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BPAL Madness!
chai_girl

Mata Hari

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... Her scent is striking and bold with a delicate yet dark undertone: five roses with soft jasmine, warmed by vanilla, fig, tonka bean and mahogany, spiced with a drop of coffee bean.

 

I first notice the fig and a bit of coffee right on application. After about 5 minutes a spice comes out that I assumed was some type of cinnamon until I looked at the description. Now I'm not sure what it is, maybe the tonka or coffee? This is a very heavy and rich scent. The jasmine in this reminds me quite a bit of Obsidian Widow (I love jasmine, even though it's a pretty hated note lol), it has that same definitive "dark oriental floral" feel. The rose is a dark, almost wine-like note forming a soft undercurrent. Didn't realize it was roses until I read the description then it's like, duh, but it blended really well with the jasmine and I couldn't quite pick it out until I knew to look. The vanilla and what I'm assuming is tonka gives it a warm sweetness, along with the fig, which blends in well. Something is also reminding me of Darkness but I'm not sure what; maybe just the overall heavy, almost-smoky quality of the scent? The throw is fairly good, and so is the staying power. Overall I think it's like a sister scent to Obsidian Widow. They are both a spin on jasmine and rose, with Mata Hari being more coffee/chocolate-spiced and Obsidian Widow being more sweet winey/incensey/woodsy. I may have to death match them to pick a fave if it ever came to a bottle choice lol :eek: Color association is a dark, cool-toned burnt sepia, probably because of the coffee.

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I didnt really pick up any coffee on my skin - maybe it had already dried down a little, but all I remember is a classic well-blended, rose dominated floral. Just a good, simple rose perfume.

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This is so heady and wonderful. The rose and jasmine combination is heavenly, and it's sweetened gently and very seductively by the fig and vanilla. The tonka, mahogany and coffee ground it really nicely. It's a dark, warm base for all of the florals and fig to play on. It's very sensual, but not heavy.

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Starts out as a nutty, sweet coffee. I'm guessing that's from the blend of vanilla, tonka, amd coffee. The rose appears on my skin pretty quickly. It's a perfumey rose with a hint of fruitiness, perhaps from the fig. This dries down into a dusky, rose/jasmine floral. It's not my jam, but it's different enough that if you like oriental florals, it's worth a try.

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Weird - out of bottle and wet on skin I don't get any of these notes. Where's the jasmine? Where's the rose? Where's the coffee?

 

They dry down is more earthy and incensy than florals for me.

 

Final thoughts, the florals have started to come out and this is quite lovely. I still never really got that coffee note though. Its a lovely scent but not one that has really blown me over or anything.

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I got a Mata Hari frimp from the Lab today and realized I had never reviewed it, so I gave it another shot. Yep, Mata Hari is still weird and awful on me. Even though there are jasmine blends I love, I'm coming to the conclusion that jasmine is often a disaster on my skin. In the imp it's sultry and dark, like something a damaged Philip Marlowe heroine might wear, but on my skin there's something about the combination of jasmine and coffee and rose that goes dramatically wrong. So sad as I can see how it would be so beautiful on others...

 

ETA I had to wash it off then douse myself in Irish Coffee Buttercream to counteract the coffee oddness.

Edited by Lucchesa

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In the imp: I'm mostly getting the jasmine and rose, followed by the coffee bean, fig, and a touch of mahogany if I inhale really deeply.

 

Wet: The rose and jasmine are the most prominent notes, followed by the coffee bean and fig. I am getting more coffee bean from this on my skin than I did in the imp, but this is by no means a coffee scent.

 

Dry: This is jasmine-dominant on me, followed by the rose, and then the fig. My boyfriend thinks this smells like “a relatively clean butt has been wiped with a flower petal”. Well, I guess this is not a jasmine-variety that works on me.

 

After a few hours, the rose, which was somewhat sour on me, fades away, and what is left is a much calmer jasmine note and a bit of vanilla and coffee bean.

 

Verdict: I was hoping to get coffee bean, tonka bean, and vanilla out of this, but this was a floral party on my skin (with the jasmine in particular being pretty strong). This one just doesn't work with my skin chemistry.

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I had an imp of this many years ago (10+) and tried it once and gave it away, it thought a bit like many people have found, that the coffee was stale. A few years ago I felt a need to try it again and ordered an imp, but promptly misplaced it. It resurfaced in a bag I've not used for a good 2-3 years. I tried it on and fell in love. It is like drinking a milky coffee in a rose garden while wearing a soft vanilla perfume on a sunny day with a cool breeze. I can't say for certain how long this will last on me as I applied when going to bed, but I could still smell a touch when I woke in the morning so I think it should last well for day wear. I didn't get much jasmine if any, but it could have given the roses a bit of oomph and I think the mahogany lent it a bit of warmth, no figs but I don't mind, it was beautiful and I will be ordering a bottle of this goodness.

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Imp: slightly talc-like, jasmine that borders on orris, and a tonka that insist on impersonating sandalwood. It reminds me a little of Follow Me Boy.

 

Wet: much more rosey (I get none from the imp) - so much so that it drowns out any other note.

 

Dry: a soft, unfortunately generic, rose and talcum powder, though thankfully without ever turning into the rancid baby smell I got from Follow Me Boy. Not really one I'd wear, or repurchase, as it smells like many others I've turned into atmos sprays.

 

Throw is strong, with a life of 10+ hours.

 

Stars: ★★★

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This one is such a disappointment. Lots of notes that are either very good or very very bad - and unfortunately in Mata Hari they all go bad. Stinky roses, stinky jasmine, dirty coffee, aquatic fig :ugh: - with the vanilla, tonka, and mahogany trying very hard to smell lovely.

Like Miskatonic University in a sewer.

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