Kudos ... you've lifted the veil, and I appreciate that ...
I'm copying my review from Fragrantica since this frag is not in the directory here yet.
I don't find the opening of this to be revolting at all. Perhaps different noses have radically different takes on adoxal. To my nose, the opening is smooth and sweet, a dark and inky floral. Adoxal allegedly smells of lily of the valley in dilution, and I can sense a lily type sweetness and smoothness in the opening that joins forces with the immediately noticeable honey note (a dark and unsweetened honey as mentioned by others) and the equally dark patchouli note.
The patchouli deserves special mention in this fragrance because it is very dark and has that typical patchouli earthiness and dryness to it while simultaneously not being so thick and full bodied as natural patchouli oil. The body that is cut out of the patchouli note is filled with the notes of incense and honey, and a pine-like note that I believe comes from the frankincense/labdanum duo(I know it's not listed, but I sense a strong natural labdanum note here).
As one who works on my own blends with only natural oils, I don't find M/Mink to be 'disgusting', 'dreadful' or even all that dirty. It's just very natural in a way that few scents are - it leaves intact some of the rough edges of these natural notes. Thus, it's more challenging than many scents around, but I think that some of the other reviewers allegations (eg: worst scent ever) are to be taken with a grain of salt. At least, don't let those sway you from so much as trying the scent.
The scent isn't strictly linear but conversely there are no radical shifts in its development. As the sweet, dark and inky opening fades the heart presents more of the incense and labdanum combo. The incense and labdanum are smoldering - warm with hints of smoke. At all times the fragrance has a dark and billowy veil of patchouli and ink enveloping it. The honey/beeswax flits in and out of perception. It too is always there, but at times it is shrouded by the incense, at other times it and the incense unite into a truly beautiful and downright sultry, sexy accord.
My only qualm is the pine-like aspect persists a bit longer, or at least a bit more prevalently than I would prefer. I'm assuming this was done to keep the texture from becoming too smooth or gentle, but it occasionally crosses over from being a textural counterpoint into being marginally grating. A minor qualm though and one I can live with.
I should note that my girlfriend immediately took to the scent. She loved it on me from my first sampling, and she got a chance to smell it just moments after application - so not everybody finds the opening appalling!
There's really no other scent I can compare this too but for a rough idea of what it smells like, imagine a cross between Kouros (the honey/incense elements) and Rive Gauche PH (the thickness and dark patchouli/anise element). I wouldn't necessarily say that M/Mink is barbershop-y, but it has that same kind of thickness to it, and one of my first thoughts on my first sampling was the distant relation to Rive Gauche PH.
Kudos ... you've lifted the veil, and I appreciate that ...
It's one of the few fragrances that I have came across in my olfactory journey, that I really, really can not stand it.
It made me almost vomit once I tried.
But I have an open mind, and one day I will regain some courage to re visit it (But not to day, the experience of sampling it made me traumatized )
It made me sick. I thought that it is not working with my skin and then I sprayed some on the paper but the result was the same, the same sharpness that went from my nose to the brain and stomach.
Gave the sample to a friend and he loves it! He says it smells like a forest.
Was it the smell itself that made you want to vomit, or was it just something in it chemically that evoked the nausea for you?
It's a bit odd, I admit and I think my initial impressions need to be amended to mention just how strong the labdanum is in the latter half of the fragrance - the "amber" note here is not your conventional amber at all, it's labdanum, with some extra labdanum on the side. No sweeteners at all except the honey but this honey is very raw and unsweet. I wish it were a tad sweeter and a tad stronger in the base, personally.
For those who've tested this - is there anything else you've tried that's remotely similar? This is close to grail material for me (which I would imagine would be a honey/incense blend that is dark with perhaps some florals) but a few elements (the piney element I mentioned in the OP, for one) bring it back down to only a 4 star level for me.
I should also mention that my first time smelling it I found it rather spikey, sharp, and generally gross. Not disgusting, but not pleasant, either. It was only after the third or so time smelling it that it really started to click - my brain could now properly interpret the adoxal heavy opening and could also smell the rest of the fragrance. I think this scent overdoses on a few chemicals and that many people upon their first smelling will fixate on one of those chemicals and not be able to fully or properly interpret the scent.
