Lancome Magie (La Collection)

Alrighty then.  So Monday we tackled most of La Collection; today we’re doing Magie.  And forgive the sporadic posting and response, I’ve got work projects that need to be done in 2009, and the kids are underfoot.  We’ve all had a little too much time together, between the holiday break and the unscheduled snow days, and the twins are turning feral, so that periodically I have to go assess the situation when, for instance, Buckethead gets aggravated with Hecate’s fencing proficiency on the Wii and smacks her upside the head with the controller.

Magie was humorous because first of all, I couldn’t get the stopper out of the bottle.  So I used Melissa and Louise’s trick of placing the bottle in the freezer for a few minutes, et … voila.  It came right out.  So there’s a handy piece of information for you.

Then I broke up another squabble, had some lunch, and threw on a generous amount of Magie.  Notes are jasmine, violets, musk and amber, sorry, that seems a bit short but that’s the most complete list I can find.

Magie is powdery at the top, and sweet – the jasmine is very slightly indolic, but nothing too scary.  Just as I was settling in the house started to shake, and then Amberzilla stomped through the room in a truly terrifying way, and one of these days, so help me God, I’ll learn not to stick my wrist up to my nose right after I’ve put something new on.   That heavy, sweet amber singed all my nose-hairs right off and then it stomped around some more.  And okay, I get it, some of you are true amber lovers.  And I appreciate amber in the abstract, I see the attraction, it can (theoretically) be very comforting.  Alas, I like my amber buried behind a heavy, restraining hand of a bunch of other notes, and this was TOO TOO MUCH.  I lasted about 30 minutes before, tears running from my eyes, I sprinted upstairs and grabbed my uber-skank atomizer of Bal a Versailles EdC – y’all know the one, you twisted perfumistas – that particular version of Bal that smells like they read the recipe wrong and put in twice as much butt as was called for.   Anyhow, a couple of sprays of that pulled Amberzilla’s fangs right out of my wrist.  Then I went off to Trader Joe’s smelling like I’d just ridden in from the Winter Bal Masque, having stepped in something barnyard-y while dismounting my stallion, and oh well.  I tried the whole experiment again today, because apparently I am a slow learner, and same results, only this time I threw some Demeter Bonfire on there to take the edge off. That was nice.  You know what would be really great on top?  Something dark and leathery.

As it stands, then, Magie is the only one of these I probably won’t be wearing.  I may be the sweet-eater but I am the amber-magnifier, and I end up feeling like I’m drowning in a vat of syrup.

Climat, on the other hand, after a few more test drives, has emerged as the surprising front runner.  I just can’t get enough of its weird development – that split personality it has, all green and fizzy and armed-with-a-shiv up top, with those sweet, creamy white florals underneath.  It’s so stunning I keep putting it on over and over, just for the ride.  I can’t even say that I particularly love it, I don’t think it’s “me” at all – and thank heavens it’s in a dabber, this is some serious sillage, I wouldn’t want to dump this bottle on myself accidentally.  But it’s so arrestingly beautiful I want to wear it again and again.

By the way, I dug around, here’s a link to the page where you can download Luca Turin’s original blog posts via a PDF.  “The Lost Chord,” where he tells the story of searching many years later for the mystery perfume he smelled on a girl while on a trip to Spain, is on page 386.  Page 426 is the update, where he begins to focus his search, with the names Je Reviens and Climat emerging.  I’m annoyed that I can’t seem to find the final post (maybe it was on NZZ?) where he reveals that after sampling around, it was Climat he’d been searching for.

I found the Lost Chord posts (and many of the others on his defunct blog) wildly entertaining, and the comments are lively.  And no, I’ve never met the man, and no, his opinions don’t bother me.  I’ve always been baffled by the complaint that his perfume reviews (or Chandler Burr’s, or – hey – mine) are “opinion.”  Well, of course they’re opinion, folks!  Criticism, informed and otherwise, whether of art, music, literature, and perfume, is at some level opinion.  When LT and I agree – hey, he’s spot on.  The man’s a genius.  When we disagree, well … he’s wrong, isn’t he?  It’s nothing to cry over.  If someone can direct me to Luca’s big reveal and discussion of Climat (was it in one of his books?) I’ll publish the link.

