Perfumed Thoughts and a Mini Review- Hermessence Muguet Porcelaine (2016)

This post is dedicated to all those random and less random thoughts regarding perfume, which pop up from time to time in the space of my brain that is perfumista branded.

First up: regular readers might know that I have a weakness for interior design blogs and mags. How fun to discover the perfume- blogger-sceptic Francis Kurkdjian presenting his home to an interior blogger at Coffeeklatch. It’s a beautiful home and a great interview.

Asked about perfume as art, he responds: “Yves Saint-Laurent summed it up very well when he said: “Fashion is not art, but you need to be an artist.” I think it’s the same with perfume, and why it isn’t considered as an art form. Art takes inspiration from different facets of life: happiness and darkness. When you think about poetry, movies or literature you can always find beauty in something dark, sad or ugly. Perfume, on the other hand, magnifies beauty. No one ever commissioned me to create a perfume for an ugly woman who’s a total loser. My job is to bring people happiness. Fashion tackles the same issue in pursuing beauty. There’s a line you can stretch but never cross. Perfume is conventionally sold in a bottle. But when I make art or olfactory installations, I can do whatever I want and show my dark side if I want to.”

Art and perfume pals #1. I was so lucky as to receiveimage some real vintage Djedi (as opposed to reissue), and otherwise being firmly on M Kurkdjian’s side when it comes to perfume as art, I would say Djedi is the closest I’ve ever come to smelling art. Thank heavens ( not knowing exactly which deity to choose for this exact vintage) for an amazing perfume pal who gave me the opportunity. I promise there will be more of Djedi another time, as that will warrant its own post.

Samples: what to do?

They are multiplying be the minute, a sample can turn up everywhere in my flat or in my clothes. And yet most samples, I’ve learned through the years, need to be kept for references. Perhaps I need to get a bit tougher on which perfume samples are reference samples, and which will need to go…image


At the spur of the moment I decided to split a perfume, something which I hadn’t done in a while. It was a blind buy hard to get perfume which sounded weirdly attractive.

Most of us have been there: a truly annoying sprayer, impossible to get a perfect spray from, and dribbling down the sides, thus loosing way to much juice in the process. Aha, me thinks! syringe method!!! NoNoNo, warning to all, NEVER EVER USE SYRINGES no matter how easy it might look, and what a good idea some people think it is. The chance of the syringe breaking the spray mechanism are ( according to split Queen Ruth K, who is my helping perfume guide in greatest need) 50%. What happens when it breaks is mayhem, looks like thisimage imagewill cause grief and a ruined bottle, and that’s not to mention the tools and time it will take to break the bottle in order to get the perfume out.


Perfume bottles and wish lists

What to do if you feel you have a collection, in size and variety, you are happy with, we are taking the BLEQ ( beyond life expectancy quantum ) obviously, but there are still things on your wish list, and obviously perfumes will keep being launched? A new found and wholly unexpected perfume love, made me ponder this ever more pressing question. A whole lot of my perfumes I wouldn’t be able to repurchase, which significantly adds to the risk should I let them go. At the moment, save one or two which I have been trying to get rid off, all perfumes I own, I wear and love, but how then to deal with adding new stuff?

talking of bottles:( perfume pals #2) as if we didn’t already know that perfume pals are the best, out of the blue an envelope arrived with a label for my bottle of Bal de Fleurs, now it has been established thanks to said friend that it’s indeed what it is. Isn’t she pretty?imageedit_1_2158657547

And the mini review; Muguet Porcelaine is the new perfume by Jean-Claude Ellena in the Hermessence line. I love the name, I imagined a crisp and delicately transparent lily-of-the-valley lace veil. MP starts out beautifully reminiscent of vintage Diorissimo, the go-to for all muguets. Then the rose-tinted glasses are violently ripped from my eyes by an aquatic cucumber/yeasty note and a civetty ‘jasmine’?, threatening to destroy the whole china shop. After that, I suppose it gets green and perhaps a little woody by and by, but I would recommend this one mostly to lovers and brand-loyals of the Hermessence line, or hard-core muguet-fans, preferably both. For me, I stick to the vintage Diorissimo, dc’ed Lilia Bella, dc’ed Envy…  For lotv recommendation check out the Posse guide or Serenity Now’s Month of Muguet.

All pics by me, exept Djedi by ebay seller antiquecollectibles1900






10 thoughts on “Perfumed Thoughts and a Mini Review- Hermessence Muguet Porcelaine (2016)

  1. I really loved reading your perfume thoughts and had totally forgotten there was a mini-review coming up! Perfume pals are the best and this post proves it beyond doubt. Being such a Guerlie Girl I’m so pleased you got to try Djedi. I bet it’s wonderful on you.

    it’s interesting about the Hermessence. In her review on APJ, Sandra said that two perfume pals picked up melon and indoles but she didn’t register either.

    At least you have your samples stored properly which is more than I can say even though I did have a big cull. You know, you could try selling your unloved perfumes on here.

    It did chime with me when Frederic Malle likened perfumery to design but I also agree that a perfumer who is an artist at heart can do wonders.

