I had such hopes for this one. Les Indes Galantes, the latest fragrance from Parfums MDCI, seemed like such a promising scent based on early reviews, the brand’s focus on quality and luxury, the fragrance’s note list, and the perfumer who created it. Yet, it turned out to be the latest in a trend I’ve experienced repeatedly over the last few months, a trend that is starting to make me feel like a crash test dummy. Again and again, my initial excitement or anticipation over a fragrance ends up crashing head-long into the wall of a very different reality. I know I’m not the easiest person to please, perfume-wise, and I know a number of bloggers felt 2015 wasn’t a great year for new releases, but the repeated crashes into that wall of reality and disappointment are starting to take a toll on me.
Most of the time, it’s the inevitable result of marketing hyperbole but, in the case of Parfums MDCI, it wasn’t completely foolish or irrational to have some hope, particularly since this is the same company that made the superb Chypre Palatin and a number of other things that the niche world really admires. But wearing Les Indes Galantes was a completely different experience than the brand aesthetic, note list, perfumer, and early rave reviews had led me to anticipate. I was genuinely surprised and disappointed at how things turned out. While wearing it, the words “Oh dear” rang through my mind again and again. Part of it is my fault or issue because I hadn’t realised it was meant to be quite so gourmand a fragrance as it turned out to be. The real source of my dismay, however, was the fact that I couldn’t rid myself of thoughts of inexpensive Bath & Body Works products, inexpensive holiday candles, and a rather traumatizing fragrance from Profumum Roma. I have no doubt that hardcore gourmand fiends and Theorema lovers will adore Les Indes Galantes, but I don’t know about everyone else.