After reading Marina’s review and Ina’s review of MDCI perfumes, we were so dismayed when we thought these would be so exclusive and so expensive, only Paris Hilton could afford them. Then the elegantly charming Claude Marchal’s explanation that these perfumes will be accessible cheered us right up. Being the inquisitive and acquisitive rich mafioso’s moll wannabes that we are, we prevailed upon Mr. Marchal to send us some samples. Have we mentioned how charming he is and funny? Today we’re reviewing the first three scents in the MDCI line; these were done by Francis Kurkdjian – Parfums MDCI Enlevement au Serail, Parfums MDCI Promesse de l’Aube and Parfums MDCI Rose di Siwa.
Now, before we begin, the names on these perfumes are just not conducive to writing a good review. Part of talking about a fragrance involves using its name. But saying FK1 and FK2 really blows the sexy name component every perfume must have. So we’ve taken the liberty of renaming them. You’ll be able to see fairly quickly why we aren’t going to get jobs in the fragrance industry naming perfumes. [March says: you invest all the time and effort in the juice, and those flacons, and you can´t come up with better names? Also, the FK nomenclature is alarmingly close to the FCUK scents, which is about as far at the other end of the class spectrum as you can get. I’m going to use the French phrases from your online catalog.]
Acey Deucy (Parfums MDCI Promesse de l’Aube) has notes of mandarine, lemon, ylang-ylang, jasmine, sandalwood, tonka bean and vanilla.
Patty: As Marina noted, it does start off like Guerlain’s Attrape-Coeur. It doesn’t veer that far off of it for me, but something in it is easier for me to wear than AC. AC stays too stout or powdery or both, and this one seems to assert the tonka bean and vanilla in a different way that makes it pretty gorgeous. I prefer it to AC, which is saying a lot, because I think AC is pretty gorgeous to start with.
March: No. 1 — “pour le jour” — I love the opening, a pop of champagne fizz with some tart citrus on the side. I can definitely see the reference to Guerlain here. It’s the least sweet of the three — greener, with more of an emphasis on the sour fruits than the florals. Somehow I like this less than I think I should. Don’t get me wrong — it’s very nice. But the drydown goes a bit flat and sour; like Patty I find myself comparing this to Attrape-Coeur, only I think A-C is a richer, more pleasing fragrance, at least on me.
Pretty Princess (Parfums MDCI Rose di Siwa) has notes of litchi, peony, hawthorn, moroccan and turkish roses, violet, cedar, musk and vetiver.
Patty: This one is supposed to be all pink or rose, sweet and soft, and Lord, it is. This is the softest of pink linens and velvet and satin with a blond-haired cherub sitting in the middle of it. If you say a bad word about this, you’ll make the Baby Jesus cry. It’s like soft, pink babies, you can’t stop sniffing it. At first, I didn’t think this would be for me, no matter how pretty it was, but I’ve changed my mind… this is the one I have to have. The sillage on it is just stunning. I waft through the world in the Ferrari Daddy bought me, trailing pink furs, pink pearls, and tinkly silvery-pink giggles. How can something so wrong for a grown-up woman of 47 turn out to be absolutely right?
March: No. 2 – “tout en rose” — I could smell the rose from the start, its sweetness cut perfectly by the slightly gamey, green smell of hawthorn and peony. I kept waiting for that moment when the rose smell makes my stomach lurch – but, shockingly, we never got there. I am having a really hard time describing this one, because I like it so much. There´s something dilute about the rose – watery in a good way – more like a rose under water? Gad, that sounds stupid. This is the smell of roses from a distance during the middle of a heavy summer shower, with you safe and dry under the gazebo. Watery, woody, green with a rose underlay. My clear favorite of the three, and I can´t believe I´m typing that. Patty, help me, I´ve been kidnapped by aliens!
Le Reste de L’histoire by Paul Harvey (Parfums MDCI Enlevement au Serail) has notes of bergamot, mandarin, ylang-ylang, jasmine sambac, tuberose, rose, wallflower, patchouli, sandalwood, vanilla and vetiver. (translation of The Rest of the Story provided by some free translation service, so it’s their fault if I butchered French — I don’t know enough French to be able to butcher it)
Patty: (pacing in front of credit card) No! You.may.not.buy.another.perfume. All I can say is: Hold Me, Betty, Or I’ll Buy Again! As much as I liked Isvarya from Indult, this one gives the complete story on that — it is like it takes that idea and finishes it. Must be the tuberose, which punches up from the bottom of it like a scalded cat about 20 minutes after application, and then it’s like Tuberose Criminelle dressed up in her best jasmine undies. Again with the sillage, I can smell me everywhere, but it is not annoying or intrusive, it is just right.
March: No. 3 – “parure por le soir” — I am not the first blogger to comment that there is something Guerlain-ish about this one as well, and you know from me that´s a compliment. It has the rich, baroque complexity of the sort of florientals I love – Apercu and Mitsouko spring to mind here – along with a bit of the soft powderiness that appeals in many Guerlain scents, like Plus Que Jamais and Attrape-Coeur. My overall impression is the well-orchestrated notes coming all at once, rather than sequentially. This isn´t a fragrance that´s going to turn your head with its wild innovation, but if you´re looking for an evening going-out fragrance that is as elegantly constructed as your dress (or dinner jacket – a man could wear this), without smelling instantly recognizable in the way that, say, Joy and Mitsouko often do, this would be an excellent choice.
Patty: The thing I am liking the best about the Mad Dogs (we have renamed the MDCI part of it too because we can’t remember it except to think of Mad Dog 20/20, the first two initials to get it started) is that they are not going to whack you over the head with a statement. At least these three (we’ll do the other two next Wednesday) develop slowly and beautifully, but I noted in trying all three of them that the sillage is really gorgemous. It is not linear, it catches you here and there as you walk through a room or move, and you just want to find that smell to try and get a little closer to it.
If you want to buy these, you can either get them in the stunning presentation for lots and lots of filthy lucre, or you can get them, for the time being, in the aluminum containers for 1.5 ounces for 130Euro or the 2.5 ounces for 150Euro (about 170 and 200 U.S.) by e-mailing the so very kind and charming Claude Marchal at [email protected].
Have we done a drawing this weeK? No? Well, let’s fix that. Drop a comment if you want in the drawing for a sample set of all five of the MDCI scents.