Portrait of a Lady, Noir Epices and Musc Ravageur. Just because
Thread: Frederic Malle Enthusiasts
I am currently in the very beginning stages of trying to pick out my first Frederic Malle fragrance. I have read the reviews. I have researched online. I have seen the scent "breakdowns". Now I am planning on getting a couple decants so I will finally be able to evaluate the fragrance itself. I need help figuring out which ones I should go for first. Give me your best sales pitch as to why I should choose which fragrance. Dig deep and find your inner salesman, really sell me on your favorite Malle!
Portrait of a Lady, Noir Epices and Musc Ravageur. Just because
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There are better houses than Frederic Malle to buy from. If you are spending that kind of money, buy something good. Don't waste a dime on Frederic Malle.
Musc Ravageur....just read my review on it in the directory.
I have Une Rose-- this is a strong red rose with a chypre feel to it once the top notes depart. It is very powerful and long-lasting stuff-- apply lightly!
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I can tell you that so far I've enjoyed:
(in roughly that order)
but I didn't enjoy:
Geranium pour Monsieur
Good luck with your explorations of the Malle range...I'm sure you'll find a few that you like.
others you might want to check:
Fench Lover / Bois d'Orage
Portrait of a Lady
Dan Tes Bras
L'eau d'hiver is very nice. Musc Ravageur and Carnal Flower too, i've tried these three. But, as stated before, i don't think this is the "definitive house" or something.
Morrison is right on the money, his first 3 are pretty much the only ones on my buy list. I started with Musc Rav but it was a VERY close call between the others. Noir Epices is just amazing in it's lasting ability and it's just so different, truly will last a week on clothing, it is a bit linear but amazing. Vetiver Extraordinaire, think Encre Noir with a bit more sharp punchy vetiver. It's also not quite as smoky but still wonderful.
If you haven't sampled them first I would do that, they are really VERY NICHE to me compared to designer scents and pack a serious punch easy on the trigger. Also definitely get a SPRAY sample it changes it quite a bit from just rubbing a bit on.
“Perfume is like cocktails without the hangover, like chocolate without the calories, like an affair without tears, like a vacation from which you never have to come back.”
Sound advice, I will definitely make sure to get atomizer vial samples.
My favorites are:
This is one of the best houses to sample. I am sure you find one or more to your liking.
I tell you, what i've tested so far is quite good... maybe i'm not on the love train for Musc Ravageur (i prefer others with similar sexy/going out vibe).
L'eau D'Hiver was just awesome, maybe short on longevity/projection for the high price.
AS someone said before: this house is always in my to buy/to sample list but i never make my mind up and i buy other frags.
I love nearly all of them ! I encourage you to sample them all and choose your favourite , ignore the male female distinctions and enjoy
Why not try to fill out the questionnaire on the Malle's website. They give you a result with three suggestions of something you might interest in.
Iris Poudre (Best take on Iris I have ever tries, so smooth and silky, you just can't dislike this)
Vetiver Extraordinaire (some find it generic, I do too sometimes)
Portrait of a Lady (haven't tried it myself but sounds exciting)
Lipstick Rose (Unwearable but very, very interesting)
Ones you might like, but I don't:
Granium Pour Monsiour (Toothpaste, nice, but no longevity)
En Passant (Lilacs!)
Carnal Flower (arguably the best tuberose-bomb fragrance along with Fracas)
Ones I straight up don't recommend:
Une Rose (Nice, but not worth the price, better takes on Rose by both Western and Middle Eastern houses overflow the market)
French Lover (Bois du Portugal is better...and I hate Creed, or New York by PdN if it smells similar to BdP)
L'eau d'Hiver (Nice, but smells like generic shower gel/deodarent, no longevity as well)
Bigarade Concentree (can turn into body odor, no longevity as well, Get Terre d'Hermes, Declaration Cologne, or one of the many Hermes citrus fragrances)
Noir Epices (Good in Concept, in reality I found it to lack balance, spices fighting flowers, might give it another try, but for now, nasty body odour smell)
A general heads up with Frederic Malle though, do not be fooled by their openings, almost every Frederic Malle had a nasty, boring, generic or just generally bad opening. But they grow up on you. Regardless of what some say, I really like this house.
