Discount Diamonds: Clinique Aromatics Elixir- Immortal Chypre

There are times when great perfume is treated as if it is day-old bread. Marked down and seen as unworthy because it isn’t new. Many of the entries in this series come from this perception. The silver lining to all of this is there are true perfume masterpieces to be found in the discount section. One of those is 1971’s Clinique Aromatics Elixir.

Clinique Aromatics Elixir

Composed by Bernard Chant it was Clinique’s first fragrance. During this time period was when many of the best chypres were being produced. M. Chant wanted to make Aromatics Elixir a sort of follow-up to Estee Lauder Azuree which he had done two years previously. Azuree was an example of a more restrained chypre which was what the brands thought American women wanted.  Aromatics Elixir would follow that pattern but M. Chant pushed most of it to extremes. Because of that it isn’t as universally loved as other American chypres from the day. It is unforgettable because of that difference and the desire of M. Chant to push at the limits.

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Bernard Chant

The opening of Aromatics Elixir is a very green accord centered on clary sage. By the time I got around to experiencing Aromatics Elixir I was well versed in the use of clary sage in perfumery. In 1971 it wasn’t so common and the bitter herbal quality of it was softened with a couple of florals which picked up on the green; geranium and verbena; and a couple which added some suppleness in chamomile and orange blossom. All of this transitions into a lurid floral heart of rose, ylang-ylang, and jasmine. This is a deep floral nucleus from which M. Chant can weave the chypre base around. Patchouli begins the movement and oakmoss, amber, and vetiver complete it. For some added intensity civet arrives at the end of it all. Which transforms this into a leathery chypre.

Aromatics Elixir has 10-12 hour longevity and above average sillage.

Of course in the over 40 years since its release Aromatics Elixir has been reformulated many times to conform with the restrictions on many of the ingredients M. Chant used in the original formulation. I don’t know who is responsible for it but whomever it is has done a tremendous job as modern equivalents have been found which has kept the original architecture intact.

You can find this at online discounters and in the discount bins at the markdown store regularly. I don’t think I’ve ever spent more than $15 for a small bottle. There are very few perfumes which are as good as Aromatics Elixir at many times the price. Of all the discount Diamonds this is one of the brightest of them all.

Disclosure: This review was based on a bottle I purchased.

-Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Nicolai Ambre Cashmere Intense- The Comfort of Softness

I guess I have to believe the cold is here as I spent this morning scraping ice off my car windshield. I try and convince myself it isn’t going to come only to be reminded of its inevitability by a morning layer of ice on my car. When the weather is getting me down it is also inevitable that I reach for my comfort scents. They are the perfume version of warm socks, a comfy sweater, and a roaring fire. One style of perfume which is one of my go-to places when I want this kind of solace are gourmand perfumes. The sweet quality with large quantities of vanilla have a way of soothing my iced over nerves. I recently received a sample of a new gourmand, Nicolai Ambre Cashmere Intense, which helped get me through this cold weekend.

If there is something for which founder and perfumer of Nicolai, Patricia de Nicolai, is becoming known for it is her amber perfumes. It is starting to become a recognizable part of many of her best creations. She has also taken to making “intense” versions with three of the last four including that as part of the name. For Ambre Cashmere Intense Mme de Nicolai wanted a perfume with a “long trail” and so the heart of this is a mixture of her amber accord, orris butter, and vanilla. Together they form the perfumed equivalent of a downy soft pillow suitable for hugging closely.

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Patricia de Nicolai

Before we get to that heart we start with a bright citrus flare of lemon and mandarin which are contrasted with a pinch of black pepper. The spicy citrus is further spiced by some clove which provides the bridge to the orris butter. This is the powdery feel of orris with much of the rootiness attenuated. Amber provides a handoff from the sharper spiciness of the clove and black pepper to something more refined. The vanilla provides a completed tonal shift to the gourmand which is where Ambre Cashmere Intense spends most of its development. Benzoin and sandalwood provide the effect of lengthening the central accord providing the “long trail” as they elongate the sweetness while turning it woody and resinous in the very late moments.

Ambre Cashmere Intense has 10-12 hour longevity and moderate sillage.

I think these kind of comfort fragrances are sometimes dismissed for being this olfactory version of a glass of warm milk. That sells the best of them short. Amber Cashmere Intense is a very good example because it forms a perfectly balanced softness in which the wearer can seek the comfort they are looking for.

Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by Twisted Lily.

Mark Behnke

Header Photo via Fragrantica.

New Perfume Review M. Micallef Akowa- Chromatic Perfumery

One of my favorite classical music composers is Gustav Mahler. While many consider Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony to be the greatest ever written my vote would go to Mahler’s Symphony No. 5. My affection for Mahler comes from my time in Boston and attending the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) while under the direction of Seiji Ozawa. During that time period he turned the BSO into the premiere Mahler orchestra of the day. I also fell under the spell of Mahler’s music. I knew there was something different about it but I was not enough of a musician to know what it was I was hearing. It wasn’t until we went to a pre-concert talk prior to a performance of the fifth symphony that I got my explanation. Mahler used chromatic notes extensively. What that means is if you think of the normal diatonic scale of do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti most of us are familiar with from music class it leaves out five other notes in the available twelve notes. To compose in a chromatic style is to work with all twelve notes for the greatest amount of variations available. When Mahler started out he was heavily criticized for using this overstuffed method of composing. I always find it to be so vibrantly alive I would think making it lesser would have killed it. In perfumery there is no real parallel as there is no rigid amount of notes you need to put in a perfume. Nevertheless the latest release from Martine Micallef, M. Micallef Akowa seems very chromatic to me.

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Martine Micallef (l.) and Geoffrey Nejman

Mme Micallef oversaw the collaboration between her husband Geoffrey Nejman and longtime perfumer for the brand Jean-Claude Astier. Akowa, so the press materials say, is the name of an African tribe in Gabon. From that part of the world a secret ingredient was sourced which M. Nejman discovered while traveling there. Upon his return he wanted to make that ingredient the centerpiece of a new perfume. The fun of Akowa is it seems like they weren’t sure what would be the best way to show off their new prize. As a result Akowa has a very chromatic personality as I experienced three distinct phases as if they decided we don’t have to stick to just one style of perfume.

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Jean-Claude Astier (via: perfumowy blog)

In the early going Akowa wants to be a transparent fruity floral as bergamot and orange blossom open things up. Then the secret ingredient arrives which provides a very herbal aspect early on. This reminds me of a desiccated sage-like note. It takes that very pedestrian fruity floral opening and twists it into something much less common. Until after a couple hours it turns into a full out gourmand as fig and cacao provide the heart notes for something very rich. It feels like a fusion dessert at a fine restaurant where the chef has taken a chocolate covered fig and then added an herbal topping to it.  Another few hours on we get very earthy as patchouli and vetiver take the secret ingredient and bury it in the ground. This is a dark rooty finish until at the very end a rush of musks make it a little more animalic.

Akowa has 16-18 hour longevity and moderate sillage.

Akowa is going to drive some perfume lovers crazy with its constant shifting of style. Others will feel like they got three perfumes in one as each phase lasted for hours on my skin. On both days I wore it Akowa was very much like a perfumed symphony in three distinct movements where the entire chromatic olfactory scale was being used. Akowa might be too jammed with concepts for some but if you want a full scale perfume there are few which have more to offer than Akowa.

Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by M. Micallef at Pitti Fragranze 2015.

Mark Behnke

The Sunday Magazine: The Return of the X-Files

I spent last weekend at New York Comic-Con 2015. There is so much that I saw that I liked. The new Supergirl series looks very good based on the first episode. I also saw the first episode of the next Marvel series on Netflix “Jessica Jones”. That looks like it might be the most adult version of a comic book adaptation we could ask for. After all that I experienced over the four day of the convention it was the return of a beloved series which has stayed with me.

The X-Files was one of my favorite TV shows during the 1990’s. It told the story of FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. Mulder believed in the paranormal and headed up the FBI section where the title of the series came from. Scully was assigned to be the cold light of logic and science in an attempt to show there was nothing behind Mulder’s suspicions. Over the first seven seasons this was a reason to stay home on Friday nights. Creator and writer Chris Carter knew how to tell a scary story. It became a big success which became a problem. Star David Duchovny who played Mulder wanted to reduce his appearances and so the final two seasons saw him in a limited role while bringing in other characters to be there on a regular basis. It was a bad idea because when Scully and Mulder were on screen together it was obvious how little chemistry there was with any of the other potential partners. The show came to an end in 2002 with about half the viewers it had at its peak.

the x files

Six years later there was a final theatrical movie called “The X-Files” I Want to Believe”. That was just another example about why you don’t do something unless everyone is invested in it. The movie was lifeless. It felt less like a fond farewell and more like the house guest who has stayed too long. Ever since then there were questions about another movie but there were no plans. Then in March of this year like a bolt out of the blue came an announcement that The X-Files would be returning to television for a six-episode run with all of the original stars on board.

