A refreshing edible-inspired scent? Contradiction in terms or have The Different Company hit on something really special?
Candied sour orange, bergamot, neroli, orange blossom, ginger, heliotrope, orchid, chestnut cream, cinnamon, maple syrup, tonka bean, amber, sandalwood, musk, vanilla.
The Different Company are a French perfume house who have been around for almost 20 years now. They work with some of the big names in the business to produce scents that are unfettered by limits on price or the time it takes to create them. They pride themselves on using top quality ingredients and have that old-school, quality vibe about what they do and how they go about it.
The company has a sizeable catalogue of scents listed on their website in three broad collections. Majaina Sin, the perfume we are looking at today, forms part of the L’Esprit Cologne collection which, although inspired by colognes are actually Eau de Toilette (EdT) in strength with the exception of Majaina Sin which is Eau de Parfum (EdP). For those wondering, cologne is a scent which contains the least amount of essential oils in it’s composition, EdT is above that, EdP higher again and extrait usually the highest and therefore generally the most expensive to produce.
The Different Company bill Majaina Sin as “a sweet and refreshing madness, an olfactory paradox”. Majaina Sin is indeed these things, which gives us plenty to discuss.
Out of the bottle, Majaina Sin smells warm, soft but indeed refreshing. There’s a toffee quality about it but coupled with this almost citrusy fresh seam, like a lemon caramel sweet perhaps?
A few moments after it has been sprayed, the spice elements really begin to develop. On skin they come out more than they do on a paper strip. Cinnamon, but in particular zesty ginger, really warm the fragrance up and give it a cosseted, snuggly, comforting feel. But then there is the citrus that peeps around the edges of the scent just reminding you that this isn’t a run-of-the-mill gloopy gourmand.
At times there’s an almost milkiness in the scent. It softens and washes over everything to ensure that the fragrance never gets too loud or obtrusive. Instead it is held at this really pleasant level throughout, only reducing towards the end of the wear.
The heart of the fragrance continues in a very similar vein with the contrasting tones of bright and cozy playing against each other, albeit in a harmonious way. The maple syrup note comes out a lot more in the heart and, at times, the scent becomes a plate of fresh fruit drizzled in the sticky, sugary liquid and set on a table that has a posy of flowers as decoration. Added to that is the evocation of a sprinkling of candied nuts; those sugar coated hazelnut ones that you sometimes get warm in a little paper cone at fairs and winter fetes.
This is a perfume that blurs boundaries, shifting from one family of scent to the next rather beautifully. The floral elements of neroli, orange blossom, heliotrope and orchid are all soft enough to be unobtrusive, but they are detectable and give a fuzzy floral background. On top of that sits a layer of citrus cream, nuts and a dollop of spice. The frosting on the cake is the sugary, caramel, maple syrup nuances. It’s one hell of a confection!
Majaina Sin is a really interesting gourmand, because if you close your eyes and inhale whilst thinking ‘edible’ then that is what it gives you. But, if you do the same and think ‘floral’ it bends itself that way instead; and under both the citrus is lurking, keeping you on your toes.
In the base of the scent a heady vanilla develops and forms an intoxicating miasma. It’s a fine example of vanilla in a scent; it doesn’t smell cloying or fake at all, just warm, sweet and delicious with an almost fresh tone, the scent certainly retains its vibrancy right through to the end of a wear.
Majaina Sin shifts again a bit as it matures. The spice notes are retained to the end, alongside the vanilla, but they shimmer and flow and at times appear to be a little cooler in tone. A slightly papery quality comes through, drier than the scent was previously and almost dusty now and again. The amber and sandalwood are very noticeable and add to the intoxicating and opulent feel.
There’s a real heady character to this scent, but it isn’t heady and oppressive, it’s heady and exhilarating somehow, like the stir of a cool breeze right at the end of summer, or the scent of the sea on a hot day.
Majaina Sin is the sort of cake that you really want to eat, but you know it’s naughty. Finally you give in and convince yourself that it must be good for you because it has fruit in it. That’s the feeling you will get when wearing this perfume. It’s naughty but very nice.
The other stuff
The longevity of this scent is moderate. It lasts until early afternoon when applied first thing in the morning. By mid afternoon we tended to find that we needed to reapply though.
We could see this scent working on people of all genders. Whilst gourmand might be thought of by some as being a stereotypically feminine domain, Majaina Sin is musky enough to smell good on the more masculine persuasion as well.
The sillage, or projection, of the scent was also moderate, at handshake distance or closer people will get wafts of it coming off your skin. The perfume works at a very pleasant volume throughout the wear; a fairly ungenerous application gives a moderate sillage which is detectable but not over facing.
Majaina Sin is available on The Different Company’s website where it is priced at €126 for 100 EdP. One of the things we really like about this brand though is the fact that they sell refills for their scents, saving you money; a refill bottle is €85. Huge brownie points for offering that option. They also offer a sweet little travel size which is perfect for taking with you on holiday. We loved that option too!
The Different Company also offer a store locator so you can check for stockists in your neck of the woods.
The Sniff was kindly gifted a sample of Majaina Sin at Esxence 2018.
Correction 31 May 2018: Our original article stated that the price of Majaina Sin is €120, however, this was an old price which we have subsequently updated.