It's good to hear others people's perspective on it, however, personally it thoroughly disgusts me - and I'm someone who tends to like 'challenging' or experimental fragrance.
For me there's a disastrous smell of pine disinfectant and metallic bilge water. Really nasty stuff IMO.
Being myself an incense freak, I've tried to revisit M/Mink several times as I strongly believe this is one of the most daring compositions of the last 5 years but no way: I can't stand the opening. The desweetened beeswax note paired with adoxal makes me litterally gag. I don't get any sweetness out of it (and usually this is good news for me) but there's something that smells like a wet, putrefying organic compound that's really cloying. It gets a little more bearable during the drydown when the fragrance looses some of its initial power.
I've experienced the same effect with other Byredo's compositions (expecially Oud Immortelle and Fantastic Man) so I started to think this is a sort of signature that in M/Mink has been pushed to the very limits.
Lately I found Skarb to share some similarities with M/Mink, but I found the former to be more wearable, go figure.
Last edited by alfarom; 16th November 2011 at 08:44 AM.
It's funny that you mention Askew because I've just revisted that and am really, really falling for it now. It's a bit overtly synthetic, which I don't mind in and of itself except occasionally its spikiness actually stings my nose a bit, but the images it evokes and the kind of kaleidoscopic color synesthesia I get from Askew (this bottle depicts the colors I get from it very well: http://www.fragrantica.com/perfume/H...licate-24.html , except I also get some light blues, more yellows, and even a bit of reds/maroons from the cardamom while it lingers ) make it irresistibly enchanting to my nose.
As I said I wish the pine was reduced - but after just scratching another (yes, I've done this before ) huge square of ink on a piece of paper and sniffing it, there is a sort of pine-like aspect to the smell. And a metallic facet, along with a bit of a rosy facet and that more generalized "dark, inky note" (gotta love circular olfactory descriptions ). So, conceptually I see why the pine is there, but still, I wish it wasn't.
For those DIYers out there, the pine and dark inky aspect can be closely replicated with small amounts of valerian essential oil. And yes, I suppose there is a hint of that valerian dirty-sock quality in M/Mink, too. Hmm, ok, now I'm starting to see why one might think bilge water . Ah well, I still like it!
Another note I tend to pick up on in multiple Byredos, M/Mink and Chembur, especially, is the odd woody/balmy note of copaiba balsam (also known as copahu balm - and a note that is very present in Kilian's Pure Oud).
There are two more scents that I also believe share the note you mention, and I'd be curious to hear everyone's opinion on them if they've tried them: Reflection Man and Harrods for Him by Bond. Maybe it's not the same note, but I think it might be - it's a cold and kind of metallic note that is kind of waxy. (my guess is it's some kind of synthetic note meant to evoke orris). It's for sure in Reflection Man and Harrods For Him (in fact, in the Harrods for Him it's about the only note that remains on the blotter after a few days) and it's definitely in Secretions Magnifique as well (but no, it's not the wet dog note). A lot of people seem to find Reflection sickening or a weird mix of sweetness and, er, as some have said, "death" - which further convinces me they do in fact share this same chemical.
Last edited by SculptureOfSoul; 16th November 2011 at 08:54 AM.
Alfarom, I just checked your wardrobe - do you still own M/Mink? A full bottle?
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Yeah, Skarb shares more than a single similarity with M/Mink IMO, but weirdly it was love at first sight for me.
I've a sample of Reflection Man somewhere. I'll check it again and report back as I'm very curious. I agree this vibe is detectable in Secretions Magnifique as well but I find M/Mink slightly more cloying and, let's say, "opaque" (sorry for lacking better words). Lately, indirectly suggested by Saripatates, I also got a similar vibe from Tirrenico by I Profumi Del Forte which is an aquatic composition mainly based on fennel.
Alfarom, if you're ever interested in letting go of that bottle, give me first dibs. A half bottle sounds just right anyhow - I'd never need 100ml of this stuff.
As I'm getting deeper into the base of this scent, I once again get a bit of an odd smell. Slightly fishy. Ok, yeah, I get the bilge comment now. Octavian also mentioned caviar in his review of this.
It's a scent that I vacillate on from moment to moment, sometimes loving it, sometimes finding it a bit gross (but not wholly bad by any means) and sometimes finding it downright sultry or sexy. My biggest fear with the scent are the questions, "What do others think of me when they smell this on me? How does it hit their nose?!?"