As a geek I live in a perpetual state of hope for projects like this. Most often I am disappointed as capturing what was once special all over again is not just a matter of reassembling the same components. As they treated us to the premiere of the first new episode of The X-Files; I was hopeful. After it was over I was elated.

The current times are perfect for a show centered on government conspiracies, alien technologies, and the supernatural. What I saw in the first episode were the two stars engaged and lively as they put these characters back on ten years after we last saw them. Gillian Anderson who plays Scully absolutely captures the feel of a woman who has walked away from The X-Files to practice medicine being pulled back in again. Mr. Duchovny also plays his character older but still with the same passion for trying to find the truth. This first episode was vintage X-Files territory tying in an apparent UFO crash in the 1950’s with alien abductions in the present day. All of it making a case for The X-Files section to re-open.

It is really hard to make something as good as it used to be simply because our memories are always more fond than the reality. Everyone involved with this new version of The X-Files has managed to find that place where they were doing their best work and put it back up on screen. If you ever watched The X-Files or never watched it tune in on January 24, 2016 there is something out there worth watching.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Jo Malone Mimosa & Cardamom- Changing of the Guard

At the end of 2014 there was bit of shuffling of chairs at a number of perfume brands. Jo Malone had used Christine Nagel as de-facto in-house nose for a few years. It wasn’t entirely exclusive but Mme Nagel was behind most of the releases I liked best. She has moved on to work at Hermes. Which left me wondering what Jo Malone would do? The answer seems to be that perfumer Marie Salamagne has stepped into the role. For about the last year she has composed five new releases for Jo Malone. The earlier release this year, Incense & Cedrat, left me wondering what Mme Salamagne would do differently as she settled in to her new role. The latest release, Mimosa & Cardamom, seems to provide the answer to this.

Over the last five years Jo Malone has diligently gone about shaking off one of the more prevalent perceptions of the brand. The concept that they were very nice but somehow lightweight in tone and projection. To a segment of consumers a brand cannot do that. What Mme Nagel brought to Jo Malone during her tenure was an intensifying of both architecture and sillage. It allowed for the brand to become much more widely admired. From my perspective I adore some of the more gentle earlier releases. There is a beauty in fragility that I think is sometimes lost. For Mimosa & Cardamom Mme Salamagne has decided that Jo Malone has successfully recaptured the perfume lover’s attentions that it can risk a return to delicacy.

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Marie Salamagne (Photo: Jerome Bonnet)

Mimosa & Cardamom is like most Jo Malone perfumes with two ingredients on the label exactly what it promises. The soft pillowy floralcy of mimosa is matched with the spicy green exoticness of cardamom. These two notes float like a butterfly over everything else in the perfume.

Mme Salamagne takes the cardamom and in the top notes she shades it green with lily and violet leaves drawing that character out of it. There is a tiny bit of risk because the greener you make cardamom the closer it gets to being a bit like cumin. Mme Salamagne has a firm hand on the tiller and the early moments of Mimosa & Cardamom stay firmly in the green spiciness she desires. The mimosa comes in and it transforms the cardamom from green into something much more opaque. Mme Salamagne makes a really nice choice here as she uses heliotrope to provide a bit more foundation to the mimosa. I think without it the mimosa might have not carried the same amount of presence. Over a fair amount of hours sandalwood and tonka take the titular notes and fold them in a creamy woody hug.

Mimosa & Cardamom has 6-8 hour longevity and moderate sillage.

It has taken a year for me to feel like Mme Salamagne has found the voice she will use at Jo Malone. Mimosa & Cardamom has me eagerly looking for more of the same in the future.

Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by Jo Malone.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Pierre Guillaume Collection Croisiere Metal Hurlant- White Line Cruising

When I was with Pierre Guillaume at Esxence back in March he gave me a preview of all six perfumes in the Collection Croisiere. The previous five releases have been M. Guillaume’s perfumed version of a resort collection. They all carried aquatic, beachy themes. By the time I had gone through those I probably had an impression in my mind what was coming next. For the recently released sixth member of the Collection Croisiere, Metal Hurlant, it is a very different type of cruising M. Guillaume is talking about.

