Guest Post by Madeleine
Hello APJ friends! I do hope you’re all having a great festive season and for those that celebrate Christmas, I hope Santa brought many scented goodies your way.
I respect the Parfumerie Generale line enormously. I might not own many full bottles of Pierre Guillame’s concoctions but I love how he makes the conventional extraordinary and makes the unconventional tremendously beautiful.
Take his version of tuberose, the sumptuous Tubéreuse Couture, where the ‘conventional’ tuberose is taken to new heights by the addition of sugar cane and papyrus. Or Bois Naufragé where the inspiration was a photo of a nude on driftwood. The unconventional idea of skin and washed up flotsam and jetsam is transformed into a transparent milky fig and woody scent that is much more than a day at the beach.
PG04 Musc Maori by Parfumerie Generale 2005
Musc Maori is his take on the conventional note of chocolate. Now, I am not sure about you, but I am not really a fan of gourmand scents. I’m also one of those weird women that missed out of the chocolate-loving gene when I was born. The taste of chocolate, let alone the thought of a perfume centred around it, doesn’t exactly set my world on fire.
Musc Maori, however, is much more than just a chocolate perfume. It is an exploration of all chocolate’s elements: its taste, its smell, how it makes you feel and the memories it brings.
Photo Stolen Fragrantica
Fragrantica gives these notes:
Cacao pod, tonka bean, amber, vanilla, white musk, woody notes, coffee, floral notes and green notes.
Musc Maori’s opening is much more intriguing and complex than the whiff of a freshly opened chocolate bar.
Languid floral notes (which I suspect here is orange blossom and a little jasmine) combine with the cacao and tonka bean to create a vivid impression of entering a really good chocolate shop. The refrigerated air is perfumed with the sweetness of rows upon rows of prettily decorated and delicately flavoured chocolate nubs. It is at once rich, yet transparent, like an aerated veil of all varieties of the sweet: from plain dark to milky white; from raspberry fondant to orange crème.
The woody notes then underscore the floral sweetness but lend a tart, slightly astringent vibe that is almost crunchy in nature. It reminds me of my younger years when I did in fact enjoy the occasional tube of Smarties or two: biting into the brittle candied shell to devour the silky milk chocolate inside. It also evokes a flood of memories of birthday parties. There’s the sweet, powdery acidic smell of packets of balloons. There’s the scented melange of jelly sweets, chocolates and plastic trinkets in the take-home lolly bags mixed with the remnants of the perfume the mother wore when she carefully packed them the night before.
Photo Stolen 3news
Musc Maori then develops a strong lactonic character, but it’s not hot milk or even hot chocolate I smell. The milk note here is tepid with the gentle aroma of white flowers. Masses of jasmine and gardenia blooms steeped in white liquid. The drydown is the soft chocolate mixed with gentle musk and woody notes: the scent of a young child’s skin after a Friday night chocolate treat and a bath: warm, tender and sweet.
I find Musc Maori to be a compelling perfume to smell and experience. It’s one that really surprised me because it is just that much different from anything else I have tried. But while it has taken me on a lovely olfactory journey and evoked strong memories, it’s still not something I would actually want to smell like. I’ll keep a vial handy for the memories, but full bottles are for true chocolate connoisseurs only.
Photo Stolen HealthPost
Further reading TheCandyPerfumeBoy and Olfactoria’sTravels
Perfumerie Generale’s site starts at 30ml/€59
SurrenderToChance starts at 1ml/$5
Have you tried Musc Maori? What are your favourite gourmand scents or ones with chocolate notes? Have you tried any perfumes recently that have inspired strong memories of childhood?
With much love till next time,