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  1. #1

    Default MDCI Sample Set - First Impressions

    I know there are a few threads on MDCI fragrances, but considering that most are in the female discussion section, I figured I'd write a little bit about my first impressions of this somewhat underrated fragrance house.

    I recently purchased and received a sample set of 5 of their fragrances. Each bottle pictured is at least 10 ml, probably somewhere around 12.5 ml...

    So, as for the first impressions:

    Ambre Topkapi: This just doesn't get the attention it deserves. It smells like a smokey and spicy version of Mark Birley for Men (also not surprisingly created by Pierre Bourdon). In other words, I'm getting a translucent and fluid amber that smells heavy on ambergris with a little smoke, a little bit of spices and a juicy apple note that almost goes under the radar. No powder or heavy amber here - just smokey yet transparent amber. Smells to me like an old and cultured man. A little bit generic in style, but a great fragrance overall.

    Promesse de l'Aube: Vibert wrote in a review of his that this smells like a younger Mitsouko and I can't help but agree fully. This is a peachy chypre, very reminiscent of Mitsouko but so much more innocent. While Mitsouko is jolie-laide (ie. ugly and pretty at the same time), PdlA is simply pretty while still coming off as intelligent. The main notes I'm getting are peach and vanilla over some sort of oakmossy base. There's even a strange skank in the base that reminds me of old-world perfumes. This smells like a modern version of something classic by Guerlain. My favorite of the 3 feminines I've tried (the other two being Enlevement au Serail and Peche Cardinal).

    Enlevement au Serail: Strangely enough, this one also reminds me of Mitsouko, but unlike Promesse de l'Aube, this one is downright ugly and beautiful at the same time. It's like a rounder, more spicy and oriental Mitsouko with a touch of L'Heure Bleue's powdery melancholy. I can't really describe the notes because I don't even know what it is I'm smelling - I just know I've smelled something like this before in a classic Guerlain. Enlevement is super old fashioned and I can't see myself pulling it off, although I do love it. It reminds me of a cute little Chinese lady.

    Peche Cardinal: Peach flavoured urinal pucks. That was my first impression. Now that it's drying down a bit I'm getting some hay, but it's staying pretty linear overall. Somehow I'm repulsed by this but I keep finding myself taking sniffs of the arm I applied it to. The youngest smelling of the feminine scents I've tried so far - I'm still not sure if I love it or hate it. It might smell better on someone else's skin than mine but it's currently giving me a headache. :S

    Invasion Barbare: Ah, the best for last. This is actually my current holy grail, and the reason I purchased the sample set. It smells like a cross between Green Irish Tweed, Le Male and Jicky. IOW, it's got a fresh violet opening, a lavender-spice heart and a leathery-vanilla base. Super smooth, amazing quality ingredients and superb blending, this one is literally perfect in every way - on my skin at least...

    Overall, I like everything this line has to offer - the quality is high, the artistry and creativity is generally up there too and I'm absolutely in love with Invasion Barbare. I'm a little disapointed with Francis Kurkdjian's fragrances (Enlevement au Serail and Promesse de l'Aube), as they smell a little too old fashioned, but the quality and creativity is definitely there. I'm sure old-school Guerlain fans will love those two.

    My favorites on the other hand are (surprise, surprise) Invasion Barbare and Ambre Topkapi, the only two masculines of the line so far.

    If you got this far into my ramblings, thanks for reading!
    Last edited by L'Aventurier; 8th October 2009 at 05:14 AM.
    Sales thread here

  2. #2

    AnthonyDG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    British Columbia

    Default Re: MDCI Sample Set - First Impressions

    I love Invasion Barbare and am really excited by this line. Isn't this the one where they sell the marble "bust" flacons for $600 + at Luckyscent?

    Thanks for your thoughts!!

  3. #3
    Sugandaraja's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Default Re: MDCI Sample Set - First Impressions

    Oddly, there's something about a urinal - hay - peach accord that sounds intriguing. Can't say it sounds good, but it sounds original.