I love daring fragrances but this one is way to much/ extreme, I found it to be very kinky actually, I will pass it, maybe one day I will be brave again enough to try it, but for the time being, my sample of M/Mink will be in jail.
I love this fragrance! Thanks for the review.
I'm in a bit of a third camp, removed from the lovers and haters: I really love the top, but find the drydown disappointing. I like rough-edged non-sweet honey, patchouli, and metallic note in the top, but I find it rests on a base too familiar from Buxton's work for CdG: woody, dry, fairly non-descript incense.
Thanks for your review and have to agree that mmink is rather nice
It does have that metallic blood note like magnifique secretions and all the blood concept range
And they are nice also
Thanks for your review and have to agree that mmink is rather nice
It does have that metallic blood note like magnifique secretions and all the blood concept range
And they are nice also
It was OK but not purchase worthy for me. Didn't find it as strong as others have suggested.
Thanks for the review SculptureOfSoul. I can't say it completely presents the same way as you describe but I also can not in any way understand the aversion to this fragrance.
I do find it a bit cloying which is the one reason it's not in my wardrobe. Otherwise, it does not smell like, but does wear like a musk to me - definitely one to wear in the warm weather to appreciate the nuances.
For me, it also shares some theme's and an accord with many other Byredo fragrances. There's even a touch (maybe even more than a touch) in Baudelaire which I only picked up after getting through my M/Mink sample.
In what manner is it cloying to you Laph? Is it too sweet - or just too musky?
I have a bottle of this, and I enjoy wearing it. It may not exactly be some sort of olfactory masterpiece, but it's certainly strikingly different and has a cool, detached, and uncompromising ambience about it that I totally appreciate. It's a masculine, I think, and I can't really imagine it working very well on a woman, although I guess there are always those who could still pull it off. It smells like a very interesting mix of something extremely mechanical and industrial - and a lot of fresh autumn air at the same time. As a man, I don't find it any harder to wear than a lot of the CdG frags (it falls pretty much into the same category as the Synthetics and Odeurs, I think - if you can wear those comfortably, M/Mink should be no problem), and in my view it's a very good and suitable option for a night out.
Last edited by Dane77; 18th November 2011 at 02:11 PM.
SOS - an interesting review that exposes aspects of this fragrance I had not thought about. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I still really enjoy this fragrance and the part I like the most is the cold, metallic patchouli notes in M/Mink. I like Dane 77's description of "cool, detached, and uncompromising". This note has the ability to pierce right through the air and mesmerize the attention of others without being cloying or decorative in the way that many oriental scents are.
I also agree that this cold patchouli type note has become a "house note" of sorts for Byredo and it shows itself most noticeably in Oud Immortel and Mister Marvelous - both are fragrances almost as wondrous as M/Mink but by going in different directions.
Conscience is what hurts when everything else feels so good.
"The plant that you have in your home - have you ever truly looked at it? Have you allowed that familiar yet mysterious being we call a plant to teach you its secrets? Have you noticed how deeply peaceful it is? How it is surrounded by a field of stillness? The moment you become aware of a plant's emanation of stillness and peace, that plant becomes your teacher."
-- Eckhart Tolle
Also, I used to think the honey faded and all that was left in the late dry down was the incense and musk notes, but yesterday at about the 11 hour mark I was getting a very strong and very realistic clover honey note. I pulled out a bottle of clover honey to compare - it was dead on. What was really odd about it is that with some sniffs I'd get this honey note, front and center, and other times I'd smell the still-lingering musk or the incense. It's multi-faceted and different facets present themselves with each sniff - and this is true throughout the life of the fragrance but for me, moreso near the end of its development. That is something quite unique in perfumery, imo. A lot of the Humiecki & Graef scents achieve this kind of multi-faceted linear progression but the facets tend to blur into a singular identity within a few hours. M/Mink reverses the progression and is mostly a singular identity and then begins to fragment as it dries down.
Also, late in the dry down I do notice an animalic musk that - on some sniffs, just as the honey - is almost stark naked in its presentation. I've never smelled this particular note so clearly before except in one composition - Monk by Michael Storer. In Monk you smell that musk in the top notes, nearly standing alone. Here, I was picking it up clearly on the occasional sniff around the 10-12 hour mark.
