Parfums MDCI — Round 2

Back we go to the Mad Dogs. This time to review the final two scents in the line. You can see our review of the first three scents here, with some additional information and links to other reviews.  Today we get Parfums MDCI Ambre Topkapi and Parfums MDCI Invasion Barbare

Pierre Bourdon’s scent, renamed by us Rich Banker Boy (Parfums MDCI Ambre Topkapi), is meant to be a men’s scent and has notes of bergamot, grapefruit, pineapple, melon, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg ginger, basil, thyme, lavender, oak moss, vetiver, sandalwood, rosewood, leather, Darjeeling tea, amber, musk, vanilla, jasmine and violet.

Patty: I smell some leather on the open down under all the sparkly citrusy notes, which then dry down into something a little softer. I wish I could smell the tea and leather more in this. It is perfectly wonderful and a great scent and beautifully blended, but like Marina, it’s just not moving me in any profound way, but I’d always be happy to smell this on a guy. Not gonna cross the aisle and put it on myself. will test it on DH and see what he thinks.

March: Those notes up there made me think I was going to get something almost fruity, but Patty’s right — Banker Boy would about cover it. It’s a lovely scent, expensive smelling, but a little too poker-up-the-ass for me. Very traditional cologne. The only part I’ll endorse is it’s got an interesting sweat note on me — like standing behind Banker Boy at the bank with my nose at armpit level, and he’s got one of those sweat rings on his bespoke shirt. Must be the vetiver? No, that’s not a criticism. I like it. If I could smell the tea, my feelings about this would have improved dramatically.

Stephanie Bakouche’s scent Parfums MDCI Invasion Barbare (Borneo Tamed) is also meant for men and has notes of grapefruit, bergamot, violet leaves, white thyme, cardamom, lavender, ginger, cedarwood, vanilla and musk

Patty: I got Borneo’s softer, gentler, less cobwebby side. That means it keeps the discordancy between notes, but does not make you smell like a chocolate covered old librarian. Wait, don’t misunderstand, I LOVE Borneo, but I accept that to love Borneo and wear it is to have people reject sitting next to me. This one has the same weirdness, but is very, very wearable. The drydown makes it even softer, and a lot of the weirdness goes away — I liked the weirdness at the beginning more than the slightly powdery feel it has in the end. I would cross the aisle and wear this definitely.

March: This one!! I want this one!! This one is my keeper. I’m still sulking about my total failure to fall for Rousse, but this takes some of the sting off. On me it’s more or less Annick Goutal Mandragore, crossed with a more manly, sophisticated, classic leather scent — Guerlain Derby, maybe. I am, uh, resolutely ignoring any comparison to Borneo that any other people might have made nearby. You know what I love about this one? Sometimes, when I wear “male” scents, like that nasty Prince Jardinier, or even occasionally L’Instant PH, their masculinity begins to annoy me. They just … start to grate, like listening to your beloved yammer on and on about some total waste of money like groceries when you’re trying to decide how many of the Dior colognes you should buy. Anyway, this somehow manages to hit that perfect gender-neutral sweet spot — a little fruity (but not too), masculine (but not so much), spicy but not obtrusive. The notes say cedarwood, and I believe I get a bit of cedar as Nature intended it, not the hellish note I generally produce. While (surprisingly) I loved the FK2 Rose one we reviewed last week, it’s the sort of thing I’d probably never end up reaching for if I owned it. This is the one that will stick in my mind, leaving me burrowing around for it among the decants when nothing else will do.

By the way, I can’t remember if we ever put anything up about it, but Parfums MDCI has a set of 10 ml samples of each of their five scents, which is a pretty darn generous size. The cost is 45 euros, including shipping.

  • Katie says:

    I love it when you guys do a she said/she said post. These are my very favorites that you do.

    “chocolate covered old librarian.” :d Hee!

  • Leopoldo says:

    I thought you were watching the pennies. Profligate Patty! CO is a bit like an amped up, more expansive Dzing! with a few extra little circus acts thrown in for fun.

  • Patty says:

    Maria — no way! I’m not sniffing first, I already ordered some!

  • Patty says:

    Robin, absolutely. You get about 10 mls each of the perfume for 45 euros for the set of five, and that includes postage, which is the best deal I’ve ever run across. It is a coffret at the price of good samples.

    I think you’d find at least one or two of these to your tast, if not more, and you’d probably like most of them, even if it’s not love.

  • Patty says:

    Gaia, don’t forget the cobwebs, that are essential to Borneo! The same way they are essential to Messe de Minuit, which has the same cobwebby weirdness.

  • Maria B. says:

    Yes, Cuir Ottoman really is that good. This is what PST had to say about it: “a fantastic, dirty leather scent.” You can read it in the archives. Oh, there I go again with the archivist theme.

