WHAT I SMELL: Eau de Magnolia opens with a lightly fizzy warmed bergamot. It’s rather sour and green, but that sour aspect retreats after around 10 minutes when the magnolia makes an entrance. The fragrance at this point is very light and wispy and is sweetened with a breath of patchouli. All of this seems to be sitting upon a dry woody base that feels like it’s pulling the moisture from the fragrance. After around 20 minutes the magnolia begins to radiate, but it’s contained and never reveals too much of itself. It’s also cool and feels rather removed and distant. After another 20 minutes, the coolness is replaced by some warmth, as if the afternoon begins to filter through the curtains to help lighten and heat up a dark room. In the end you’re left with this light and delicate muted floral that is infused by a interesting citrus component.
Eau de Magonlia notes from the Frederic Malle website:
Top note is Calabrian bergamot; middle notes are magnolia, vetiver and patchouli; base notes are cedar, moss and amber.
WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME: A fading southern beauty.
THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE EAU DE MAGNOLIA: somber, muted, fragile
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT EAU DE MAGNOLIA: Olfactoria’s Travels, CaFleureBon, Kafkasesque
BOTTOM LINE: Magnolia can be tricky to recreate; the floral effect can leave a perfume loud, artificial and cloying. Eau de Magnolia manages to escape that trajectory and instead takes it in a direction that is soft, haunting and full of melancholy. It’s pretty, but it’s a perfume that leaves me feeling rather sober.
- Bone Rating: 3 out of possible 5 bones
- Scent: Floral
- Nose: Carlos Benaim
- Classification: Unisex
- Expense: $175 for 50ml