Weekend Sampling and Pick a Malle Sample

Mona di Orio Carnation — Notes of bergamot, giroflee (Wha?!), geranium bourbon, ylang ylang, violet, jasmin, precious woods, musk, amber, styrax.  I am trying to give this some time because there are some nice notes floating around in it, but it must be the musk or syrax that is ruining it for me. This one is deep and really earthy. As long as I don’t get my nose so close, it’s not bad, but get too close, and I’m nauseous.  I’ll leave this one alone for a while and get back to it later…. (later) Gak!  Smells like I spread a tire on my hand.  No, not for me, not even a little bit.

celery.jpgRandom Sample of the Day — Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Grain de Plaisir.  Just pulled this one out of the sample pile. Notes of celery seeds, amber, precious woods, lemon, citrus and musk.  This one is pretty fun.  Very green and citrusy with enough woody notes to keep it from going over the edge into sharp.  I really like this for a summer scent to a certain extent, but there’s a note in there — must be the celery seeds? — that’s keeping it from being love in the drydown, but I’d certainly wear it, just not sure I want to buy it.  It didn’t seem to last on me, which is a shame.  Any other MPGs I should try? The Or Des Indes sounds fun, as does the Bahiana.  Ideas?

Kai — I’ve had this sample for like 100 years and just never got around to it.  Gardenia and white flowers, designed to emulate the tropical flowers. It certainly is pretty enough, but at $45 for 1/8 oz of oil (4 ml), I think I can take a pass on it.

Malle of the Day
—  naw, I’ll do the new Sel de Vetiver from The Different Company instead.  Robin at NST  lists the notes as grapefruit, cardamom, Bourbon geranium, lovage, Haitian vetiver, patchouli, iris and ylang ylang.  This is that dry, salty smell, the dry grapefruit, with just a little tang. I get some of the Iris too. I think Marina posted that it was supposed to be the smell of wet dirt. If I think of it more as the rain hitting the dirt during a spring thundershower, I think they’ve come pretty close to pulling together that magical smell of dry dirt and rain, with some green things in there as well, though it does miss it alittle.  Those of you (yes, March and Marina), if you like that salty earthy smell with iris in the mix, I
do think you’ll like this one.  I need to do more testing to make sure this is FBW for me, but it is certainly an interesting entry into their line.  The drydown is scrumptious.  Definitely need to do another test with just this on.

The picture over there on the right and below
are pictures we took during a dirt storm in Kansas about two or three years ago.  I had never seen one this bad, but that big billowing thing is all dirt, not a drop of rain in it.  We watched it roll across the plains towards us for what seemed like hours, and I thought back to the ’30s
when this was a daily occurrence, and they lasted for hours and how the sight of one of those meant ruin for so many families.  This left a trail of dust everywhere, pushing dirt into places you didn’t think dirt could get.  I took a bunch of pictures that day, and I never could really capture what it looked like. Normally when a spring storm comes rolling through the plains, there is the smell of green and grit and
electricity, as if everything is more alive then, but this storm wasn’t like that. It just smelled like dirt, extra dry, extra dirty.

  • Patty says:

    Dusan, the pooch is named Buddy. He’s my BFF and just adorable!

  • BBliss says:

    OK – I am very late to this post – things like work and kids and house-building got in the way – ugh – real life!

    Patty, thank you for the review on TDC’s Sel de V as I have been very curious – when you say “the smell of rain hitting the dirt” is it that smell that catches the back of your throat – earth dust and ozone? And what is the scrumptious drydown smell? Well, heck – maybe I just need to order the sample…TDC is what is says it is – different – but not always easy to wear (though I do adore the one everyone else seems to detest – Rose Poivree).

    Please do enter me in the Malle-fest if it’s not too late: I have tried several which, while they are beautiful creations, haven’t fit me at all despite their questionnaire (Une Rose, Noir Epices, Lys, PdT, Fleur de Cassie). I did like Carnal Flower – but maybe simpler is better for me – Iris Poudre, En Passant, or Bigarade…or perhaps your recommendation? I was actually starting to think I wasn’t a Malle-girl which doesn’t make a lot of sense because I really like some of the perfumers. I mean it’s not like the LV line which is just one nose that doesn’t agree with me. Anyway, I think skin chemistry and our ideas of good and bad smells are a truly fascinating subject. Thanks again for the always insightful reviews!

