool, detached, and uncompromising ambience about it that I totally appreciate. It's a masculine, I think, and I can't really imagine it working very well on a woman, although I guess there are always those who could pull it off. It smells like a very interesting mix of something extremely mechanical and industrial - and a lot of fresh autumn air. There's a tension-filled balance to the whole thing, a kind of refined primitivity or polished rawness. I don't mean primitive in any animalic, musky, or sweaty sense: it's more graphic, like a stern monochrome with an irregular yellow dot in one corner. As the name suggests, this is indeed an inky fragrance but not the thick earthy vetiver ink of Encre Noire. It's much more detached and austere, less vibrant and bodily - a postindustrial urban landscape. A flock of black birds perched silently on a row of power lines against the grey evening sky. A cold yellow sunset. Despite its obvious strangeness, I actually don't find M/Mink any harder to wear than a lot of the Comme des Garçons fragrances: it falls pretty much into the same category as the Synthetics and Odeurs, I think - if you can wear those comfortably, M/Mink should be no problem. I keep it in regular rotation, and I wear it whereever I want.
This is a weird one! I usually love weird scents, but with this one I can't really decide. It opens with a blast of "I don't know what the hell is that but it makes me wanna puke" (rancid adoxal?) mixed with "bodily fluids?"and "animalistic secretions?"...who knows??? I guess is the completely desweetened honey note that smells more like beeswax. Very dense, sticky, almost animalic (in a bad way). Absolutely disgusting and seriously disturbing to my nose. The weirdest part is that the drydown is simply amazing with a warm and meditative inky-frankincense note. It never happened to me that I really hated a perfume opening and totally loved the drydown. My solution could be that I spray it on my clothes and then I wait one hour before to wear them so I can avoid the initial brutal blast! BTW incredible lasting power!
Rating: 5/5 (for its uniqueness)
3/10 (for my personal taste)
NOTE: This is a fragrance to experience. Love or hate type of stuff but whether you'll like it or not it deserves its status as one of the most daring compositions so far.
M/Mink by Byredo, 2010
|Base Notes||Patchouli Leaf, Clover Honey, Amber|
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