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Friday, February 17, 2006

Perfume Review: Space NK Melodrama

Melodrama was created for Space NK, a stylish UK-based “apothecary”, by Chris Sheldrake, the perfumer responsible for many Serge Lutens’s scents. “Inspired by the allure of classic scents, Melodrama pays homage to the golden age of perfumery in the 1920s”, says Space NK, and indeed, this is a fragrance with a vintage, classic feel. This is a heady scent, but the blend is so smooth, that somehow that headiness is not overwhelming or uncomfortable.

Bergamot gives the scent a kick-start, however within seconds that bright, hesperidic accord subsides and from then on the scent is a warm bouquet of mostly roses on my skin, with just a hint of orange blossoms and a whisper of heliotrope. The drydown manages to be both glamorous and earthy, with vetyver accompanying the floral notes. Melodrama is not exactly a groundbreaking scent in a Floral Oriental Chypre genre; perhaps, if it were a Lutens perfume, there would have been an unexpected twist somewhere in the composition, that would have made the scent not simply attractive but unique, as so many Sheldrake-Lutens creations are. As it is, Melodrama is a very enjoyable fragrance, not a striking haute couture gown, but a chic and wearable Prêt-à-Porter dress. And if Melodrama really was a dress, it would have been a dark red velvet one, smooth, soft, and shimmering.

I must add that I am very excited for Chanel, the new employer of Sheldrake, even though I am a little concerned whether Lutens would be able to find another perfumer who would be such an apparently perfect executor of his vision. (Of course, it is unknown yet, whether Sheldrake’s contract with Chanel is exclusive.) It seems to me that Melodrama is a good example of a scent we can expect from the Chanel-Sheldrake team. Perhaps we shouldn’t hold our collective breath for remarkably unique, visionary scents like Tubereuse Criminelle or Muscs Koublai Khan, but we will be enjoying some excellently blended, high quality, handsome scents with classic ambitions. Like Melodrama.

Melodrama can be found at, £38.00 for 50ml, £76.00 for 100ml.


Blogger Marina said...

I think that this is undoubtedly a fragrance you might like. It lasts a reasonable amount on me. I need this one, and I think you need it too :-) How much does SpaceNK charge for shipping to the States?

8:48 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you,
for taking the time to review perfumes,i hope that i will find the perfumes that i would grow to love here.

11:17 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you for taking time to spot by! I hope you find a scent to love too.

11:25 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Hi Anne,
I am glad you found my blog! Sorry Melodrama didn't last on you. It lingered for about 4 hours on my skin, even though faintly in the later stages.

11:28 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

That's what I thought too. From Chance, the only way is up :-) I don't even want/ expect anything original from them (Chanel) anymore. Just give me an attractive, feminine, but not girly, "timeless" scent, and I will be happy. :-)

11:31 AM EST  
Blogger lilybp said...

I do enjoy this, and find it charmingly retro. But I guess that, with V., I was hoping for something more. . .
I agree that it will be most interesting to see what happens at Chanel.

11:33 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I am very excited for Chanel and can't wait to sniff what they come out with. If it's something better/deeper/more interesting- great. But I will settle for something like Melodrama as opposed to something like *shudder* Chance. :-)

11:34 AM EST  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

Agree with everyone else: Melodrama was nice, and perhaps even quite nice for the price, but nothing to get all excited about, and of course looking forward to seeing what CS does at Chanel!

1:02 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I am looking froward to it too. I wonder who is going to replace him at SL?

1:20 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you dear N! I think Sheldrake succeeded in what he was told to create :-) - a retro, as you say, 1920s kind of scent.
Have a great weekend too!

1:21 PM EST  
Blogger katiedid said...

"For that matter, Chanel can only go up from Chance." Victoria wins the understatement of the day award I think, hee!

I still love the name, frankly. But with a name like that, I would think you'd kind of want the headiness to be a little overwhelming. Just a little, you know ;)

4:14 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Well it is a little overwhelming. Just a tiny bid. An approriate amount :-)

4:53 PM EST  

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