I will add some more reviews tomorrow.
I noticed a member tonight posted that the House refferendum of MPG was lost, along with a couple of reviews I wrote. I couldn't find them on my computer, so I decided to re-write a couple of reviews for the MPG house.
I'd love for other members to post their own reviews and opinions of the MPG house. This is my all time favorite house, and I thought I'd share some opinions.
Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier is a revolutionary house, and one of the last real fragrance houses. The classic French perfume houses are tearing apart classical creations to make them both cost effective and allergy compliant. The art of Perfumery is being killed off by a lack of culture and a fear of being noticed. Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier produces classical French fragrances with artistic nuances. Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier is my favorite fragrance house.
I will keep these reviews somewhat short, because I want to be in bed before 1am.
Eau des Iles: This is one of the most imaginative fragrances in the entire MPG line. Eau des Iles is an exotic blend of heady spices, wood, and coffee. This fragrance is a dream in a bottle; I am transported to an early far away tropical island bursting at the seams with commerce. The coffee and spices play perfectly on this theme, which are blended with heady patchouli and wood to create a fragrance that is as exotic as it is balanced. Eau des Iles is perfectly suited for a humid night.
Santal Noble: This is probably the best woody fragrance ever created. While this is not a linear pure sandalwood fragrance, it is pure brilliance. Santal Noble is a beautiful blend of Sandalwood, Cedar wood, Amber, and Coffee. Santal Noble is incredibly rich, but its richness is offset by its dry nature. This is an amazingly dynamic fragrance that evolves every second it’s on the skin. Santal Noble is a fragrance that plays out like a battle. At first, the Amber and Cedar wood fight with the Sandalwood for dominance, but as the fragrance dries down, the sandalwood slowly wins the battle until finally, all you smell is rich creamy sandalwood with slight and distant hints amber and cedar wood. I don’t know how LaPorte created such a balanced fragrance and maintained such conflict throughout the drydown. Santal Noble is perfect.
Route du Vetiver: This fragrance is a little more difficult to describe. Route du Vetiver is off putting at first. It’s a very ripe and humid blend. To me, Route du Vetiver reminds me of vetiver with a dark, earthy, fragrant cloud surrounding it. This is not a sparking or dry vetiver like most. Route du Vetiver smells like wet soil, upturned vetiver, with a slight hint of berries thrown in the mix. The most off putting and unique vetiver blend out there. This is a must try for any vetiver lover.
Parfum d’Habit: I once saw a member here describe this as dark green. Dark green sums up Parfum d’Habit perfectly. Parfum d’Habit is a very blend of vetiver, sandalwood, and leather. This fragrance has the texture and color of rough dark green wool. It’s rough, earthy and dirty. The sandalwood compliments the leather perfectly. This is a very mysterious fragrance that is reminiscent of a dark, foggy forest.
Secret Mélange: Secret Mélange is one of the easier Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier fragrances to wear, but that doesn’t mean its any less unique than any of the others. This is a wonderfully elegant and artistic fragrance. Imagine a burning orange grove consumed by flames. Imagine the fire is put out by a hard spring rain, and now imagine the aroma of fresh cloves permeating the air from the recent rain. Add all these odors together and you have Secret Mélange. There is really nothing like it.
Racine: This is what Guerlains Vetiver should have been. Racine is a luxurious and dry vetiver blended skillfully with sparkling andfresh citrus notes. The beauty of Racine lies with its balance of vetiver and citrus. There is no other vetiver and citrus blend that can maintain this much balance throughout the drydown. Racine is rich, dry, elegant, and perfect year round.
Garrigue: Garrigue is a slightly herbaceous, woody, and citrus blend. Personally, I find this fragrance far from ground breaking. It’s a wonderful fragrance for those hot summer days. It’s well balanced, but the theme has been done far too many times. I own a bottle of this and do enjoy wearing it, but I don’t think I would replace my bottle.
