Pass the scalpel, please: Ramon Monegal Pure Mariposa

On a recent trip to the big city, I popped into Neiman Marcus. They had played musical chairs with the beauty/fragrance lines since the last time I was in there, so as I wandered about trying to get my bearings, what should I spy over on one counter but a slightly familiar- looking bottle with a white flip-top cap. It was the Ramon Monegal Mariposa, exclusive to Neiman’s. If you’ll recall, Musette mentioned it a while back with her RM post.

mariposa2 So I made a beeline for it and spritzed the back of my hand (the only skin real estate I had left). Whoa! For the first 10 minutes or so, I was so intrigued, almost mesmerized, thinking, “Oh, my –- this is like nothing I’ve ever smelled before.”

And then — out of the blue — epiphany over. The scent took a nose-dive deep into fig territory and never left. Not that I don’t like fig, but it’s not one of my top 5 favorite notes, and this wallop of it was utterly unexpected. So understandably, I was disappointed. After that amazing opening, I was hoping for something equally striking from the later phases of the scent. The end result felt like I had a slightly more floral Philosykos
on my hand. Nice, but not exactly what I had in mind. I mentally berated my freaky, fig-amplifying skin.

Oh, if only I could capture the Mariposa top notes, hold them on my skin and keep them there for a while longer, using a combination of surgical skill and perfumer’s precision to neatly lop off the back end of it.

But such is life. I will give the Mariposa another test (this time on my wrist) next time I’m in there, just for the sake of fairness. (And to enjoy that wowza! opening again while it lasts!) I do adore the bottle (waves to Musette), and opened and closed it joyously several times at the counter, while the SA looked at me like I was nuts. Alas, it’s still not enough to warrant forking over the required bucks. Guess I’ll stick with Entre Naranjos or Kiss My Name as my fave Monegals so far.

Here’s hoping the Mariposa smells wonderful on some of you; I would love to see how it develops on someone else’s skin. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it’ll be easier to sample before too long.
BTW, all you lucky folks going to Scentsation could hit the Beverly Hills Neiman’s and give it a whirl. If you get to try it, do come back and let us know what you think.

Available at Neiman Marcus stores and online; 1.7 ounces, $200.

Notes from NM: orange, grapefruit, bergamot, yuzu, black currant, plum, helional, melonal, calone, ultrazur, oakmoss, grass accord, fig, osmanthus, jasmine, lily of the valley, rose wardia, tuberose, sandalwood, cashmeran, iris, anchouli, peach, tonka bean, amber.

So please share with me: What scent have you loved a part of, but were disappointed with the rest?
And was it a deal-breaker for you?

47 Comments
Flora May 7, 2013

The fun, boozy opening of the eponymous David Yurman perfume made me giggle with delight - for all of five minutes, after which it became a watery, nondescript FAIL. You would think a brand like that could afford to launch a fragrance that has something to say!

FeralJasmine May 7, 2013

Ann, I have to say that I am disappointed by every hyacinth frag that I have discovered, and some cases can't be fixed by surgery. Acrid or grassy, they miss the lavish beauty of the real thing by a mile. Jessica McClintock does have several pretty minutes at the very beginning, and may e your scalpel could graft this to itself. If it had 15 pretty minutes, I'd try it.

thegoddessrena May 7, 2013

I am very disappointed by Gothic Bluebell. It is one of the most gorgeous scents ever on paper, but on my skin there's this grassy opening that takes 2-3 hours to fade out before I can get to the pretty. This was totally heartbreaking to me

FearsMice May 6, 2013

I was lucky enough to win a sample of Pure Mariposa, but for me it was pure disappointment from beginning to end. Boo hoo! There was just too much melonal and calone in it for me -- I didn't get any of the beauty that others mention. Oh well, at least I'm not lemming something expensive this time!

Connie May 6, 2013

I really liked the osmanthus drydown of La Belle Helene (which I tried this weekend) but couldn't stand the opening or heart. And the drydown has so little sillage. If only they could amp up the drydown and build a whole different perfume around it...

