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 Hermès 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.