February 26, 2013
Mojo is a grass roots design company that makes apparel and accessories, started by twin brothers John and Doug Kennedy. Natives of Louisiana, these brothers have released their first fragrance inspired by their homeland’s bayou with its deep green beauty and mysterious heritage. Mojo originally meant (in the voodoo vernacular) a charm or a spell. Today mojo has come to mean one’s power or ability to charm, bewitch or enchant. The suffix “-que” on the end of MAGIC gives this an old French quarter feeling.
The packaging is most interesting, decorated as it is with flowers, vines, air moss dangling, alligators, birds, frogs and even a hoodoo man in a top hat spraying perfume. The bottle itself is a simple rounded flacon with cylindrical cap and only its name on a label in a curly scrawl. Nosed by Jean-Marc Chaillan (maker of Burberry London, DKNY Delicious Night, Baldessarini and Euphoria Men, among others), this perfume is indeed subtle.
Louisiana Bayou by Christian Riese Lasser
When I think of the bayou or New Orleans, I tend to think heavy and humid scents, moss blowing in a thick balmy breeze, old houses, damp green graveyards, warm intoxicating flowers blooming and magical flora and fauna growing everywhere. When I think of the city itself, having never visited there, I tend to rely on the descriptions of Anne Rice in both her Vampire Chronicles and Mayfair Witches series. Warm and sultry nights, dark and dangerous alleyways, bars with lots of reveling patrons, hoodoo shoppes and houses (or folks) of ill repute, but this perfume is capturing another side of Louisiana. Its warmer greener side and its floral beauty are captured here; along with hints of dark sweetness and woody musk.
Being that I am a Wiccan myself, when someone says “MAGIC” I do not think of a stage magician’s pulling rabbits out of hats or sawing a woman in half. I think of true magick: the channeling of one’s own (or a group’s) personal power through ritual or activity and directing it to a single unified purpose. I think of incense smoldering, flickering candles, herbs and witchy plants used in brews. Magick is indeed powerful, but it is also subtle, and often takes time to unfold and reach fruition. I sprayed Magique on when it arrived and thought: where is the mystery, the enchantment the beautiful mystique? I was reminded, not right then but on subsequent wearings, of the first time I tried magick (the kind I spoke of earlier). It did not manifest immediately with some crack of thunder and bolt from the blue…it unfolded slowly over a period of time. It was not what I had visualized BUT it was exactly what I had asked for, to the letter.
Citrus Piled High by Delilah Smith
This perfume is like that. Its opening of mandarin orange, lemon and grapefruit took me aback at first. It smelled like a pseudo-sporty citrusy aromatic or classic eau de cologne would. It was bright and well balanced, but nothing magical…or so I first thought. It possessed an airy green undertone that did make me think of Spanish moss blowing in the wind, as it swirled around and touched ancient woods. These citruses aren’t just “juicy” either, they contain zest, leaves, peel and even (to my nose) bitter pith. Sweet sour and bitter blend to shine more brightly than any of them would solo, and bring out the best in each other. It is important to be in the right mind set for magick, and this sets the stage perfectly for positive thoughts and visualizations of pure white light and crisp clean energies.
Lavender Jasmine by Kerry Peillon
As it begins to dry and top notes fade (as top notes, especially citric ones, will) a rather coy jasmine peeks out. It is not the full and creamy jasmine many of us are used to, it is more the demure and elegant night blooming jasmine that does not smell as intensely as some types; but smells slightly provocative and naughty. The floral vibe is very balanced and unisex as non-soapy green, almost woody, lavender is joined with soft muguet. On the first wearing, this stage of the scent “lost me” as so many things were going on at once I either missed them or could not differentiate them. On the second (then third and fourth) wearing(s), I knew my “way around” and it was an absolute delight.
Still Life with Figs by Pierre-Auguste Renoir
The fruity fleshy pulpiness of the fig was immediately apparent this last wearing, underneath everything else, giving some depth and a moist fullness to the timid trio of fresh precocious and drier floral notes. You may be finding yourself thinking “fruity floral”. It is, at this point, but not like anything one usually osmagines when someone says those particular words. Magique keeps a floral balance and has just the right amount of non-sticky fruitiness lurking below, adding that dark edge to it that I completely missed the first time around. Now we are cooking…
Many times (and I myself am guilty of this) we read notes for a perfume and see X, Y and Z listed and think it is going to be formulaic and smell just like everything else. On reading the description on the back of the sample, the mention of “…mysterious woods of patchouli, sandalwood and cedar” made me a bit skeptical. This does not evolve into something overpoweringly oriental/earthy or overly woody. It lands effortlessly on a superb (more cedar than sandalwood) woody base as hints of pepper, anise and cinnamon keep it lively and smoother than woods alone would. The addition of the spices in the base (rather than the heart or top) actually keeps this from smelling just like everything else. Do not expect a wooden spice cupboard in the dry down, expect woodiness with a real “open outdoorsy” feel and happy whispers of spices, here and there, as you put nose to wrist.
You can know all there is to know about magic/magick from books and others who practice it. Until you step into the Circle and light the candles and let your energies unite with those of nature you have no idea what you may be doing. As with most things: practice makes perfect! Understanding the subtleties of anything comes with repeated exposure. You can know all about how these notes smell, individually, and all about perfumes and how they are made…but until you sniff it yourself, you really have no idea! Magique was not what I expected, yet it does live up to its name on many levels.
Jean-Marc Chaillan (r.)
M. Chaillan was most definitely the Magician here as he took banal (often times rather generic smelling synthetic) materials and wove them into something subtle charming and (dare I say it?) magical. Much like its namesake, it does not last for very long (on my dry winter skin) and it does not project a wide radius around you. It does, also like its namesake, come at you without you knowing it and shows you that magic is everywhere, usually where you least expect it!! Sillage: slightly below average. Longevity: average.
Disclosure: Review based on carded spray sample sent to me by Mojo.
Thanks to Mojo we have a full 100mL bottle of Mojo Magique to giveaway. To be eligible leave a comment on what you find magical in your life. The draw will end on March 2, 2013.
We announce the winners only on site and on our Facebook page, so Like Cafleurebon and use our RSS option…or your dream prize will be just spilled perfume.
-John Reasinger, Editor