Marni is a ready-to-wear Italian fashion line that recently launched its namesake fragrance, Marni. Rather than attempting to decipher the label’s appeal and its relation to the new fragrance, I will simply say that some qualms about lasting power aside, Marni is excellent–wearable, chic, and refined. And now I want other people to smell a haze of Marni around me and follow me down the street asking, demanding to know, what this marvelous fragrance is.
Perfumer Daniela Andrier created Marni in collaboration with Consuelo Castiglioni, founder and designer of the fashion house. Andrier is the author of Prada Infusion d’Iris, Maison Martin Margiela Untitled, and Guerlain Angelique Noire, among others. Like many of her creations, Marni is a weightless, ethereal blend, despite the fact that the fragrance is based on rich woods and sweet spices. At its heart Marni is a rose and incense fragrance, something that became clear to me half an hour after I applied it and began to get small gusts of a dry and woody rose rising from the back of my hand.
The first sensation is sprightly pepper and tangerine-like citrus that immediately jumps into sweet spices and vanilla. The rose notes are so well blended that at first they are nearly hidden. The flowers come almost as a surprise element, wearing a veil of brown incense smoke. Marni at this point has presented itself as two disparate fragrances: the first is the peppery and sweet opening and the second is the floral. When you reach the drydown, you smell mellow woods and soft spices. It makes me think of Amouage Lyric Woman and Neela Vermeire Creations Mohur if they were made sheer and pastel toned.
My only complaint about Marni is that it’s a shy, soft-spoken fragrance. Understatement is understandable; in certain circles it is nearly demanded and Marni is not, thank goodness, Versace. It wears on me as a quiet skin scent. I adore every single twist of this perfume, but even so, I want to grab it by the wrist of quiet good taste and pull it back from this demureness, shouting, “More! MORE!”
In the later stages, the fragrance no longer rises from my wrist but becomes one I have to search to find, and when I do it is splendid, with one of those modern polished woods that smells both elegant and earthy. If I could amp it up a notch or two, it would be perfect. Still, Marni was so immensely appealing that I went back to the store after sampling it for the first time and bought a bottle with no hesitation.
Marni by Marni Eau de Parfum has notes of bergamot, pepper, ginger, pink peppercorn, cardamon, rose, cinnamon bark, patchouli, incense, vetiver and cedarwood. At present it is a Saks exclusive and is available in 1 oz, 2.2 oz, $105; and 4 oz, $155 bottles. There is also a cute 10 ml purse spray sold with a doll, $50.