Carnal Flower By Dominique Ropion for Frederic Malle 2005

Hello Fellow Fumies,

The story goes that this fragrance was created around the idea of Frederic Malle’s aunt, Candice Bergen, star of the movie Carnal Knowledge with Jack Nicholson, Ann Margaret and Art Garfunkel. I’ve not seen the movie but I love this little tit bit of information garnered from Fragrantica. It makes my enjoyment even sweeter as Candice was one of my great TV glamour girl loves from Murphy Brown and who could ever forget her in her 2000 star turn as Kathy Morningside in Miss Congeniality, awesome. Many of you will have loved her too as Shirley Schmidt in Boston Legal but i digress.

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Carnal Flower By Dominique Ropion for Frederic Malle 2005

Carnal Flower Frederic Malle FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line (but writes them tiered):
Top: Bergamot, melon, eucalyptus
Heart: Ylang-ylang, jasmine, tuberose, Salicylates (natural, toxic product of herbal origin, a sort of a herbal pheromone which is used by plants as a warning)
Base: Tuberose absolute, orange blossom absolute, coconut, musk

I love how Carnal Flower opens with a huge plastic white flower surrounded by sharp citrus and greenery. I know the notes say melon and eucalyptus but I don’t get them definitively in the open. I get a sweet and sappy greenness like when you cut hydrangeas and lovely white flowers that move to fatty pretty quickly, they are potent and exciting but not as outrageous as the hype leads you to believe and they become quite dry through their life. Not dried or dessicated but the oily wetness, the sappy green loses its potency and becomes a high white floral with a green tiara on sending out occasional flashes and sparkles.

Carnal Flower Frederic Malle Cleaning tiffany terry FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

Just so you have placement, I am writing this on Wednesday which is my cleaning day. I do the house from top to bottom once a week. It’s a big job that can take 5 hours but usually I get it done in 3-4 hours. Today I decided to see how Carnal Flower copes in warm weather while active. At midday it’s 26 degees Celcius and I started cleaning at 9.30am. At just over halfway point so I’m taking a sneaky break to write to you.

Well I’ve dusted, vacuumed and cleaned the bathrooms. All that’s left to do is empty the kitchen benches and give them their full scrub. Still there are delightful wafts of coconut-y white flower and now I smell like summer. My sweat and Carnal Flower have come together to create something that smells like a beautiful deadly night flower that calls insects and small animals to their graves, it may even work on the men. I find sneaky reminders at this point of one of my favourite summer scents Bronze Goddess, though they have different stories at the Carnal Flower 3 hour mark they have a crossover.

Carnal Flower Frederic Malle Lanikai Oahu WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

At the 5 hour mark I have lost all but the merest traces of something musky floral but to all intents and purposes gone. I have to be honest here and tell you I think Carnal Flower not at all carnal and really it is a very pretty white floral with other stuff but not fearsome or challenging at all. Bigger than most modern perfumery but not outrageous, give the opening a moment to calm down and I find it extremely wearable. Maybe not a confined spaces or work fragrance but definitely doable for dinner.

Further reading:
Mecca Cosmetica in Australia have AUD$259/50mlFrederic Malle has €160/50ml
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $9/ml

Carnal Flower. Have you braved the name? Did you feel it was worthy of such a fearsome title?

Till tomorrow, treat yourself with respect, you deserve it and try to forgive yourself your minor flaws.
Portia xx

26 comments on “Carnal Flower By Dominique Ropion for Frederic Malle 2005

  1. Mary Jane says:

    A couple of things. First, I had the opportunity to smell this at one of Catherine’s tuberose meetings and it is, indeed, memorable and wearable. Second, I have been watching all the seasons of of Boston Legal with my husband and I keep saying “I want to look and be exactly as fabulous as Shirley Schmidt in 30 years!”. Now, I guess, I can smell like her in the meantime, yay for me!

    Finally (oh I guess this makes it “three” things) “Till tomorrow, treat yourself with respect, you deserve it and try to forgive yourself your minor flaws.” Thank you for this. What a lovely sign off.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Heya Mary Jane,
      Lovely to see you. Smelling like a dream of Candice Bergan is a great way to start I reckon.
      Sometimes it’s hard to remember that they are just minor flaws and that you deserve the best you can give yourself. I hope you are living it.
      Portia xx

  2. Sheila says:

    Carnal Flower – how do I love it? I never would have pegged myself as a tuberose lover, but first, I inured myself to the Gothic splendor of Tubereuse Criminelle (which took about 12 tries in which I desperately wanted to scream), next came Fracas, and then came… Carnal Flower. Unlike you, I don’t get so much as a hint of plastic, and it sticks around for a good 10+ hours. It’s the perfect ‘make -em swoon and swipe ’em sideways’ for a summer day – or any day in need of summer! 🙂

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey Sheila,
      On a regular wear I get over 8 hours too. Sweating like a farm hand and cleaning the place it tends to bloom bigger and last less.
      TOTALLY good for swooning and swiping. Indeed.
      Of your three I found Tubereuse Criminelle the most outrageous and naughty.
      Portia xx

  3. cookie queen says:

    I have a large bottle of this. I used to love it, but I don’t wear it any more. The first half hour is fabulous but then, to me, it goes on for hours always smelling the same. BUT what I do like, especially in winter is to just sniff the bottle. It is so beautiful and makes me feel like I am sitting in a refridgerated elegant flower shop, as one does. xxx

    • cookie queen says:

      refrigerated* forsooth.

