Not only did I get my complete Andy Tauer sampler set today, but my 3 "free" Malle samples arrived as well. 10 Euros to Germany is not exactly cheap. I'll grant them it may be a necessary kind of self-protection. But other companies do send out free stuff generously.
Anyway, having and loving Musc Ravageur and Noir Epices, and knowing Bois d'Orage (nice, but not bottleworthy) I went for Carnal Flower, Une Rose and Eau d'Hiver. And what do you know, none of them worked for me. Surprisingly, since I am anything but an Ellena fan, his was ultimately the best. The winter fantasy holds up for a short while, but what Turin calls "almonds-and-water" becomes too much of a typically light and transparent synthetic floral note of violets mixed with bitter walnuts and a little sweet powder. Some may call it a bold juxtaposition, to me its ETRO Heliotrope as homeopathy. Not inspiring.
Une Rose by Fléchier was very promising. A green, wet, ethereal rose, treble rather than bass, with slightly spicy aspects. Beautiful and very wearable. Then I discover that I am, to quote Turin, one of a "small subset of women" (?!) who perceive the synthetic amber Karanal as urinious. Judging from the latrine that grew on my arm I'd be ready, in fact, to belt out "I'm every woman (of that subset)." This abruptly ended my promising relationship with Une Rose.
Speaking of women: Carnal Flower is so über-feminine it begs to be worn by drag queens. There's no way a man can wear this and not send a decidedly gender-bending message. In fact, I was more comfortable with Nasomatto's Narcotic Venus then with this, because, for whatever reason, Carnal Flower on my skin really came on strong with the ylang ylang and even more so the coconut, the result being that it smelled like a high end version of the synthetic-coconut reeking Hawaiian Tropic bronzing spray I once bought. It got to be so unbearable - from half a spritz - I had to scrub.
Well, I guess that's what happens when great perfumers can go on and do their thing. They very much do their thing - and in two cases I enjoy the result very very much. I will definitely pass on these three offerings, however.
Last edited by the_good_life; 19th December 2008 at 11:34 PM.
Love the Whitney Houston reference in your Une Rose review. L O L!
I always felt the same way about Carnal Flower - gosh, I'm glad someone said it so I don't feel like the odd man out. Coconut!! Too much of it. I like white florals, but the mix with coconut made it feel SO feminine and sex-kitten smelling to my nose that I really disliked it. Give me a crisp, indolic, non-creamy yet bright white floral any day!
Eau d'Hiver is the bomb. Every time I wear it, it makes me happy. Hell...I'd love it if Erwin Creed made it! But of course, my Mack Daddy JC Ellena did, which makes it even more of a pleasure to love. God knows I don't like everything Ellena does (Un Jardin Apres La Mousson blows), but I love Eau d'Hiver. It is like a song, I want to keep hearing again and again, even when I know all of the words because hearing the song just does something to me way up inside my chest.
Last edited by mikeperez23; 20th December 2008 at 05:47 AM.
I'm sure you've all heard it by now, but I'll relate it again: I originally bought Carnal Flower for my wife, but she didn't like wearing it - she liked it on me instead. Hey, I'm not going to argue with the boss. Go figure.
I actually do wear the stuff in public, but it requires a very sparing application. But then again, nobody's going to mistake me for a drag queen, tuberose or not.
If the eucalyptus and the green top notes don't come out much on your skin, Carnal Flower can come off as feminine. I still reserve the term uber feminine for Fracas and Tuberose Criminalle.
I haven't tried Une Rose.
Eau d'Hiver doesn't excite me much - a demure, light, honey almond number, watery and synthetic, a sort of an Atkins version of the grand Guerlains without the rich quality ingredients. Ellena seems to have saved his most uninspired releases for the Malle line: you have the paper-thin peppery angelica mist of Angeliques Sous, and not one (but two!) attempts at a bigarade cologne of sorts in an exclusive line which supposedly gives its noses utmost freedom in creating perfume art !
Don't you see? It's not that Carnal Flower is feminine, it's that its EXTREME MANLINESS was making you feel feminine by comparison.
Sugandaraja: Now In Blog Form. Latest:
Rue des Lilas: Ashen Lilacs
"latrine that grew on my arm" - what vivid imagery! I own one of those travel sprays of UR and as yet haven't noticed anything of that nature developing on my arm.
I'll be looking out for it on my next wearing. Who knows, maybe I'll like it.
Last edited by Delmar; 20th December 2008 at 09:49 AM.
My favorite from FM is Outrageous! I find the others to be a bit too precious. I had MR and sold it, nice but gets monotonous. I have a sample of Carnal Knowledge, genius stuff, but I prefer Fracas. Had Noir Epices, too sour and too much like Mitsouko.
Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 3rd January 2009 at 02:45 PM.
I'm taking the Malle sample plunge. I just ordered pseudo-free samples of Musc Ravageur, Une Fleur de Cassie, and Noir Epices. (I already have a sample of Bois d'Orage which I like, but am not wow'd by).
