SECOND IMPRESSIONS: “Similar to a movie scenario that sets the tone by recreating a particular atmosphere and giving insight into the characters’ personas, the real-life stories behind each of the Monsillage perfumes are a way to create a bond with the perfumes and enhance the perfume experience. The perfumer finds inspiration in past travels, one-of-a-kind experiences, personal impressions and glimpses of grace.”
FRAGRANCE: Aviation Club + Pays Dogon
NOSE: Isabelle Michaud
SIZE/COST: 50ml / $105-120 (smaller sizes available)
Aviation Club (92%): This hits your senses as some sort of cyclical breathing of green notes, freshly cut and oh so elegant. It’s flowery and bitter with an icy sheen. But at the heart this is thawing sensually. It’s one of the more verdant fragrances available, alongside, let’s say Apsu by Ulrich Lang or Green Spell from Eris Parfums. Though with the addition of the coffee note one gets that lingering palpation, that ere of cognizance. Though this is likely seen as a ‘masculine’ fragrance I see this as completely androgynous, ambiguous to gender altogether. It’s strong like coffee, bold and steamy. But know that the note itself is more it’s wide berth rather than a wake-up call. Stimulating, perky but could be worn as easily to a casual get together or on a fancy date. Its unique qualities will draw curiosity in others. For me, after trying the entire line, and recently their exquisite soaps (yes, a must!), this is one of their two finest. This is uniquely long-lasting on your skin as well. There are few green fragrances to compare, honestly, save for the previously mentioned. And just for good measure, here were my first impressions from last May:
FIRST IMPRESSION (May 2020): Wow. Open-minded, fresh airy floral breezes, soft with a hint of peppery-ness. This is perhaps one of the most intriguing florals I’ve experienced in a long time – and this is without gender assignment, its like you are walking through a florist’s shoppe with a newspaper under one arm and you have just come from the barber’s. There are so many fleeting visuals and beside the freshly cut flowers, carnations, heather, sprigs of lilac, there are fresh chopped greens thrown in. This is one of those bouquets you might buy for yourself to top off a lovely day. It’s a stunner. (More)
Notes: green notes, metallic notes, floral notes, wood, amber, leather, tobacco, coffee
Pays Dogon (96%): After multiple wearings this is their most elusive, most enticing, by far the best in my opinion. Let me count the ways. Besides for the fact that it doesn’t follow any existing trends and blazes its own track, which should be enough in and of itself, Pays Dogon (Dogon Country) refers to the sparse, rocky plateau in West Africa. It’s a dusty, dry region that is quite vast, built into hillsides the people dwell. Like the previous fragrance, this too is deeply green, a bit darker and heavier than Aviation Club, but this brings on an enigmatic quality that is earthy and yet so slippery. The tropical additions of ginger and hibiscus (two of my favorite things) really lends to the depth and breadth here. And what really draws you in here is the way it permeates slowly with woody essences that have an outstretched spiciness that looms softly throughout, anchored by a most reserved flourish of patchouli. It’s a resilient mix that is quite a seducer with something that hits an accord of a cross between birch tar and palo santo. If you love the multitude of variants that come from wood barks and shavings you will so easily be drawn into the romance and curiosity provided by this spectacular composition. Bravo!
FIRST IMPRESSION (May 2020): Ooo, I really like this one. Fresh vetiver from the outset, green as a lawn in late Spring. Likely this is aided and abetted by spices both zesty and peppery. This is an evolved vetiver that moves the needle to the twenty-first century. Somewhat between the natural and metaphysical worlds is where this transports me – an alternate universe where nature is dry, sensible and lush without the risks of climate change. In other words, wouldn’t it be nice?! This fragrance takes me there, to a happy place. Definitely one of my two favorites in this otherwise stellar collection.
Notes: green oasis, black pepper, pink peppercorn, ginger, hibiscus flower, guaiac wood, cypriol, sandalwood, patchouli, vetyver Java, date
Quantec – Isolate (2009, Styrax Records)