Thursday, October 29, 2009

Laura Mercier Minuit Enchante: A review

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.


Ines said...

Oh, this sounds wonderful! I'm missing anything containing vanilla in my perfume wardrobe - this might be the way to go. :)

DCMetroreader said...

this sounds incredible! I have never bought anything Laura Mercier either, but I think I will now.

Tania said...

What a coincidence - I'm wearing this today!
I have a decant, as it's a Nordstrom exclusive, so I can't get a bottle over here.... *sigh*..

I think it's gorgeous, though I don't like the other Mercier scents (especially the gourmets, which are cloying on me).

Mals86 said...

I haven't tried any Laura Mercier scents - the closest store to me is about five hours' drive away. (crap. I wanted to smell this one.)

The notes sound lovely, but I'm wondering if this one bears any resemblance to the dreaded Opium, Cinnabar, Coco, or Obsession, all of which I absolutely despise. Oh, and Youth Dew as well. Bleah. (I don't typically wear Shalimar, but at least that one is in the realm of the possible for me.)

Abigail said...


Well, yes, Minuit is reminiscent of Opium, Cinnabar and the like but it's not as aldehyde heavy or potent. It's a mellower & slightly sweeter version of those 70's & 80's spicefests. Youth Dew is probably the closest in style of those you mentioned. If you like PdE Ambre Russe or SL Arabie it's possible you'd like Minuit Enchante.

krnszn said...

Hey Mals, I'm with you on all of the "dreaded" fumes you mention! What IS it about those scents that makes them so offensive? I attribute it to amber, but could be wrong. I also had troubles with Shalimar, but should try it again - in the parfum - to give it a chance.

As for Minuit, if it's anything like the scents Mals mentioned...well, I probably won't like it. That's OK. One less bottle to buy. ;-)

Mals86 said...

Karin, it's NOT the amber that troubles me with those heavy Orientals. I think - not that I'm an expert, mind you! - that it's patchouli+some sort of resin. Which resin? DUNNO. I generally love labdanum, benzoin, and tonka bean. Might be opoponax, tolu balsam, peru balsam... sigh.

My general rule is that if it smells even vaguely like Youth Dew, I'm just not going to find it pleasant.

Anonymous said...

I really love Eau de Lune and L'Heure Maqigue. I also picked up Neroli, because it is a nice, soft, citrus and vanilla scent to wear for winter. I always thought LM was a bit underrated.

The rest of her line was way too gourmand for me to wear, although I enjoy the bath line immensely.

Minuit sounds nice, but I think it maybe too heavy and spicy for me. But I'll try it anyway since it is a parfum. Very nice price on that btw.


perfumegeek said...

Thanks for reviewing this perfume. I have a sample of it on my wish list, which I think has expanded from ten to a fifty in a matter of weeks :)

This is my first comment here, by the way. What a wonderful blog!

Mals86 said...

Despite my misgivings that ME might be another Opium clone, I managed to score a sample spritz yesterday (yes, it's a five-hour drive, ack, but I was there for a conference and snuck out to shop).

It's lovely. It goes through about twenty minutes of smelling too sweet to me, but after that it's a wonder of spicy goodness, without the dusty-resiny thing that bothers me. I thought it smelled sort of like Pier One, in a good way.

My brother leaned over to sniff my wrist, and jerked his head back fast enough to cause whiplash. But then, he doesn't like perfume. My husband, OTOH, didn't notice it. (He noticed the 31 Rue Cambon on the back of my neck, though...)