M. Micallef Aoud

M. Micallef’s Aoud is celebrating its 10th Anniversary and I got a hold of a little deluxe sample courtesy of Jeffrey Dame from Hypoluxe.

Aoud

Aoud

In Bottle: Fresh, woodsy with a little bit of sweetness. Masculine, but not so overtop masculine that a woman wouldn’t enjoy wearing this.

Applied: The aoud lends a very nice, mellow and well-rounded golden type of scent to the fragrance and it’s the aoud that really carries the rest of the scent. Layered beneath the aoud is a fabulous spicy incense that drifts around the heart notes in delicate little veils of lightness. At the bottom is a soft patchouli and a sweet coat of honey. I think what really ultimately what makes Micallef’s Aoud so awesome, it’s the fact that it’s a masculine scent but it doesn’t throw it in your face. It’s slow, complex and subtle but extremely effective and completely wearable.

Extra: Aoud was originally released in 2003 and is described as a masculine oriental woodsy fragrance.

Design: Aoud’s bottling harkens to a bit more familiar territory with me as its style is what I saw first years ago from Micallef and it’s what I identify their packaging with the post. It’s a lovely circle bottle with a touch of modern and plenty of style.

Fragrance Family: Oriental Woodsy

Notes: Rose, aoud, sandalwood, cinnamon, saffron, clove, patchouli.

I really quite like Aoud, and I’ve had a few that were quite strong and quite classical and Micallef’s Aoud hits that sweet spot with me where I can enjoy a strong note, but would really like it toned down sometimes.

Reviewed in This Post: Aoud, 2013, Eau de Parfum.


M. Micallef Parfum Couture Denis Durand

One day, I say to myself, I’ll have enough saved up that I don’t have to reinvest in my business so I can drop it on a full bottle of M.Micallef’s Ylang in Gold. The more I try of that, the more I fall in love with it. But the story for M. Micallef’s fragrances are often favorable. Most of the offerings from their line are great, and the vanillas are just to die for. I’m excited every time I get to try a new scent and this time it’s Parfum Couture.

Parfum Couture

Parfum Couture

In Bottle: A strong tangerine showing with a kick of cinnamon and plenty of sandalwood.

Applied: My favorite moment is the opening, crisp tangerine, tart with a spicy cinnamon kick. The fragrance is quick to roll into the mid-stage with a very tempered rose and orange blossom that layers itself beautifully over the aoud. I know a lot of people might be worried about the “animalis” note in this, but I honestly didn’t get very much, a little hit of castoreum and a pinch of musk and that was it. The entire progression from opening was very smooth with a prominent woodsy showing in the midstage as well as the end stage. It sweeps into a bit of patchouli with a warm clean amber at the base. Very nice, fairly well constructed, I was worried about the woods when they showed up early, but they behaved very nicely with the rest of the fragrance.

Extra: Like all Micallef bottles, Parfum Couture beautifully hand-decorated and is available on Luckyscent!

Design: I’m really digging the design for this bottle. A cool, modern shape wrapped in beautiful and delicate lace with a golden hang tag. Really nice, simple but at the same time dressy and fashionable.

Fragrance Family: Woodsy Floral

Notes: Cinnamon, tangerine, aoud, rose, animalis, amber, sandalwood, patchouli.

Lovely scent, nice and smooth and well-behaved in a beautiful bottle. I’m still in love with Ylang in Gold, but this is still very nice.

Reviewed in This Post: Parfum Couture Denis Durand, 2013, Eau de Parfum.


M. Micallef Royal Vintage

I was delighted when Royal Vintage showed up on my doorstep one day. I had fallen in love with the offerings from the house of M. Micallef and was looking forward to testing out a masculine fragrance from their line.

Royal Vintage

Royal Vintage

In Bottle: Soft and woodsy, a nice tempered cypress with a touch of rich leather.

Applied: A whiff if bergamot up front that quickly gives way to a very nice, very green cypress scent. The cypress works wonders for this fragrance, it’s evenly applied it doesn’t blast up your nose or make itself too obvious. It just simply smells right with the right level of projection and power. The leather rolls in during the mid-stage as well, lending the fragrance an added level of complexity. Royal Vintage smells masculine, green, fresh and sophisticated. It relies on woodsy and that beautiful supple leather to make its point instead of the majority of mainstream men’s fragrances that rely too much on aqua. The dry down for Royal Vintage sees the leather fade away a bit with the cypress still going strong with a bit of earthiness from the patchouli carrying the fragrance the rest of the way.

