Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Magie Noire : Lancome : Gérard Goupy (with an aside on Habanita)

Magie Noire parfum--does anyone know more about the evil sorcerer Goupy who created this? It drives me a little whackadoodle when I wear it, trying to figure out why I can't stop sniffing my wrist, even with its Pledge-furniture-polish-and-fruit moments. But that's what this perfume does to most folks who love it, I think. It's restless; it keeps you off balance.

I'd compare it with Habanita edt, another unlikely fruited love of mine, in its powers of conviction. Yes, I do mean powers of conviction, because these perfumes have intentions--improper ones. You try it on and say: "hm, not so sure ..." And Habanita answers: "You better believe it." Habanita starts as a powdery fruit compote that you would think would be about as seductive as, say, a quivering bowl of ambrosia salad on a cheap vinyl tablecloth, until it morphs into the most unexpected vetiver-vanilla-leather creature on the prowl, enveloping you before you realize it's even gotten a hold. Every time it happens I'm flabbergasted at the mysterious alchemy that turns such seemingly unimpressive materials into such a stunner. Whew, erm...I get a little carried away about the Habanita (pant pant).

What I'm reviewing today, however, is Magie Noire parfum. I am not dissing Lancome, but I can only stand the parfum. It does strike me that the Magie Noire edt must have been tinkered with rather... disastrously. The ivy-green lemony smell (is that the blackcurrant?) reads in the Magie Noire edt as ammonia. Frankly, people, it smells like cat pee and Pledge. So after smelling the recent edt and body lotion, I wasn't expecting much from the parfum. But it's true, a magic act similar to that of Habanita happens. It's not the transformer that Habanita is on my skin, but after a bit of a rough start, there is a stage at which I am won over. The early stages of greens (sharp, twiggy ivy-like greens ready to claw the unsuspecting) and bruised, darkly juicy floral (hyacinth) swirling in an animalic, nocturnal brew (honey, civet, castoreum, patchouli) are unsettling, to say the least. Just when I think that they are just going to sit and sulk, like the demon in Fuseli's The Nightmare, the purple-berry-ish top notes finally mellow a bit into the tuberose, rose, and narcissus. Finally, after several hours, the gorgeous drydown completes its alchemical reaction with your skin, smelling like you've had a naughty post-berry-picking roll under a bramble.

Osmoz lists the notes as: blackcurrant, bergamot, hyacinth, raspberry, honey, tuberose, narcissus, rose oriental, patchouli, vetiver, castoreum, and civet.

Darnit, this review was *supposed* to be of something available online, at least, if not in stores. But the online source from which I got my .25 oz. parfum only this winter seems to have dried up in the meantime , so unfortunately I have only fleabay to suggest if you wish to acquire this strange beauty. Le sigh. Perhaps I should just give it up and call this the Sadly Now Inaccessible Fragrance blog and start my own 12-step program called Sadly Now Inaccessible Fragrance Addicts Anonymous (SNIFAA)©.

Image of Henry Fuseli's The Nightmare from The Artchive.
Image of Magie Noire bottle is blogger's own.


Anonymous said...

one membership to SNIFAA please!

Aimée L'Ondée said...

Anytime you want to share in front of the group, you're welcome!

ScentScelf said...

There may have to be a sub-committee: Scents Pined for But Never Actually Owned.

(For me, there could even be a Scents Longed for But Never Even Smelled.)

BTW, I don't get cat pee from the Magie Noire edge, yes, civet-y I suppose; but not the full-on ammonia that leaps at you.

Since I don't have and have never experienced the edp, I guess I am now in the SLBNES subcommittee.

Aimée L'Ondée said...

Yeah, I didn't even know there *was* an edp in Magie Noire! If you like Magie Noire in edt, I have a bottle + body lotion up for swapping...

I could definately represent in the SLBNES on many a rare scent: Iris Gris, Djedi, Nombre Noir, to name a few!

Anonymous said...

Interesting post... I can see that you put a lot of hard work on your blog. I'm sure I'd visit here more often.