More May Candy

By March

I had fun doing random candy samples the other day.  Here are some more, in order of personal dislike (worst to best), which I selected mostly by rummaging in my handbag, just for fun, to see what would turn up …

Jimmy Choo – my most common perfume change-of-heart is when something I dislike begins to grow on me over time.  Jimmy Choo has the interesting distinction of trending the opposite direction – each time I spray that bottle at Saks, I hate the fragrance a little more.  I put all my paper blotters in my purse, but this one I handed back to the SA and asked her politely to discard.  Is it the saccharine?  The patchouli?  The raspy woods?   The faint note of rotting fruit?  I am not sure.

Bond Madison Square Park – when niche perfume felt like a brave new world, and Bond only had eight or ten fragrances instead of the 90+ they have now (okay, okay, it just seems that way on the counter) they did some interesting scents, like Chinatown and New Haarlem.  The Warhol Silver Factory’s pretty great too, and I have a soft spot for the linden one (Noho?)  Madison Square Park is musky, fruital and extremely sweet.  It’s supposed to have a darker, vetiver/woods drydown, but not on my skin.

Hermes Un Jardin sur le Toit – of the series, Jardin sur le Nil is the bottle I own.  Méditerranée is too woody/herbal on me, but I have stopped more than one woman on the street to compliment her fragrance and been told that’s what it was.  Mousson?  The less said, the better.  Sur le Toit is a limpid, vitamin-water-strength fruit-tree scent that makes one think of Hermessences like Vanille Galante, sans  aquamelon.  It is apparently selling quite well in D.C.  As Robin said in her review on Now Smell This, “It’s young and spring-like and fresh, and very Jean-Claude Ellena, which will either please you or it won’t.”

Love, Chloe – insert screed here about how the original Chloe was so much better in its jasmine-tuberose-drenched 1970s heydey than the current 2008 version.  Add general sneering about the new-ish flanker(s?).  Thus, my expectations for Love, Chloe were, uh, minimal.  What a pleasant surprise this scent is. I’d add this to my list for a graduation present to a high school or college girl who’s maybe brand-conscious, an alternate to Coach and Chanel; they have a sweet gift set.  I wish it retained its initial iris/power structure, it’s very pretty then, but even after half an hour (and then all day long) it’s a soft powder/musk string-of-pearls-scent that manages to be polished and even work-friendly while retaining a little character, young without being insipid.

Maison Martin Margiela Untitled – Nobody’s showing this thing much love but me, right?  It’s deceptive at first, sharp and green and nutty, like Cristalle sprayed on a wet hemp basket, one of those worn-by-smokers galbanum fragrances (see: original Lauder Azuree, Jasmine White Moss).  Get past that, though, and the reward is the charming, quirky mix of cinnamon and wintergreen – it blows hot and cold at the same time, and would be a great alternative to a cologne in the summer heat.  Quite unisexy.  Smells much, much better on skin than on paper.  Also, the minimalist, Le Labo-ish bottle made my eyes roll when I first saw a photo, but it’s nice in the hand and, next to the various foofy, bloblular, and/or beribboned bottles on the counter at Saks, clean and appealing.



  • Occhineri says:

    I just received a bottle of MMM from my husband, & I love it! I get a lot of incense from it, & I know it’s going to be gorgeous in the summer.

  • Victoria says:

    I agree with you on Maison Martin Margiela Untitled (actually, on all of these mini-reviews!) It is such a nice fragrance and it is definitely to be tried on skin first. On paper, it is not as interesting.

    I pretty much hated everything Chloe has done since the original one, and I was so surprised to fall in love with Love, Chloe. It wears so nicely, and it has a great aura. I compare it to a silk slip feeling–caressing and tender.

  • DinaC says:

    March, I also tried MMM Untitled and had the rare instant “wow” of liking it immediately. Since I happen to love galbanum, I don’t have to wait for the drydown to start enjoying it. I thoroughly enjoyed it start to finish. It was a my-nose-is-stuck-to-my-wrist moment for me. Best thing I’ve sniffed in a while. It’s at the top of my lemming list. :-)

  • Elisa says:

    Am the only one who thinks Love, Chloe is sweeter than it needs to be? It makes me think of honey drizzled on talcum (or talcum sprinkled on honey). It smells nice, but wears out its welcome on me fairly quickly.

