My love for cosmetics started early. As an only child, I grew up mostly around women, and I looked at them – with their beauty routines and rituals – as the epitome of femininity. A few things stand out in my mind about this time. My mom’s red nail polish and extensive perfume collection. Trying on my granny’s high-heeled shoes. The smell of my aunt’s bright orange lipstick when she would talk to me. The smell of little old ladies at Church, a precariously-balanced mix of hairspray, perfume, dusting powder, and makeup.
When I smelled Maison Margiela’s Lipstick On at Sephora, these memories came wafting back, woven together with notes of bergamot, iris, and tonka bean with a powdery finish. I was on the fence though, because it’s definitely not the kind of youthful, effervescent fragrance I’m normally drawn to. I wanted to still smell like a 20-something, you know? But there was only one way to figure out if it was a good fit. I sprayed it on my skin and walked around the mall a bit.
I went back for it. The chemistry of your body – of your skin – changes a fragrance. I’ve always known that, on me, fragrances pull sweeter and more vanilla. This one is no different, and the scent story and associated memories make it so comforting. A good friend of mine once told me that dark skin pulls out those smooth, sweet, vanilla notes in a fragrance, and light skin enhances the bright, fresh, citrus notes. I always thought that that was so cool.
I like that this fragrance isn’t overpowering. I can spritz it all over, and the powderiness prevents it from being overwhelming, even if I have a migraine. It lingers on the skin, but definitely fades as the day goes on and is all but gone by lunchtime. I wish it had more staying power.
Another downside is the price. Maison Margiela fragrances only come in one size, and most have a rollerball or travel size. I would have bought the travel size, but I think this fragrance was relatively new when I bought it, and the travel size still isn’t out yet. The full size will run you $135 CAD, although I picked mine up in the VIB Rouge sale this past spring. I’ve worn it nearly every day for the past 6 months without making a dent in it – I think it’ll last a good long time.
Definitely go to Sephora and pick up a sample. Spray it on, try it out. If you’re a makeup lover and always have been – like me – you might be surprised by the memories it stirs up in you.