I grew up in Maryland, where Spring means cherry trees, dogwoods, and magnolias in every yard. In New York, I suspect there are more Magnolia Bakeries than actual magnolia trees. I miss the purpled blossoms that shaded every step of my walk to class.
Michel and Sandrine are the first (and so far only) fragrances in the new Grandiflora line. They’re named after their respective perfumers, Michel Roudnitska and Sandrine Videault, who both received training from Michel’s father, the legendary Edmond Roudnitska. Both perfumes are based on the Grandiflora variety of magnolias, which I’ve actually never smelled; we get the Lilliput variety in Maryland.
Michel does smell very close to a magnolia at first, with all the overripe sweetness those heavy blossoms can summon. With time, Michel moves closer to a standard sweet jasmine, but it’s still awfully pretty and would undoubtedly be a runaway success in a mainstream line. Sandrine smells like a magnolia petal feels– waxy, plastic. It has a lovely sweetened lemon note, then a strange vinegary aspect. It ends with a white musk that smells distinctly of dryer sheets. Sandrine is very quiet, and serves as an interesting contrast to the voluptuous Michel. Y’all know I’m not much for florals, but I’m very happy to have these samples on hand for when I’m missing the magnolias.