magnolia: 5 posts

Parfums de Rosine Le Magnolia de Rosine : Fragrance Review

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The best rendition of magnolia I’ve tried was Pierre Bourdon’s Sous Les Magnolias from his eponymous perfume line. It had the lemony ice cream richness of the southern flower, but instead of rendering it photorealistically and flatly, Bourdon structured the fragrance around a mossy-earthy chypre accord. It was a genius decision. Unfortunately, Sous Les Magnolias can be hard to find.

When I read about Les Parfums de Rosine offering Magnolia signed by Bourdon, I assumed that it would be close to his own magnolia.

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Magnolia Wine and Grandiflora Cocktail

“The French have a civilized tradition called the “apéro,” a time to relax after a long day, chat, and enjoy a drink before dinner,” writes Angela Sanders in The Paris Edition of her monthly newsletter. “Rather than the tastebud-obliterating cocktail, they prefer something softer, such as a modest glass of fortified wine on ice. You might have heard of vin d’orange and vin de noix, but what about vin de magnolia?” I hadn’t, and Angela’s description of vin de magnolia as an apéritif with “a vanilla-spicy-herbal flavor” made me long to try it.

magnolia-cocktail

Many of you know Angela’s column on Now Smell This, but she also is the author of Dior or Die, The Halston HitThe Lanvin Murders, and a number of other mystery novels involving vintage fashions. In addition to her writing skills, she has a talent for discovering gems, be they retro garments, perfume, or as in this case, cocktails.

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Frederic Malle Eau de Magnolia : Perfume Review

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Intended or not, Frédéric Malle Eau de Magnolia is an answer to two challenges: creating a novel cologne and capturing the elusive aroma of magnolia. The first is complicated, because cologne is one of the most popular genres, and recasting it in a new way requires some creativity. The second is due to the magnolia’s character. The scent blends citrus, rose and soft leather, but the main impression you get from smelling the waxy white petals is not of heady, lush perfume, but of exhilarating freshness and fizz. You can almost feel the champagne bubbles bursting before you notice all other facets.

magnolia

Translating this sparkling effect into fragrance is more complicated than it seems in our age of high-tech tools. I smelled through a fair share of magnolia accords at one point to conclude that 90% of them smell either like furniture polish or bear no relation at all to magnolia. Which is why Eau de Magnolia comes as a surprise. It captures the nuances of magnolia, while setting them into a frame of citrus and moss. It makes for a beautiful arrangement.

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Magnolia Grandiflora Sandrine and Michel : Perfume Reviews

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“The fragrance of magnolia is pure happiness,” said a friend of mine from Alabama. To her, the scent of magnolia meant the lazy days of summers, white sandy beaches and picnics on the grass with ice cold watermelon, crab cakes and banana pudding. Much later when I myself had a chance to visit the American South, I pulled down a heavy magnolia branch and leaned into a large white blossom. It smelled of melted lemon ice cream and green, not yet opened roses. I was drunk on the perfume of magnolias all summer long.

Grandiflora

This heady, radiant aroma was likewise spellbinding for the Australian floral designer Saskia Havekes and two perfumers, Sandrine Videault and Michel Roudnitska. Havekes decided to capture all facets of magnolia and gave the perfumers carte blanche to create their Magnolia Grandiflora. Although both fragrances aim to give a realistic rendition, their creators leave enough of their own fingerprint and imagination. But they also reveal what a challenging subject they’d been given. The sunny radiance of magnolia is not easy to capture in a perfume bottle.

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Frederic Malle Eau de Magnolia : New Perfume

A new fragrance will join Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle in June 2014.  Eau de Magnolia was created by perfumer Carlos Benaïm and is described as a fresh chypre perfume. It is based on a study of magnolia’s aroma by IFF scientist Braja Mookherjee. When analyzing the components that give magnolia its unique fragrance, Benaïm found that it resembled a citrus cologne. Therefore, he composed Eau de Magnolia for both men and women, taking the zesty freshness of the flower as his starting point.

eau-de-magnolia

Eau de Magnolia Eau de Parfum includes notes of bergamot, magnolia headspace, vetiver, patchouli, cedarwood, amber, and tree moss. This is Benaïm’s first perfume for the house, but he has already left his fingerprint on the Fleurs Mécaniques collection of home fragrances: Saint des Saints, Rosa Rugosa, Rubrum Lily, Cafe Society and the magnolia based Jurassic Flower.

Eau de Magnolia will be available in June at Frédéric Malle’s boutiques and department store counters. 10 ml/$125, 50 ml/ $175, 100 ml/$225. Via press release

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