When I met my wife she was a motorcycle rider. I never caught the bug but I did accompany her on many of her trips, following behind in the car. These were invariably summer trips and when we would get to our destination there was a distinctive accord to the crowd. It smelled of gasoline, the leather of the riding wear, and the human musk of having sweated through a day’s ride. There are a number of unusual smells I find appealing; gasoline is one of them. I don’t know if it is the chemist that draws me to the smell of refined petroleum but I have always found it pleasant. M. Guillaume must also find it so, as well. Metal Hurlant is the smell of the open highway astride a motorcycle with nothing left out.

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Pierre Guillaume

Metal Hurlant opens with that gasoline accord. Trust me when I say this is a realistic gasoline accord. If the smell of gasoline is unpleasant to you the first minutes of Metal Hurlant will be a tedium. If you want a perfume which presents something different this gasoline accord is most definitely that. This isn’t the smell of gas in a tank. Instead it is the smell of a bit splashed on the chrome fuel tank evaporating into the air. It has all the acrid facets you would imagine to be there. But because it an expansive version it makes it more approachable. The expansion of the accord over the first few minutes was completely fascinating on the days I wore Metal Hurlant. Soon enough I was slipping on my riding leathers. This is a leather accord of well-used leather. It is the raw transformed into something semi-refined over years of wearing it. The leather becomes the primary horsepower in Metal Hurlant but the gas is not gone. The final bits are the animalic musks. If you’ve ever sweated underneath a leather jacket when you finally take it off there is that unmistakable smell of musk and leather. That is what M. Guillaume captures over the last few hours.

Metal Hurlant has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.

After five very pleasant releases I was overjoyed that M’ Guillaume decided to move away from the beach and straddle a motorcycle. Metal Hurlant captures all the smells which represent cruising between the white lines of the highway. If you are looking for a different perfume experience take Metal Hurlant out for a ride.

Disclosure: This review was based on a sample from Pierre Guillaume at Pitti Fragranze 2015.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Diptyque Oud Palao- Trick or Treat

As we approach the end of October in the US we look forward to celebrating Halloween on the 31st. It is also a time stamp for me which ends the shoulder season between summer and fall. After Halloween it seems we are fully in fall with the snap of cold in the air. When American children go out on Halloween and knock on neighbor’s doors when it is answered they say “Trick or Treat?” The implication being you can choose to see a trick or hand out a treat. In all my years of cruising my neighborhood nobody picked “trick”. When I was wearing the new Diptyque Oud Palao I came to realize this was a perfume which wanted to have it both ways.

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Fabrice Pellegrin

When it has come to the crush of oud fragrances over the last few years it has been the dirty little trick underneath most of them that there isn’t any real oud in there. The great majority of the oud fragrances you find are an oud accord consisting of cypriol as the core. Each perfumer will use a different running mate to twist it into a facsimile of oud. Particularly in the last year perfumers have embraced using an oud accord. I have enjoyed the control using an accord gives a perfumer as it has allowed for a given fragrance using it a little more room to breathe around the oud. If a real source of oud had been used it would have been more difficult. It also allows for an oud perfume to have a lighter touch. Perfumer Fabrice Pellegrin has accomplished all of that with Oud Palao.

Oud Palao opens on a rich Bulgarian rose. Oud and rose go together like peas and carrots as Forest Gump would say. If M. Pellegrin was using real oud it would have forcefully bullied its way onto the scene. The flexibility of using the accord is really evident as it reaches out and cradles the rose as it floats on top of the accord. The final piece of the heart is a very gentle wafting of sandalwood as if a breeze is bringing it to your nose from a distance. This is a beautifully delicate composition at this point. The base gets sturdier as patchouli, labdanum, and vanilla exercise their power a bit. Even with a little more volume it doesn’t ever drown out the rose/oud/sandalwood heart notes. The final little grace note is a small dollop of camphor. It mimics that chilly nose clearing feeling when you breathe deep on a cold night.

Oud Palao has 8-10 hour longevity and moderate sillage.

