Magical Moon

Hanae Mori Magical Moon. I had the old Hanae Mori years ago, thought I liked it, never wore it, it gave me a headache. March thought Magical Moon was pretty good, so I was willing to give it a go and stock up on Excedrin just in case.

Gad, I’m going to need that Excedrin, but not because of the smell. Notes of Osmanthus flower, rose, sugar cane, cotton flower, coconut milk, white musk, white sandalwood, red cedar, incense, litchi, patchouli, pineapple pulp, guava nectar, star fruit, orange flowers and pink berries… and a partridge in a pear tree.

It’s not terrible at all, is really quite good, but just more fruity floral stuff, and it smells so close to the new Badgley Mischka, just more sweet or something. And… I’ll just cut this review off there, I don’t have anything more interesting to say about it.

Which leads me to my escalating perfume annoyance — can we get new stuff in the department store? Just insert my normal rant about Stepford Perfumes here. I’m tired of saying it, and y’all are tired of hearing it.

Which leads to my question — besides the glut of perfumes that seem amazingly the same, if you could wave your want, what perfume trend would you banish today, and what perfume trend would you like to see back in vogue? You can answer both or one or the other.

  • Tigs says:

    I would like to see perfumes designed for the skin, and not for the scent strip. Tricky, I know, and financially unwise, but there it is. I would like to see fewer low-impact linear scents (although instant strikers like Tocade are welcomed.) More development in general, I guess (in the perfume and in its creation). And – to get off the juice – I would like fewer ridiculous flights of fancy in marketing writing. Sorry Serge, but I’m just not into the crazy dream descriptions.

  • Cheezwiz says:

    Late to the party, but I loved the questions you posed.

    I’d have to echo everyone else’s posts: buh-bye fruity florals & nauseating gourmands.

    I want some interesting perfumes for grown women. I would also love to see more medium-priced “indie” perfumes become available. I’m sure it’s not easy, but there are people out there making their own stuff.

    For example I was blown away by the thoughtfulness & creativity behind the Ineke line of perfumes. Mind you, I haven’t smelled them yet, but I bet I would like them. They are beautifully packaged and affordably priced – with inexpensive samples available to curious sniffers.

    On the other end of the spectrum, I’d love to see some ridiculously elaborate/fabulous perfume bottles come back into vogue. If crystal chandeliers can become hip again in interior design, why can’t we have pretty bottles for our fragrances (and not just the occaisional special editions)? I want some jaw-dropping over-the-top nutty Versailles style decanters to gaze upon. Where is my luxe pretty packaging dammit!?

  • Marchlion says:

    So… I gather you didn´t get any of the woods and incense? That is so funny. I mean, I could barely register the other stuff. Me and my sweet-eating skin…

  • minette says:

    I sprayed this one a paper test strip, and by the time I got home, I had to toss it. It is so creamy/sweet/headachey, and yet disturbingly bland. Stepford perfume is right. And you can add With Love (Hilary Duff) to the list. It is the offspring of Alien and L’Instant – and is first cousin to Amarige Mariage and Ange ou Demon.

    To answer your question, I’d love to find something that moves me as deeply as Femme de Rochas. Arabie is in the ballpark – I consider it a modern take on the Femme theme. Was hoping Soir de Lune would be a contender, but it’s not.

  • Patty says:

    Cinnamon, yup, more woman scents and less girlie scents. Don’t they know who buys all the perfume? Sheesh!

  • Patty says:

    Robin, I’ll join you in the screaming. I smelled Hilary Duff’s new scent yesterday, and it’s like a FF doppelganger that won’t go away.

  • Patty says:

    Nina — great point. The “love at first sniff” syndrome. They make the top notes appealing and leave nothing but dreck in the base.

  • Patty says:

    Teri, I keep voting with my credit card, and I try to educate young women, whenver I run across them, to stop wearing the same thing everyone else is wearing!

  • Patty says:

    Sariah — you know, I didn’t really mind Pink Sugar, but I do hate, like you, all the imitators.

  • Patty says:

    Justine, cinnamon and skank sounds awesome!

  • Patty says:

    R — I agree with you on BM over Magical Moon.

    OH, do let me know how you like the Elixir. I think it appeals to me more with winter coming.

  • Patty says:

    Chaya, you are so funny! March appreciates you taking up on her behalf since she can’t rant with us. 🙂

  • cinnamontoast says:

    My two cents: definitely more time to develop scents. As to fruity-florals, i’ve gotten to the point where when someone wafts by, i think to myself ‘i should know what that is, i’ve smelled it so many times before’.

    So, please, more chypres, more darkness (oakmoss and vetiver plus flowers, please), dry. Oh, and womanly please — enough of sweet, sparkling, girly. Give me sophistication, class, sensuality.