    Do sniff before buying. :d

  • Patty says:

    Hi, R! I really, really adored Fk2 and FK3 and the SB1 the most, totally being devoted to Pretty Princess the most. I really liked all of them, though.

  • Patty says:

    Marina, how could Elle not like what we think she should like!?!?!? 🙂

  • Judith says:

    Well, I approached my second sniffing of SB1 with some tredpidation, b/c you know how once someone has pointed out a weird note in a fragrance, or a bizarre similarity to something else,, you can’t get it out of your head? For example, after reading someone’s review (she knows who she is) on MUA, I cannot seem to get that Noxema note out of my beloved Piper Nigrum (still love it, but. . ). So I put on SB1 again, inevitably thinking “Glade, glade, glade”. . . but no, I don’t smell it–and I still love the scent. I guess L. and I frequent different bathrooms! 🙂

  • Patty says:

    Elle – the magic of SB did grow on me, and I really did NOT like the open very much at all. I’m not nearly as swooney over it as March is, though.

    Banker Boy was defintely made for boys, for sure.

  • Patty says:

    Judith, I knew you and March would be of one accord on the SB1. The more I used it, the more I liked it. It did feel a lieel Aomassai’ish, but without the buttcrack note on the open.

  • Patty says:

    L — can you guys stop with the Cuir Ottoman talk? Yikes! Like I need another lemming, but Lord, it does sounds pretty good. Is it really that good?

  • Patty says:

    Maria — I think chocolatey librarians are the cat’s peejays. 🙂 I don’t now why anyone would think I hated that smell… it seems like absolutey perfection.

  • Robin says:

    So in the end, is the sample set worth the cost?

  • The chocolate covered librarian is amusing me to no end. I keep thinking about Giles from “Buffy”, and it’s not a bad thing.

    I usually fall for masculine scents, as long as they are not a citrus symphony, which ends up on my skin as an ode to Lemon Pledge.

  • violetnoir says:

    I think I will like the first three girls better, ’cause I never dig masculine fragrances. They just smell too, well man-like on me. I’ll test them on my husband and see what he thinks. 😉 Now I really can’t wait to receive my samples.

    So overall, y’all, which one(s) did you love best?


  • Elle says:

    I *know*. I feel I *should* like it, but even DH (who is familiar w/ those Poli Sci bathrooms) instantly identified it as a Glade air freshener when I asked him what it smelled like and I didn’t suggest that to him at all. I also made him wear it to see if it would be different on his skin, but we both agree – still Glade. :((

  • Marina says:

    Banker Boy, LOL. I had a feeling March and Judith, and perhaps Patty would adore SB1, but I also was dead-sure Elle would love it too. 🙁

  • Elle says:

    I am always extremely reluctant to ever admit that a man’s scent really just belongs to men. But, for me, PB1 does. Would be gorgeous on DH if he wore scents, but since he doesn’t, this can just go to all those banker boys out there.
    But…SB1. :(( Why am I not getting the magic??? God and Stephanie forgive me, but on me this is something like the Glade scent that was used in one of the bathrooms at Hamilton Hall.

  • Judith says:

    I agree about SB1. I loved it right off, and it seems to be my clear favorite of the group. I will hold off on my final judgment until I can spray them (yes, I caved on the coffret, um, samples), but for now, March–I am with you once more!!

  • Leopoldo says:

    Maria – I too love CO. I’m tempted to get a bottle…

    And now, I’ve been resisting buying these samples but you have both tipped me over the edge, not with the smell of a b(w)anker, but with March’s keeper. HELLO! COME TO DADDY!

  • Maria B. says:

    Well, tonight I made sure I read the blog *before* going to bed so I wouldn’t be the last to comment (West Coast disadvantage). Now I’m not sure I’ll be able to sleep.

    I was still laughing loudly over (good) March’s image of standing behind the guy at the bank with nose at armpit level when I got to (bad, very bad) Patty’s crack about someone smelling like a “chocolate covered old librarian.” :-w Okay, he’s not old–he’s younger than I am, so he can’t possibly be old–and he’s an archivist rather than a practicing librarian, though he has an MLS degree…but…if I were to cover my BELOVED HUSBAND in chocolate, I’m sure he’d smell very good. He’d smell like chocolate for one thing. :-j

    But cruel comments :)>- about an honorable profession are not what will keep me up. I made the mistake of applying just a bit of Parfum d’Empire Cuir Ottoman. What was I thinking? As soon as I did it, I began imagining armies of men with well-worn leather boots and exotic costumes rushing at each other through a desert. I swear I could smell gunpowder in the opening. I hope Marina reads this. This is a fabulous scent.

    Now I think I’ll go curl up next to the nonchocolaty sort-of-librarian.