Wednesday, June 4, 2008

MV2 & MV3 by MAC, Perfume Reviews

Drum-roll please! Made my last exams for the year – and with an excellent grade too. Am I happy? Proud? Elated? Well, yes, but most of all, I am tired. All I did for the last ten days was study. No, seriously, you don’t want to see what my house actually looks like from all the neglect. Thank you so much for your patience during my absence and for your supportive comments and emails. Usually the first Monday of the month is devoted to our regular feature, Perfume for the Occasion, but since I had no time to prepare during the previous week and was actually writing exams for four hours on Monday, this month’s PFTO is postponed until next week. Today Fragrance Bouquet returns with two unexpected sweet little sisters.

The girls in question are MAC’s Variation Parfumee MV2 and MV3, two gorgeous variations on the theme of vanilla. I don’t really consider myself a perfume snob, but I certainly did not expect to rate these as highly as I do. MAC is known for its make-up products after all, not its perfumes, and the way the fragrances are packaged and displayed doesn’t really do them justice either: Lined up one after the other in identical glass and plastic bottles with a simple variation on cap color does not really conspire to tell the customer that thought has actually gone into making each scent unique and valued. It is indeed a pleasant discovery to find that there is a MAC perfume for every MAC girl, and that the same attention to detail that goes into their fabulous make-up products, goes into the fragrances as well. I might not have found something to like in every single scent, but I have found two new loves in MV2 and 3. Variation 3 is the one I consider the best of the bunch, in fact I find its smell downright addictive. The opening is incredibly sensual and rather empowering due to its masculine character, a scent that would certainly put me in the right mood if I was getting ready for a night of partying. It is a scent sensitive to one’s own chemistry, smelling sweeter on some and rather more bitter on others (I fall in the latter category), something I certainly enjoy. It is a spicy, playful fragrance, which compliments the main vanilla theme with perfectly proportionate doses of dark coconut and cacao. Leather, vetiver and tolu balsam play great supporting roles, holding everything together and adding character and depth to the otherwise carefree mix. It is a quite effusive fragrance, allowing others to catch delightful whiffs of it every now and then even when the wearer has been prudently modest with application. Unfortunately, despite the fact that the fragrance is long-lasting overall, it does lose its beautiful richness after a couple of hours of wear, leaving one with a great many hours of a dry, less than playful base. I personally find I need to refresh MV3 two or three hours after the initial application, so that I can once again experience its delicious, addictive goodness. Fortunately, the bottle is tiny enough to not become cumbersome in my purse, but I can see how this would be seen as too much trouble for some.

In comparison to MV3, MV2, seems like the simpler, but most certainly not dowdier sister. Perhaps more apt would be to call her the daytime sister, the antipode to MV3’s darker, mysterious sensuality. The most salient trait of MV2, is its instantly recognizable, profoundly milky scent. Those of you that love scents with prominent milky accord (such as Miyako or Feu d’Issey) like I do, should definitely give this one a try, for it is the milkiest of milky scents I’ve ever tried. This beautiful, utterly comforting scent smells like luxurious, high quality Dulce de Leche, bathed in thick, creamy condensed milk. I do not actually perceive the scent of lavender in this perfume, despite it being listed as an official note. What I do smell now and then however is the milky scent of freshly cut grass, a beautiful background freshness that paradoxically manages to fit right in with the warm appeal of this fragrance. Despite all this sounding like a recipe for tooth-rotting disaster, MV2 somehow manages to refrain from being sugary: its sweetness is shy and refined, perfectly cuddling the vanilla heart in a soft-as-clouds, fluffy goodness. The passage of time makes this scent meld wonderfully with one’s own skin-scent , ending up smelling oh-so-sexy, like sun-baked skin. This makes this oriental fragrance smell bizarrely summery indeed.

