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The smell of myrrh is plangent, melancholic, secretive. My touchstone myrrh perfume is Diptyque L'Eau Trois, which highlights the resin's herby aromatics. But most myrrh fragrances tend to be root beer float-sweet, a frothy sort of licorice milk. I'm thinking of Huitième Art Myrrhiad and Annick Goutal Myrrhe Ardente here. Mellower is the moreish Christian Dior Bois d'Argent, and weirder is Serge Lutens La Myrrhe with its airy aldehydes.
Myrrhe & Delires by Guerlain hoes another row altogether, dispensing with the bubbles and ice cream. Here, secretive myrrh is gently coaxed into sociability with pale licorice and violet offering moral support. A pastel bouquet of peachy rose and jasmine lends the myrrh a sentimental side, and soft-focus vanilla and sueded woods provide a discrete plinth.
This Thierry Wasser creation is wistful and feminine. The orchestration swirling around myrrh's minor chord is delicate and uplifting, the contrast serving to highlight the resin's jolie-laide appeal while also complimenting it. Myrrhe & Delires is subtle subtle subtle -- a tender petal of a perfume.
Photo of Mabel Normand