The boat-neck dress I put on today smelled like a pleasant detergent, clean and musky. However, I realized, I use fragrance-free detergent and none of my other clothes typically smell like that after a wash. Then it all made sense: the scent must have been left over from one of my perfumes that survived the washer and dryer—and no wonder they’re called “laundry musks!”
I soon covered any evidence of it with generous spritzes of Maison Crivelli Hibiscus MahaJád, the house’s first extrait at 32% concentration, by perfumer Quentin Bisch. I wonder why they chose to make this an extrait, as I found myself fantasizing about it as a regular eau de parfum. Perhaps even an eau de toilette.
It reminds me of a couple of things. First, and more obvious, is the dried, candied hibiscus flowers that some liquor stores place next to their sparkling wines—the decadence of watching one unfurl its petals as it sinks into rising bubbles is incomparable. Second is the sugary, flavored syrup that gets pumped into coffees and teas for an upcharge.
This is a syrupy, jammy hibiscus boosted by rose and vanilla, with some sharp tartness maintained by blackcurrant and mint as background actors. Leather is listed, and I went looking for it, finding it deep in the fabric after a day of wear.
The perfume did have one surprise in store for me, though. As I was walking around the apartment, I caught a whiff of something familiar—I was sure it wasn’t from the perfume. It wasn’t from food, either. Suddenly, I recognized it: ambrette seed! That fuzzy, vegetal musk is listed as a key raw material and it was lingering in my trail, separated from the dominant candy sweetness like a ghost from its body.
But only for a moment.