Extra: Royal Vintage is a new release for January 2013 and is part of the Exclusif Collection. It should be available at retailers including on LuckyScent, Parfum1, and Parfumerie Nasreen. Royal Vintage is available in 100ml Eau de Parfum for $185USD.

Design: Designed in a similar fashion as M. Micallef’s other offerings such as Emir and Style. The bottle is nice, organic, and simple with enough embellishments to hint at a luxury while imparting a sense of artfulness. Overall, nice bottle design. Looks great on display too.

Fragrance Family: Earthy woodsy

Notes: Pink berries, bergamot, cypress, leather, patchouli, musk.

I really liked Royal Vintage for many reasons. Probably the two major reasons is that it lacks in the two ingredients that tend to ruin men’s fragrances for me: aqua and cedar. The cypress does a much better job as a base wood note and the lack of aqua let me enjoy the rich, full leather note.

Reviewed in This Post: Royal Vintage, 2013, Eau de Parfum.

Disclaimer: The fragrance reviewed in this post was provided to me for free for the purposes of review. In no other way am I receiving pay or compensation for this review. This review was written based upon my personal experiences and opinions of the product.

Thanks to Micallef for giving me the opportunity to try this fragrance and Jeffrey Dame at Hypoluxe for forwarding on the sample.


M. Micallef Ylang in Gold

The perfume house of M. Micallef got in touch with me again and asked if I would be interested in reviewing their new, Ylang in Gold fragrance. Given the awesome Vanilla scents I tested from their last location, I really couldn’t say no.

In Bottle:Sweet, a little fruity up top with a nice clean and fresh vanilla background.

Ylang in Gold

Ylang in Gold

Applied: Sweet fruitiness, refreshing upon application. I get vanilla almost instantly with a clean waft of mint. As the fragrance wears on, the vanilla calms down a bit and the sweetness gets tempered by a pleasant mix of ylang-ylang and soft lily. The scent is very light, almost creamy with a lovely smooth aroma that I guess is coming from the combination of clean musk and coconut. The longer I wear it, the more vanilla comes back to further smooth out the scent. In the end, I get soft vanilla musk with a hint of woods and the barest reminder of ylang-ylang.

Extra: Ylang in Gold is the third member of M. Micallef’s Jewel Collection that features Jewel for Her and Jewel for Him. Ylang in Gold comes in two forms, one with a gold dust mixed with the juice and another without the gold dust. My sample didn’t have the gold dust. I’m not a big fan of shimmer on my skin so I actually preferred to go without it.

Design: Like with most bottles by M. Micallef, Ylang in Gold was hand decorated with little Swarovski crystals. I really like the presentation of it. The shape of the bottle is fairly standard, but the designs help give it a bit of uniqueness and luxury flare. It’s very fitting for its collection, looks quite nice, and is presented rather nicely.

Fragrance Family: Floral Oriental

Notes: Tangerine, geranium, sage, rosemary, artemisia, ylang-ylang, rose, lily of the valley, magnolia, mint, sandalwood, coconut, vanilla, musk, oakmoss.

I can best describe Ylang in Gold as a very soft vanilla with a nice sprinkling of Ylang-Ylang. It’s pleasant, very wearable and a bit sophisticated. If you’re interested in a bottle, you can nab one at LuckyScent as well as at their Scent Bar physical store, Parfum1, Parfumerie Nasreen, and Osswald NYC.

Reviewed in This Post: Ylang in Gold, 2012, Eau de Parfum.

Disclaimer: The fragrance reviewed in this post was provided to me for free for the purposes of review. In no other way am I receiving pay or compensation for this review. This review was written based upon my personal experiences and opinions of the product.

Thanks to Micallef for giving me the opportunity to try this fragrance and Jeffrey Dame at Hypoluxe for forwarding on the sample.


M. Micallef Vanille Cuir

Vanille Cuir

Vanille Cuir

Vanille Cuir is the last of the Vanilla Art Collection from M. Micallef. I left this one for last because I had a feeling that I would like it the most. Though after Vanille Orient and Vanille Marine, Cuir has some pretty big shoes to fill.

In Bottle: Smooth, creamy vanilla with an equally smooth leather note that makes this fragrance smell very grown up.

Applied: Rich, smooth vanilla. One of the nicest smelling vanillas ever. It floods into the air and has this instantly relaxing feel to it. I love the opening. Like, absolutely adore it and if I could bottle that, I’d probably have my favorite vanilla and call it a day. All the bergamot, mint, lavender and whatever else that’s supposed to be in the opening isn’t there for me or it’s been too well-blended, and I quite like it that way. But, the pillowy, rich vanilla gives way to a smooth, almost smoky leather scent that makes things seem more dense and grounded. Like wrapping yourself up in a big leather blanket and sprinkling some flowers on top for good measure. After a while, the spices kick in and the leather calms down a little, letting that gorgeous initial vanilla note to return and take the fragrance into this very soft leather, woods and vanilla dry down.

