Fragrance is a big deal to me. Some people have a signature scent, I have 7 of them. Some people remember others by their personality, I remember them by their smell. Some people look at photos to reminisce on special occasions, I’m transported back in time with a single sniff. I’ve always had a very powerful sense of smell and olfactory memory- my earliest scent memory is the scent of tar; it brings me back to a theme park ride I was on when I first smelled it, when I was four years old.
I instantly fell in love with the concept of Maison Martin Margiela‘s Replica fragrance collection when it launched in Fall 2012. The original fragrance collection was inspired by Maison Martin Margiela’s seasonal “Replica” collections, filled with timeless garments and accessories for men and women- even the cotton label on the fragrance bottles resembles the tags used on these pieces.
The idea that Maison Martin Margiela wanted to capture memories and moments of varying locations and periods of time in a bottle resonated with me; I had already been doing that with my own memories, and now this collection of fragrances allowed me to experience someone else’s too. A very interesting and emotional concept that landed these apothecary jars a permanent home in my fragrance wardrobe.
The original three fragrances included Beach Walk, Funfair Evening and Flower Market. This Spring 2014, Maison Martin Margiela has expanded the line to include three more fragrances, including Lazy Sunday Morning, Promenade in the Gardens, and the first-ever male Replica scent, Jazz Club. The entire line is now available at Sephora, retailing for $125 USD / $100 CAD for 3.4oz. Instead of trying to imagine what the fragrances smell like, try to recall memories of these types of places and events; I find it much more effective in conveying the experience.
“Beach Walk” Calvi, 1972: A stroll along the ocean. Feet sink into the sand. Waves brush the skin. The sun at its zenith radiates the beach. Fresh as the spray of the ocean, bergamot, lemon and pink pepper are instantly fused. Radiant and sensual ylang ylang followers, illuminating the addictive scents of coconut milk, musk and heliotrope.
“Funfair Evening” Santa Monica, 1994: In the warm night air, the sound of laughter and playful melodies. The obscurity is broken by splashes of multicoloured neon. Colour reigns vibrant and explosive. An odour of candy fills the air. From the first breath, the ambiance of the funfair comes to mind. The soft and enveloping fragrance of sweets… Notes of apple and star anise join to reveal a marshmallow accord created with caramel and orange blossom.
“Flower Market” Paris, 2011: Freshly cut flowers, wet petals, buckets and vases brimming with water, leaves crushed on the floor, a multitude of floral compositions. The green freshness of just-cut stems echoes the sensuality of the floral accord. Transparent notes of freesia and Grasse rose petals dotted with water, are enveloped by creamier notes of Sambac jasmine and tuberose.
[lazy sunday morning]
“Lazy Sunday Morning” Florence, 2003: Silky-smooth skin, crumpled linen sheets and the reassuring scent of fresh laundry. A heavy, enveloping floral fragrance, with notes of lily of the valley and patchouli in its purest form, melt together into a white abyss. A festival of white and creamy musk, lifted by an aldehyde note boosting the sensation of freshly washed laundry, dried-out in the blazing sunshine.
[promenade in the gardens]
“Promenade in the Gardens” Oxfordshire, 1986: The poetry of British gardens, where wanderers lose themselves in the fresh green glades, or emerge from the organized chaos of trimmed hedges to find themselves suddenly surrounded by floral notes. This floral scent is built around the intense femininity of Turkish rose and the woody, elegant heart of patchouli allied with sandalwood and vetiver. Astonishing volume, starting with a crunchy greenness you can almost taste and a magisterial floral flight of fancy, leads us into the heart of an English garden.
“Jazz Club” Brooklyn, 2013: The setting is a jazz club in Brooklyn, frequented from generation to generation. An anthology of classic notes and coppery tones, between deep armchairs and a handful of bar stools. Subdued lighting reflects against a piano stained with overflowing cocktails, transporting liquor-infused notes. It’s woody, oriental, sweet and intoxicating. A rich score, with a fresh vibrato at the start and a trio of pink peppercorns, citrus and neroli. Its rum notes play with orange and bitter orange, enriched with sage. A balmy base scent, styrax, is added to vanilla, tonka bean, vetiver and tobacco leaves, lending an overall melody of leather and liquor.
Maison Martin Margiela recently asked artists around the world to photograph moments close to their hearts, where details call upon an olfactive and sensorial intimacy. Anyone can contribute to the collection of images, and you can win a bottle of Replica by doing just that.
Simply take a photo on Instagram inspired by one of the six Replica fragrances and tag it with #SmellsLikeMemories and the fragrance is recalls (for example, #LazySundayMorning or #BeachWalk). Post the link to your Instagram photo in the Rafflecopter widget below (I want to make sure i’m only including my readers in the giveaway) and I will choose one random reader to win their choice of Replica fragrance.[/note]
[shop this story]