  • Robin says:

    Will just second Elle, and maybe most everybody else too: need more gutsy perfumes that somebody took their time over. If I have to smell another sweet fruity floral, I might scream.

  • Nina says:

    Michel Roudnitska, I think (violetnoir)?

    I’d like to see a return of perfumes that make you blink with surprise and apprehension when you first sniff, but which slowly evolve on the skin, offering different vistas all the way through the drydown. The modern department store stuff explodes out of the bottle screaming “I’m PRETTY!”, and then rapidly ditches the show-off molecules to leave you with a dull, flat echo of itself that you can only rescue by….reapplying. It’s the olfactory equivalent of dealing drugs, if you ask me! I thought the recent Insolence – although the perfume itself isn’t even mildly cheeky – was an interesting step in the right direction. It changes and evolves, even if what’s changing isn’t something you much like.

    And I have a sneaky love for orientals. If something could do for me what Opium did all those years ago…

  • Teri says:

    On balance, I dislike smelling like anything I’d be liable to eat (with the possible exception of honey scents which I just can’t leave alone).

    And I so agree with you lovely ladies on the glut of undistinguished fragrances flooding the market. As in so many things, quantity is not a good substitute for quality.

    I think that’s one reason the concept of a ‘signature scent’ has dwindled in popularity. Scents don’t stay around long enough to become a signature. The life of your average ‘strawberry’ fragrance is equivalent to the life of your average strawberry. 😕

    Bring back those wonderful complex aspirational scents! The ones that you would pause before applying, wondering if you were ‘woman enough’ to wear them. Bring back scents that perform intricate dances on our skin, blending with our personal chemistry in unique ways so that no two women wearing the same fragrance ever smelled exactly the same.

    And yes, men’s fragrances are suffering from acute mediocrity as well.

    There must be a way to lash back against these alarming fragrance trends. What do we do, write our congressmen? lol :-j

  • sariah says:

    Good question! My response – what Leopoldo said.

    Least favorite trend – Pink Sugar and its immitators.

  • Justine says:

    Overly sweet fruity florals, OUT. They all smell so alike anyway, that corner is covered already.

    I’d like more musks. More cinammon, less melange of spice that makes me sneeze and wonder what the heck is that. A little more skank would be fine with me.

  • violetnoir says:

    All of these wonderful posters stole my thunder, and I agree with everything they said, namely:
    Stop the injudicious use of vanilla! Few fragrances use vanilla wisely, but then again, not all fragrances can be a Shalimar;
    Stop all of these celebrity launches. I’m bored already, people;
    Gourmand may be good, but foody is just terrible! It makes me want to engage in self-cannabalism;
    Take the time that FMalle allows his perfumers to develop a fragrance. DelRae also allows her perfumer (sorry, but I can’t spell his lovely name correctly right now, so I won’t even attempt it!)to do the same thing, and the results have been stunning. If it takes a perfumer less than a year to produce a fragrance, the company producing it is probably just in it for the quick sell.

    I agree that Magical Moon smells a lot like Badgley Mischka. Of the two, I’m going with the latter, because the former, while well made, is just too thin for my taste.

    Today, at your suggestion from yesterday’s post, I am testing Elixir de Merveilles. (I’m into elixirs these days, as you know, like Aromatics Elixir.) Anyway, I don’t like the original Eau de Merveilles, but this may be a keeper. Stay tuned…

    Hope to hear from you soon, darling!


  • chayaruchama says:

    Oh, my stinky kindred…
    Back at ya !

    YES to the fire in the belly, the life’s work, the decline of rancid, insipid smell-alikes with phony references to fruits and ocean waves [that smell as if they were designed to cover up poop or baby vomit…] !

    YES to creative efforts one can wear[ and affix their name to] with pleasure…

    YES to the removal of ersatz gourmands lacking
    redeeming olfactory value that glut the market with their redundant artificiality [BTW, I DO like gourmands- just not fake ones, or smarmy ones !]…

    I rant, I rave…
    But poor March is now suffering [ahem !] in Eastern and Central Europe, so Frau Meister must take up the rabid torch in her absence, like the docile caryatid I’m supposed to be…

    Fellow fragrants, I feel your pain !

  • Patty says:

    Judith, would your motto be “all skank all the time”? OR is that March’s? 🙂

  • Patty says:

    Dusan, I’ve got to say, the men’s fragrance end is worse off than women’s. My DH is right now married to Isfarkand and Bel Ami, and anything else I put under his nose just makes him shriek, says they all smell the same.

    How hard is it to do creative, darker mens’s scents? And as “dark and twisty” women would love them too!

  • Patty says:

    Leopoldo, I like your list! I’d like to see things, too, that are hard to pigeonhole, that just float around the edges of memory, the sad ones.

    It’s like we are OD’ing on “happy” perfumes, and I’m just so over it. Makes me want to douse myself in Encens et Lavande and Apres L’ondee and crawl under the covers.

