I'm a guy and I'm wearing Ma Griffe right now and I love it. It is a GREEN green floral with one of the strangest notes in it that I've ever smelled. I can only describe it as "garlic-ey" and it must be the unusual asafoetida infusion. It is a "foul smelling" resin from a plant in the parsley family and much like civet and other types of binders that smell horrid by themselves--it combines with the other elements to heighten and enrich them. Ma Griffe is a stand alone concoction. At once familiar and at twice; strange. A weird, exotic beauty that speaks of Old World European sophistication; but remains wild and woody. To paraphrase the old commercial: Made for a Woman, but strong enough for a Man.
Ma Griffe by Carven, 1946
I admit I inherited my grandmother's spray EDT...but she was NOT the stereotypical grandmother. She was "high style", as much as she could accomplish in Indiana, a woman who looked snappy in the late 50's in stadium pumps, black & white jewelry & checkered jackets. Ma Griffe was the perfect fresh, powdery, but not sentimental scent for her...so when I wore it later I could hear her laugh & see her shrug her shoulders.... I tend to wear somewhat more oriental or smoky scents in fall & winter, somewhat less "powder" in summer..more citrus & watery.. but I enjoyed wearing her scent, especially dressed up for daytime!
this was the first "grown-up" scent I bought, on a trip to Paris in 1972 before my French 'A' levels. I bought it together with "Jolie Madame" but I haven't bought that one again. Ma Griffe has stayed with me through all my love affairs and experiments with scents. It's a real "French Perfume" that conjures up the excitement I felt on a cultural trip to Paris. There will never be another like it. I've never been able to pick out the individual notes, it's just the story of my life!
I'm wondering if what belleotero referes to as "meaty floral" is the asafoetida note. I have two Ma Griffes, an EDT that has that meaty floral (I would add "rotten") note, and one that doesn't. The one that doesn't has the modern stylized "C" spiraling around the cap, so I suspect it is newer. Regarding to older, rottener one, I just can't get past that opening. It messes me up.
Some say there is a new version of Ma griffe? If so, pity. I doubt any reformulation could beat the classic Ma griffe. I love it's very diversified olactive pyramid: Head notes: aldehydes, gardenia, green notes, asafoetida, clary sage and citruses Heart notes: oris, orange blossom, orris root, jasmine, ylang-ylang, lily-of-the-valley, rose Base notes: labdanum, sandalwood, cinnamon, musk, benzoin, oakmoss, vetiver, styrax Oakmoss and vetiver, a great combination, often make for dark perfumes but Ma griffe remains a rather fresh and fruity chypre. At first, I thought this was almost a masculine vetiver-based EDT. However, the numerous floral notes plus the aldehydes has a "feminizing" effect on the whole composition which makes it a little harder for a man to wear. The first whiff when freshly applied has a short-lived bubble-gummy quality but as soon as the dry-down process begins, a rich green and woody base starts to emerge. Superb fragrance.
Oh, yes *sniffs it again* this is the parfum I was looking for! Lovers of vintage classics like Nuit de Noel and Emeraude take note: Here's one more to hunt down and treasure. This is what a fur coat should smell like. This is what MONEY should smell like.
I don't think my nose gets along very well with greens or chypres in general...I've yet to find one that I'm crazy about. I bought this and wore it a few times, but just couldn't get over the sharp bite of its opening notes. I did like the soft, powdery dry-down. I gave it to my aunt and she loved it! Jan 07 2009
Ma Griffe opens crisp and lush of Green Notes caresses your senses of different shades though light and dark swirls vibrantly like an Rousseau painting primal and instinctive from the surface the opening gives an impression of innocence and the green notes adds that metaphor as we walk further into the Ma Griffe Greenhouse the air becomes thicker and the floral becomes deeper The note of Peach steeps though the air like a sensual Verita; Rose adds an velvety touch to this dualistic scent Orris brings the earthy side and nocturnal jasmine closes the middle with an green herbal smell; The drydown turn Ma Griffe uninhibited and Primal; Labdanum with a mixture of Civet adds a Animalistic spirit Cinnamon brings depth and a bit of an edge; Watered musk dilutes the volume but noticible. Ma Griffe dries to a dark and esoteric finish of styrax and dry sandalwood,This scent is a Chameleon crisp and green at the opening deep and reseinous drydown, i would love this if it wasn't a bit cloying but still a nice perfume i would give this 3 out of 5 Stars.
Perhaps it's the old vintage bottle, but this, in EdC strength, is not really green on me at all. I get a fleshy, almost meaty floral that is somehow fruity in its sweetness -- I think this is the ylang ylang -- not a fruit note per se. There is some powder too. A bit of cinnamon? It reminds me of Opium, in fact, but much less complex -- I sometimes layer it with Opium EdT. I tend to get tired of the fleshy-floral stage, which is somewhat insistent on me ... I love the soft, longlasting vanillic drydown.
I found a large, older bottle of this at a charity shop and got it for 99 cents. I decided I would wear it on the weekends while I save up for the big bottle of escale de portofino. Hmmmm. I like it. A flock of old ladies flew out of the bottle and started knocking me around with their powder puffs for a few minutes, but after they settled down, it got very nice. I put it in the refrigerator for upcoming hot days. I think of this as a cotton, linen and face powder scent
Ma Griffe by Carven, 1946
|Top Notes||Aldehydes, Clary sage, Galbanum, Bergamot|
|Middle Notes||Gardenia, Jasmin, Ylang-ylang, Rose|
|Base Notes||Cinnamon, Tonka Bean, Vetiver|
|Bottle Designer||Jacques Bocquet [original bottle]|
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