Mahora by Jean Paul Guerlain 2000

Heya Posse it’s Portia from Australian Perfume Junkies back again. Let’s talk about bygone fragrances, sadly discontinued that never seemed to make a big splash on the market but in retrospect are, and were, fabulously beautiful creations. OK, let’s just talk about one example Mahora by Guerlain.

Mahora by Guerlain 2000

Mahora Guerlain FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Orange blossom, almond blossom, green accords
Heart: Ylang-ylang, neroli, tuberose, jasmine
Base: Sandalwood, vanilla, vetiver

Start with the bottle, it’s a freaky, funky, groovy hark back to the 1960s & 70s love of world design and was apparently designed by Robert Granai who should be given a medal. My bottle is the 75ml/2.5oz and while it’s perfect for my hand, comfortable and easily spritzed, I can imagine it posing a problem for daintier people. The bubble of glass that peeks through the punched metal medallion at the front, the tapering neck, it’s fabulous! How was it produced in the opening of this century though, I am astounded that it was. It has a decided lack of heft though and feels slightly fragile in comparison with a lot of modern fragrance bottles and that does give it a slightly cheap feel, like a drugstore offering that has gone OTT to disguise the yucky juice.

On to the fragrance, I was unaware about how much division there is about Mahora until I started researching for this post.

Mahora Guerlain Bora_Bora GlobalImagesPhoto Stolen GlobalImages

Mahora opens lushly floral with a green sappiness and almond/vanilla backbeat, warm sensual and resinous. I think of most big white florals as summer wear but Mahora skews winter or cool midseason for me, yet I wear it all year round. There is a woody, rooty note that sits behind the glamour and I think it could be vetiver, it manages to create interest and ground the succulence of the flowers which are OUTRAGEOUS!! Sappy, buttery, sexy and enticing I smile when I wear Mahora because it does have something voluptuous and overblown about it, like a Hollywood starlet gone to seed. In fact, there is a decidedly Hollywood feeling about Mahora, showstopping, drop dead gorgeousness that is definitely not for the faint hearted.

Give Mahora an hour and it softens considerable to a lavish Guerlain vanilla coated with white flowers between one and three hours is when I get compliments on my fragrance when I wear Mahora. I sit down next to someone or I walk past them at the bar and quite often someone random who has no knowledge of my frag addiction will ask what it is.

Mahora Guerlain Queen_of_Hearts DeviantArtPhoto Stolen DeviantArt

When I wear Mahora I feel like the queen of the world, lavish, elegant and very sexy. If you know me then you’ll understand that that’s quite an achievement as I am not really any of those things except on the inside, Mahora makes me feel that way all the way through.

Further reading: Smelly Thoughts and Kafkaesque
Now available in slightly different form at Guerlain called Mayotte in Les Parisiennes
Ebay also has some BARGAINS! but pretty soon they will be gone and Mahora will cost a fortune.
Surrender To Chance has Mayotte starting at $6/ml

Have you tried Mahora, how was your experience?

If you’ve enjoyed this then come see us over at Australian Perfume Junkies and say hello. We adore having visitors and would love to see you there
Portia xx

37 Comments
malsnano86 November 19, 2013

A few years ago I bought a mini of Mahora on ebay, without having tried it before. It lasted for hooouuurs on my normally scent-eating skin, and it was really gorgeous for six of those hours, all white-floral lushness. Following that, it went horribly wrong. The drydown, once the florals started to go, was dreadful. I mean, DREADFUL. Sour. Bitter. Horridly chemical. I'm not sure what caused that. I don't do well in general with vetiver, so that might cover the sour/bitter thing, but there was also something nose-burning like the smell of lye. I had to scrub. I tried it once more, in different weather, and had the same experience. It's one thing to not enjoy a phase of a fragrance, but if that phase is so awful you can't bear it, there's just no point. I mean, there are tons of other white florals to enjoy. I passed my mini on to a friend, and I suspect there's something about my chemistry that's messing with Mahora. Just can't wear it myself.

kajalagar555 November 16, 2013

cool.great post.Thanks.http://www.chrisadamsperfumes.com

Elia November 15, 2013

I recently got a sample from a friend. I think I left it last to try with little expectation, because as you say Mahora doesn't have the best reputation. I was surprised to find one the best Guerlains I've experienced. A lovely floriental. So many orientals end up at one extreme or another, either drowning in vanilla or so heavy handed on the spice they might as well be pot luck curry. Mahora has a delicate balance to it and at the centrepiece, such a lush white floral.

minette November 15, 2013

great stuff with the right chemistry. i met a woman from holland who wore it as her signature, and it was truly awful - could not even recognize it! all weirdly green and resinous and fruity. and yes, that bottle is fab. so glad i grabbed one of these. it is a trip. i must disagree with your last bit, portia - you ARe all of those things - lavish, elegant, and very sexy - on the outside, too.

