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Mon Patchouly - The search is over - December 7, 2012 New Fragrance Listing

Photo - Fragrantica - Vintage Maja soap image

A few months ago I came across a new niche line – Ramón Monegal. The back story is that Ramón Monegal has been a perfumer since the 1970’s, and worked in the family-owned Spanish perfume house, Myrurgia, the largest in Spain, and which is now owned by Puig.

Hmm, Myrurgia – the name rang a bell, and up popped a dark-haired Spanish beauty in red dress and black lace mantilla, the image on the wrapper of the Maja soap I always found at the bottom of my Christmas stocking when I was a teenager. I loved that soap, with its spicy woody foreign-ness, and the fact that it was made by Myrurgia in Barcelona, Spain put it near the top of the “Exotica” chart in my 14-year-old rating system. A memory connection had been made, and now the hunger to get a sniff of the Ramón Monegal scents was upon me, so I tracked down a set of samples, fourteen in all. Net result? I bought Mon Patchouly, Gwen bought Mon Cuir – read her recent post here.

In an October 2012 interview with Elena from Perfumeshrine, Monegal says: “ My current collection is the consequence of a career that never had freedom of expression…my perfumes are the result of my own experiences and my bigger desires that never saw the light….When working on a budget you lose the freedom to use certain materials and certain proportions, but when you make a personal perfume, when part of your soul is within the perfume, you regain the right to use whatever you want…. we have fantastic pure natural materials as well as synthetic molecules with an extraordinary quality. In my opinion the author of the 21st century should be able to use them all, regardless of price, or provenance. All that matters is the quality and the fine nuances.”

First of all, the bottle is exquisite. I don’t often get excited about perfume bottles – my treasure is always the liquid inside – but the Monegal bottle is exceptional. Monegal trained as an architect before joining the family business, and you can see his refined aesthetic at work in the design, the scale, and the quality of this prism-cut glass bottle that resembles an inkwell. Polished silver-finish metal fittings and a black Bakelite top that flips open like a traditional inkwell – this heavy bottle feels so opulent in my hand and speaks volumes about quality and elegance before I even get my first sniff of the amber-coloured Mon Patchouly. You can see this bottle here on his website.

The bold opening is patchouli, edged with a floral note reminiscent of cologne. This soon transforms into a jasmine and patchouli combination that is truly unusual – dusty and herbal with a floral core - who would have thought to marry these two powerhouse notes? The accord sweetens with amber, but then becomes tilted by a slightly sour note – geranium or oak moss, both are listed. It’s earthy and herbal, floral and green all at the same time - this accord is really unique and my appreciation of Ramon Monegal’s artistry is starting to build.

In the heart, Mon Patchouly becomes just sweet enough, with boozy overtones of dark vanilla and tobacco which pair so perfectly with the patchouli/jasmine combo. The feeling is warm, rich, opulent, and modern. As it moves into the drydown, the amber sweetness is tempered becoming more powdery from incense, and more earthy from patchouli and oak moss. What seemed like it would become a linear scent has become deliciously complex, ending up as creamy, rich, powdery, with great sillage and longevity, strong and dark for a man to wear, elegant and opulent for a woman to wear.

Mon Patchouly is definitely all about creative expression, quality and nuance. It’s the most original patchouli scent I’ve come across in years of searching for the perfect patchouli fragrance. It’s an Oriental, with a foot in the Woody and Gourmand camps, but in the end is much more than either.

Mon Patchouly means My Patchouly. I can see why Ramón Monegal chose this name, because it is “his” patchouli, his interpretation as a perfume artist of one of the most basic perfume notes, perhaps one he’s dreamed of creating for years. Mon Patchouly is like no other patchouli, it really is his, and now - it’s mine!

Today we’re adding Mon Patchouly to our decant listing. Decants are $6.00.