Frederic Malle

I own the large size bottle of Lipstick Rose. I had the privilege of trying it over time while we lived in Seattle and I finally bought a whole bottle this year in the spring. I love the way it truly is reminiscent of vintage lipstick. I have fond memories from childhood of smelling my mother’s lipstick and it smelling almost exactly like that.

That being said, I have never investigated Frederic Malle all that much.

On Cyber Monday I decided to finally bite and buy the sampler of the feminine fragrances from Saks. I’m glad I did. I no longer wonder what I’m missing. Here are my quick initial thoughts (I may have more later):

Iris Poudre

Iris Poudre. This is by far the prettiest of all of them, in my opinion. And, it’s very “poudre” indeed.

At first it reminded me of La Pausa by Chanel, which is my favorite iris. But, then gradually it revealed a golden hued opulence and an aromatic grandeur. This an iris with a loud voice. It’s big.

Eau De Magnolia

Despite Iris Poudre bring the prettiest, Eau de Magnolia was my favorite from this sampler collection.

It’s so woody. The vetiver (Is there vetiver? It smells like there’s vetiver?) is gorgeous and very aromatic indeed but it’s not a lonely note as it seems to have found its perfect counterpart in a slightly prim but still effervescent magnolia (or notes that imitate magnolia).

Musc Ravageur

But, somewhere in the smelling I realized that what they say about Frederic Malle is true. It’s a bold house. My goodness… But it’s also incredibly smooth. Every note is like rich silk.

Honestly though, even if I can say objectively that it’s a very distinct and luxurious house when I smelled Musc Ravageur I realized that there’s no way in the world I could wear anything other than Lipstick Rose on the regular. *laughing* I suspect that Lipstick Rose is an exception to the rule in this case and not the rule.

Musc Ravageur reminds me soo much of Revlon Ciara and vintage Jovan Musk. And…that’s…more of a compliment to Ciara and Jovan, in my opinion, which are both a bit more brazen and straightforward with the skankiness besides both being a lot less expensive.

No, I do not like Musc Ravageur. It’s not bad but it’s just not my taste. Although I own both Ciara and a little of this now too. *laughing*

Portrait Of A Lady


There’s sooo much hype in regard to Portrait Of A Lady. …And I can kind of see why. I mean, in the opening it’s genuinely intriguing and it is an exquisite fragrance overall.

But…it also smells very generically niche at this point (sorry, but I have to be honest about my opinion). And into the drydown it even manages to become more that way… Although, even so it’s still very beautiful.

That being said…that being said…I firmly believe that, ironically, this one would smell great on a man. Kind of sexy, actually.

Maybe he’d smell like he was wearing a fragrance in the same vein as Rochas Femme: An olfactory hint of something explicitly naughty. Like, where Femme is supposed to smell like a woman’s parts after intercourse (sorry that this post has become less than G but that actually was the original intent with Femme) …this reminds me of how a man might smell post-coital if he’d just had a romp with an individual wearing any number of traditional female scents. There’s some sort of subtextual “afterglow” if you will. Rumpled and disheveled clothes, aftershave mixed with sweet florals, lipstick smeared and body heat cooling. As a lady who wears feminine fragrances the thought of my husband smelling like this is very nice. *smile*

Carnal Flower

Well…I understand why it was named what it was named. Into the drydown it sadly fades considerably on my skin, but it is a lush floral indeed. Lots of gardenia appears for me…

Honestly, vintage TuvachĂ© Jungle Gardenia makes this fragrance look like a parent chaperoned grade-school picnic, but I get it. It’s a beautiful fragrance.

So…I likely won’t be buying larger bottles of any of these and I think I’m done buying anything else from Fredric Malle. Still, I respect this house immensely (and I mean that) and on the right person I’m positive these fragrances would be tremendous. Truly.

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