  • Dusan says:

    *fingers trembling while he writes* I am acting on your advice and hoping I might just be the lucky winner :d. Seeing as I’m a complete stranger to FM, I guess I’d love to try the much praised Musc Ravageur and Vetiver Extraordinaire. Btw, what’s the pooch’s name?

  • Hi Patty,

    Thanks for the opportunity to participate in this game. I already met you — I bought from you in the past, but never posted on your blog, well I don’t think so – I know that I meant to 🙂

    My choices would be Noir Epices and Fleur de Cassie. 2nd choices would be En Passant and l’Eau d’Hiver.

  • Melissa says:

    Hey Patty,

    You may be on to something with the ax ending.
    Although I’ve had better luck with Opoponax.
    I use it in place of Myrrh. It gives a similar feeling
    without being as overpowering. A little goes a
    long way though & can irritate the skin if overdone.
    I actually have heard it compared to Oud in the
    drydown. And I can afford it! I’d have to sale a
    kidney to buy a speck of Oud. I started blending
    my own perfumes over a year ago. It figures I’d
    get obsessed with a hobby that has such stiff
    competition. Oh well, can never have to many
    “smell goods”.

    Thanks for the perfume suggestions! It’s been
    really nice finding people as interested as I am
    in fragrances. My husband does not share my
    enthusiasm! MEN!

  • Rachael says:

    Thanks for your reviews and your giveaways!
    I’d love to try Lipstick Rose and En Passant

  • sybil says:

    Hi Patty (and March). I tried the Kai…my daughters love it. But since I’m currently into SL Vetiver Oriental (got a bunch of SL samples from Autumn, hooray!), could I try the Malle Vetiver Extraordinare and the Musc Ravaguer, or Un Fleur de Cassie? If I’m not too late…
    I can’t believe the dust storm pictures. Very impressive in my waterlogged part of the world!

  • Monica says:

    Alright… since I’m always looking for more samples and the Boston SA wouldn’t give me any without a purchase I would love to try Lys Mediterranee and Une Rose (of course or Angeliques sous la pluie/vetiver extraordinaire).

  • Emotenote says:


    Those are amazing pictures of the dust storm. A few years back I got caught right in the middle of one, right after a rain storm! You should have seen my car, one big ball of hardened mud the next day. It was very intense, more worrying than a blizzard, which I’ve been in many times.

    Funny the Malles have come up, I just received my first samples, en passant (beautiful and rare) Noir Epices (So far very strange) and perfume de Therese'(Growing on me). Carnal Flower sounds wonderful, as does Musc Ravegeur and Une Rose. I’ve been surprised so far by this house.
    PS having never chimed in, I love your blog

  • March says:

    Hey, Pam, you picked two of my favorites to try! I hope you win, you fellow Guerlain fan… although P is all about the Carons.

  • Pam says:


    No, no Malles at all. What happened is this–once I discovered the Carons and Guerlains, I kind of got stuck. Love ’em. I’ve been as happy as a pig in a lob-lolly. Thanks to some great friends on MUA I have tried a few niche/boutique brands. But no Malles.

    Hurricanes. Season is less than two months away. Come August, we’ll all be a bit nervous down here. Yes, evacuating is something. You should see us when we leave. We’re as bad as the Beverly Hillbillies. Packed to the gills. Seriously, though, almost every area of our country has some kind of severe weather potential. At least we get a bit of warning with ours.

    Take care!

  • Nina says:

    Gosh, I forgot about the sample give-away – I was so carried away by the SdV! I’m relieved, BTW, to hear that others get rubber notes from Mona di Orio – that’s all I get from Nuit Noire. Those dust-storms seem like something from a movie to me – here in the UK we don’t get Weather, just lots of wwwwweather. Anyway, if your dog hasn’t stamped his paw yet, can I put in my entry for Lys Mediteranee and Une Fleur de Cassie? Hope you’re having a tranquil day (night? What’s the time difference, hmm….)

