Allure irrésistible. At a party on Paris’ rive gauche (where the 'intellectuals' with black AMEX cards study...party and shop) a woman’s fur coat (SO 80s, SO démodé) is lifted from her bare shoulders, exposing her neck to the candlelight (what about her face?...tiny candle?) Aware of many eyes upon her ("What a NECK!"), she pauses, smiling to herself, before emerging like a conqueror from the shadows. (Doesn't take much! Sounds like Kim Kardashian, doesn't it?)
Delete the bold type and this is how Frédéric Malle PR describes Music For A While,* the brand's latest perfume. I grunt and roll my eyes as I read the fuddy-duddy copy, but as often happens with this brand (its backstories annoy l'enfer out of me), the fragrance makes me smile and present my (non-black) American Express card at Barneys New York.
Music For A While begins with sharp citrus and tart, greenish/unripe pineapple aromas — a delightful opening. The pineapple changes character in the fragrance's heart and becomes denser and sweeter; let's call it an ambered pineapple. The pineapple has a happy meeting with lavender (at first floral, then leafy, in character). Music For A While's lavender-pineapple accord is delicious; it teeters on the edge of gourmand, like I'm experiencing the scent/flavor of a tiny pineapple tart drizzled with lavender syrup or sprinkled with candied lavender. I also smell hints of a golden raisin scent, vanilla and caramelized sugar.
In its base, Music For A While presents rich pineapple and a dry lavender aroma that veers into evergreen incense territory. I love the beautiful patchouli-pineapple scent as the perfume winds down (which takes a LONG time). Music For A While's lovely, rounded patchouli note reminds me of another Frédéric Malle perfume: Monsieur.
Friends who I let smell Music For A While felt it was more masculine than feminine in character (and I agree). It has sensational sillage and lasting power and just one spray strutted its stuff all day. I'm not at all reminded of Paris or fancy-dress when I wear Music For A While. It brings to mind the hot, mellow smells I always associate with the Santa Ana winds as they roar thru Los Angeles in autumn. I used to love taking long walks in those winds late in the afternoon and enjoying the sensational sunsets they (and their dust) produced. (Why did I leave L.A.?)
Given its richness, I'd never get through a 50 ml bottle of Music For A While; but I'll buy the 10 ml spray as needed to use during hot Indian Summers, whether here in the Pacific Northwest or back in California.
I'm a fan of perfumes that include discernible pineapple. In her post on Jean Patou Colony, Angela recommended that and L’Artisan Parfumer Ananas Fizz (discontinued) as must-have's for pineapple lovers; I'll add Music For A While to that list.
PLEASE let me know if there are other pineapple-rich scents I should try!
Frédéric Malle Music For A While Eau de Parfum is available in 100 ml ($310), 50 ml ($215) and in a 10 ml travel spray ($60).
*Perfumer Carlos Benaïm; listed notes of mandarin, lemon, bergamot, lavender, pineapple, vanilla, labdanum, amber, patchouli.
Note: top pineapple image [cropped and fiddled with] via USDA Pomological Watercolors NAL Digital Collections.