I haven’t visited Paris in years and I miss it. So many things. And then I saw something about Madeleine, which was released in 2020. So, I thought even if I can’t go to Paris, I can try something that supposedly smells like it does.
First off, I have to say I didn’t like the Madeleine books as a child (I didn’t like Little Bear either). While the pictures and the stories were great, I found the girls, Madeleine in particular, annoying. So, I was suspicious about this.
That’ll teach me.
The notes list includes Chantilly liqueur (ie, a cream flavoured liqueur), chestnut, cumin (??!!), cypress, geranium, milk accord, tuberose, tonka bean and vanilla.
On first sniff, this is burnt vanilla cookies on me (langue du chat – I get only vanilla from these vs lemon and vanilla from Madeleines) dipped in the Chantilly liqueur (which I had to look up) and the smell of the burnt bits is fairly strong. That’s not unpleasant. It is a bit weird – like if you’ve tried to make yourself a toasted marshmallow and burnt more of it than was toasted. And oddly, there’s a bit of white toast smell under it all.
About an hour after spraying this on, I get warm milk and a lovely nutty aspect – maybe the roasted chestnuts? It’s mouth-watering. The burnt aspect has receded. I hate the word comforting when applied to perfume, but this is comforting – like smelling the best breakfast you could have even if you don’t want to eat hot cereal and chestnuts for breakfast.
This period of the perfume lasts quite well and as it opens, I get more vanilla, meaning it gets a bit sweeter but never in a cloying manner. This reminds me slightly of Lostmarc’h Lann-Ael but it’s more sophisticated.
The drydown continues to be this great slightly sweet nutty cereal thing. Maybe there’s a whisper of tuberose in there, but the whole vibe is cosy, warming, etc, etc.
It made me think of a Paris trip years ago when my son was much younger and we went with a friend. I was usually the first up which meant I got to go to the local bakery in Montmartre to buy breakfast – croissants and sweet pastries. I’m still surprised the three of us didn’t come home double the size we left, but that was because we took evening walks around Montmartre – each night, a different direction. Up and down the steep hill. Oh, to do that again …
Hours later, when I was walking the dog, I smelled my wrist again and the fragrance had gone a bit artificial. But even that wasn’t that unpleasant.
Here, this is available in a 35ml of EdP for £110. So not cheap. Nosirreebob. I’m not enamoured of the bottles, particularly the cap, which looks like something you put on the bottom of your radiator. And as ever, I find the marketing guff both laughable and irritating. Oh, well.
Would I buy this? No. But if I found a decant I would think seriously about getting that.
So, tried this? Do you like langue du chat or breakfast cereal perfumes? If you were able to visit Paris, what would a sample day look like?