Jennifer Counts May 6, 2013

I got a booklet in the mail from Neiman Marcus about their beauty event that was going on the last couple weekends, and it had a sample of Pure Mariposa in the back. Really didn't work for me. At all. I don't remember getting any fig. I'm a sucker for fig, so that might have improved my impression of it. I thought it smelled kind of cheap on me, kind of thin and scratchy, and I didn't like the melon-ish note of the calone. I went to NM a couple weekends ago and tried the other Monegals they had, and honestly none of them really interested me much.

Lynne Marie May 6, 2013

Fields of Rubus by Kerosene was my big disappointment. The top notes are the most beautiful ethereal raspberry notes I have ever smelled - absolutely glorious but after about 1/2 hour it turned into this mediocre amber thing ( and understand - I LOVE amber, the key word here is "mediocre") that was definitely NOT something I wanted to spend the rest of my day smelling like. I was so sad.

Catherine May 6, 2013

Funny. I want to dislike Florabotanica because of the whole Kristen Stewart thing, but I get compliments on it all the time. I guess it is a non-thud for me.

Beth May 6, 2013

Isn't it funny that we can handle the ones that open badly, but then bloom ... but the ones that do the opposite, it's just heartbreaking. Maybe it's the syndrome of the "light at the end of the tunnel". We can endure the pain of top notes, knowing those will fade and we can enjoy the rest. But the opposite, knowing the bad is coming, makes it impossible to enjoy the beginning. It's waiting for the hammer to drop. There's not been a ton that I have had the dry down issue with. The one that breaks my heart is Apres le Ondee. It's all lyric beauty for an hour or so, and then it's gone. But the worst I can recall is Chinatown. I love it for the first 1/2 an hour, then it just grates on me. I can't even say why. Now I have to go put myself through it again because I wonder....

malsnano86 May 6, 2013

Just mentioned my experiences with the Incredible Shrinking Fragrances Coup del Foudre and Terracotta Voile d'Ete, but I had been very interested in Pure Mariposa, right up until you mentioned the fig. That seems to be a dealbreaker for me. The other thing that just kills me is strongly balsamy notes popping up in the drydown. Just can't do that.

Portia May 6, 2013

I love the way you write the let down, so real!! Portia xx

Sherri May 6, 2013

I loved the opening of Delrae Coup de Foudre and was ready to run to my computer and order a bottle! So glad I didn't because another hour later it became sour on my skin! Top notes are absolutely gorgeous, though! I've noticed this one often appears on others' swap lists..wonder if others have had the same experience,

Tara May 6, 2013

I picked up the tester of Pure Mariposa, but after sniffing the nozzle I put it down quickly, too afraid to spritz. It smelled like a screechy floral of nuclear proportions. Maybe some day I will be brave enough to try it. :-)

hajusuuri May 6, 2013

Florabotanica was NICE on a paper test strip but when I tried it on me (spray and walk into the mist), I just about crawled out of my skin. As to Mariposa, I'm afraid to try it (I have a spray sample from a swap) as I understand that it stays and stays and stays no matter how hard you scrub. Eeeeek!

rosarita May 6, 2013

Bulgari Omnia, the purple one, Amethyst? It opens with this perfect, green sappy combination that is swoony for a sap lover like myself but sadly, it becomes soap and water within minutes and is gone without a trace in half an hour or less. Nice to see you Ann :-)

Musette May 6, 2013

Drama Nuui. The Heartbreak of Musk. The first spritz is a laser-green...ohh, yeah, baby. then that supid musk. Broke. My. Heart. xoxoA

FeralJasmine May 6, 2013

Ormande Jayne Woman offered me about ten minutes of quivering beauty and then nothing. After fifteen minutes, my husband could put his nose right on my wrist and not be able to tell that I was wearing perfume. SL's Cedre has lovely lyrical opening notes, then goes "okay" and stays there. In both cases, total deal-breaker. For what perfume costs, I need a little more entertainment than that.

spiker May 6, 2013

Hi Anne! I love the opening of Serge Lutens Rahat Louhkoum, but after some cherry loveliness (i've heard it compared to cough syrup, but it's just so much better!), I get very little in dry down. It could just be that I haven't been generous enough in putting on my sample, and I'm certainly going to try again, but the cherry note seems to go so quickly... sigh.