Saturday, February 28, 2009

Floris Malmaison

Come to think of it, I've always loved carnation, though I attributed the spicy scent to cinnamon. In past loves of mine such as Guerlain L'Heure Bleue, Guerlain Metallica, Gucci Rush, Versace White Jeans and Giorgio Beverly Hills Red, it was carnation that had captivated me with its opulently floral, yet sizzling hot scent. That didn't mean all carnations were alike; I could never take to Nina Ricci L'Air du Temps, Revlon Norell or Ciara, Guy Laroche Fidgi, the original Givenchy L'Interdit (made for Audrey Hepburn, the spicy carnation-based Aldehydic Floral one) or even Caron Bellodgia, as lovely as I found this perfume to be. Opium and Obsession were too over-the-top spicy for me though I still occasionally enjoy their smells. Golconda was as astounding a work of realism as I'll ever encounter in my life, but on me, the true living carnations had turned into Big Red gum (I just couldn't do it justice). I also fell out of love with my favorites, leaving me feeling like maybe carnations and I weren't meant to be. I'm finally rediscovering carnation, my craving for cinnamon and clove in floral form.

Floris Malmaison is at once hot and cool, like a contemplative walk through the spiky herb garden in a monastery, feeling a burning, consuming passion in one's core. I hear Mozart's Coronation Mass in C in my head as I write. It is an exceptional perfume, an unforgettable and distinctive soliflore carnation. It is a blend of notes including rose and a subtle vanillic base, but the overall impression is unmistakably that of the carnation flower. One word: classic. Another word: gorgeous! That's what Malmaison is; you can't even label it old-fashioned although it is, in that Oscar Wilde way, but it's timeless because it smells wonderful. Being a spicy floral, it probably would seem too traditional for those who prefer their florals cooler and more transparent, but even among aqueous floral lovers, Malmaison and its intensity of character coupled with fiery charm could ignite a deep love - it is that kind of dramatic, attention-loving, competitive star of a mezzo soprano diva.

Here are the notes according to
Floris Malmaison (1860/2002, Floral Oriental)

Top Notes: Cinnamon, Clove, Lemon
Heart Notes: Malmaison Carnation, Rose, Yland
Base Notes: Cedarwood, Musk, Patchouli, Vanilla