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  1. #1
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    Default Mouchoir de Monsieur by Guerlain - a review

    I just posted a review of Mouchoir de Monsieur by Guerlain, on Perfume Shrine - and I've copied it below also:

    __________________________________________

    Some fragrances play the part of the “quiet, silent type”. Let me explain: Strangely, there are fragrances that I’ve sampled that smell like nothing at all. Well…not nothing…but it smells as if a hole has opened up in the air and for a few minutes there is a blank space where the top notes belong. Like pushing PLAY on your IPod and watching the track begin (0:00, 0:01…) and no music plays. This has happened to me several times and I have no idea why. However, most of the time (luckily) scents that start out this way usually turn out to be fragrances that I grow to love. Like Mouchoir de Monsieur by Guerlain.

    Before this I sampled the ‘classic’ lavender fougere by Guerlain: Jicky. The Eau de Toilette was too excessively talcum powder prominent, and although I could appreciate the lavender, it felt uncomfortable and slightly matronly on me.. Jicky Eau de Parfum is a shocker: so embarrassingly civet prominent in the top notes, I was instantly repulsed. Waiting for those top notes to calm down took a bit too long and tiresome so I considered sampling the parfum next when I got a sample of MdM.

    The first time I sprayed it – I smelled a tiny bit of the Guerlinade, but that was it. Nothing. Sample off? Nose fatigue? A second time, I smelled a bit of the lavender but nothing as spectacular as the Aqua Allegoria Lavande Velours by Guerlain – a gushing lavender / purple violets that’s almost aroma therapeutic . The 3rd time I smelled it I was instantly greeted with a totally different accord – the familiar style of perfumery like Jicky – but swirled together into an entirely different pattern. Jicky remixed into a sturdier more solidly constructed accord. Wonderful! Perfect balance, with all of the parts of Jicky that I wanted: exceedingly high quality lavender, rosemary and bergamot; that unique fern aura; the rich Guerlinade – they are all here, but blended into the civet and woody notes in a richer and luxurious way. The fragrance evolves with a quiet, floral heart giving the patchouli a sophisticated, powdery nuance. Small parts of it remind me of wearing a refreshing eaux cologne, yet it simultaneously retains subtle and important details of Guerlain’s classic feminine fragrances. Not an easy feat.

    It doesn’t scream for attention – it is essentially a subtle fragrance, hushed – making its presence known in tiny whiffs here and there, throughout the day, all day. It is, perhaps, for this reason why I couldn’t smell it when I first sampled it. There’s not a blast of aldehydes or synthetic woody ambers to diffuse this scent quickly. And the lavender, sometimes extremely medicinal and sharp, is soft.

    I admit – I’m the quiet, silent type myself. At a cocktail party, you’ll find me off in the corner checking out the host’s CD collection instead of socializing and interacting with others. I speak very little but when I speak, I choose my words very carefully…looking you straight in the eyes.

    I’m okay being this type of “guy”. It’s who I am. It’s who my father is. Problems come and go. Challenges are thrown my way... I have horrible days, just like everyone else does. I choose to keep all of that inside, most of the time – introspective, reflective and calm to everyone. Only when you get closer to me, do I open up, and only then will I reveal what’s going on underneath the surface.

    Just like Mouchoir de Monsieur.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Mouchoir de Monsieur by Guerlain - a review

    Nice review, Mike.
    Is MdM something that you could see wearing frequently in rotation or is it more appropriate as a special ocassion fragrance, to pull out for trustee meetings, gala balls, and such?

    Trying unsuccessfully to conjure you as a cocktail party wallflower...
    Last edited by Snafoo; 13th October 2009 at 02:58 AM.
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  3. #3
    AromiErotici
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    Default Re: Mouchoir de Monsieur by Guerlain - a review

    Nice review Mike. You are really becoming skilled at this.

