Too often us perfume lovers (and bloggers) can don our snobby caps and declare that all designer fragrance output is trash. This is more than just simple misconception, it is in fact a big fat lie, after all most of the perfumes that one would laud as a ‘classic’ are from designer outfits such as Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent and Christian Dior – the most ‘designery’ of brands.
That said, there is still a lot of dreck out there and the general modus operandi appears to be to create inoffensive fragrances that cater to the tastes of the mass market. But it seems that there is a small revolution taking place, where some designer brands are changing the game by creating enjoyable and easy to wear creations with more than just a little hint of ingenuity. We’ve seen it from Bottega Veneta, we’ve seen it from Prada and we’ve seen it from Maison Martin Margiela. Now we’re seeing it from Italian fashion brand Marni.
Marni Eau de Parfum is the brand’s first fragrance outing and they are in safe hands, having picked esteemed perfumer Daniela Andrier (Prada Infusion d’Iris & Candy and Maison Martin Margiela Untitiled) to pen the project. The fragrance intends to capture the playful spirit of Marni’s fashion and is described as “the opposite of the standard concept of femininity”, a description that fills this fragrance gender-bending nerd’s heart with nothing but joy.
Top: Bergamot, Ginger, Black Pepper and Pink Pepper
Heart: Rose, Cardamom and Cinnamon Peel
Base: Incense, Vetiver, Patchouli and Cedar Wood
How Does it Smell?
Right from the first spray its easy to tell that Marni is of a different breed to the many designer fragrances it will share the shelves with. A tart and mouthwatering juicy note of apple-tinged rose that dances out of the bottle in a cheeky, effervescent and entirely adorable way starts things off in a very nicely indeed.
The contrast between pepper and bergamot adds sparkle and for a minute it all seems very much in the spirit of Frederic Malle’s gorgeous Portrait of a Lady. But where Portrait of a Lady is a resplendent ode to the excess of rose, Marni Eau de Parfum is more free spirited and transparent. That’s not to say that Marni is in any way thin or wan, quite the opposite in fact, but it’s more of a cutesy fashion essay on rose than a voluptuous man eater.
By the time Marni reaches the base it has become a much drier fragrance altogether and it’s at this point that the more masculine elements come out to play. Patchouli and incense create an earthy trail that is cool, delicate and dusted with minerals. A crackle of cinnamon and cedar wood smooths things out rather nicely, adding a slightly sour nuance to an already complex base.
Marni is a very solid effort and it really does show that an accessible perfume doesn’t need to smell dull or sickly sweet. It comes across as a vibrant dance of roses where a versatile sense of fun is the main theme. I’m not entirely sure I shall be flying out of the door to buy another bottle when my 10ml runs out (I got the one with doll btw – I’ve named her Imelda), mainly because it reminds me that I really need a bottle of Portait of a Lady, but I would recommend it as one of the most sniff-worthy designer releases of the year so far – bravo Marni.
Marni is available in 10ml (avec doll), 30ml, 65ml and 120ml Eau de Parfum with prices ranging from £35-£95. Matching body products are also available.
Image 1 via theperfumegirl.com. Image 2 via prettyconnected.com. Notes and quotes via Marni.