Here's what Frédéric Malle has to say about its newest offering, Cologne Indélébile1:
A clean scent, yet surprisingly magnetic. A modern yet traditional Eau de Cologne that lasts forever. Dominique Ropion embraces musk’s nature as both a quasi-aphrodisiac and a scent of purity to create a very personal interpretation of Eau de Cologne. A splash of the best neroli intertwined with orange blossom, bergamote, and the most technical musks for a scent that endures, and endures, and endures... Cologne Indélébile (Permanent Cologne).
My preliminary edits:
A clean scent
, yet surprisingly magnetic. A modern yet traditionalEau de Cologne that lasts forever. Dominique Ropion embraces musk’s nature as both a quasi-aphrodisiac and a scent of purity to create a very personal interpretation of Eau de Cologne. A splash of the best neroli intertwined with orange blossom, bergamote, andthe most technical musks for a scent that endures , and endures, and endures. ..Cologne Indélébile (Permanent Cologne).
My "what-the-hell" rewrite:
An immaculate concept(ion): Cologne Indélébile. The clean union of traditional Eau de Cologne with a laundromat. Frédéric Malle embraces contemporary musk’s nature as both a detergent and dryer-sheet fragrance in this calculated-to-sell "modern" interpretation of Eau de Cologne. A splash of neroli and orange blossom can't besmirch scrubbed-clean, "Home Economics" white musk: Cologne Indélébile (Permanent Press Cologne).
From the first spray of Cologne Indélébile, clean white musk intrudes2 and never disappears, mixing first with a creamy squirt of lemon in the opening, and then with standard-issue neroli and orange blossom in mid-development, and finally gathering force to augment a sweet accord I'll describe as "white grape juice." The base of Cologne Indélébile presents a type of orange blossom I hate: steamed orange blossom (add a drop of orange blossom water in your iron's steam compartment and iron something...the orange blossom will smell starched, washed-out — and a bit metallic thanks to the heat of your iron's metal bits).
I don't find Cologne Indélébile unusually long lasting; I power-sprayed myself with it on an 80-degree day and it lasted about five hours before becoming a skin scent (and that was too long for me; at the two-hour mark I wanted its drone to cease).
My local Barneys New York sales assistant said there was a waiting list here in Seattle for bottles of Cologne Indélébile, even before her 'clients' had smelled it, and I believe her. This is a simple, citrus-y, fresh-as-can-be, orange blossom-and-white musk concoction, just what the washed masses (apparently) crave. If you love CLEAN fragrances and !White Musk! (and price is not an issue), try Cologne Indélébile. As for me, Cologne Indélébile is the least interesting Frédéric Malle perfume, and a dull Eau de Cologne.
Aside: As I wore Cologne Indélébile, I began to wonder: what's happened to Olivia Giacobetti (another Frédéric Malle alumni)? Given her large portfolio of memorable perfumes, I would have liked to smell her interpretation of a contemporary, "permanent" Eau de Cologne. (No disrespect to Ropion; I'm sure he gave Frédéric Malle exactly what it wanted!)
Quick poll: name your favorite, must-sniff Eau de Cologne — traditional or non-traditional.
Frédéric Malle Cologne Indélébile is available in 100 ml ($260), 50 ml ($180), three 10 ml travel sprays ($125) or a single 10 ml travel spray ($50). For buying information, see the listing for Frédéric Malle under perfume houses.
1. Listed ingredients: bergamot, lemon, narcissus, orange blossom, neroli, musks.
2. I dislike white musk when used in quantity; if you enjoy it, the Cologne Indélébile experience may be quite different.