Frederic Malle Music for a While

I move back to the house-house in around two weeks.

The rental house is not warm. It was ok April through mid-September, but the windows are single glazed and probably more than 20 years old so the wind whistles through. I’m a warm weather person. I pity the people moving in after I move out.

We’ve moved decidedly into autumn here which means much cooler and wind (gales are a thing here autumn and winter — I never thought I could dislike wind, but it’s possible). Definitely not this area’s best time of year. And this year it’s going to be very much hunkering down indoors, with the only outings being dog walks and possibly the farm shop, but maybe not even that. Maybe it’s time to accept that the interior of the house and the garden will be the focus for potentially the next three to six months. A bit mind-bending.

Anyway, I got a few more samples recently. This one, FB Music for a While, I bought simply for the name. Didn’t even look at the notes list. Sadly, the name is the best thing about it. I love Malle. I think some of the perfumes included in the collection are masterpieces. I adore Le Parfum de Therese and Carnal Flower, and Une Fleur de Cassie, even though that one doesn’t work on me.

Carlos Benaim was the nose for Music for a While which was released in 2018. There’s a romantic backstory on the site from which I bought the sample, but it’s so cheesy I just can’t repeat it. You’ll have to go look yourself.

Notes include lavender, anise, bergamot, mandarin, ‘fruity notes’, geranium, pineapple, patchouli, vanilla, labdanum, sugar and caramel.

To my mind (and nose) the best thing about this is the caramel/vanilla/sugar thing which comes and goes on my skin over several hours. There’s still something weird underlying that aspect, but mostly I was able to ignore that.

However, as soon as everything else pops up the perfume morphs into a serious no go. The lavender just doesn’t go with the caramel. In fact, really, for me, beyond the sweetshop, nothing goes with anything else. It was a head shaker, though not a scrubber. Actually, I just stopped smelling my wrist after around hour 2 as … I simply couldn’t go there.

So, have you sampled this? Have you bought anything simply for the name, and was it a sample or a full bottle? Was it a success?

  • Ariel Marsh says:

    The notes list puts the brakes on my brain…just nope. Haven’t smelled Music in a While, but Carnal Flower is definitely in my top ten faves

    Your description reminds me of my experience with Possets’ Reason, which went like this:
    Apple-caramel, burning plastic, tropical glade plug-in

    And then I scrubbed.

  • Patty says:

    Yeah, I did not and do not love this, but I think the name is amazing. I wish they’d redo it. 🙂

  • Dina C. says:

    I bought a sample of Unicorn Spell years ago because of the name, but like March said in a review, it smells like canned green beans. No kidding. What a let down. Perfume makers should take note and resist the temptation to name their creations whimsical names that in no way match the actual scent.

  • Portia says:

    Hey Cinnamon,
    This is so strange to me that almost no one liked Music For A While. It wore beautifully on me. I loved the off kilter-ness of it and the way it ducks and weaves.
    My small decant was drained and it has been hanging around the To Buy list ever since.
    LOVE how perfume works so differently for everyone.
    Portia x

  • Maggiecat says:

    I bought the new Chanel Coco Mademoiselle L’Eau Privee and like it very much. A Nordstrom SA remembered I’d asked after it and mailed me a sample when it came out (which was amazing of her). The patchouli is softer and it’s a cozy yet elegant scent.

  • Eldarwen22 says:

    Never paid much attention to any Malle offerings outside of En Passant. You just don’t get many lilac dominant perfumes. Or even hyacinth or pine for that matter without it smelling not so hot.

  • Tara C says:

    I blind bought a 10ml travel spray and promptly swapped it after one spritz. Everything about it was unpleasant and cacophonous. And I love Malle, but this one was a big no.

  • March says:

    Hm, I KNOW I tried this, and I …. can’t remember my impressions? Which is generally not a great sign….

  • MMKinPA says:

    I am a musician so I was very intrigued to sniff Music for a While. Fortunately did so in store so there was no financial loss since I too found it to be a no-go.

  • filomena813 says:

    Yes, I bought the 10 ml travel size (which cost $60!) and I must admit, being the rabid music lover that I am, because of the name, I purchased it blindly. I agree with your review of it. I’m not sure what it’s trying to be, but it is not music to my ears or nose.

  • CobraRose says:

    My opinion exactly! Sometimes you look at a weird note list and think, that’s so crazy it could work, but in this case it was just, lavender, pineapple, caramel, why?

    • Cinnamon says:

      Why indeed. Really wonder what he was thinking. I’ve Read a few reviews saying this is a ‘challenging’ fragrance, meaning something positive. Alas, no.

  • cookie queen says:

    I call myself a Malle babe. I own a fair few. Love everything about the company and can listen to FM talk for hours. BUT I hated Music for a While. A complete and utter scrubber. Radio active and stuck to my skin for days. Ugh.
    You in the UK huh? What area if I may ask? CQ.