In my mind’s eye I have knocked on M. Pellegrin’s door and said “Trick or Treat?” His answer is both in the form of Oud Palao.

Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by Diptyque.

Mark Behnke

Guerlain 101- Five to Get You Started

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I’ve now reached the point in this series when it is time to take on the Grand Maisons of perfumery. First up is Guerlain. This is going to be difficult because these are iconic brands with well-known best sellers. I’ve been wrestling with my thought process on how to pick five from a perfume brand which spans nearly a century. Shalimar and Mitsouko have been the standard bearers for Guerlain ever since their debut. The more I think of those particular perfumes they aren’t where I would send someone to start. Here are the five Guerlain releases I think provide the best introduction to the line.

We start with the very first release from Guerlain, Jicky. Created in 1889 by Aime Guerlain it is one of the seminal perfumes of the modern perfume era. M. Guerlain elaborated on the embryonic fougere architecture by expanding the florals in the heart. The base also is a bit of a nod to the future as Jacques Guerlain will take this base accord and eventually evolve it into the trademark Guerlinade which is the fingerprint which runs through the brand.

It would be eighty years later when Jean-Paul Guerlain would create a crisp green perfume called Chamade. It is mainly a hyacinth, jasmine and sandalwood construct. M. Guerlain takes these very powerful notes and in the eau de toilette concentration turns them into something which crackles with floral energy without shocking the senses.

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Four years prior to Chamade Jean-Paul Guerlain created one of the greatest masculine fragrances of all time, Habit Rouge. It was my first exposure to a very spicy perfume which comes after a brilliantly balanced citrus mélange on top. Cedar, patchouli, amber, vanilla, and leather finish this as fantastically as it started. This is one of those perfumes which never fails to make me feel dressed up even in jeans and a t-shirt.

Just after the turn of the 21st century perfumers who did not carry the surname of Guerlain were asked to create for the brand. In 2006 perfumer Annick Menardo composed one of the most transparent incense perfumes on the market, Bois D’Armenie. Based on Papier D’Armenie which is scented paper burned to add fragrance to a room. Bois D’Armenie sets its incense atop guaiac wood, benzoin, copahu balm. This is so light but at the same time so complex. It is the perfume I use to get people who have a resistance to the brand, because their mother wore one of the perfumes, to give it a try. Like the Mad Hatter this turns many into believers.

If Bois D’Armenie doesn’t pique an interest in Guerlain I pull out my secret weapon, Spiriteuse Double Vanille. Composed by Jean-Paul Guerlain it is a rich boozy vanilla which is like a warm drink on a cold night. It is my ultimate comfort scent. Way too many of my scarves still carry the smell of Spiriteuse Double Vanille.

Guerlain is a Grand Maison and even these five could be followed up by another five or ten or fifteen. The point of this series is to give you a foothold to start your exploration. If you start with these five I promise you will start one of the great perfume experiences there is to be had as you explore Guerlain deeper.

Disclosure: This review based on bottles I purchased.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Masque Milano Romanza- Before the Fall

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I would suggest that every perfume lover has a note which they like that others are not as fond of. One of those notes for me is narcissus. It clearly is not in fashion in the current perfumery trends. In the last two years there have only been 28 perfumes released which contain narcissus. Think about that. There have been over 3,000 new perfumes and less than 1% contain narcissus. It is why the few perfumes I own which feature it I covet. I don’t have a hypothesis for why this is so. Narcissus is far from the only heady floral note in use.

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Alessandro Brun, Mark Behnke, Riccardo Tedeschi (l. to r.)

While my narcissus collection is definitely my smallest section it is also the most personally compelling. When I walked up to the creative directors of Masque Milano, Alessandro Brun and Riccardo Tedeschi, at Pitti Fragranze they passed me a strip with the newest release Romanza. Even before the strip got underneath my nose the unmistakable presence of narcissus rose to greet me.

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Cristiano Canali

Romanza is Act 2-Scene 3 in the ongoing olfactory opera Masque Milano is weaving. It is the aria where a lover sings about that feeling just before they fall head over heels in love. That moment when another person has found someone who they can’t stop thinking about. The person who just might be that missing piece to completeness. The beginning of a lifelong affection. Working with nose Cristiano Canali they decided narcissus was the perfect embodiment of this moment.

