Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle Geranium Pour Monsieur Eau de Parfum (review)

Mint and other garden herbs © Gorilla - Fotolia.com
I recall a summer’s day in the late eighties: I was a kid, playing boisterously with my brother. Seemingly out of nowhere he stuck out a leg and tripped me. I fell headfirst into a patch of garden mint plants, which all things considered was an agreeable landing spot and good preparation for my first squirt of Frederic Malle’s Geranium Pour Monsieur as an adult. Before the mint beetles could scurry away (and I had time to plan revenge) I had become a hardened mint addict. Anybody that could release a fragrance that rivalled the natural freshness of having my head buried in shrubbery would go on to be a hero, I decided. But it would be hard to do. It’s the natural mint smell that is tricky to get right--decidedly different from smelling like you’ve been sucking a Polo mint (despite this, opponents to this fragrance may claim that it reeks of toothpaste). I mean really--toothpaste! Not any toothpaste I’ve ever tried. The initial mint burst soon fades, giving way to the other ingredients, and delightfully so. Mint isn’t all that Geranium Pour Monsieur is.

Think geranium. Not the kind of traditionally feminine geranium you’d find in an essential oil vial. Rather, a ‘green’, natural, sophisticated geranium; from the leaves of the geranium plant rather than the flower. It mixes well with the mint, and is enhanced by middle notes of warming clove and cinnamon. Don’t be fooled, the clove and cinnamon still allow the fragrance to smell fresh and are far from warming in the way a bottle of mulled wine might be. It is the addition of the base notes of white musks that really bring this fragrance out into a sensual, second-skin-like elixir. Light and air radiate. There are doses of incense resinoid and styrax benzoin, too, which sound pretty cool but are words which mean nothing to me. However, since my knowledge of chemistry is limited to what I’ve picked up watching Breaking Bad, this might not surprise. 

Geranium Pour Monsieur is a fragrance creation by Dominique Ropion, a man credited with fragrance delights such as Thierry Mugler’s Alien, Christian Dior’s Pure Poison, Calvin Klein’s Euphoria and Giorgio Armani's Acqua di Gioia. But what we’re getting here under the Editions de Parfum Frédéric Malle brand is a chance for a fragrance which is unlike anything else: Without a limiting client brief, rigid branding constrains, and, most importantly, the need to create a mass-market perfume. Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle has the power to present niche fragrances, totally creatively unadulterated and with stunning quality. And that is what this fragrance is--an example of stunning quality. With cheaper ingredients, or any omissions, this fragrance would be nothing. It is the refined ingredients that give it a staying power that makes the product ‘work’ instead of fizzle away. That having been said, it is still a very subtle fragrance and it isn’t going to trail, no matter how much I’d like it to, in order that other people could experience its uniqueness. No, this fragrance is destined to stay a secret acknowledged with a knowing smile between Editions de Parfums fans. 

There is something that may put you off of this fragrance, and that is cost. A 100 ml bottle costs £140.00 (purchased at Liberty, London), but, in my opinion, is worth it. A shirt spritzed with this fragrance prior to going through a full wash cycle is still aromatic after being dried and ironed, though never overpowering or cloying. A few spritzes will do the job and there’s no need to coat the body in order to make a lasting impression. If you aren’t able to get to Liberty, you can also purchase the product from the Editions de Parfums website

There are other ways to enjoy this fragrance. It is available in 50 and 100 ml sprays, in a 200 ml body wash and 200 ml body lotion. There is also a travel spray available and three 10 ml refills. But really, if you already had a bottle of this stuff, why would you need to leave the house? 

Available through limited channels (though some may say this is a good thing!)
Opponents claim it smells like toothpaste


Brand: Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

Website: www.fredericmalle.com

Size: 50 ml
Price: €115.00 (€230.00/100 ml)

Size: 100 ml
Price: €165.00 (€165.00/100 ml)

Size: 3 X 10 ml
Price: €75.00 

Body Milk Size: 200 ml
Body Milk Price: €70.00 (€35.00/100 ml)

Shower Gel Size: 200 ml
Shower Gel Price: €70.00 (€35.00/100 ml)

Manufactured: n/a

Ingredients: n/a

Alternative: Colgate Total Advanced

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