The two newest launches from Byredo and Parfums MDCI have nothing in common in terms of scent, but are both examples of niche companies doing their takes on a crowd-pleasing perfume–and doing them well.
All of you know that I am a big Byredo fan, and I greatly looked forward to Flowerhead (created by Jerome Epinette). It doesn’t let the side down. It’s a very audacious and full-on floral, with enough jasmine and tuberose to really grab white floral fans, and enough rose and ambergris to give it a very modern character and make it evident to the nose that there is “more going on” than just white florals. I also smell some berry notes and an occasional herbaceous green waft. Although it doesn’t particularly smell the same, Flowerhead reminds me in character and tone of Vamp a NY, and I think people who like and wear Vamp a NY will really like Flowerhead. It’s a fun take on the iconic white floral idea, and Byredo have stayed true to their style.
Parfums MDCI is another of my favorite perfume lines, although my discovery and appreciation of MDCI is more recent. Nuit Andalouse is a rare creature: a violet-based perfume that isn’t precious and that doesn’t rely on iris to keep it from being precious. Perfumer Cécile Zarokian paired violet with ylang ylang, sandalwood, and a very caramel-like vanilla for a perfume that feels modern and sweet, but not girlish. The fragrance is meant to spotlight gardenia alongside the violet, but I have to say that to my nose it is heavier on ylang ylang. So it doesn’t go into competition with my pile of gardenia perfumes, but instead strikes out on its own path. If I had to compare Nuit Andalouse to something, I’d say it reminds me in character (though not in smell) of some of the delicate-but-creamy florals in the Ormonde Jayne line. Like Flowerhead, Nuit Andalouse is an example of a niche line making a very good perfume with wide appeal. And now I’ll be looking up more perfumes by Zarokian, too.
Side notes: 1) I personally could not wear Flowerhead. Too much tuberose. 2) I am firmly in favor of the bust bottles.