Beauty Without Fuss

Tuesday 30 March 2010

Review - Untitled by Maison Martin Margiela

I was at Selfridges last Thursday, to see the in-store launch of this new fragrance from Maison Martin Margiela, and it looked amazing, white feathers everywhere, women dressed in lab coats, and the fragrance strips are cut like hospital bracelets! Plenty more fun than the usual frou-frou frilliness, I must say.

The perfume is a little different to the norm too, on me, this is one of those rare perfumes that smells more or less exactly like it does in the bottle when it's on my skin.  That's not a bad thing, to be honest, how many times have you fallen in love with a scent from a perfume strip only to find that it smells nothing like that when you're actually wearing it?

This has resinous top notes for me, I used to play the violin (yes, it's a day of unexpected confessions from me, I'm afraid), and immediately, it transported me back to Miss Brenton's classroom for violin practice on wet weekday lunchtimes. I spent a lot of time as a youngster with rosin under my nails, I recall, and this was a very unexpected  and not unwelcome scent-memory!  I've since read that the top-note is Galbanum, which is indeed, a resin.  It's an unusual, quite sweet scent (on me), without being sugary.

Crammed full of unexpected ingredients, it contains incense and orange blossom giving it an evocative undertone.  Mr Lippie calls it "interesting" and indeed it is, green without being over-fresh or sharp, and sexy without being in your face about it.  It's a mature and confident kind of sexiness, one that grows on you the more time you spend with it, rather than the desperately waving their knickers in your face kinds of smells a lot of perfumes rely on these days.

Personally, I don't get too much smokiness from (untitled), despite it's incense base, although when I do, I'm reminded of retsina and barbecues in the Troodos mountains, it smells of long, relaxed evenings, and again, this is a scent-memory that's personal to me, but it goes to show - I think - how unusual a scent this is, you don't immediately thing "strawberries!" or the like.  This is an unusual and unfussy scent which is all the better for not smelling of fruit, ozone or sugary girly sweetness, it smells of tweed and cashmere, and closeness.

Whilst it's being marketed as a unisex scent, I'm not entirely sure about that premise to be honest (although you can bet I'll be testing that claim!), it's very definitely feminine to me, and I like it that way.

The Small Print: Samples were provided for review.  As always, opinions are honest regardless of the source of product  Whether or not the aforementioned opinions make any sense is a matter of opinion.  As this is a perfume review, you may find it smells of a different classroom entirely on your skin, I cannot take any responsibility if it's maths, but you will have my deepest sympathy.


  1. That sounds beautiful, really beautiful.

  2. Love it when a fragrance evokes memories rather than just 'a pleasant smell'. Thats the mark of a proper fragrance in my book - one that brings back an olfactory reference that you love.

  3. Sounds like it could be a winner. I like all the memories and notes that it evokes for you. Galbanum is a bit of a favourite for me.

  4. I really *really* like the sound of this one. I will have to sniff some testers next time I'm prowling Selfridges.

  5. Thanks for the lovely comments, guys! I had no idea if I can write about perfume - still don't, to be honest - so it's nice to see it wasn't a complete failure!


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