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Monday, June 08, 2009

Frederick Malle Geranium Pour Monsieur: Perfume Review

By Tom

Wandering around the neighborhood I saw that Barneys Wilshire Boulevard were devoted to the new Dominique Ropion scent for Frederick Malle, described in the press as one that will "that will thrill fans of mint".

Well, they ain't lying.

The first few seconds have the initial freshness of Eau Sauvage, something like that bright pettigrain note immediately joined by the warmth of clove. Then the mint comes in. I'm not a big fan of mint in perfumes, so perhaps I am not the person this scent was designed for; this is capital "M" minty. Chopped fresh mint with crushed Altoids rolled in Dentyne minty. Yep, it's mint. Luckily the mint is joined by a surprisingly earthy geranium note and the spicy clove sticks around to keep the whole thing from becoming too brush-your-breath bright. The base is a lovely white musk with sandalwood and a whisper of the geranium. I don't think it's especially screaming "No Girls Allowed"; I can see if being a lovely summer scent for a woman. I'm not quite convinced that it's necessarily a must have, since there are about three scents that I can think of that are about $35 on the internets that cover this territory, as does FM's own French Lover. But I did find it growing on me more and more over the weekend, I may yet fall.

I didn't get the price when I was at Barneys, but I assume that it's about the same as the others, anywhere from $125-150 for 50ML.

Next week, back to Alexis Karl.

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Blogger Flora said...

This could be the ONLY Malle I am not lemming after.Thatsalottamint!

1:07 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


If you are a fan of double-mint fresh, there the Etat Libre that delivers for a lot less

1:36 AM EDT  
Blogger carmencanada /Grain de Musc said...

This isn't one I'm hankering for but I was pretty amazed by it nonetheless. It's got a kind of swirling vortex structure that's pretty groundbreaking. Or perhaps that's just me being an SF geek?

2:11 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

My primary thought when I tried this was that it was bracing. Don't think I've ever thought of a scent as "bracing" before, but this definitely struck me that way. It's a decent scent. Just not me.

8:41 AM EDT  
Blogger Jarvis said...

I'm with you, carmencanada. I found that swirling vortex structure fascinating.

9:07 AM EDT  
Blogger Mark Neustadt said...

Once the mint settles down, on me this one is quite foodie. Too sweet for something I would think of as "pour monsieur." It's odd. I think I'm going to be curious about it as long as the samples last, but I can't see spending serious time with it.

9:42 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I got a nice incensy drydown, but nothing that's going to make me going to purchase. Guess that makes me cheap.

11:37 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


"bracing" is the word for it. If you hate mint in perfume "assaultive" is going to come to mind..

11:38 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Why am I not getting vortices?

11:38 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


foodie how? I'm interested!

11:39 AM EDT  
Blogger Mark Neustadt said...

Tom - a little gingerbready and sweet. Although I must say, I'm wearing the scent now and this was a bit of a hot sweaty morning and it's totally different. The mint has persisted much more than it did when I tried it yesterday. I love scented geraniums in my garden but I'm having trouble picking it out in this scent.

I'll say one thing for this - it's not like anything else I wear or have worn.

12:29 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

interesting! I'm not getting any gingerbread at all. I'm getting a sort of combo of AG Musc Nomade and Encens Flamboyant. No bad thing that.

12:33 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hated the last two releases from FM, but will definetly have to stop in and try it this week, it seems like he's going for the initial impact of scents, as opposed to the final dry down, that generic amber dry down of Bois d"Orage, LAME, or the wet fur of Dans de Bras...UGHHH!

1:55 PM EDT  
Blogger Vireo Perfumes said...

Forgive this fragmented comment..
I haven't smelled the Frederick Malle Geranium.
It sounds like something my boyfriend might like sans the mint. He likes petitgrain, though I smell something in it akin to an ashtray.
If someone made some sort of manly scent out of that "Mrs.Meyers Clean Day" Geranium ..he would be all over it.

3:54 PM EDT  
Anonymous HemlockSillage said...

Tom, thanks for the review. I agree that this one is not only pour monsieur.

Here in Houston, the opening mint is a welcome, refreshing opening. I love the clean, herbaceous notes twining with the geranium.

It keeps my nose glued to wrist, with an odd illusory rose note, which I think my primitive nose-brain adds because we're so conditioned to smell geranium mixed with rose. The whole thing turns soapy clean, then the geranium reappears. Admixed with sandalwood and musk, it softly lingers.

I bought it the next day. Hope those in hot climes will try it; it's competing with AG's Hadrien as my beat the heat scent.


10:17 PM EDT  
Anonymous Tara C said...

I need to get a large sample of this - tried it once, but was not wowed. Too much mint. The drydown was okay... definitely not gourmand or gingerbready on me though, more dry wood.

4:54 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cheap geranium aromatherapy oil for the first 30 minutes, then it segues into a pretty linear clove. not a very fresh dry down at all. It didn't smell balanced to me, top to base, hmmmmm.......on a more positive note, Gentian Blanche is clearly Jean Claude Ellena's concentrated Angelique, now that he's under contract at Hermes,......and his jab at French Lover,I do love the opening of French Lover the better of the two, but the drydown on GB kicks FL in the posterior. I was ready to love Geranium, and was ready to slurge, instead, I walked a couple of blocks to Bergdrof, and bought a bottle of Derby by Guerlain. Good move.

1:12 AM EDT  

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