Chance Meeting – Review: Maison Martin Margiela (untitled) l’eau

A big surprise for me this summer was how much I fell in love with a fragrance I didn’t expect much of at all. Untitled L’Eau, the new Eau de Toilette flanker to last year’s Untitled Eau de Parfum by designer Maison Martin Margiela is a pretty, all around lovely citrus and green fragrance with a surprising drydown.

The beautiful bottle came with me on vacation on a whim, and that turned out to be just the right thing to do, it is what I wore on most days.

Refreshing, happy and carefree, Untitled L’Eau reminds me of a younger and less elegant Chanel N°19 with more citrus.

Created by Daniela Andrier – and you smell her transparent and “elvish” (or is that “elven”?) style from the start – in 2011 Untitled L’Eau is an Eau de Toilette and includes notes of galbanum, buchu, spearmint, orange blossom, galbanum resinoid, lentisk, patchouli essence, incense, serenolide (a musk).

I have to admit I do not know the original Untitled and tried to procure a sample to compare the two, but unfortunately the sample got lost under mysterious circumstances, not to be unveiled here, suffice to say grubby little hands and a toilet were involved, the sample irretrievably lost before I could wear it or even smell it more than once.

This mishap aside, I think Untitled L’Eau is a lovely fragrance in its own right and very worth a sniff.

The perfume opens with a burst of bright green and citrus, the galbanum is not overly bitter, but still bracing and very refreshing, it is paired with buchu, an African herb also called Agathosma, meaning good smell, and a little mint note. In the beginning Untitled L’Eau smells very green, but is prevented from hitting you over the head with a galbanum fist by the strong citrus inflection.

In its heart the perfume becomes softer, warmer and displays a still green core of galbanum resin and patchouli, but is sweetened by orange blossom, this softly floral state holds up for an hour and then incense comes out and this slightly smoky darker green base holds up for hours. I am impressed with the staying power of this Eau de Toilette, I get at least six hours of wear time. Sillage is moderate to low.

I was on the lookout for a summer scent that wouldn’t be gone after a hot minute, that wouldn’t bore me to tears after two wearings, that wouldn’t smell like every other cologne style fragrance out there and that wouldn’t be similar to something I already have.

I thought that was at least a daunting, if not even impossible task, when this fragrance came into my hands by sheer chance.

Chance meetings have been known to change lives. I’m not saying Untitled L’Eau is life-changing, that would be taking it a little far, but it changed my mood for the better on many a day this past summer. And what more can you ask of a perfume?

I think Untitled L’Eau fully served its purpose.

Disclosure: A tester bottle of Untitled L’Eau was sent to me for possible review by 
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20 Responses to Chance Meeting – Review: Maison Martin Margiela (untitled) l’eau

  1. lady jane grey says:

    Hm, sounds extremely appealing, a have-try. I adored the house of M.M. (don’t they belong to Diesel in the meantime?), although was never brave enough to wear the creations… And wasn’t impressed by the original Untitled, finding it rather Uninteresting. Anyway, never mind – it’s a long weekend (here in A), so I’ll go and find L’eau Untitled to sniff!
    Have a nice long weekend everybody !

    • Olfactoria says:

      Have a nice weekend too, Lady Jane! I hope you find Untitled L’Eau more interesting, I will have to re-try the original, a little more thoroughly this time, before it goes down the toilet. 😉

  2. deeHowe says:

    A younger (less classy, lol!) Chanel no. 19? Well, if Poudre doesn’t work for me, I have a back up plan! L’Eau sounds lovely, and I’m glad to hear it has some lasting power. I love 19, but, crazy thing, I only get about 3-4 hours out of each dousing! So far the only green I have with any lasting power is Antonia.

  3. Vanessa says:

    I tried these both in Zurich the other week, and liked them – one more than the other – though I can’t for the life of me remember which. I am thinking from your description that it is L’Eau!

    • Olfactoria says:

      It is lovely, isn’t it? Off topic: Did you see the new Ormonde Jayne counter in Zurich?

      • Vanessa says:

        I did! Well, when I was there it wasn’t so much a counter any more as simply a portion of shelf space. This was supplemented by the tester bottles being interspersed amongst other brands round the store in little niches – not unlike the stations of the cross in fact – with a little blurb about each scent on a card propped up in front of the bottle.

  4. Tara says:

    I was pleasantly surprised when I saw incense and patchouli in the note list. It’s certainly a green perfume with a twist and how nice to find one with lasting power. I see the original mentioned a lot on the blogs but felt uninspired by a perfume called “Untitled”. “L’Eau” isn’t a very inspiring name either but sounds like it is well worth seeking out and a good choice for your holiday – well done taking it on a whim!

  5. Anna in Edinburgh says:

    ooohh, very tempting; definitely one to seek out and try.

    My then-little chap (now bigger!) helped himself to my perfume and thoroughly anointed his cuddly bear with an entire bottle so I sympathise with the disappearance of the perfume sample.

    cheerio, Anna in Edinburgh

  6. Undina says:

    Since I like the original Untitled (I have a decant I paid for to attest to that!) I’m very curious to try this version. Thank you for the review!

  7. jedennard says:

    Untitled l’eau sounds wonderful! Anything that resembles No.19 has my attention 🙂

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