Monday, March 9, 2009

Monday Musing over a Perfume Bottle: Magie Noire by Lancôme

Hi ladies,

Happy Monday! Are you ready for a wonderful week ahead? Well, ready or not Monday is here. Last weekend I browsed the mall for inspirations since (a) I live very near the mall now and (b) that's what women do so guys, please don't ask me why :) All of the sudden, I saw a cute bottle of perfume at Lancôme counter that I haven't seen in such a long time. I picked it up and sprayed a bit to my left wrist then went on with my mall walk routine. Usually, I am very picky with perfumes and have a quite sensitive nose. Most perfumes do not seem to impress me that much and after 2, 3 hours, I get tired of them. So the ones I actually use smell like water or baby powder, the type that is not obnoxious enough to give me a headache.

However, the most unpredictable thing happened after I sprayed the perfume to my wrist: by the time I reached Victoria's Secret, my nose was jammed to my left wrist as I inhaled in the perfume! Normally, if the perfume is intolerably bad, I would head straight to the restroom and scrub it down. Rarely does a perfume make me jam my nose to my wrist like that and I am wondering why.

Magie Noire perfume by Lancôme
Image from Macy's

It turned out the perfume is nothing new to me, it's Magie Noire (Black Magic in English) from Lancôme. My mom used to wear it in the 80s as her night time perfume and I used to think that she smelled awesome! (She still does, by the way, but has moved on from Magie Noire to Trésor and that's another story for another day.) You see, in the 80s heady oriental perfumes were all over the place and Magie Noire is one of them. I used to rub a bit of it on my hair but it never smelled good on me, like most spicy, heady oriental perfumes never do.

However, rumors has it that Lancôme actually changed the formula of Magie Noire when re-releasing it after discontinuing it for a while. As I recalled, the version my mom used in the past was much spicier and headier than the one I tried in the mall. It was so spicy that it could knock an elephant dead from fifty miles away. I remember the air around her (and my aunts and grandma) filled with spice once she applied Magie Noire. And as the name implied, the perfume has some magical and alluring factor in it. Whoever use Magie Noire does look more mysterious and glamorous than usual. And when used at night time, wow!

I always think of Sophia Loren and Brigitte Bardot whenever I smell Magie Noire: glamorous and uber feminine women that exudes sex appeal out of their pores. It definitely is not a perfume for young girls (hence I did not like it when I was a kid.) As it is so distinct and special, I would think of it as a special event perfume to complete the look. Believe me, you do not want to wear Magie Noire when going grocery shopping: it is too much!

Not only Lancôme changed the formula, the bottle also changed from time to time as well. As I remember correctly, the bottle in the 80s was black like this one:

Image from QB

The current version is so clean and simple that I did not recognize Magie Noire at first. Since Lancôme revised this perfume and made it less spicy, it is more tolerable to me and I actually like it since it is very distinct. In a jungle of fruity floral perfumes, Magie Noire definitely stand out. I find a tiny drop of this perfume last a very long time, as most Lancôme perfume do.

As much as it is a fabulous perfume, to me Magie Noire is like an old friend. Whether I like it or not, my taste in perfume is influenced from my mom's choice of perfumes when I was growing up. The 80s was indeed a wonderful time to grow up in and I am glad Magie Noire brought back this perfume.

Currently, Magie Noire is priced at $55 USD for a 2.5 fl oz ETD and that's the only version Lancôme offers. I will probably get it once Lancôme has a round of gift with purchase.

Well, that's one of my favorite perfumes in the past. How about you? Do you have any favorite perfume when growing up? Please let me know, I'd love to hear about them.

Take care and stay gorgeous,
Your Makeup Blogger

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  1. Argh! Blogger ate my very long, detailed comment.

    Generally, I like really sweet and fruity perfumes that make me smell like something edible. My current favorite is Guess by Marciano, which is a fruity oriental that dries down to caramel on me. The drydown is similar to Acquolina Pink Sugar, but without the strong liquorice note that my body chemistry seems to bring out. I can't seem to stay away from Guess by Marciano - I never used to be a big perfume wearer, but I find myself reaching for it every day now.

    Other perfumes I own: Hanae Mori Butterfly, Lancome Miracle Intense, Escada Rockin' Rio, Christian Dior J'Adore, Gucci Envy II, Acquolina Pink Sugar, the Coconut Lime Verbena scent from Bath and Body Works, and the Dark Temptations body spray from Axe. (Yes, it's for dudes, but it still smells really good.)

    Hanae Mori Butterfly is super-sweet, to the point that I can't stand it these days. I might return to it when the weather gets a little warmer though, because in the wintertime it just seems too sharp.

    Lancome Miracle is a pretty standard pink floral, with a peppery note. I don't find myself wearing it pretty often, though I would say it's a springtime afternoon date kind of scent.

    Escada Rockin' Rio smells like tropical fruit punch. I'm almost done with my bottle, and even if it weren't limited edition, I don't think I'd buy another one... it's a nice summertime kind of scent though.

    Christian Dior J'adore - standard white floral. It's kind of nice, not too sweet, but again I don't use it much. I've had that bottle since 2003 and it's still 70% full!

    Gucci Envy II - smells a lot like Versace Bright Crystal to me. Again, pink florally scent, a little bit of fruitiness. I don't wear this often either.