    Finally, sorry to here about the syringe disaster.

    • Dear Tara, the syringe disaster was mentioned here in an Undina-style warning. I thought if I can share my experience and make someone think twice then that’s a very good thing 🙂 Yes, I heard of a melon note in MP too, but don’t get it personally. I have this idea that JCE should get a similar treatment as Jørgen Leth in Von Trier’s film ‘the five obstructions‘. Basically recreating a perfume (film) but with a new challenge set each of the 5 times. It’s a brilliant film BTW.
      Djedi is stunning, I tried the re-issue, and found it rather meh, but the real stuff- otherworldy!

    • Thank you dear Alexandra, and THANK YOU. She’s now all dress for fun and games 😉

  2. Dear Asali, That is too bad about Muguet Porcelaine, but, but … you got to try the original Djedi?!! You have such amazing luck at getting a taste of those vintage perfumes that are considered the rarest of the rare. How do you do it, woman? I will look forward to your review!

    • Dearest Suzanne, so good to hear from you. Well, I see that many (in the two categories already mentioned) love Muguet Porcelaine, and I suppose that that’s alright then. It’s meant for the fans, not to win the doubters (me) over.
      Yes, thanks for reminding me, I do seem to have a fair bit of vintage- luck 🙂

  3. Ooh, lots to ponder here. Firstly, to the intriguing glimpses of old Francis’s house – I loved the screen and it is almost worth developing a taste for coffee to drink out of those cups. Almost.

    I am poised to have a major reorg and sell off of my collection because there are lots of things in it I no longer love and meanwhile I am amazed to keep finding new things I suddenly love after a bit of a spell in the wilderness, new release-wise.

    Some days I am tempted to give all my samples away, other days the ‘keep as reference’ imperative prevails. The tussle goes on…

    I don’t even know what you would do with a syringe to get perfume out – I only know the pipette and splash bottle route?? Please explain in more detail what went awry.

    I have been testing the new Muguet scent and so far it is too melon and cucumber-y on me, and I would also prefer Diorissimo. The testing continues, but it is not looking too hopeful. Vanilla Hinoki on the other hand……;)

    • Oh no, i just see I never answered, so sorry, another case of ‘I answered in my head’ surely she does telepathy 🙂
      I’m very glad to hear you have the same conundrum as I on the samples front. And as for bottles, hehe, who knows you might end up both drinking coffee (out of lovely cups) AND become my scent-twin 😉
      I actually don’t remember Vanilla Hinoki, I’ll remember to give it a try the next time I’m in that part of town. It being a JCE I trust it won’t be your average cup cake vanilla.

  4. Loved the post! To tell you the truth, real perfume reviews rarely excite me these days; on the other hand, thoughts about the topic, life stories or mini-reviews capture my attention immediately.

    Let me address several points from your post.

    If you ever consider splitting another spray bottle, I can recommend using a funnel: it limits the spillage if you spray into a wider opening.

    Samples… My current approach is the following: I’m trying to get the smallest possible sample and decide quickly if I ever want to wear that perfume (I might then look for a decant), want to have it for the reference (most of the small samples I’ve got) or give them away since I don’t ever plan to use it again. I’m at peace with those samples dying in my collection – they are small.

    Bottles… I’m not sure what to do with those… I like them even after I stop wearing them… Probably I’ll keep them all but I might change my mind after more thinking. With selling them off my big concern is that some of them might be off – if not now then maybe by the time somebody buys it from me – and I don’t want to deal with that or feel bad. So for now I’ll just probably stick to a more careful selection of what I’m buying.

    I was curious to try Muguet Porcelaine but I didn’t see it at the store (it wasn’t a boutique but they had most of the perfumes from the line), it was late and there were nobody to help me so I figured I’d do it another time. After all, even if I do not get a melon (I really dislike that note), how many LotV perfumes does one need? I have Diorissimo (2 different versions) and Penhaligon’s LotV.

    • Thank you Undina, I know very well what you mean. I try to always talk about something else than ‘just’ the perfume, after all, we all perceive a perfume so different, the review-only form can be a bit repetitive. It’s only if I feel it gets too long, or I truly have nothing else to say that I’ll do that.
      I did do the funnel-thing to start with, but the sprayer was just a nightmare; I saw arthritis coming 10 years early due to it.
      Great view on samples, I should try that.
      As for bottles, I don’t think you need to worry that they will be off, at least not if they aren’t store in the light. However, since you are really a careful buyer, I am sure that you care for most of your collection, and even those you don’t wear now, you might get back to at a later point.
      As for Muguet Porcelaine, I was hoping it might be something which wouldn’t make one think “how many lotv’s does one need?”
      Unfortunately that’s exactly what I thought spraying it, and I would say you’re very well set up with those two. I normally don’t write bad of perfumes, simply because it’s much more of a challenge to write so that people can make up their own minds, and also like I mention above, we like such different things all of us, I don’t like the thought of somebody not trying a perfume they would potentially love, because I wrote something bad. However, in this case I couldn’t help it, and also I figured it would get enough love from the Hermes-lovers-club, that it would be ok 😉

Comments are closed.