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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Germaine Monteil Bakir: Perfume Review

Germaine Monteil's 1975 oriental wonder, Bakir is a rich tapestry of golds, reds and russets. The citrusy-spicy-aldehydic top notes are an explosion of ripe brightness that slowly darkens into the carmine velvet of the floral heart, in which the creaminess of rose and ylang-ylang are juxtaposed with the fiery piquancy of carnation enhanced by cloves. Darker still is the ambery, incensey, earthy base, where myrrh, amber and bezoin continue the theme of languid softness, while moss and ptachouli play for the opposite team, enhancing the sharper, spicier side of Bakir.

The exuberant richness of colors is muted in my vintage sample, but I feel that the patina of time ages the scent beautifully, bringing a touch of wistful elegance to what was prevously unabashed decadance.

Bakir can be found on ebay. Again, many thanks to L for introducing me to yet another vintage gem.

Image is by Ellen Von Unwerth

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Blogger Flora said...

I have not thought about this one for ages! I remember it as being a very heavy, sweet perfume, and I am quite sure I would like it much better now than I did back then, when I wore only florals like Muguet de Bois and Anais Anais.

12:14 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my god!! This sounds gorgeous!! I love my roses served with cloves.and incense..must find some

12:54 AM EST  
Blogger elle said...

You captured the essence of this scent perfectly w/ all those colors! This is one of my absolute favorite vintage finds from the H&R Guide.

7:32 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

It must really lose a lot of heavy sweetness as it ages then.

9:09 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I love roses and incense. Cloves can go either way, but here they go the good way :-)

9:11 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I am yet to decide on a favorite(s)...too many to chose from now!! :-)

9:11 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think your own photo would better illustrate this post than the one you used.
I'm running to ebay right now! Bakir sounds perfect for warming up cold winter nights!

9:36 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Ah no, I am not exotic enough to be a poster girl for the gorgeous Bakir :-)

9:39 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe Irma Shorell Co. owns the formula for this now, and makes a faithful copy. It's reasonable priced, I've got one waiting for me in my other home but haven't tried it yet. Anyone else tried it?

10:56 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I haven't tried the copy, so unfortunately I couldn't compare

10:57 AM EST  
Blogger saralevy said...

I have not tried the Shorell dupe but the Ava-Luxe one is lovely and very close to the original! cheers!

11:05 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Good to know!

11:05 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this lovely review. I am so leery of aldehydes, except in Chanel 5 which has strong sentimental value for me. However, it sounds like something I would love, due to the incense and spicy notes with flowers. I have purchased scents on ebay and haven't had a problem but have recently hear horror stories about fakes being's always scary!


11:44 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

There are always fakes, just check feedback, I suppose.

11:46 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So is the clove in this like the warmed cloves in Caron Poivre(*love*)

2:26 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

In Poivre, cloves are ten times stronger than here

2:55 PM EST  
Blogger spayneuterlady said...

I wore Bakir in the 70's. It was the only fragrance I took on a very adventurous and hedonistic 6-month trip to Greece.

I recently bought some of the Irma Shorell repro and was instantly transported back to Greece.

The scent is identical to the original. It doesn't last as long - the old Bakir would stay on for days until you showered or washed the clothing you sprayed it on.

I don't think it is sweet at all, but very spicy. Reminiscent of the incense used in Orthodox churches. Feminine, but in an "I am woman - hear me roar" kinda way.

I always get positive comments when I wear it.

If you want to stand out from all those Calvin Klein, Estee Lauder, and Versace flower shops in a bottle, then Bakir is for you.

9:46 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wore Bakir in the late 70's until Monteil discontinued the fragrance. It was my signature scent, and I was broken-hearted when I could not longer find it. I was young then and likely unworthy of such a rich fragrance. Now I'm 52 and have worn Magie Noir for all of these intervening years. I will go on Ebay and find some Shorell Bakir and give it a try.

12:24 PM EST  
Blogger LunaPetunia said...

Thank you for your blog.

I've been asking for years ... since 1977. Just reading and thinking about Bakir brings back such great memories. Hands down -- this is the nicest scent and never ran across anything like it. Not forgetting th richness of its look. I might try the repro.

1:10 AM EDT  
Blogger ohbother said...

I adored Bakir until it was discontinued with almost no notice and wore it until my last droplet faced in 1985. My husband's niece told me that I could find out more about it online, which never occurred to me for some reason. However, I have now ordered the Shorell reproduction and can't wait to see if it brings back the same incredible magic feeling for me -- passionate, adventurous, and exotic yet down to earth and comfortable in my own skin. I can't wait!

1:00 PM EST  

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