    Coconut Lime Verbena - way way way too sharp by itself, even though it mellows down after a while. I have the matching lotion, which I think is a bit too much on this sweet side, so using them together seems to strike a good balance for me.

  2. I cannot wear most perfumes. Either they give me a headache or nausea, or my ultra-reactive skin erupts in nasty eczema patches. I have 2 perfumes (only 2, plus several samples that specialty stores give away when I buy cosmetics or creams, and that I give to my mother as I cannot wear them). One is Don Algodon (original), a floral simple teenager perfume that smells like roses but subtler and fresher, and that I still love at 32. The other is a delicious, limited edition perfume that smells like the sea, wood and pepper, and that unfortunately gives me a nasty skin reaction if I apply it on the skin (it does contain pepper). I occasionaly wear it on my hair or spray it on my clothes. Most times I do not wear perfume at all, or wear just the perfume included in my sensitive skin toner (actually smells wonderful).

    Smells I remember and love: my father's cologne (Puig), my mother's 3 favourite perfumes, and my baby perfume. My baby perfume I have been unable to find (smelled like lavender and herbs), my mother's favourite perfumes were Choc, from Pierre Cardin (citrusy, day perfume, I can find it nowadays), Maja, from Myrurgia (day perfume, harder to define and harder to find, she would let me wear it at weekends, just a little drop), and the wonderful, intense and sensual Niki de Saint Phalle limited edition perfume (that I would sneakily apply, just a drop, on my wrist, to smell at night, though I intued it was a grown-up women smell and not for me).

    Nowadays I wish I had the Niki de Saint-Phalle one for me. It's that kind of perfume you would wear for a special night date, deep, almost musky but feminine, but still complex and sophisticated.

    I also wish for the baby perfume, for different reasons (it smelled good, plus, it's like comfort food), but I haven't been able to find it (probably discontinued). There's a home fragrance that smells somewhat similar from L'occitane, maybe I'll look on their store.

    (also: hi! I'm a new subscriber!)

  3. Hi May,

    I smelled most of the perfumes you have. Guess by Marciano is a very sexy scent but it dries down to amber on me (strange huh?) Hanae Mori Butterfly is very sweet like sugar. It's so sweet that I do not want to own it at all. J'adore I adore but it's very concentrated so a little bit goes a very long way. I do not like Miracle, I think it's one of the flops that Lancome has but the ads are so beautiful. My cousin does wear Gucci Envy II and it smells good on her, I need to try it on me to see what happens.

    I don't buy anything from BBW anymore as my nose gets tired very quickly. However, BBW does have some nice scents on their lineup.

    Thank you for your long comment girl! I'd love it when you drop by :) And sorry for Blogger that ate up your detailed comment. It's a pain sometimes.

  4. What a lovely story! I remember my first encounter with perfume was when I was 4. I was playing in my parents bedroom when some beautiful perfume bottles caught my eye. I went over and spritzed into the air while inhaling. I've been hooked on perfumes ever since. I now have more than 100 bottles.

    Smell really is the most basic sense and can take me back to when I was playing in my friends garden and the air was filled with flower scent.

  5. Hi Knit_tgz,

    First of all, thank you for subscribing! Secondly, are you also a knitter? It's nice to know you :)

    Yeah, sometimes I can't get away from the perfumes my mom and grandma used to wear. They are comforting but hard to find. I think your baby perfume is something my grandma used to put on me as well, I can't find it either.

    When I was a kid, my skin used to react to some certain perfumes that have high concentration of alcohol. You may need to find some that does not have alcohol in it or switch to perfume oil/solid. Most alcohol-free perfumes are really mild and I see them in my local health food store.

  6. Hi Chyx2,

    Wow, you have 100 bottles of perfume? That is a huge collection! You must have loved perfumes very much!

    Most perfumes are tied with some stories to me and wearing them sometimes remind me of some certain people in my life.

  7. I liked Miracle a lot more in high school - it was the first perfume that I ever smelled and was like, "hey! this is nice! I would want to smell like this..."

    (Actually, that reminds me: I should go give it another sniff to see if I might want to start wearing it again. The weather is getting nice around here, and it's definitely a springtime fragrance for me.)

    I was never very big on perfume, but I like to smell nice :) I can't say I've ever found a perfume that I've felt really fit "me". Like you said, Guess by Marciano is very sexy, and sometimes I feel a bit out of place wearing it - for some reason, I expect blonde sorority girls to wear this kind of scent when they're trying to attract guys, and that is totally, totally not me. Yet I still can't seem to resist spraying it on all the damn time :P I find it to be very similar to Viva la Juicy, but less powdery... and guess what? I'm a fan of that too :P

    Oddly enough, the only perfume that I've worn that Denis has complimented me on was Dune by Christian Dior. I found it way, way way too strong and mature for me though. His grandmother gave me a bottle, but I didn't like it very much, so I ended up swapping it away... it reminded me of Moschino Couture, which I used to own (but I have no idea where that bottle disappeared to!) Maybe I'll give it another try.

  8. Hi May,

    I think you just found your perfume niche! To some people it may take some time but once you found it, you'll soon realize the perfumes you like pretty much smell similar to each other.

    You really think Guess by Marciano is the sorority girl type of perfume? Somehow to me, it reminds me of the cougars :)

  9. How could you know if the fragrances has a great scent and if it is really fit on you? I was looking for the great perfume that can make a longest smell. Anyway,will certainly visit your site more often now.



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