Ambre Precieux: Ambre Precieux is not just another Ambre blend. Laporte managed to create an Ambre based fragrance that was spicy, but not spicy enough to take the center stage off the Ambre. Ambre alone can be cloying, but Ambre with too much conflict can be off putting and difficult to wear for many (Ambre Sultan), but Ambre Precieux maintains enough conflict to keep it interesting throughout the entire drydown, and is also sweet enough to be warm and comforting. This is a great Ambre fragrance, and should serve as an example for anyone looking for ‘ambre’.
Centaure: Centaure is very odd. From what I can tell, it’s mostly a blend of Lavender, Mint, and wood. It’s a very unique fragrance that is slightly sour and green. It’s very energizing, and to me, equally off putting. This is not creamy lavender, but rather a screaming lavender that is encouraged by mint and woody notes. There is nothing sweet in this fragrance.
Jardin du Nil: Jardin du Nil is one of the most beautiful floral fragrances I have ever smelled. It’s mostly floral, but incredibly masculine. Jardin du Nil was made when LaPorte was at a delta in the nile; he observed the odor of geraniums in the hot sun. Jardin du Nil has a depth that most other floral fragrances don’t. You can smell the subtle nuances in the geranium, all while it’s offset by a lush and ripe mint. Jardin du Nil smells like nothing else on the market. Multifaceted floral notes contrasted by mint create Jardin du Nil.
Iris Bleu Gris: Iris Bleu Gris is a rich, edgy, and sweet iris interpretation. It’s got a very woody and slightly sweet base. This does not smell like a fragrance dominated by floral notes. Rather, Iris Bleu Gris comes off as a very woody fragrance with Iris nuances throughout. Very true to the MPG style; well balanced, and very elegant.
Fraiche Badiane: I actually just got this one. Throughout the entire life of the fragrance, Lemon plays a very large role. I must say, this is NOT what I expected. The anise never really shows itself, and it smells a lot like Aqua de Parma mixed with Kouros. Not my cup of tea, but a very elegant and understated citrus fragrance.
Soie Rouge: Soie Rouge is from the womens line. It deserves mention here, because it is unique. Soie Rouge is an audacious blend of Carnation, fruit, and pepper. This goes on smelling very floral, but soon the fruit and pepper accords come out and create one of the most unusual fragrances. It is very true to its name in that it smells very ‘red’. Soie Rouge is a very red. This could easily be worn by both genders.
Soir d'Orient: Soir d’Orient is amazing. Mind blowing. It starts out with an almost off-putting strong agarwood (Oud) note. Very earthy, warm, and dark. At this point you can tell it comes from Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier; you can smell the rich and elegant style. After a few minutes with the fragrance, the strong opening note of Agarwood starts to segue into warm amber and agarwood blend. This is where Soir d’Orient stands out from other amber fragrances; Soir d’Orient maintains a flawless balance between the earthy and woody notes and the Amber. Ambre Precieux, for example, could be described as cloying, simply because there is nothing that really tames and tempers the Amber. The agarwood and other woody notes in Soir d’Orient give it a very mysterious and exotic feel, while the warm amber gives Soir d’Orient amazing amounts of richness and a very sensual and seductive nature. This has the richness of Ambre Precieux, the earthiness of Route du Vetiver, and an amazing agarwood accord. This is a perfectly blended fragrance.
Perle Rose: I wasn’t sure what to expect with this one. I love rose based fragrances. Sa Majeste la Rose by Serge Lutens is one of my most used fragrances. I wasn’t at all disappointed with Perle Rose. This is a VERY rose dominant fragrance with a very luxurious and a very French feel. Perle Rose smells like a very fresh rose, maybe even a rose that hasn’t fully matured yet. It’s the smell of a very soft and supple rose that hasn’t been adulterated. It isn’t powdery at all, or even very sweet; it’s a slightly tart and untouched rose on a cool spring morning. What I like most about Perle Rose is its lack of sweetness; Sa Majeste la Rose has a noticeable honey note that makes it a bit heavier. Perle Rose is just pure rose that can be worn in even the warmest weather. 5 stars.
I will add some more reviews tomorrow.
Beautiful descriptions, Julian. Your love of these fragrances permeates every word.
