Eau de Magnolia by Carlos Benaim for Frederic Malle 2014


Post by TinaG


It is magnolia season here in Sydney, the wonderful lush simple blooms are opening up all over town and I’ve been pressing my nose to as many as possible trying to build up a scent memory of this gorgeous flower.

Eau de Magnolia by Carlos Benaïm for Frédéric Malle 2014

Eau De Magnolia Frederic Malle FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot
Heart: Magnolia, vetiver, patchouli
Base: Cedar, moss, amber

Eau de Magnolia is seducingly ethereal. It lives and breathes in the wisps of its silage, turning and teasing, flashing hints of scent which last as long as a breath.

I can understand people dismissing this fragrance quickly because of the familiarity of the top notes and the cologne nature. I nearly made that mistake too. But it is much more subtle and complex than that. It needs to be on skin, paper would do it no good at all. It also needs to be given a lot of air, sprayed at a distance, and needs a few wearings. The continuity of the fragrance is in the cool lemon, the warm magnolia, and a general ‘greeness”. It also has an aquatic aspect, but not marine, just open and clear. But the magic of this fragrance is in the way it changes.

Eau De Magnolia Frederic Malle citrus PixabayPhoto Stolen Pixabay

Over the top of the green/lemon strand, I get whiffs of different things – pepper, bergamot, lemon, moss, vetiver…. The image I get in my head is like playing with a heavy silk sheet, there is a linearity to it (the lemon/green base ) but when it moves, it has a mind of its own and it slides like a liquid. And like silk, different parts may catch the light and shimmer at different times. But it also can’t be forced, I gave myself a headache sniffing my wrist, but sniffing 20cm away worked wonders.

I also can’t exactly say how it opens – my first wearing it was all fresh lemon, the second, bergamot and today it’s all about grapefruit. I strongly suspect that it would blossom more in summer too, not really a winter scent. I find myself standing at the window, looking at the crisp blue winter sky and longing for the warmer summer months.

Eau De Magnolia Frederic Malle Magnolia_grandiflora WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

I became enamoured with the magnolia fragrance last summer, having been introduced to Magnolia Grandiflora – Sandrine, and Michel, so much so that I purchased a full bottle of Sandrine. By way of comparison to Eau de Magnolia, Michel is the closer match with its waxy warmth, whilst Sandrine is crisp and dewy, said to mirror a magnolia bud waiting to burst open. Because of the depth of sillage of Eau de Magnolia, I can’t wear them side by side, it’s too confusing and I’m not sure what smells I’m getting from where. And to be honest, sometimes you don’t want to pick apart a fragrance too much, I just want to wear them and enjoy the added beauty and dimension they bring to my day.

Eau De Magnolia Frederic Malle magnolia pixabayPhoto Stolen Pixabay

Another mistake I nearly made with Eau de Magnolia is that I originally thought that it lasted two hours on my skin. Not the case. I wore it to work, kept smelling lovely florals that were slowly turning woodsy, and after a gruelling 10 hour day I noticed wisps of fragrance still emanating from my chest. It was very comforting. Such a versatile and beautiful scent – I’m a fan.

Frederic Malle Europe has 3 x 10ml/€85 (Perfect for splitting)
Frederic Malle USA has 3 x 10ml/$125
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $7/ml

Who of you readers has tried Eau de Magnolia? Impressions?

Tina xx

19 comments on “Eau de Magnolia by Carlos Benaim for Frederic Malle 2014

  1. Mals86 says:

    I have yet to get my sniffer on any of these magnolias, but to be honest I am leaning toward buying only a sample of the Malle. I do love the smell of magnolia blossoms (isn’t it funny to call something measuring 8 inches across a “blossom”?), but haven’t smelled a good fragrance approximation of it yet.
    Mals86 recently posted…Scent Diary, July 9-13, 2014My Profile

    • Tina G says:

      Hi Mals86,
      I may have under emphasised the floral notes in this review, so yes, definitely sample & give it a run through – see what you think!
      Tina xx

  2. Kandice says:

    This is my new favorite fragrance. It’s just gorgeous! Funny you should compare it to the Grandiflora fragrances as Michel is my other magnolia favorite of the moment. I live in the southwest US where it’s currently very hot and both scents are just wonderful in the heat, especially the Malle. Thanks for the beautiful review!

