Marni by Marni: Fragrance Review

OMG!    (gasps of joy!!!) She’s BAAAAAACK!!!!   YAY!!! So I am  backing out of the blog for today, bowing and scraping, so you all can enjoy the Fabulous What Is March!  I’ll be back next week, talking about a bunch of random fun.  In the meantime, let’s all siddown and have a chat with….



Hey there – I’m not dead!  I told my fellow Posse bloggers I’d write about perfume again when I ran across something I wanted to write about.   Today’s the day.  I’ve been wearing familiar-to-me staples like Bottega Veneta, which I blogged about eons ago, and I finally coughed up for a gift set because the body cream is gorgeous, and I’m not usually a body cream fan.  Believe it or not, BV’s whisper of leather is wonderful in the heat without overwhelming, and it stays close to my skin.

MarniNot that I haven’t been sampling – I have, when I spy an unfamiliar bottle.  And I continue to be underwhelmed by much/most of the commonly available new department store fragrances and flankers – here’s looking at you, Chanel Coco Noir, which could be an upscale version of the gazillion hairspray frags lurking out there.  The nicest thing about it is the bottle, and without that reference I couldn’t pick it out of a lineup.


I was on the way out the door of Nordstrom recently (their summer sale’s on) and spotted Marni, which I think came out this past spring.  I hadn’t read anything about it, and I don’t know the designer’s clothes, but the polka-dot bottle was fun while still being sophisticated, which isn’t an easy mark to hit.


The first cautious sniff of the cap wasn’t great.  There’s something sharp and green and off about it, although …. huh.  Something intriguing as well.  It didn’t smell like twenty other things, or anything else I could think of, really.  So I took the plunge and applied some.


God, I want a bottle.  Can I digress?  (Sure, just try to stop me.)  This summer I’m wearing tons of jewel tones that look great with my silver hair and pale skin — everything from fuchsia to lipstick red to royal blue, purple and teal — which I’ve eschewed in the recent past as not serious enough.  They make me happy.


Marni is the perfect fragrance complement to those colors.  It’s zany and fun and yet a bit sly.  It’s a clever fragrance and, again, how many times do you find that in a mainstream release?  I did google Marni clothes when I got home, and I’d say they got the fragrance spot on for their line.


So.  Bit of acrid green/bug spray at the top, which lasts, oh, three seconds.  Ignore it, because it begins an immediate shift into a fabbo combination of woody incense (incense!) with a soft underpinning of rose (dark and sultry, not tea rose), spices and the barest hint of powder.  It dries down to a surprisingly summery oriental, with prominent incense and spices; it manages to retain a unique character, like eating Necco wafers while wearing Coco.  If it were any odder it’d be an indie frag instead of charming and quirky. 

Have I mentioned I want a bottle, and not just for the contents?  The bottle itself is a stylish half-sphere that hints at the fun just around the corner.  I can honestly say I don’t have a single fragrance that smells like this, and I wish I did.


Notes for Marni according to Now Smell This are: bergamot, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom, pink pepper, rose, incense, vetiver, cedar and patchouli.  Both NST and Suzanna at Bois de Jasmin gave it thumbs up, and I’m laughing (I swear I wrote this without reading first) that we all like it for kinda the same reasons.


Special note: other reviews mention lightness/lasting power as problematic – i.e., more of a skin scent.  I found that applying it generously from the tester bottle in the store produced a much bigger result than my small atomizer sample for review (which was made from that same bottle).  I do think this one needs generous application; I’m enjoying it hours later.  As Suzanna at BdJ notes, “I want other people to smell a haze of Marni around me and follow me down the street asking, demanding to know, what this marvelous fragrance is.”

baxterbd July 25, 2013

No sadly, they did not have the doll...I would love to have that too! But... I have a drugstore near me that sells Neccos, and I went and bought some and had a great time eating my Neccos while wearing Marni!

MaureenC July 20, 2013

If the woman whose reviews have introduced me to many of my favourite perfumes likes something I have to track it down! And if you have Irish colouring (even if you're not Irish) teal most definitely looks both elegant and serious. Well it does this side of the Atlantic!

maggiecat July 19, 2013

March is back! Yay! And you've almost convinced me to give Marni another try. I sampled it briefly in Nordstroms (also there for the sale) and But maybe I just didn't get beyond the first bit.

egabbert July 18, 2013

Ooh, it's March!! I have worn Marni exactly once, from a tester at Sak's in Boston when I was there for work, and I liked it VERY much (beary much?), BUT it definitely reminds me of something, and until I figure out what that is, I'm not letting myself buy it, because I think it might have a lot of overlap with something I already own..... Hope to see you around these parts again soon!

Nemo July 18, 2013

Your review has made me really want to try Marni. From your description of the woody rose/incense-y loveliness of it, I was reminded of 10 Corso Como. Do you think they have any similarities? (I can also tell from your review that they certainly would have differences, as well). I mostly ask because I LOVE 10 Corso Como :) Thanks for the great review!

Maren July 18, 2013

OMG!! I have been toying for the last week recently about heading over to Nordstrom's to give this a whiff because I've been thinking I wanted a light rose with woods that I could wear in summer, and from what I've been reading this seemed like it might fit, and I luuuuurvvv the bottle. Heck I might just run right over there right now and buy the bottle, cause you totally snagged me with the "eating Neccos while wearing Coco" reference. Thanks for the fun review, you are such an enabler! ????????????