Excellent Reviews, as always!
Unfortunately I don´t share this enthusiasm for MPG at all, I haven´t tried Baime and Eau de Iles yet though.
Great reviews, thanks! The only one from this line I tried ,that knocked me off my socks was Santal Noble. Some others I tried , like Garrique or Centaure were so,so to me.
The ones I'd still like to try are Eau des Illes and Secret Melange. I have a feeling I will like these ones.
Great reviews, IPaid!
While I don't share your enthusiasm for MPG's line as a whole, I like several of their scents. To me they are (with a couple of exceptions) quite traditional, or at least composed of traditional and time-honored ingredients. Whether that floats your boat or not is of course up to individual preference. Some might consider them "stuffy" (I prefer "refined", but IMO most are wearable on a number of occasions/settings.
Here's my take on the ones I've tried.
Eau des Iles: This is quite similar to L'Artisan's L'Eau du Navigateur, which is not surprising considering LaPorte designed both scents (if I recall correctly). Both have a coffee/wood/smoke accord at the heart, with the MPG offering emphasizing the smokiness. I must admit to not caring for either of these, as the smoky/coffee note becomes acrid and off-putting. EdI especially calls to mind a dirty ashtray in a dive coffee shop. If that left-bank/bohemian thing is what you're after (or if you are a smoker), then this might be the scent for you.
Santal Noble: This is one of my favorite scents. The amber, cedar, coffee and sandalwood (natch) blend together to make an incredibly smooth, though dry (as Julian points out) scent. Top notch! My only complaint is that it doesn't last as long as I'd like. Reapplication is necessary for me if I want to wear this all day.
Route du Vetiver: This is probably as close to real vetiver as a perfume/cologne is likely to get. Imagine vetiver just pulled from the earth, still slightly warm, dirty, and incredibly pungent. The blackcurrant note always gets mentioned in the literature with this scent, but unless I'm really looking for it I hardly notice it. It probably does lend a slight sweetness to what would otherwise be an overwhelmingly dry presentation. I don't really like this scent, but I DO respect it. As Julian points out, any vetiver lover should really try this one.
Racine: This is another favorite of mine. A great, classic combination of citrus and dry vetiver. Refined, elegant, and very masculine. Fresh and subtle at the same time. It reminds me at times of Patricia Nicolai's New York, except Racine is not quite as deep.
Garrigue: I agree with Julian's thoughts on this scent. It is nice, but neither original nor exceptional. It is reminiscent of many other herbal/woody scents already out there. It may have a degree of quality and refinement that the others do not, but I personally don't think it's worth the MPG price tag.
Ambre Precieux: An interesting interpretation of amber. The addition of sandalwood and cedar balance the sweetness of the amber very nicely. The initial impression is of bitterness. I'm not quite sure what note gives it that bracing beginning, but the scent gradually gives way to a woody amber glow. Rich, but not overwhelming.
Centaure: Lavender, mint, jasmine, and light woods: almost an update of Eau Sauvage with an added mint note. Centaure has a sweet/sour mix that might be a refreshing change for the summer. The "freshest" of the MPGs I've tried.
Jardin du Nil: This is a floral/woody blend. While there is mint here, I don't notice it as much as the florals. When I first tried this I thought the heart notes resembled something else but couldn't pin it down. It turned out to be Egoiste, of all things. The resemblance is not overwhelming, but it's there (for me, at least). That aside, this is really a floral dominated scent (especially jasmine and geranium), one of the relatively few masculine ones out there.
Iris Bleu Gris: This powdery scent lives up to its description. If you could imagine scents as colors, this really would be a blue-gray. To me, the iris in this one comes through pretty strongly, but I'm pretty sensitive to iris. As a matter of fact, right after application, the iris note really irritates my nose and almost makes me sneeze. Still, this one's a winner for me. I don't usually go for powdery scents, but this has a nice woody base and the iris component is striking.
