Masque Milano Madeleine

I haven’t visited Paris in years and I miss it. So many things. And then I saw something about Madeleine, which was released in 2020. So, I thought even if I can’t go to Paris, I can try something that supposedly smells like it does.

First off, I have to say I didn’t like the Madeleine books as a child (I didn’t like Little Bear either). While the pictures and the stories were great, I found the girls, Madeleine in particular, annoying. So, I was suspicious about this.

That’ll teach me.

The notes list includes Chantilly liqueur (ie, a cream flavoured liqueur), chestnut, cumin (??!!), cypress, geranium, milk accord, tuberose, tonka bean and vanilla.

On first sniff, this is burnt vanilla cookies on me (langue du chat – I get only vanilla from these vs lemon and vanilla from Madeleines) dipped in the Chantilly liqueur (which I had to look up) and the smell of the burnt bits is fairly strong. That’s not unpleasant. It is a bit weird – like if you’ve tried to make yourself a toasted marshmallow and burnt more of it than was toasted. And oddly, there’s a bit of white toast smell under it all.

About an hour after spraying this on, I get warm milk and a lovely nutty aspect – maybe the roasted chestnuts? It’s mouth-watering. The burnt aspect has receded. I hate the word comforting when applied to perfume, but this is comforting – like smelling the best breakfast you could have even if you don’t want to eat hot cereal and chestnuts for breakfast.

This period of the perfume lasts quite well and as it opens, I get more vanilla, meaning it gets a bit sweeter but never in a cloying manner. This reminds me slightly of Lostmarc’h Lann-Ael but it’s more sophisticated.

The drydown continues to be this great slightly sweet nutty cereal thing. Maybe there’s a whisper of tuberose in there, but the whole vibe is cosy, warming, etc, etc.

It made me think of a Paris trip years ago when my son was much younger and we went with a friend. I was usually the first up which meant I got to go to the local bakery in Montmartre to buy breakfast – croissants and sweet pastries. I’m still surprised the three of us didn’t come home double the size we left, but that was because we took evening walks around Montmartre – each night, a different direction. Up and down the steep hill. Oh, to do that again …

Hours later, when I was walking the dog, I smelled my wrist again and the fragrance had gone a bit artificial. But even that wasn’t that unpleasant.

Here, this is available in a 35ml of EdP for £110. So not cheap. Nosirreebob. I’m not enamoured of the bottles, particularly the cap, which looks like something you put on the bottom of your radiator. And as ever, I find the marketing guff both laughable and irritating. Oh, well.

Would I buy this? No. But if I found a decant I would think seriously about getting that.

So, tried this? Do you like langue du chat or breakfast cereal perfumes? If you were able to visit Paris, what would a sample day look like?

  • Patty says:

    This is one of my favorites, loved the review!

  • Dina C. says:

    This style of scent is not what I generally go for, but you describe it so nicely that I can see the charm of it, especially on a cold winter day. I’ve only been to Paris once, as a teen in the 80s, and I was part of a group, so I didn’t have the freedom to wander around. Would love to go back and explore more, visit the perfume boutiques of course. Thanks Cinnamon.

    • cinnamon says:

      you’re very welcome. while I do think this would be a wonderful winter fragrance, it’s ok now too — but I think that’s because our weather is once again grey and it’s not that warm here (not even 70 today).

  • Portia says:

    PARIS! I bloody miss it. Miss my friends, the galleries, the wandering. Miss it like crazy.
    I have a feeling I smelled this but can’t think how or where.
    Portia xx

    • cinnamon says:

      I do think it’s worth a sample. I am really enjoying it. Yup, yup, all that. I just want to be able to walk and look at stuff, eat and maybe shop a tiny bit. I’ve had Serge Lutens at the Palais Royale on my list for ages.

  • March says:

    Oh, that sounds so lovely! Dangit, I wish my sniffer were more functional! And I love Paris, oddly I think — I’m not a big Francophile, I don’t speak French, but I’ve wound up there several times, more than any other foreign city. It’s SUCH a great walking city, I’m with you on that being the only reason I didn’t come home 10 lbs heavier. All those pastries and baguette sandwiches eaten on park benches, mmmmmm.

    • cinnamon says:

      It sounds like you can briefly smell some specific things. Is that correct? This is quite strong, especially the start. Paris is so wonderful for walking and just looking. And being able to east outside. Sigh.

  • filomena813 says:

    I went to Paris many years ago, also with my oldest son who was taking French in middle school. The teachers did not need me as a chaperone but told me to bring along a friend, which I did. We were there for two weeks! I had never been back since. However, in 2019, that same son had planned a trip to Belgium and Paris with his SO and at the last minute she could not go because her Mom was very sick. Since the hotels were paid for, he asked me if I could go. I only had three days notice, but I packed my carryon bag and flew to Paris, where I met up with him at the airport. It was a memorable trip.

    • March says:

      That sounds AMAZING. And this is why I hector my young adult kids that they should always have a valid passport. You never know when an opportunity might present itself.

    • cinnamon says:

      Oh, my. What a wonderful story. I feel for your son’s SO and mother. But what a great thing for you. It’s like a fairy tale.

  • Tara C says:

    I loved Madeleine and bought it straightaway. Paris for me is pastries, lingerie shops and every perfume store I can make it to. Literally kid in a candy shop. I wonder if I will ever be able to go back.

    • cinnamon says:

      Ah, pastries. I hope you’ll be able to return. At some point in the next few years things will have to even out.