Saturday, June 20, 2015

Review: Maison Martin Margiela (untitled)

Untitled only recently flew onto my radar, I knew of Maison Martin scents, but I'd never heard of Untitled. I stumbled upon it half on accident, and half thanks to my nosy (ha! pun intended?) nature. I'm currently in limbo in my life, after ten years of working as a hairdresser (usually miserably), I decided it was time for a life overhaul, and near the start of this overhaul, moved from Columbus, Ohio to Brooklyn, New York. I had absolutely no idea what I would be doing for work, and it was sort of complete luck that I was hired by an unassumingly posh (yet down to earth) family to nanny part time for their seven year old son; maybe it was the Fragrance Gods directing me to Untitled. Mom is Scottish, a shoe designer. Dad is French, a photographer. Boy is a well-behaved, incredibly imaginative spitfire. It only seems fitting that here is where I would be introduced to Untitled.

One evening, while M and D were out for a date night, and B was sound asleep, I meandered in to M's vanity to take a sniff of her small collection of juice (I consistently find myself completely enamored in knowing what fragrances a person uses, I feel like it gives me some deeper, sensory-based insight into who they are). I know indefinitely that her signature scent is Chloe, since it's always the scent trailing behind her... but she has a few others. I pick up Untitled, intrigued by the bottle and the hipster-esque title, and pop off the cap for a quick spritz. Once the dry-down commenced, I spent the next thirty minutes floating in a cloudy, greenery-dominant heaven, whilst frantically searching the web for anything I could find about Untitled, and where I could buy it (because that was definitely happening). Although I hadn't heard of Untitled before, there was something oddly familiar about the composition, and in my frantic web-digging, I discovered why. Daniela Andrier.


Untitled turns a classical fragrance upside down. Taking Galbanum, the principal element of this fresh, green scent, it contrasts it with resonances of incense and musky cedar as base notes. Turning its citrus top notes into a complex, sensual, smooth blend of incense and cedar. Its striking nose is then edged with a hint of jasmine, to give it a dense, floral, almost filmy warmth.

My method for testing a new perfume has always been the same; I spritz a bit in the air, and then I run the back of my hand through said mist. This is usually enough to give me a good impression of whether I will like the scent or not, and in the case of Untitled, less is more. This baby is pungent. Had I indulged myself in a full, wet blast on first try, I may have recoiled in horror. Even with that timid, introductory mist, I found myself in a temporary state of shock. Upon initial application, the best single word for Untitled is simply, "weird." However, I like weird, and this is a weird I can appreciate - especially now that I know what comes next...

...ANNND because "weird" is not at all helpful to you. Let's get into the nitty-gritty of this concoction. Untitled has, maybe, one of the greenest presence that I've smelled. Spritz. Sniff. Bitter, sharp, crunchy, aggressively green; this must be the galbanum. Sniff. I sense oiliness, but upon reading the description I pulled, they got it right when they used the word "filmy." For me, the filmiest part is at the start, but it certainly digs its heels in and sticks around. Sniff. The jasmine sneaks in to save the homicidal greenery from completely murdering your olfactive experience. I also sense the woody-incense tip-toeing in, but as for the citrus, I can pin-point none. However I imagine the citrus is mingling in the background, playing a significant part in keeping this from staying over-the-top green. It settles down to a green-woody-floral, eventually musk side-steps in to assist the dry-down. As it settles down completely, it gets softer, pretty, airy, a little soapy, and less jarring.

I admire Untitled most with a light spritz, or when there's only a whisper of it left on the skin. And because I've thoroughly enjoyed every scent I've experienced that has Daniela's name on it, my fondness for this baby is no surprise. I think if you're a fan of Daniela Andrier, you must try this. If you've sniffed several of her perfumes, you'll likely feel the Daniela vibe in the dry-down. Although very different fragrances, Untitled strongly reminds me of Prada's Infusion d'Iris (which is one of my all time favorites).

As for the longevity and projection of this scent, it's a bit underwhelming. If you happen to be in the presence of others when you've first applied, I'm fairly confident they'd notice. However, once worn for awhile, it becomes more of a skin scent. I don't have to mash my nose against my wrist, but I have to get within an inch of it to catch a whiff. Longevity is okay, in that you'll smell traces of it up close hours later, but it may leave you wondering where the once brash and outspoken Mr. Green has run off to.

(untitled) is an EDP, it retails for $100-140, and the nose behind this fragrance is Daniela (Roche) Andrier

Longevity: 2/5
Projection: 2/5

WEAR THIS: daytime, lunch dates, botanical garden visit

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