Frederic Malle Heaven Can Wait

I was planning this week to write about the bottle for Hermes Twilly. I mentioned recently that I sprayed this on a blotter and it was fruity-floral and basically forgettable. It wasn’t the juice I’d set out looking for – I’d seen pics of the bottle and thought the presentation was outstanding. It’s not often you get really nicely done bottles in perfumery that show whimsy and imagination. The bottle for Twilly is nice solid squarish heavy-ish glass. That’s fine. The kicker is the bowler hat topper. Perfect. Amusing, without being cute or twee; an unusual graphic feature. Though the makings of the hat feel quite cheap, it still looks good. It’s the kind of presentation that makes you look twice, smile and maybe laugh a little bit. Someone in whichever department that does this sort of thing was trying and they got it right.

There you go. I’ve written about it.

We had our second storm of the season pass through last week (Scotland is still feeling it): Babet – pronounced like the French Babette. Sigh. Why not just call it Babette and make things easier?

Anyway. Big big winds, a load of rain over several days. The lawn is a sponge. And this is just the beginning of rainy season.

At some point on one of the really wet inside days I went looking for a sample of something specific and found it at Les Senteurs in London. I figured I could throw in another sample (even though I had planned not to sample anything until I made it up to London next month, but this sort of weather mucks with best laid plans) into the order and the new Malle popped up on the site. So, no contest. That would be it.

I wasn’t expecting the parcel for another few days, but it dropped through the door on Saturday and I thought I would have a go with the Malle first.

And that’s sort of where we start and end.

I sprayed my left wrist – quite excited I was. Shook my arm a bit. Then sniffed.

Uh, what? Before I get into my reaction here are the notes for Heaven Can Wait. Clove, pimento, ambrette, carrot seed, iris, peach, prune, vetiver. It’s supposed to be your own private heaven, whatever that means.

Ok, let’s go.

I managed around 20 minutes of this before I sighed, got up, and washed it off and then washed my wrist with rubbing alcohol. It’s now more than an hour later and what little I can still smell makes me slightly ill. So, I’m not smelling my wrist any more and when I’m done writing I’m going to try the rubbing alcohol again.

A couple of nights ago on my evening walk, after a day of heavy rain, the air smelled of incredibly cold laundry detergent. It was unpleasant and weird and that unsettling ozonic thing you get in a laundrette that’s seen better days rather than from doing laundry at home.

Heaven Can Wait doesn’t smell like this but it does smell incredibly cold on my skin. I’ve said in the past that my low body temperature sometimes modifies perfumes in unpleasant ways and I’m willing to bet that’s part of what makes HCW not work on me.

Truly, it does not smell good on me. At.All. A strangely cold anise aspect which was probably clove, iris and carrot seed plus vetiver. I really really don’t think that was what was meant to come through from the notes combo.

So, I’m afraid this didn’t get much time and thus I have no idea how it unfolds.

All I can say is I hope it is much better on other people because I have a lot of time for Malle fragrances – even those I don’t love – and the nose for this is Jean-Claude Ellena. Anyone have (I hope) a completely different experience?

Pic: Pexels

  • Dina C. says:

    I also find the Twilly bottle really charming. I have a mini size, and it’s disgustingly cute. The ginger juice won some awards, but I have a feeling the bar is set really low for those awards! “You get an award, and you get an award, and you get an award…” That’s too bad the Heaven Can Wait didn’t work on you. I remember seeing that movie with my mom (the Warren Beatty version), and we both liked it. It had beautiful scenery.

    • cinnamon says:

      I don’t think I’ve ever seen the film (or if I did it’s long gone from my brain). Portia mentions minis of Twilly which I wish they’d bring back (if they aren’t available). I would buy one of those.

      • Dina C. says:

        I got mine in a coffret of Hermes minis that included Eau de Merveilles, Rhubarb Eclarte, Un Jardin Sur le Nil, and Twilly. It’s the kind of thing that comes our for the holidays. Keep your eyes peeled for one, and I will too.

