Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Bahiana

We’re stuck in the middle of summer and what better way to celebrate the excruciating heat than to load up on the tropical scents and pretend we’re lounging on a well-groomed beach instead of sweating out our livelihoods in an office with poor air circulation?



In Bottle: Bahiana smells like a little touch of tropical inspired paradise. It’s not really unique in that it smells largely like many tropical inspired fragrances. But it does come up smelling very well made.

Applied: A nice hit of sweet citrus up front to introduce the refreshing feel of this fragrance, followed by a nice little dose of green woodsiness. Refreshing is the word, with a hint of sophistication as Bahiana sends in the tropical duo of coconut and pineapple. What I’m left with is a very rapidly aging fragrance that settles into a comfortable niche of woodsy coconut, pineapple, and a soft breeze. I really like it. But is it really special? Eh, not so much. What Bahiana is, however, is a very well made fragrance. I can smell the clean coconut in this. It isn’t that sour, weird coconut that goes into some cheaper fragrances. This stuff is on par with the coconut note in Virgin Island Water. Cool, refreshing, and just a tad more authentic. Nicely done, Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier!

Extra: My one complaint with Bahiana is its lasting power. It’s quick to go on and go through its motions and then disappear. There’s very little left by the end except a faint waft of woodsiness, which is more than I can say about Virgin Island Water’s complete disappearing act.

Design: Due to the lack of stores available nearby that carry Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier, I have yet to hold this bottle. From the images of it, however, it looks absolutely fantastic. An awesome marriage of perfume and whimsy with those feathers attached to the bottle.

Fragrance Family: Fresh Fruity

Notes: Orange, caipirinha limon, mandarin, tagette, green leaf, rosewood, gaiac wood, elemi, amber, musk, coconut.

So is the fact that Bahiana smells well-made compared to other tropical-like scents worth the money? To me, probably. There’s a big difference to me when it comes to using the right amount or right type of coconut in a fragrance and the synthetic-smelling, sour coconut that shows up in many tropical scents is distracting for me. So distracting that I’d probably pay the premium for a niche house that houses the right note.

Reviewed in This Post: Bahiana, 2009, Eau de Toilette.

Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur

A lot of good things have been said about Musc Ravageur. The one that caught my eye the most was the comment that this stuff smells like cinnamon buns and leather. Always on the look out for a cinnamon bun-like fragrance, I got my hands on Musc Ravageur. Musc Ravageur

In Bottle: Spicy citrus, I get the cinnamon but mostly I get citrus, a little bit of dark musk and strong lavender.

Applied: That lavender mixed with citrus makes an interesting scent that many people might say smells medicinal or even powdery. But no, that’s just lavender doing its thing. Wear Musc Ravageur for a little more and it will evolve into a sweeter confection with a blend of smooth vanilla and cinnamon with clove dashed in there for extra spice. This stuff is powerful, projects like crazy, and it clung to me all day, staying in that delicious mid-stage where, I have to admit, it does smell a little bit like cinnamon buns but there’s an undercurrent at work here making it far more exciting. I catch whiffs of leather, incense, and musk.  Musc Ravageur has a dark  base that wafts in and out here and there taking this a little farther away than just as a gourmand. It’s a spicy, dense, sweet, delicious but very grown up. When Musc Ravageur finally chills out, the sweetness leads way into a spicy woodsy scent with a dark vanilla note, aided a bit by fading leather, and a lingering animalic muskiness.

Extra: Frederic Malle’s line of fragrances includes such beauties as Musc Ravageur and one of my other favorites; Angéliques sous la pluie by the much esteemed Jean-Claude Ellena. You may also find in the Frederic Malle line the rather famous Carnal Flower a–what else–tuberose dominant fragrance. Musc Ravageur, itself, was composed by Maurice Roucel who also composed Insolence by Guerlain, Donna Karan Be Delicious, and many others.

Design: I don’t own a bottle of Musc Ravageur but it looks like its bottled in a rather simple cylinder. Musc Ravageur, I guess, is not about the packaging as it keeps things as simple looking as possible. Classic-looking bottle and I really like it that way.

Fragrance Family: Spicy Gourmand

Notes: Lavender, bergamot, clove, cinnamon, gaiac wood, cedar, sandalwood, vanilla, tonka, musk.

Out of all the gourmands I’ve tried, Musc Ravageur is one of the nicest. It’s a well blended fragrance with a lot of interesting evolution going on when you wear it. It has excellent longevity and projection.

Reviewed in This Post: Musc Ravageur, 2009, Eau de Parfum.