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M. Micallef Patchouli - Patchouli with curves – November 29, 2013 New Fragrance Listing

Photo - Wikipedia - Dita von Teese, Cannes 2007

I love patchouli, and Gwen loves patchouli. I’m certain that’s one of the many reasons we’re such fragrance fiends, and such BFFs. There’s something about patchouli…..

An herb grown in warm climates, Patchouli is often given a bad rap outside of perfumistaland. I don't know why people love to hate patchouli - I chalk it up to their inexperience, lack of curiosity, or being stuck in the past - but we in the perfume-know understand that it’s an integral note in perfume-making. Its unique earthy herbal aspect adds great depth and richness to perfume accords, and it also has incredible fixative properties. Patchouli is found in many many many fragrances, vintage, new, classic, niche, and even though your nose may not detect it, it’s there.

The patchouli note is sometimes featured as the star attraction in a fragrance. Patchoulis are lined up on our perfume shelves, ready for action, because it is now officially Patchouli Season. Yup, it’s absolutely freezing outside, below freezing, to be exact. Cold air makes it come alive for my nose - this is when patchouli struts her stuff to perfection.

So let’s look at the bottles, let’s look at the ones with patchouli on the marquee. They each focus on patchouli but they are all very different, because of the contrasting note:

Elixir Patchouli –Réminiscence - vetiver

Mon Patchouly – Ramón Monegal - jasmine

Luxe Patchouli – Comme des Garçons - fenugreek

Patchouli Patch – L’Artisan Parfumeur - anise

Patchouli - Santa Maria Novella - pure patchouli

And today we're adding M. Micallef Patchouli, from the chic niche brand of the same name, the one with the fabulous jeweled bottles. Started in 1997 by Martine Micallef and her husband, Geoffrey Neumann, the perfumes in their unique line are created by nose Jean-Claude Astier, in partnership with her husband, and the distinctive bottles are designed by Martine. M.Micallef Patchouli, an EdP which was launched in 2006, is I think, one of their best.

Right out of the bottle I can smell the patchouli note but it remains under a lovely light earthy-green layer of violet leaf and orris, which begins to sweeten immediately with the soft scent of heliotrope. The accord of these four notes is so unique, and so different from any of my other patchouli scents, I can’t help by but think “THIS is what I love about perfumes!” You can never predict what will come out of the bottle. This is beautiful!

As it dries down into the heart, the herbal aspect of patchouli strengthens and Patchouli takes on a leathery vibe, but this is a soft supple sueded leather rather than a tanned skin, and it smells elegantly rich and luxurious. Cedarwood and balsam make it even richer, and as the heart expands, the vanilla and labdanum notes appear, and M. Micallef Patchouli starts to feel almost gourmand. It is now sweet and boozy with a woody chocolate note, but soon the magical earthiness of the patchouli reins in the sweetness, revealing more of the darkly luscious vanilla. In the final dry-down, warm vanilla and velvety musk, with its salty-skin overtones, quietly shift the scent into heart-fluttering sensuous aphrodisiac territory, so smooth and langourous. Mmmmm.

M. Micallef Patchouli is patchouli all the way through, but this vision of patchouli has removed the dark rough edges that keep many from loving this special note. M.Micallef's vision of patchouli with violet and vanilla is sleek and sophisticated, smooth, curvy, and very feminine.

M. Micallef Patchouli sits upfront on the perfume shelf now. I hope the weather stays cold.

M. Micallef Patchouli is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.