I first came across Maison Crivelli in 2019 whilst visiting Paris, its striking modern orange and white branding immediately lured me in. As I wandered around spraying each of their scents, I was instantly captivated, you could even say it was love at first smell. Founded by Parisian born Thibaud Crivelli in 2018, this contemporary Haute parfumerie has gone from strength to strength and some of you may have noticed it gracing the shelves of many UK luxury department stores. Working with renowned perfumers from around the world, Thibaud has created some stunning and very artistic fragrances, all inspired by real-life memorable experiences. From sandalwood found by an erupting volcano to the discovery of roses near the ocean, each of the fragrant interpretations is unique and like nothing I have experienced before.
Recently launched in 2021 is the Maison’s very first Extrait de Parfum; Hibiscus Mahajád, created in partnership with renowned perfumer Quentin Bisch. This fragrance is the first in a new vegan collection that draws inspiration from intense and surprising sensorial experiences. Hibiscus Mahajád takes its inspiration from Thibaud’s memory of being served a delicious hibiscus tea in the midst of a gemstone market. The titivating marketing certainly had me drawn in from the beginning and I especially enjoyed the build-up to its release. Although I didn’t know what to expect, I knew that the artistic union between Crivelli and Bisch would create something very special indeed.
The outer packaging strays away from the Maison’s usual bright white exterior, instead it takes on a darker anthracite facade. Differentiating the new range from the others, the Hibiscus Mahajád vessel reveals a striking new appearance, its glass lacquered in a flamboyant terracotta hue. Crowning the bottle is the unique unpolished zamac cap, each one non-identical and embellished with the Maison Crivelli Monogram. Beyond the packaging, Maison Crivelli cleverly taps into our olfactory process further by providing online images and sounds relating to the fragrance you have purchased. This unique experience allows you to completely immerse yourself in its composition.
From the moment I sprayed the fragrance upon my skin I was surprised by just how accurate Maison Crivelli had managed to capture the very essence of hibiscus tea. It immediately evoked a memory of mine whilst visiting an Egyptian market in 2012 where I was given my very first cup of this exotic tea. As a large lump of sugar was added, I watched on as its mystical pinkish-red liquid swirled in front of me. Hibiscus Mahajád reminds me of the precise moment I held the glass up towards my nose, the unusually scented steam swirling beneath my nose. Having not had this tea before, I slightly hesitated before the peculiar taste aroused my senses. Soon enough its tart nuances intermingled with the sweet sugar and had me instantly hooked, so much so that I drank it throughout the entire trip. This fragrance aroused these exact feelings, tentatively taking in those surprising aromas before quickly becoming infatuated.
Having already made an instant impression on me, Hibiscus Mahajád continues to surprise me with its all-embracing olfactory experience. Its impressive notes ignite each of the senses, transporting the wearer to that very moment it was inspired by. The tangy hibiscus overtone remains in the forefront but before it gains mastery over the scent, an intense garnishing of Rose envelops it. Reminiscent of that steam that swirls above the tea; its floral characteristics twist and turn through the scent mingling with the hibiscus to reveal the most remarkable pairing. Crushed jewels of Pomegranate and the dark secretions of Blackcurrant begin to percolate through, accentuating the rich juicy tones of the fruity facets. Through this bejewelled red elixir floats a sprig of fresh Mint bringing an underlying freshness, it’s cool vibrant tones discretely reverberating from the skin.
As the coolness subsides a warmth takes hold and an impressive and unmistakable sweetness begins to garner. Vanilla takes precedence as its soft enticing notes blanket the skin, billowing in the air and casting its exotic redolence. Amber presents additional warmth and sensuality, uniting with the Vanilla to create the most addictive and powerful trail. The powdery sweetness of Cinnamon delicately wafers in the background until a surprising rendition of Leather unveils itself. Rather than a dense leather, the note evokes images of a soft suede-like hide baking in the sun, its warm sweet tones caressing the air. From the cold windblown streets of Edinburgh, Hibiscus Mahajád instantaneously clutched me from reality and transported me on the most delightful sensory journey. Just like my personal experience in Egypt, its unusual note had me hesitant at first but its addictive quality soon won me over. The fragrance has undeniable longevity which was very impressive and I cannot wait to see what other unique fragrances makes it into this exciting new collection.
Blu Blazer Guy Rating:
Fragrance Concentration: Extrait de Parfum
50 ml for 195 Euros at Maison Crivelli, £200 from Selfridges