Early in January I did the unthinkable: I spent five days wearing only one fragrance, Myrrhe Ardente! Despite my very promiscuous perfume life I had to travel and I wanted to travel light with something versatile, comforting and interesting at the same time. Of course finding something that is comforting an interesting at the same time can be a life long process, and I am not talking only about perfume.
Myrrhe Ardente was a birthday present from my sister last July which means that although I knew it and liked it my first full wearings were during hot summer weather. My winter wearings around this New Year Eve unfolded the Myrrhe Ardent experience with deeper layers of pleasure. Although myrrh has a clear medicinal and bitter quality, to my nose it imparts deeply sensuous qualities, although I cannot understand through which mechanisms and which associations. La Myrrhe for instance makes me think of beautifully naked skin. Myrrhe Ardente is a play on bitter and sweet throughout its development. It opens with a warm note of extinguished matchstick, burnt wood but without the harshness of smoke. This is very close to the smell produced when someone tries to saw wood and it gets very warm without getting black and charred. I love this smell because for some reason it makes me think of cool summer nights and fuzzy sweaters. The woody warmth of the opening is soon joined by a note that totally escaped me during summer time: the smell and taste of soft, sweet almond marzipan, the kind found in the heart of Stollen. It is soft and gooey with the velvety texture and taste of sweet almonds amped and condensed to a child-like comfort food level. Don’t be alarmed by thinking that this makes Myrrhe Ardente a sweet, gourmand concoction because the dry woodiness and bitter myrrh harnesses the edible aspect of the composition. As development progresses myrrh kicks in and I realise that the marzipan impression is actually an artefact, a by-product of the happy coexistence of myrrh with the other elements of the composition. Note listing from Parfumo includes beeswax, which I cannot identify per se but is probably responsible for the sweet, sticky vibe. Tonka bean also has an almondy quality. Gaiac wood is also listed which explains the warm radiance this composition has. Gaiac wood gradually proves to be probably my favourite wood ingredient in perfumes. It is responsible for the warm, breath-like quality that I get from perfumes like Le Labo Oud 27 and Tom Ford Urban Musk but please do not be alarmed as there is no hint of halitosis in Myrrhe Ardente. This is a perfectly civilized, warm, radiant and balanced fragrance. In the deep drydown it is dominated by slightly medicinal myrrh with just enough sweetness carried over from the top to make it comfortable. It lasts for many hours with moderate projection on me. Although this composition is extremely elegant I can mostly see myself wearing it at home, with comfortable, soft clothes, sitting by the fireplace. It has the softness and warmth of a duvet and I wouldn’t want to waste this experience in more social moments.
A big “thank you” to Camille Goutal and Isabelle Doyen for avoiding the cliché of pairing myrrh with incense and creating such a beautiful, sensuous comfort scent.
Notes from Parfumo: myrrh, beeswax, gaiac wood, benzoin, tonka bean
Notes from my nose: extinguished match, marzipan, myrrh
MemoryOfScent by Christos is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Great review Christos! I tried Myrrhe Ardente in my early niche-perfumistahood and unfortunately I didn’t like it at all. I didn’t like any of the Les Orientalistes scents. This one was cloying on me, and I’m not a myrrh fan too! + now that you mentioned that it really smelled like extinquished match
Thanks Lucas. I can see how this can be too sweet for someone. I seem to focus on the woodiness and myrrh always is a note I love.
Good we have a balance for like-not like
Have never tried this, but I love all of the descriptors you’ve used here. I know just what you mean by the smell of extinguished burnt wood … where it’s just on the edge of smoky but hasn’t gone over into that territory. I smell that same thing in the original Gucci Pour Homme, and it’s quite intriguing but difficult to describe.
From your review, this does indeed sound like it fits the bill of something that is comforting while still being enigmatic enough to hold one’s attention. Lovely.
Actually I think Gucci pour Homme has been compared to Myrrhe Ardente but the latter is softer, without incense and creamier. Good comparison Suzanne.
I have a sample of this one, and now, inspired by you, I’ll have to take it up!
Congrats on your five days of monogamy! I’ve become hopeless in that regard 😉
Let me know what you think!
Too many perfumes, too little skin surface, I know…
I concur with your opinion of Gaiac wood. It is underused and underappreciated, IMHO.
The last fragrance I wore exclusively for a long time (3 days, lol) was Mohur.
Any suggestions on good representatives of gaiac wood centred scents?
Bois d’Arménie and Memoir Man are two that come to mind. I wish I could give you a long list with some less expensive options, but few perfumers seem to be using the glorious stuff. Maybe it’s scarce…?
Bois d’Armenie was a not a big hit for me. I think Serge Noire captures the smell of papier d’Armenie a lot better. I smelled Memoir Man cursively a few days ago and I remember vaguely that i liked it. I will revisit this, thanks.
great review, thank you
I dearly love my small decant of MA- subscribing to your praise for the Doyen-Goutal team
I was thinking of you when I wrote this knowing that you like it 🙂
Excluding Musc Nomade to which I am partly anosmic, I really can’t pick my favourite among the other three Orientalistes. All of them project the type of quality that most of the niche scents produced today lack of. Though I own only Ambre fetiche, I am constantly hunting the rest two. The first time I sniffed MA I remember I noticed how interesting and well blended it was. But it was 2-3 years later that its smell really impressed me. Being invited to a friend’s house, I smelled the candle version of MA. A candle that was not burning, but was able to project a great deal of the scents beauty. I instantly rubbed a small quantity of it on my wrist and then light it up. No need to tell you that I kept the candle burning in front of me for the rest of the evening. But what it was really amazing is that I kept having the smell of it on my wrist until the next morning. It is one of those scents that generate emotions to me and as that it is unique. (Πάνω που ξεπεράσαμε το σύνδρομο κουραμπιέ-μελομακάρονο-βασιλόπιτα κλπ μου ξαναθύμισες το stollen…τι να σου πω τώρα!)
I will make a decant for you Nikos! Will you bake the stollen? 😀
Sounds like a good bribe!
I like this as well, precarious though it is, the myrrh always slightly threatening to overload it all. I think I would prefer to smell it on another person, particularly at this time of year.
Liking the images by the way: have you changed the design of the blog?
Thank you. Myrrh has a very subconcious effect on me. I really don’t know why I keep associating it with intimacy and sensuality.
I changed the design many months ago. The photos have more of uniform concept recently.
It’s a very nice review. I would have said that now I want to try it – if I hadn’t had that urge already. I think I will like it (I like all the others in the line-up).
I know you like this line and this is so smooth and balanced that I know you will enjoy it
There seems to be a wave of perfume monogamy sweeping the (perfume) land. 🙂
I wouldn’t call five days the height of monogamy although I would be a lot richer if I could maintain this attitude for longer
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