Tag Archives: Molinard

Molinard Musc: Peace and Love

musc-old-bottle

Molinard is a high quality brand that has been around since 1849, in the heartland of scent: Grasse in Provence. You may recall my recent review of Molinard Chypre D’Orient which I thought was fabulous, especially considering the low price for a 100ml bottle.

Musc is of a similar calibre but is worth examining for two reasons. One: Musk is such a complex genre that one musk may be nothing like another. Two: This contains some very interesting ingredients.

musc-modernMy first impression of Molinard Musc was that it is a delicious gourmand vanilla in the same calibre as Dior Hypnotic Poison. I don’t normally like gourmands as they make me smell like I’ve just finished baking, which I often have. However, for Dior Hypnotic Poison and its Battenburg/Playdoh accord, I’d walk a long way. In similar fashion Molinard Musc manages to radiate the toasty, creamy warmth of vanilla without all the sugary fluffiness. But that’s not all. Several Fragrantica users claim that this is the smell of a “Head Shop” and comment that it is the scent of Nag Champa. Nag Champa was much beloved by the hippy movement which may be where the Peace and Love “Head Shop” vibe comes from. It smells like incense, but with an aromatic, almost herbal sweetness that is instantly transporting.

As Musc warms up on my skins (and longevity is great- hours and hours), it starts to smell like musc-bottle3the inside of a branch of LUSH. This is a divisive smell- people either hate it or love it.  I can’t get enough. I sniff everything in there. Molinard Musc, in fact, starts to smell like a more incense-heavy version of LUSH Karma in the end, which is fine by me.

The actual musk by the way, is in there somewhere, but it is by no means dominant. You’ll be too busy enjoying the vanilla-y coumarin and nutty, woody accord of hazelnut and sandalwood to notice that the musk has a cameo rather than a starring role.

My bottle is on loan from dear chum Lisa Wordbird. They make this is in a more modern bottle now, and I’ve yet to find anyone saying that the formula is different, so it looks like the packaging doesn’t matter too much. For personal preference, I like the old heavy glass dressing table ones ( see top).

Stockists

You can buy Molinard Musc from allbeauty.com and Amazon UK, as well as beautyspin.co.uk

Molinard Chypre D’Orient: A Treasure Worth Finding

 

chypre bottle

Do excuse the hiatus. I’m on a blogging go-slow due to the summer hols and a jolly nice time we’ve had too. The children go back to school on September 5th and I will be cranking up the Autumn Fragrance posts with aplomb.

Friend of the blog ( and of me) Lisa Wordbird, often gives me little loans of incredible stuff to sample. Among the booty on our most recent meet up was a bottle of Molinard Chypre D’Orient. Reader, I married it.

chypre dorientMy favourite genre when it comes to scent is the mossy green chypre, and I could hardly believe my luck when this big 100ml bottle fell into my clutches. Ignore the “D’Orient” bit: this is chypres as chypres used to be-and still should be- in my humble opinion. All the gang’s here: oakmoss, patchouli, galbanum, amber, musk. It’s a hard hitter for sure. The patchouli is so prickly and spiky that at first I thought it was spices, but then realised it was more of an earthiness. The oakmoss steps in  and takes over straight away like a boss, and peeking out from the edges are glimpses of jasmine and neroli.

Chypre D’Orient has been labelled the poor man’s Mitsouko, but this is a great in its own right. In danger of going under the radar, this treasure made me think of that legendary accord: Guerlinade. You know that tell-tale je ne sais quoi that makes you recognise a Guerlain Heritage with your eyes shut? Well Chypre D’Orient smells like THAT. Except that it’s under £40 for 100ml.

This is a vintage style chypre before modern life got in the way. There’s a touch of rose and powder to round off the ladylike picture and a handsome, vaguely Art Deco style weighty bottle to adorn the dressing table.

If that sounds up your street then bag yourself one now. These are getting harder to find. Chypre fans-remember: a rolling stone gathers no mossy chypres.

Stockists

You can buy Molinard Chypre D’orient from Amazon UK. It’s currently £35.39 for 100ml. Price correct at time of posting.

Molinard Habanita: A Timeless Vintage

histoire_2Molinard Habanitaseemed right for today’s icy temperatures and like Edith Piaf, I have no regrets. Having tried several vintage woody chypres lately and not liking what they’ve done to me, I was pleasantly surprised to find a vintage fragrance that I like, admire, and want to add to my scent wardrobe.

Molinard  was founded in 1849, in Grasse, and remains a family business. The company can even count Queen Victoria among its early patrons. Habanita was created in 1921 to complement the growing trend for women to smoke. It was intended to “perfume cigarettes”, but has remained a steady seller ever since, even in the health conscious non-smoking 21st century.

It may be just me, but I find older perfumes have a whiff of nail polish about them when first applied. This is no bad thing, since it brings old fashioned dressing tables to mind, which feels right and proper when trawling through the history of fragrances. Habanita is no exception: it has that distinctive note of face powder and nail polish when it first goes on. However, the drydown happens quickly and after that it just gets better.

I often find chypres too harsh and woody, but Habanita is more of an oriental amber. I love amber, and already have Ambre de Cabochard (derided by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez, but loved by me), as well as J del Pozo Ambar.

Like all the best perfumes, Habanita changes as you wear it. It starts powdery, and then warms up into a beautiful, feminine scent that lasts a long time. It’s strong, with heavy sillage, so I would save it for evening rather than the office. As time wore on, I could smell a hint of lemon, even though this is not listed as a note, a hint of lilac, some pale musk, and finally strong leather, through an incense-like amber mist.

Fragranitca lists many fruity notes, such as peach and raspberry, but I didn’t get those at all. In fact, I didn’t get any of the top notes listed as Habanita sank into my skin and seemed to skip top notes and middle notes and go straight to base notes: amber, musk, oakmoss and leather. Fans of  Grès Cabochardwill certainly like this.

Habanita de Molinard is a timeless classic. Try it . It’ll bring out the panther in you.

 

EDIT: looking back at this post over a year after I wrote it, it’s very interesting how my tastes have changed.  I still adore Habanita, but these days, I’d be front of the queue for any vintage-y chypres. My journey has been a strange evolution of preferences. 

4th April 2014