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Friday, May 28, 2010

Maison Martin Margiela (Untitled) Perfume Review

By Marina

The "green movement" in fragrance continues, much to my delight. Maison Martin Margiela's offering to the genre boldly puts the meaty, earthy, vegetal green of galbanum in the forefront and the centre of its first perfume, named (Untitled) as an obvious nod to the brand's no-label policy. The copy and the video about the creation of the scent (see below), go somewhat overboard, labeling... pun intended...the scent as "radical" and even "iconoclastic", and I suppose that, in a way, in the world of cheerful-sexy fruity florals, a scent this green and reserved, is nothing short of avant-garde.

I imagine, however, that to those who rarely partake of the ...I will use a loose term "mass market" oevre, and lean towards the classics and the "niche", (Untitled) might actually smell traditional/vintage, like something that would be found in the H&R Guide next to Private Collection and Murasaki...with a twist of edgy. In the composition of (Untitled), galbanum, aided by lentisque, and, later in the development, a touch of jasmine, stand for the Classic. Incense, which appears towards the base, is there to make the fragrance contemporary and quirky and "non-stereotypical". (Note how evident this principle of classic-hip is in the packaging: traditonal for a bottle of perfume shape and no-label label.)

I find the combination of the sharp yet fleshy green of galbanum and the sweetly-tarry, almost leathery incense very appealing. The fusion lends (Untitled) a feeling of being both sparse and satisfyingly robust. I haven't been able to find out if and where the Margiela fragrance is sold in the States, it doesn't appear to be so. It is avialable at Colette, EUR80. I have one sample to share, let me know in your comment if you would like to be in the draw. The draw is closed.

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Anonymous ElizabethN said...

I would love to try this - your description makes it sound very intriguing. Thanks!

12:02 AM EDT  
Blogger Flora said...

Green and reserved, with leathery incense? Sounds like my kind of perfume! (No need to enter me in the draw though!)

12:08 AM EDT  
Blogger tally said...

Oh yes, please include me in the draw! Green is what I am so craving right now!

12:30 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Galbanum and lentisque?? Count me in!

12:39 AM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

Oh, I'd love to try this! Please enter me! Thank you!

1:50 AM EDT  
Blogger carmencanada /Grain de Musc said...

No need to count me in, I can smell it here in Paris. I agree it's actually a fairly classic scent: at any rate, not nearly as edgy as Martin Margiela's designs. Ok, for L'Oréal, who produced it, it's probably downright avant-garde and I'm sure they scared themselves silly with that "Untitled" bit.
When I reviewed it, someone who clearly worked on it commented indignantly, saying the galbanum and musk overdose were groundbreaking. Hello? Vent Vert? 1947? I'm sure Daniela Andrier was perfectly aware of that, but touting it as a revolution can only come from people who haven't the faintest idea of the history of perfumery.
That said, it's a very good scent. Kind of like the Prada that never was.

1:52 AM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hi...I am intriuged beyond belief!! Def would like to be in the draw...thnx

2:30 AM EDT  
Anonymous zeram1 said...

I also enjoy the "green" (along with the organics) movement. Please enter me in the drawing.

2:41 AM EDT  
Anonymous lady jane grey said...

I was disappointed, I expected something more "edgy". But then again, Martin Margiela is not the good old m.m. anymore either, it was sold (to Diesel..., if I remember right)

3:26 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting. Please include me in the draw.


5:40 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Right? Even if one has been smelling only the new releases and re-issues from the last couple of years, there were several greens of that sort. Having said that, a great scent anyway.

6:37 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

With Margiela in mind- not quite as edgy as it could have been. With Diesel in mind- iconoclastic :)

6:37 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Elizabeth, Tally, Marla, Jean, Robyn, Zeram, Marcus,
You are in.

6:38 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Green and leather . . . I must try! Yes, please enter me in the draw.

6:45 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sounds like my kind of scent. please put me in the draw.

6:53 AM EDT  
Blogger queen_cupcake said...

Oh Yes I would love to be in the draw. This one sounds as if the perfumer is deliberately going away from the mass trend. Thank you!

8:29 AM EDT  
Blogger Dixie said...

I adore galbanum! Please include me in the draw! Thank you!

8:57 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Incense? Yes, please enter me into the draw. I have not found my HG green scent. This sounds like what I could be yet warm.

10:11 AM EDT  
Blogger Olivia said...

Hmm I'm intrigued by this... Green + leather + incense? Vintage-esque with a twist? I would definitely like to try! Please count me in! :-) Thanks for the review & the draw.

10:57 AM EDT  
Blogger d3m0lici0n said...

I've been reading about this Untitled a lot with really good reviews, but as you mentioned it is really hard to find in the US, please enter my name to the draw.Thanks!

12:11 PM EDT  
Blogger Elisa said...

Yes, please, I love green scents.

1:14 PM EDT  
Blogger Jen said...

I really like that bottle. Please include me in the draw.

3:43 PM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

I would love to be entered into the draw! Thank you!

4:29 PM EDT  
Blogger Denise said...

Me too! Sounds like an interesting combination.

5:45 PM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

i would love to try this, it sounds like such an intriguing mix of vintage and modern! please enter me in the draw (if foreign readers are eligible). thank you!!! :)

8:55 PM EDT  
Anonymous ToddT said...

Oh I would love to try it. Please include me in the drawing

9:30 PM EDT  
Blogger JAntoinette said...

You had me at galbanum! I will be hunting down a sample of this even if the draw fairy doesn't look my way.

6:34 AM EDT  
Blogger cornlily said...

Intriguing. It would be pleasant to compare it with Vent Vert. I wore that yesterday, the original version. VV was my only scent in college, long ago.
Yes, please add me to the draw.

10:07 AM EDT  
Anonymous Marian said...

"What are you wearing?"
Uh..I don't think so :-(

1:04 PM EDT  
Anonymous Marte said...

I would love to try this, please enter me in the draw!

4:25 PM EDT  
Blogger Gator Grad said...

me me me me! It sounds so bizarre and lovely that it practically screams my name (galbanum is a note that I find in many perfumes that I love, though I can't picture it with leather at all)

5:58 PM EDT  
Blogger zara said...

I'd love to smell this! green is always good

5:37 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes please, enter my name in the draw-- this one looks interesting!

11:49 AM EDT  
Blogger La Bonne Vivante said...

Ooh, put me in the running, if you please!

10:56 PM EDT  
Blogger Ida said...

I'd love to be able to try it. We don't have this fragrance in our counters over here.

3:50 AM EDT  
Anonymous HemlockSillage said...

Sounds lovely! I'd love to try it. I've been hooked on all things green for quite some time now. Your blog certainly gives me lots of new (old) green scents to try. I wonder how this one compares to Papyrus de Ciane? I'd bet it's more floral/classic feminine.

Thanks for the review. Be well.

9:28 AM EDT  
Blogger queen_cupcake said...

Marina, I thought you might like to read my reaction to the sample of this--I won it in your drawing a few weeks ago.

It's hot & humid here today in New England, and I am at work, wearing Maison Martin Margiela (Untitled). I thought it would be interesting to try in hot weather and I was right. It reminds me, on the opening, of YSL's classic chypre "Y", but then takes a turn toward that edgy, incense/leather accord. I am loving it so far (5 hours and counting)--longevity seems quite good.

12:52 PM EDT  
Anonymous ggs said...

Just an update for late readers of your review, that this is sold online now (Oct.5, 2011) by Neiman Marcus in the US. Haven't called the nearest NM yet to make sure it's in-store too, but hoping I can sniff it there!

8:53 AM EDT  

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