(BTW, the_good_life, I just checked out your blog. It's superb!)
T_G_L - firstly, thanks for your thoughtful review and post! always a delight to read...
on the OP...i wudnt like to comment on any scent tht you mentioned...but, wud like to share my 2 cents on two things which i feel is very important...perspective and purpose..
I find Malle releases and that by The Different Company (for eg.) to have a certain, if you may..poetic beauty to it.. TDC does it by paying tribute to classic fragrance notes such as Iris, Rose, Bergamote and what have you...similarly, Malle releases too focusses on an artists interpretation at a really higher level on a particular fragrance note and constructing a beautiful bouquet of notes(olfactory image) surrounding it......just like they say bout John Coltrane...it's said he used to hold a note for days altogether..coz it means a lot to that artist to acheive tht level of perfection..or in other words nirvana. i'm glad these great noses of our time are allowed to do what they actually want to..
history moves slowly...and 50 years down the line...these are the releases which will capture the essense of perfumers of this era.
Curiously, I think he makes some great stuff for women, though, ironically, I have turned around on Bois d'Orage and would like to buy it. Musc Ravageur is the most overrated, overhyped scent around here, much more so than anything Creed-related. Interestingly, I think FM is known for its artistry while Serge Lutens is regarded as creative.
"Why not seize the pleasure at once?"
-- Jane Austen (Sun, and Mercury in Sagittarius)
however, i am having alot of trouble appreciating FM scents in general these days....i have several official atomizers sent to me....and none of them are really doing anything for me these days. Bois D'Orage...which i'd liked originally, has made me feel nauseous the last few time i tried it. It's too much....not subtle enough for this type of fragrance.
I wear Musc Ravageur from time to time, and each time I do I recall TGL's great review of this fragrance in the directory. If you haven't read it, treat yourself and look it up.
I did over apply it once, I think I sprayed it 3-4 times I cannot remember exactly and took a public train and remember a lady making a general comment not to me because she did not know where the smell was coming from
But I do love MR, it took me about two times of sampling to appreciate it, to be honest I did not know clove was in it, nor know what clove really smells like by itself I do not think, but now when I wear it i just love the smell, it just really envelopes me and I do get a lot of compliments as long I don't go more then 2 sprays max, but most times I do just get 1 spray now
The other Malle that hit me that I did liked the first time I sample was FM outrageous, but i still need to sample the rest of his line
Last edited by denec; 26th December 2008 at 05:42 AM.
I'm going to chime in, since no one wants to trumpet my favorites from the FM line. I didn't care for MR or BO (felicitous acronym?) at all. I am, however, in love with Angeliques Sous La Pluie, and I've found Bigarade Concentree to be sufficiently light for a summer scent, but with a sneaky something -- cedar? -- lurking beneath its bright opening. (Ellena's 'Declaration' for Cartier uses the same bitter orange in its opening, but in comparison to the Bigarade it smells, I don't know, like the notes are all smeared together.) Vetiver Extreme is also quite nicely done in my opinion, but it reminds me too much of something my father would wear.
Just my 4 centavos.
I'm interested in En Passant, myself. What's the longevity like? To what extent can a young man pull it off?
[quote=the_good_life;1386842 Carnal Flower on my skin really came on strong with the ylang ylang and even more so the coconut, the result being that it smelled like a high end version of the synthetic-coconut reeking Hawaiian Tropic bronzing spray I once bought. It got to be so unbearable - from half a spritz - I had to scrub.
I agree that Carnal Flower is very feminine and NOT wearable for men (I wear Shalimar, Mitsoulo, hypnotic poison , so I love female/unisex perfumes).
Another unisex scents I find TOO feminine are:
By Killian Dangerous Liaisons
Serge Lutens Sarrasins
Guerlain Vol de Nuit
I also find Noir Epices unpleasant at the open, smells like anchovies, the dry down is great and par for the course as far as Lutens go, Bois D'Orage is Great and reminds me of Creed Angelique Encente, anyone else?
great reviews... Carnal Flower knocked me off my feet at first wearing, and this year I plan to buy a full bottle. But I agree with the "uber feminine" description.
My daughter loved Eau d'Hiver when we sampled it at the Burr talk in NYC. She described it as the way the vampire in Twilight would smell. Bright, cold, sparkly and inhuman.
"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
My three "free" Malle samples arrived yesterday. Having spritzed a bit of each on during the last forty-eight hours or so, here's my initial reaction to each of the three...
Noir Epices - What a completely unusual and complicated scent! Very, very interesting, but not entirely pleasant. My first impression is "not me."
Musc Ravageur - Totally pleasant, quality scent, but dramatically less unusual or interesting than NE. I could completely see wearing this. I'm not at all sure I could see paying Frederic Malle prices for it.
Une Fleur de Cassie - Far and away the most impressive of these three fragrances, IMO. Stunningly beautiful, but also subtly complex. Simultaneously very floral and very animalic. So retro it feels very modern. In a (not terribly descriptive) word: WOW. My only question about wearing it would be "could I pull this off"?