If it weren’t for you — and the generous dram-sized sample Robin forwarded me — I wouldn’t have given The Different Company Une Nuit Magnétique more than a cursory sniff. Usually when I test a fragrance, I start with a drop on the flesh at the base of my thumb. Then, if I like it, I give it real estate up my forearm. My test drop of Une Nuit Magnétique was sharp and tooth-achingly sweet. Not promising. If I hadn’t been considering a review, I would have quit there. It was only when I poured some into an atomizer and wet down my arm that I began to see Une Nuit Magnétique for what it really is: a tender, shimmering, intensely feminine perfume.
Perfumer Christine Nagel developed Une Nuit Magnétique, and it has top notes of ginger, blueberry and bergamot; a heart of Egyptian jasmine, Damascus rose from Turkey, tuberose and prune; and base notes of amber wood, benzoin, patchouli, amber and musk. The Different Company classifies Une Nuit Magnétique as a floral amber.
The first few seconds of Une Nuit Magnétique nearly scorch my nose with a string section of aldehydes, but right away the screech softens into warmth tinged with dry blueberry on a bed of woody amber. The fragrance pulls closer to the skin, and the unmistakable tingle of a generous helping of jasmine, brought down to earth just a touch by rose and perhaps still the blueberry, drives Une Nuit Magnétique’s heart. After an hour or so, woody amber takes over, the kind of sweet amber that shimmers like a tigers’-eye gemstone when you tilt it against the light.
Reading Une Nuit Magnétique’s notes, you — like I — might be tempted to imagine a bolder fragrance with a greater range of presentation. Blueberry, ginger, jasmine, tuberose, patchouli, amber — all these notes paint a picture in my mind of a multi-layered fragrance with distinct fruit, earth, and dimension. Really, though, Une Nuit Magnétique plays on a tight bandwith of ambery notes, and those notes sit high, up there with piccolos and violins. But like the Queen of the Night’s famous aria in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, it’s mesmerizing. That is, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Une Nuit Magnétique is relatively quiet, but present. It lasts about four hours before I’m tempted to boost it by applying more. Patchouli-phobes, don’t fear. The fragrance’s patchouli is subtle enough to be nearly impossible to pick out.
My guess is that many people will smell Une Nuit Magnétique and cross it off their lists immediately. Others will fall in love with it. It will depend on how you feel about high-pitched, feminine fragrances. Other perfumes with the same feel — but not the same smell! — as Une Nuit Magnétique include Natori and Le Labo Ylang 49. (I was going to add Amouage Gold Woman, but I just sprayed some on to be sure, and next to Une Nuit Magnétique it sings closer to second soprano.)
For me, I was glad to try Une Nuit Magnétique and remember that some fragrances need a full stage to show their beauty. But for the slender role the fragrance would play in my life, I’ll pass. I’m looking forward to smelling it on others, though.
The Different Company Une Nuit Magnétique Eau de Parfum is $160 for 50 ml and $230 for 90 ml. For information on where to buy it, see The Different Company under Perfume Houses.