Maison Martin Margiela was late to the designer perfume game but under the Creative Direction of Karine Lebret and Pauline Zanoni they have built steadily upon the foundation provided by perfumer Daniela Andrier’s brilliant Untitled in 2010. In the summer of 2012 they began the Replica series where the idea is to capture a specific place and time. Each label carries the information that the perfumer is trying to capture. The first three, Beach Walk, Flower Market, and Funfair Evening; were the work of Jacques Cavallier and Marie Salamagne. My favorite of that first collection was Funfair Evening which was meant to capture a Santa Monica, California evening at a summer fair in 1994. It did a really nice job at capturing the smells of the carnival; candy apples along with sweet and sultry accords capture the humidity of the evening. I really liked the attempt to try and stay true to the source material.
I just received my samples of the newest set of three Replicas, Lazy Sunday Mornings, Promenade in the Gardens and Jazz Club. Much like the first three all of them are pretty good but one really stands out for me and that one is Jazz Club.
Replica Jazz Club is signed by Alienor Massenet who is familiar to many as the de facto in-house nose for Memo Paris. For Jazz Club the place and time on the box is Brooklyn 2013. The label also describes the fragrance as a combination of “Heady cocktails and cigars”. Despite the non-smoking rules which persist across the US the idea of the smoky jazz club remains and while I think a Brooklyn club in 2013 would be smoke free with nary a cigar in sight; Mme Massenet’s choice to base Jazz Club on the twin pillars of booze and tobacco works very well.
Jazz Club opens on a strong brilliant riff of pink peppercorns with lemon and neroli. The citrus is like the glint off the bell of a trumpet under the spotlight and the peppercorns are the blare of that opening trumpet’s first sounds. It captures your attention and it carries you to the bar for Mme Massenet’s olfactory craft cocktail wherein she adds clary sage to a rich dark rum accord and garnishes it with green vetiver. There is an almost mentholated quality which overlays the depth of the rum accord and it is another piece of brightness continued from the top notes. Finally we take up a cigar and roll it between our fingers and run it under our nose. The narcotic richness of tobacco leaves is front and center. Styrax and vanilla accentuate the sweeter qualities of that tobacco leaf. The final phases of Jazz club is the promised combination of cocktails and cigars without any of the deleterious health effects.
Replica Jazz Club has overnight longevity and above average sillage.
Replica Jazz Club is one of the best new designer offerings of the last few years. Mme Massenet paints a perfect picture of a night in a jazz joint enjoying the fine music, alcohol, and cigars. It accentuates the fun of that kind of evening perfectly.
Disclosure: This review was based on a sample purchased from The Perfumed Court.