Summary: UK designer Alexander McQueen’s second fragrance is a vanoriental highlighted by notes of iris, violet and almond.
Pros: With one of the best bottles of 2005, MyQueen is far less controversial than 2003′s Kingdom; an easy-to-wear, straightforward oriental blend with all of my favorite notes; comforting and sweet with an incense-like drydown.
Cons: Those of us who remember Kingdom might be surprised to find this a tamer creation; though I love the overall effect of the composition, something seems to be missing here; I’m not thrilled when having to say the name.
Notes: “Sweet Almond, Violet, Orange Blossom Absolute, Heliotrope, White Musk, Cedar, Patchouli, Iris, Vanilla.” Nordstrom.com
Perfumer(s): Dominique Ropion and Anne Flipo
Reminds me of: Art of Perfumery #5; Joop Le Bain; YSL Cinema; Strenesse; Kenzo Amour
Designer’s Description: “Enchanting, extraordinary, unexpected… MyQueen, the new fragrance for women by Alexander McQueen. The combination of parma violet, orange blossom, patchouli and vanilla leads one down a road of imagination—to the heart of all women and the secrets that lie within. Precious and surprising, the faceted bottle plays with the light and reflections as a magical keepsake, a modern talisman. Be the first to discover your inner queen with MyQueen.” Nordstrom.com (I’m sorry, but “Be the first to discover your inner queen”??? Are they serious?)
Number of times tested: 5 times within the last week from a tester bottle I purchased.
Number of sprays applied for this review: 6 to entire body.
Fragrance Strength: Eau de Parfum
Development: (Linear / Average / Complex) MyQueen opens with an immediate vanillic blast that is soon tempered by the patchouli and iris notes. The scent seems quite expansive, but rather than really undergo any major changes, MyQueen kind of folds in on itself and becomes simpler. This is where the scent reminds me of my favorite vanilla incense from Auroshika of India. Some people have mentioned detecting a licorice note, but I don’t really get that, just lots of almond, heliotropin and vanilla, with only the merest hint of violet and orange blossom.
Longevity: (Short / Average / Long-lasting) 4-5 hours but the scent seems to quiet after about an hour.
Sillage: (A Little / Average / A Lot) Just right…a vanilla that won’t leave you smelling like a vanillaroma tree.
Packaging: Created by Baccarat designer Thomas Bastide with Alexander McQueen (Osmoz.com), the stunning 5-sided, faceted, purple glass looks like a vintage perfume bottle. Beware that atomizer that looks like a cap but is actually the sprayer! Housed in a white rectangular paper box imprinted with images of the bottle.
Where Can I Buy It? From $35 US at online retailers for a 100ml tester, Eau de Parfum Spray.
The Bottom Line: Being a huge fan of all of the notes listed in MyQueen’s composition, this one is easy for me to love. Sadly, the scent is definitely not quite as daring nor as interesting as I had hoped, especially after McQueen’s first scent, the oddly compelling Kingdom. Of course, a fragrance doesn’t really have to be interesting in order for it to be addictive, and addictive it is. The only problem is that I’m not sure if that’s because the fragrance and I really do “click” or if I just have to keep applying it to get a better handle as to what this actually smells like (as mentioned above, the fragrance seems to get quiet pretty quickly…or perhaps that’s just my nose habituating). Hence the comment that MyQueen smells unfinished. However, the drydown is the best part of the scent with the patchouli and cedar taking the edge off the sweetness and adding an almost masculine facet to an otherwise sweet scent. I just wish there was something more here, something as strange and thought-provoking as Kingdom’s sweaty cumin and cold greens accord. Then again, maybe I’d better be careful what I wish for. Now that we have a Kingdom and a Queen to rule it, could there be a Prince or a King in our future?