WHAT I SMELL: Marlowe opens with an almost stinging tuberose note that quickly turns to a big and bursting soured floral. I can’t say that it’s pretty, but it’s intriguing in that it feels like there’s some measure of decay involved. In a few minutes, the perfume starts to powder and blend with a dried osmanthus. Soon, all of the moisture is sucked out of the perfume making it incredibly dry. Past this point, and for the first few hours, the perfume radiates substantial layers of powdered florals that seem broken down and aged.
From the Jardins d’Ecrivains website:
This scent is dense, heady, feral, and theatrical. The top notes feature the poisonous nectar of the tuberose blended with opulent osmanthus. The middle notes of dried flowers evoke tragic poetry. Hints of powdered leather with chypre make up the base notes.
WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME: Bilbo Baggins restaurant, Alexandria, Virginia. OK, let me explain…Bilbo Baggins is a restaurant in the town where I live. The interior of the restaurant feels like it has not been updated or cleaned since 1975. It’s dusty, tired and someplace I will not return to if I can help it.
THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE MARLOWE: labored, tired, burdensome
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT MARLOWE: Kafkaesque, The Non-Blonde, Colognoisseur
BOTTOM LINE: Marlowe is a complete miss for me. There’s something about the tired and powdered florals that just weighs it down, like a forgotten sachet in the back of your mother’s “delicates” drawer. Only hours into the wear does it soften to a point of actually being amenable.
- Bone Rating: 2 out of possible 5 bones
- Scent: Floral
- Classification: Unisex
- Expense: $110 for 100 ml Eau de Parfum
September 21, 2015 at 5:42 am
Hahaha, and your version is STILL better than what appeared on my skin! I loved your description of the restaurant as “someplace I will not return to if I can help it.” I feel the same way about the fragrance. One of my poor readers blindly bought a full bottle, and couldn’t wait to get rid of it. In fact, Marlowe was the scent that finally cured him of his blind buy habit! It was so bad on him, he just won’t risk it again.
September 21, 2015 at 5:52 am
K – I have finally come to the conclusion that the Jd’E perfumes aren’t for me. I think they’re rather daring and interesting…but in the end, just don’t mix with my chemistry. If you look at Fragrantica, this perfume is a big love and I have to admit after hours of being on my skin, it finally calmed down and wasn’t so bad…but by that time it was just a mild musky skin scent. Oh well.
September 21, 2015 at 6:48 am
Great review! You nailed it. I am running from this one for sure..
September 21, 2015 at 5:16 pm
Thanks for the nice words. I think a lot of people like Marlowe…unfortunately I’m just not one of them!
September 22, 2015 at 11:17 am
OK you’ve made me want to try it now. I have sniffed it and wasn’t wowed but I do like others in the range. I wouldn’t advise you try Les Cocottes her new collection as they are very unusual, and if you don’t like Jardins then Les Cocottes will be a step too far.
September 23, 2015 at 10:17 am
Megan – I think overall that the line is adventurous and interesting, but for some reason they just don’t mix with my chemistry. Given that however, I’m sure I’ll still try the new Les Cocottes 🙂 Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment!?
September 23, 2015 at 2:54 pm
I’m sure I’ll see when you do the review. It’s quite a cool concept and from memory one didn’t work for me at all and the other two were fairly unusual!