    I understand exactly what you meant about the "nothing" aspect of MdM. The same thing happened to me, but I chose not to give it as many chances as you have. I may have to go back and re-sample.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Mouchoir de Monsieur by Guerlain - a review

    That's a very well done review. MdM is one of staples and I wear it weekly, usually during my morning workout or before bed. What did you experience for longevity? On me I only experience a couple hours, hence why I rarely choose it as a SOTD. However I've seen others report much better longevity. For me MdM and Jicky (EdP) are pretty much interchangeable except for Jicky's lush civet. I don't mind civet at all but as mikeperez says it's very prominent in Jicky. For availability MdM has essentially become boutique only, but just in the last few days I've seen bottles at some etailers, though for more money then boutiques.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Mouchoir de Monsieur by Guerlain - a review

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    ... exceedingly high quality lavender, rosemary and bergamot; that unique fern aura; the rich Guerlinade – they are all here, but blended into the civet and woody notes in a richer and luxurious way. The fragrance evolves with a quiet, floral heart giving the patchouli a sophisticated, powdery nuance. Small parts of it remind me of wearing a refreshing eaux cologne, yet it simultaneously retains subtle and important details of Guerlain’s classic feminine fragrances. Not an easy feat.
    Fascinating, mike. Really interesting. I agree 100% with the section above. Analytically, that is where I see it. But my journey to that spot is different. Equally personal, but a different path.
    I love history, I am an historian. So for me, my path to Mouchoir is by those genteel, somewhat abandoned gracious manners and scents of years gone by. Mouchoir seems like a "historical" scent to me. It puts me in touch with that vibe.
    I love the Victorian British scents, and the Italian scents of the late 1800's for the same reason. I love to stand in the shoes of people of another era. And this scent is one way to do that.
    Same experience, different interpretation.
    Thanks for sharing that.
    odysseusm

    "The force that through the green fuse drives the flower // drives my green age..." Dylan Thomas

  6. #6

    Default Re: Mouchoir de Monsieur by Guerlain - a review

    Mike, it sounds like we share similar personalities and your description of MdM sounds really good and right up my alley.

    Can you or anyone compare/contrast it to Ungaro II which is also a lavender/vanilla/civet with mixed floral scent, and also Amouage Reflection which is rather soft and powdery but shares some common notes and a common personality, I think (some commonality in rosemary, a quieter, sweeter floral heart, subtle use of patchouli, etc).
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Mouchoir de Monsieur by Guerlain - a review

    Mouchoir de Monsieur is a great scent.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Mouchoir de Monsieur by Guerlain - a review

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post


    It doesn’t scream for attention – it is essentially a subtle fragrance, hushed – making its presence known in tiny whiffs here and there, throughout the day, all day.

    .
    The words above have me in a trance.

    Guerlains are fragrances that take me a while to love (except L'Instant EDP which was funnily enough instantly loved), MdM sounds like a worthy frag to sample.

    Thanks M!
    Conscience is what hurts when everything else feels so good.

  9. #9

    Post Re: Mouchoir de Monsieur by Guerlain - a review

    Great review Mike; very interesting observations. When it comes to Jicky, I feel similar. Mouchoir de Monsieur slowly grew on me. Now it's my number one scent.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Mouchoir de Monsieur by Guerlain - a review

    I have always regarded Mouchoir de Monsieur as being one of the most difficult fragrant experiences to express into words. It probably did need someone to immerse themselves in the very unique world that it produces. Merely explaining the technical changes through the pyramid doesn't really do it justice, so your added personal perspective works extremely well

    Many thanks for sharing this Mike, it's a very impressive critique
    Last edited by Bartlebooth; 13th October 2009 at 02:27 PM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Mouchoir de Monsieur by Guerlain - a review

    There are days when the coumarinic haze of Mouchoir doesn't suit me, but most of the time I thoroughly enjoy it. I do feel it breathes history and I only wear it with a crisp white shirt and suit.
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Mouchoir de Monsieur by Guerlain - a review

    Quote Originally Posted by SculptureOfSoul View Post
    Can you or anyone compare/contrast it to Ungaro II which is also a lavender/vanilla/civet with mixed floral scent
    They're quite alike, but U2 is sweeter and the notes of U2 are more muted (i.e. they blend more into one single smell). I ended up trading my bottle of U2 away because it couldn't hold a candle to MdM, in my book at least.