  • Jillie says:

    Sorry this is late – just emerging from all the chaos – but wanted to say that by another of those strange coincidences I received a bottle of Magie the other day. I was so excited as it was the first “grown-up” perfume my father had bought for me (altho’ I’d already been buying my own for some time!)and I was looking forward to sniffing it again. Disaster! I have to tell you that this new version is not the one I loved. It’s the same old story of reformulation and the 1968 fragrance was so very different from this rather crude version. I can’t help thinking that you would have liked the old one. Happy 2010!

  • Mary says:

    A glass of wine helps with the hormonal! I went out and found a sample bottle of Bal a Versailles– we all need a little skank in case of emergencies, I figure. We have been visiting my father in law, who is in his early 90’s. My almost- 11 girl actually shredded her 9 y/o brother the other day– he looks like a bear took a swipe at him. Family is gradually taking flight, like the few birds who take off in advance of the main flock. We seem to have reached a nice equilibrium tonight. Tomorrow– the long drive home . . .

  • Mindy says:

    Not drunk. Just hormonal.

  • Mindy says:

    This is the only blog I subscribe to where I actually read the comments. I enjoy the knowledge of perfume, personal stories and everyone treats each other with respect. If someone were to say something mean spirited on here I think it would break my heart.

    • March says:

      The comments and exchange back and forth are one of the highlights of the blog for me. And occasionally those exchanges can get a bit … heated, although everyone seems to calm down again. (lots of bright folks with opinions.) I think I’ve only ever shut the comments down once. :)>-

  • ScentRed says:

    The perfume review was excellent, as always, but it is the sharing of family adventures during the holidays that has me coming back for more.

    My little ones, who are 6 and almost 4, have gotten along wonderfully over the past 10 days. My forty-something siblings and I – not so much.

    It warms my heart to hear my son and daughter chattering away to each other playing in these bizarre little imaginary worlds they construct together. I long for the days when things were that pure and uncomplicated.

    Good luck with the remainder of the holidays, everyone. And beware of the killer sesame seeds 😉

    • Erin T says:

      A, your kids are so cute! While I get along very well with my own siblings – had a riotous holiday with my brothers, who are two of the funniest guys I know – I do know what you mean about the uncomplicated innocence of youth. My daughter and her cousin, at almost 4 and 2, played very well together, coming up with little games and worlds together all Christmas Day.

      If an adult appeared to take any interest in them both, though, they immediately started yelling “MINE!” or picking on each other to get the adult’s attention. We started to ignore them because of this and so they worked together to dump a 15-year old 3 gallon glass jar of peanuts. When we found them, they were sitting in literally a room-sized pool of peanuts, eating away in concert with the dog, shells and all. (After 15 years, I’m sure the shells taste the same as the nuts.) They were very pleased with themselves.

      • ScentRed says:

        That’s great Erin. Sounds like one of those moments where I’m not sure whether to yell, laugh or take a picture. Happy New Year to you and your gang 🙂

  • Shelley says:

    Well-informed opinion is just that…well informed. And opinion. And then there is the explanation/expression part, which is present in spades in certain quarters (LT & PP, am looking at you), and which is where the fun comes in. There’s also the fun in the comments, which is where the joy comes in, but that’s another animal. 3:-o

    It’s the aldehydes in Magie that give me pause, but I am no fan of the snerkly bubbles that demand certain notes stay high in my nose. I occasionally get my kicks from champagne…and more rarely, an aldehyde…but that is not a likely comfort zone. Like, say…ooh, get ready….{stage whispers} a-m-b-e-r. b-) I’m seeing a connection for me between Climat, and Chamade, and No. 19. Off to think on that…which I have to do in fits and starts, because we, too, are having a bit o’ vacation fever. Luckily, house guests arrive tomorrow for a change of pace.

    Was LMAO over the food eruptions…I’ll add in the simple warning that oatmeal–yes, oatmeal–when cooked untended at the right temperature can do much more than burble. And pop. It can…well…let’s just say the Pompeii kitchen was in the former house. Too funny. Quinn, I think you should liberally and intentionally overhandle the champagne tomorrow, and let the scrubbing bubbles tend to your ceiling… :d

    Happy Eve eve, all.