    • March says:

      It’s not so sweet on me, but it seems to me that relative sweetness (on the skin or in the nose) is something that varies pretty widely among perfumistas.

      • Elisa says:

        I think it’s my nose/brain since I get the same effect on paper. It’s totally contextual though — I love sweet scents. I just want *this* one to be less sweet.

  • Robin says:

    Hey you!

    And every time I smell Love, Chloe (a name I just detest!) I love it a little more. Will not be surprised if I eventually end up with a travel size. Sort of shocked; I thought the Chloe relaunch scent was utterly insipid.

    • March says:

      Isn’t that funny? I would never have thought you and I would like this… they gave me a spray at Saks and I’ve been wearing it. The Chloe relaunch made me gnash my teeth.

      Also, crap, I see I quoted you but forgot to put in the link, sorry!

  • tammy says:

    I have clearly passed some sort of perfume Rubicon; your mention of something smelling like a wet hemp basket makes me really want to try it, rather than scratch my head and go wth?!

    I’d also like to sample some Cristalle; I smelled it on a co-worker right before I went out on disability, and never got to pursue it further.

    11 months later, with my disability checks about to run out, the husband is starting to question all the TPC packages that somehow keep appearing in the mailbox, so both will have to go on my wishlist!

    The rest, thankfully, can be left for someone else to enjoy, though I must say I like Bond’s Chelsea Flowers and Park Avenue, even more so in candle form, which I actually bought.

    • March says:

      Those pesky TPC packages … loads of fun, aren’t they? Sometimes opening the mail is the best part.

      Cristalle doesn’t smell so great on me, but I have a couple friends who’ve worn it forever and it smells lovely on them.

      I forgot about Chelsea Flowers, that was pretty.

  • mariekel says:

    Maison Margiela — manly, yes, but I like it too! I am afriad to wear it too often for fear it will compel me to want a bottle I cannot afford.

    Haven’t tried the others except for a brief sniff of the Sur le Toit in Hermes. A bit too Ellena for me — generally, I like my perfumes less transparent and aqueous (though I do love Osmanthe Yunnan and Poivre Samarkande).

    Not a fan of Bond — their ethos or their perfumes. I encountered by chance a former sales manager of theirs who ranted for a full ten minutes about Ms Rahme. Yowza!

    • Julie says:

      What exactly is the problem with Bond? I’ve read in comments before of people not liking their fragrances “on principle”, but never could figure out why. I even tried googling a little, but couldn’t find anything. I’m not a huge fan, I don’t have any bottles and only a few samples, but I am curious.

      • mariekel says:

        Well, for starters there are the stories about the owner being a bully and who treats people appallingly and deploys troops of lawyers at the slightest provocation. Then there is the snotty attitude they took toward our beloved Perfumed Court: Bond ordered them to take their perfumes off the site.

        Personally, I don’t like the pushy attitude of their sales staff in the few Bond stores I have been into. Such a difference between those experiences and the Caron boutique, Aedes or the lovely lady in Hermes.

        • Julie says:

          Thanks! I remember hearing something about an issue with TPC so now I know! I’ve never been to a Bond store and they closed the Saks here in San Diego, so I can’t sniff them easily anyway. Our Hermes here also has very nice staff – I always come home with multiple large samples.

    • March says:

      “a bit too Ellena for me –” very tactfully put, and I like the ones you like. I thought Vanille would kill me.

      I forgot to check the price on the MMM but I think it’s relatively expensive for what it is?

  • Musette says:

    I was going to rush in and defend MMUntitled but hey, it’s after NOON, already :”> …and he’s been plenty defended, thenkyewveddymuchevahso.

    I was planning on giving this one a Big Fat Glass of Haterade but a spritz actually had me falling in love (not FB in love – just a little smoochy, like this :* (is that a smooch or a little bird?)…anyway, of the ones you mention that one is the only one I’ve sniffed on purpose. Jimmy Choo on a scent strip was enough to make my eyes water and I’m sort of not wanting to wear a name anyway (if I loved it I would say “I’m wearing that Choo-thingy”)

    xooxox >-)

    • March says:

      Huh, so you like it too? It took me awhile to really pay attention to the drydown. I doubt I’ll buy a bottle, I think it’s too spendy, but I’m enjoying my spray sample.

