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  1. #1

    Default Messe de Minuit, Oui!, Whee!

    I recently purchased a bottle of Etro Messe de Minuit after being amazed by a sample. The fist time I wore it, I attended a December showing of "The Nativity" and came away with the most peaceful feeling ever from a movie. The characters were unspoiled by the complications of modern life. The famous manger was only a simple dugout among the rocks. And when the wise men layed the gifts of frankincense and myrrh before the baby Jesus, I got goosebumps--because I smelled like frankincese and myrrh.
    This visceral reaction is part and parcel of the Messe de Minuit experience. Anyone with a childhood spent in the Catholic or Orthodox Church cannot smell this fragrance and remain emotionally unmoved. It is every mass, every wedding, baptism, and funeral available in microcosm at the spritz of a bottle.
    Those of you who have never been incensed (and I don't mean joss sticks, but the pieces of resin burned in the censors dangling from the chains, putting out laughably copious, roiling clouds of smoke) those of you will be mystified by the aroma. What is it? Citrusy? Sweet? Salty? Smoky? Mineral-like? Musty? Is it beautiful? Bizarre? Comforting? Creepy?
    Completely fascinating? Join the club. People have been burning resin for thousands of years.
    The family of incense includes frankincense, myrrh, olibanum, mastic, and other resins that come from the sap of trees. Like pine sap, the substance is sticky and dries into hard droplets. One must first light a small piece of charcoal and then lay the resin against the red-hot coal in order to produce the fratrant smoke.
    Messe de Minuit - orange, bergamot, tangerine, labdanum, incense, myrrh, cinnamon, patchouli, honey, amber, musk.
    When first applied, it resembles the smell of unburned resin, sweet, pungent, intense, and citrusy. Inhale deeply. The aroma clings in the back of the throat like salt. It is quite a unique experience. As it stays on the skin, the frangrance begins to take on the smokiness of burning. I don't know how it accomplishes this, but Passage D'Enfer pales in comparison. I am left with a lingering bitterness of sad ashes, the echos of old, stone churches, and a longing to repeat the ritual with sweet, new incense.
    Strange stuff. When I die, I requst that my body be ceremonially annointed with this stuff right before the funeral. Enough said.

  2. #2
    Lean in closer, dear
    Quarry's Avatar
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    Default Re: Messe de Minuit, Oui!, Whee!

    Since my parents never took me to any kind of church, MdM is just another scent to sample. As such, I find it pleasant, reminiscent of antiques and old books/papers. But, being quite literally surrounded by antiques, old books and thick stone walls 24/7, the spice-like qualities come to the fore of my attention. These are unfamiliar to my nose's history and simply register as new and, as I said, pleasant. When I sought out MdM, I was hoping it would also carry an old-wood smell, which I crave, but it's not quite there.

    I'm sure your associations are adding significant impact for you. I envy you your "religious experience." If I could again smell my grandma's pantry, always alive with yeast, I'd probably get the emotional response you feel for MdM.
    In a world where 6 million people are added each month, every landscape matters.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Messe de Minuit, Oui!, Whee!

    You know what gave me "yeast?" Voleur de Rose. It smelled like brewers yeast in a vat of freshly brewing wine. We make wild mulberry wine in our basement, and, so help me, it smells like VDR.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Messe de Minuit, Oui!, Whee!

    Quote Originally Posted by purplebird7
    You know what gave me "yeast?" Voleur de Rose. It smelled like brewers yeast in a vat of freshly brewing wine. We make wild mulberry wine in our basement, and, so help me, it smells like VDR.
    Ah! We make elderberry and cherry wines in our basement. Bottles--not just for perfume anymore! Darling, if you're ever in Wisconsin ...
    In a world where 6 million people are added each month, every landscape matters.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Messe de Minuit, Oui!, Whee!

    Oh, lordy, that sounds divine.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Messe de Minuit, Oui!, Whee!

