More is MORE! by Judith Leiber

When I first saw this new 7-in-1 perfume introduced in a Fragrantica article, I knew it had to be one of my holiday gift “requests” this year. No high hopes for the fragrances, mind you, but it was the most brilliant gimmick I had seen in a while and, for that alone, it was worthy.

Note the heptagonal box!

The concept is simple: 3 cartridges inserted into a shared container with on/off switches for each selection and one master spray pump. Each fragrance spritzes out of its own separate, but not socially distanced, nozzle.

This arrangement reminds me of a multisensory exhibit I visited at Le Laboratoire in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 2015 called Memory, which was created by music composer Dániel Péter Biró and master perfumer Christophe Laudamiel (although I just happened to go there without any clue about them at the time, because my significant other had come across it). This “stunning sensory art experience” featured “scent messaging objects (oPhones),” cartridges that released various scents on a timer in sync with images of waves projected on the walls—however, having caught the near end of the run, by then the scents had mixed together in the nozzles such that we could hardly tell them apart.

Time will tell whether the perfume residue forms a blended film over the nozzles on More is MORE! In the meantime, let’s admire the Swarovski crystals embellishing the bottle next to each slider: 1 for more GOURMAND!, 2 for more ZEST!, and 3 for more FLORAL! They never say exactly where the crystals are, but I’d have to eat my hat (what a strange expression) if they were any of the bigger ones up top.

This sleek but still chunky contraption comes with instructions to make things crystal clear (*ahem*) for the user. The sketches are pretty much to scale.

Those of you who have read my descriptions of perfumes may have noticed that I seldom comment on sillage and longevity, as I find these qualities difficult to judge quantitatively and really don’t have the patience to watch the time while I experience a perfume. More is MORE! takes the work out of this as well, with notes lists broken down by time segment:

  1. more GOURMAND!
    • 0–2 hr: blackcurrant absolute, mandarin oil
    • 2–4 hr: gingerbread accord, rose oil
    • 4–12 hr: cashmere wood, vanilla
  2. more ZEST!
    • 0–2 hr: bergamot oil, grapefruit
    • 2–4 hr: sandalwood oil, cedar oil
    • 4–12 hr: orris concrete, peony
  3. more FLORAL!
    • 0–2 hr: mandarin oil, pink pepper
    • 2–4 hr: patchouli oil, coconut wood
    • 4–12 hr: orchid, ylang

My first spritz was a greedy all three together, resulting in a whiff of department-store perfume-counter pleasantry, slightly saccharine. It certainly smells “modern” in that respect. Now, I’ve diligently laid out all 7 possible permutations on scent strips, and am happy to report that some of them are developing distinct personalities. Here are some initial impressions (without looking at the notes—I was able to forget them even though I’d seen them already):

  1. more GOURMAND!: powdery, coumarin. Surprisingly not too sweet.
  2. more ZEST!: pepper, citrus, fig. Develops into a good floral soap.
  3. more FLORAL!: orange, vanilla, banana, candied pineapple. I would have pegged this as the gourmand. It unfurls into something darker as it loses the sugar fest.

1+2: more GOURMAND! + more ZEST!: tonka, bubblegum. The coumarin is winning on this strip, so maybe it wasn’t a balanced spray, or the sandalwood is emerging and blending with the gingerbread accord too well.

2+3: more ZEST! + more FLORAL!: bubblegum, banana. Settles down into a fruit salad with dark florals, which I quite like.

3+1: more FLORAL! + more GOURMAND!: bubblegum, vanilla. Still a bit too sweet for me, but the darker floral combined with tonka has potential. Fortunately, the bubblegum facet disappears from all the pairings after the opening.

1+2+3: more! more! more!: fruit punch. Too much of a good thing? I think this is my least favorite combination. Blame it on my minimalist tendencies…

I think I’ll enjoy this one in pairings, while scrolling through pages of bejeweled handbags that I can’t afford. The designs are quite amazing.

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