I discovered Ma Griffe in the spring of 2003, having never even heard of it before seeing it mentioned on a perfume board, so when I spotted it at Marshall's for $9.99, I didn't even hesitate to buy it, unsniffed. When I got home and lightly sprayed it, I was NOT impressed. In fact, I was somewhat shocked -- shocked by how artificial, sharp and just downright odd it smelled. I regretted wasting $10 on it. :'( Fast forward to a scorcher of a summer day, a day so hot that even though I was inside in the air-conditioning, I feared my house was going to catch fire from the sun's heat. I had to run an errand, and didn't feel like putting on makeup or fresh clothes, but I never leave home without perfume. For a reason I will never know, I decided to spray, full-on and with complete abandon, this odd-smelling perfume called Ma Griffe. I think I just felt so sticky and tacky and irritable that I thought, "What the heck. I'll just spray on this tacky perfume." Well, this fragrance was so fresh, so refreshing, so crisp and clean, so sophisticated, so lovely.... I was rejuvenated -- no, I was reborn! I not only put on makeup and styled my hair, I also changed into crisp, fresh white linen capris and crisp, fresh chambray shirt, kicky little sandal heels, jewlery.... wow! I felt cool, clean, energized, vibrant, stylish, casually elegant. I spent most of that summer wearing Ma Griffe and Irma Shorell Rose.
I guess you figured out by now that I love Ma Griffe. I wore it the other day, in fact. For me it's a very fresh and invigorating fragrance, clean and soapy, green and cinnamon-y. I feel classy wearing it. According to Nigel Groom (Perfume: The Ultimate Guide to the World's Finest Fragrances), "It was the first perfume created especially for the younger woman, teenagers, and debutantes, and used the slogan 'Ma Griffe--le parfum jeune' (a 'griffe' is a silk label and the name signified 'It's mine')." And this masterpiece, according to Luca Turin, was created by a man who was anosmic -- Jean Carles, who had lost his sense of smell and yet continued to create perfumes from memory and imagination. Also, in the book "White Oleander", the character of Olivia wears Ma Griffe. No matter that Olivia is a prostitute -- Janet Fitch wanted to assign the character "a really chic French perfume."