  4. #4

    Default Re: MDCI Sample Set - First Impressions

    Great to read your thoughts on this line L'aventurier. You're right, it does deserve more attention! These are all very high quality fragrances and the sample set is really generous.

    One of my favorites is Invasion Barbare as well, but recently I've tried their newer releases and found two more interesting scents: Un Coeur en Mai and Le Rivage des Syrtes (both created by Patricia de Nicolai , full notes can be found there).

    Un Coeur en Mai is what you would expect from May but better. The delicate air of spring with lily of the valley, orange blossom and spices to balance it out. A very soft, calm and harmonious blend. It has a bit of the feel of some of the lighter Goutal's and works best for me in the heat or when you actually long for spring to return, like now in the European fall.

    On the other hand Le Rivage des Syrtes is much more of a 'floral oriental' take as they call it, a full-bodied sophisticated fragrance with a note of pineapple. The pineapple is present but to me is 'fruit done right', not making it sickly sweet. It manages to stay transparent despite the flowers and powdery notes. The opening is unique as it is, but the quality of this scent and their other offerings is that you can really see them change as you wear them. You probably have to try it for yourself. Le Rivage is perhaps a bit more feminine than Un Coeur but I would still label both of these unisex.
    "Perfume is the dream that carries me."

    There is always the sky to look at

  5. #5

    Default Re: MDCI Sample Set - First Impressions

    I`m with you concerning Invasion Barbares That`s great cologne to wear - the best cardamom scent I ever smelled.
    As for Ambre Topkapi - it`s definitely not the best perfume composed by Pierre Bourdon, methinks.
    Vetiver The Great!!!

  6. #6

    Default Re: MDCI Sample Set - First Impressions

    I've only smelled Invasion Barbare and I agree -- magnificent scent!

    PVC and Leather. A Chain and a feather

  7. #7
    moltening's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Re: MDCI Sample Set - First Impressions

    Invasion Barbare is amazing. Excellent materials, wonderful scent. I'd really love a bottle. As far as I know, it's the only scent Stéphanie Bakouche created so far - which is a shame.

    On the other hand, Ambre Topkapi reminds me of FCUK's Amber.
    Currently wearing: Pohadka by YS Uzac

  8. #8

    Default Re: MDCI Sample Set - First Impressions

    I bought the sample set and split it with a fellow MUA'er.

    In particular, I was after Un Coeur en Mai which is just about the most perfect fragrance I've ever found. Like BrothaG, I am a huge fan of Parfums de Nicolai, and this is my favorite of her fragrances, along with the limited edition Week-end a Deauville. I do find it to be ultra-feminine, though (not that a man couldn't wear Un Coeur en Mai, but I don't think that most men would want something so floral).

    And I couldn't agree more-- the line is very underrated. And the customer service from MDCI is terrific. And the sample set is well worth the price.
    ~~Huge fan of Hermes, Jean Claude Ellena and Patricia Nicolai!~~ - my perfume notes
    Currently wearing: Tiare by Ormonde Jayne

  9. #9

    jrd4t's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Richmond, VA

    Default Re: MDCI Sample Set - First Impressions

    I agree totally - I got the 7 sample set a while back and am still trucking through the samples. The GF blew through a couple (the peach centric one and the pineapple one), but I've been savoring the Ambre and Invasion Topkapi. I'm certain I'll get a full bottle of the IB once I finish the sample, but just the "refill" - not very likely for the hand carved bust version, beautiful as it may be.
    I'm a colognosaurus. Rawr!
    Currently wearing: China White by Nasomatto

  10. #10

    Default Re: MDCI Sample Set - First Impressions

    Invasion Barbare just didn't do it for me...I found it utterly ordinary. Ditto for Promesse de l'Aube.

    Enlevement au Serail, without a doubt, is one of the most beautiful things I've ever smelled before. Totally agree with the Mitsouko comparisons (probably why I love it).

    I just wish I could afford it.
    Currently wearing: L'Oudh by Tauer

  11. #11

    Default Re: MDCI Sample Set - First Impressions

    I think I would swoon on the spot if I encountered a man wearing Invasion Barbare- drop dead sexy stuff.
    beauty guru & perfume whisperer
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