Update on Ma Griffe by Carven, the 2013 Edition {Scented Thoughts}


In 2011, I wrote that the delightful liveliness of the post-war scent, Ma Griffe by Carven (1946) - a contemporary of Miss Dior by Dior - had come back in the shape of its old olfactory form. In 2013, rebottled in a rather convincing-looking and -feeling heavy glass bottle, the perfume itself has been reformulated again and now it seems its Ma-Griffe personality has only been partially preserved, that is as most of us know it...

Not having smelled the perfume ca. 1946, I can't vouch for how it smelled at the end of WWII. What I notice however is that if one could accepts the new very animalic drydown as closer to the mores of the times it nevertheless feels like the whole composition is not very harmonious and balanced. It is short-lived moreover. So, while animalic notes connote old-school, short burn time connotes lack of quality unless it's willed and made part of the personal style of a perfumer. 

In an ironic twist regarding the original intentions of Madame Carven, the founder of the couture house whose quote is printed front and center on the brand website describing Ma Griffe as “An outdoor fragrance without the heavy overtones,” one is left wondering why that pungent, rather brutal and thoughtless animalic base was added. 

I preferred what I smelled in 2011, but detested even more what I smelled before that date during a period of time when the perfume truly stank. At this point in time, I can't really recommend the fragrance as it feels tampered with and cheapened. No doubt, the saga will continue. We hope the saga will continue. It has to. 

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