Mahora by Jean-Paul Guerlain for Guerlain 2000


Post by Tina G


Portia and I had a lovely relaxed New Year’s catch up the other day – lunch and tea and chats and I had a chance to have a sticky beak at the selection of perfumes which she’s chosen to keep at home at the moment. This included a stunning range of Guerlain! Love Love Love!! Along with a few other scents, Portia kindly provided me with a small decant of Mahora to try.

Mahora by Jean-Paul Guerlain for Guerlain 2000

Mahora Guerlain fragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Orange blossom, almond blossom, green accords
Heart: Ylang-ylang, neroli, tuberose, jasmine
Base: Sandalwood, vanilla, vetiver

Mahora was released by Guerlain in 2000, and discontinued two years later. I understand that it has been slightly reformulated and released as Mayotte in 2006, but I was curious to know why Mahora was given such a short shelf life.

The opening flashes from a pleasant jasmine and citrus burst to a bitter green quite quickly. A milky/watery almond note then comes through with the tang of a sweet orange in the background. The almond note is quite yummy, actually, like fresh almonds in a bowl waiting to be crunched.

Mahora Guerlain almond PixabayPhoto Stolen Pixabay

As this settles in it changes quite rapidly in the first 15 minutes and the almond turns more marzipan. I suspect that my focus on almond during the first 15 minutes is because it is a note I’m sensitive to, so I’m noticing it more. The silage, however, makes me feel that I’m definitely wearing a Guerlain – it has that familiar edge , here mainly citrus and vanilla, with the vanilla becoming stronger during dry down.

The ylang ylang is a surprising punch at the half hour mark, and it’s presence drags the green notes back into the foreground again. The fabulous greenness continues to develop and at about 1 hour there is a specific damp indolic note which shoots up between the rest of the fragrance’s clouds of puffy citrus/vanilla. It is that of decaying tuberose, but nothing overly fetid and rotting, more like flowers which have simply been left too long in a vase and have passed their prime. It is distinctive but I don’t find it unpleasant, particularly because it is still surrounded by and supported in the fragrance overall.

Mahora Guerlain Gertrude_Lawrence WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

Is this indole the reason for the fragrance’s demise? Perhaps. I haven’t had a chance to try Mayotte so I am not sure whether the note has been continued under a new name. I really that it gives the fragrance an unexpected edge. The indole does fade around the 3 hour mark and the dry down becomes a gorgeous warm skin scent, one that I’m perfectly happy to find on my skin as I snuggle down at the end of the day. So this one may not be so popular, but I’ll put my hand up and say that it’s OK!

Mahora Guerlain  Tuberose PortiaPhoto Donated Portia

Further reading: Smelly Thoughts and Perfume Posse
Now available in slightly different form at Guerlain called Mayotte in Les Parisiennes
Ebay also has some BARGAINS! but pretty soon they will be gone and Mahora will cost a fortune.
Surrender To Chance has Mayotte starting at $6/ml

Do you have an “unpopular” fragrance which you love? Would you take a stand, and speak up on its behalf in the face of dissidence?
Tina G xx

15 thoughts on “Mahora by Jean-Paul Guerlain for Guerlain 2000

  1. Really interesting post, Tina. I didn’t know that Mahora only lasted two years.

    I am sensitive to almond to the point where a marzipan note is a deal-breaker for me. Good to know I’m not missing out! Hope you or Portia review Mayotte at some point in the future.

    I don’t think I like any unpopular fragrances as such but I’ve just fallen for Hiris and I’m pretty sure it got slammed in The Guide.


    • Hi Tara! Marzipan is a deal-breaker for me if it’s prominent, I can *just* (just!) tolerate it if it’s a passing note which is the case here. Oh, Hiris is lovely! Did it really get slammed? Well, hold it high and stand proud! 😉 xx Tina


  2. Hey there Tina,
    What a fun afternoon. I’m so glad that Mahora resonated. One of my faves.
    Would you have picked it for yourself?
    Portia xx


    • Hi Portia, it was a lovely catch up, as always! I’d not heard of Mahora so faced with so many choices I’d not have picked this for myself, but the tuberose is awesome – I’d definitely wear again! Thanks. xx Tina


  3. I love mahora and loved this review-thanks Tina! I also LOVE the bottle so much-what a gorgeous design. I think Mahora is magical. You should google the YouTube advert for it-it was set at ayers rock!!! LOVE!! Xx


  4. Hi Tina!

    This sounds really interesting. Based on your detailed review, it doesn’t sound like something I would enjoy. I don’t think I could handle marzipan (or anything too sweet/gourmandy) and I struggle with ‘challenging’ fragrances, which I think the rotting tuberose would strike me as. Nonetheless, it was interesting to read your thoughts and if I were to ever come across it, I suppose I’d try it just to see! I guess you never know! Cheers!


    • Hey Sun Mi! It’s hard to explain some fragrances by describing their notes & the journey – the aspects I focus on may be due to my sensitivities. I’ve heard this described as a beautiful tropical scent but the tuberose makes it fresher for me. If you get the chance, give it a try, of course. 🙂 but you may not want to spend time hunting it down… Thanks for your comments! Tina xx


  5. I love almond, but I’m quite sensitive to tuberose! I’m really intrigued after reading of your journey with Mahora. And I will have to look for that ad 🙂


    • Hi Fruitful! Mmmm perhaps the tuberose may be a bit too green for you. Never mind ! Yes I’ll have to check out the ad, haven’t had s chance yet. Thanks! Tina xx


  6. Hi TinaG,
    Unpopular fragrances? These days I tend to prefer anything that other people have labeled “old lady” or “granny”. I used to avoid the fragrances that smelled like my grandmother – mainly certain Guerlain and also Bal a Versailles – but now that I have managed to overcome those perfume prejudices a whole new world has opened up to me. Perhaps it is because I am an old lady now myself?
    Azar xx


    • Hi Azar! Oh I had a chance to try Bal a Versailles last weekend, and thought it was delicious… If something is labelled an ‘old lady’ perfume, I’ll still give it a try. And I guess it also goes to show that the expression ‘never say never’ is apt. Keep trying stuff. You never know when tastes might change, or whether something works in summer that didn’t in winter, that kind of thing. Hey – thanks for your thoughts! 🙂 Tina xx


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