Parfums MDCI Monday

Patty’s post earlier this year, “Best Perfumes Not Enough People Know About,” really got my gray matter working. She listed so many great houses that I knew I had to re-visit several. So I kept myself awake late one night doing a mental inventory of which ones I had explored fairly well. Then I went digging in one of my perfume drawers and emerged with the package marked Parfums MDCI.

Parfums MDCI 2 For reference, here’s what Patty wrote about Parfums MDCI:
“For a pricy, luxury line, I love them, I really, really do. Beautifully made and a joy to wear, there are a couple in the line that aren’t really me, but this line has no clunkers. Each scent adds something unique, and every last one of them is beautiful. I could reach blind into a drawer containing MDCI fragrances only, pull out any one of them to wear and know I’ll smell amazing.”

She really hit the nail on the head -– every offering is well-made, and oozes luxury and care, even if there is a scent or two that’s not your cup of tea.

My samples included most of their fragrances but not the Ambre Topkapi or the Invasion Barbare, so I can’t speak to those. But as they’ve shown in their Rose de Siwa, they can take a note that I’m not known for loving and make it a thing of beauty.

Another case in point: If you told me as recently as a year or two ago that I would be writing to praise the following fruit in a perfume, I would have said you were out of your mind. (Too many cheap-smelling scents, lotions, candles, etc., over the years took their toll, I guess.) So I give full props and tip my hat to Parfums MDCI for giving me a pear I love to wear, with the line’s oh-so-lovely La Belle Helene. And, amazingly enough, it has turned out to be my favorite from the house. As I wrote in one of our Posse “best of” posts:

“It starts out a little bright, but soon gets burnished down to a slightly gourmand Oriental lushness (is that a bit of chocolate I smell?). It has a soft suede-y vibe to it, not unlike SL’s Daim Blond. It’s almost as if her [Helene’s] gloves got left behind in the pear orchard instead of atop a bushel basket of apricots [as Serge’s Blond did].”

It might have that curvy fruit as its linchpin, but it soon blooms and transforms into something far more: a luscious, warm, softly rounded charmer that can delight even a pear-phobe like me.

Although I must confess to having two very close runners-up. I do adore their gorgeous Enlevement au Serail and the rich, classic-leaning Chypre Palatin, sent to me by a dear friend who loves it.

So what’s your favorite in the Parfums MDCI stable and why? Or which one would you most like to try?

  • I’ve tried Enlevement au Serail and Chypre Palatin and both were gorgeous. I really want to try the rest as they all seem to be really well done. But unless something really awesome happens to my finances I’ll probably never own any of them.

    • Ann says:

      I’m right there with you, Jennifer. Seriously, we need to win the lottery. And when that happens, Amouage and MDCI for everyone!

  • nozknoz says:

    I’m glad you are highlighting this great line! I’d also like to second your comparison of Belle Helene to Daim Blond, and would add Traversee du Bosphore and DSH Mata Hari as two others that play off a delicious idea of fruit and leather – DB with apricot, Mata Hari with a juicier apricot, BH with pear, and TdB with apple loukhoum. I love this perfume idea so much that I own FBs of all except Belle Helene.

    I do have decants of Enlevement, Belle Helene and Chypre Palatin and would also like to have Promesse. I’d have a FB of one of these If I could make up my mind which.

    • Ann says:

      Hi, lady! Thanks for mentioning the Traversee — that is lovely, too. I’ve not tried the Mata Hari though; will definitely have to soon. What a nice problem to have, deciding on a FB of any one of those beauties! Do share your choice when you make up your mind; would love to hear what you picked.

  • spiker says:

    To be honest, I’m a little afraid to try it. At those prices, what will I do if I love it? I got myself into enough trouble sampling some of the Amouage perfumes 🙂

    Still, with samples, decants and my skill at rationalization, I suspect I’ll find a way.

    • Ann says:

      So true! It’s a wonderfully fragrant slippery slope, isn’t it? And once you’ve gone down it with Amouage … well, you’re a goner. Do find a way to try some of these if you can. Or maybe you won’t like any and your wallet will be safe, ha!

  • tomate farcie says:

    I love Chypre Palatin!!

  • Jan Last says:

    Along with everyone I know on the planet, my next MDCI purchase is Chypre Palatin, followed immediately by Les Rivage des Syrtes and Vepres Siciliennesi. I have others I want, but those are the ones I want next. Sigh, if there was only cash enough, and time.

    • Ann says:

      I hear you, Jan! I’m just thankful for samples and decants because I’d never be able to float a FB (especially not one of those gorgeous resin busts). Oh well …

  • Farouche says:

    Love Chypre Palatin and am slowly working my way through the others in this line. It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it 😉

    • Ann says:

      Hi, dear — you might say it’s the toughest job you’ll ever love, right? Enjoy and let us know which become your faves.

  • eldarwen22 says:

    The only MDCI that I have tried is Un Couer en Mai. I did like it a lot because I adore hyacinth as a dominant note in perfume.

    • Ann says:

      Hi, lady! I agree; it’s just so lovely. My sample is nearly drained so think it’s time for another.

  • mridula says:

    Six months ago when I first started on the perfume journey I began with a note I love – Rose and among those I sampled I well remember Rose de Siwa. She was elegant and complete. It was just too expensive for me to make a move in her direction, however.

    • Ann says:

      I agree — she is way out of my $$$ league too. But that’s where a small decant can be just the ticket. Or just enjoy it sample to sample. That’s what I have done with some of my pricier loves.