    • Connie says:

      Funny you should mention Chanel No. 19 … it was what I wore on my wedding day in 1984. Have moved so much since then, I don’t know where it went or if I even finished.

      Must hunt for some as I haven’t smelled it in years! And since you tied all those 3, must smell Chamade as I never have…eeeek!!

      running away now………:”>

    • Shelley–perhaps we are a group who has had Old Testament houses–exploding, poufy, fizzing and such. Yes, pass the champagne, I’m sliding into 2010. May we all be here again in the New Year, laughing.

  • Connie says:

    March, you enabler you!! I found La Collection on ebay after reading your post and purchased it. Even more Climat … ha ha! If anyone wants to trade let me know as the one I purchased years ago is 50ml.

    How interesting that Luca Turin smelled it in Spain and I first smelled it on a girl from Spain and she, in fact, had purchased it in Spain. Also where I purchased my first bottle. Hmmm 😕

    Cue in line from the game show: The password … is Spain. 🙂

  • Tiara says:

    I just laughed my way through the comments…sesame seeds on the ceiling, brandy in the coffee, wii controller whacking! Too funny!

    Teenage boys DO eat a lot. We were thrilled when the grocery bill dropped when our oldest left for college. Youngest son can drink a gallon of milk in 2 days by himself but he doesn’t like soft drinks so it offsets somewhat.

    Wish I’d thought to put this Lancome collection on my Christmas list. They all sound quite interesting.

  • Melissa says:

    One son, a bunch of grandkids (my husband’s) staying over, a nice but chaotic trip to NY, a husband who has been home for a month… No wonder my parents completely downplayed the holidays, Jewish and otherwise.

    Each year, I say I’m not going to do anything for Christmas and my husband (who isn’t Jewish) says he doesn’t care. Each year, I wind up buying a ton of food at the last minute and cooking for a bunch of teenage boys. They eat like locusts or termites, or something. I think they’ve started on the woodwork.

    I need a fragrance that works as a family repellent. Maybe the Bal edc would do it? >:)

    • March says:

      Teenage boys, where do they PUT that food?! I don’t have any of my own but they come over with the girls periodically and ravage the fridge. I swear a set of them drank an entire gallon of milk, once, in an afternoon. 😮

      Oh, I bet you have *several* scents that would work as family repellent. I know I do. :d

      • Musette says:

        An afternoon? Oh, honey. You jes wait. The twins and 2 friends could wipe out a gallon of milk in one fell swoop!

        Secret: LOTS of spaghetti. It has all the elements of pizza without the absurd cost. 5 large boys can fill themselves up for less than $10 out of your pocket.

        xoxo >-)

        • Melissa says:

          We share in your secret. Our family (includes the frequently visiting relatives) has not a single girl. All boyz and 4 of them teenagers. My husband makes huge pots of the twirly stuff and it keeps them reasonably well-fed. I’m sick of the stuff, but I can survive on soup and cereal.

          It’s the milk that gets expensive. We need a cow or two. 3:-o

          • Shelley says:

            Two teen boys in this house, and “the milk run” has a different meaning in this family–though if it doesn’t happen regularly, there will be a train wreck! @-) Pots and pots and pots of pasta, indeed, though breakfast cereal, cheese (hello again, cows), and bananas disappear with amazing alacrity. They are the colognes of the teen foodstuffs world, I guess.

            Shall comment below on brandy clouds in your coffee, champagne explosions to blast sesame seeds off the wall, etcetera…. :-j

          • Melissa says:

            Bananas! Mother’s little helpers. “I’m still hungry,” they whine. “We have bananas,” I shout, “eat another bunch”. :d

          • Shelley says:

            That’s the stuff… :>

  • mals86 says:

    I too struggle with these long vacation breaks… am having trouble keeping my 14yo daughter from murdering her 9yo brother and hiding the pieces of his body under the woodpile. The Wii, the music on the stereo, the interrupted book reading, the board game – it all starts a fight. And my poor 11yo peacemaker is standing in the middle, wringing his hands and pleading, “Can’t we all just get along?” (Five more days until school starts, five more days until school starts… where’s the brandy? You can put brandy in coffee, can’t you?)