      La Choo was achoo for you too!

  • Marla says:

    As for the Bonds, I love Silver Factory, and have a bottle of Saks Boca Raton, which is a kissing cousin of the DC’d Venezia and really lovely. As for the new Hermes Roof Garden (which slightly mispronounced in French sounds kinda obscene), I can’t decide whether it’s loud and off-key, or just a well-projecting soprano of a scent. Several friends and my DH love it (on others), but it’s a little too va-voom up close; it could be the pear thing again, I’m almost ready to go back to Litchi-Land….

    • March says:

      Loud and off-key? Hm. It didn’t seem that loud to me, just very … Hermanessence, as Anita says. 🙂 Too wet and too fruity. You’re right, I get a LOT of pear.

  • mals86 says:

    I still have yet to test Untitled. I know I have a sample around here somewheres… I admit to being skeered of that ashtray thing; I don’t like it in Cristalle. I don’t like Cristalle, period.

    The more I hear about Love, Chloe, the more I think I really need to test it. I could use a face-powdery musk thing. (Maybe.) I am working on the possibility of someday wearing original Chloe again; it depends on whether I can get over its emotional connection to high school or not. I have a little bottle of parfum, and it is so wonderful that I’d really *like* to be able to wear it again.

    I never test the Bonds. That price structure, and the horrible things people say about the recent ones? I’m not moved to attempt them. Also, I did sniff Chinatown and immediately wanted to cut my arm off, so if that’s one of the “good” Bonds, they can keep them.

    • March says:

      Not a fan of Chinatown, eh? /:) That’s okay, plenty of other fish in the sea.

      Part of what surprised me about Love, Chloe is that I am *not* in general a huge fan of powdery scents, but somehow this works, at least on me. I like it much better than any of the new Chloes. I too have a vintage bottle of Chloe I’m very fond of.

      If you don’t like Cristalle, you’re not gonna like the opening of MMM, but man is that drydown fun.

  • Olfacta says:

    I have a sample of the MMM somewhere around here, I’ll find it, I swear! And the Bond left me cold. Most do, I have to say.

  • Jen says:

    The blogosphere might not be giving much love to Untitled but EVERY SINGLE magazine I read is pushing it like mad. They must be throwing around serious advertising dollars.

  • donanicola says:

    Adding my support for MMM – there’s at least 5 of us now! I love that dry bitter open then the musky incense. It’s very understated but still quite different (a green fragrance in a sea of fruitchoulis). I was well p*ssed off when I went to check on its continued existence in Selfridges to find that it had been usurped from its nice spot by…… guessed it….Jimmy Choo. Yuck

    • March says:

      Now you can stock up on that Jimmy Choo… insert gagging emoticon here. The only place I’d seen MMM was at Colette in Paris, so I’m happy to have it close by. Maybe that poor Saks SA will actually get a sale out of this!

  • Louise says:

    Sorry on all those fails-and the Bonds no longer surprise me when they fail-only Silver Factory really wows me


    MMM has been a love for the past year-so very well done. It does have a bit of cannibis vibe, as I think you noted before. It is getting loads of love over on MUA when I pop in. Mmm, maybe perfect for today’s rainy day?

    • March says:

      The cannabis vibe …. hmmmmm…. yeah, I remember that smell from my DARE class… glad to hear it’s getting lots of love on MUA, and I think it might be perfect for today.

  • Monica says:

    Me too on the love for MMM Untitled =) Go vetiver/incense…

  • Ann says:

    Hi, March! Thanks for topping off the candy jar. I’m right there with you on the love train for Maison Martin Margiela Untitled. On me it’s a lovely blend of orange blossom/Cristalle/incense and I’ve worn it several times this spring. And I’m rather fond of the modernish, clinical bottle with the “paint” and green juice. I’m even toying with trying the body lotion and shower gel, which for me, is really saying something.

    • March says:

      So glad to see some love on here for Untitled! I thought I was a party of one, more or less… I didn’t even know body products existed for it.

      • Gretchen says:

        I’ve only had a single spritz of it so far (also at a Saks counter), but liked it then. My budget may preclude further investigation for a while, since I already own a good rotation of green and summer-appropriate scents, but bath products always tempt me. . .