I've just recently started to get into Malle frags. For some reason it's taken me a while to warm up to them - I was quite indifferent to them before, but just in the last couple of weeks I've realized how great they are. The ones I like the most so far:
(in that order)
My favourites are Musc Ravageur and Vetiver Extraordinaire
My favs are :
Dans tes Bras
Geranium pour Monsieur
But they all very very good
Have I told you about the scent of jasmine? Have I spoken about the smell of the sea? The earth is scented. And I perfume myself to enhance what I am. That's why I can not wear a perfume that bothers me. Perfuming is an instinctive wisdom. And like all art, it requires some knowledge of yourself..."
Clarice Lispector ( 1920-1977) - Perfumes da Terra / Earth Perfumes
Malle excels at high quality and relatively direct scents. I feel that the house is less effective when it goes for something too bombastic, like Musc Ravageur or Noir Epices.
Best examples (in no particular order):
French Lover/Bois d'Orage
I also admire Angeliques Sous la Pluie as a work of art but would never seek it out due to longevity issues.
Overall, a great house.
"It's not what you look like when you're doing what you're doing; it's what you're doing when you're doing what you look like you're doing."
I think each of his scents is a very good version/idea, you just have to decide what you're all about... Ie carnal flower is a great floral, but if you don't like florals then you'll probably hate it... Vetiver Extraordinaire is probably an excellent vetiver, but I don't like it....
personal taste picks:
Dans Tes Bras
Last edited by Master-Classter; 4th March 2011 at 12:54 AM.
Tom Ford Splits!!!! - Tobacco Vanille, Tuscan Leather, Oud Wood, Noir de Noir - PATCHOULI ABSOLU
Plum Japonais, Italian Cypress, Neroli Portofino, Costa Azzura, Azure Lime, Champacca Absolute
HARD TO FIND - Lavender Palm, Arabian Wood, and AMBER ABSOLUTE, etc...
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Carnal flower smells like an old lady. Noir epices is obnoxious. French Lover/Bois d'orange like old-times aftershave your grandfather would've worn.
Actually all these 3 I do like, most notably probably French Lover, but I'm undecided, think I will have to try them over and over to understand these ones.
Carnal flower however I defienetly won't buy, can't get rid of that picture in my head of an old classy lady......it's to clean for my taste also.
Noir epices is very very interesting and punches you in the face in the best most lovely way, but sometimes that's not a good thing either. However recently I've gotten a bit more used to it and found it less harmfull than when I first tried it. Obviously you have to be a bit light on the hand when applying this is my knowledge.
French Lover has a stunning Clove/Orange thing going on together with some other things (the orange and I think the clove, but perhaps not so much the clove, stay a looooooong time), but like I said.
UNE FLEUR DE CASSIE I SAY!!!!!!!! You should def. try this one. It's both warm/charming/pretty/flowery or something like that and at the same time almost coarse, dirty in some sense most defienetly, a bit or quite odd....... Unlike Carnal flower I find this much more unisex. Everyone sohuld at least try it!
(Well that wasn't much of a sales-pitch perhaps.......I didn't bother with the poetry so much but read som reviews here on basenotes or elsewhere on it then )
Iris poudre is very nice and I find in it no flaws except that it is way to inoffensive for my tastes, and perhaps perhaps a bit to feminine. (by Pierre Bourdon who made one of my absolute favorites - Ghost Man)
Une Rose I'm on my way trying.
Any more thoughts on (preferably form a male-point of view):
Angeliques Sous La Pluie
Le Parfum de Thérèse
Angelique Sous La Pluie is my favorite from Frederic Malle. I just reordered a big bottle of this as part of my spring readiness kit. The fresh green peppery scent of Angelique has no equal and is especially good for spring weather. The green is mesmerizing and almost narcotic for its freshness. As far as lack of longevity, yes it doesn't last past 3-4 hours and that is if you apply heavily. It's the price you pay for this kind of freshness, IMO. Every time I opt for a longer lasting different green scent I discover that it lost that special fresh green sapling aspect that Angellique has in order to achieve longevity.
My next favorite is Bois d' Orage/French Lover - I like BdO for its damp moss and dirt smell - a very special one. You smell like you just emerged from slogging through the dense forest through a rainstorm. It is a nice smell.
