Black (Ananda) by Jean-Claude Astier for M. Micallef 2011

Hello APJ Family and Friends,

Recently they had a 20% off sale at Parfum1 and I had been lemming this bottle for a while, so I naughtily purchased. Some people call this Black and some Black Ananda, maybe because the original white bottle was called Ananda.

Black by M. Micallef 2011

Black M. Micallef FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Amalfi lemon, bitter orange, plum
Heart: Jasmine, tuberose, neroli, ylang ylang
Base: Musk, powder, benzoin, vanilla

Before I write about the fragrance I have to tell you the packaging is seriously gorgeous and the bottle feels like a million dollars when you pick it up. The Drag Queen in me adores the cognac rhinestones on the matte black porcelain bottle and the lid is a harem girls dream. Seriously. I know how shallow that is but couldn’t give a rats, this bottle is beautiful.

Black opens prettily perfumey, it is softer and less intrusive than I expected from its packaging, the plum taking dominance over the citrus. There is so much space between the notes, so sheer, a pastel scarf of finest gauzy silk Georgette. My skin gives an interesting brown sugar waft as the opening slides into the heart. Here we have white flowers being slightly indolic, a little bit retro, and the fragrance gets a touch more oomph but is still extremely ambient, a feeling of space and lightness, introverted fragrance that generates the kind of heft that you expect from body products. It’s close and personal. I can tell Black by M. Micallef has used some good product in the juice, the composition is seamless (so sheer it is hard to tell imperfections really) and clean. What I am most reminded of is a less milky Burberry Brit (towards the end of BBs life), it has a similar spare musky/vanillic/floral wash. For most perfumistas I think Black by M. Micallef will be a big fat yawn.

Black Micallef Calvin Klein mysuperficialendeavorsPhoto Stolen MySuperficialEndeavours

Maybe as a gateway frag from some of the extremely barely there white musks of Bodyshop etc this would seem a logical step, good for a grown up scent for young girls who have only had those before. Also if you want to feel laundry fresh all day but without being definitively laundry, but close.

Surprisingly for the lack of fragrance Black by M. Micallef lasts well, this is the PERFECT scent if you really want to have perfume but work in a frag phobic environment. Also good for people who don’t really like scent but wear it because ,”It’s the thing you do”. The bottle alone is worth having as a piece of art and looks killer in the bathroom, recently on Perfume of Life there was a conversation about growing up surrounded by people who had The One And Only Perfect Bottle of scent that was displayed on dressers or in bathrooms. If you are that kind of person then Black by M. Micallef could be the bottle for you.

Black Micallef Art Nouveau bottle mararie FlickrPhoto Stolen mararie on Flickr (not the Black bottle)

My question to M. Micallef is how can Black be packaged in this outrageous black, gold and cognac diamond bottle? There is a TOTAL disconnect between the enclosure and the juice. It’s like putting Gendarme into the bottle above when you would expect an Amouage/Lutens/Vermeire/Tauer, weird! It reminds me of the Coco Noir conundrum.

Further reading: I could only find sellers who have written about Black. Sandra on Olfactoria’s Travels does a beautiful job with the original Ananda though
Parfum1 has $115/30ml
Surrender To Chance starts at $7/ml

Are you a Micallef fan? Are there any in their range that you adore? Maybe you’ve tried black? What are your thoughts?

Have a lovely fragrant day,
Portia xx

12 comments on “Black (Ananda) by Jean-Claude Astier for M. Micallef 2011

  1. Janice says:

    Micallef does have some gorgeous bottles. My favorite from the line is Guaiac (which unfortunately comes in a not-so-blinged-out bottle), and I also have Red Sea and Vanille Aoud. I’m still undecided on the new Le Parfum Couture–have you tried that one?

  2. azar says:

    I have been disappointed more than once by the contents of some beautiful bottles. My most recent vapid beauty is Brooks Brothers Black Fleece for Woman. The outer packaging, the solid, hefty white bottle convinced me to make this blind buy. The scent is nothing extraordinary but worse than that, Black Fleece is the first perfume that can make me sneeze from one sniff of the sprayer!

    Regarding M. Micallef: I have a few samples but have not purchased a full bottle of any of them. All quality scents but I wasn’t really blown away by any of them. Maybe its time I dug them out and re-sniffed.

    • Hey there Azar,
      I too have not purchased until Black. Probably not my last blind buy though, he he he.
      It is super annoying when the juice is packaged with more interest and care than the juice smells like it’s been made with.
      Portia xx

  3. Undina says:

    I think I’m becoming a Micallef’s fan slowly. First I loved Royal Vintage on my vSO. Then came Le Parfum Couture that I’m falling for more and more. And recently I tried Ananda and was surprised how much I liked it. I’m afraid to test further 😉

  4. RuthF says:

    Portia, have you been in to Cara & Co in Westfield Sydney, they have a huge selection of Micallef? Coincidentally, I was in there yesterday on my lunch break and tried a few of them, but not Black, I plan to go back and try more! They also have Grossmith.

  5. Lavanya says:

    What a coincidence- I just wore my sample of the original (White) Ananda today..And my impression was ” expensive shampoo”..Does Black smell like that?
    I mean it *was* very pretty and all. And it is definitely the kind of perfume that will gain compliments- I am sure I would compliment another person wearing this. But…expensive,..or even very expensive shampoo..;-) I would love this in a shower gel..:)

    • Hey there Lavanya,
      I didn’t get a shampoo vibe but I’m currently using a LUSH one so there could be no correlation between its screaming in your faceness and this pretty and soft spoken princess.
      Portia xx

      • Lavanya says:

        Oh – and just to clarify- I was referring to (White) Ananda not Black Ananda which I haven’t smelled..yet..And you are right- that bottle is gorgeous!
        Hava a lovely weekend!

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