Laura Mercier perfumes are not on my radar. In fact, I've never sniffed one before this month. I read a few rave reviews on MUA or was it POL and decided to give it a whirl. I can't say I expected much from it. Given that it's a woody, vanillic oriental, I figured I'd at least find it agreeable, but lo and behold I find it magnificent!
Minuit Enchante is a Nordstrom exclusive developed as a flanker to Nuit Enchantees; the similarity/difference between these two I cannot comment. As I began writing this review I did a Google search to find both Angela at NST and Patty at the Posse writing positive reviews Minuit Enchante. I was bummed they had already discovered this elixir and told ya'll about it's wonderfulness before me. Ah, well, I'm seriously smitten with Minuit Enchantee so I decided to be the chorus.
Minuit Enchante is a perfect cold weather fragrance for those who like orientals with loads of woods, incense, spices, vanilla and some florals to soften the dense spicefest. One point I'd like to underscore is that it's parfum concentration, 1.7 oz/50 ml for $90 and with it's exceptional sillage and longevity I'm jumping for joy. The perfume is concentrated so it sprays on with a slightly oily sheen. Now some may not like this sheen but I live for it knowing that it means I'll enjoy the scent for many hours to come. You know when you make a soup from scratch and after refrigeration you find a solid layer of fat at the surface? Well, that's a good soup, and this is a good fragrance.
The vanilla in Minuit Enchante seems present in the top, heart and basenotes. Do not fear, however, because this vanilla isn't foody. While I'd agree that the scent has gourmand leanings, I'll only go so far as leanings because it's a proper perfume, to me, and never remotely enters the kitchen/baked goods arena. Patty at the Posse has it exactly right when she compares Minuit's vanilla to a Shalimar sort of vanilla. Minuit Enchante, while a bit less hefty, joins my other favorite cool weather fragrances such as Theorema, Ambre Russe, Arabie, Ambre Sultan and Youth Dew Amber Nude. The style and mood of all these fragrances is similar; cozy, sexy, warm, goodness.
The list of notes actually seems to describe the scent for a change, they are: juniper, mace, ginger, clove, pimento berry, rose, jasmine, tuberose, peach, vanilla, musk, labdanum, benzoin, amber, myrrh, guaiacwood, cedarwood, sandalwood, agarwood. I don't smell the florals specifically, I can't pick out the tuberose or jasmine, but I can tell they're present and well blended with this mix of woods, spices and oud.
To keep a tally, the fragrances that knocked my socks off the most this year are: Sonoma Scent Studio's Tabac Aurea, Le Labo Aldehyde 44, my reunion with Mariella Burani, PdE Wazamba and Bond No. 9's Success is a Job in NY (I hope I'm not forgetting any, probably am, though).
The bottle is pretty, too.