Baime: This was a disappointment to me. It's a fairly light, green, herbally scent, with some sweetness. The notes include lavender, thyme, basil, exotic fruit, and jasmine. I have yet to find a scent that captures the pungency of basil and other herbs as they occur in nature. Baime is a bit mellow for me -- too round and not enough sharp edges. This reminds me a lot of Diptyque's Virgilio (as well as Clairol's Herbal Essence line of shampoos).
Julian / Bob:
Thanks for the thoughtful and eloquent reviews. It's nice to have a quick summary of the MPG fragrances on a single thread. I share your appreciation for many of the MPG scents, but lack your ability to translate my visceral reaction to these scents into words. Thanks for taking on the task!
After reading such reviews, i feel forced to buy the entire line.
Current top 5:
1. Puredistance M
2. Naomi Goodsir Bois d'Ascese
3. Amouage Fate Man
4. Creed Spice & Wood
5. Bond 9 Harrods Oud
We are alike in many ways.Originally Posted by HackerX
I am wearing Soir d'Orient today and it is truly mindblowing like Julian said. *Theres also a review for it on MUA saying it's her holy grail. *If anyone wants a bottle this is a once in a lifetime chance. It was only made for Dubai and is discontinued. *Check the swap board for my listing.
Originally Posted by IPaidForThisName
I just smelled most of these on Saturday for the first time and I have to say, your desriptions of the ones I smelled are spot on!
To bad the black that is my budget is going to get larger.
**I meant to say "black hole"**
Thanks for the reviews IPaid. To this day I've never smelled a MPG scent due to the fact that I never see them in stores. I heard Nordstrom in the SF mall has them but I didn't see them the last time I went. They had Etro, Annick Goutal, and Amouage but no MPG in sight.
Originally Posted by IPaidForThisName
Many thanks for the reviews and the passion Julian. It is a great house, no doubt.
Here is my quick review of *Parfum d'Habit*:
*Parfum d’Habit* begins with a heady, iris-like accord which continues throughout the top notes and well into the drydown. Iris is not listed as a note anywhere I’ve checked, but the opening accord definitely smells iris-like. I like many MPG fragrances, but I am very taken with this one. One way to describe it is to say that the notes in it always persist in their elemental and discrete nature despite being masterfully blended. There seems to be a real trust and reliance on the notes to show their intrinsic characteristics, and the notes are the "big boys" of traditional perfumery: bergamot, petitgrain, leather, geranium, patchouli, incense, sandalwood, ambegris, vanilla. I am particularly impressed with the balanced nature of this fragrance and with its use of clearly distinguishable, premium ingredients. It smells hauntingly beautiful right out of the bottle; it engages you immediately, and never ceases not to do so all the way to the end when a faint, very reticent but audible whisper of patchouli anchors the drydown in a tantalizing way. It's a leathery, ambery, sweet, floral--in a rich, heady, iris kind of way--scent with real body and presence. *Parfum d’Habit* strikes me as perfume mastery at its highest level. I can't imagine it not being a part of my wardrobe.
I tottaly agree Parfum d'habit is a great one. It was a sleeper for me as I don't hear of it much on this board but I discovered that I had a sample and I loved it I still need to get a bottle. Another one I love is Iris Bleu Gris which to me is amazing. It takes the powdery, rooty aspect of iris and intertwines it with sandalwood. This one is a true masculine floral that is a perfect demonstration of the quality and craftmanship of MPG fragrances.
But I just don't have a space in my heart for MPG like I do for other houses (L'Artisan, for example)
Well, I just made an order today from Luckyscent for some more Comme des Garcons and I asked them to send me some samples of the MPGs.
I almost bought a bottle of Santal Noble blind, but I decided I needed to go ahead and get a big bottle of Odeur 53.
I hope these are good. I can't wait.
"He is a very shallow critic who cannot see an eternal rebel in the heart of a conservative."-- G.K. Chesterton
I have sampled many MPG's and the only one I own is Santal Noble. (which I hated at first by the way) ...However, Irecently sampled Garrigue and was somewhat impressed.
