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6 de fev de 2016

Lancôme Magie Noire EDT and Parfum - English Review



It is interesting to try a perfume like Magie Noire to notice how what is perceived as a feminine perfume has changed dramatically in a very short period of time. In the last 15-20 years the figure of what should be a feminine scent changed to something more complex, misterious and cerebral for something more obvious, superficial and often done more to please those who feel it than the wearer. This makes the perfumes of the past sounding almost as masculine perfumes or niche given the discrepancy between the views.

It can be extracted a lot more of Magie Noire than just its aroma and its different view of the current standards and I would like to explore this quickly. First, it is interesting to note how the fragrance had a more purely controversial and deep  character in its subject - see that we are facing a perfume that besides alluding to medieval times and cabalistic symbols in its presentation has in its name a direct reference to black magic. It is not, however, an isolated occurrence and you can see it on  movement that left aside a more romantic theme and explored dark, controversial and subversive concepts - Opium, Obsession and Poison are good examples.

Magie Noire also seems to make a juction between past  and future that seems to define the fragrance of the 70s - it is a decade where you will find both the fascination with the Orient and perfumes rediscovering intense oriental bases and a search for a more natural and green aroma on chypre compositions rediscovering and exploring more clearly the scent of patchouli, a symbol of liberation and hippie movement of the 70s.

I always had some concern to try the different versions of Magie Noire because of the comments i have read that this scent was heavy and loaded in difficult animalic note. As I recently discovered, this is part of EDP and  the relaunched parfum version to fit with the kilometric sillages and the excesses of the 80s The parfum version of the late 70's  and edt  touch a black aromatic alchemy but with a velvety and harmonic tonality that you hardly realize that you was bewitched by its wonderful smell.

The main difference between the versions EDT and pre 80's parfum seems to be concentrated in the focus on certain parts of the aroma. The less concentrated, the edt, explores more clearly the almond and musky aroma of the formula, enveloping it in tones of white, metallic and green flowers. It seems to me also that it is explores a more classic style of composition, an abstract form where each note is dosed in small amounts and combined with others so there is a synergy and the formation of an abstract aroma. So we have a boundary that brings the smell of dried white flowers, not as carnal aspect. I realize the exploitarion of the green tones of narcissus and the metllic part of hyacinth, but very gently, wrapped in discrete nutty nuances and a warm musk. In the background, the castoreum adds one of the most soft animalic aromas and easy to like that I've ever felt. Its most black and oily smell hardly appears, probably masked by higher volatility materials. You notice it's warm and leathery over the base,  enveloped in soft and slightly animalic musks.

The parfum version has the same floral, green, musky and animalic elements, but the focus is much higher in one of the aromas that defined the 70s, patchouli. We are certainly here before a high quality patchouli without any aromatic distillation residues, without much camphor aroma and with emphais on the bitter chocolate gourmand and the alcoholic aspect. Mix it with a damask roses aroma and the pair does not sound too far from the current oriental perfumes that use oud and saffron for an opulent and intense air. Here, however, the liqueur and fruity floral scent of damask rose combines with the metallic tones of hyacinth, the white floral scent, the green narcissus nuances and  the almond and musky notes. The combination has a velvety and slightly powdery impression, something quietly animalic and an elegance that unfortunately was kept in  the past. It is certainly a magic that has become forgotten in our time.

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