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Ma Griffe by Carven is a Chypre Floral fragrance for women. Back when I was a member of a perfume swap I became interested in at least trying vintage scents and this one had me intriqued as it had been described as green yet spicy and often unisex because of that. Folks, I just don't get all these florals mixed with cinnamon and, yikes, vetiver.
Top notes are aldehydes, gardenia, green notes, asafoetida, clary sage and lemon; middle notes are iris, orange blossom, orris root, jasmine, ylang-ylang, lily-of-the-valley and rose; base notes are labdanum, sandalwood, cinnamon, musk, benzoin, oakmoss, vetiver and styrax.
It's a melange to be sure but it doesn't mix well and never has for me (since the initial sample of an older bottle of MG I've sniffed and worn samples of several years' worth).
I think that the greeny bitterness doesn't agree with my chemistry. The scent is very green and sometimes aromatic, with a lot of unusual notes, many of which I have not had the pleasure of smelling before, so I can't really describe them, but this is earthy and green and it is not sweet. After about three hours later, I finally get the soft, delicately powdered, woody dry-down, and this is absolutely my favourite part, that pretty and comforting sandalwood with powdery iris.But I do really enjoy how this scent is so different from the regular sugary concoctions. Then I get soapy greenness, (which is presumably the combination of citrus and green notes/white florals on my skin), followed by urine, then some sort of earthy dampness, which I think could be the oakmoss, and it keeps yo-yoing back and forth, and throughout this there is also something faintly spicy. My overall impression is of something light, discreet and never overpowering, as Ma Griffe is such a polite and feminine little scent, with a well-mannered sillage that is always soft and a longevity for about 9-10 hours.Ma Griffe begins with sparkling aldehydes and some sort of note that smells like urine. By the way, I always thought that the meaning of Ma Griffe was "my signature" not "my claw" (and according to the advertisements, it is definitely my claw) :) Ma Griffe is the smell 80s airplane cabins for me.I must have been seated next to someone wearing it and the memory of the scent is seared in my brain. It's just that smells have idiosyncratic meanings for all of us.I bought a vintage oz of pure perfume recently and when I opened it my first thought was " United Airlines ! Ma Griffe has been among my very favorite scents for 35 years or so, and was my introduction to chypres. One of our high school French teachers, an elegant elderly French lady, explained to me that the name meant "my claw" or "my talon" because it hooked the man and drew him to you, lol.