With all the talk of Soir d'Orient....I had to order some from AZSMELLS. *It "sounds" AWESOME....let's hope it smells awesome too
Hey hey J,
Nice reviews my friend! I hope all is well with you J. Well...I have a VERY difficult time picking out ONE favorite House. That being said...MPG is certainly ONE of my favorite House to be sure and...it is no secret that my FAVORITE SPECIAL fragrance is MPG "EAU DES ILES". A Masterpiece! I am also CRAZY for MPG ROUTE DU VETIVER!
Resurrecting this just to see if anyone else has tried MPG Soir d’Orient
Wow I loved these MPG reviews. Too bad Julian lost his zest for perfumes and this board. I still chat with him and he is doing well.
zztopp it may have been around the time you joined but I was able to get some bottles of Soir d'Orient and sold all of them and some decants. I don't know if you know the story behind it but basically it was created for a perfume retailer in Dubai. In my emails with MPG they told me only 2000 bottles were made. I've tried to insist that they re-release it but they said it is highly unlikely.
As for the fragrance itself I really can't add much to the original review. I can only say I completely agree with it. I only have 1/2 a bottle left that I kept for myself. If you would like I could send you a sample.
I miss Julian too! Emails and PMs from me have gone unanswered by him, so it is good news to hear he is doing well.
As for Soir d'Orient, it IS amazing! A wonderful mix of Oud and amber, but so impossible to find Montale Blue Amber reminds me of Soir d'Orient a little bit.
Last edited by shadesofbleu; 1st March 2008 at 11:16 PM.
I've trademarked the color bleu
I didn't enjoy Soir d'Orient as others have. I found it extremely linear with a basic aoud and amber mix. Similar to Ambre Precieux without the vanilla note and an excess amount of aoud put in. In some way it's almost a pure aoud oil. The aoud note in the Montale scents are medicinal and sharp, while with SdO, the aoud note is dry and suffocating. It has this coughing effect on me. I recommend when testing it to use 1-2 sprays, it's a very heavy scent.
Wow... those were some awesome reviews.
My interest in this house has now gone through the roof!!
I have a sample of Route du Vetiver on the way from a very kind and generous BNer.
I can't wait to smell it. I love challenging scents.
I can't wait to sample the rest of the line.
This thread kind of makes me sad. This quality of writing, that appears throughout the thread, used to be a common thing here. Thoughtful reviews and polite discourse seem to be on the decline here lately. Julian and Scentemental both are missed.
I'm bumping this great thread for two reasons...
1) it has some great reviews in it that are very much in line with my own perception.
and 2) I sampled Ambre Doré at the Maitre Parfumeur Boutique in Paris 10 days ago. I had no idea there was this new one out. It is a fantastic amber - oudh combo, potent stuff, reminding me of a strong(er) Ambre Sultan kind. Has anybody of you sampled this and knows whether it bears any resemblance with the legendary Soir d'Orient?
I found a notes list for the Ambre Doré.
I understand Ambre Doré was released with limited distribution in 2009 or possibly even earlier. I've come across the odd reference to it here and there, but it is rarely mentioned even on the French fora and blogs. I'd definately make a point of smelling it next time I'm in Paris. Thanks for the post, Larimar.
Thanks, G.! Interesting! It was introduced to me as 'new'... oh well, it's all relative and compared to 1988 I found it was really very good, but I can't see myself buying an amber frag at the moment. Let me know, G. when you have sniffed it!
Sounds very interesting. Hopefully I'll cross paths with it one day and give it a try. I wonder if it bears any similarities to Aoud Ambre by Montale.
Their scents are so stunningly beautiful it always makes me think they are fleeting and lacking longevity and sillage, but they are actually not.
Well some of them actually do lack strength and longevity :-( .....and it's the most beautiful ones :-(
The new formula of Santal N. feels so diluted and weak :-(
Route, Habit and Garrigue are barely detectable after ten minutes.
Last edited by mihailo; 19th October 2012 at 03:48 PM.
I own a discovery set for men. The quality of the bottles is so low I can't help hut think of them as decants. Both the screws and the caps seem so cheap. The vaporisateur is so fragile I have the impression I could break it by looking at it :-(