Melt My Heart by Strangelove

Oud to perfection, Melt My Heart by Strangelove is a beautiful amalgamation of oud, orris and sumptuousness in a scent which is approachable, distinct and elegant.

Listed notes

Ginger, nutmeg, bergamot, sage, oud, dark chocolate, orris.

Top notes

Some perfumes sit on my desk for a while before I get around to reviewing them. Not because I have forgotten them – indeed often quite the opposite. Sometimes it is because it’s hard to find the words to encapsulate what they are trying to say, like my brain needs time to sniff, think, sniff some more, and when the stresses and strains of daily life end up taking up too much headspace, these special fragrances may end up sitting for a while before I get the mental capacity to come back to them. Such has been my journey with Melt My Heart by Strangelove, which I believe to be one of the finest examples of oud used in a western style fragrance that I have smelled to date. In this review, I am particularly speaking about the pure parfum oil based version of the scent, but as you will see below, a sprayable parfum version is also available.

But why is this fragrance so good? Well, it starts from the moment you apply it to skin. One of the things which is first evident about Melt My Heart is that this is a slow fragrance. It develops slowly, wears slowly, changes slowly. Everything, because of both the ingredients and the medium, is done at a luxuriously languid pace. The concept of “hurrying” or instant gratification simply does not exist in this scent. Automatically, that seems to slow my nervous system down in response, make me feel more relaxed, imbue a little bit of that sense of joie de vivre which I normally associate with times spent on holidays.

Melt My Heart is described as a gourmand fragrance, and whilst it may have gourmand elements, that term doesn’t quite do justice – especially in the context that most people know and understand the term gourmand at present – so bear that descriptor in mind, but don’t attach too much weight to it.

The opening moments of Melt My Heart are piquant, warm, and almost buttery in their extravagance. There is a dryness here which even touches on powdery at times, but overall the immediate sense is of decadent pieces of stem ginger, warming and sweet, dipped in luxuriously bitter dark chocolate.

Heart notes

Whilst with some perfumes, the top notes will evaporate in seconds, expect Melt My Heart to take a good number of minutes to completely unfurl and blossom on the skin. That unctuous sense of butteriness continues, perhaps even leaning a little towards leatheriness at times and the oud starts to purr, becoming more evident in the mix, but slowly, sumptuously. To call Melt My Heart “fatty” sounds pejorative, but what I mean by that is that it has that silky, luxuriant feel that sauces which use butter and cream have, or the way in which great quality chocolate melts upon contact with the warm surfaces of your mouth. Melt My Heart glides, slithers and slips its silken way across the surface of the skin. It has a flowing liquidity yet a thickness and density which is sensual and enticing.

One of the reasons I resist the definition of “gourmand” for this fragrance is that that can often be synonymous with “sweet” and to call Melt My Heart “sweet” is to belie the huge complexity that the top quality ingredients possess. Yes, there is sweetness here, but there is pillowy softness too, a dusting – in the way in which truffles are dusted with cocoa powder – and yet under that the throaty rumble of oud. I don’t distinctly make out the clary sage in it’s own right, but a herbaceous tone plays with the woodier facets visible in the heart of the perfume. You have to be playing close attention to notice it, but it is there, and it tempers the sweeter nuances with a touch of something approaching a sort of spiciness.

Potion pendant by Strangelove showing the 1.25ml oil version of the fragrance

Base notes

Sweet but dark oud, a gentle nuttiness, the return of the luxurious dark chocolate and buttery orris all play significant roles in the remainder of the fragrance, which lingers on skin for the longest time.

Melt My Heart is not just a gourmand, nor is it just a romantic perfume. This is the scent representation of a well stroked cat, it’s meeting your best friend at a cafe for a hot chocolate during twilight as all the streetlamps gradually start to twinkle, it’s strolling with a new lover under the Eiffel Tower as it lights up, it’s a silent art gallery all to yourself, it’s joy and passion and living life to the fullest all rolled into one. And it is a beautiful perfume.

The other stuff

The perfumer for Melt My Heart was Christophe Laudamiel.

The longevity of this fragrance is very significant indeed, up to 24 hours. The projection too is also magnificent. With the tiniest amount I can smell this on my skin all day, and it surrounds the body with a swathe of scent beautifully. You really don’t need a lot.

Melt My Heart could be worn at any time, but it suits twilight and darkness best along with the cooler months. Melt My Heart will happily take you to a very fancy event, or just wandering about during a day out. Personally, to me, this feels like a special occasion scent, however, and it is one which I save for moments when I want my fragrance to be noticed without it being brash.

The brand

If you want to know more about Strangelove, and how founder, Elizabeth Gaynes, came to work with Helena Christensen and Christophe Laudamiel, check out our podcast on just this subject.

Buy it

The downside to many of us mere mortals is that the price of Melt My Heart is as luxurious as the experience of wearing it. 100ml of the (sprayable) perfume will set you back $915 USD (about £735 or €835 at the time of writing). 50ml is priced at $570 USD, and 15ml at $225.

The pure parfum oil is $445 USD for 10ml, or $65 for one 1.25ml vial, which can also be used to refill the perfume necklaces which the brand also sells.

All versions of the fragrance are available from the Strangelove web boutique.

The upside, however, is that this perfume is so potent, and so long lasting that you only do really need a tiny bit so unless you are a chronic oversprayer or over applyer, a small vial or bottle will last you a long time and a great number of wears. More than you might imagine.

We were very kindly gifted a perfume necklace with 1.25ml of Melt My Heart as a thank you from the brand for doing a podcast interview with their founder.

Header image by RENE RAUSCHENBERGER from Pixabay. Images of the product by The Sniff.


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