Against All Odds- The Magic Of Different Concentrations
Michael has everything going against it. From the smugness of the designer (Project Runway viewers can join my cringing every time Heidi Klum introduces him as "top American designer, Michael Kors!", though it gets better once the guy actually starts snarking), to the big tuberose heart that takes over the fragrance. In Perfumes- The Guide, Tania Sanchez called it an "evil tuberose" and declared it "One of the worst ever". My shameful confession is that I love Michael.
Now, I have no problem seeing how it can get this bad reputation. While I own and wear the parfum, and only dab it carefully, the EdP that's widely available is, indeed, an evil tuberose. Spraying it with abandon results in a skanky cloud that would rival some of the more infamous 80s gassers and calls to mind lucite heels and Fredrick's of Hollywood lingerie. What does a nice (ahem) girl like me is doing with a bottle like this?
The answer is, again, in the concentration. The parfum is significantly more well-behaved than the street version. While it's very tuberosy and I'm not exactly the queen of white flowers, I have discovered that I can actually deal with either tuberose or gardenia, as long as they do not reside in the same bottle. Also, they must have other notes to keep them busy enough as to not try and strangle me. In this case it's mostly a game of incense and sweetness that rounds the edges and makes it interesting. I'm not saying that Michael in parfum is modest or demure, because it's not. It's openly sexy, somewhat come-hithery, but more playful than porn.
The official notes are-
Top: Dewy Freesia, Tamarind, Incense, Chinese Osmanthus .
Middle Notes: Tuberose, Blue Orris, White Wings Peony, Arum Lily .
Base Notes: Cashmere Woods, Musk, Vetiver.
However, unless one has a super-skin and/or a super-nose, this is much more a "tuberose and friends" affair. Don't go looking for the orris or musk, because the tuberose has eaten them whole. It's not well-blended enough to be anything but a sweet, oriental tuberose scent. Even if you manage to find the parfum, don't wear it to meet his parents or for a PTA meeting. You'll get a reputation. But when it's ok to be a little naughty in a weather that makes floral bloom, this is a non-caloric guilty pleasure.
Image: (yes, I know it's not tuberose, but I liked the painting and it has the right feeling) Brugsmania 2 by Judith Barath.