If there is a red-headed stepchild of perfume ingredients, geranium would be in the running. Used for the most part as a supporting element to rose it rarely gets a spotlight all its own. Which is a shame because some of my favorite perfumes are the ones which do feature it. Which was why I was excited to receive my sample of Molton Brown Geranium Nefertum.
One of the reasons I have been enjoying the recent releases from Molton Brown has been perfumer Carla Chabert. She has been consistently producing interesting perfumes based on the bath products the brand is most known for. Mme Chabert was the perfumer for Geranium Nefertum.
When I saw the name, I thought it was a variety of geranium. There are hundreds. Turns out Nefertum is the Egyptian god of perfume. The myth goes he was born from the blue lotus to rise with a wreath of those flowers upon his head. Mme Chabert modernizes that by thinking of a contemporary version who would be wreathed in geranium.
Geranium Nefertum opens on a fig accord comprised of leaf and fruit. The leaf adds a creamy green to the depth of the sweet fruit. As this is an eau de toilete it is an opaquer style. The geranium comes next with its minty rose-like scent which gives it the nickname “green rose”. When it is used in the perfume I like best the perfumer uses that green to create a different type of floral. Mme Chabert does just that as labdanum and oakmoss tease out the green and deepen it. This coalesces around a creamy sandalwood, recapitulating the fig accord from the beginning. It also creates a beautifully transparent chypre accord that was amazing in the hot weather.
Geranium Nefertum has 8-10 hour longevity and average sillage.
Mme Chabert has continued to impress me as she makes each new release a reason worth seeking out the fragrance section in Molton Brown. If you’re looking for a summer chypre search out Geranium Nefertum.
Disclosure: this review is based on a sample provided by Molton Brown.
As I receive the holiday fragrances towards the end of every year there is a reliance on the spices of the season with some fir thrown in. It is why the ones which choose a different route capture my attention. Molton Brown Muddled Plum takes a left turn; for a Holiday fragrance.
Molton Brown has been building a nice fragrance collection to go along with their better-known bath and skin care products. I’ve been keeping an eye on every release because I have frequently found them to be good. The last one to catch my attention was an interesting take on an aquatic style perfume in the Spring of 2017; Coastal Cypress & Sea Fennel. It was in part because the perfumer, Carla Chabert, added some nice wrinkles to an overexposed style. Mme Chabert was the perfumer for Muddled Plum which piqued my interest even before I sniffed it. This time she makes something more original.
Plum Rum is one of my favorite Holiday spirits. There is a Mason jar of plums and dark rum marinating on a shelf in my kitchen as I write this. I cook with it and I sip it throughout the festive time of the year. It is both sweet and warm. Mme Chabert also creates a heart of plum and rum in Muddled Plum it also has the same effect of the liquor mixture.
The habit of adding a wrinkle to her perfumes shows up in the top accord of Muddled Plum. A typical citrus pairing of orange and elemi is wrapped in warm filaments of saffron. It changes something sunny to a much cozier feeling. This leads to the heart where the plum and the rum arrive simultaneously. The plum rum I make has a syrupy consistency. The plum rum at the heart of Muddled Plum also has an olfactory viscosity. This is deeply fruity matched by a boozy brown sugar complement in the rum. Mme Chabert encloses it in a warm shawl of benzoin, sandalwood, and musk.
Muddled Plum has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.
I like Muddled Plum because it captures the fun of the Holidays without resorting to opening the spice cabinet. It feels as cozy as a sip of plum rum liqueur while watching a fire. If you’re looking for a different Holiday fragrance experience go check out Muddled Plum and join me in singing “plum rum pum pum”.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Molton Brown.
A few years ago, when attending a Sniffapalooza one of the stops was the Molton Brown store in Soho. I have been a longtime fan of the bath products but the fragrances had been underwhelming. On that day, they presented a collection based on different countries. I was surprised at how much I liked them despite being examples of most of the prevailing perfume trends. Since that day I have continued to carry that same thought as I have tried their new releases looking for one which would offer a something a little bit different. The latest release Coastal Cypress & Sea Fennel doesn’t create a new direction in aquatic fragrances but it does have a couple nice wrinkles to it.
Over the past few years the Molton Brown fragrances have followed the lead of the bath products by naming themselves after the main ingredients. If you like the fragrance all the ancillary products are available and if the bath product appeals the converse is true. Perfumer Carla Chabert succeeds by tracking closely with the refreshing nature of the bath gel. She focused on a composing a perfume which was akin to a cool shower after a day at the shore. The wrinkle I wrote about is the use of cardamom and jasmine in significant quantities enough so that their names could have been added to the name, too.
Coastal Cypress & Sea Fennel opens with a very typical marine accord. The first few moments almost have a by-the-book aquatic accord. Mme Chabert works to change the mundane with a healthy dose of cardamom. The cardamom has that lemon-tinged character that provides a bit of muted luminosity while also adding some weight grounding the more expansive aspects of the marine accord. Fig leaf and violet leaf provide the sea fennel effect as it comes off as a soft green. Mme Chabert then uses one of the synthetic non-indolic jasmines to provide significant expansiveness before the cypress shows up. It is listed as “salted cypress” in the note list but I don’t get that as much as weathered cypress. This is like driftwood, sun bleached and transparent, which fits in with the jasmine. Later on, cedar and some laundry musks tie Coastal Cypress & Sea Fennel off.
Coastal Cypress & Sea Fennel has 6-8 hour longevity and moderate silage.
There is a nice fragrance collection quietly growing at Molton Brown. Coastal Cypress & Sea Fennel even portends something greater for the future.
Disclosure: This review is based on samples provided by Molton Brown.