Extra: One of the best selling features of M. Micallef’s Vanilla collection is the fact that they use a really nice vanilla. I’ve smelled plenty of vanillas, many were plastic, boring, or predictable. And a few, rare, vanilla gems really stood out. The bourbon vanilla that Micallef used in this series is one of these gems. It shows in the delicate way the note unfolds and works with the other ingredients to form a beautiful creamy, natural fragrance.

Design: Yep. Still not a fan of the design, but the shape and utility of the bottles is growing on me quite a bit. I still prefer Micallef’s other designs.

Fragrance Family: Leather

Notes: Bergamot, mint, lavender, cinnamon, cumin, orange blossom, tonka, sandalwood, cedar, vanilla.

Leather’s one of those notes that has a lot of people concerned about how it would make them smell. It’s generally been tamed, but I know of some leathers that can smell quite animalistic. Vanille Cuir isn’t one of those. It tempers the leather quite well and mixes the vanilla with it rather expertly. With that having been said, I think my favorite in this line is probably Vanille Marine, followed by Vanille Orient, Vanille Cuir and finally, Vanille Fleur. If you do love vanillas though, you should definitely check out this collection, some samples or the fragrances themselves can be purchased at Luckyscent.

Reviewed in This Post: Vanille Cuir, 2012, Eau de Parfum.

Disclaimer: The fragrance sampler spray reviewed in this post was provided to me for free for the purposes of review. In no other way am I receiving pay or compensation for this review. This review was written based upon my personal experiences and opinions of the product.


M. Micallef Vanille Fleur

M. Micallef‘s Vanille Fleur blends a fruity peach opening with a feminine rose and vanilla. I was particularly excited about this one because Vanille Orient and Vanille Marine worked out pretty well on me.

Vanille Fleur

Vanille Fleur

In Bottle: Vanille Fleur opens up with a fruity floral beginning that reminds me quite¬† a bit of something that I hadn’t put my finger on yet.

Applied: After spraying Vanille Fleur the fruity peach opening blends rather well with the florals. It took me a couple of minutes before I realized what this reminded me of: Gucci Flora. The opening for the two of these are extremely similar with Vanille Fleur being a little smoother around the edges. It takes away the slight sharpness that Flora had in the beginning with the citrus. The peach note does a better job at rolling the rest of the scent into its midstage than Flora’s citrus opening. The fragrance as a whole is very reminiscent of Flora but has a nice smoothness to it and a slightly more prominent rose note. Overall, the similarity is there to me, but Vanille Fleur smells more refined. The vanilla does a great job sweetening the scent and providing a nice base for Vanille Fleur. It’s a very simple fragrance, and its similarity to Gucci Flora starts disappearing near the end of its midstage where the vanilla becomes more prominent and the rose starts to give way. At the end, the vanilla takes on this faint lilting quality that’s very nice to smell close to the skin.

Extra: As with all the other vanilla-based fragrances in this collection, you can find Vanille Fleur available on Luckyscent in either 50ml EdP or 100ml EdP.

Design: Vanille Fleur is packaged much like the other vanilla fragrances in this series. The defining differences are the shapes on the bottles, where Vanille Fleur features a flower cut out of hemp.

Fragrance Family: Floral

Notes: Peach, rose, vanilla.

Due to its similarity to Gucci Flora, I’m less impressed with Vanille Fleur compared to Orient and Marine. It is still a perfectly lovely scent, and I really like Flora, but the initial similarity underwhelmed me a bit.

Reviewed in This Post: Vanille Fleur, 2012, Eau de Parfum.

Disclaimer: The fragrance sampler spray reviewed in this post was provided to me for free for the purposes of review. In no other way am I receiving pay or compensation for this review. This review was written based upon my personal experiences and opinions of the product.


M. Micallef Vanille Marine

I’m delighted to be wearing a vanilla fragrance on any day. As much as I love Jasmine and honey, the vanillas keep me coming back. Up today is M. Micallef‘s Vanille Marine, a pretty aquatic with a bite of citrus and a smooth vanilla personality.¬†

In Bottle: Sharp citrus and marine with a tempering of flowering vanilla. It’s quite an interesting mix of sharp and soft that forms to make a fairly nice fragrance.