  • Patty says:

    Pam, good that you drove the Romulan warship by! No kidding, no Malles in your life at all?

    I’d far rather stare at a tornado than a hurricane. I don’t know how y’all live down there and keep evacuating. Though I do love the scenery down there.

  • Patty says:

    R, Does this mean I can skip the other two Mona samples? Such a pretty name on them, such an over the top website. :d ‘Tis a shame.

  • Patty says:

    Marina, oil?!?!?! Sheesh, the ONE thing I don’t have. Well, you just can’t win, then. @-)

  • Patty says:

    Katie, my fellow plains stater! It is that smell, then the smell as the first drop of water hits the dust, it’s just a smell like no other. I spent not nearly enough time in my youth looking up at the sky and watching clouds and storms. I’ve always thought that if I could die watching a lightning storm play across a Kansas sky, I’d be happy.

    I do miss living there.

  • Pam says:

    De-cloaking for a moment. Those are fantastic photos of the dust/dirt storm. It must have been something to see in person. I can’t even imagine. Down here we jest get those blasted hurricanes.

    Okay, seein’s that I’ve never smelled a Malle (I know, I know, unbelievable, eh?), I wouldn’t mind trying En Passant and/or Carnal Flower—if you have some, and if my number is chosen, that is. Thanks for offering free samps, and thanks for another great post. 😉

  • Marina says:

    I wonder if March will like this one, but you are right, I like Sel quite a bit. It wasn’t love at first sniff, but within a couple of days my appreciation for it has grown. 🙂

    And I want to be included in the draw too, always! 🙂 My *modest* wish is Musc Ravageur OIL sample. Har har har.

  • CindyN says:

    If you still are offering, I would like to try Lys Mediteranee and Angeliques sous la Pluie. Thanks!

  • Katie says:

    Oh those are wonderful pics P. I forget sometimes how the weather behaves so uniquely in the midwest. The steady suddenness of the storms is one of those things that I can feel just looking at those pics. I think it’s one of those things you almost can’t really explain – how you can smell the storm coming a couple hours before it even looks like there will be one. You made me homesick, somehow, even with the dust storm pics.

  • violetnoir says:

    Patty, I tested the Mona di Orios last month. I was so excited to receive them, but alas…I did not like one of them. Not a one! They smelled like drugstore fragrances on me, even tackier if truth be told. Oh well…at least I saved a bundle.

    Thank you so much for your generous offer on the Malles! 😡 If chosen, I would love to receive Lys Mediterranean and En Passant (or whatever you have really).


  • Patty says:

    Hey, Lisa, glad you unlurked, I’ve added you to our blogroll too!

  • Lisa S. says:

    Bad lurker here. Have been enjoying your blog for some time without saying much. And so to say, it is a wonderful place to read about fragrance and beautifully put together.

    Of the Malle’s I’ve yet to sample I should like to try En Passant and Musc Ravageur

    And please do stop by Jicky’s Gin Joint some time. The Maitresse’d is a bit peaked these days, but there is a table in the back reserved for perfume pushers.

  • Emily says:

    Hi Patty! Those dirt storm photos are absolutely amazing. They’re beautiful and eerie at the same time.

    If I am a) lucky enough to win and b) you happen to have these two Malles I would love to try out Musc Ravageur and L’eau d’Hiver. :d

  • Patty says:

    Melissa, so it’s the styrax, huh? Good to know, I’ll have to avoid those. I think opoponax is another one that doesn’t do so great with me. Maybe my rule shoudl be, if it ends with an -AX, it’s not for me.

    So you do your own perfume mixing?

    I think you’d like the Kai, though it’s not very salt airish. It’s got the rest of it down very nicely. Just throw some Ecume de Rose on top of it or the Sel de Vetiver, and you’ll have a splash of salt water to go with it, that could be perfect! It really is a beautiful white flower scent. The price point was just scary.

  • Patty says:

    March, I think you’d like this Grain de Plaisir. My only complaint is it didn’t last. I was just starting to enjoy the drydown, and it disappeared, but I think this may be an air scent and not a skin one and needs to be spritzed, so I’ve got it on my list of things I might need to try.

