Eau de Magnolia by Carlos Benaim: Frederic Malle 2014

Hi Crew, Magnolia is such a beautiful scent and while I often enjoyed the fragrances made that nod to magnolia I’d never smelled the Magnolia Grandiflora until this year. My mates have two trees in their front yard but for some reason I’d never noticed them flowering until we went to dinner the other night and there were two perfect blooms in the center of the table and the smell was intoxicating, a couple of times I lost track of the conversation because my mind was totally immersed in trying to get more scent from them to waft towards me, HA! It was kind of nerdy. So it was with much excitement that I searched out Eau de Magnolia….

Eau de Magnolia by Carlos Benaim for Frederic Malle 2014

Eau De Magnolia Frederic Malle FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Calabrian bergamot
Heart: Magnolia, vetiver, patchouli
Base: Cedar, moss, amber

Carlos Benaim is not a perfumer who is regularly in the spotlight, which is strange because he has been the mastermind behind loads of blockbuster fragrances: BVLGARI Jasmine Noir, CK Eternity Men, Euphoria Women and Man, Carolina Herrera, DIOR Pure Poison, Elizabeth Arden Red Door, Ralph Laurent Polo, Victor & Rolf Flowerbomb and Eau Mega are just a few of this man’s incredible output.

Below are pictures of the flower from my friends bush, yes I asked to steal one after dinner, they are taken same time 3 nights in a row.

Patrick & Wayne Magnolia 2015b

So if you are expecting Eau de Magnolia to be a completely photo realistic scent copy of a magnolia grandiflora then you will be sadly let down, so what you have to expect is an artists rendering of a magnolia. Here the structure of the journey is laid out in bright and sizzling citrus to open that lasts well into the heart and even hints still remain in the base.

Magnolia P&W Day 2

Eau de Magnolia’s floral heart is dewy and cool, a fresh and refreshing take on the big white floral that is neither big nor particularly floral. More earthy and wet, but not wet earth, imagine digging your healthy compost heap on a sea bluff in an early spring morning just as you start to warm through in the thin warmth of the sun.In real life the dying magnolia goes brown and gets an incredibly vegetal muskiness, murky and deep.

Magnolia P&W Day 3

End it all with a still lightly sparkling citrus/moss/patchouli warmed in amber. The magnolia in my kitchen has an incredibly animal smell now, decay and bad breath. Still strangely alluring but nothing like Eau de Magnolia.

Further reading: Olfactoria’s Travels and Australian Perfume Junkies
Frederic Malle has €34/10ml
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $7.60/ml

If you liked this then jump on over to AustralianPerfumeJunkies too, there’s always something fun going on over there. We love visitors.

Which Malle is your favourite? Which magnolia has tickled your fancy?
Portia xx

  • Thanks for the advice and sharing.

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  • Michele42 says:

    I had no idea the Magnolia flower goes brown and dies off so quickly. Great review…I think I’ll need to give this Malle a sniff!

    • Portia says:

      Hey Michelle42,
      That’s what happened here in my kitchen, you may have differing magnolia results at home.
      Good luck with the saniffing.
      Portia xx

  • Tara C says:

    My favorite is the Aqua di Parma Magnolia Nobile, but the FM is nice too. Love the photos!

  • Ellen says:

    The Magnolia Grandiflora blooms where I live in great profusion, and I love them. I’d like to know if there is a fragrance out there that is just that, not a take on the flower, but the actual flower before it turns brown. Any suggestions?

  • foxbins says:

    I just wanted to say, those are gorgeous pics, brightened up my morning considerably. Eau de Magnolia is one of my favorites in the FM line even if it isn’t magnolia. It just smells good, doesn’t it?

    • Portia says:

      Hey there FoxBins,
      Thank you.
      TOTALLY agree, Eau de Magnolia is gorgeous, super gorgeous. I’m going to spritz myself for bedtime and have sweet Eau de Magnolia dreams.
      Portia xx

  • Kathleen says:

    Hey Portia! So correct me if I am wrong. “An artist’s rendering of a magnolia” translates to, nothing at all like the flower, and he should have called it something different? You know what was a really fab magnolia, and not an artist’s rendering of the flower? MPG Magnolia Pourpre. Beautiful stuff. Of course, discontinued. It had all the nuances of the magnolia. A lemony sweetness, with that slight touch of tobacco. Search this out, if you love magnolia

    • Portia says:

      Kathleen,
      No not COMPLETELY different but it’s not photo realistic for me. Then again magnolia itself is a mix of extraordinary polarities, the citrus, white flower, musk, earth, dewy cool and sensual warmth. It’s not like a few notes is going to capture the whole flower anyway.
      I find it less the magnolia scent in my mind and more other stuff. Make sense?
      And yes, they could have called it orange blossom, jasmine or lily and all of these would also have been believable as part of the mix.
      Portia xx

  • Kandice says:

    Glad to see your review. This is the only FM I’ve tried and it’s one of my favorite perfumes. Like Ann, I do get some real magnolia scent from this perfume. Also like Ann, I love Grandiflora’s Magnolia Michel. (Feel better soon Ann!). Since I also love orange blossom, I’m looking forward to the new FM Cologne Indelibile as well.

    • Portia says:

      Yay Kandice,
      What a beautiful Malle to start with. Interesting that both you and Ann do get a beautiful magnolia real scent in the heart. Skin chemistry and smell senses, everyone wears and smells it differently.
      Portia xx

    • Ann says:

      Thanks, Kandice!

  • Ann says:

    Whoo-hoo, Portia! When I saw your post this morning, I nearly jumped up and down! This has been a fave of mine since last summer, where I wore it often as a great heat-buster. And if we keep warming up around here (mid 90s next week — yikes!), I’ll be pulling this out often. Funny, on my skin, for a little while in the middle, I do get a fairly realistic wash of magnolia.
    Other magnolias I enjoy are Acqua di Parma Magnolia Nobile and both of the Magnolia Grandifloras (although I think I prefer Michel’s just a wee bit more). Thanks again for a real day-brightener — I hope to get to sniffing again this week after a nasty bout of bronchitis.

  • bevfred says:

    Beautiful vase too.

  • Tara says:

    Love the compost heap on the sea bluff on a spring morning! You come up with the best and most imaginative comparisons Portia. Eau de Magnolia is indeed cool and dewy, perfect for hot weather.

    Fab time lapse pics. Thanks for the link love.

    Right now I love Cologne Indelebile from Frederic Malle – yummy orange blossom.