Applied: I get an initial spear of citrus and sharp marine notes. It makes the scent smell quite strong and reminds me a lot of soap. While the opening might be harsh, Vanille Marine settles down quickly into a softer interpretation lending much of this progression to the florals and that awesome vanilla. I had my reservations about an aquatic vanilla fragrance. I hadn’t tried any before that I thought worked out very well, but Vanille Marine makes the concept very appealing. There’s a clean edge to this from the marine that mixes well with the soft floral vanilla. It makes me think of delicate vanilla flowers floating in the ocean. This is clean, fresh and warm all at the same time as you settle into its mid-stage. Where Vanille Marine gets really good is near the end where the marine notes have time to settle into the skin and work with the vanilla to give off this beautiful smooth vanilla and aqua fragrance.

Extra: M. Micallef’s vanilla collection showcases the many faces that vanilla can take. I’m extremely happy that fragrance houses are using vanilla in different ways than the standard recipe of throwing it into a gourmand or spraying it all over the base notes of some fruit floral and hoping for the best. I never thought an aquatic vanilla could work out this well, and I’m happy to be proven wrong.

Design: Vanille Marine is packaged and presented in much the same way as Vanille Orient. I’m still not a big fan of the aesthetics and think Micallef’s other work is more attractive. Still, the bottles and the design are nice interpretations of fun, natural and organic aesthetic.

Fragrance Family: Sweet Aquatic

Notes: Lemon, blackcurrant, marine, vanilla, white florals, benzoin, musk, woods.

I though Vanille Orient would be my favorite from this batch of vanillas, but I’m thinking Vanille Marine might have it beat. I’ve smelled a lot of good oriental vanillas and while Vanille Orient is up there on the list, Vanille Marine was a pleasant surprise.

Reviewed in This Post: Vanille Marine, 2012, Eau de Parfum.

Disclaimer: The fragrance sampler spray reviewed in this post was provided to me for free for the purposes of review. In no other way am I receiving pay or compensation for this review. This review was written based upon my personal experiences and opinions of the product.


M. Micallef Vanille Orient

Vanille Orient

Vanille Orient

M. Micallef Perfumes is a husband and wife venture started in 1996 and based in Grasse, France that features some beautiful perfumes and handcrafted bottles. This year, they released a series of four vanilla-based fragrances. Vanille Orient is one of them.

In Bottle: Spicy vanilla with a hint of sandalwood. It’s warm and sweet, but sophisticated.

Applied: Vanilla is definitely the star of this show. Vanille Orient opens with a spiced liqueur-like vanilla. It’s the kind of vanilla that reminds me of Spiritueuse Double Vanille in that it smells deep, authentic and grown-up. This is definitely not what I’ve taken to call, “Barbie-doll vanilla” that smells of sweetened plastic. As Vanille Orient ages, the vanilla introduces a sandalwood note and amps up the warmth with a rich amber base. Sandalwood takes the fragrance away from being a straight up sweet vanilla by introducing a soft woodsy element that blends and works together with the vanilla as opposed to letting it dominate. I compared this to Spiritueuse Double Vanille, but Vanille Orient differs in a few ways. It’s smoother, less smoky and plays up the sweetness a bit more. There have been a lot of times in the past where fragrances choose to go with a sandalwood and vanilla base that bored me. But the richness in Vanille Orient give the sandalwood and vanilla pairing a depth that I would love to smell in instead of the weak, synthetic interpretation I usually get.

Extra: M. Micallef is a niche house based in Grasse where they handcraft the bottles for their fragrances. Autumn 2012 features the Vanille Art Collection that includes Vanille Orient, Vanille Cuir, Vanille Fleur, and Vanille Marine. All of which have been crafted to feature a decadent vanilla from Madagascar. Vanille Orient is available at niche pricing  in 50ml or 100ml at Luckyscent.

Design: I haven’t had a chance to hold a bottle yet, but based on the images I’ve seen the Vanille Art Collection favors a warm organic style with the fragrance being held in a cube-shaped bottle. I’m not as a big a fan of these bottles as I am some of their other work, but I do love the boxes that they’re presented in and the shape is very attractive. The bottles give off a fun flair and the fact that the owner spends a lot of her time hand decorating them is extremely impressive.

Fragrance Family: Oriental

Notes: Vanilla, sandalwood, amber, musk.

All in all, Vanille Orient is a lovely interpretation of vanilla. It’s one of the better ones I’ve smelled with its spicy and warm vanilla and sandalwood interpretation. If you’re looking for a very competent, sweet vanilla then give this a try.

Reviewed in This Post: Vanille Orient, 2012, Eau de Parfum.

Disclaimer: The fragrance sampler spray reviewed in this post was provided to me for free for the purposes of review. In no other way am I receiving pay or compensation for this review. This review was written based upon my personal experiences and opinions of the product.