  • Suzanne says:

    Hi Ann! As you know, I love Chypre Palatin, and my next favorites would be Rose de Siwa, Peche Cardial, and La Belle Helene. I really love the line – the perfumes have a classic sensibility, but with some of the weight removed (can’t think of how to describe it better at the moment … need more coffee). 😉

    • Ann says:

      Hey, dear! I was hoping you would pop in in support of CP, and your other faves. BTW, I think you described the line just right.

  • Musette says:

    I love Enlevement! I find a lot of their scents to be a bit similar but that’s not a criticism – it’s actually part and parcel of a well thought out line (think Chanel/Guerlain/etc – even when they are different there’s a recognition that it’s from a particular House). I haven’t given Helene one moment’s thought but your comparison to my beloved Daim Blond…..hmmmmmmm


    • Ann says:

      Hi sweetie, do give it a whirl. Even if you aren’t crazy about it, you can tell that it’s a lovely take on an often-abused note.

  • Justine Jones says:

    Love love Rose de Siwa,but it lasts less than two hours on me! Coeur de Mai was better. Peach…way way too sweet!

    • Ann says:

      Justine, I thought that too about the RdS. Oh well, can’t have everything, I guess … I need to re-try the Coeur as it’s been a while.

  • Elena says:

    I haven’t yet sampled any. I do have a question; how do you pronounce the name of the company? As the number? In English, French? La Belle Helene sounds lovely, as I love Daim Blond, Bottega Veneta, and other soft suedes.

  • Elia says:

    I’ve only had a spritz of a couple in a boutique once,
    Rose di Siwa, completely underwhelming,
    Ambre Topkapi, not what I was expecting and disappointing
    and Invasion Barbare, which I’d love to spend more time with. I only started to really appreciate it in the dry down but I think this is one I could really like.

    • Ann says:

      Thanks, Elia. Sounds like money saved for you, which is always a good thing. I’m dying to try the IB soon.

  • solanace says:

    Gotta explore this line. I think Chypre Pallatin would be first… Is there oakmoss in it?

    • Ann says:

      Yay — another soon-to-be CP fan! No oak moss from the note lists I’ve seen. Let us know what you think of it when you try it.

  • Joni Dischner says:

    I haven’t had the pleasure of trying any of their line. If I had to chose one, it would be Chypres Palatin simply because I love all things chypre. I am curious about a pear scent well done, though. I didn’t think that was possible. 😉

    • Ann says:

      Joni, I thought the same thing about the note, but got turned around pretty quick. But even if you’re not crazy about it, it will give you hope. The CP is just so beautifully classic. And it even smells great on my DH, too.

  • Lynne Marie says:

    So far my favorite has been Les Rivage des Syrtes – a beautiful deep citrus up top with a tremendous sillage. I hope to try others from this line, even testing my dislike of rose by trying Rose de Siwa, The perfumes seem just so well put together that I am willing to venture outside my comfort zone. I’m curious to hear the opinions of others.

    • Ann says:

      Hi Lynne Marie! You picked a great one from the line to start. MDCI does such a lovely job that even if you don’t fall in love with the RS, you can at least appreciate it. Enjoy exploring!

  • tigerlily04a says:

    For me Peche Cardinale is sensuality and joy in a bottle!

  • Amy K says:

    Enlevement au Serail was my favorite until I discovered Rochas Femme, and then I couldn’t stop thinking of it as a watered-down version of Femme. Invasion Barbare is probably my favorite now. I love the drydown.

    • masha7 says:

      I agree with you, Amy. EnuS did seem like a watered-down version of Femme. But then I haven’t found any MDCIs that wowed me at all. They are made with good materials, but I find them terribly boring, can’t really say why. I did find a bottle of vintage Femme, the lace box bottle, and talk about not boring! That is one amazing perfume. One of my all time favorites.

    • Ann says:

      Amy and Masha, that’s interesting to hear you guys say that about Femme. The line does keep it on the subtle side, nothing much in there to literally knock your socks off. I’ve only tried Femme once a while back and it (the cumin, I think) was a bit too much for me, so guess that’s why the ES worked for me. I do want to try the Invasion Barbare soon though.

  • Pklagrange says:

    I love Enlevement au Serail and La Belle Helene and have FBs of both. I have almost finished my samples of Promesse de l’aube and Chypre Palatin. Such an amazing line. I think the perfumes are very well done.

    • Ann says:

      Oooh, I am so envious — not one, but TWO full bottles from this gorgeous line! Are you thinking FB on either the Promesse or Chypre so far?

  • Connie says:

    I haven’t tried any yet, but the lovely jdeangeo sent me vials of a number of them that I am currently looking forward to trying!

    • Ann says:

      Aren’t perfumistas the best, Connie? Have a ball sampling them; I feel sure you’ll find at least one or two to love.

  • Tara says:

    I love and oen Enlèvement au Sérail, but would also like to own Vêpres Siciliennes.

    • Ann says:

      Lucky you, Tara! One of these days, me too. I remember liking the Vepres but need to go back and spend more quality time with it.

  • Mals86 says:

    Haven’t tried many, to be honest – I liked Un Coeur en Mai but didn’t find it very special; Enlevement was waaaay raunchy for me. Promesse a l’Aube I think is truly lovely. Would like to smell Rose de Siwa as well, possibly La Belle Helene.

    • Ann says:

      Hi, Mals! So nice to see you here. Sorry the Promesse didn’t work for you, but it veers a bit that way on me, too, so I certainly understand. Do try the others when you get a chance — they’re lovely!