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By the Fireplace


Launched in 2015, by Maison Martin Margiela, By the Fireplace is part of their Replica line, where each scent represents a specific time and place. By the Fireplace is the scent of burning wood and chestnuts, the location is Chamonix, in the French Alps, in 1971.

It opens with pink pepper, which smells rosy, not spicy, and a fresh, sweet note of orange flower petals. This floral start is quickly warmed with a note of spicy, aromatic clove so the opening smells fresh and warm. As it warms on the skin, a soft, sweet, mellow chestnut accord appears. It reminds me of the marrons glacé my father-in-law so adored. Then the Gaïac wood appears with its gorgeous woody, smoky and tar-like aspects – this, for me, is a show stopper. Cade oil brings more smoke – aromatic and dark it’s the kind of smoke that swirls up through the wood in a fireplace. This is a beautiful smokiness – soft and true – that doesn’t overpower the fragrance but quietly dominates it. At the base, creamy, rich vanilla emerges. It stands up to the smoke and without it, the whole works might spontaneously combust. And wafting from the forest is the woodsy, balsamy smell of Peru Balsam, its cinnamic and vanillic facets echoing the spiciness and sweetness that came before it, while cashmeran is perfectly musky and woody.

The drydown is smoky, creamy and gently sweet and packs all the seduction of a roaring blaze in a fireplace. It has all the compelling qualities of fireplace and wearing it just draws people to you.

True story. The first time I tried By the Fireplace was in a Duty Free store in Montreal. I spritzed it on my wrist, and within a nanosecond I asked a sales assistant for a bottle of it. As I was waiting, a middle-aged, quite handsome, gentleman touched my shoulder and asked “What are you wearing?” I held out the tester of By the Fireplace and said “This perfume” and spritzed a little into the air between us. Soon a woman came up to him. “What are you doing Darling?” she asked him. He spritzed her. She inhaled It paused a moment and said “We buy this one”.

Be warned, when you wear By the Fireplace, you are wearing a weapon of mass seduction.

Notes: Pink pepper, orange flower petals, chestnut accord, Gaïac wood, cade, vanilla, Peru Balsam and cashmeran.

Type: EdT

Parfumeur: Marie Salamagne

Price: $6.00