My only axe to grind with these two beauties is their price: MAC’s philosophy is a promise for excellent, professional quality cosmetics that come in affordable prices. And indeed, the fabulous brand keeps its promise 99% of the time: the quality is indeed amazing, the collections are stunning, the products are of a professional caliber and the prices are great. However, at 26 euro a pop, the fragrances are far from affordable. Sure, 26 euro might seem like a great price initially, but each bottle actually only contains 20ml of juice. Which means that you’d pay 130 euro (about 201$ US) for the usual 100 ml (4 oz)! To be fair it has to be said that the price for bigger bottles is usually cheaper of course, but still, it wouldn't be that much cheaper. That said, they are a great perfume pick-me-up for the perfumista who’s just itching for a new bottle of something, but doesn’t have too much spending money at the moment those all too familiar urges kick in. Certainly, there is something to be said about the smaller bottles, which are becoming less and less ubiquitous nowadays.

Images: Author's own and


rosarita said...

Congratulations on being done with your exams! I work in the US school system and today is the first day of my summer vacation after the always hectic year-end craziness (and my house is a disaster as well :) I haven't tried MAC fragrances, but I'm shopping for lipglass later this week and will give these a sniff; the first one you describe sounds intriguing.

Divina said...

Thank you so much Anita! Ah, aren't we lucky though? We'll have all summer to enjoy :) The names of the frags are kinda confusing (for me at least..) but the first one is the one with the black cap. Btw, do you like glittery glosses? I am faithful to lipglass, but next time I stop by the MAC counter I'll definitely be picking up a couple of shades from the new Dazzleglass collection. They look sooooooo shiiiiiiiny... I can't resist.

PinstripedZebra said...

Woo, you did it!! (I had no doubts anyway!!)

Good to see you back on the scene, I am looking forward to more articles.


Unknown said...

Divina just wanted to tell you in the US MAC fragrances are quite affordable, only $22.50, I think they are actually cheaper here than in Europe (for once). My boyfriend's sister wears the MV3, lovely stuff. I'll have to check out MV2.

Isa said...

Hello Divina!

Yesterday I read your review and I felt the need of smelling these two little things.
So I went to the MAC counter at El Corte Inglés and asked the SA for the fragances (they were hidden somewhere under the counter).
I was ready to love MV2 and maybe that's why I felt disappointed with it. But MV3 was a wonderful surprise. I had not thought I would love it (vanilla is not between my favourite notes) but I did. It's spicy and moderately sweet.

I would buy it but you're right with the prize (it's 25 euros here in Spain). Too much for 20ml of juice.

Divina said...

Z, thanks for never doubting me :) You're always so positive! Hugs!

Divina said...

Hey Jen! Yeah, that IS cheaper! I have heard that these two compare to the Organza Indecense which I've never smelled but I seem to remember you love? Do they indeed compare?

Divina said...

Isa, I agree with you, MV3 is a *very* special vanilla indeed, quite unlike any other I've ever experienced. Very unique. Even though I do find them expensive, I did impulsively buy both of these scents and got them for my best friend as well, lol! Both of us feel ready to eat our arms every time we wear MV3, it is so addictive. You did the right thing with waiting though. If you find yourself still thinking about it a couple of days later you'll know whether you *need* it or not!

Fragrant hugs!

ForTheLoveOfPerfume said...

Divina!! Congratulations my darling!! I'm so happy for you with your significant accomplishment! And don't worry about your house. It will get cleaned up in no time. ;-)

I visited these scents years ago and I believe MV2 was one that enjoyed for quite a while. Your descriptions are fantastic and make me long to re-visit them so thank you. As Jenavira said, they are much cheaper here in the states. Enjoy your purchase! You deserve it!

Alexandra said...

Those are my two favorites as well and I like 3 the best too! I just wish they would do something about the horrid packaging!

Divina said...

I totaly agree Aleksis! I actually once cut my hand on the horridly cheap sharp bottle! But the juice makes up for it, those are so unique and yummy :)

Eudiza Quevedo said...

I can't believe that until today I discovered your blog! Your review about MV2 is amazing, and yes, it's like a dulce de leche in my neck right now! ha!

Kisses, I will follow you since now!

Divina said...

Ah that's great! So glad that you found FB *and* that you commented :) Looking forward to seeing you here again!