  • Patty says:

    Flor, I’d guess economics are working against that, but it would be nice if perfumers could turn out some mass market stuff and work on their life’s symphony, smell-wise, in the background. I think some of them do, they create some mass market stuff to pay the bills, but do side projects for fun.

    If the perfume attention span of the public gets any shorter, we’re in trouble.

    I love new releases, too! But I would rather wait for good or great ones than have 20 horrible ones in a month. But at least this fall has some interesting ones, and I’m heartened by that.

  • Patty says:

    Sybil — OMG, the vanilla! Does everyon have to dump a quart into any perfume labled “gourmand.” Can’t a gourman exist without all that vanilla? CSP, I’m looking at you, my archnemesis.

  • Patty says:

    Dinazad, great point! I like the occasional gourmand, and a couple of them just make me swoon, whether I can wear them or not (Nazgul music starts here), but too many are just like the dessert menu at Claimjumper — lots of it, but still crap.

  • Patty says:

    Elle, I agree. I want a perfume that has a husky voice too. 🙂

    A year seems obscene, but that’s with the great perfumes. How long do you think someone gets to create “with Love” for Hilary Duff? Four months maybe?

  • Patty says:

    Amy, do you think the celebrity trend will just oversaturate eventually and then die off? I keep thinking we are at that point, but then another new round comes out!

  • Judith says:

    Oh, easy one:–Goodbye, fruity florals; Hello, complex chypres–especially the dark, darker, darkest ones!

  • Dusan says:

    Great question! In the men’s department, I would kill off the trend of woody-aquatics — each new release smells exactly the same as the last ten. Who wants to smell of bland woods topped with synthetic tart fruit and/or “fresh” spice? Most of the time it’s like sticking your nose into your toilet cleaner, and let me tell you something — they smell better!
    With very few exceptions, the men’s market is missing a pair of BALLS, both figurativelly and literally – where is the musk, the oakmoss, hello leather and incense? Whoever ostracized florals from men’s perfumery ought to be shot – Bel Ami is a perfect example of a great masculine floral and there’s been nothing like it in the past years. Ok, rant over.
    NB This rant doesn’t refer to niche perfumery.

  • Leopoldo says:

    Well, count me in as a protestor on your rally against the putrid pongs of fruit salad medleys and ice cream sundaes. They should be for the tweenage market strictly speaking and no-one else.

    i’m doing my placard this afternoon: NO TO BAD SMELLY STUFF (there’s room for improvement here, i’ll admit).

    And my chant:
    What do we want?
    Inventive fragrances that are aware of their own artifice, even as they place homage to something just about ineffable in the wider world.
    When do we want them?
    As soon as possible, given that high quality takes time and money.

    for me: spice, woods, mystery, darkness, challenge.

  • Flor says:

    I wouldn’t be heartbroken if the fruity-floral overly-sweet uninteresting trend were to stop. The celebrity fragrance trend is out of control as well. And I agree with Elle: I would like to see timeless fragrances made, masterpieces, perfumes that will stand the test of time. I would like perfumers to stay in their labs until they produce their life’s work, something they would be proud to attach their name to.

  • sybil says:

    Ummmm…I guess I’d say the fruity floral trend is pretty yuck, that and excessive vanilla…and I’m not a huge fancier of marine smells, either. As for trends…more craftsmanship, fewer celebrity launches!

  • dinazad says:

    Gourmand is OK if it remains a reminder of something… you know… something…. on the tip of your tongue…. instead of making you smell like a dessert buffet, or a restaurant menu. I hate smelling like something, be it strawberries, melons, pineapples, coconut….. What happened to good old smelling like perfume? Seamless compositions which didn’t scream their list of ingredients at you, which, if at all, merely insinuated? What happened to style, elegance, personality, stuff that made you feel like a million dollars or at least like somebody you wanted to be instead of like a fruit salad? And don’t get me started on fragrances which not only smell like synthetic dessert but also taste that way…. oh dear, now I have to go to the bathroom real quick….

  • Elle says:

    I’d like to see perfumers be allowed to spend years working on a perfume again, perfecting it. In Victoria’s interview on Bois de Jasmin w/ Ralf Schwieger she said that a year or less was pretty much standard now. I don’t think gutsy, complex scents like Miss Balmain, Scandal or Bandit could have been created in that amount of time.
    I also feel there is too much fear of skank on the market today. Oh, and I like scents that seem like they would blend in well in a cigarette smoke filled room (yes, I know I’m wierd and no, I don’t smoke) and wish someone would create those again. Sigh.

  • Amy K. says:

    Not a big fan of the gourmand trend. I’d wave goodbye to most of the blatantly gourmand vanilla-based fragrances (with a few exceptions, like Tendre Friandise) and the shrill fruity B&BW types. The celebrity fragrances trend is getting a little goofy, too.