Perfume Pen Pals: Parfums MDCI Chypre Palatin




Katie,

I love almost everything from Parfums MDCI and if I had a million dollars in my pocket, I'd buy the entire line. (And bigger pockets.) Though I still wouldn't splurge on the bottles with the marble heads. I wonder how much money you'd need before believing $125 for a little marble head is a good idea?




Lately I've been wearing Bertrand Duchaufour's Chypre Palatin. It smells both graceful and complex, a chypre that's not bitter, probably due to restrictions on oakmoss. But Duchaufour makes up for it by including everything else. First it's green, then floral (especially for a masculine, which it is, though it truly isn't), then there's a long, sweet, leathery drydown.

You can smell different aspects of the fragrance each time you breathe in, it's constantly evolving, the perfume version of the morphing heads in Michael Jackson's "Black or White" video.



I'd definitely pay $125 for a little marble head that morphs! (You can use that idea, MDCI.) My one objection to Chypre Palatin is me. My lifestyle is unqualified for many of these MDCIs, it's unqualified to even be called a lifestyle (I hear it chuckling every time I type the word), and so it's difficult to find a deserving context for Chypre Palatin. And on the rare occasion I do find a context, I'm out of context. I keep compiling these gorgeous perfumes thinking something will eventually shift in me, that I'll grow into them, in the same way for years I'd imagined my arms would eventually grow bigger and more muscular like my father's.
I had dinner with a couple friends, Sara and Patrick, and we'd ordered several small plates, culminating in one large plate, a whole fish. The server placed the fish in the middle of the table and left, and the three of us went on with our conversation as if nothing had changed. It soon became apparent that no one knew how to approach the fish. Sara dropped out first by announcing she was full, thus dodging her share of responsibility, while Patrick nominated me for fish duty, simply saying, "You're the oldest. You do it." I confessed that preparing a whole fish was not something I'd grown into just yet, to which Patrick said, "I think you stop growing into things after 40." And so the three of us just sat and stared (four if you count the fish) until finally another server noticed us and rushed up to apologize (the first server, he said, was supposed to have prepared the fish for us). It's a good thing, too, because had it gone on much longer, the evening might have devolved into a study of human weakness and cruelty as dark as the Stanford Prison Experiment.
You've heard me complain when I wear fragrances of no consequence, trivial things, but first-class perfumes like Chypre Palatin make me feel like a trivial thing, like I'm looking at that stupid fish all over again. Did I tell you I quit therapy? Dan
Angela over at Now Smell This has penned an unintentional companion piece to Dan's review of Chypre Palatin. Like Dan, she's seduced by it while acknowledging that it isn't quite "her". Read her review here. I wonder which of you Goldilocks will smell Chypre Palatin and cry, "It's so me!"?

28 comments:

  1. The marble heads look stupid.

    --Nora

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  2. I have a confession. I am 43 years old and have never prepared a fish. (But I love Peche Cardinal, La Belle Helene and Promesse d'laube, am I redeemed?)

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    1. Anonymous, You're fully redeemed in my eyes. But if we ever share a whole fish, let's hope we get a good server.

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    2. I'm confused. Served a whole fish? You just cut it, don't you? That's what I would have done.

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    3. Nora, Yes, you just cut it. Sort of. But first you must contend with the head (and those fish eyes don't close, they just stare and stare). Then after slicing it down the middle, you have to debone it, which involves the ribs and several smaller sets of bones and it's not unlike playing Milton Bradley's Operation game. In fact, those little Operation tweezers would be helpful.

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    4. There are ways to pull fish apart where you remove all the bones in one move, but it can be messy, as it usually involves some hands-on fish-grabbing.

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  3. After working from home until almost 10 pm with a vomit-y two-year-old, it seemed funny to follow-up an interesting, thoughtful and well-spoken post that was truly funny with a comment that I realized after seven hours of sleep and a cup of coffee was really not funny at all. It was like drunk-dialing, only I was drunk from being a little tired.

    This was the last thing I read before going to bed at night, and I dreamed that EVERYONE was raving about MDCI Chypre Palatin, and comparing it to the purple Omnia but kept saying, "But it's so much SOFTER!" Which is strange.

    I do think the marble heads look silly, though. Not silly enough to be amusing, silly as in "affected," and "stuffy for no apparent reason."

    Make tiny marble heads of Alistair Cooke and I may be persuaded, but only if he is wearing a smoking jacket, too.

    And feeding on the visceral organs of his enemies.

    Katie, can we make this happen?

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    1. Nora, I'm rested and sober and I, too, think the marble heads look stupid. And the MDCI website looks like the first website ever designed. But if a perfume company can be good at only one thing, it's nice when that one thing is perfume.

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    2. "tiny marble heads of Alistair Cooke"? That's getting into a whole 'nother area: the American Girl doll company version of perfume bottles, where you can top a flacon with the personage of your choice. (But did Alistair Cooke even *have* enemies?)

