Garrigue, a 1988 fragrance from Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier's masculine range, opens as a fairly standard men's cologne. Which means citrus by the bucket, usually with a side of more citrus. Not exactly my favorite perfumery style, but things change before I even get the chance to grumble. Garrigue is the French word for low Mediterranean shrubbery and also a certain area in the south of France, where small oak trees, juniper and several types of aromatic herbs grow in the dry limestone soil under ruthless sun. Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier's Garrigue managed to capture the air and scents of the region, even if at first they hide under all that lemon in the top notes.
Garrigue is quiet and dry as the air on a hot summer day. Rosemary, thyme, wild oregano, and sage are all there, baking in the sun. There's little movement in the air and only the crawling shade of the dusty trees indicates the passage of time. I find it wonderfully comforting. The dry-down of Garrigue is sun-bleached smooth wood. I wish it retained more of the aromatics that hold the fragrance's heart; something darker and cooler like cypress could have also helped in grounding Garrigue a little more. But perhaps it would have ruined the picture. In any case, wearing this MPG perfume feels like sliding into a cool and clean bed after your shower on a scorching summer day spent outside.
Garrigue's interaction with skin is limited. It's more a place than a person, at least to me. That said, I would have loved my hair and closets to smell like that all the time, and a man whose clothes and personal belonging are heavily scented with Garrigue would probably be irresistible.
Notes: lemon, bergamot, thyme, rosemary, sage, rosewood, coriander, juniper berry, sandalwood, musk
Garrigue by Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier ($120, 100 ml) is available from MiN NY, Luckyscent and Aedes.
Richard Moisan- Hameaux et Garrigues
Gilles Rousset- Un clocher dans la garrigue – Provence
Triolet- Les Argeles