Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Ramon Monegal- Pure Mariposa (Neiman Marcus Exclusive)

I keep a playlist on my iTunes titled "Happy Morning".  There are no Nick Cave or Jeff Buckley songs on it, nothing particularly current or edgy (the newest song is Sirena by Calexico); instead it has oddities such as Sing (Travis), Beautiful Worls (Colin Hay) and far too many 80s favorites (Toto's Africa, Laura Branigan's Gloria, and New Song by Howard Jones) next to wonderful oldies such as Sittin' On The Dock By The Bay and a long forgotten gem from Gary Puckett & The Union Gap. Other than revealing the murky place that is my brain, what does it have to do with perfume? Probably not much, except for the uplifting  effect of listening to these songs, which is oddly similar to how I feel wearing the new fragrance from Ramon monegal, Pure Mariposa.

Pure Mariposa was composed by Ramon Monegal exclusively for Neiman Marcus. The white packaging is decorated with Neiman's butterflies (mariposa=butterfly in Spanish) and has a white cap, to differentiate from Ramon Monegal's regular line that's encased in black. The fragrance has a major spring theme, full of sunshine, colors, flowers, a touch of fruit and daytime lightness.

The note list sounds like a botanical garden (orange, grapefruit, bergamot, yuzu, black currant, plum, osmanthus, jasmine, lily of the valley, rose wardia, tuberose, sandalwood, cashmeran wood, iris, peach, tonka bean, amber), but what's more interesting is that Ramon Monegal chose to also list several of the synthetic molecules: helional (a green hay-like grassy odor), melonal (excatly what it says), calone (usually the worst marine-ozonic offender), ultrazur (another fresh-ozonic beast, sweeter and greener than calone). It sounds like a warning sign and it took all my trust in Ramon Monegal's perfumery skill and style to make me take that first spritz on my wrist.

I shouldn't have worried. While Pure Mariposa opens with a burst of sharp and fresh citrus oil, I don't smell the sea or any rotten melons; just air from a window opened early in the morning, letting in cool air. It's a mix of bright yellow and bright green: the freshly mowed grass, a glass of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, meyer lemons arranged in a bowl on the table. Then things become more floral as the day (and Pure Mariposa) starts to unfold. New blossoms open every day, white, pink, and orange. The heart is rather abstract, I can't say "here's muguet! there's rose!", but it is very floral, slightly honeyed (those fresh water molecules are gone and forgotten), juicy and a bit pulpy. I do smell quite a bit of peach and it goes hand in hand with a strong tuberose note. There's a point that Mariposa becomes a blend of powder and tuberose, very feminine on my skin (dry and woody on the husband) and if you over spray it really takes over the room.

 It's a good thing that I fully enjoy this ride, because the longevity and sillage are both very robust (16 hours easily). Pure Mariposa is a daytime fragrance, but be careful if you're around grumpy office people who don't appreciate this colorful scented presence. Personally, I think it's a fun first date perfume, or something to wear for a Sunday brunch. We're at the tail end of a semi-miserable winter and the ennui is at full swing; it's a good time as any for some butterflies.

Ramon Monegal- Pure Mariposa ($200, 1.7oz EDP) is exclusive to Neiman Marcus, available online and in store. A press sample for this review was provided by Ramon Monegal.

Artwork: Butterflies (Abstract) by Marcia Baldwin.


  1. "Young girl ..." -- that's the only one I can remember from Gary Puckett and the Union Gap. Something else I should know about? I'll be stopping by NM for a spray of Mariposa ... sounds yummy.

    1. Ellen, that's the song. I don't know if I should be embarrassed about it or not ;)

  2. Oh, this sounds like a perfect perfume I usually go searching for in spring. :)
    Will definitely put it on my must-try list.

  3. I was very scared of the calone and melonal, but now that you liked it, I wanna try.
    Your playlist is great!

    1. Thanks:) It's my most embarrassing playlist, but so much fun.
      The notes are scary, I know. There are very few perfumers that I'd trust enough to try something like this.

  4. This is the way a perfume review should be be written. With eloquent word, without grandiloquent style and feast for all senses. So many perfume blog authors cannot explain what the sensory experience is unless they negatively compare it to something else.

    As someone relatively new to the fragrance world; I gain more perspective of the magic of fragrance from this style of writing, rather than solely an esoteric one. Though its effective how blend both styles in your blog so I can learn new terminology and be a "fragronerd in training".

    You have illustrated perfectly what my old writing profs used to drill into my once young mind; Always assume your audience knows nothing about your subject, that way your writing will be beautifully expressive, descriptive and illustrated. In other words.... The Non-Blonde!

    1. Thank you, Kristina. I'm touched and grateful beyond words (see, it happens!). I wish you a happy and delightful journey smelling and discovering perfume treasures.

  5. An entrancing review, giving just enough away about the perfume without spoiling the joy of that first spray. Bravo!

    These 'floral explosions' seem to be quite the thing this spring - what with Hermes Jour.

    To The Dandy, they have a little of the walls of flowers of classics such as l'heure bleue and Arppege about them - though made fresh and contemporary.

    I do hope it will one day be possible to try this one myself.

    Yours ever

    The Perfumed Dandy

  6. I got a sample of Pure Mariposa this weekend and it is definitely one that should be applied sparingly, but I'm really enjoying it so far (and luckily my officemate is a perfume aficionado herself so I should be able to get away with using Pure Mariposa as a work fragrance).


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