Michael’s Perfume Discoveries 2014 – Mini Reviews

By Michael

I thought my perfumed discoveries in 2014 might be a fun topic of discussion but boy was I wrong…

Sitting in front of me now are so many fragrances, so many more than I thought I’d acquired this year. I haven’t even worn a few of them yet!

fleurettes-rene-lalique-perfume-bottles-1-24-10

Where do I start? I’ll start with the most precious….

Guerlain’s Habit Rouge Extrait

When Portia and I visited Guerlain HQ in January I had only one definite purchase on my list – Habit Rouge Extrait.

This version of Habit Rouge pushes clean slightly powdered patchouli and soft clean woods with a hefty dose of botanical musk. It’s cleaner, heavier and more rounded than the EdT and foregoes the originals aggressive citrus opening. Easily unisex. Wonderful.

Dior’s Mitzah

Possibly the best resinous amber I’ve experienced.

Incense, warm spices, honey, labdanum, patchouli and rose all working in perfect harmony to produce a wonderfully textured, long lasting and easy to wear amber perfume.

Mitzah also has that little extra something to make you smile.

Some say it’s boring. Oh well, it’s hard being perfect.

Guerlain’s Vega

Cool and clean aldehydes somewhat warmed by neroli, yellow florals and sandalwood. The jasmine and rose are there in the background but very much tamed.

Most women will happily claim this Vega for their own but it’s equally at home on a clean pressed shirt.

Vero Profumo’s Mito

Bam! Fresh galbanum and citrus wake you up with a lemongrass so strong it’s almost smoky. Champaca , magnolia and moss underline the freshness but never dominate or make the fragrance particularly floral.

Mito is bitter and green with just the right touches to keep it of the body.

I love this fragrance so very much. It reignited my love of perfumery just when I was in a lull.

The Voile is on my shopping list…

Etat Libre d’Orange’s Putain des Palaces

Putain des Palaces opens with ginger and a touch of lily but the smell of sweet, pink and powdery cosmetics make this provocative fragrance.

There are fruity berries that escape being too girly with rose and violets and naughty musks lurking underneath.

On the right skin in the right weather Putain des Palaces smells very, very naughty.

Comme des Garcons Odeur 71

Paper robots fastened with brown tape and dabs of craft glue in a huge room of metal and glass.
Odeur 71 is a weird scent and so difficult to describe.

From a practical perspective it wears like a traditional cologne – a fresh pick me up in the warmer weather. It smells nothing like a cologne foregoing almost all the typical cologne smells.

Spray it with abandon and enjoy a completely different smelling freshness.

Odeur 71 was released in 2000 and somehow is still unique.

You owe it to yourself to try this if enjoy avant-gardeperfumery or the weirder side of Comme’s creations.

Bogue Profumo’s MAAI

I know I’ve already written about this but I will mention it once more.

Like dirty-clean contrasts? Try MAAI.
Like vintage chypres? Try MAAI.
Like barbershop fragrances? Try MAAI.

Seriously, have you tried this yet?

MAAI is a challenging fragrance but very rewarding to wear.

There are so many facets and they slowly unfold over so many hours – just perfect on a cold winters day.

So tell me, have you tried any of these?

What did you think?

What are some of your fragrant discoveries in 2014?

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29 Responses to Michael’s Perfume Discoveries 2014 – Mini Reviews

  1. cookie queen says:

    Hi Michael! Have not tried the CdG, and it doesn’t sound like one for me. Nor have I tried the Habit Rouge, but it is on my list. Vega is really quite lovely. Mitzah a really quite horrible. I more than adore Mito in all forms, but the EdP is my favourite. Putain de Palaces is great, but I seldom wear it. MAII transports me to a café in north London each time I wear it. Antonio doused me in the stuff when we met for a drink! I don’t know about any discoveries but perhaps finding out that there is an amazing lavender, Kiki, might count. I have been wearing it since September and can’t stop. Extrait and Voile. So many compliments, interesting. Gotta bake. Bussi.

    • Michael says:

      Haha Val, I love you – “Mitzah a really quite horrible”.
      No doubt you’d have worse to say about Odeur 71!
      I really have you to thank for my wearing Mito EdP. I should probably try the extrait at some stage too. I hear it’s amazing, have you tried it?
      Kiki is a fantastic scent and I can definitely understand why you have received so many compliments wearing it. I’m testing it at the moment, the cool and clean lavender is great.

      • cookie queen says:

        Yes. I have a little of the Mito Extrait. It is fabulous. So is the Voile. Actually I must correct myself, I don’t have a favourite Mito. They are all beautiful. With Kiki, I just love the creaminess of the lavender and patchouli. Exquisite. Big hug. 😉

  2. Sandra says:

    Great discoveries Michael! I really need to try Habit Rouge Extrait and MAII. I love all of your other choices. I loved trying the Amouage Extraits this summer – Lyric Extrait is calling… xo

    • Michael says:

      Well I have you to thank for discovering Putains actually 🙂
      I remember smelling it at yours and it went straight onto my Aus Liebe zum Duft/First in Fragrance shopping list.
      Amouage extraits are amazing! If my memory serves Portia got some Gold Woman extrait and it was insanely good. Lyric with its huge oriental rose would be unbelievable. I wish they made the mens in extrait too.

