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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Perfume Review: Guerlain Mahora

I think I would be happy in that place I happen not to be, and this question of moving house is the subject of a perpetual dialog I have with my soul. Charles Baudelaire

There are days when I want to not be where I am. And when I am unsure if there really exists an alternative place to be. When I want to escape somewhere where no one can find me. A non-existent island paradise under scorching sun, with no phones, no internet, no memories and no ties. An island unknown to any map, the one that planes and ships won't reach...maybe somewhere right in the middle of the Bermuda triangle. There are days when I realize that there is no escape other than by means of olfactory daydreaming.

And this is where the languid otherworldliness of Mahora comes in. My island where no one can get me would smell like that, of sweet, creamy white flowers larger than life: of ylang, tuberose and jasmine. It would smell of ripe oranges and peaches, of sinfully thick vanilla... Mahora's unpopularity and it's "heavy, heady, overwhelming" reputation puzzle me. I find it immensely beautiful, perhaps intense but also soft and soothing. Comforting in a way that tuberose can be sometimes, warmly, envelopingly maternal....a quality you wouldn't expect from such a femme fatale flower. The honeyed citrusy beginning is particularly tender, a mouthwatering tropical skin scent. After a while the fragrance does explode on my skin like a firework of thousand white petals...but the floral abundance is rendered so harmoniously here, it does not numb the senses, instead, it soothes and at the same time excites them. The drydown has the coconutty sweetness of tanned skin polished by the sea and passionately kissed by the sun...When I wear Mahora, I am Girl Friday to no Robinson, on an island that no one will ever find, hard as they try.

Mahora is available at PerfumeMart, $29.80-$54.75.

The photo is by Ellen Von Unwerth.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

В голове сразу зазвучала песня Ляписа Трубецкого, не знаю, вспомнишь ли этот шедевр: "Если превратишься ты в цветочек в поле, я пчёлкой лепестки твои найду, хоть прячься, хоть не прячься..ну и так далее...ду-ду-ду."

10:14 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Хаха! Отлично помню этот шедевр. Но мне всегда больше нравилась другая у них...что-то про то как он для неё делал и то и сё, а она кинула.

Доброе утро.

10:17 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Я читал тебе вслух стихотворенья, покупал дорогие печенья, я выгуливал твою глупую, глупую собачку...а ты, ты кинула! )

10:19 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

:-D Да-да, она самая.

10:20 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

I've never even heard of this one, and I am feeling lemming...

10:39 PM EDT  
Blogger Ducks said...

Agreed. What a delectable description, and a memorable parting thought. And this sounds JUST up my alley.

2:05 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gorgeous review! And Mahora is a Guerlain I DO love and understand. Why is is not more popular is a complete mystery to me. I could just drown in the stuff.

2:20 AM EDT  
Blogger carmencanada said...

Glad to see Mahora get some love. Though it gets dissed by LT in its current incarnation, Mayotte (Mahora is discontinued and has reappeared in Guerlain's Les Parisiennes exclusive bee bottle collection), I still find it a lovely tropical. Your description of it as not so much "white-flower-femme-fatale" as maternal and reassuring has something to it. Tuberose is fatale. Frangipani blossoms are creamy, coconutty and embracing.

2:46 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How in the world did you know I was thinking this exact same thing today? :) I don't know if Mahora will cure it hahaha, but it's nice to read about :) I thought moving to Mexico would be that thing for me but so far I've found there are phones and internet and people everywhere you go :)


2:57 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

My guess would be regular stores won't have it, but some little corner perfumerie might. Do try, it's worth it.

6:43 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

If you try it, let me know what you think! Let us all know, in fact :-)

6:44 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

It is a mystery to me too. There are Bigger and scarier white florals and *ahem* worse Guerlains out there. Poor Mahora :-(

6:45 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I like Mayotte as well and was surprised to see its rating. But I prefer Mahora, it is warmer and "rounder" :-)

6:46 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Not on my island there aren't :-)

6:47 AM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

Yes, well, this is lovely--but, somehow, just not "me."

