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Thursday, May 31, 2012

MDCI Chypre Paladin

By Tom

Well, I think everyone has heard that ScentBar has moved, to a much larger location about a mile east on Beverly Blvd. It's a good thing for them: the location has more than twice the space of the old store which was, frankly, cramped. The new location also is right in the middle of a strip of shops and restaurants, so there's a lot of walk-by traffic. The old location was in a strip of Beverly that had a ramdom mix of stores selling everything from paint, fabric, furniture and tires; it was the sort of location that you went to specifically. This one many more people who'd never heard of them will wander in. So that's good.

I wandered in and immediately fell in love with the titled scent. It's a 2012 release that was concocted by Betrand Duchaufour. From Fragrantica: "Top notes are lavender, labdanum, hyacinth, galbanum, sage, clementine and aldehydes; middle notes are iris, jasmine, gardenia, rose and plum; base notes are styrax, benzoin, tolu balsam, vanilla, castoreum, leather, costus, oakmoss and immortelle."

It's all in there, and it's gorgeous. The opening has an almost swooping theatricality to it, like Haute Couture. I gasped with delight at the idea that in 2012 when we're drowning in a sea of mediocre fruitchooli that even a niche house would be daring enough to put out a scent that is this dressy. It honestly smells like something vintage. The middle calms down quite a bit, with the iris and plum softening the sharp cheekbones of the opening while the drydown is where it really becomes unisex, in the best tradition of the chypre: that Katharine Hepburn sort of way that I love. Easily the best thing I've smelled this year.

I tested at Scent Bar, but it's not up at the LuckyScent site yet, so not sure about pricing, but I am assuming it will be $250 for 50ML. Ouch.


Blogger Flora said...

Wow, that is right in my wheelhouse! I'm a sucker for a good leather chypre.

12:31 AM EDT  
Blogger Martinus Scriblerus said...

I tested this today, and have had my nose glued to my wrist for all ten hours of this wonderful fellow's longevity. It is absolutely extraordinary and very under-appreciated on the net (as far as I have been able to find).

On me the mandarin is green and clear, and gone within twenty minutes. The iris/prune contrast that you delineate is quite pronounced for a few hours. The styrax, immortelle, leather, vanilla combo shows up early and then fades in and out for the rest of the scent.

Is it fruity, or floral, or gourmand, or leather? I have no idea. It never quite tips over into any one of these categories, rather fluctuating between them. I think that the underlying bone structure is somewhere between a chypre and an oriental. How Duchafour has done this I do not know. It is ravishing, wildly sophisticated, staggeringly classy. This is only day one of testing and I'm expecting to keep on picking away at it. And on top of all this, it *just* about registers as masculine. Yes, the pricing is seriously steep, but it is comparable with Kilian, which people gripe about less. (For some reason.) I think that this is in a class with vintage Chamade parfum for complexity and sheer pleasure all at once.

I think I will wear this to get married in this summer.

2:58 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chypre? Castoreum? Leather? Fluctuates with all the notes throughout? Fumbling for wallet and hyperventilating!

8:03 AM EDT  
Blogger StyleSpy said...

MDCI already has a magnificent chypre in Enlevement au Serail. Good for them for going old school instead of bowing to the fruitchouli mafia.

8:07 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I think you'll like this one.

7:02 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

M S-

I had my nose glued to my forearm all day..

7:03 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I'm just not in the position to spend that much, so I won't be buying. But I love that it's out there..

7:04 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I'm so happy they did..

7:06 PM EDT  
Anonymous Mother Courreges said...

This sounds right up my alley! "wildly sophisticated" vitage smelling chypre.
"staggeringly classy"? You had me at "best thing I've smelled all year". Will factor a new future passion into an already tight budget. Sigh......

10:43 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


10:50 PM EDT  
Anonymous bevfred said...

This sounds amazing. At 62 I'm really not into fruitchouli, although I do like patchouli.
Staggeringly classy.
Great review, thank you!

11:25 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm getting an image from one of the classic old cartoons like Bugs Bunny where the cartoon character falls in love at first sight and you see his heart throbbing almost out of his chest - that's how I feel about BD, MDCI and your description of this perfume - can't wait to try it! ~~nozknoz

11:03 PM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

Oh, lord! Just when I thought it was save to come back to the blog. . ., WANT!

5:35 PM EDT  

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