    Thanks for the review Mike, it's very nice. To be honest, I'd never expected you to be the type of guy you describe yourself to be!
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  13. #13

    Default Re: Mouchoir de Monsieur by Guerlain - a review

    I love the gentlemanly bergamot and lavender opening accord of MdM, I instantly feel like I've been transformed into Elgar's Edwardian world. I only wish these Enigma Variations lasted a bit longer. In less than a shake of a Civet Cat's tail, I'm back to Mr. Ruggles and my internet gyrations.
    Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 13th October 2009 at 01:06 PM.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Mouchoir de Monsieur by Guerlain - a review

    Quote Originally Posted by odysseusm View Post
    Fascinating, mike. Really interesting. I agree 100% with the section above. Analytically, that is where I see it. But my journey to that spot is different. Equally personal, but a different path.
    I love history, I am an historian. So for me, my path to Mouchoir is by those genteel, somewhat abandoned gracious manners and scents of years gone by. Mouchoir seems like a "historical" scent to me. It puts me in touch with that vibe.
    I love the Victorian British scents, and the Italian scents of the late 1800's for the same reason. I love to stand in the shoes of people of another era. And this scent is one way to do that.
    Same experience, different interpretation.
    Thanks for sharing that.
    Here, here, OdyM. Ditto on the historical connotations. Yes, Mouchoir *is* an elegant scent and "gentlemanly" is the word that comes to mind. Not gaudy or garish. It is mature and whispers refinement and graciousness.

    As I like to scutinise the name and marketing of scent (including the bottles), I must point out the name--"mouchoir de monsieur" meaning "gentleman's handkerchief" in French--is telling. The handkerchief, from the nineteenth century and before, is an assessory rarely seen in our days of facial tissue and Kleenex. A man might give a woman his perfumed handkerchief to daub her brow after a vigourous polka or gallop; leaving the handkerchief in the lady's possession might occasion another chance to associate with her. Happily, many such handkerchiefs were broidered with a man's cipher, leaving no doubt to the identity of the owner. Imagine the distress of a lady with a collection of these handkerchiefs without ciphers, which were often perfumed with a man's scent, not to mention--if carried in the breast pocket of a coat--the scent of a man's skin...

    The Guerlain site mentions the use of handkerchiefs as love tokens. I would also like to add they were accessories to be carried in the hand...unfolded...and manipulated, as a man might use a cane or a hat. (Women had shawls and fans, and also carried handkerchiefs, as well.)

    If the handkerchief is used during the taking of snuff, you will want to be careful about giving the handkerchief to anyone at all. LOL!
    Last edited by Primrose; 14th October 2009 at 12:43 AM.
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  15. #15
    Dependent pluran's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mouchoir de Monsieur by Guerlain - a review

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    ...... Jicky remixed into a sturdier more solidly constructed accord......
    Great review, Mike. I love MdM but rarely wear it anymore. I don't see it as having bigger bones. Not by a long shot. I see it as a sparer version of Jicky, built on a smaller frame with fewer things happening, and perhaps appearing sturdier and more solidly constructed. Same with most men's fragrances. "In perfumes, the male of the species is always smaller." That quote holds up 90% of the time.

    You got the feel of the thing down. I like both, and might prefer the overall scent of MdM, but I'll take Jicky in the long run because it just gives a little more satisfaction. I wear it primarily around the house. Sort of like the protecting genie Turin talks about in his review of Osmanthus. I like the EDP, but it gets a little too oriental, so I just do the EDT. It wears easy, and I don't have any problem with it being matronly. I'm pretty far from matronly. I see what you're sayin though.

