Marni by Marni




In devising Italian avant-schmatter brand Marni's eponymous fragrance, perfumer Daniela Andrier did something clever. She distilled the label's austere whimsy / “man repeller” aesthetic into a perfume that conveys hipness, minus that pesky repelling part.

(Note that the man repelling aesthetic can work to great man attracting effect on women who possess natural confidence and ease within themselves. It's just one of those shouldn't-work-but-it-does things.)



Marni eau de parfum is a sprightly picker-upper that starts young and ends with a knowing nod to niche. The opening peppery ginger/citrus sets you up for a launch into a conventional lad or lassie's “fresh” perfume. But just as your heart sags in anticipation of the banal berry parade sure to follow, an arid cedarwood rose materializes.

Pre-faded patchouli and cardamom and incense lend Marni a smidge of schoolgirl goth, but only as a self-aware quote, the way an Herm├Ęs collier de chien bracelet references punk rock toughness.

Yes please, Santa!

In my video review, I say that Marni wears like a throwback to the distant drydown of Guerlain Habit Rouge. But after the camera stopped rolling, I remembered its kinship to another smart new perfume for bright young things: Nanette by Nanette Lapore.

In my review of Nanette last year, I wrote:
I was thinking about Nanette when I recently tried fashion house Marni's namesake debut perfume. Marni is another sheer, woody rose, but emphasizes a grapefruit briskness rather than Nanette's sweet amber. Both are modern roses for the modern miss.

And I might add that in the case of Marni, for the modern mister as well. Marni is “uni-sexy”, as well trans-seasonal and all-temporal. It's accessible without being common.

My only gripe is the staying power. Marni gets friendlier the longer you wear it, but it also gets fainter, so you need to really blast yourself with the stuff.

Call to mind the scene in the original Planet of the Apes when the evil overlord gorilla hoses down Charlton Heston with the full force of a fire hose, and you're there.




Marni is available from Marni.com and Amazon.com, starting at $80 for 30ml

12 comments:

  1. I love rose and patchouli perfumes like Voleur de Roses. Do you think I should give Marni a try based on that? It sounds wonderful, and I just saw the cute purse spray with the creepy doll online and almost want to buy it for looks alone.

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    1. I know! That creepy doll! So irresistibly weird, that marketing. Marni edp is nowhere near as patchouli-ish as Voleur de Roses, but it's a cool one to add to your rose/patch collection since it's distinctively transparent. Give it a whirl!

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    2. I actually got a sample of it from Nordstrom yesterday. I really liked it, but didn't buy it, deciding to try it over a few days first. Got home and my husband absolutely loves it! He never comments on my fragrances except when he doesn't like them. So I'm going back today to purchase it. I'm going to buy the creepy doll purse spray set.

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    3. Can't wait till your husband gets a load of that doll.

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  2. So glad you're back, Katie. You feed my perfume mania like gasoline feeds fire.

    I sprayed Marni one time on a store on a blotter and completely dismissed it, but you have me hankering to try it again. The way you describe it, it sounds JCE-esque, with it's grapefruit and transparency and cedar, and who doesn't need another one of those in their collection? Does it smell Hermes-ish? Maybe I just didn't do it justice, spraying it on paper.

    Have you smelled the two new ones by Elizabeth and James? I've been wondering your thoughts on them. Everyone on MUA says that they are great but that they remind them of something that they can't quite identify. Someone said it's like Avignon+Sweetness.

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    1. GG, hmm, now that you bring it up, I guess you could say Marni has an Hermes tone. Good parsing!

      Thanks for bringing the Elizabeth and James perfumes to my attention. I shall look out for them - could be promising!

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  3. Hi Katie,

    Always enjoy watching and reading your reviews. Thank you for sharing your entertaining opinions with us.

    I am a student living in Amsterdam. Of course money is tight. Could you do a review on a couple of budget,but sophisticated, scents to help us students out?

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  4. Hi Katie,I just got diptyque candle Santal,I always loved sandlewood but this candle reminded me of how sexy it was, once I opened the box I knew that its a great scent it is creamy,woodsy,slightly nutty and I'm craving a sandlewood perfume that is more woody than floral,sadly there are no body products in the same scent at diptyque. Hessa.

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  5. I tried Marni at the weekend from a friend's purse spray but my mind is now a blank about how it smelt except that I did like it! And I remember also liking Nanette Lepore a long time ago now and feeling slightly conflicted about that the way I did with Judith Leiber (sp?) - the bag lady. Nice blouse, btw! ;)

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  6. Hmmm, I am trying to find a present for my wife, now am I really considering this perfume. She loves citrus in her perfume, this might be the right choice. Is the citrus strong in it?

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    1. Edie, I wouldn't classify Marni as a citrus perfume, other than the emphatic grapefruity smell at the beginning. Maybe go with a variation on the cologne theme, eg Acqua di Parma Colonnia or Tom Ford Neroli Portofino or Jo Malone Lime Basil and Mandarin.

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    2. Thank you for your help! :)

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