I’ve been wanting to try fragrances from Maison Margiela for ages. However, they’re really expensive.
I don’t have a really good sense of smell so I feel expensive perfumes are wasted on me because I can’t appreciate them. Thank you deviated septum. This is the same reason why I have never been into candles. Firstly, the idea of burning a $100 Diptyque candle is ludicrous to me. Secondly, I’ll like to be able to smell it haha. I would like to clarify that I can smell but just not very well. However, I am able to identify what I like in a perfume.
I had my eye on the new Maison Margiela Memory Box set at Mecca and I knew I just had to buy it.
For $65, you get to sample a lot of fragrances from their Replica range. You get ten fragrances that are 2ml each that has a total value of $86 so this is such a steal. Whilst the fragrance sizes are small, I find this the perfect size to travel with or on the go. You get to trial a range of fragrances without having to commit to the hefty price tag of a full-size product.
Before I go into each fragrance in detail, can we just appreciate how stunning and beautiful the holiday packaging Mecca has this year. Honestly not even surprised. The Mecca marketing team is truly quality.
They have absolutely nailed this year with this collaboration with the National Gallery of Victoria (stunning art gallery in Melbourne – I do highly recommend).
This year, Mecca have collaborated with Chinese-Australian artist, Louise Zhang. I absolutely am here for the stronger Chinese-Australian and female recognition in the arts and this is a beautiful collection. I love the harmonious use of traditional Chinese mythology, surrealism and vibrancy. It’s a really cohesive design that not only represents Louise but Mecca.
I had to take a photo of the wrapping paper before I opened it because it’s just so so stunning. Wouldn’t you agree?
Let’s get into the review.
Rum, vanilla, tobacco and vetiver.
This was one my favourites! I loved everything about this. I’m looking at the ingredients here and oh my god, can I have this in a cocktail please? (I love my rum and vanilla).
I find this scent (yes I can smell haha) very unique in that it has really sweet yet woody notes. I think this is a great unisex fragrance and is super long lasting and oh my god, it would smell so nice for a date night (I’m keeping this in mind for next time).
I also really like the name Jazz Club. I really love jazz and the last time I visited a jazz club was actually in Manhattan, New York (Maison Margiella has this fragrance set in Brooklyn, 2013 so it’s really close). If you’re never been to a jazz club I highly recommend it because it really is an enriching experience. I will never forget that night when I went into that little underground jazz club. It had the most cosiest atmosphere with the talent of these jazz musicians captivating the audience. I think I sat on the second front row and was just completely in awe and blown away by the talent.
The jazz club I went to was called Smalls Jazz Club on 183 W. 10th St. I really do like that Maison Margiela pays homage to particular places and time periods. It is very nostalgic and I am now getting nostalgic about New York, travelling, jazz and the sense of freedom. I really think the Replica collection is so well thought out and cohesive and it really does make me like this fragrance even more.
By The Fireplace
Chestnut, guaiac wood, vanilla and cloves
By The Fireplace is set in Chamonix, 1971 and is probably the most musky and smoky fragrance I have ever smelt. It just makes you feel warm and nostalgic for both winter and fireplaces. Yet it still has vanilla notes and honestly, I think it would be such a soft and sexy scent to wear. Another date night fragrance – can you tell I’m really excited?
I think it’s really extravagant and I honestly don’t really have anything like this in my collection.
Coconut milk, ylang ylang, musk and bergamot
Set in Calvi, 1972, Beach Walk is so divine – the coconut really shines in this. It doesn’t really remind me of the beach but it does remind me of summer. This scent is right up my alley because it’s so sweet and surprisingly floral.
Lazy Sunday Morning
White musk, aldehyde, pear and lily of the valley
This name is so perfect. How I love a lazy Sunday morning. This scent is set in Florence, 2003 and it’s one of my favourites up there with Jazz Club. This scent does heavily remind me of a lazy Sunday morning (fresh sheet smell) and I absolutely love how fresh and crisp this scent is. Lazy Sunday Morning is the perfect everyday fragrance.
Aldehyde, ambergris, red pepper and cedar
Sailing Day is set in Paros, 2001. This is really nostalgic to me because I did go sailing in Paros (in 2018 though) and it makes me really nostalgic of summer, new friendships and European adventures.