I also am a fan of Outrageous especially for hot weather. It is a wintergreen fresh ozonic scent that I suspect has a bit of tuberose hidden amidst the synthetics. I think its perfect for what it is intended to be - an eye opener!
I have MR and VE and like them very much.
I've smelt Carnal Flower and Portrait of a Lady. Both nice too.
I've smelled almost all of them, i must say the only one i didn't like that much was Geranium pour mounsier (i'm going to revisit it in a few months).
Right now i only own MR and Noir Epices but i'm surely buying also French Lover (and i wasn't very impressed when i first smelled it).
A special mention goes to Carnal Flower (a must try imho).
The only Malle I own so far is Le Parfum de Therese. This description is on the box: "Tangerine and melon giving way to a carnal rose and plum heart; the base of cedar, vetiver and leather lends class." This fragrance has a certain edginess about it which I love.
I don't know if you still can but it used to be you could get a free sample from FM if you don't live too near a store carrying it. visit the website...
I have tried about half of the Malle line and found each to be very well made. My sales pitch goes to VE as it is extraordinarily versatile. It works in any season and any occasion. Give it a try.
And speaking of angelica or fresher/lighter scents..... En Passant, comparing ASLP to En Passsant, what would we say, or maybe even Lys Med. (which if I remember got some angelica as well)?
sorry another double
Last edited by Heawns; 6th March 2011 at 06:10 PM.
I just bought a few travel sets of FM's Editions de Parfum and sampled the whole line. The one that really really stands out for me is Carnal Flower: it's like a very realistic mix of the sap of the stems of a flower and the fresh fleshy petals. It's not the volatile top notes that come from smelling a flower from a distance, but the flesh of the flower -- that's why I think the name is pretty appropriate.
At times it seems fresh, then you get a few wafts that seem warm. Then, there are discreet fruity notes supporting the main flower notes, but you wouldn't call this fragrance fruity at all. It's very unisex. All in all, it's very unique and just plain wonderful.
From the rest of the FM line I like Iris Poudre (if you can handle more feminine florals), Parfum de Therese, Portrait of a Lady, and Musc Ravageur (though Meharees is pretty close for a fraction of the price).
The only ones that I actually disliked were Geranium pour Monsieur (can't get past the mouthwash note), and to a lesser extent the Bigarade (sorry, but orange is not a dominant note I appreciate).
Iris Poudre needs some gasoline put into the mix methinks. Or molten almost burnt latex. Just something reminding you of sex....just a little bit. (Scent ofcourse not the actual thing. Cause it is, as is, really a wonderful fragrance, but doesn't make to much of a statement.)
And I'd pay 900 euros for it! Pity Fred Malle didn't think about this.
This is a superb line, one of the few lines that you can get mostly all of their scents and will be suitable for every occasion and every season, ive sampled most of them, here is my one sentence review on each of them.
Angéliques sous la pluie - Very calming, soft and green. Longevity isnt the best however, the baby brother of French Lover
Bigarade Concentrée - One of the most refreshing summer scents ive experienced. The true to life orange peel opening is like nothing ive ever tried, again longevity isnt great but i kinda like that, i think it would be too much if it stayed that way for hours, short and sweet.... i love it!
Carnal Flower - Excellent realistic flower petal smell, i didnt know what tuberose smelt like when i tried this, but its pound for pound the finest constructed scent in the bunch.
French Lover - A very manly, grown up scent. very green. as a 24 year old i only recieved compliments from people who were 45 and over, not that its a bad thing as i like it. smells 'important'
Géranium pour monsieur - The suit and tie modern dandy scent of the summer, very unique. the mint put me off at first, but its uniqueness made me rethink it. Guaranteed no one else will be wearing this, which is why i love it so much.
L'Eau d'Hiver - Very soft, very honey like. another calming scent, personally i dont like how it develops on me, too powdery. but if i had to use one word to describe it, it would be 'nice'.
Lys Méditerranée - I sampled this once, and i recall not liking it as i sampled it next to VE. very transparent, quite feminine, another 'nice' scent.
Musc Ravageur - the enigmatic MR... it took me 10 months, 5 Frederic Malle samples, a 10ml vial and countless wearings before i 'got' this. the opening i have to say i dont really like, the musk isnt the best, neither is the clove, but like most believe the drydown is amazing. Not the best vanilla, (Tobacco Vanille takes my vote) but its what im looking for when it comes to a long lasting, sweet scent.