7:45 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i will never understand why this one isn't more loved. i think it's gorgeous, too! it smells incensey to me, underneath all the tropical warmth. it makes me feel happy.

on the other hand, i did smell it once on a woman on whom it was completely unrecognizable - it was oddly vegetal and sour. she adored it. i wasn't so sure. it smelled nothing like it smells on me. if it smells the way it does on her to many people, maybe that's why it's not more universally acclaimed...

thanks for writing about another guerlain favorite. - minette

12:11 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so, i had to go spray it after reading your review, and it revealed an entirely new side to me - a mentholated tuberose/gardenia - very cooling, not warm! it's fading, but wow!

and the incense i smell in it is nag champa - it's already revealing hints of it. nothing scary in here at all. - minette

12:30 PM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

EFT, checking in: Mahora nearly killed me :-)

1:03 PM EDT  
Blogger Caitlin Shortell said...

I only recently gave Mahora a chance, gave it away, then purchased Mayotte. What strikes me when I wear it is the fruitiness of it. I smell ylang but infused with mango and cherry. Sometimes that comes off as cough syrup on me. Other days it hits the pleasure center. Still kind of undecided on it. I totally understand the need for escape though! ESCAAAAAAAPE. Tropical wonderland would be great right now, since it's 24 degrees where I live. Smiling through the pain.

5:07 PM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

Hey, I forget, Mahora's the one everyone complains about, right? I'm ashamed to admit I mix it and Nahema up in my mind... ooooh, but waaiit, Nahema's the five-star uber-rose and they don't even mention Mahora, so that must be the one they pick on. Which means I have to smell it! Wait, I see down there it's the new Mayotte, which I liked. So I don't know what the deal is either.

6:24 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I am surprised! I think of everything Guerlain as You.

8:35 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

But she still adored it, huh? Interesting.

8:36 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I am going to wear it tomorrow and look for the mentholated effect!

8:37 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

How did it try to kill it? Suffocating you?

8:38 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

24 degrees, ouch! Here is hoping it will warm up soon!

8:38 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

they don't review Mahora, but demolish mayotte :-)

8:39 PM EDT  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

I make sure that I always have some of this, in the edp-
To sniff and share.

I can't say that it's me, truly- It's a bit loud in the volume for that, as the sprayers don't allow a smaller dosage, LOL-
But I love it.

When I need Tubereuse, I go for Caron- that speaks to me, in a seductive, 'adjustable' tone...

9:01 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

It's not loud on me at all, I swear!

9:12 PM EDT  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

I covet that capacity, Marinochka !
So many glorious florals screech for attention on my skin-
I do best with a dab, ironically.
[I tend to love to spray away...]

9:20 PM EDT  
Blogger Erin said...

I have to admit that I loved LT's comment on his old blog when somebody asked him what he thought of Mahora: "Mahorish". Um, might fit with your picture, anyway.

For all that, I don't think it's bad at all. Just not my thing. I've never had a "tropical" phase yet, and while I can understand the admiration for those in the genre I've tried (Juste Un Reve, Songes, yesterday's Intense Tiare) I don't have any desire to wear them. Like the idea of your island, though? Can I have my own? With books?

9:25 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I love to spray too, and I feel scents open up differently when dabbing and when spraying.

9:40 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I don't think I could survive the island without an unlimited supply of books :-)

9:42 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes, she did adore it. it was her signature. it was as if the mentholated part i get at the top hung around much longer on her. i had to ask her a couple of time to confirm it was mahora, because the first time she said it, i didn't believe it (or my nose didn't). - minette

10:52 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Fascinating stuff, skin chemistry.

7:19 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Marina! Hope you're well - don't know why I haven't been commenting much recently - just a phase I guess. Still love perfume though! And this one is a beauty of its type. It's not really me but I love to wear it in the evening when I want a tropical ambiance and its just me and the cats. Incidentally I thought Mayotte was the edt version of Mahora's edp? Think I read that on Osmoz.

9:16 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hm, lost the hang of making myself known - that's Nicola up there with the totally anonymous comment!

9:18 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Lovely to have you back!
Mayotte and Mahora smell very different to me, whatever relation they are supposed to have to each other...and Mahora is better :-)

9:29 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful review.
And another fragrance to add to my must try list.

6:49 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

The solemn cat,
Thank you. And it is worth trying!

9:35 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw this in a set in Marshall's couple years ago, I used the body and lotion up, but I hardly use it, now I just tried it again, and it is still great. It makes me to think of the dark old wood in an old small Catholic church in Europe. It smells wonderful in this cold winter day and it heats me up.

12:11 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I adore the scent, but i cannot buy it in Holland anymore. Can anyone tell me were to purchase it? Thanks

3:21 PM EDT  

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