Post by Ainslie Walker
The unveiling of Miu Miu’s debut fragrance transpired this week in Australia. Very few notes are mentioned and immediately descriptions read as brazen: promising a bold marriage between retro-flower lily of the valley and modern aroma-chemical akigalawood. Perfumer Daniela (Roche) Andrier created the lily of the valley accord with rose absolute, synthetic green notes and real jasmine then fused it with akigalawood, which is extracted from patchouli oil. Apparently the fragrance was accepted only after 1200 attempts!!
Miu Miu by Daniela (Roche) Andrier for Miu Miu 2015
Photo Stolen Fragrantica
Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Lily of the valley
Heart: Jasmine, rose, green notes
I first smelt lily of the valley at Petersham Nursery in London a few years ago. End of the season, the plant was looking forlorn, droopy and weathered. Exuding from it was the most exquisite and captivating scent. Green, cool, fresh, earthy, dewy, lightly floral, citrus-rose top notes with jasmine nuances (omitting headiness). Cheerfully understated. It’s little wonder Miu Miu chose to revive this beautiful retro flower and give it a modern shakeup.
My next “run in” with Lily of the Valley was whilst watching TV series Breaking Bad. Walter White pondered exterminating drug-lord Gustavo Fring whilst peering at a potted plant beside his backyard pool. “THAT’S LILY OF THE VALLEY!!” I squealed, jumping out of my chair, recognizing the little white bells. Soon after in the show, Jesse’s girlfriend’s son falls suspiciously ill of Lily of the Valley poisoning and Walter White is to blame! I took to Google and sure enough the reality is lily of the valley is a toxic, exquisitely delicate, scented beast. A Snow White apple, of sorts!!
The Miu Miu brand has always explored juxtapositions and contradictions. They twist rules within their designs encapsulating the demure and the outrageous, the delicate and the bold, seriousness and lightheartedness and of course: retro versus modern. So, why wouldn’t they release a first fragrance based around a flower with bite?!
Adverts show beautiful actress Stacey Martin, stunning bottle and cute kitten. I get it: I felt like a kitten from the moment I saw and touched my bottle of Miu Miu. Seriously! I spent the whole day playing with it, cooing and purring all the while. Distinctive, combining a modern pop feel with a classy retro edge. Coordinating gold, cream, pillowed eggshell blue glass and contrasting them with a large spot of translucent red perspex. Indeed the bottle design is a piece of art.
On first sniff it was clean and pretty. A sheer green floral. I was lost for words and burst into nervous laughter. The anticipation was too much. Wearing it I experience an elegant sweet rosy heart, dewy green apple – yet slightly creamy and a touch of tart rosehip fruit. Utterly surrounded by joyful white floral, lily of the valley. Remaining somewhat linear, with intriguing depth after time. Cool, dark, green-peppered wood – the akigalawood…a new experience for me. The lily of the valley borderlines’ on shrill, before it becomes soapy and rounded, surviving right until the end.
If Miu Miu’s aim was to capture the spirit of the brand they have, ageless and contemporary. Alluring and possibly polarising it’s no fruity floral crowd pleaser and yet hovers close to “safe.” A fresh, youthful, sophisticated and slightly peculiar floral with fun peppery wood effervescent undertones.
What do you think?
Ainslie Walker XXX