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    3. Marty Feldman.
      Phyllis Diller.
      Diana Ross in "Mahogany."

      I'd pay $125 fer those marble heads. Especially if the perfume spritzed out of their mouths.

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    4. lol, Dante's Bra: perfume Pez!

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    5. This is what would happen if Parfums MDCI merged with ELd'O! ~~nozknoz

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    6. Ha! No, this is what would happen if Parfums MDCI merged with Pez. I'm sensing a high-low marketing opportunity.

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  4. Boning fish, pop grotesquery, and Zimbardo's prison study. What other perfume column throws together so many disparate images with wit and intelligence! Turned a meh(!) into a 'must try' for me!

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    1. Stephen--

      Me, too. Honestly, I hate to admit it, but the bottles looked so boring I thought the fragrance would be, too. Which says more about me judging a book by its cover than the fragrance. After going to the MDCI web site, I see how much care and thought they put into its design, trying to make something beautiful for people. Now I feel like a jackass.

      --Nora

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  5. I love that scene at the start of Julie and Julia where Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci eat a fish served in the manner I think described by Dan. But they do it with a total confidence. I logick that maybe Chypre Paladin is perfume for Julia Childs (as portrayed by la Streep)- and maybe best for those who are a bit too gesturally ostentatious.

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  6. By the way, Katie, I'm stalking you on The Guardian now. Although I have yet to post any comments there.

    --Nora B.

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    1. Meet you over there the next time I file copy for them!

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    2. I read your nightmarish story of attending summer camp in Southwestern Michigan. Do you recall the name of the place where the camp was? There's a good chance I'll recognize it.

      On the "this horrifies me scale," your story was about a 3.5 for me. So, well south of something you'd hear about on the news, but still enough for me to be disturbed.

      --Nora

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    3. Nora, are you referring to my Camp Tannadoonah story in my memoir? Your query inspired me to Google Camp T, and what do you know, it's still going strong in Vandalia, Michigan. Reading up on the descriptions of the 1930s and 1950s buildings, I bet I'd love it if I visited now - I'm sure it's a olden-days retro beauty spot.

      I did note that in their timeline of glorious developments over the years, they did not list the forced labor of their 9-year-old campers deployed to clear the hillside of stinging nettles for the future amphitheatre....

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    4. Yes, that would be the one! Oh my goodness. I weep for you a tiny bit.

      I'll have to visit this place in person.

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  7. Hmmm...the perfume that "is" me would probably be one of the weird Duchaufours, like Sienne L'Hiver, but admittedly not that well composed, LOL. So I'm perfectly happy to wear perfume that "isn't" me, but smells great!

    Of course, who wouldn't like to come back as Enlevement au Serail (in the Limoges bisque bottle, definitely) or Chypre Palatin next time around - but why wait?

    Dan, perhaps you might try thinking about the right weather for wearing it rather than the right life? ~~nozknoz

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    1. nozknoz, I just got home from a chilly, foggy ballpark, and while Chypre Palatin is definitely a cold-weather scent, it strikes me that Sienne L'Hiver would've complemented the evening perfectly. I love those weird Duchaufours, too. (I wonder if Duchaufour calls them "the weird Duchaufours.")

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    2. Dan, I have to admit that Sienne L'Hiver seems far more likely to go out in the chilly fog for entertainment. Although Chypre Palatin breathes a sigh of attractive autumnal melancholy, I think we'd find him in his library on a night like that, warmed by a fire on the hearth and a single malt whiskey at hand, reading a tract by one of his favorite philosophers.

      I treasure the weird ones! He probably just thinks of them as the ones that "are" really him. ~~nozknoz

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  8. A brilliant perfume friend ( suzanne!) gave me a huge sample of this. She purchased it on her trip to Paris this year. She describes it perfectly on her blog, Perfume Journal. I was so amazed at her generosity-and i think this suits me. I don't have a high lifestyle at all-far from it. I wear it to work, and it wraps around me like a cloud of georgeous ness. It feels life a cherished gift from a really lovely friend.

    I like a lot of BD's work, including the much ,maligned Fleur de Lianne. I find his work ebbs and flows-it does not just move in a linear fashion. It reminds me of beach waves, each moment is unique in time. I am a fan!

    Sincerely,
    Carole

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  9. Hi Carole - it's funny you should mention Fleur de Lianne, because I just discovered it yesterday and I didn't know it was much maligned. I was instantly captivated by how it was floral and green without being shampoo-y or fruity. I was thinking it would make a wonderful "welcome back, Spring!" perfume.

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  10. Hello, Katie!
    I think it's because it's a melon-y aquatic, which is not really a well loved genre. Sometimes it's good to just clear your mind of preconceptions, and just try things. Try a chypre, or a fruity floral. It can all be washed off! Will you review FdeL, I wonder? That would be a very cool thing!
    Sincerely,
    Carole

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    1. Maybe I will review it...come the spring...

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