Sig. Canali uses absinthe as an alcoholic green attention getter. It is like the besotted lover is using the green fairy to try and break the approaching fever. Orange blossom reminds them that there is beauty in the possibility of love. A little angelica adds some botanical musk as the humanity of it all is winked at. Try though they might the lover is consumed in a narcotic floral maelstrom of narcissus supported by hyacinth and violet. This heart accord is named “Hedonist’s Bouquet” and it is an accurate description. It is a powerfully narcotic mixture. It is where you will also either fall in love with Romanza or decide to break it off early. I fell completely in love with the Hedonist’s Bouquet and dove headlong into its pleasures. What I enjoy about narcissus, as opposed to tuberose, is that for all of its power there is an acerbic green edge to it. Sig. Canali uses violet to hone that edge in Romanza. Just as Bryan Adams sings, “Now it cuts like a knife/But it feels so right”. I like this phase so much I just want to luxuriate in it for days. The final part of Romanza is a “human skin touching” accord. Sig. Canali uses amber, civet, and woods to fashion that moment of human skin-to-skin contact infused with emotion. It is a lovely passionate way to finish Romanza as only head over heels in love could be next.

Romanza has 12-14 hour longevity and above average sillage.

When I received my first sample of Romanza in Florence it cracked and when I went to sleep that night the room smelled of Romanza. It was a beautiful lullaby to accompany my dreams. As beautiful as that was; having worn it on my skin it comes more alive especially the final skin accord. There have been few perfumes in 2015 which have burrowed as deeply into my emotions as Romanza.

Disclosure: this review was based on a sample provided by Masque Milano at Pitti Fragranze 2015.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Miu Miu- Mind Your Fractions

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When it comes to innovation in materials it seems recently that it mostly has happened on the niche side. I usually am tipped off that something new in the perfumer’s toolbox is being used. Which sets off a lemming-like response in me to rush out and try whatever new perfume it is in. When I received my sample of the new mass-market perfume Miu Miu I was surprised to see an ingredient listed I had never heard of; Akigalawood.

Of course I was off to the internet to find out more. While taking my first sniff of Miu Miu I was detecting a slightly peppery oud-like woodiness in the base which I was attributing to the new ingredient. When I got to the Givaudan website I learned a lot more. I have spoken about taking natural raw materials and fractionating them via distillation. It is a way of altering the scent profile by enhancing concentrations of specific ingredients within the parent essential oil. What Givaudan is doing is entirely different. They are using an enzymatic process to break down an essential oil leaving behind only some components. This is fascinating because with distillation it is physics which determines what your fractions produce. With the process behind Akigalawood it is biology through what the enzyme chooses to digest and what it leaves behind.

For Akigalawood the Givaudan team added patchouli to an enzymatic bath and after allowing it to sit washed it with salt water and what remains was dubbed Akigalawood. This is patchouli with all the earthy herbal qualities removed. The spiciness and the woodiness are what predominates. It is surprising to me that the woodiness is very similar to a cypriol-based oud accord. I think in the right hands this could produce a fantastically fragile oud perfume.

Daniela Andrier

Daniela Andrier

For Miu Miu perfumer Daniela Andrier decided to keep it very classical as she uses a white flower accord to take you down to the new raw material. There was a real conscious creative decision to make Miu Miu feel like a throwback to the 1960’s and the ad campaign with model Stacy Martin strongly hints that this was the inspiration. The difference is by using Akigalawood it is always going to have that contemporary feel.

Miu Miu opens with what is almost becoming a trademark for Mme Andrier as a sharp green accord catches your attention. Muguet picks up the green to make the transition to mostly rose with a little jasmine in the heart. When the three floral notes combine it has a real vintage feel of a white flower powerhouse of the 1960’s. Then the Akigalawood uses the spicy aspect to enhance the rose and contrast the muguet.  I strongly pick up this oudy quality which I like very much. It makes Miu Miu feel like a perfume unstuck in time.

Miu Miu has 10-12 hour longevity and above average sillage.

Early on 2015 was not shaping up as a good year for the department store fragrances but the last few months have provided a number of really interesting entries. Miu Miu does not smell like everything else in the department store. The ability to tilt classic while also tilting contemporary is unique in this sector. It feels almost daring in its desire to give perfume wearers something so distinctively different. I hope that these kind of fractions will be embraced by the consumer because Miu Miu deserves some positive attention.

Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by Miu Miu.

Mark Behnke