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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

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.


Blogger Marina said...

I am nt even sure I will have enough motivation to ever revisit it :-) Unless, of course, you revisit My Queen, like it, write one of your stunning reviews and then I will suddenly see what it was I have been missing all this time :-)

9:54 AM EST  
Blogger Kristen said...

Hmmm, it is a shame that it was so well-imagined but so poorly executed. My interest is always piqued when I hear about a scent with violet in it; it seems that violet can be difficult to pull off (which, I think, is why I'm drawn to it...hehe).

11:43 AM EST  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

I wasn't impressed with MyQueen either. But...

*sputters* Douce Amere & Aimez Moi forgetable???

12:16 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

It is difficult for me to pull of violet too. But My Queen seem like a very easy to wear fragrance.
You are so right about the concent vs reality in this case. Such a shame really.

12:40 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

R, steady now :-) I did not say Douce Amere or Aimez Moi were forgettable, not at all, I think those two are classics actually! I know that you like Aimez Moi.

12:42 PM EST  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

LOL -- sorry M, I read too quickly!! Will go take a mild sedative...

1:28 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

LOL! I find Aimez Moi to be a very remarkable scent, unfortunatly it is too sweet for me...would you believe it...

1:30 PM EST  
Blogger katiedid said...

Eh, I'm simply not moved by AMcQ in general. His designs seem to fight against the natural contours of a woman's body, and I've always been a little scared his scents would have that same unwearability. I STILL haven't tried Kingdom, and while I admit to a certain curiosity to find out what it's all about, I don't care enough to seek it out or remember to try it when shopping. Your review makes me think I will likely be just as disinterested in this one. The only violet scent I wear with any regularity is Galimard's Lapis Lazuli, which isn't terribly complex or "fairy-taled," but at least the company spares me from such marketing drivel. And it's fortunately not "faceted," which sound like it must be super-secret McQueen code for blurry.

Boy do I sound cranky today! I think I better drink some more coffee.

3:54 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

K, this isn't terribly complex either (I actually think that Lapis Lazuli, which I got to sniff thanks to you, is a prettier scent and does not remind me of a whole bunch of other scents).

I sound cranky too, no? :-)

3:58 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my queen - love it but can't get it on the high street, boots the chemist had it for only a short time, managed to bag a bargain when they discontinued it though, 100ml bottle for £3 yahoo

2:18 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This stuff stinks. Have been trying all day to like it - but now have a headache. I smell like parma violets. Not so sure that anyone will fancy me wearing this :o(

6:12 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Worn it for years & love it as much today as I did when I first bought, its fab x

10:22 AM EDT  

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