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  1. #1

    Default Messe de Minuit and the death of niche

    It has been ages since I last posted here, but in receiving a bottle of the reformulated MdM I HAD to post a bit of a rant about this.

    I have never been a brand whore, or even a niche snob, and have fragrances in my collection that I liked and loved regardless of source, price, or popularity. Designer and niche have certainly become a blurred world, but with this new revision from Etro, at a higher price point is worth ranting about.

    MdM, IMHO, is, or at least WAS one of the most risky and fringe fragrances I have ever smelled. Barring those concoctions straight out intended to be offensive or at least "shocking." Secretions Magnifique? MdM had a love it/hate it cult following, and for Etro to turn it into the pedestrian shadow of its former self is just irresponsible. I expect this from designer houses, making scents for the mass. (pun intended) But in this case taking a scent notable for it's weirdness and muting that very aspect down negates everything I feel fragrance and this forum is about. When you lose your frame of reference, you dilute descriptors and the very essence of discussion and appreciation.

    I find myself pulling farther away from the allure of niche and the perceived artistry therein...were I a more devoted patron of Etro and MdM I'd be really really pissed, as the new juice really falls short on multiple fronts- its longevity gone and the sour mustiness only hinted at- becoming closer to a traditional oriental. Insult to injury is the price, which I won't belabor here.

    All in all I was never an Etro fanatic but I most certainly will never be...singlehandedly altering a classic, my faith in fragrance as immutable art, and my desire to discuss it.

    -Day

  2. #2

    Default Re: Messe de Minuit and the death of niche

    Are the reformulated ones in the new bottle style only? Or do some of the old style bottles contain the new formulation?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Messe de Minuit and the death of niche

    I can't be 100% sure on that but my inclination is to believe the reformulation coincided with the bottle change- only Etro would know. At least to my knowledge they do. Which puts it in some frame of reference at least.

    Round label old juice
    Square label new juice

    Until they come out with a round bottle with round label to confuse further. I currently have remains of my older bottle. The only excuse I can determine for the vast difference apart from the reformulation itself would be a combination of reformulation and the older bottle having gone off. But to me the former juice smells as it always did. Soury dusty danky musty myrrh.

    Don't get me wrong. The new stuff probably smells closer to the old MdM more than anything I have sampled. But smells LIKE it? Not. Even.

    -Day

  4. #4

    Default Re: Messe de Minuit and the death of niche

    Okay, mine has a square label and the glass is smooth (my Etra bottle has an engraved quality). I got it in a swap about 2 years ago. If it was any stronger I would have to dilute it and hope that worked.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Messe de Minuit and the death of niche

    Sad. No more decants of my still half full bottle, in other words - luckily I don't wear it very often..

  6. #6

    Default Re: Messe de Minuit and the death of niche

    Maybe they had to reformulate it to be inside IFRA standards? This also affected niche brands, and i think that if we can blame one big responsible for the death of the old classics is IFRA.
    Good to know that it was changed. I have an old bottle, that i quite don`t wear, and was considering to sell it, but after that, it`ll stay at home

  7. #7

    Default Re: Messe de Minuit and the death of niche

    The newer iteration has a strong character pf vanilla/cinnamon possibly even amber- sweet and spicy, none of which I'd have attributed to the former incarnation at all. In some respects I actually prefer the newer one- more wearable. Less potent, but more wearable. But all of this is moot given the fact that original was MdM. Now, it just IS. Honestly it is different enough it warranted a new name.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Messe de Minuit and the death of niche

    I have the original it must be 6 or 7 years old. OKay I have always got amber quite clearly from MdM. Inside the damp crypt/mouldy books I could smell the amber.
    DONNA

  9. #9

    Default Re: Messe de Minuit and the death of niche

    Donna- I "kind of " get those notes in the old formula. But would you have ever said those were it's loudest voice? The old formula SCREAMS old musty books to the point of drowning out the spices on both skin and card. This one is certainly the inverse. For point of reference both bottles are labeled EDC, personally have never seen a bottle labeled EDT.