    Great stuff, man. And for what it's worth, MdM is a hell of a lot better fragrance than the woody-amber-nuclear-radiance-attack that is Heritage. It is one of the most instantly appealing fragrances I've smelled, but I always wondered why I never wore it in either concentration. I figured it out in Turin's review when he talked about its tremendous radiance(generally a bad thing for a masculine). This stuff is incoming, and hard to defend against. Heritage was a favorite of Princess Diana, and supposedly many other women wear it, including Nadine de Rothschild. People go on about it being so masculine, and I don't get it at all. As Turin said, just add a drop of jasmine in it and delete the masculine. It's so close already. A lot of them are. Whatever. I'm not into the masculine/feminine crap anyway. But one thing's for sure, Heritage just gets louder by the minute once it heats up on the skin, and I usually get it off pretty fast once it does.

    Here's to MdM. Thanks for the review.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Mouchoir de Monsieur by Guerlain - a review

    Is MdM discontinued or on limited supply? I've never seen it in any dept store or online vendor.
    "I exist for myself, and for those to whom my unquenchable thirst for freedom gives everything, but also for everyone, since insofar as I am able to love - I love everyone. Of noble hearts, I am the noblest - and the most generous of those that yearn to give love in return. - I am a human being, I love death and I love life."

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  17. #17

    Default Re: Mouchoir de Monsieur by Guerlain - a review

    Thanks for the review Mike! Lovely. To me, lavender oil in general has this "transparent" / "un-deep" feel, I sort of get the picture of evaporated butter, but because MdM has more bergamot plus patchouli to fill up the core, I actually feel MdM to be a much less "subdued" scent than Jicky. Jicky is in my catalogue the most transparent of the Guerlains (competing with Chant d'Arômes for the title).

  18. #18

    Default Re: Mouchoir de Monsieur by Guerlain - a review

    Brilliant review Mike. I haven't smelled MdM yet but it looks like I'll have to sometime sooner


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  19. #19

    Default Re: Mouchoir de Monsieur by Guerlain - a review

    Excellent review!

  20. #20

    Default Re: Mouchoir de Monsieur by Guerlain - a review

    Thanks for the review, Mike. Good to have you around, Pluran! And Mike thanks for pointing out the rosemary note in Jicky. This actually really helps me perceive something that's been knocking at the service entrance of my olfactory brain for some time.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Mouchoir de Monsieur by Guerlain - a review

    Excellent review, Mike. Mouchoir de Monsieur has been at the top of my favorites since I first smelled it. I don't wear it too often because I think of it as being too elegant for my usual persona.

    Quote Originally Posted by SculptureOfSoul View Post
    Can you or anyone compare/contrast it to Ungaro II which is also a lavender/vanilla/civet with mixed floral scent...
    I think that the main difference between M de M and Ungaro II is that Ungaro II has more of a woody character and M de M doesn't. M de M has a lighter, more historic and elegant persona . The sandalwood, leather, and patcholi of U II form a very definite and solid deep base and its lavender isn't as strong as M de M. I find the civet strong in both but M de M uses it in a more elegant, less sensual way.

    For me Jicky is stronger than M de M.

    Nice reading you again, Pluran.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Mouchoir de Monsieur by Guerlain - a review

    Quote Originally Posted by Snafoo View Post
    Nice review, Mike.
    Is MdM something that you could see wearing frequently in rotation or is it more appropriate as a special ocassion fragrance, to pull out for trustee meetings, gala balls, and such?

    Trying unsuccessfully to conjure you as a cocktail party wallflower...
    Thanks. I find it uncomfortable to pigeonhole scents as 'appropriate' for certain occasions, but once I wore MdM while lounging around the house in boxer shorts and a cut off t-shirt and I felt embarrassingly uncomfortable. Not sure why, but MdM seems to click, when one is dressed up. Not necessarily formal dress, but definitely not casual.
    As for my 'cocktail wallflower' confession...hey, what can I say. There's a shy little boy (see my avatar) trapped inside of this big ol' body of mine and it takes scents like MdM to connect instantly with that part of me.