  • alityke says:

    I do like a carnation/clove note but as part of a choir rather than a dentist surgery whump in the nose.
    I’m trying not to accumulate any more samples by sending them on to others. The whole collection of smelly stuff, shoes & clothes has become overwhelming

    • cinnamon says:

      I have bitten the proverbial bullet and am removing stuff I know I no longer wear (however pretty I think it might be) and thinking good and hard about things added to replace. Samples … I have good intensions…

  • Tom says:

    I got a sample yesterday and yes, it is very chilly and somewhat ozonic. It also has something in the opening that could go wrong on me but didn’t. I’m going to post about it this week.

    That Twilly bottle is too cute..

    Some people say there no such thing as “skin chemistry” but I call bullshi7 on that- I remember PotL Luctor et Emergo that everyone was mad about. I gave it the old college try but all I got was play-doh and armpit.

    The Lutens that smelled like rancid buttered popcorn made me want to send my left arm to rehab out of state.

    • Maya says:

      How can there not be skin chemistry. We all have our own scent. That’s how bloodhounds and other dogs track people, by their scent. So when you put perfume on your skin, you are placing it onto an already naturally scented surface. That creates it’s own individual and unique fragrance.

      • Tom says:

        I agree- and you would think it would be basic, but I think it was Luca Turin who said “no”

        • Maya says:

          Well, I found that Luca Turin and I disagree more than we agree. And since I’m the one discovering, buying, wearing and enjoying my perfumes, and sometimes trying to spread the love, he is irrelevant to me. 😉

    • cinnamon says:

      Skin chemistry definitely contributes — I imagine if my body temp was ‘normal’ this might be different. Rancid buttered popcorn??? which one was that.

    • alityke says:

      Jeux de Peau? Evil stuff

  • Portia says:

    Heya Cinnamon. Thanks for this. Truth in perfume reporting is so rare when people just don’t like something. Of course not everything is going to work for everyone, and Malle/Lauder won’t go bankrupt because it didn’t sing on you.
    Poor you. Why is it that scrubbers linger longer?
    I’m with March and now REALLY want to try it too.

    Twilly! Agreed on the adorability of the bottle, cap especially. They did a really fabulous 15ml cheapy of it and I bought half a dozen to add to presents. Exactly the same but smaller. All non perfumista recipients fell madly in love.
    Portia x

    • cinnamon says:

      It’s weird. Sometimes I watch YouTube videos of people reviewing a big chunk of a house’s offering and saying everything is wonderful. Seems very unlikely. Maybe a lot of things are well done but was everything fantastic on you? Really? But I do think this is worth trying — mostly because I hope it’s decent or better on other people.

  • March says:

    Oooooh, a scrubber! Those are always so interesting. You’re making me want to try it … hey, I loved Uncut Gem which I think was roundly panned. I know exactly that cold ozonic smell you’re talking about, some iris scents are too rooty/chilly for me. But it sounds like I wouldn’t be bored! (Also I loved the Twilly bottle and bought one when it came out — it’s a pleasant office scent.)

    • cinnamon says:

      You made me laugh although I wasn’t laughing when I finally (after not that long) just decided I didn’t want this on my body. This wasn’t ozonic, it was the air. This was … freezing cold anise and not nice. No, I doubt you’d be bored with this.

  • Maya says:

    I’m disappointed to hear this. I had already added it to my “to try” list next to FM Uncut Gem, but then again, I love some of Jean-Claude Ellena’s early work but not much of his later work.
    As an aside, I did sample Eris Delta of Venus. The opening is lovely! The citrus has rounded edges and the tiniest hint of sweetness. It lingers throughout. Guava is the most noticeable later, but on me it is pale and faded. If it had some oomph to it, it would be great!

    • cinnamon says:

      I would still try it. I do think my chemistry causes issues. Interesting on DoV. I do really like it. A bottle in my future? I don’t know.

  • Tara C says:

    I got a lot of medicinal clove and not much else. Definitely a pass for me.

    • cinnamon says:

      Medicinal clove. Interesting. Did you manage it all the way through to the dry down? How was lasting power?