I first came a cross the Replica Collection by Maison Martin Margiela when it appeared at Barneys. I think there were only five perfumes in the series at that point, and the SA was pushing them so aggressively I was instantly put off. I wasn't too impressed and later agreed wholeheartedly with my friend Jessica of Tinsel Creations when she raised an eyebrow at the entire concept and suspicious lack of originality. Considering the cerebral nature of Margiela's fashion line and the brilliance of the very first perfume from the brand, Untitled, a modern wicked green, I expected so much more. Then I promptly forgot about the whole thing, until the line was picked by Sephora and a couple of department stores, and samples started accumulating and multiplying. It was time to give them another go.
I don't like it. I really really don't like it. I think it's supposed to be a tropical kind of thing, and I wish it were, but I get no gardenia, creamy coconut or sandy beaches. It's more like coconut water, with an emphasis on the watery aspect. Beach Walk feels very sterile, diluted, and extremely dull. I know taht it's often compared to Bobbi Brown Beach, but as someone who's gone through a bottle of Beach body oil despite an initial dislike I see no comparison (though I suspect the Bobbi has been reformulated and not for the best).
I tossed the sample after the second testing. It smelled more like the stale water left in the buckets after the flowers were sold. I can't deal, sorry.
Lazy Sunday Morning
This one is so shockingly generic I have to laugh. All I get is a cheap laundry musk at its very worst. There's a hint of rose in the very late dry-down, which I had to bring myself to sit through. I wouldn't tolerate it from my laundry detergent, let alone a luxury perfume.
I really like this one. A boozy leather and tobacco that's less sweet than Tobacco Vanille and less honeyed than Back to Black. It's also more linear than both, mellower, and probably very office-friendly. The dry-down has an attractive dirty musk-wood thing that is a bit masculine in a somewhat naughty way. It's miles above the other MMM Replicas I tried in this batch and comes from the perfumer behind the entire Memo line.
Maison Martin Margiela Replica Collection ($125, 100ml each) is available at Barneys, Saks, Nordstrom, and Sephora. There are six more perfumes in the series (not including Untitled and Untitled L'Eau), but I think I'm done for a while.
Image: Maison Martin Margiela masks from its Fall 2012 haute couture collection via Bare Magazine.