Carven Ma Griffe
‘An outdoor fragrance, without the heavy overtones’
– Madame Carven
Top Notes: Bergamot, Lemon, Gardenia Bud
Heart Notes: Rose, Jasmine, Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang
Base notes: Vetiver, Styrax, Musk, Tonka Bean
Perfumer: Jean Carles
Carven Ma Griffe was created in 1946 by Madame Carven and perfumer Jean Carles. For the launch they released hundreds of sample bottles attached to tiny green and white striped parachutes over Paris. It was just after the war and Paris was ‘learning to dance again’, the ladies loved Ma Griffe. As we all know, Carven disappeared for a while, but in the last few years the brand was relaunched and been given a new and exciting lease of life which stays true to it’s heritage. Part of their relaunch was bringing Ma Griffe back to life, it has been slightly reformulated (as have all classic fragrances, some due to fragrance trends, other’s because the raw materials have changed or become harder to source) and slightly repackaged, but many hardcore fans promise it has not strayed too far from the original (the first version was in the 40’s, the second in the 80’s). Similarly, the box still uses the original green and white stripes which was taken from an iconic Carven dress of the time.
Enough chatter, let’s get onto the fragrance; Carven Ma Griffe has a real modern traditional feel to it, the florals are aldehydic, powdery and have a feel of vintage glamour to them. However, it also has a clean, clear freshness to it of the lemon and bergamot which lifts it and makes it modern, exciting and a touch more youthful. When I say youthful, this is no teenager perfume, it’s not a ‘young’ perfume in age, more in spirit. Carven Ma Griffe is a joyful combination of the most beautiful, feminine, rich florals; rose, jasmine and gardenia, mixed with fresh, natural uplifting scents of lemon, bergamot and ylang ylang. With a deep fabulous base of resins, oakmoss, vetiver, musk and tonka bean. It’s pretty and youthful, yet rich and glamorous, fresh yet aldehydic, feminine yet sassy, pretty without being girly. I don’t doubt that the original wasn’t filled with heavier aldehydic florals, more moss, powder and old school glamour, but I really love Carven Ma Griffe just the way it is! Ladies, this is one for your must-sniff list, it’s perfect for summer and through til winter as well. It’s glorious!
Carven Ma Griffe is a classic fragrance which can be found at John Lewis. It is priced at £58 for a 50ml bottle.