June 16, 2014
Eau de Magnolia; Summer Magnolia #1" by April Richardson
I have been anxiously awaiting the release of the new perfume from Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle, Eau de Magnolia. Magnolia is an interesting, waxy flower with an aroma that can run from tart and lemony to voluptuously ripe. I tend to like the more corrupted end of the spectrum, but perfumer Carlos Benaïm has made a fragrance that successfully brings out the lemony side of the flower without losing its central floral personality.
"Magnolia" by Christine Sikora
Opening with a juicy blend of bergamot, grapefruit, and lemon, Eau de Magnolia is one of those "summer in a bottle" perfumes. The sweet lemon-tinged quality of the flower is full-bodied and very pretty, and the citrus notes make it bright and cheerful. Toward the middle of the wearing I get a bit of tree moss, which I don't wear well, but the magnolia covers most of it. I know a lot of people will be just fine with that, and it always feel like a bit of a weirdo perfumista for not caring for the mosses. Anyway, the drydown is lovely as can be; a little bit honeyed, like the flower ripened a bit during the wearing of the fragrance. Longevity is quite good. I first tried this on a warm day when I was feeling the heat, and it bloomed nicely. For review, I had to wear it in cooler weather and the sillage was much quieter. Eau de Magnolia is definitely a summer perfume.
Master Perfumer Carlos Benaïm was raised in Tangier and studied perfumery under American perfumer Ernest Shiftan, (who was a well-regarded perfumer working for IFF from the 20’s through the late 50’s). Mr. Benaïm is the recipient of The Fragrance Foundation's 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award and has an impressive portfolio of work including perfumes for Elizabeth Taylor, Calvin Klein, Prada, Viktor & Rolf as well as for mainstream and niche perfumeries such as A Lab on Fire Liquid Night. Once again M. Malle has allowed a talented perfumer to shine, which is his métier.
Notes: Magnolia, bergamot, grapefruit, lemon, vetiver, patchouli, and tree moss
Disclosure: I obtained my sample from Barneys NY in San Francisco. It is available by pre-order at Barneys. It is also available on the Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle website and at Frederic Malle boutiques in both 350 and 100 ml sizes.
Tama Blough, Managing Editor
Thanks to Barneys New York we have a small sample for one USA reader. Please leave a comment including your favorite Frederic Malle Perfume and why you would like to try Eau de Magnolia Carlos Benaïm. Draw closes 6/20/2014.
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Editor's Note. This is Mr. Benaïm's first personal perfume for Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle. He has created home fragrances for the brand including Rosa Rugosa, Jurassic Park and Cafe Society. – Michelyn Camen, Editor-in-Chief