WHAT I SMELL: Ma Griffe opens with bright aldehydes followed by a mix of florals that turn surprisingly green. There’s an undercurrent of rapturous warmth that sits below the florals that makes the perfume heady and full-bodied in a rather provocative manner. Ma Griffe is not shy in the least and as it goes on she tells you exactly who she is right from the beginning. As the perfume continues to develop, there’s a note or combination of notes that reminds me of slightly worn silk undergarments. It’s a mix of perfume, powder and just a hint of light sweat gained from normal daily activity. As such, this makes Ma Griffe a veritible seductress. As the perfume continues to morph, the florals begin to deepen with tonka bean taking root along side a drying oak moss. Here, Ma Griffe is fully in charge and makes it known that she is all woman and doesn’t mind if you call her a dame.
Top notes: Aldehydes, clary sage, galbanum, bergamot
Heart notes: Gardenia, jasmine, ylang-ylang, rose
Base notes: Cinnamon, tonka bean, vetiver
WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME: The unapologetic user of men; Barbara Stanwyck in the pre-code classic movie “Babyface.”
THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE MA GRIFFE: bold, seductive, empowered
BOTTOM LINE: I acquired the bottle pictured above years ago from a woman who was cleaning out her aunt’s estate. I believe it’s from the 1970’s or ’80s and is the EDT “mis-s-s-ster” version. The “mister” no longer works so it comes out of the bottle dribbling from under the sprayer. I imagine that the mister would provide a bit of a softer experience, but I can’t say for sure. For me, Ma Griffe is interestingly bold and beautiful, but I find that it’s not something I gravitate to or wear very often. I think’s it’s because I like my vintage perfumes to have a bit of a soft side and Ma Griffe is anything but soft from start to finish. Still, it’s a pretty darn amazing perfume.
- Bone Rating: 4 out of possible 5 bones
- Scent: Chypre Floral
- Classification: Feminine
- Expense: Prices for vintage vary considerably on concentration, etc.