Review: Géranium Pour Monsieur by Editions De Parfums Frederic Malle (2009)
What's the smell of the modern dandy? Does a metrosexual wear one of the generic woody cocktails that flood the market at the rate of twenty a week? Does he scour unfamiliar stores for something dark, heady and balsamic? Or does he actually wish to convey a sense of approachable freshness whilst maintaining his edge? Enter stage left: Géranium Pour Monsieur, a fairly new addition to the enviably pretentious Malle line and recent winner of the first UK FiFi 'Best Independent Niche Fragrance' award, as voted for by readers of Basenotes, including yours truly.
What's remarkable about this scent is how it manages to be both radiant and nocturnal, animalic and fresh, unobtrusive and all-encompassing. Needless to say, its central note is a rousing geranium, with all the familiar minty, peppery, chewing gum overtones. But a eucalyptus smokiness emerges too, coaxed into smoothness by joyfully coloured fruitiness. The effect is delectable without ever being edible, and is sustained with unwavering clarity throughout this happy little gem's development. And it's no accident that it's called 'Pour Monsieur' rather than 'Pour Homme': you need a certain amount of good-natured continental sass to pull this one off with the jauntiness it deserves.
[Review based on a sample obtained in 2010; fragrance tested on skin.]