The Global Art of Perfumery exhibition in Berlin was full of amazing discoveries and encounters. The most awesome one was the meeting with Claude Marchal, the creator of the luxurious Paris brand Parfums MDCI (Marchal Design & Créations Indépendantes). Meeting someone who shares your passion for fragrances is always nice, however Monsieur Marchal makes the nice become unforgettable as he is such a kind and charming person.
During our conversation he asked me about my favorite perfumes which lead to a discussion of Vol de Nuit. He told me an interesting and romantic story about it: He had first come to Vol de Nuit as a child during a dramatic night he and his family flew from abroad to France by a prop plane. There was a lady on the board wearing Vol de Nuit. The delightful sillage and scent of the fragrance had enchanted young Claude. He has always remembered the perfume along with a picture of the blue flames blazing from the propeller engines and glaring through the night sky. I bet you just want to pour some Vol de Nuit onto yourselves right now, provided that you know it :)
Another great thing I discovered, was the lovely fact that aside of loving old Guerlains, Claude Marchal also shares a particular elation for one of the MDCI fragrances with me – Invasion Barbare. Here is a review of the gem.
Claude Marchal picks the talented noses – both famous names and new creators – to make fragrances for him. He grants them total freedom during the production, with no regards for a cost or a hard accesibility of the materials. Invasion Barbare is a creation of brilliant Stéphanie Bakouche. It is defined by a spicy accord from another world, just as if someone crossed cardamom with juniper berries, mixed in an atmosphere of a spice shop from One Thousand and One Nights and seasoned it with the melange from Arrakis. It smells warmly and velvety like a worn flannel shirt. A subtle, barely perceptible hint of smoke installs Gerard Butler rather than David Beckham into the shirt. The way Invasion Barbare smells – both tenderly and virile, is what makes it unique. It is charming like a grown bloke with a boyish spark in the eye.
The profoundness of the fragrance is immense – one can nearly fall into it and still find a new tinges during the falling. More likely than about development of the scent we should speak of its blooming. It barely changes, instead it deepens, breathes. The projection of the perfume is perfect, just exactly between a loud macho-juice you can smell minutes after the person wearing it left the room and a transparent musk cologne always staying closely to the skin. Invasion Barbare unobtrusively allows the people around you recognize how beautiful scent you wear. As someone gets into your private zone, Invasion intensifies like a heartbeat of a person being kissed by his beloved one. So far, I haven’t witnessed anyone who disliked this fragrance. It seems being capable to impress everyone – hands down.
As a bonus, here is my own review of Invasion from 2009:
Invasion Barbare – a definition of a harmonic perfection. This artsy fragrance hasn’t got a slightest imperfection; one can’t take a molecule away from it, nor can add anything to this rich and fine tuned shape. There is no better way to demonstrate the difference between the mainstream and niche product, than taking Invasion Barbare and any well-done mainstream fragrance and bring them to someone’s nose without a word. The one who can’t recognize the distinction, should go on wearing Rexona, as using anything more sophisticated would be superfluous, I guess.