In my review of the LookFantastic Autumn Scent Edit, I commented that I couldn’t see the fuss around Maison Margiela’s Lazy Sunday Morning fragrance. On FeelUnique, the site where I have been getting five perfume samplers for the last few months to share my thoughts on here, had several other Maison Margiela fragrances as samplers, I thought this would be an opportune moment to see if my ‘meh’ response to Lazy Sunday Morning was an anomaly, or if this brand as a whole wasn’t to my taste.
Unlike some of the other Maison Margiela fragrances that will be spotlighted in this blog post, I’ll give props to Springtime in the Park for the fact that it actually aimed to smell like a perfume, with its floral components.
Unfortunately, whilst the components showed promise, the formula was seriously lacking. Mixed together, the end product was really synthetic and noxious. After application, I got a headache from Springtime in the Park, likely due to the questionable choice of pairing lily of the valley with white musk. Collectively, that meant there were too many white florals in the perfume, a scent that I can only tolerate in sparing doses, at best.
The description of Springtime in the Park is of ‘blossoms and fruity notes’. Blossoms and fruit never smelt this artificial.
All of the Replica scents have a place and era they’re trying to evoke, and Matcha Meditation’s is Tokyo in 2008. With ingredients of green tea, bergamot, mandarin orange, jasmine, mate, orange blossom, white chocolate, moss and cedar, the perfume does give off a zen vibe.
I’m not convinced that tea makes for the most compelling perfumes, as they are a rather laid-back ingredient, and I like my perfumes to be punchier and more attention-grabbing. But the initial soothing hit of matcha morphs into something more floral and candy-like as the perfume dries down. The interaction with skin is a slight smell, but sweet enough.
By the Fireplace
It was by this point that I was questioning whether some of the Maison Margiela scents were authentic products, or if the creators had put them out there, to stress test what the most audacious fragrance was that they could get away with putting out, and people would still buy, purely due to the Margiela brand.
By the Fireplace aims to evoke Chamonix in 1971, and is meant to smell like burning wood and chestnut. On that front, it achieves its aims. But my question is… why? Perfumes are supposed to smell fragrant, so why would I want to walk around smelling like a chimney?
By the Fireplace does try to make the formula more palatable, but balancing it out with vanilla, orange blossom and juniper, but the firewood core is just too strong. On reaction with the skin, this concoction just smells of stale cigarette smoke, and that’s a smell that instantly fills me with unease.
As with By the Fireplace, this was another scent I couldn’t take to, due to its proximity to smoking. In Jazz Club’s case, tobacco leaf is its main base note, so a large component of its smell is of one of those old-school-style cigars that I presume the creators of this fragrance envisaged people smoking in jazz clubs.
Intended to capture the ‘masculine and exhilarating ambiance of New York jazz clubs’, I was distinctly un-exhilarated by Jazz Club. The combination of rum and tobacco was too on the nose, and rather than evoking the classy bars they were probably picturing, it instead smelt like a dirty dive pub where there are alcohol stains on the floor.
There’s a vague hint of pollution from Jazz Club, so in that regard, the scent is doing the exact opposite of what a perfume should be doing – evoking unsavoury smells, rather than masking then.
Mutiny is an orange-heavy fragrance, containing both orange and mandarin orange as the top notes. One of the middle notes is tuberose, which, in the way it’s been utilised in the formula, threatens to give Mutiny a somewhat plastic-like smell. The drydown has a pleasantly bubblegum smell to it, and the sillage is not too overpowering, making it a suitable workplace perfume.
At £89 for just 50ml of Mutiny, this product is very over-priced. It smells perfectly fine, and compared to some of the whackier Maison Margiela scents that I’ve described in this blog post, it’s one of their better offerings.
But that price point is massively inflated, and you can get much better bang for your buck with a gorgeous Lancome or YSL fragrance. Thus, I’m getting ‘emperor’s new clothes’ vibes from Maison Margiela products. I really do not see the hype.