Fragrance is, perhaps, the most subjective realm of beauty, and that’s exactly what makes it feels so inaccessible to me. When I read about perfumes, I get swept up in the description, daydreaming about how wonderful it will be when I actually experience them. The reality is often disappointing. While I possess an open-minded imagination, my nose is rather quite picky. Viktor & Rolf’s FlowerBomb is one case in point. I had high hopes for this warm, spicy “explosion of flowers,” but couldn’t wait to wash myself off after spraying it on at Sephora.
I’m only just beginning to develop and understand my taste when it comes to fragrance, and what I’ve realized is that I love smoky, woodsy, unisex scents. This comes as no surprise to me. I remember sneakily using my dad’s Old Spice deodorant when I was younger in lieu of the “prettier” scents my mom purchased for me from the women’s aisle (that’s all there really was for the ladies, after all). I like scents that are edgy and a little dark, much like I prefer the music I listen to and books I read to be.
So, when I heard of By The Fireplace by Replica, Maison Margiela’s fragrance line, I had to try it. And, it was love at first sniff. I went through two samples of this perfume, reluctant to spend $126 on a bottle. However, when I last went to Sephora, I was enthralled to spot a travel-sized version for a much sweeter $28. Score! Now I have this lovely perfume in my possession, and I’ll do my best to describe it.
Warm, dry, cozy embers. That’s what I get when I first spray this on. It’s so accurate that I can almost hear the logs crackling in the air. As it wears, the smoky, burning wood scent mellows into a toasty, roasted chestnut. Then, there’s a hint of vanilla. I’m not usually a fan of vanilla, but I adore it here. It rounds out the fragrance, giving it a sweetness that tames the embers. Although, to be honest, I’d be okay with straight-up embers. I just love that scent.
While wearing this fragrance, I often hear others remark something along the lines of “Mmmm, what smells warm and toasty?!” One person even said it reminded them of s’mores. Although this is definitely a gourmand (i.e., a fragrance that evokes food, usually sweets), I personally experience a more complex woody-smoky-sweet scent than something reminiscent of chocolate, graham, and marshmallow. Still, smelling like s’mores is certainly not a bad thing!
By The Fireplace is definitely an evening scent. It is both sensual and comforting, and evokes autumn and winter. Yet, I cannot stop reaching for this during these warm summer nights! While it brings to mind a cozy indoor hearth during the colder months, it suggests outdoor campfires in the heat of summer. I think it works brilliantly all year round, as long as it’s worn with a dose of confidence and not in the office. That’s the one setting I cannot imagine this jibing with.
In short, this perfume really does smell like a fireplace, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. It has sparked in me a newfound interest in perfumes, and I’m excited to discover more about what I do and don’t like. I’m certain there’s got to be a floral somewhere out there for me! Luckily, many stores, like Sephora and Nordstrom, will decant tester perfumes into a take-home sample vial for free if you ask for it.
Have you tried By The Fireplace or another scent from the Replica line? Let me know in the comments!
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