    Gosh, I want some Climat… I’d probably wear the Magie too.

    • March says:

      14, 11 and 9 — I feel your pain. Yes, I am ready for next Monday to roll around, and not a minute too soon. Absolutely you can put brandy in coffee, even at 8 a.m.

    • carter says:

      My mother had three kids 14-months apart, waited six years, and had three more kids 14-months apart. Girl, boy, girl, boy, girl, boy. She was partial to Grand Marnier for breakfast because it had orange juice in it.

  • aubrey says:

    Gah! I loved this post!

    I received a BUNCH of samples for Xmas presents, and just completed a swap (NR Musc Collection For Her Intense EDP LE- you are finally mine!) but now you have me dying to try Climat. Even though just last night, I promised myself that I would hold off on any new purchases or lemmings for a while. Oye.

    And thanks for the link to the LT blog! I’m so new to the hobby that I’ve never seen any of that before and always felt cheated. 🙂

    • March says:

      Laughing at your complete spell-out of the NR Intense — that’s the one I bought and reviewed, I love it, but holy cow, that name ITSELF is intense. Although I’m tempted to put on some right now, it’s so low-key.

      The LT blog is/was lots of fun, and he posts on NZZ folio as well, occasionally, although I don’t have that link. And Chandler Burr writes reviews in the New York times.

  • Louise says:

    One great thing about holidays in my family-of-origin (heavy on the gin) was that the festivities always lasted about 4 hours, then we each ran screaming away into our own pursuits/lairs. This rule held even for the 2-day (or longer) Jewish holidays. Whew :d/

    I don’t know Magie, but nose-singing amber sounds great! But some Alahine today (yes, I contend it’s an amber) sounds perfect for a day at the movies…wanna come? 😉

    I have a tiny bit of Climat, must retry-I only remember it as green and dry, best for me in the heat. Now where is that durn thingy?

    Yay, freezer trick! It worked for me on a vintage goody just the other day.

    • March says:

      When we get together I’ll bring these along and inflict them on you. We’ll all be ready for a break from each other then.

      And thanks again for the freezer trick.

  • Fiordiligi says:

    Well you know after your post the other day I found one of the Lancome sets for under £20 including postage so naturally I ordered it. For that price it is worth a shot even if I hate them all, but I don’t expect I will.

    I love the idea of toning Magie down with Bal! As I’ve just acquired 2 bottles of the uber-skanky Bal myself I may find myself doing likewise – you never know.

    Oh, and I’ve just bought the updated paperback of The Guide – cost practically nothing and hugely entertaining, even tohugh I do of course have the original. I don’t really know why everyone gets bent out of shape by the reviews though – we are all entitled to our opinion, even if that does include giving 5 stars to glorified loo cleaner!

    • March says:

      Oh! I hope you like them! And how about the uber-skanky Bal, I love it so much!

      I have the paperback Guide as well, have been entertaining myself reading it. It is loads of fun, and I take it with a large grain of salt. And some wine.

  • I can’t say a thing. I’m wheezing too hard. This is just such GREAT holiday family stuff. I love you all. Me—I have six house guests in a small house. I decided to sear some tofu in soy with chili sauce. The tofu was covered in sesame seeds. Don’t try this at home, folks. Those sesame seeds work like popcorn and travel really high while exploding. Even now, a day later, it is still occasionally snowing exploded sesame seeds from the 12-foot ceiling. Happy New Year to all and to all a good night.

    • Louise says:

      Did you shake, then open champagne to add to the explosion? *-:)

    • Musette says:

      =)) (WITH you, not AT you! srsly!) =))

      xo >-)

    • March says:

      oh my god that is so, so funny. I’m sorry. I’m laughing really hard at you right now.

