Now Sampling: Parfums MDCI

I recently ordered a couple of Parfums MDCI samples from Luckyscent. I had tested Invasion Barbare from this brand ages ago and LOVED it. The price point has kept me away, but I admire Parfum MDCI’s aesthetic, particularly the flacons with the replica bust toppers. I wanted to revisit this house and, hey, there is no harm in sampling, right?

Vêpres Siciliennes

This opens with a yummy candied fruit note that almost reminds me of a Serge Lutens. Some heady white floral notes join in, and we’re off. This is a glorious floral composition that is not for the faint of heart. I always thought that my skin chemistry doesn’t get along with big florals, but I’m glad I tried this because it proves me wrong! This is a glorious jasmine, tuberose, orange blossom, and a touch of rose to deepen the floral heart. It’s sumptuous, decadent, and a little over the top. I like the fact that the composition feels balanced though. The citrus fruit notes add a hint of sour zest, which is unexpected, but works well. And there’s a textured musk in the base. Vêpres Siciliennes feels like a fruity/floral the way it should be done.

Pêche Cardinal

The name is a play on words, as it translates to Cardinal Sin, but pêche also means peach. And peach is undoubtedly the star note here. I find this composition very pretty and refined for something named Cardinal Sin. I would expect something a little more wild with a name like that. However, it makes sense when you think of this as a peach fragrance. There is also a milky coconut that melds perfectly with the creamy tuberose heart. There is a plum note to bolster the fruitiness, but peach remains the stand-out. This reminds me of Kilian’s Liaisons Dangereuses, also with a gorgeous peach note. I found that scent more sensual and truly carnal than Pêche Cardinal, which is interesting. Of course, it could just be my nose and my body chemistry. It’s all so subjective!

Turns out, there is some harm in sampling because it’s safe to say that I am head over heels for both of these scents! My tiny splash samples from Luckyscent are rapidly disappearing. I’m adding both to my full bottle want list. I will need to make room — both financially and physically in my collection — and finish a full bottle of something else first.

Both of these scents are well worth sniffing. They both come across as balanced and high quality compositions. They are very “I feel pretty” type of scents for when you’re in that kind of mood.


I ordered both of my Parfums MDCI samples from Luckyscent.

The photo of my samples was taken by me.

Parfums MDCI; Invasion Barbare

Notes: Grapefruit, bergamot, violet leaves, white thyme, cardamom, lavender, ginger, cedarwood, vanilla and musk

When I saw reviewers at Luckyscent and Basenotes comparing Invasion Barbare to Jicky, I marked it immediately as something to try. And it’s true, the sharp citrus opening here definitely recalls the famous Guerlain fragrance. I actually wish the spicy/astringent opening notes lasted longer. It’s an intoxicating blend of citrus notes with ginger and cardamom. But within a few minutes, Invasion Barbare transforms into a smooth blend of lavender, cedar and vanilla. Seriously, I cannot emphasize enough how smooth this composition is. I would drink it if I could.

But the really striking thing about this scent for me is the texture. If a perfume can feel like something, this one is like crushed velvet. This is a soft, somewhat sheer fragrance that wears close to the skin. But don’t worry, it’s definitely persistent. The lavender note lingers long into wear time, adding a little kick to the cedar & vanilla.  Invasion Barbare has a confidence about it, a quiet resolve. The Napoleonic bust on the bottle is no accident. This is the fragrance to wear while sitting on a velvet throne, surveying your empire.

Parfums MDCI pushes Invasion Barbare as a masculine scent and, while I can see why they would (that dry lavender and cedar), I love wearing it for myself. Gendered fragrance is kind of a silly idea to me anyway. It really comes down to skin chemistry and personal taste, not marketing, right? Regardless, I see Invasion Barbare as perfectly wearable for a woman.

Parfums MDCI is a pricey brand, there’s no getting around it. The bottles with the resin busts go as high as $600. Clearly these perfumes are not something you would impulse-buy. Knowing this, Parfums MDCI offers a sampling program on their website. It’s noteworthy that their sample bottles are 12 ml, allowing for plenty of opportunities to test each fragrance. Luckyscent also offers a sample package of eight of Parfums MDCI’s offerings.

Invasion Barbare is a gorgeous, regal scent. It’s something that’s definitely worth experiencing. I can’t say I’m ready to shell out for the big fancy bottle myself just yet, but I’ll definitely be ordering another sample to keep on hand. You know, just in case I need to smell nice while sitting on my throne.

Invasion Barbare: $250 for 60 ml //$375 for the resin bust edition

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