Some fragrances have great top notes, others tempt with you a gorgeous drydown, but without a beautiful sillage, the pleasure of wearing them is nil. The French word sillage refers to the perfume trail you leave behind, a spell cast on others as well as you. Martin Margiela’s Lazy Sunday Morning is nice enough on paper, but to fully experience the sheer chypre, you need to try it on skin. If you’re lucky to have a friend who wears it, you can experience how well Lazy Sunday Morning diffuses and the soft, gauzy wake it leaves behind them.
Of course, this is true for many perfumes, which are composed of volatile essences, with unique rates of evaporation. This unromantically sounding idea, of molecules floating off your skin at different speeds, is what creates each scent’s aura, its melody and form. The intriguing aspect of Lazy Sunday Morning is that it’s part fresh cologne and part rosy chypre, oscillating between vivid aldehydes and dark moss, velvety rose and bitter patchouli. This interplay, well-modulated by musks, orange blossom, and green notes, is what gives this perfume its layered effect.
At first, Lazy Sunday Morning stays true to its name and offers you a glimpse of sheets laundered with orange blossom water and cold champagne—a decadent breakfast in bed, if you will. The aldehydes, starchy, metallic, but not overly sharp, make the lily of the valley and orange flowers sparkle. They also light the rose and iris, which would have been buttery and rich otherwise.
Before long, however, the composition takes you outdoors. The mossy woods are hidden under a soft focus aldehydic floral accord, and as the petals fall away, the dark, earthy notes come through clearly. A generous dose of musks takes off any roughness, and all you have left in the end is a tender blend of spring flowers and wet woods. Patchouli’s husky tone keeps things unconventional and androgynous. This breakfast in bed is clearly designed for him and for her.
The lasting power of this quirky floral cologne-cool chypre is terrific, which is where my early comment about sillage fits in. At a distance Lazy Sunday Morning smells elegant, with the chic edge that patchouli in moderate amounts conveys. Think of it as a rose accented cousin of Ann Gérard Perle de Mousse and Bottega Veneta Eau Légère, or a pared down version of L’Eau de Chloé and Christian Dior Gris Montaigne. Up close, it’s velvety without heft or sweetness, a perfume you can splash on before heading to the office, or indeed, before cozying up in the arm chair to while away your Sunday morning with a good book.
The only complaint: 100ml is much too much. I’d love to have a 50ml version at a lower price.
Maison Martin Margiela Lazy Sunday Morning Eau de Toilette includes notes of aldehydes, pear, lily of the valley, iris, rose absolute, orange flower, white musk, patchouli oil, ambrette seed absolute. 100ml, 3.4 oz/$125. Available at Sephora.