Monday, 20 June 2022

DOUBLE MYSTERY by Franck Muller

Franck Muller Double Mystery Perfume Bottle and Agatha Christie Five Little Pigs Book
Everybody loves a good mystery, even if we don’t always end up solving it. Whether it’s a TV crime drama or a classic piece of fiction, attempting to follow the clues and unmask the villain is the perfect way to idle away a couple of hours. Now, pairing perfume with literature is nothing new, and many fragrances have been inspired by the characters and settings from famous books, but marking a celebration with one is even more fun. So, it’s time to litteraly mix the undisputed Queen of Crime with the actual hands of time as we discover the ravishingly intriguing Double Mystery from Franck Muller.

Franck Muller Perfume was launched in 2017 by Stephen and Tabitha Gray. It drew on the reputation of the famous watches, mirroring the way that scent develops over time, and has remained a little bit of a secret in the niche fragrance market. Stephen’s background had seen him work with Penhaligons as well as Clive Christian, so his credentials are definitely in place. The range launched with five perfumes, from crisply aromatic through to decadently floral, and each was based on a Franck Muller watch. Double Mystery was created by perfumer Beverley Bayne, but it instantly reminded me of the creator of Poirot.

Agatha Christie is a name that has dominated crime fiction for over 100 years and, whether on television or in print, has inspired a legion of authors to follow her example. Her first book was The Mysterious Affair at Styles, and was published in 1920, but we’re jumping forward to 1942 to celebrate the 80th birthday of Five Little Pigs. One of the plot twists sees a suspect say that they remember smelling “jasmine through the open window” in September, but Poirot notes that it flowers in “June and July”. So, how does this all fit with Double Mystery?

Franck Muller Double Mystery Perfume Bottle and Agatha Christie Five Little Pigs Book
Double Mystery
was inspired by a watch that has no hands, and which is described as “concealing time with bejewelled elegance”. This idea of hiding what happens over time felt perfect for a novel that is actually set sixteen years after a murder. The fragrance focuses on the excitingly dangerous duality of two flowers that are pollinated at different times, the foreboding tuberose by night and the romantic rose throughout the day. Add into this the jasmine from the poisonous plot twist, along with Agatha’s favourite lily of the valley, and the fragrance could almost have been made for her. So, is Double Mystery really fit for a queen?

The fragrance explodes at you with a rich and citrusy floral hit. The promised rose is there from the outset, given a spiced edge thanks to nutmeg and cinnamon, and the jasmine seems to pair with the lily of the valley to softened the former's usual animalic side. With neroli adding a knife-edged metallic and diamond facet, we then transition via extravagant saffron to the darker side. This brings the narcotic tuberose into play, but it’s accompanied by a resinous labdanum and myrrh combination, so it absolutely hints at danger. With an intoxicating amber accord cut through by earthy moss and dry cedarwood, Double Mystery is definitely a fragrance of two halves, and it really would be a crime not to indulge.

Double Mystery is available from the Fiole website at fiole.co.uk priced at £170 for 75ml. Samples are also available from Jovoy at jovoyparis.uk. For a full list of stockists you can visit the Franck Muller website at franckmullerperfume.com. [Sample profiled by Franck Muller]

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