I am one of those early adopter types. I owned one of the first iPods converting my music collection into digital. When I got the first iPad I embraced reading my books on the tablet. It changed things dramatically in my relationship to books. It removed the scent and the audible crack of the glue in the spine when opening it for the first time. I can honestly say I don’t miss it. Maison Margiela Replica: Whispers in the Library tries to convince me otherwise.
Whispers in the Library is the second release in 2019. Perfumer Marie Salamagne is asked to create a perfume which captures a library at Oxford in 1997. While I don’t miss the smell of the individual book. The collective smell of old pages on waxed wooden shelves in a contained space is a pleasant scent to contemplate. Mme Salamagne captures the dichotomy of the subtle spiciness along with the sweetness of old vellum and waxed shelves quite deftly.
Marie Salamagne (photo: Jerome Bonnet)
Mme Salamagne forms a paper accord which is the heart of Whispers in the Library. This has a sweet pulpiness which verges on gourmand-like. A swirl of black pepper cuts back that tendency. A very condensed cedar comes next which represents a bookshelf ably. Vanilla does sweeten things at the end to bring out that paper accord, so it doesn’t get lost in the wood.
Whispers in the Library has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.
Whispers in the Library could as easily be named Whispers in the Bakery. There is a gourmand streak which runs throughout it. Because the name told me to think library, I was pre-conditioned to go that way. What would surprise me is how much it came off like a sweet pastry when I let it surprise me. This is a good choice for those who are looking for a transparent gourmand. It is another in the Replica collection which does what it sets out to do.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Sephora.