As I wear it more, I've found that the 'scratchiness' of the pine has been reduced - now it's more of a dark piney wood quality - dark pine wood that is at least partially carbonized. The blackness of that carbon note is entrancing and the only other scent that has that particular quality that I've experienced is Al Oudh. Al Oudh dresses the note up more, though, and it makes Al Oudh easier to digest.
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Hmmm trying to describe from memory now (which is always a bit flawed) but there's essentially a synthetic sweetness that appears inconsistently in the middle to dry down. On paper this is a very stark fragrance but on my skin it warms up considerably. Sometimes this balances the fragrance out but other times it's a bit dominant and synthetic and becomes, to me, a sweet-ish, sticky-ish presence causing discomfort. I used "cloying" to try and describe this in a word, happy to get better suggestions.
BTW, thanks for the aussie defense jathanas
I do detect the sweetness you talk about - to me it's totally in the form of honey. I find it sweet but in the natural and real sense, which keeps it balanced (just as I don't find sniffing a jar of clover honey to be too sweet, only sweet). Scents like Chergui however, how further sweeten the honey with iris and the like, push into the cloying territory for me. I do see though how someone could find M/Mink cloying, and unlike many of the posters above, I do get sweetness in the scent. It's just juxtaposed against some of the most intense musk and deep pine (more like a deep trunk/pine sap note, along with that airy hint of carbonization I mentioned before) notes I've encountered.
Just picked up a 10ml decant of this on eBay, as I'm really loving it for winter so far.
Will report back after I give it some more wearings.
Wore this again yesterday and got a compliment 20 - no, that's not a typo! - yes, twenty hours after application. And I was a few feet from the person giving me the compliment. Talk about longevity!
I absolutely love this stuff. Sometimes - momentarily - I think it stinks.. I get a weird smell from it like dirty feet (is that valerian I detect in here?) but then that fades and I get a wonderful inky dark honeyed incense. I think I smell an oud note, too - or at least, it has that same inky dark note that is present in large quantities in Kilian's Pure Oud (actually, my guess is that it's the copaiba balsam along with some guaicwood).
Both share a pronounced dry, austere animal skins expression - to my nose of course. Rien is more ribald in that. In direct comparison Rien starts with strong bitter orange peel, something I ever associated with patchouly too. M/Mink is more on the wild honey, bay leaf side.
But to be honest, which perfume could be compared to Rien? I never came across a fragrance that was that overwhelming to any other smell. Again something shared with patchouly.
<edit> The potion of M/Mink on my wrists changed just in the moment I pulled the trigger on Rien. First M/Mink felt quite powerful animalic. It is a soft reminder to Skarb now, go figure! If there's an anti-perfume around, Rien is it ...
Last edited by WildThingy; 13th January 2012 at 09:39 AM.
WildThingy, I read that Rien, amongst many other ingredients, has an overdose of galbanum (and aldehydes, too). At first I thought I liked Rien but after a few wearings I quickly found it to be too over the top for me. It got a bit urinuous on my skin, too.
My personal relation to Rien is similar to Yours. It is hefty. It really is. On others - by now my preferred setting to sample frags - it is less dark brooding whatever, but more milky floral.
Some time ago I discovered a strange effect. While sniffing close it is leathery, dense and bold. A total eclipse of the nose as to say. The promising bitter orange peel accord that I enjoy for 2 minutes gives place to - all and nothing at the same time. Olfactory fatigue? I wear Rien - nothing else smells of anything. When sniffing it in very low concentration, as for instance when smelling it on others from the distance it is an unpleasantly wet "white" floral. Like milk diluted with lots of water, do You imagine how that could hurt? The taste doesn't get a grip on it or so.
I think M/Mink could go in the same direction, but I haven't it tested on a volunteer yet. Similarity by now is the animal part as said above.