  3. Anka says:

    Haha, it’s good to start with this sort of lists early…
    How funny, Mito and Mitzah were my favourite discoveries, too! I got Mito (edp) for my birthday in summer and will get Mitzah for christmas. To find the vero profumo line was like floating on clouds for me. I like them all but love Mito (yes, it’s bam, it bammed me), Kiki and Rozy. The latter is on top of my wishlist for 2015.
    Andy Tauer’s Une Rose Chyprée, Khol de Bahrein (thanks to kafkaesque’s blog) from S. H. Lucas and Tango from Masque Fragranze were exciting to discover and probably go on that list, too, but I don’t want to get more than 2-3 new bottles next year.
    Ah, and I bought a little bottle of Prada Candy, it’s so golden, warm and easy to wear, perfect for this time of the year (but I discovered it about two years ago, back when my fragrance obsession began).

    • Michael says:

      You’re a lucky girl Anka to get Mito and Mitzah as presents!
      I love Une Rose Chyprée too. I really need to get a bottle. It looks like your 2015 wishlist is off to a fantastic start too 🙂

  4. poodle says:

    I love Putain des Palaces and Mitzah too. I actually have a huge bottle of Mitzah and I’ve now made a note to myself to not wear it if I’m going to meet Cookie Queen. I was with a Mitzah hater when I bought it and she didn’t believe it was Mitzah I sprayed on because it smelled much different on me than her. Skin chemistry matters.
    I need to try Mito one of these days.

    • Michael says:

      poodle, if you’re going to meet cookie queen then I’d say you’ve got a good chance of smelling Mito 🙂
      It’s amazing how different some fragrances are on people isn’t it?
      On me the original CDG just smelled like dill pickles but on a friend it was a fantastic spiced rose.

  5. Tara says:

    Really enjoyed these mini reviews, Michael, especially your description of Odeur 71! I will try MAAI if I get the chance.

    I am head over heels for Vega but worried I won’t be able to get hold of a bottle. The new Guerlain boutique at Harrods say it’s been discontinued so I’m waiting to hear back from Place Vendome.

    After a mere five years, I’ve finally fallen for Coromandel which was my latest full bottle purchase.

    • Michael says:

      Have you tried Odeur 71 Tara?
      Be prepared for a healthy dose of animalic notes with MAAI. It really does take some people by surprise.
      I can totally understand being head over heels for Vega. It’s so wonderful but so hard to find now. Have you tried Guerlain HQ?
      Coromandel I’m still working on. I don’t know why but it just hasn’t clicked for me. I will keep trying.

      • cookie queen says:

        Allow me to butt in. IMHO – Coromandel is very feminine. For what it’s worth ……. 🙂

      • Tara says:

        I haven’t tried Odeur 71 but now I need to just out of curiosity.

        Place Vendome have some Vega left so I’ve made an order. Phew! Just need to stop thinking about the price…

        I found wearing a few good sprays of Coromandel on skin for a whole day worked for me.

  6. Tina G says:

    Hi Michael, 2014 has been a beautifully scented year, hasn’t it!?

    I have tried some of those you mentioned. MAAI is wonderful, and now also reminds me how it has lifted me up and got me through some difficult & long days at work. Love Mitzah, how can they have discontinued this one….so sad. Vega is great but I haven’t fallen for it the same way as I have for Vol de Nuit, which I adore. Odeur 71 sounds fascinating and absolutely my kind of thing. Not yet tried Mito or ELdO you’ve mentioned.

    What else has captured me? There have been some beautiful gems, one stunning diamond, a lot of fun & laughter, and thankfully few horrendous mistakes. Vol de Nuit (current and 60s extrait), Muschio by Santa Maria Novella, Lithum by nu_be, Sandrine by Grandiflora, Une Fleur de Cassie (FM), Iris Silver Mist (SL), are probably the fragrances I’ve reached for the most this year. Totally the tip of the iceberg though…. Tina xx

    • Michael says:

      Tip of the iceberg maybe but they are some amazing fragrances! Some of my favourites certainly. UFDC is a real hidden gem in my opinion. I hope it and the others in the line aren’t changed unnecessarily now the brand is sold.

  7. Vanessa says:

    I had the good fortune to sniff Vega on Tara this weekend(!), so that is now on my list of perfume discoveries of 2014, along with all forms of Mito and PHI Une Rose de Kandahar. Putain des Palaces is the one that features a cold tobacco and marshmallow accord, if I am not mistaken, which I don’t remember working for me, though it was a long time ago. Who had the idea that those two might be natural bedfellows, hehe?

    • Michael says:

      No Vanessa, that is Divin`Enfant you’re thinking of. ELDO are one of the best at making odd note combinations work aren’t they?
      I’m going to have to get my nose onto PHI Une Rose de Kandahar. It seems like everyone is talking about this one at the moment. How does it compare to the other Tauer roses?

      • Vanessa says:

        Divin’ Enfant, of course! I am pretty sure I didn’t like Putain even so, but it was admittedly a long time ago.

        PHI is the softest of all Tauer’s roses so far – very gentle aldehydes and the most realistic rose oil at its heart. With all this dusty dry gourmand stuff going on around the margins that keeps it from being too cloying.

  8. Kandice says:

    I’ve tried the Maai and still can’t decide if I like it. I’m currently leaning towards not liking it because I find it a very difficult fragrance to wear. It is very strong. At times I like it during it’s dry down and at others I don’t. Unfortunately since it is such a strong fragrance it is just that much worse during the phases I don’t like. Luckily there are so many other perfumes to choose from 🙂 Thanks for the review! You’ve prompted me to search out some of the others.

  9. Lady Jane Grey says:

    I share Val’s feelings on Mitzah : it’s a complete meh on me – but so is Mito, sadly… And I will have to sniff Vega on Tara yet 😉
    My own discovery is Russian Tea from Masque Milano – after a long search for a good tea scent I found it ! Black tea, smokey leather, incense, raspberry and magnolia… Like made for a cruel Viennese winter.

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