I have tried several Frederic Malle fragrances. Whilst no two are quite the same, I do notice similarities between them. I often think “Hmm, that smells like a Frederic Malle”, only to find that it was.
I rather liked Une Fleur de Cassie, but didn’t love L’Eau D’Hiver (which I reviewed back in January), discovered a hearty dislike for my nemesis Iris Poudre, and was left slightly underwhelmed by Musc Ravageur. I have been told however, that I might just love Bigarade, and since Jean Claude Ellena is at the helm of that one, they might be right.
Une Fleur de Cassie is a lot of perfumes all at once. Not a Green, not quite a Floral, not a Citrus, not a Chypre, not an Oriental. It begins smelling a little of musty blackcurrants and Roses and Chalk. It then beds down into a creamy dust, framed with Dried Rose petals, background Jasmine, and yellow, summery Mimosa. The Sandalwood adds a bit of sandy bite. As it settled in, the mustiness became more dominant, and it began to smell like the back of a dark wardrobe and sadly went a bit cardboard like on my skin. There is a dusty quality, like a stuffiness or lack of air, that I also found in Iris Poudre.
After around five hours, just before it died away completely, I was left with a very aged smelling milky Musk, with peppery dried Pot Pourri. I’m glad I didn’t buy a bottle blind. This smells much prettier on my Mum, who happens to be around today. On her, there is a definite hint of Violet Leaf and the Musk really suits her.
Dominique Ropion is a prolific Nose, having created some true greats. It is fair to say that the landscape of modern perfume would be very different without him. In his repertoire, you will find Thierry Mugler Alien, Givenchy Amarige, Lancome La Vie est Belle, Sisley Soir de Lune, Givenchy Ysatis, Calvin Klein Euphoria, Caron Aimez-Moi, Cacharel Amor Amor, My Queen by Alexander McQueen, several for Burberry, several for Escada, Dior Pure Poison, and several fragrances for Frederic Malle, including the much lauded Portrait of a Lady, to name but a few.
Ropion is both talented and versatile, with no two Ropion fragrances smelling the same. He can do big Box Office hits, but gives great niche. Whilst Une Fleur de Cassie isn’t my cup of Monkey Picked Oolong, I’d like to think I can recognise a good perfume when I smell one, and this is definitely good. Not on me sadly, but on my Mum it’s terrific. Mum, I think you should splash out.