Lynne Marie July 18, 2013

March! Welcome back! Now I'm scrambling for my sample of Marni 'cause I think I was put off by that initial green blast and now I know to wait around for better things to come. Thank you for that. How many fragrances do we disregard based on very initial impressions when the real "meat" of the fragrance is something much more appealing. Thanks for the reminder!

Lavanya July 17, 2013

So lovely to 'see' you here again, March! And you've created a lemming..I'm going to have to drag myself to the mall to sniff this.

Brooke July 17, 2013

I just had to jump in and tell you how delighted I am to read a post from you! Made my day.

leathermountain July 17, 2013

You make a strong case for this! I shall smell it at the next opportunity. And hold that darling bottle in my own two hands.

ElizabethC July 17, 2013

I love wearing bright cheerful colors (I call them my superhero colors - reds,oranges,yellows and blues). Sometimes you just want to have clothing that makes you smile. My last purchase was a bright blue Cambridge Satchel. Now I want a coat in the same color :) Definitely will have to try the Marni to go along with it.

Samantha L. July 17, 2013

It's so good to read you again! I'm not a rose fan, but this one sounds interesting enough to try...because incense.

Tiara July 17, 2013

Just yesterday (really!) I commented I missed your posts and today here you are! Nice to have you back if even for just a day. I'll have to try the spray until wet tactic with Marni. I've been wearing it for a few months from some manufacturer's samples and while the longevity hasn't been great, I do love it. Full bottle coming up for the birthday!

eldarwen22 July 17, 2013

Looks like I am going to have to find a reason to brave the mall. It's rare that a good smelling perfume is packaged in a good looking bottle to match.

karin July 17, 2013

HI MARCH!!!!!!!!!! So great to hear from you. :-)

Portia July 17, 2013

Hey March, I have been reading about Marni and have a sample somewhere that never got spritzed. I will look it up this week. Thanks for the reminder. Portia xx

Beth July 17, 2013

March, so happy to see you back! And with a lovely review. I am very interested in Marni, and I think I read another review on Bois de Jasmin that loved it as well, so you're in great company. The Necco wafers comparison cracked me up. I had been looking at picking up a sample of Bottega Veneta after reading some reviews on it so I am glad to hear you love that as well.

Dina C. July 17, 2013

March!! It's so good to hear from you, Lady! :-) I've sniffed Marni over at Saks on a blotter card, but haven't test-driven it yet on my skin. Since you mentioned the magic word: "green," I'll have to give it a go. I agree that the bottle is much nicer than what we usually see. Those Fifi award folks should give them the award for best design this year. I love cardamom, vetiver, and incense, and enjoy rose when it's not the star of the show, so I'm hopeful that this might be a winner. I'm delighted to hear that you're rocking the jewel tones. I wear those same colors: magenta, fire-engine red, cobalt blue, violet and teal all the time, year-round, along with my neutrals. Have you tried Bobbi Brown's Creamy Lip Color lipstick shade Blue Raspberry? It's a great MLBB tone that might work on you, since it works on me. You've given me great lipstick tips in the past, and I thought I could return the favor. I remember Necco wafers, too. But while they aren't a big nostalgia trip for me, they really are for my mom. I've bought them for her more than once when I wanted to get her a little treat. I was fascinated to hear that you are wearing Bottega Veneta in this heat. Just this morning as I surveyed my bottles, my glance fell on my bottle of BV and I thought, "Well, that one is out. It's way too heavy for this heat." Mr. C got me the bottle for Valentine's Day, and it was perfect for that cold February weather. I think I'm going to take your unspoken challenge and wear it tomorrow. :-D

Ann July 17, 2013

Whoo-hoo and hooray, it's our wonderful March! So happy to see you here, dear. Have thought of you often and missed you. I really like Marni as well. When I first put it on, the fragrance that came to mind, but very, very distantly, was Si Lolita Lempicka. But I like the Marni better, I think. Anyway, glad to hear some more Marni love and welcome back!

March July 17, 2013

According to the Necco website (how did we manage without google?) "The original eight flavors: orange, lemon, lime, clove, chocolate, cinnamon, licorice and wintergreen. The ingredients are simply sugar, corn syrup, gelatin, gum, colorings and flavoring." How did I forget cinnamon, clove and licorice? But you can see that US kids used to modern candies would find the flavor assortment odd.

Lynley July 17, 2013

Damn wrong button! Yes. Necco wafers. I'm not American, so never seen em, never tried em. But I want to!! :-) lol

Lynley July 17, 2013

March! I'd just been wondering where you'd gone to recently and hoping you'd reappear- and ta-daa! :-) I bought the shower gel and lotion online cheaply, and am wearing them today actually. Itll probably be a year before Marni hits our shores, if ever, so it's on my buy a decant list. I love their clothes (and the body products) so I'm looking forward to seeing how the Real Thing smells :-) And necco

Martha July 17, 2013

Was the doll available? Or on display? Glad to hear it's at Nordstrom's because I could make a trip there one of these days soon. Looking forward to sampling this.

gatorgirlinmo July 17, 2013

I purchased the big bottle from Saks when it was their exclusive and got the tiny .25 mL as a bonus. The tiny bottle is adorable. I love the scent. Although it does require a healthy dose to have good sillage and longevity, it is so worth it when someone tells me how great I smell. It also holds up very well in the heat and humidity.

ojaddicte July 17, 2013

Dear Ms. March, I am so happy that you are enjoying this scent as much as I do. I picked up the purse spray with the creepy doll when it first came out, and am going to have to get a big girl bottle soon to replace it. I particularly like catching a whiff of it on a sweater or scarf that I've worn. G'night!