Perfume Review: Alexander McQueen My Queen
Three years after launching his first fragrance, Kingdom, a love-hate scent if ever there was one, Alexander McQueen decided to brave the perfume waters again, with his new scent, My Queen. Kingdom was not an easy scent to understand, wear and love, but it was thoroughly original with its sweaty cumin note and the dark, sensual, “smells like sex” quality, undoubtedly much related to the aforementioned cumin note. With My Queen, the designer makes an attempt to appeal to a wider audience, to avoid offending the noses that shy away from the “dirty” accords. My Queen is much more feminine than Kingdom, much lighter and more easy going and is supposed to convey an enchanting fairy-tale like image. Clearly, McQueen is still fascinated by all the things royal, legendary and theatrical, but where Kingdom is an Arthurian legend “realistically” depicted in the recent King Arthur movie, My Queen is the mellow, romanticized interpretation offered in First Knight.
Described in the promotional materials, My Queen sounds incredibly complex. It has the structure with four facets, Marvelous (Parma violet and sweet almond), Dazzling (orange blossom absolute, white musk and heliotrope), Mysterious (patchouli, cedar and vetiver) and Intoxicating (Florentine iris and vanilla). Each facet portrays a layer of a woman's personality, and all four radiate from a common heart and shared base. Confused yet? I know I was.
In reality, it is a case of much marketing ado about nothing. The scent starts with a vague aniseed note and an even vaguer violet one, moves on to rather indistinct “florals”, and dries down to a quite nice if ubiquitous patchouli-vanilla-woods combination. No almonds, no “dazzling” orange blossom…My Queen is a very pleasant, entirely wearable, certainly inoffensive but entirely forgettable scent that reminded me of a legion of other fragrances, including Lolita Lempicka (by whose purple fairy-tale image it seemed to have been heavily inspired), Serge Lutens Douce Amere, Joop Muse, Caron Aimez Moi and even, strangely, Royal Bain de Caron.
"It's a fairy tale and the fairy tale has no end. The idea of the fragrance is to last for eternity," says McQueen. My opinion is purely subjective as is my skin chemistry, and only time will tell whether this fragrance would join the ranks of truly eternal classics, but it is with much regret that I predict a soon oblivion and possible discontinuation.
My Queen is available at Nordstrom, $58.00 for 1,6oz.