Indie special ~ Ayala Moriel Musk Malabi & 4160Tuesdays Urura’s Tokyo Cafe

Climbing roses

Quick reviews of two (happy!) indie fragrances for spring: Ayala Moriel Musk Malabi and 4160Tuesdays Urura's Tokyo Cafe.

Do comment if you have a favorite indie perfume we should all know about!

Ayala Moriel Musk Malabi

Malabi is a milk-based pudding topped with sweet syrup (I posted an image and link to a recipe yesterday) popular in the Middle East. Variations appear to be endless, but it is sometimes flavored with rosewater or orange blossom, and indie natural perfumer Ayala Moriel has used both flowers in her Musk Malabi perfume, which features rose and neroli in a composition grounded by cedar and botanical musk, and lightly sweetened with myrrh. The spices (cardamom and coriander) are mild, and it isn't at all foody or dessert-like — it's bright and cheerful, and perfect for spring. Very much worth a try for anyone, but especially recommended for neroli freaks. I would love to have a bottle of Musk Malabi, along with Moriel's equally cheerful Etrog Oy de Cologne (and both are unisex, to my nose).

Ayala Moriel Musk Malabi

Ayala Moriel Musk Malabi is available in 4 ml Extrait (shown, $48) or 15 ml Eau de Parfum ($120); samples are also available. For buying information, see the listing for Ayala Moriel under Perfume Houses.

4160Tuesdays Urura's Tokyo Cafe

Indie perfumer Sarah McCartney came up with an inspired brand name — 4160 is how many Tuesdays you will enjoy during your lifetime if you make it to 80 (and if you take care to enjoy all your Tuesdays). Her Urura's Tokyo Cafe, like Musk Malabi, is a fragrance with rose, but done here in a very different way, with bubbly citrus in the opening, then later, cushioned with violet powder and sweetened with raspberry jam. In the early stages, it seems like it's going in the direction of a boudoir violet-rose, but the flowers blur as it dries down, and green accents become more obvious, and just about the time when you expect the raspberry jam to start fading, it intensifies instead. The pale resinous base is apparently opoponax and tolu balsam. Urura's Tokyo Cafe is relaxed and easy to wear, and definitely leaning towards feminine although nobody should let that stop them. I'd love to have a bottle of this one too; it made me smile every time I wore it.

4160Tuesdays Urura's Tokyo Cafe

4160Tuesdays Urura's Tokyo Cafe is available in 30, 50 and 100 ml Eau de Parfum (there are also coffrets of 8 ml bottles, choose four scents for £36). For buying information, see the listing for 4160Tuesdays under Perfume Houses.

Update: Urura's Tokyo Cafe is now called Tokyo Spring Blossom.

Note: top image is Rose, Bantry Bay, バラ, バンドリー ベイ [cropped & altered] by T. Kiya at flickr; some rights reserved.

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  1. ladymurasaki says:

    Umm, I love Urara’s Tokyo Café. It is the first fragrance I bought from Sarah. To me, the raspberry leaf note is what makes it interesting. I can’t say much about the AM, however. I’ve not had much luck with any of the AM fragrances, but the mention of neroli has got my attention :D

    • Robin says:

      It’s a very appealing scent. I liked Sunshine & Pancakes too…the coffret of 8 ml bottles is tempting.

  2. Ida says:

    Both sound adorable. Robin, your descriptions really bring them to life. If I lived near an outlet, I’d go buy the Musk Malabi today.

  3. AnnS says:

    Robin: These frags sound lovely. I love well done roses. I’ll have to try and sniff these out.

    • Robin says:

      Strictly speaking, neither is what I’d call a rose scent even though I did pick a rose picture. MM is as much about neroli as rose, possibly a bit more, and UTC is hard to pin down but arguably as much about the raspberry jam…the rose only stands out for a short time.

  4. poodle says:

    I recently reviewed Urura’s Tokyo Cafe and I loved it too. It was a shapeshifter on me and seemed to smell different each time I tried it. I was really impressed by it. I want to get samples of some other scents in the line.

    • Robin says:

      I have only tried a few but this was my favorite so far…I would like to try more too.

  5. thegoddessrena says:

    For indie perfumes, you really should check out the Oriza Legrand line. I love Jardins d’Armide which is a dirty sexy powdery boudoir rose and I suspect that you would really like Chypre Mousse which is literally unlike anything I’ve ever smelled. I would also recommend Indigo Vanilla from EnVoyage– essentially picture Iris Ganache with violet instead of iris, a bit creamier and less diffusive and toss some animalics in the base. I am pretty sure it will be my birthday present to myself come September

    • thegoddessrena says:

      Also, I forgot to mention Honeysuckle Bird and Centennial from Soivohle and Seattle Chocolate from Olympic Orchids

      • yukiej says:

        I will second Seattle Chocolate! It was one of my favorites this winter.

    • Robin says:

      Chypre Mousse is nicely done…I think Kevin will review it eventually. I haven’t tried the Jardins d’Armide though, thanks!

      And I really need to get some samples from Olympic Orchards.

  6. nathanthomas50 says:

    Fortnum & Mason in London have started stocking the whole range as part of their revamped perfume department – tried a few and enjoyed them – though not sure id want to tell anyone I was wearing ”tart’s knicker drawer” – fortunately the fragrance was much nicer than the name implied!

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