Thursday 10 October 2019

MADAME by Marie Krnakova

The selection of perfumes that is available to fragrance fans gets bigger every day, but so does the various qualities that these scents possess. From natural to organic, and vegan to mixed media, there really is something for everyone. Our individual tastes determine which direction we go in, but it’s often difficult to differentiate the fact from the fiction when it comes to a company’s values. Thankfully there are some out there that are wonderfully transparent, and one such company is MW Perfumes. A natural fragrance brand, and a Fragrance Foundation Award Nominee in 2019, it’s time to meet Madame.

When Marie Krnakova launched MW Perfumes in 2014 it followed a career spent in the world of aromatherapy and herbal medicine. She said that after discovering the therapeutic properties of essential oils, and later the medicinal and chemical aspects of the ingredients, it was “a small but incredibly exciting step into studying perfumery.” She decided to concentrate on natural perfumery but, right from the very beginning, Marie was very clear about the reasons behind this. “I fully respect and value synthetics and their role in perfumery. However, my personal preference is to use natural ingredients as I find them more exciting.”

Even at the very beginning, Marie was very clear that she didn’t want to become embroiled in the “synthetics versus naturals” debate and, in a similar way to the award winning perfumer Marina Barcenilla, she chose to go down the natural pathway simply because she found the ingredients “incredibly beautiful, rich and complex.” I’ve said before that the skills required to produce natural fragrances are different to those skills exercised by more commercial perfumers, but both are as valid as each other. Her inspirations always come from real experiences, and the story behind Madame is as wonderful as the scent itself.

“The idea came to me whilst I was sitting in a tea room in Prague. Hidden from the hustle and bustle of the city streets and shopping alleys, I always loved the scents of the dry tea leaves mixing with burning incense. To me it was the most beautiful aroma ever. I would often quietly watch the tea ceremonies, transported by the chants and prayers. The words seemed to be whispered into clouds of incense, swirling around for a moment and then slowly dissolving into the air. The fragrance is dedicated to one of the ladies that showed me such kindness and generosity, and it always reminds me of those moments of peace and calm.”

The fragrance opens with an uplifting burst of bergamot and, almost immediately, you get that promised aroma of ceremonial incense. Within this however you also have the stunning floral notes of deep jasmine and hints of frangipani, which adds an exotic touch to the scent, alongside a whisper of orange blossom. As the perfume develops on the skin it’s almost as if the incense accord splits open to reveal the liquorice edged myrrh and a beautifully resinous frankincense before Marie's perfectly measured oud and vanilla pairing glides effortlessly into place. Madame is wonderfully expansive, decadently vintage, and the perfect scent for winter.

Madame is available from the MW Perfumes website at priced at £50 for 25ml. [Sample provided by Marie Krnakova]

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