    -Day

  10. #10

    Default Re: Messe de Minuit and the death of niche

    I asked about the bottles over at MUA and got one response, which is that the new bottles have a square label and a silver cap, whereas the old ones have a round label and gold cap. Of course, mine has to have a square label and a gold cap. LOL. Anyway, mine doesn't have strong vanilla and spices.

  11. #11
    Hillaire
    Guest

    Default Re: Messe de Minuit and the death of niche

    I should probably be quiet, but...

    To my way of thinking:

    A. Etro is categorically designer (by definition) and not a niche perfumery. I daresay their greatest motivation is thus usually profit and associated market-appeal. This is not to say they aren't capable of praiseworthy efforts; some designer houses have more quality integrity in their fragrance lines than plenty of lauded, purely-perfume 'niche' houses; Etro and Jil Sander are good examples.

    B. Messe de Minuit (while fantastic, I agree) was hot on the heels of some very similar-themed (Lutens) "true niche" offerings that were selling well to the 'urban boheme' demographic. I assumed from the word 'go', MdM was Etro's attempt to appeal to the self-same market and make a 'buck' and a 'hook'.

    That said, it is never nice to see a great perfume get royally trashed. And MdM is no exception. I wish you all luck in scoring the remaining older bottles in circulation.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Messe de Minuit and the death of niche

    I'm not really that concerned if technically Etro should be classified as this or that. Clearly, they have made a bunch of frags that fit the notion of "niche" in many if not most BNers' minds (compare their frags to Hugo Boss', for example). I'd be curious to sample both versions of MdM, if there are two, but I find the one I have to be as about "edgy" as I think I can tolerate, and in fact don't wear it more than once a month, if that often (mostly because my rotation is so big now). Lately, I've been tracking down vintage versions of "designer" frags that I like or think I will like, because I'm generally not a big fan of "niche" (because they tend to be too simple, and they are usually priced out of my budget range).

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Messe de Minuit and the death of niche

    This is sad to hear. I agree that the original Messe de Minuit was a scent to fear...it sort of scared me the first time I smelled it. Messing with it is like hearing that Avignon or L' Air du Desert Marocain's been reformulated. It's just horrible news.
    "You are here to enable the Divine purpose of the Universe to unfold. That is how important you are."

    -- Eckhart Tolle

  14. #14

    Default Re: Messe de Minuit and the death of niche

    Found an outlet here that has Etro.

    I enquired about MdM and the storeowner said they have no more stock, but two testers.
    One is the round label EdC the other the square label EdT. Put both on seperate blotters and hours later became more and more compelled by the EdC. After reading this I now know why. Anyhow she said I can take one off her for VERY cheap! I told her I'll decide tomorrow.

    What a stroke of luck! I'm going to pick up the EdC at a snip this week!

  15. #15

    Default Re: Messe de Minuit and the death of niche

    I recently sampled and enjoyed the current version. Warm and crisp, like a slimmer version of Baghari.

    However, the old formulation sounds positively compelling. Shame.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Messe de Minuit and the death of niche

    Quote Originally Posted by rickbr View Post
    Maybe they had to reformulate it to be inside IFRA standards? This also affected niche brands, and i think that if we can blame one big responsible for the death of the old classics is IFRA.
    Good to know that it was changed. I have an old bottle, that i quite don`t wear, and was considering to sell it, but after that, it`ll stay at home
    Sadly, the situation isn't that simple. But an article soon to be published on Basenotes should make the IFRA situation at least a little bit clearer.
    ---

    I am a Jasmine Award winning fragrance critic, amateur perfumer, Basenotes contributor and regular columnist for Esprit Magazine. My perfume guide, Le Snob: Perfume, is published by Hardie Grant. Click on its title for more info.

    For giveaways, reviews of new perfume releases and thoughts on all sorts of scent-related matters, please visit Persolaise.com or find me on Twitter or Facebook.

    Many thanks.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Messe de Minuit and the death of niche

    Quote Originally Posted by Hillaire View Post
    I should probably be quiet, but...

    To my way of thinking:

    A. Etro is categorically designer (by definition) and not a niche perfumery.
    A completely agree!


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