Frederic Malle is a house that I do really like, as a matter of fact it is my second favorite of the houses formerly known as “niche” (you can’t be niche and owned by a giant corporation, which seems to be the eventual fate, if not the goal, of most “niche” houses.) Looking through my cupboard I do have at least small ones of French Lover, Music for a While, L’Eau D’Hiver, and Musc Ravageur and if I didn’t need to pay for insurance or food, I would have a big bottle of The Night. Not all of them knock it out of the park mind you. I didn’t care for Dans Tes Bras and as far as I was concerned Outrageous! wasn’t. March writing about Uncut Gem (and the new, upcoming one) made me think that I should saunter over to the Malle boutique, just a few blocks this way and a few that from my office. It’s hot, however, and I am lazy. If I walked I’d get all schvitzy or I’d have to get the car out and find parking and the dog ate my homework and soooo..
I ordered samples from Surrender to Chance. There’s something to be said for convenience. All of these were previously reviewed here on the Posse, so I will be referring to (and linking, so feel free to go back and read) those reviews.
Patty really liked Synthetic Jungle. She liked that it was a take on the big green perfumes of the 70’s but sort of with the big grasping tendrils clipped down. I have to write that I kind of felt the opposite- I love the big, green, grassy, revenge-of-the-lawn opening (“mow me, will you; well I am going to pelt you with wet clippings until you beg for mercy!!) but I think it too quickly goes into a shy lily of the valley. It’s lovely mind you, just not necessary in my life. If someone knows one that’s available today that’s one of those big green monsters please mention it in the comments. Or if the Private Collection available today is as large-and-in-charge as the one Patty mentions from back in the day, I could cheerfully hang with that. I just don’t want another L’Interdit situation here..
Conversely. Le Parfume De Therese Patty hated. HATED. I can’t write that I Capital H hated it, but I was certainly indifferent unto disliking to it. It opened on me with an interesting slightly minty-cool jasmine, then went through a phase where it was just sort of standard powdery perfume. Then big melon came in after a hearty workout, kicked off the Adidas and decided to steal the remote from Ms. Jasmine and hog all the snacks. Mr. Melon is a boorish sort, averse to showering after his exercise (or changing his socks) and apparently a little gassy. Miss Jasmine keeps trying to throw baby powder over big melon (try baking soda, dear, or a net) but to no avail. I can almost see where this would work on someone else. That someone is certainly not, however, me.
As for Uncut Gem, March loved it and I will say “what she said.” I will add that I can understand how someone at first application could just sort of roll their eyes and think “department store”- it does kind of riff on that vibe. It sort of reminds me a bit in the opening of some Chanel I smelled (and maybe had) back in the day: the play between warm ginger and nutmeg and cool citrus and sweet angelica is both kind of retro and yet completely modern. I can’t write that it does anything that’s going to really surprise but it will delight- the vetiver/leather/musk is very civilized and yes, somewhat “Masculine” but not in any way that should put off ladies from grabbing it and enjoying it. This is good breeding and quiet good taste in a bottle: a Rolex, but in stainless steel. Silver that’s inherited. A lovingly kept 280SL rather than a flashy AMG. It has the perfection of a really well tailored suit: you can buy Armani off the rack but you will still look lumpy next to the guy who went to the tailor downtown and had 3 or 4 fittings. That guy will look like Cary Grant in “North by Northwest”, who was supremely dapper whether lounging at the Oak Room or evading a murderous crop duster. And as for the scent’s “masculinity” I can see the ladies here using this, with that Kate Hepburn in pants (or Jennifer O’Neill in a man’s button-down) insouciance. Were I a married lady I would buy this for my husband, but filch from it ruthlessly.
Uncut Gem is $295 for 50ML, $455 for 100, Therese is $395 for 100ML, and Jungle is $225 for 50ML, $340 for 100 at the usual suspects (of course I’d love the priciest one..). My samples, as mentioned were from Surrender to Chance.
Photos: Pexels, Wikimedia Commons and my iPhone