Yves Saint-Laurent M7 (2002) Jacques Cavallier, Alberto Morillas Amber Oriental
•Top Notes: Bergamot, Mandarin, Rosemary •Middle Notes: Vetiver, Agarwood •Base Notes: Amber, Musk, Mandrake Root
Strange and wonderful, a congeries of exotic notes, from agarwood (oud) right down to mandrake root. Along the way, there are such commonplaces as bergamot, mandarin, rosemary, amber, musk, and vetiver, but the exotics really transform the usual suspects into strange beasts in and of themselves. The overall effect is one of mysterious, slightly pharmaceutical exuberance and sensuality. Mandrake is a plant steeped in lore, a member of the deadly nightshade family (along with belladonna), a plant that induces delirium; and whose resemblance, because of its bifurcated root, to a human figure with arms and legs, caused it to be used in arcane magical rituals. John Donne, the 17th century Anglican priest and mystic, wrote in his famous Song:
"Go and catch a falling star
"Get with child a mandrake root,
"Tell me where all past years are
"Or who cleft the devil's foot,
"Teach me to hear mermaids singing,
"Or to keep off envy's stinging,
"Serves to advance an honest mind."
Like the lyric, M7 is mystical, magical, and profound.