    Quote Originally Posted by AromiErotici View Post
    Nice review Mike. You are really becoming skilled at this.

    I understand exactly what you meant about the "nothing" aspect of MdM. The same thing happened to me, but I chose not to give it as many chances as you have. I may have to go back and re-sample.
    Thanks AE.

    Yes, please re-smell. Any scent as good as MdM deserves a few chances, in my opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by heynow View Post
    That's a very well done review. MdM is one of staples and I wear it weekly, usually during my morning workout or before bed. What did you experience for longevity? On me I only experience a couple hours, hence why I rarely choose it as a SOTD. However I've seen others report much better longevity. For me MdM and Jicky (EdP) are pretty much interchangeable except for Jicky's lush civet. I don't mind civet at all but as mikeperez says it's very prominent in Jicky. For availability MdM has essentially become boutique only, but just in the last few days I've seen bottles at some etailers, though for more money then boutiques.
    Thanks heynow. I experience average to above-average longevity from it. But here's the thing: I overapply. It's the only way I can get it to stick. If I do, it lasts on me all day - sometimes even eclipsing my afternoon SOTD so that at the end of the day, I still smell the mornings application of MdM. It's the civet, I think. It's not easy to source a bottle, for sure. Even some of the boutiques I've been to (the one at the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach) didn't have it on the shelf.

    Quote Originally Posted by odysseusm View Post
    Fascinating, mike. Really interesting. I agree 100% with the section above. Analytically, that is where I see it. But my journey to that spot is different. Equally personal, but a different path.
    I love history, I am an historian. So for me, my path to Mouchoir is by those genteel, somewhat abandoned gracious manners and scents of years gone by. Mouchoir seems like a "historical" scent to me. It puts me in touch with that vibe.
    I love the Victorian British scents, and the Italian scents of the late 1800's for the same reason. I love to stand in the shoes of people of another era. And this scent is one way to do that.
    Same experience, different interpretation.
    Thanks for sharing that.
    Thanks ody. Your description of MdM is beautiful and I really understand the importance of it, while simultaneously enjoying the smell of it.

    Honestly, there is a huge amount of 'Victorian British' scents that I still have not properly smelled (the D'Orsay line, the Penhaligons, etc). Too many scents...too little time. But one of these days, I'll get around to them eventually!

    Quote Originally Posted by SculptureOfSoul View Post
    Mike, it sounds like we share similar personalities and your description of MdM sounds really good and right up my alley.

    Can you or anyone compare/contrast it to Ungaro II which is also a lavender/vanilla/civet with mixed floral scent, and also Amouage Reflection which is rather soft and powdery but shares some common notes and a common personality, I think (some commonality in rosemary, a quieter, sweeter floral heart, subtle use of patchouli, etc).
    Thanks. I have never smelled Ungaro II, you mentioning it has my interest piqued now. I do not like Reflection (I'm assuming you're talking about the men's?), although honestly I've only sampled it once.
    Last edited by mikeperez23; 13th October 2009 at 10:31 PM.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Mouchoir de Monsieur by Guerlain - a review

    Quote Originally Posted by jathanas View Post
    The words above have me in a trance.

    Guerlains are fragrances that take me a while to love (except L'Instant EDP which was funnily enough instantly loved), MdM sounds like a worthy frag to sample.

    Thanks M!
    Thanks - I, like you, can be mesmerized by subtle, beautiful things. You must try MdM, if you are a Guerlain fan. As Ody mentioned, it's like a wonderfully beautiful history lesson in a bottle.

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny_Ludlow View Post
    Great review Mike; very interesting observations. When it comes to Jicky, I feel similar. Mouchoir de Monsieur slowly grew on me. Now it's my number one scent.
    Thanks. I am very grateful I was patient enough to finally enjoy it. Now that I have, I am thinking of revisiting some of the Guerlains that I did not like when I first sampled them (Coriolan, AA Rose Magnifica, etc).

