• MCMC FRAGRANCES: The exemplary niche
MCMC Fragrances meant the biggest discovery of the Niche Tour to me. The Hunter frag on display immediatelly cought my eye with its simple transparent flacon filled with the mossy-green liquid. Naturally I had to immediately try it and whoa – I got mixed feelings. First I was delighted my nose doesn’t smell something it has smelled a thousand times before, in small variations. Then the joy was replaced with a letdown, as the scent started to smell sour on my skin. Luckily it only took a half an hour for the vinegar to disappear, so I could enjoy the rest of the fragrance. When I tried Hunter for the second time an on, there was no sourness at all. I’m not sure whether it was the crowded place filled with air full of perfume vapors or some peculiar condition of my skin (perhaps the traces of the previously applied fragrance or the lunar phase, maybe) that caused the initial mishap, however it never occured again.
So what is Hunter actually like? Beautifully weird! From the beginning it’s an extraordinary scent. I seem to be able to identify just a single ingredient – a slightly pungent aroma of the crushed pine needles somewhere in the center of the fragrance, that never dominates it. Well, maybe down there, at the very end of the perfume after several hours there shows something looking as a pleasant unobtrusive vanilla. Hunter relates the dry with the juicy and the sweet with the bitter at once. There’s a noticeable smoky tone that is different than any other smokiness I ever smelled in a perfume. Neither incense nor birchtar, it resembles the smell of clothes you wore at the BBQ party the day before. It might sound unattractively, but in fact this remnant of smoke together with other ingredients create a comforting feeling of safety, just like when you snuggled up in daddy’s flannel armful, as kids. One remark regarding the peculiar non-sweet sweetness – I let my colleague sniff Hunter on my skin and he said: “Strange, it smells like a honey but it’s not sweet.” – well expressed. Not that Hunter contains the sticky sweet smell of honey, instead it rather undulates and glows like honey and fills the nose with a genuine forest magic. It’s amazing scent. If any of you dig Neil Gaiman’s ingenious Sandman comic series: I am quite sure Hunter smells exactly like the kind-hearted big dude Green Paradise would smell. And he’s a dream, my friends.
I almost forgot to introduce the brand – MCMC Fragrances is currently a six year old child of Anne Mc Clain, young American educated in aromatherapy and natural perfumery who also studied in Grasse (awesome combination, in my opinion). She runs the company together with her sister Katie (therefore Mc + Mc) in New York. Quite lookers, aren’t they?
When I opened the small gate to enter the balmy little garden I tripped and planted my face into the earth down among the stems. I sprang up right away (perhaps nobody noticed my fall) and breathed in the air full of the vegetal and floral smells. As I swept the soil off my face I noticed the droplet of resin that has clinged onto my fingertips from the wooden gate warmed up by the sun. It’s so beautiful around here. These are my first impressions of Garden – I immediately regretted having just a tiny vial of it; I’d love to spray it allover myself and wallow in it on the floor like a cat on catnip. The individual vegetal smells soon blended into a calm (and calming) herbal fragrance with a bitter ringlet on the top, that fells just like when you chew on a small nugget of pine resin. We used to chew the resin from the coniferous trees as kids – who endured its bitter taste and initial irritating sticking to the teeth was later rewarded by a fantastic smelling chewing gum. Anyway, back to the Garden, don’t assume it smells like forest, only the said resinous spire does. The gist of the scent is like a green and gray herbal liqueur free from sweetness and quite far away from what most people imagine as a perfume inspired by the smell of the garden. Yet Garden is a truthful scent. In its own unique way it accurately represents the ambience of a small hidden garden, where you come to rest in a blissful quiet. A soft musky base appears several hours later in the scent, that finally grants the perfume some tame sweetness, nevertheless there’s no musk listed among the ingredients. The waft of soil in the opening I considered to be patchouli must be something else instead too, for that matter. I gladly concur with the unisex dedication of Garden, as it will suit anyone looking for the scent permeating peace and harmony of the nature. Interesting fact – the half of the gains from the sale of the Garden perfume go to Ananda Ashram community, whose urban farmer’s workshops had inspired sisters in making the fragrance. I think I love them.
The Kept perfume kinda’ bowled me over. I didn’t expect it to be such an intensive scent, nor did I suspect I won’t be able to put in words what it actually smells like. It took me almost two days to beget this unwitty description: a showy sweet rose, pink cotton candy and almost pungent geranium, betwixt and between. Quite a contrast with the two previously tested scents, I told myself. Except that, on the second thought I realized things are not that simple here. Escada with diabetes is just a first impression. As soon I stopped sniffing my hand and let the fragrance work it actually proved to possess an extraordinary projection and most importantly – it’s being constructed to utilize it. The thing is, the sillage makes quite a different impression than focused analysis by sinking one’s nose into it. The soaring fragrant air surrounding the wearer isn’t flashy at all, it’s absolutly and stunningly feminine. It’s as if a haute fashion designer stormed the thrift store to create a ultra-chic outfit that turns a nottie into a vamp. If anyone less talented tried to combine the ingredients like these, it would probably turn into a disaster, but the skilful hands of Anne Mc Claine are clearly capable of assembling the ordinary smells into a remarkable creation. I don’t expect the Kept fragrance to become a mass bestseller, as it takes a little guts for an unaware girl to properly try it (isn’t that a basic property of the niche perfumery at the same time, after all?). On the other hand, I am sure Kept would find its lovers and those who get to understand its appeal will be all over it.
I’ve been captivated by the MCMC fragrances I tried. Not only all three of them are sovereingly unique and well done, I also find the brand’s image and background entirely sympathetic. I haven’t finished with MCMC yet – other frags are waiting to acquaint with me!