      • australianperfumejunkies says:

        Yes, the story is not big after it calms into the heart and yes, it does go on. Try it in summer Val while you’re cleaning. It may work for you then too. If it tortures you at least you’ll have a clean bath or shower to jump into.
        Portia xx

    • Sarah K says:

      Val, I think you’ve articulated how I feel about Carnal Flower. It is very beautiful, but it is pretty strong on me and after the first half hour I find it a bit too blaring and samey. I’d rather it just showed up occasionally to remind me how gorgeous it is, so a spritz on somebody else is better than having it on my own wrists. I haven’t tried it in hot weather yet though.

  4. Sandra says:

    Hi Portia! This is one of my absolute favorite summer staples. It is one for the hot and humid days of summer when It blooms beautifully and lasts well over 12 hours. Thank you for your uplifting post. wonderful.
    Sandra xoxo

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Sandra! Lovely to see you. I can imagine you ROCKING Carnal Flower. I bet you are iridescent in it. 12 hours is a SERIOUS commitment to your SOTD.
      Portia x

  5. hajusuuri says:

    Hi Portia, I don’t love BWFs but I can rock Carnal Flower in any season. I agree with CQ that wearing or even just snuffing it (yes, I do that too!) feels like being in an air-conditioned flower shop. Candice Bergen is also one of my favorite actresses of all time! Thanks for this review!

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hi there Hajusuuri,
      I am going to have to spritz myself again and see if I can pick the correlation now that it’s been pointed out by two people whose noses I trust.
      I too pick up bottles and sniff without spraying.
      Portia xx

  6. SallyM says:

    I hang my head that I’ve never tried CF – mind you, this will soon be rectified, as anything that can make housework (ugh) less of a chore is worth a shot (or spritz). I applaud you for doing yours all in one day. I always have plans to do it that way as my “sensible” head (Sister Aloitious would be so proud that I still have it) tells me it makes the most sense, but somehow when I get half way through I start flagging and put it off until another time. Then I’m complaining that I “always seem to be doing housework.” Soooo, it seems like a bubble of good fume would be a great incentive to keep working in to git ‘er done!
    And I second your sign off sentiment – lovely, wise words that I shall endeavor to remember. Thank you.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hi SallyM,
      The truth is that I’m INCREDIBLY lazy. If I don’t allocate times that things must happen then they don’t happen ever. I loathe housework but living in a dirty environment is unbearable too, sadly I’ve never found a cleaner who does it right either. Paying someone and then having to spend two hours finishing is not my idea of bliss.
      This way I get to really wear some fun fragrances at levels otherwise not tolerated in society and the housework gets done. For FREE! Well, monetarily anyway.
      The half hour after it’s all finished when I sit in the couch with a cuppa and just breathe in the clean is beautiful too.
      Portia xx

  7. empliau says:

    I too just love your conclusion – it reminds me of Desiderata (anyone else remember the Seventies?) Carnal Flower is a major player for me – there are several fragrances that I just love, and Carnal Flower is one of them, but it is the only scent in our 29 years together that my husband has noticed (without my wrist a few centimetres from his face, that is). Not only does he notice it, he loves it … so my others I wear for myself, but CF I wear for both of us!

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      That’s really nice that your husband notices something that you love too Empliau, It would make Carnal Flower so much more special.
      I think we studied the Desiderata of Happiness in school. My Mum had the Serenity Prayer on the fridge. Sometimes she would have to turn from our arguments and read it out loud to regain some internal control.
      Portia xx

  8. Mary P. says:

    I am crazy about Carnal Flower – I always get compliments when I wear it.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      I think that you probably get compliments anyway MaryP,
      They are just looking for another reason to tell you how lovely you are.
      Portia xx

  9. Nymphomaniac says:

    This is sublime, like all Ropion’s creations for the Editions de Parfum, but not for me at all ! I therefore live with a 3.5 ml sample that they gave me when I bought Portrait : sometimes I like to smell it…

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Ha Ha Ha!C That is a great thing to write Nymphomaniac,
      I am surprised with your handle that Carnal Flower is NOT you.
      Portia x

  10. Portia, I do the same! When I do my weekly big cleaning (3-4 hours, top to bottom), I test some fragrances to see how it cope. Great mind… you know? 😀
    I haven’t tried CF yet… Budget, ha. The first time when I came across the name “Carnal Flower”, unfortunately the Rafflesia flower came into my mind and I can’t get rid of the image… Shouldn’t have. I actually really love the name!!

  11. Undina says:

    It’s tuberose – so not for me. But maybe I should try wearing it while cleaning? 😉
    Undina recently posted…Winner of the Secret DrawMy Profile

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Undina, if you hate tuberose why would you add to the awful of cleaning by scenting yourself in something YUKKY to you?
      The idea is be lifted out of the doldroms.
      Portia xx

  12. Anna says:

    Is there anyone willing to send me a sample of Carnal Flower? I am desperate to try it but there is no store near me (in the entire state of QLD) that stocks it and I am not sure I want to pay the $200+ price tag blind buying! Please someone help!

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey Anna,
      Do try Surrender To Chance. You can buy samples there and try the whole set. Otherwise there are hundreds of people willing to sell or swap on the Facebook groups. Try Aussie Fragrance Network.
      Portia x

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