    • Tina G says:

      Hi Kandice,
      We’ve had an incredibly mild winter here in Aus, but I’m looking forward to the warmer months & seeing how EdM wears. I am enjoying it now but I do think it will be amazing in the heat. Interesting that you’re enjoying Michel too! A great fragrance! Ahh… I wish it was summer. I can’t wait…
      Tina xx

  3. cookie queen says:

    TinaG!! What perfect timing. I fly to London tomorrow and this will be my first purchase. It is such a beautful fragrance and yes, it lasts hours. Gorgeous. Bussi xxx

    • Tina G says:

      Hi Val, oh wow… That’s wonderful – London and fragrance shopping. And EdM top of the list! That’s great to hear, it really is a beautiful fragrance. Have a fantastic trip. Enjoy!
      Tina xx

  4. Vanessa says:

    A very pretty description of this scent which I can’t wait to try. I am all for ethereal wisps.
    Vanessa recently posted…‘Per fumum’: passive vaping – a surprisingly fragrant experienceMy Profile

    • Tina G says:

      Hi Vanessa,
      That’s the magic in this one, the hints and teases and wisps of notes in the silage – it’s lovely. Definitely worth a run through, or two, or more…
      Tina xx

  5. australianperfumejunkies says:

    Hey there Tina,
    What a wonderful evocative review. I love magnolia season, our street is currently awash with blooms. Sadly ours are not the highly fragrant kind, but they are gorgeous.
    Portia xx

    • Tina G says:

      Hey Portia! Do you mean those gorgeous pink magnolias? I like those because they just take over the whole tree! Magnificent blooms, but yes very little scent. I love that there are some other spring flowers starting to come through aswell, some wattles are in bloom. Summer is on its way….
      Tina xx

      • australianperfumejunkies says:

        Yes, they are the exact magnolias Tina. So beautiful.
        Wattle is excellent winter colour, I keep meaning to get a few for the garden. One day we should do an excursion to the Ku Ring Gai native nursery.
        We will have daffodils within the week I think, they are already showing heads!!
        I have to admit loving winter and getting all rugged up but I will be glad to get back in the pool.
        Portia x

      • TinaG says:

        Hey Portia, if you’re after a bit of winter colour, check out Orange Trumpet Flower – it is a vine which has spectacular orange flowers through the cooler months. Is perfect for along a fence line. 🙂
        xx Tina

      • australianperfumejunkies says:

        We had that and jasmine along the fence for years. It has taken 15 years to finally get rid of the suckers coming up every spring so , um, probably not.
        The are a great colour flower and Jin would be so happy to have some orange in the garden.
        Portia xx

  6. Nymphomaniac says:

    I have not smelled it yet, but i can’t buy it, because i have bought these past days too many bottles (N°5 Extrait 15 ml., N°5 Eau Première 50 ml., Les Exclusifs 31 Rue Cambon 200 ml., vintage Balenciaga Cialenga Extrait 15 ml., vintage Balenciaga Le Dix Extrait 30 ml.)

    I’m exhausted !!!

    • TinaG says:

      Oh my goodness, Nymphomaniac… You have been having a lot of fun by the sounds of it! How fabulous … Enjoy your purchases – I am jealous! 🙂
      Tina xx

      • Nymphomaniac says:

        Hopefully, it was through ebay ! All are authentic, sometimes new with the blister, the Extrait still “baudruché”,…
        But all buyings were made at less that 50% of the “normal” or “public” prices 😉

  7. I’ve been waiting for this to come out. Magnolia seems to be the new flower in mode. Thanks for the review – it sounds really worth exploring.
    Catherine du Peloux Menage recently posted…THE WORLD OF PERFUME LECTURE SERIESMy Profile

    • TinaG says:

      Hi Catherine, there has been a recent focus on the development of magnolia fragrances, which I’m finding very enjoyable. Eau de Magnolia is definitely worth exploring when you get the chance.
      Tina xx

  8. […] reading: Australian Perfume Junkies and Perfume Posse Mecca Cosmetica starts at $59 for 10ml Surrender to Chance starts at […]

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