Noir Epices - I sampled this when i bought my bottle of GPM, and at first i liked it, reminded me of champagne, but when i got my sample, it hit me in the back of my throat, waaay to fizzy, and it would not stop! gosh this thing kept going! a very itchy, annoying scent to me.
Portrait of a Lady - I LOVE this! a wonderful, creamy rose scent, i wont wear it however, although i find it quite unisex, leaning feminine, i can only picture a beautiful woman with long flowing hair and great cleavage wearing this! I think this is one of the top 3 scents from this house in my opinion along with Musc Ravageur and Carnal Flower.
Une fleur de Cassie - I didnt really sample this, just smelled the nozzle, i do recall a strange flowery scent, something i might like, gotta try again.
Vétiver Extraordinaire - The only Vetiver i would put above this is Sycomore by Chanel. This is outstanding, a great casual, long lasting raw vetiver. it shimmers in the summer, cuddles you in the winter, probably the best scent for men in the collection. (in my opinion)
I have tried the entire line, more than a couple of times. The only one's I've decided to spend actual $ on a bottle were Vetiver Extraordinaire and Noir Epices. Having said that, I have wanted to own L' Eau d' Hiver for quite some time...and I don't yet. But i will one day. It is magical stuff.
I would love to smell some of the Frederic Malle home/ambient sprays, but I've never had the opportunity.
"Human interaction can be hell. Or it can be a great spiritual practice."
-- Eckhart Tolle
Carnal Flower is my favorite fragrance, bar none. I also like Outrageous, though it doesn't get much press.
Musc Ravaguer is the only one which I own and enjoy. Out of the samples I received at the time of buying, the only one which I really like is Vetiver Extraordinaire for it's simplicity. Noir Epices I found nauseating, very powerful and linear pepper accord and bitter orange rind.
Thank you all for your suggestions and "sales pitches". As an update, Malle now ships three samples for $20, which is tax and shipping inclusive. They are presented wonderfully, in red card holders that describe both the fragrance and the perfumer in detail. The samples themselves are atomizer samples and are quite liberal amounts, I was able to get three or four full wears out of them (and I am not one to shy away from sprays, a simple 3-4 spray person could probably get upwards of 6.) The three samples I ended up ordering were two of the heavy hitters and a wild card;
Géranium pour monsieur
All three of them are incredible fragrances, however, Carnal Flower took the cake and I had to order a bottle immediately. On a side note, the gentleman that was helping me via email and phone call (in their New York branch) was extremely helpful and actually threw in three more samples with my bottle for me to try. I highly recommend both the fragrances as well as the wonderful customer service. His name is Daniel if anyone out there is interested in purchasing a Malle fragrance through him. I am very satisfied with my experience in this brand.
agreed, very good choice
Congrats - you're off to a great start, terrific to hear you were well looked after - this has been my experience with Frederic Malle from the word go - class act!
Good Call. Despite what others may say you put your money on the BEST!
Another pat on the back , well done CF is great isnt it
I can't sell you on any of them, but can join you in wanting someone to sell me on Bois D'Orage/French lover......I feel it is a very good green scent, but can't quite push myself over that hump to buy it.....
Others I thaught had some interesting aspects to them were:
Angeliques Sous La Pluie
Geranium Pour Monsieur starts off very well with the mint and geraniol/citronellol.....but as it dries and the mint disspareas it gets too sour/bitter/tart.....needed some more wood and a slight touch more tonka.
the whole line seems in good taste, but overall a little too minimalist and stand-offish in character.
BN sales: http://www.basenotes.net/threads/300...avidoff-Bombay.
Off-BN sales (super rare CREED): http://flacon.ambaric.net/viewtopic.php?t=95
Malle is an interesting outfit in that there is no clear "house style." The aesthetic is all over the place, from Elléna minimalism (Angeliques sous la Pluie, Cologne Bigarade) to Roucel and Ropion's opulence (Carnal Flower, Musc Ravageur), and everything in between. My sampling suggestions? Musc Ravageur, because if you're susceptible to such guilty pleasures, it's one of the most instantly appealing modern orientals; Carnal Flower, because it's simply a sublime take on tuberose; Une Fleur de Cassie, because it's a uniquely weird and paradoxical fresh/animalic take on the floral genre; Noire Epices, because its profile is bold and original; and Bois d'Orage/French Lover, because its bone-dry woody green flavor adds range to a conventional wardrobe.
