My Queen by Alexander McQueen (2005)

Nose: Anne Flipo and Dominique Ropion

I’ve known this fragrance for quite a while, but I only had a microscopic dab sample which wasn’t really enough for a review. Now I finally managed to get a full bottle and bath in this, finally having the chance to explore it better. My first and last word on this: amazing. My Queen by Flipo and Ropion smells and wears just amazingly good – perfect quality, perfect composition constantly floating between dynamism, liveliness and quiet elegance. It’s opulent, but graceful and mannered, a sort of subtle opulence slowly, but consistently revealing itself as hours pass – like a “slow-release” potion.

All iris-violet-heliotrope fans can’t really miss this, as it’s basically a triumph of that triad. Iris, violet, heliotrope, almonds, a hint of neroli and a perfect, Guerlain-esque (masculine) base of woods smelling crisp and clean enough to tone down the “heaviness” of the main notes and keeping My Queen weightless and unisex enough, if not almost masculine, perfectly balancing freshness and powderiness. Spices concur to this too, as there is some clever, really subtle cumin-pepper that adds just the right tangy “sparkle” to the floral accord, and so does musk – which is quite subtle here, but helps in tilting the balance to the unisex side. And finally orange blossoms, which add a perfect, delicate hint of tart, slightly creamy citrus leafiness, again helping in taming down the power of the iris-gourmand heart of My Queen.

But most of all it’s all about iris, which has here a fantastic, extremely sophisticated talc texture that I really haven’t found anywhere so far. It smells powdery and slightly “lipstick” buttery, realistic and high-quality to say the least, but if feels like they did a fantastic precision job in toning down any possible “dirty” or heavy facet of iris, or anyway any excessive thickness, making it smell dusty and impalpable. Not light, though; it is vibrant and substantial to say the least, just with a transparent substance effortlessly blending with its “pastel” sibling – Parma’s violets – and with both almond/heliotropin’s sweet and floral-pasty texture, and the sharp, crisp woody base. The drydown – which is refinedly persistent for quite some hours - feels predictably a bit more woody, dusty and less “plushy”, with a really pleasant iris/violet-infused fresh vetiver and cedar accord paired with a zesty, and again slightly creamy orange blossoms-musk nuance (a bit similar to the drydown of Dior Homme, just a bit “more violet”). If you’re familiar with the (few) nicest works by Ropion you can imagine how good this smells.

My Queen is quite complex if you dig deep exploring how magnificently they blended and crafted the notes, but the final result smells smooth, simple, irresistibly refined. And contrary to what you may think from the notes, really versatile and easy to wear – for men too. It can enhance any mood and any outfit, thanks to how perfectly they handled the several facets of iris, a flower that can smell “innocent” and “luscious” at once. And it projects clearly without being heavy. Pure heaven with an outstanding quality and (back when it was available) a cheap price – the discontinued prices of today are still completely acceptable for this quality anyway, as it’s really fragrant gold. Some broad comparisons may be Galliano EDP from 2008, a hypothetical less gourmand, iris-centered version of Villoresi’s Teint de Neige, or a sort of dreamier, more powdery-pastel flanker of Dior Homme. A sophisticated, amazing mood-uplifting unisex wonder.


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