    Oklahoma had it so bad then, I just don’t know how people survived. But everyone struggled, so I guess that was just normal. Most of my dad’s family left for California then, they just couldn’t support 13 kids and their families. My dad was a teenager, and my mom was just a little girl during the ’30s.

  • Patty says:

    Nina, I got my Sel de Vetiver in the sampler pack from TDC in Europe. I was going to just get the bottle, but with my sometimes hate thing with vetiver, I just wasn’t sure I’d love it enough. They do have the bottle available from there now.

    I keep thinking of Osmanthe Yunnan when I smell this, it has that salty grapefruity, dry smell on the open. I may have to put them side by side. There are some similarities, though they are not the same — one veers off to vetiver and the other to tea. But a minimalist Ellena creation, though it is C and not JC that did it.

    Victoria wrote that TDC will be available either through the TDC website or at a handful of Neiman-Marcus stores when it gets to the States in May, I believe.

  • Patty says:

    This one was pretty mild, according to my mother, just a minor thing. We saw a couple of them over my lifetime when I was a kid, but this was probably the best of them as far as size. Had been a really dry summer. It was just a really freaky thing to go through.

  • Louise says:

    parfum therese and lys mediterranee for me! not that i don’t wnat to try sel de vetiver someday . . .

  • Nina says:

    Patty – where did you get hold of your sample of Sel de Vetiver? I am SO anxious to smell this one that I’m considering doing the unthinkable – buying a bottle unsniffed!

  • Melissa says:

    Hey Patty,

    I think it’s probably the styrax in the Orio Carnation
    that smells like tire. I’ve tried working with it myself
    but it doesn’t seem to matter how little I use, I
    always get just that hint of rubber. I’d like to smell
    how a professional approches it. And I think the
    Kai sounds pleasant. I’d love to find something
    that reminds me of my trip to Maui. It was all flowers,
    fruit, salt air & wind that never let up. GORGEOUS!

  • cheezwiz says:

    Wow, those dust storm pictures are incredible! I’ve heard the stories about them occurring during the Depression, but have never seen a visual.


  • Robin says:

    Patty, thanks so much — really looking forward to trying this one & have some on the way. Everything else sounds so dull this spring!!

  • kuri says:

    Those dust storm pictures are astounding. And you say they don’t quite capture the storm? It’d be fascinating to see what it actually looked like. I’d like to try En Passant and Lys Mediterranee 😀 Love the reviews!

  • March says:

    Patty, thanks for the great review! The Mona Lux is the only one I liked, and it wasn’t especially original (FYI giroflee is the juice of hand-gathered Tunisian fleas, macerated under a full moon. I haven’t found an MPG I love yet, will have to try this one, sounds right up my alley, as does the Sel de Vetiver. Finally, those dust storm pictures are amazing — my dad grew up on a farm in the OK Dust Bowl in the Depression, it sounded just surreal. He also said the dirt got places you didn’t know you could HAVE dirt 🙂 and it drove his neat-as-a-pin mother absolutely nuts.

  • Patty says:

    Robin, tons of vetiver, yes. Cardamom? You all know I’m a fraud when it comes to finding most notes. There’s definitely a spicy note, but since I’m not familiar with exactly what cardamom should smell like and my spice cabinet is lacking that one, I can’t say for sure on that. If you don’t have a sample on the way, I can send you a smidge.

  • Christina H. says:

    Hi Patty!
    I’d like to try the Vetiver Extraordinaire and Bigarade Concentree(or Angelique Sous Pluie/Sel de Vetiver)which I think are the only ones I haven’t tried.The Di Orio Carnation smelled obnoxious to me too for the first 15 or so minutes but I found myself loving this once it dried down.Thank you for the reviews!

  • Robin says:

    The Sel de Vetiver: how much vetiver? How much cardamom? Hoping you are going to say tons to both.

  • Flora says:

    Oh, this is cool!

    I would most like to try En Passant and Carnal Flower, but if either of those are gone I would take Une Rose and/or Lys Mediterranee with absolutely no complaints!:d