“Fragrance is always the last touch of magic to any look I create”- Mary Greenwell
Mary Greenwell is a successful make up artist who, when looking to expand, took the agreeable route of creating a perfume range rather than a make up range. As someone who only has five items in her make up bag, but a groaning dressing table whose legs are buckling, I applaud this decision. The nose behind the scent is the legend that is Francois Robert (who is also the nose behind Friedemodin, more of which anon).
You could be forgiven for assuming that Plum would be a fruity soliflore- that’s what I was expecting and my heart wasn’t fully in it prior to trying this. However I couldn’t have been more wrong and Mary Greenwell Plum is actually a complex and feminine scent that unfurls its layers like a dance of the seven veils.
At first spray, Plum has, as you would expect, a dash of plum, but the plum is accompanied by so many friends that it’s is never allowed to completely dominate. For example, alongside the plum comes peaches, usually a No-Go in my book, but it adds an agreeable booziness here that compliments the citrus notes of Bergamot and lime and strikes a pleasant balance.
Into the middle phase and here come the white flowers- all of them! Gardenia, rich creamy tuberose, jasmine and orange flower. It gives a richness to the boozy plum and fruit that to my nose became almost a nuttiness. Just as all these white flowers are blooming away, a chypre accord comes into play and the whole thing settles down into an ambery, mossy symphony, but always with that boozy plum in the background, which serves to enhance rather than distract.
What makes this cleverly put together is its ever changing face, rather aptly for someone in the business of changing faces. Just when you think you’ve named it, the scent enters another phase which keeps you guessing.
It is, as I say, complex, and all the more intriguing for that. Mary Greenwell has a range of only four scents: Lemon, Plum, Cherry and Fire. The Perfume Society has a sample in their Holiday Collection Discovery Box and I know that Jo Fairley is a Mary Greenwell fan.
I stumbled across Plum by dint of pure serendipity. In swapping a bottle of scent online I was offered a bottle of Plum and accepted, knowing nothing about it. Sometimes the universe just wants you to try stuff. Oh and did I mention the gorgeous pink and green packaging? The bottle is in a little stand with a cover, and has a distinctively heavy lid that could break a window. It exudes both class and playfulness.
Update 2017– you can buy Plum from the Fragrance Shop UK, but hutty up. It’s at a great price but limited stcok.