This time round, we’re hitting you with a a couple of Frederic Malles. March is traveling, and Bryan got called away, so it’s just us two!
Noir Epices – notes of notes of orange, rose, geranium, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, pepper, patchouli, cedar and sandalwood.
Vetiver Extraordinaire – notes of bergamot, bigarade orange, pink pepper, nutmeg, floralozone, Haitian vetyver, sandalwood, cedarwood, oak moss, myrrh, cashmeran, muske-tone and tonalide
First up, Noir Epices:
Patty: This is one of the few Malles that are completely wrong on me. It’s like one of those Christmas clove oranges fermented until it’s gone off completely wrong and rotten. Since lots of people love it, I have to assume that it’s just something that goes bad on me or it just has notes I just really, really hate, but hate it with a passion I do. Fans of very over-the-top spicy scents should love it. I read Lee’s notes, and powder? I get no powder. Powder would be welcome, and I hate powdery scents.
Lee: I’m not a fan. It’s an austere geranium and patchouli number with a cold clasp of spices and orange. In my mind, I see the Habit Rouge gentleman stripped of his woollen raiment.Underneath, he’s in a plastic bustier and not much else. It’s a feminine scent with a hint of powder, big on the chypre attitude, but without the delivery.
And now, Vetiver Extraordinaire:
Lee: I can’t get beyond the fact that over time I’ve had to place this scent in the ‘gives me an enormous headache’ category. I’d say I was allergic to oakmoss, if it didn’t love me in so many other scents… Anyway, beyond the temple throb, this is all about the vetiver. I thought Haitian vetiver was the airy stuff, but here it’s all about earth. Slightly sour earth. I can detect the oakmoss and maybe a hint of nutmeg around the edges, but it’s either so wonderfully blended or so vet-dominant that all the other notes are indistinguishable, at least to me. But as I’ve said, I’m not the one to judge. I need to lie down. Send over the En Passant and Bigarade Concentree, wouldja? Them’s two Malle bubbas I love.
Patty: Lee and his aching head are just crazy — this is vetiver perfection. It does start out a little sourish and sharp, but the longer it is on, the more beautiful it becomes. I pulled out my CB Haitian Vetiver Accord to compare the two, and the CB Haitian vetiver on its own is earthy, slightly nutty perfection, and VE is much more robust, but the Hatian vetiver is very much prominent in the drydown. This is one of my all-time favorite vetivers, coming in only second to the vetiver I huff on like crack, Hermessence Vetiver Tonka.