      WITH YOU. I meant to type WITH you. 😉

      • I’m laughing AT myself. I’ve never wanted to be on You Tube, but the look on my face (and the pouffy little sesame seeds stuck on my glasses and in my hair and on the ceiling and pot rack and. . .) was a mixture of surprise and horror that would have made a great viral video. And no, I’m not going to do it again.:-j

  • Musette says:

    Bal, esp in vintage EdC,can take the fang out of anything. The only thing that would neutralize it commpletely (in a ‘I have just killed you and you are dead’ way) is the one that I never learn my lesson from; Aromatics of Doom. of course, that one slams my sinuses shut, burns all my eyebrows off and pees on my head for good measure. Great stuff.

    I’m going back to ripping out a bad patch job on the ceiling. That Tribute stuff is still hanging in there, keeping me company. it is pretty, in a brocade suit with gold thread kinda way – I’m smelling licorice now.


    xoxo >-0

    ps. I remember those “too much family at the holidays’ scenes. there were 4 of us (2 sets of cousins) and our mothers would split the holiday break with each of them taking all of us at once. We got really sick of each other by Day 4, then it was off to the other house, which made the whole thing new again. For about 2 days. By 2 January we were relieved to get back to our normal routines!

    • Musette says:


      uh, that should’ve been:

      xoxoxo >-)

      • March says:

        Yeah, but putting Aromatics on is like cutting off your nose to spite your face, or whatever it is I’m trying to say. I really WOULD have to saw my own arm off then!


        I laughed at your cousin story. All I could think was, hey, at least the moms got a break!

    • mals86 says:

      “Pees on my head.” =)) (This is why I haven’t tried it. Thank you, thank you.)

  • Mary says:

    Interesting approach to dealing with a rude amber–spraying something a little skanky on it! Regarding LT and TS– I enjoy reading the Guide, and find it very educational. Some of the reviews are definitely more worked-out than others, and some–particularly a few of the Caron reviews, seem so gratuitously negative that I have to wonder what else there is to the story. 😕

    • mals86 says:

      I love the writing in PTG, especially when I get some wacked-out description of something that doesn’t sound anything like it’s going to be a perfume review, and then it dovetails in.

      Funny how the two authors are such fans of Estee Lauder – I’m NOT prejudiced, after twenty years of drugstore frags Lauder’s a step up for me – and I cannot wear a single one of them. Not one. There’s a base they seem to share that just makes me nauseous. I’m wondering if they have some similar reaction to the Mona di Orios and Carons. (Yes, they’re two separate people, but I also think that it’s possible they share similar skin chemistry. Would Turin have invited Sanchez to share in the project originally if they had disagreed violently on major points? I can’t imagine so.)

      • March says:

        Yeah, like when LT starts off with a description of a car interior or whatever. I love to see where those are going.

        The Estees, don’t get me started. The only one I wear is vintage Cinnabar parfum. Everything on their shelf at Macy’s makes me heave, it’s often too “fresh” or whatever, something sharpish in there.

    • March says:

      All I could think of with the amber is burying it under something less sweet. Because no way was I getting it off my skin. And as I said it’s not the smell I hate inherently, it’s the volume.

      Sure, I agree, some of the reviews are thoughtful and some are gratuitous. I have zero idea with the Carons, but my speculation is that, having smelled them in past iterations/their glory days, maybe LT and TS are pissed about how they are now? I dunno, Caron’s not my favorite anyway. I recall that TS likes the masculines a lot, and that they (she?) wept over the reformulation of Royal Bain.

  • carter says:

    Ahhhh, the pleasures of being part of a large family. I can vividly recall the sight of my sister leaping through the air and attaching herself to my brother’s back, claws dug in to his shoulder blades, and him desperately trying to shake her off. Good times!

    Right on about LT. “It’s just an opinion”….well, helloooooo. It’s a well-informed opinion, nevertheless, and his writing is consistently spectacular in my, er, opinion.

    Loved his old blog so, and I too saw that business about Climat, but have no idea where or when.

    • March says:

      HI EVERYONE — and Carter — we’re taking an impromptu trip today and will be back tomorrow, we’re working around various schedules and the weather. So I may not get to all the comments until then.

      Carter, you and I have kicked the “opinion” thing around before. I suppose that sort of thing just bothers some people more than others. Since I figure I have a right to my own and he to his, we’re good.