Since everybody’s got to have a youth-oriented fruitchouli floral these days, Yves Saint Laurent has Mon Paris, which is their answer to Poison Girl, which is Dior’s answer to Coco Mademoiselle, which is Chanel’s goof on Mugler’s yet to be improved upon Angel. I suspect they chose to flanker off Paris because even if Opium is YSL’s “big” name fragrance, “Opium for Teens” is asking for a media sh*tstorm ain’t nobody got the time for, and something more abstract, like “Spice Princess” let’s say, sounds like the name of a possibly racist drag show. So Paris it is!
Anyways, Mon Paris smells like the stifling olfactory noise of a five-alarm spill at the Bath & Bodyworks factory laid over some lumpy white musks. It’s the brief death howl of a strawberry/raspberry/patchouli Brundlefly that’s kind enough to dry down to one of those indistinct, inconsequential body wash scent with a name like Very Berry Strawberry that will get you compliments from teenage boys, mostly because they don’t know any better, and also because they’re so rife with hormones they will do anything for a hand job. It’s the fruitchouli equivalent of the ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ emoticon, and my favorite part of it is.
Now, to be fair, I kinda knew Yves Saint Laurent’s Mon Paris would not be for me. I’m ambivalent at best to most of the always inferior Angel knockoffs, and I’m not particularly keen on Premieres Roses, YSL’s other flanker-fueled effort at diversifying the Paris lineage, either. Still, this sample was a freebie from one of my coworker’s Sephora orders, so the bar was set so impossibly low it should have been easy enough to clear, yet instead? Blerf.
Moreover, according to Fragrantica, there are no less than three types of white musks in this fragrance. It’s indicative of a possible too-many-cooks-in-the-kitchen problem (like its white musks, Mon Paris has three noses as well: Olivier Cresp, Harry Fremont, and Dora Baghriche), as well as my definite problem, which is that there is some kind of trash white musk out there I keep encountering and it must. Be. STOPPED.
Seriously, we can add “musks” to the list of things that whiteness ruins, because I’ve got 99 problems and this musk is number one. I’ve smelled it in Premieres Roses. I’ve smelled it in Shalimar Souffle de Parfum. I’ve smelled it in Rose (Not) The One. This particular white musk seems to add an almost soapy body and texture, but no discernible scent. It’s the fragrance equivalent of tossing freshly blanched tofu in a seasoned broth: it adds a soft, slippery feel, but it refuses to supply any flavor. I’m uncertain if this is an effect of possibly being anosmic to certain musks (as I learned in Perfumes: The Guide, musk molecules are so big that most people usually can’t smell at least one type of them), but I somehow doubt it? This isn’t a musk that smells like nothing, this is a musk that smells like a lack of something, and unless I’m just missing something, this musk should be put out to pasture. After all, given the company it keeps, a reformulation could only improve on at least a few of these scents.