New House Fever: Mauboussin

I’m not exactly a jewelry type of guy – or at least not much beyond native silver and turquoise stuff.  So how I got interested in a French jeweler – Mauboussin – is a bit of a story.

Over on Basenotes, I would occasionally see women raving about a frag by that name.  My immediate assumption was OLD LADY PERFUME.  I mean, even after well over 5000 posts and three years of fragrance freak fact-finding, I’m still subject to all of the old prejudices of the community.  Nevertheless, I was intrigued.  I was curious.  I’d never heard of it.  I had no idea who made it – I assumed it was simply some offbeat old perfume company by that name, with one product, or a smaller and older house with one of those old one-word perfume names like…. Shalimar…. or Mitsouko, only….. less well-known.

So all of a sudden I’m hearing on the men’s side about this fragrance for MEN – meaning ME – called M Generation.

Mauboussin M Generation

Mauboussin M Generation

Now, you have to admit, that bottle is totally bitchin’.  And it’s no big surprise, either, because the basic design was pure Thierry de Baschmakoff.  You know – of The Different Company.  And Bulgari Black.  This is one dude who knows how to make a bottle.

Well, everybody over on that thread is dumping love all over the bottle, but only a couple of the peeps had given it a sniff.  The ones who had were saying it was good.  And then one of the boys, david, mentions that the earlier Mauboussin masculine, Mauboussin Pour Homme, is actually a really nice one.

That was all I needed to go run off on a blind buy.  Women can rave all they want about the pour femme, but give me half an excuse to buy a masculine with good rep in a rad bottle, and I’m there.

I ended up buying them both, as the EDP.  The price is great on these things – I got both for less than a single feeble, duplicative aquatic at Macy’s.  Very undervalued, in my opinion.  Turns out the Pour Homme is available as both EDP and EDT, and david actually prefers the EDT.  I may go back on that one later.  But to cut to the chase, both Mauboussin Pour Homme and M Generation are quality scents, and have really gotten me intrigued about this house.  I won’t bother to copy the reviews here, though at that point in time when the scents and their bottle pictures are both available on Basenotes (cough, cough), I’ll probably excise my reviews from the discussion thread and add them to the Basenotes Fragrance Directory.

Short version:  Mauboussin Pour Homme is another quality Alberto Morillas production in the original de Baschmakoff bottle.  It’s a bit mainstream and yesteryear, but nobody except a diehard fragrance fanatic is going to realize that.  In the real world, it’s stylin’ stuff.  It wears well today and is kick-ass stuff for the office, ’cause NOBODY is going to be wearing this, and you’ll smell like you should be working in France.  As for M Generation – much more current, it’s strong and fruity/spicy/incense, like a French twist on an Amouage, and I REALLY like it.  Again – just kicks butt at 30 bucks for a big bottle.  There is a bit of Morillas floating around in the newer juice (credited to Henri Bergia and Claire Chambert), in some kind of very fortunate homage, because the spiciness of the Pour Homme was part of what made that work for me.  A very good retention of a house accord of some kind.  The bottle is still the old de Baschmakoff design, but updated by Thierry Faucon to include some of the best partial mirroring I’ve ever seen on a fragrance bottle.

For a closer look at M Generation, check out this launch PDF.

The bottle concept is interesting.  The original bottle was styled on a sailboat-themed luxury hotel in Dubai – see the Basenotes discussion for a link to a picture.  For the second scent, which basically uses the same bottle, they had to change things a bit, so they came up with a new concept that cuts to the chase on the je ne sais quoi of the bitchin’ bottle.  To wit, a guy is gonna be attracted to it in an almost primitive way, so go with it.

And I quote:

– A fragrance that highlights the timeless elegance of a confident man.
– A fragrance so precious as to pass from generation to generation.
– The signature of an ancestral innovative spirit!
He enjoys noble materials, luxury and rarity.
A great charmer, he likes his perfume to enhance his distinguished style and natural elegance.
He has picked up here and there a few objects that he never parts with, as if they were part of him: his watch, his club chair, his vintage key-ring… and his Perfume.
He wears M GENERATION by Mauboussin, which he has picked as a true expert.
He treasures it as a fetish, as a fellow traveler improving with time.
One day, he will also pass it on, like an identity sign…

What.  Ever.  I cracked up when one of the guys on Basenotes likened the above description to a “sad poser” (much as I was myself rather going with this description).  HOWEVER, I do have to say that this thing really does have that baseline guy-attractive shit in spades.  Women can’t see cute little shiny stones or pony figurines and not get all chicky on you, and guys can’t see dense metal objects and not get a woody.  So there is SOME kind of primitive appeal here – and the ad copy is definitely onto something.

So now fellow Basenoter david has me all worked up about the rest of the line.  It turns out there are a lot of discontinued scents from this house which seem VERY interesting.  There is still, of course, the pour femme, which I’m probably going to get at some point, because it sounds like a fragster guy could pull it off.  And then there’s Histoire d’Eau, a floriental with another very French artsy bottle, and the perfumer on that one is apparently Christine Nagel.  Most intriguing of all is probably Mauboussin Emotion Divine, which is just plain French fragrance art – totally over the top.  It’s supposed to evoke memories of childhood – and features a milk accord of some kind (the bottle is even supposedly reminiscent of a milk bottle, according to Now Smell This).  It sounds almost like Le Feu d’Issey – another one of those WAY-too-innovative frags, which (thanks to fellow Basenoter Sorcery of Scent) I’ve had the chance to smell.  This one sounds a bit better – some caramel, etc.  Hopefully nothing like Thierry Mugler’s horrifyingly creative womanity.  But I’ve looked around, and I cannot find this stuff anywhere.

Mmmmmmm.  Another QUEST!


Mauboussin Emotion Divine

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