Personally, I feel this misses the mark just a bit. All I have down in my notes is ‘nice’. Dead serious that’s all I’ve written. There’s nothing special about it and not surprised as it is the least reviewed so far on Mecca – by a mile.
Whispers In The Library
Vanilla, cedar, vetiver and patchouli
Whispers in the Library is set in Oxford, 1997. I feel a bit biased because I really like the name so I wanted to love it. I love the vanilla and musk undertones and it feels very alluring and mature (which we love). I am also a huge sucker for cute yet intelligent English men. Men who study in libraries are hot! My friends make fun of my taste in men but oh well.
At the Barber’s
Basil, lavender, tonka bean and white musk
I’ve got in my Notes that this was my least favourite. At the Barber’s is set in Madrid, 1992. I think the lavender notes in this makes it really ‘soapy’? It’s hard to describe but I would imagine this scent in a soap haha. It’s a really fresh and clean smell so I guess it is reminiscent of going to the barbers.
I guess I smell clean but I don’t like this as a fragrance.
Rose, tuberose, cedar and moss
Flower Market is set in Paris, 2011. I personally used to gravitate to floral notes and this is a really subtle, soft and beautiful. Now, I am realising that I do like more woody notes in my fragrances but this is a really safe choice especially when there are fragrances such as Jazz Club that are really strong and unique. I’m a bit mixed on this one personally.
Under the Lemon Tree
Lime, petit grain, mate and white musk
Whenever I see lemon tree, I think of that episode from The Simpsons which I don’t think is what Maison Margiela were going for. Set in Palermo, 1987, this fragrance has really fresh lemon notes and I think it’s very summery and refreshing. I actually really like citrus fragrances. I find them very uplifting. I have read a few reviews that this is not particularly long-lasting though.
Springtime in a Park
Pear, bergamot, blackcurrant, lily of the valley, royal jasmine, damask rose and vanilla
Lastly, we have Springtime in a Park. Set in Shanghai, 2019, Springtime in a Park is very fruity (I mean this in a good way) with the pear and blackcurrant flavours. It also reminds me of cherry blossoms which doesn’t really remind me of Shanghai at all (my background is Shanghainese so trust my word for it haha). It also is very girly so I don’t think it’s very unisex either.
I will say this is probably my favourite out of the floral fragrances because it actually has a bit more character to it. In comparison, I found Flower Market very muted. If I’m getting a very light floral fragrance, I want my money worth and this wasn’t it.
I really liked playing around with the Maison Margiela Memory Box Collection. It is good value and you get to sample a range of different fragrances. I personally gravitated to the more musky smells. Jazz Club, By the Fireplace and Lazy Sunday Morning were probably my top 3.
There were definitely some hits and misses. At the Barber’s was definitely my least favourite – it smelt like soap! I’ve also read a few reviews that some of these fragrances are not very long-lasting so that’s something to keep in mind.
I do like the Replica collection. I really like how each fragrance tells a story and is based on a particular place and time period. Some of them were particularly nostalgic to me.
Jazz Club was definitely my stand-out and I am inclined to maybe get the full size of it.
As always, these sets are always perfect for the indecisive person like me. I also tend to not finish my perfumes, a lot of my perfumes are sample sized or from sets. I am a sucker for good value and good taste.
Also, I broke a Maison Margiela fragrance tester at Mecca, so I felt inclined to buy this. I apologised profusely.
I actually do like these small sample sized containers because god forbid I drop my actual perfume in a glass bottle. I enjoyed Maison Margiela and really liked the Replica line. There were some really unique fragrances in there but I feel like they’re still missed the mark slightly (sorry). I think there were a few more misses than I would have liked and I would not repurchase the majority of them so with that conclusion, I give them a 7-7.5/10.
Which sucks because I did find it slightly underwhelming. I mean when you’re paying a high price tag you expect to be blown out of this world and this just wasn’t it.
I also highly recommend trying these fragrances in store before buying. It can be really hard to judge how a perfume smells and performs online. Some people might like At the Barber’s – I think it’s just an acquired scent I absolutely loathed it. Based off what I said, I don’t think this is a safe blind buy. When you’re spending upwards of $180 for a perfume, you want your money’s worth. A 10ml fragrance from Maison Margiela is $43. I’m pretty sure a 10ml fragrance from Zara is $10.
But each to their own.