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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Perfume Review: Lancome Magnifique

I am very fond of Lancôme. When I was little, my mom's Climat and Magie Noire seemed to me incredibly sophisticated, belonging to a different, almost fairy-tale-like world. Years later, jaded by this hobby and work of mine, whenever I see the stylized rose sign on a Lancôme bottle, my heart still skips a beat in anticipation of Magic. I would not call Magnifique, Lancôme's new release fronted by Anne Hathaway, magical, but much like the spokesperson, it is charming. And kudos to Lancôme for blending their beloved rose with spices and woods and not, say, fruits, and giving a West-meets-East feel to the composition.

Saffron gives the roses in the top notes of Magnifique a piquantly candied quality...think spicy rose jam, Turkish Delight and all things sweet in an exotic sort of way. The scent becomes more intensely honeyed as it progresses. The woody accord, which includes the allegedly aphrodisiacal nagarmota, does not make the sugared roses to appear less sweet but counteracts their gourmand floralcy by infusing the scent with rich, velvety darkness. I can't help but wish for a generous dose of oud in Magnifique. Saffron and roses are begging for it. Oud would have made the exotic vision behind the composition more complete, but the note, with its medicinal undertone, might be just a little too daring for what is after all a mass release.

If I encountered Magnifique twenty or so years ago, when all I knew of the perfume world was my mother's dresser with its small but elegant collection, when I haven't known about Arabian Oud or Montale, when rose notes seemed breathtakinng and not ubiquitous and when saffron would have smelled to my unsophisticated nose thrillingly odd...if I encountered Magnifique then, I would have been blown away. I still think that it is pretty, harmonious, grown up and elegant, and that is a no small achievement.

Magnifique is available at Lancôme counters and at, $65.00-$85.00.

Image source, Lancôme.

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Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

I actually like Magnifique, although it would normally be a bit too sweet for my nature I don't find it too hard to enjoy. Magie Noire will always be my favorite Lancome, but I think that this could come close, I find myself getting accustomed to it easily, something that I never did with Tresor. I also think that it will play better in cooler weather and lose some of it's cloying tendencies. I went to a Lancome spa day about a week ago and recieved a marvelous facial and then a makeover . They tucked a hankie that had been spritzed with Magnifique under my nose and I found it very relaxing!

10:48 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

It is too sweet and long-lasting :-) for me, but overall I found it pleasant. Tresor is challenging for me, to put it mildly.

10:50 PM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

I clearly need to retry this scent. I'm wondering if I'd have liked it better as a parfum and you're right about the oud - am going to have to try to layer it w/ an oud.

9:38 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

I haven't tried this one yet and am not feeling anything more than intellectual curiosity to do so..

12:18 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Let me know if that really would make it more interesting.

1:48 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I don't think it's "you" :-)

1:48 PM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

"I still think that it is pretty, harmonious, grown up and elegant, and that is a no small achievement." So true. And like you, I wished for something a little ... more from it, but that wouldn't necessarily make it the right choice for Lancome.

2:13 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Exactly! They wouldn't want skank :-))

2:41 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been able to test Magnifique, EL Sensuous and CK Secret Obsession recently and feel they're all aspects of a trend for wood. Magnifique was the one I thought stayed most 'true' to its house, thanks to a 'Lancomaide' aspect to the heart notes that I liked and recognised.

And I felt it was an intelligent treatment of the brand-identifying rose and a very nice, mature (i.e. over 25!) but modern fragrance. I suspect the rose also makes it sufficiently different from the other woods out there to make it a commercial success.

3:15 PM EDT  
Blogger melisand61 said...

Rose and saffron sounds perfectly agreeable to me during the transition for summer to fall. I can't say that Lancome fragrances are my favorites, but they are certainly respectable. Whether alone or layered with a touch of oud, as Elle suggested, I am always game for a rose/saffron blend.

4:51 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I agree about the intelligent treatment.

6:40 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

respectable is a great word to use for this brand

6:41 PM EDT  

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