Graphite by MAD et LEN

Do you ever get so excited by a fragrance that you have to stop yourself from running out of the store with it because you need to slow down and pay for it first? I usually don’t purchase fragrances in this manner – having learned that lesson the hard way with Tom Ford’s Rive d’Ambre (citrus notes are hard for me). And so when I’m contemplating a fragrance purchase – I will pick up a sample, macerate in it, and mull it over for a few days.

To be fair, I did force myself to put the bottle back on the shelf, and while no sample was available, I spent the day smelling my Graphite imbued hand. I visited the fragrance (as well as candles from the line) a second and third time that week, before happily purchasing a full sized bottle of Graphite by MAD et LEN on my 3rd visit.

Worth mentioning first – Graphite (along with everything else in Mad et Len’s repertoire) is packaged beautifully. Each fragrance comes in a black cardboard box with a beautiful gilt label – a typography dream, and inside that box is a hand-forged black iron tin, with “MAD et LEN” emblazoned in gold. Inside of *that*, is the beautiful and weighty black fragrance bottle, which is packed tightly inside of the iron tin.

Graphite is a unisex EdP that features notes of paper, ink, pine, musk, camphor, and leather. I tend to gravitate towards smoky things – particularly in perfume and candles, and Graphite does not disappoint my smoke loving heart. It certainly conjures images of an artist, furiously sketching away on hand torn paper, raw graphite in hand and surrounded by old brick and metal. With the views of green rolling hills, and the sound of soft rain in the background. Maybe a glass of whiskey (or Madeira) and a lit clove cigarette nearby (that last bit is likely because on the days I was testing the fragrance prior to purchase, I was wearing Serge Lutens’s Chergui to begin with).

It is a fragrance that is potent and long lasting, but stays close to the skin. For me, the smoke and ink are quite strong, but it is surprisingly balanced with a sweet earthiness that I had no idea my nose was craving. I love this fragrance for me, and I admit that the combination with Serge Lutens’s Chergui is positively lethal (note that layering the two one on top of each other doesn’t work for me – but wearing them next to each other instead) – I don’t think S could resist me, even if he tried. That being said, I think the musky earthiness would be really enticing on my husband.

My excitement and overall love for this fragrance, really extends to the brand, MAD et LEN, as a whole. I anticipate blogging more about them, as I have a handful of MAD et LEN goodies en route to me.

Graphite by MAD et LEN can be purchased in full size online from Luckyscent and Kelly Wearstler in the U.S.; Orimono in Europe. Samples can be ordered from Luckyscent (when they have it in stock), or you may want to try Parfums Raffy (I’ve never personally ordered from here). Or, you might be able to find it locally from a cool shop in your town – in Houston, that would be Kuhl-Linscomb

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