    Quote Originally Posted by Inselaffe View Post
    I have always regarded Mouchoir de Monsieur as being one of the most difficult fragrant experiences to express into words. It probably did need someone to immerse themselves in the very unique world that it produces. Merely explaining the technical changes through the pyramid doesn't really do it justice, so your added personal perspective works extremely well

    Many thanks for sharing this Mike, it's a very impressive critique
    Thanks Insaleffe - it was a toughie. When I finally fell for it, the scent became very hard to explain in a review. Kind of like trying to describe why you like a certain pair of jeans that fit you the most comfortably. When I started to writing about my love of subtle scents a few weeks ago, I had a 'light bulb moment' that sparked the outline to the MdM review. I tried I followed the classic advice, "Write what you know".

    Quote Originally Posted by the_good_life View Post
    There are days when the coumarinic haze of Mouchoir doesn't suit me, but most of the time I thoroughly enjoy it. I do feel it breathes history and I only wear it with a crisp white shirt and suit.
    I wish I knew more about courmarin, to be able to detect it in scents (maybe I do know what it smells like, I just haven't ever concentrated on it enough, to name it?).

    Quote Originally Posted by Merlino View Post
    ...Thanks for the review Mike, it's very nice. To be honest, I'd never expected you to be the type of guy you describe yourself to be!
    Thanks Merlino. Eh...you'd think with almost 14,000 posts under my belt here at BN, that I'd be the one doing all of the talking in person? But no, I'm the quiet one. The internet allows us to portray another side of ourselves, no?
    Last edited by mikeperez23; 14th October 2009 at 04:28 AM.

  24. #24
    bokaba's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mouchoir de Monsieur by Guerlain - a review

    Excellent review. I couldn't get behind Mouchoir de Monsieur, but found Jicky EdT more to my liking.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Mouchoir de Monsieur by Guerlain - a review

    Jicky gets my vote too. While MdM is absolutely lovely, classy and unique, it's longevity is just abysmal on me. BTW Mike, your reviews have a way of domesticating and personalizing your fragrances - it's so clear that you own and live with them. You're very unpretentious and direct, two good qualities for sure! Keep up the good work!
    Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 14th October 2009 at 04:59 AM.

  26. #26

    Smile Re: Mouchoir de Monsieur by Guerlain - a review

    It's interesting how I grew to love it. After sampling it for maybe five or six times and always left kind of indifferent about it I almost accidentally sprayed it one more time and it all connected; the most velvety and distinctive drydown. It's not that I found it horrid or even interesting at first, I just thought it was very average - it's rare for me to feel this way and suddenly fall for a scent. Usually one can tell if a fragrance is challenging one and merits more testings. This makes me worried; maybe I've missed the beauty of some other great ones, which has similar subtle hidden beauty.

    Guerlinade is obviously there, but instead of turning overlty powdery it always stays very solid and focused. That's the key for me.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Mouchoir de Monsieur by Guerlain - a review

    After reading, I think I would like to get to know Mikeperez more than I would MdM
    I've recently tested MdM( thanks Dr Creed!) and have been mesmerized by its subtlety.
    Last edited by CDG; 14th October 2009 at 05:46 AM.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Mouchoir de Monsieur by Guerlain - a review

    Mouchoir de Monsieur is a classic. It is one of my all time favorites because it is so easy to wear and noncloying. Yes, it is subtle, classy, and rich smelling. You have good taste. Keep on enjoying it, too!!

  29. #29

    Default Re: Mouchoir de Monsieur by Guerlain - a review

    This review only indirectly reasserts one of the few fragrance testings that turned into a lifelong passion, since, without sounding cliched, after trying MdM, it was love at first whiff, turning into a lasting, "committed" devotion.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Mouchoir de Monsieur by Guerlain - a review

    Thanks for your review Mike! lookin forward to sample this one..

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