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A Chocolate Quickie

Mon Patchouly bottleI’ve been wearing some Mon Patchouly, the lauded new patch from Ramon Monegal, and I love this stuff. It’s the softest, most elegant patchouli you’d ever wear. It’s cozy, it’s delicious, it’s gorgeous.

But I have to wonder: why does a perfumista world that is raving about Mon Patchouly so very much tend to hate on Mugler’s Angel? Because when it comes right down to it, they both wear down to very similar patchouli essences. I have to assume it’s because Angel is so massive from the start, and because it’s so over-the-top sweet.

The sweetness in Angel provides a chocolate edge to the patchouli, but I have to say I smell a similar kind of chocolate in Mon Patchouly – just a lot more restrained. Actually it’s really kind of a chocolate-floral smell, the sort of echo of gianduia, the chocolate flower, that makes some people love Missoni so and some people hate it so madly. Perhaps that’s why Mon Patchouly does not remind anyone of candy, and Angel reminds everyone of candy; it’s more gianduia and less factory sugar chocolate. I like gianduia, I like Missoni too, and I like Angel. And I like Mon Patchouly. These all make sense to me; I just wonder why Mon Patchouly gets so much love and Missoni and Angel don’t. Is it just that it’s polished? It’s the quality of its composition? Because these Ramon Monegal perfumes are well made. They’re just not so radically different from other things that I want to rave about them.

Angel bottleMissoni bottleI do love that Ramon Monegal bottle. And I do think a bottle of Mon Patchouly is in my future. So I ask myself: if I have Missoni and I have Angel (in several flavors!), why do I need Mon Patchouly?

There’s a dark soft veil effect to Mon Patchouly that is very elegant, quite complex, and not found in the other two chocolate/patch perfumes I mentioned. It cannot offend, it is easy to wear, and it does not scream “CHOCOLATE PATCHOULI WHUMP!” Is “It is less offensive” a good excuse to buy a perfume? Especially in a world where one often wants something that does not just blend into the background.

Perhaps it is. If Angel is like a wooden cart in terms of technological developments in transportation (not always comfortable but it will get you there!), and Missoni is like a boat (sounds good but in actual execution you don’t like the residue it leaves), Mon Patchouly might be the rocket ship final draft. It’s sleek, it’s finely crafted, it’s well thought through, it requires a lot more money to get off the ground, and when you do you get an experience that others don’t get to have.

If your goal is just to get from A to B, you don’t need Mon Patchouly. If your goal is a unique experience – one you’ll want to repeat over and over again – you probably want to try it.

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6 comments to A Chocolate Quickie

  • I love Angel. I haven’t tried Missoni (though I have a generous small decant from a friend). And I have absolutely no recollection as to whether I smelled Mon Patchouly even from the bottle (it might have been one of the seven available at Bergdorf, but I’m not sure). But after reading your review I have an urge… to run home and put on some Angel. Or maybe try Missoni: I really like the bottle on your picture 😉

    • Judith

      I really like Missoni, and I like the bottle too! so I am surprised when I see a negative reaction to it on the perfume boards. I think some people don’t like it particularly because it is chocolate – but not quite… because it really is gianduia, not the over-the-top artificial chocolate of Angel.

      But I’m glad to hear you like Angel too – there’s another one where we overlap! That and Ubar. 🙂

      I really can’t imagine anyone actively disliking Mon Patchouly. I can see why so many perfume boards have raved over it. It should appeal to almost everyone – like a well-made blazer.

  • I just shuddered convulsively. Hate choc in my fume (and have serious patchouli issues as well). Love to eat the stuff, but it’s actually getting to the point that I cannot choke down milk chocolate, either… dark chocolate or NUTHIN’, baby…

    Missoni, IMO, is awful and Angel is far far worse. I felt like suing Luca Turin for emotional pain and suffering, following my test of Missoni.

    That’s not to say you choco-fume people are crazy, but it is to say that some people don’t tolerate choco-patch very well. I mean, it’s okay – I know there are legions of people who can’t manage BWFs even though I love them myself.

    • Judith

      Poor Mals! I’m not trying to gross you out, honest I’m not.

      I think a lot of perfume bloggers are not as all-or-nothing as you are, though, and I’m wondering what’s the break point. If it’s gianduia, or just Angel being safe to hate. 🙂

      Actually 4160Tuesdays had a perfume sale yesterday (they’re a small company in the UK, do you know them?) and one of the perfumes I picked up is supposed to smell VERY MUCH like a chocolate shop. So I’ll report on that. But you don’t have to read it. 🙂

      • Oh, I know… it’s not you, it’s me.

        I suppose that the notes I hate, I really reeeeeally hate, and while I can sometimes ignore them, if they’re at all prominent they can ruin entire fragrances for me. Example? I liked Elie Saab Le Parfum a lot… until the patchouli showed up. It’s even that heart-note, cleaned-up fractionated patchouli, as opposed to the oily-dirty-musty stuff, but still. It ruined the lovely aldehyde-orange blossom for me. (I do okay with aged patch, for some reason – it smells more green and herbal to me, and I love it with rose.)

        There is a nexus of dusty-earthy patchouli and cocoa powder that works my last nerve. 100% Love? Ugh, no. Borneo? NEARLY EFFING KILLED ME. Gah.

        So, yeah… sure don’t want to wear a chocolate-shop perfume. But I’ll read about it. 🙂

        • Judith

          Poor Mals! I guess all I can say is that no particular note has ever done me wrong that way. I guess I won’t ask if you’ve smelled Providence Perfume Co’s Cocoa Tuberose. 🙂

          My 4160Tuesdays perfumes still aren’t here yet! I am hopeful, hopeful…

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