    [quote=Quarry] Ah! We make elderberry and cherry wines in our basement. ... [/quoteOh goodness, reading "Cherry Wine" after a day with my NEVER STOPS TALKING, EVER, EVEN FOR ONE MINUTE 3 year old, I'm drooling mmmmm cherry wine...sounds so good!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Messe de Minuit, Oui!, Whee!

    Purplebird,

    thanks for your impressions on this weird and wonderful scent. It's so different from everything else. I call it "vampiric". In my warm southern clime it smells herbal with lots of sage and another thing I can't put my finger on. It takes a much mustier note in colder weather.

    I also enjoyed what you said about the traditional use of incense burned on charcoal pieces. Correct! that's the way to use real frankincense. Lots of people with no such experiences confuse incense with those fake sticks that are sold in a myriad of "flavours", LOL

    Have you tried Avignon by Comme des Garcons? That's the closest thing I have ever smelled to Roman/Orthodox ecclesiastic incense. Remarkable!
    (maybe a little difficult to wear as personal perfume, but wonderful as room spray)
    I also suggest Essence of John Galliano by Diptyque, which is a room spray. Very incensy....

  8. #8

    Default Re: Messe de Minuit, Oui!, Whee!

    Helg, that is actually a good idea. Room spray.
    These vampiric scents (and they truly are Goth, musty, mineral-smelling) might be perfect for room ambience. After all, that is how incense is used.
    Plus, fragrances sprayed into the air take on a different character, not being influenced by reactions with the skin.
    (Thanks for the tip: I will look for sage in MDM.)
    No, I've never had any Avignon, nor any luck finding a Comme de Garcons dealer. There are others in that interesting line that I would love to try.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Messe de Minuit, Oui!, Whee!

    Quote Originally Posted by purplebird7
    I've never had any Avignon, nor any luck finding a Comme de Garcons dealer. There are others in that interesting line that I would love to try.
    In US, Lucky Scent carries almost all CdG lines, here's Incense Series, but there are many others.
    http://www.luckyscent.com/shop/categ...categoryid=219

    Re: Messe de Minuit
    It's one of my soulmate scents, and hub's big favourite, he's a former history student and calls it the "Treasure of the Archives".
    To me it's the smell of an old library or an archive, the combination of the musty scent of old books and cool stone cellar.
    Last edited by tigrushka; 24th January 2007 at 02:46 PM.
    "Wovon man nicht lesen kann, darüber muss man schreiben."

  10. #10

    Default Re: Messe de Minuit, Oui!, Whee!

    Lovely hommage Purplebird!

    I'm fond of Messe de Minuit too. On me it's more of an ambery scent, but haunting and lovely just the same. I like to layer it with Norma Kamali Incense! Amps things right up for me- whoo-hoo!

    While I like frankincense and myrrh my most favorite resin incense is copal. I don't know why but I'm drawn to it like crazy (buring some right now as I write even.) I guess the NK Incense has more of a burning copal feel to it.
    Scent is such a lovely, simple pleasure!

  11. #11

    Default Re: Messe de Minuit, Oui!, Whee!

    purplebird, i spent twelve years in Catholic Education, so your description hits home for me...makes me want to try this scent...
    artisankey, I am glad you mentioned the Norma Kamali incense...purplebird MUST try this one if she hasn't already ....
    NK knocks your socks off, but in small quantities, it truly brought me back to my old childhood masses, stained glass windows, choirs and all that.
    "Like a lobster with a pearl in its claw, the beet held the jasmine firmly without crushing or obscuring it. Beet lifted jasmine, the way a bullnecked partner lifts a ballerina, and the pair came on stage on citron's fluty cue. As if jasmine were a collection of beautiful paintings, beet hung it in the galleries of the nose, insured it against fire or theft, threw a party to celebrate it. Citron mailed the invitations." Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins p. 189

    What I am loving right now: Shalimar vintage extrait, Chanel Bois des Iles, Chanel no. 22, Le Labo Iris 39, Guerlain Iris Ganache

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