Read your review on Une Fleur de Cassie, you said it would do good in some warmth. I'm thinking the same, like someone else mentioned it smelled to them like "pure moisture" or something along those lines. Anyway it all seems like a good contrast in the summer heat. So a 20 year old or so, dressed in classy (but at the same time sorta raunchy) mostly black/white gothic-ish clothes (no f*cking pink or such!), wearing Une Fleur de Cassie ...... what would you think of that person?!
Silly question, and I should ask some ladies, but I just totally love UFdC!!!!!
And Angeliques sous la Pluie which if I remember you didn't like that much, could it in any way shape or form small or big rival UFdC in the summer?! ;-) Cause that's one of the few malle ones I've still got my eyes on really.
Anyway does Angeliques sous la Pluie really last that short of a time basically no matter what??
French Lover is probably my 'most worn' from the line when the temperature here hits 30+c with humidity that just drains you - which lasts a few months. It is green - for me a moist, cool, shaded tone, if you like - and it also has a very dark organic undercurrent. In other words it ain't a 'clean green' - it's sort of alive.
So it has a sort of a dual personality of being 'ramrod straight' and upstanding but also a little louche, unshaven what have you . . . it's not 'fresh' by any means. It may have been LT or TS or someone else but I saw mentioned words to the effect of 'picking up a shirt worn yesterday'. This makes sense to me - it's a bit edgy underneath the dark, mossy vegetal quality. Some may enjoy this contradiction others may run squealing to the nearest hand sanitiser
I have recommended French Lover to two male friends who are not even remotely perfumistas and they both bought a bottle.
I can also understand the 'stand-offish' comment - this is probably my second favourite house overall (after Guerlain) and I get a sense of a considered approach to creating most of the stuff in the line - not intellectual by any means, but certainly a lot of thought has gone in and no-one seems to be in a rush here. I actually like this sense of 'reserve' in the face of what seems to be a bit of a desperate need on the part of some perfumers to rush out with 'the newest and the latest' novel confection at ever-increasing rates. But that's just me.
I met Frederic Malle with a handful of people at a launch event here and he spoke very openly with us over a couple of hours about individual scents, what he's trying to do and his respect for this art (if you consider it that, which I do) was very apparent. My feeling is that his background in the industry before launching his own line, his deep respect for the people he has chosen to work with and an innate mix of cerebral and sensual flair is what keeps the bar raised pretty high here. Yup, unabashed fan talking and happy to admit it!
Un Fleur de Cassie is my current favourite - 1930s salon vibe, quite unique.
Because it's the strongest, most unique vetiver I have smelled, with a prominent Ozone note that slaps my nose around
for a while. I enjoy that.
The only sample I have is Vetiver Extraordinaire. I like it but got accused of 'smelling like an old lady' by several people.
I can't sell you on any of them because I myself have not been sold on any, despite having tried most of the house.
The scents are generally high quality but a little too simple, or occasionally marred by syntheticness when it shouldn't be there (ironically, I really enjoy Outrageous, but that's because it has no pretensions of being natural). Bois d'Orage/French lover is just too full of iso e super, and both of Ropion's scents (vetiver extraordinaire/carnal flower) have a metallic ozonic freshness that is unpleasant.
Noir Epices is almost awesome, but the heavy aldehydes render it unpleasant to my nose. The rest of the line just hasn't moved me much - it's not modern enough to be modern and not rich/deep enough to satisfy the cravings of someone into vintage scents. I just don't get this house.
Iris Pallida 50ml
Ungaro I 75ml
and more! - http://www.basenotes.net/threads/301...n-Man-and-more
Someone said to me Une fleur de Cassie reminded her of some old YSL pefume that she'd smelled on some old lady years back. (Rive Gauche??????)
Other unisex fragrances from other houses I would recon could make other people think "what the hell is he wearing".........but the old lady thing might be a FM-exclusif...... Or maybe I'm wrong.