FearsMice November 15, 2013

Portia, I'm heartened by your positive review of this somewhat maligned scent. I've never smelled it, but some days I feel as if I could totally rock a Queen of the World fragrance -- maybe one day it'll be Mahora!

Jennifer Counts November 14, 2013

I just got a 5ml mini bottle of Mahora after it came up in a comment thread at Bois de Jasmin a week or two ago. I found the mini for cheap, so I decided to go for it, and I'm glad I did. I love it! It kind of reminds me of a tropical version of Samsara.

kizzers November 14, 2013

I got a little decant of this a couple of years ago, and its the only perfume I have ever worn where a male work colleague came up to me and said "you smell ah-maaaaaaaaaaaaaaazing!" He was just a kid, bless him :) Maybe Mahora's not really an office appropriate scent!

The Smelly Vagabond November 14, 2013

I've always wanted to try this because the notes sound right up my alley, but every time I try bidding for it on eBay I end up being outbid! :( Wonder if I'll ever be able to smell it before it becomes outrageously expensive...

filomena813813 November 14, 2013

I have an open bottle of Mahora and also a bottle unopened and still in the original box. I don't recall why I bought two bottles, but I am glad I did. It is a beautiful fragrance.

Gwenyth November 14, 2013

Mahora! Portia, she is on my top list of favorite tropical/tuberose perfumes. I think Mahora is stunningly beautiful. Frequently I find myself craving Mahora during the long, cold winter days. There is something totally intoxicating about wearing this gorgeous blend of white flowers when the ground is blanketed in a thick covering of white snow. I adore the contrast of the cold white with the warm white, ya know? I like to look at the bottle (fabulous design), but I have small hands and it is difficult for me to hold and spray at the same time. That is my only small complaint about Mahora. The name Mahora sounds exotic and mysterious to my ears. The fragrance itself is utterly beautiful, I've never understood why some people could get in such a twist because of the name -- and I've heard and read folks make assertions about the name. I just don't get it. Perhaps.........if it was spelled M-Y-H-O-R-A , I could better get why it "might" be misconstrued. BUT it is spelled M-A-H-O-R-A. To my nose, and as I wear it --- Mahora is a masterpiece. I feel just like you describe how you feel ---> like "queen of the world, lavish, elegant and very sexy"

eldarwen22 November 14, 2013

I'm gonna have to give this one a go. The bottle design has my mind going in not so good places.

Janice November 14, 2013

I have a decant of this and I love it, although I don’t wear it often. Big white florals and queen of the world scents are not usually me, but this has that Guerlain vanilla thing going on that you mention and that seems to make it more familiar somehow.

Musette November 14, 2013

Oh, I dunno....I think you are pretty much QotW ALL THE TIME! And that's a beautiful thing!!! I have worn Mahora - once, I think - it didn't do 'that' for me, alas. But I get its lush beauty. I'll be you smell AWESOME! xoxoxoA

Ann November 14, 2013

Oh, my, Portia -- I want to wear something that makes me feel like "Queen of the World"!! Can't believe I have never tried this one, but it sounds fun. Is this very much different from Mayotte, do you know? I can test Mayotte at my Neiman Marcus next week just to see if it's even in my ballpark. Thanks!

Martha November 14, 2013

No, I have never tried Mahora, but then I've barely dipped my nose into the sea that is Guerlain perfume. Mahora is one I've not heard about until reading this post. Just to give you an idea of the level of my ignorance I will admit to having tried Jicky, Mitsouko, and Vol de Nuit only. I think that I ought to settle down and sniff nothing, but Guerlain for a while so that I will have a reference for all that I read. I really liked your comment about being a queen only on the inside because that seems like the truth about most perfume for most of us and that is what keeps us going some days.