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Got a chance to give it a good wearing today. The opening on my skin evokes an overripe fruit salad, musky and dense and sweet. It reminds me somewhat of CB I hate perfume's Musk Reinvention (chemical/vegetable sources composed to resemble musk). Then after a few minutes it sings with syrupy white honey and a very sharp, cold incense, and some sort of thick, almost fecal floral (is this the adoxal aldehyde that I'm smelling? And something indolic? I think it's just a heap of various aromachemicals pieced together to form something vaguely resembling a flower in abstract). At points it reminded me of ink mixed with corn syrup and water, at others like leather curing and burnt hair, sometimes of overripe fruit, and at others beeswax. It's a very, very odd fragrance, evoking all of the above associations, but not truly resembling any of them. After a couple hours the florals fade and the residual incense/cedar/honey mixture is very pleasant, though a bit airy and cold. Reminds me, vaguely, of the scent of fresh snow falling (apparently it's supposed to smell like blood at some point; I don't get that association). But the journey there... oof. It's probably wearable, but certainly not an easy choice. Lasts for a loooong time, and projects like mad. Two sprays on my wrist, and it has filled my study.
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I love M/Mink, and plan on getting a bottle. It's a very daring fragrance.
Imagine mixing Pinaud's Lilac Vegetal with Kouros, and remove all of the sweetness Kouros has, and you'll get something like M/Mink.
I don't recommend this one for people who don't like "dirty" smelling fragrances. This one smells both clean and dirty (with a urinous smell) at the same time (like Kouros does).
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Sorry to ressurect - but here's my not so initial impressions of M/Mink
Have loved reading this thread - I'm finding myself and SoS have more and more fragrant things in common as time goes on!
You're thoughts were fascinating and I think subconciously helped me to re-discover (and buy!) this fragrance.
Good to know the name of the noxious material, adoxal. I strongly dislike marine, so M/Mink for me was a no no, a bilge-y mess without the conceptual interest of Sec Mag.
Are you a Sec Mag fan then? I wrote a big ass essay on Bosque recently which I think is a perfect Secretion Magnifique substitute... well, not a substitute, becuase there needn't be on, but it has SecMag's quality in it very obviously but at a much more acceptable level of wearability.
I must read your essay on Bosque then. I like Sec Mag as a statement-and I actually own it. But I find the smell horrifying, and do not want it to touch my skin in any possible way. I strongly dislike marine notes in any possible form, so I strongly dislike the brutalist perfumes, like M/Mink, who appear to be serious and made for wearing.
God I feel like a right sad tw*t posting links - i like feedback though, makes me feel like my writing isn't completely pointless.
Yer I completely understand that, I used to hate them too, unless they have a challenge behind them.
I find M/Mink completely made for wearing, it's hard going to begin with though D:
Great essay! Now I'm curious. Now, if we're talking about bilgey marine, this is a no no for me. I'm somebody who finds Lys Mediterranee, the best marine by miles, too much. However, there's a difference between marine-bilgey, and the chlorine+floral which Elena at perfumeshrine has argued is the basis of the particular "secretion" we're talking about (as in: applying le labo iris cream after a swim in certain chlorinated pools).
I think the chlorine/iris fits perfectly - although there wasn't a trop of sperm in the Le Labo's to my nose so I'm amazed she got that out of it. But the guy I quoted on my blog doesn't mention sperm, but mentions the "chlorine" notes more than once. But yeh, there's no bilge here - it wouldn't be contentment with bilge! It's not a perfume made to unsettle
No bilge, good! Of course, there's plenty of bilge in M/Mink. As there is in Petroleum (which, however, does have a conceptual interest).
Re: the labo iris (which Elena didn't mention. I did) - it's not per se. Alone, it is a wonderful iris. It is when added to chlorinated skin. A pool I went to last year left me a strange, chlorinated smell on the skin. If I used the Le Labo Iris cream, voila! This will likely work with all iris soliflores.
I think you'd like it, but as I said - I don't want to overhype it as it could easily be done.
I didn't find the bilge in Petroleum at all disgusting - it's very subtle, I love that fragrance, but it's drydown is a bit disappointing.
Ahhhhh! That makes more sense. I love the thought of sperm being iris and chlorine :') Becuase it's actually perfect haha.
2) Your smarmy emoticon can't hide the ridiculous and out-of-place snobbery here. Please raise the bar of discussion from your lowest-common-denominator stereotyping.
Monkeybars - try the Valerian SC02 from Liberty Natural. It's solid, and a pain in the ass to work with, but it gets rid of the evergreen qualities of the original, tones down the dirty-sock note, but keeps a sort of indolic dirtiness to it. I use it in small amounts as an 'all natural civet substitute' - it's the closest thing I've found in the natural realm.