Madrid fragrance notes

    • Citrus, Magnolia, Cedar, Ginger, Rosemary, Woods

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Latest Reviews of Madrid

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The opening of Madrid definitely has a sharp lemon note with a bit of an almost coumarin wet hay like note as well. As mentioned, there is a slight synthetic lemon vibe in the opening, but not a problematic one for me by any means. I enjoy Madrid from start to finish. The woods are definitely cedar like and ground the sharp lemon. I like the balance of the blending in Madrid. An ever so slight floral drifts into my awareness as I sniff my wrist and I'm assuming that is the magnolia as I'm not familiar with magnolias. Ginger is a love of mine and I'm enjoying it's presence as well. This is a very good spring/summer fragrance, or just a great pick me up fragrance as it's clean, Eau de Cologne like in character, but lasts like an EDP on my skin.

Madrid also brings juniper to my mind. It isn't listed in the notes, and it feels like a "yellow" juniper scent profile more than it does a green one, but I really love that juniper sparkle that it has.

I will pick up a FB as it fits in any of my rotations for sure. Two thumbs up for Madrid by Clandestine Laboratories!
26th April 2023
I can't get over how much I love this fragrance!

Madrid opens with a sharp lemon bite. The opening has everything I like about the cutting, sour smell of a lemon cleaner, but with none of the secondary unpleasantness. That quickly resolves into a fresh cedar scent with a tinge of pepper. Underneath it all, there's a really comforting smell that I can only describe as "hayride", a smell I associate with yearly visits to the pumpkin patch growing up. After a full day of wearing it, the scent profile seems to settle down into a calmer cedar, the mild scent of dry straw, and a barely floral muskiness that holds echoes of its former acid glory.

In typical Clandestine Laboratories fashion, despite the striking edginess, there's something really old-school and classic about Madrid. It smells a lot like the way my violin smells when it's returned from the shop - revitalized wood mixed with the scent of lemon oil polish. It's both comforting and fresh, like a beautiful piece of furniture that's been brought back to life by an artisan.

Unlike many bold fragrances, Madrid never becomes exhausting to smell. Every moment with this fragrance thrills me and makes me enjoy it more. This has quickly become one of my favorite bottles on the shelf, so I can't help but highly recommend it. If you like the idea of an edgy acidic scent with a classic backbone, this is one to pick up.
7th January 2023

Madrid by Clandestine Laboratories (2022) crosses a few streams historically, fusing big bold petrol and leather notes more at home during the 1980's powerhouse era of men's fragrance with the dry and neat time period of citrusy-woody colognes guys liked in the mid-1950's. All told, this can still be considered somewhat unisex if you're a fan of these nearly floral-free bright exercises - and I say "nearly" because a bit of magnolia lurks beyond the citrus - even if I think Madrid will be most at home on a masculine-leaning person's skin. Inspiration here comes from the city of Madrid itself, recalling magnolia flowers growing in front of the Royal Palace there, and some cologne according to perfumer Mark Sage that was everywhere there. He describes this cologne as animalic-woody, although the animal tones here aren't the massive fecal ones you might expect, although I do get a bit of the hay-strewn zoo cage vibe that L'Artisan Parfumeur Dzing! (1999) gives. regardless, this is a very lucid and sharply-smart kind of scent for fans of British and Italian barbershop tropes a la Penhaligon's or Visconti di Modrone, just with an added virile punch to the unmentionables.

Madrid opens with a sharp lemon smell that may remind some of household cleaner, in that it's unforgiving in its pungency. Behind this lemon drifts some magnolia, but it is hidden further still behind rosemary and verbena, adding pops of dry ginger to the heart. There is a camphoraceous edge here that reminds me of many mid-century men's aftershaves and colognes, a cooling feeling that isn't mint and contrasts the peppery ginger bite. Further on I get something of an ashtray vibe coming from some unlisted element which reminds me of a half-smoked cigarette butted out. Eventually that gasoline inference is here, but not from violet like in Dior Fahrenheit (1988). This gasoline and the listed "oiled leather" note differ greatly from the supple rich leather note of Master by Clandestine Laboratories (2021), in that it feels like dirty leather of a petrol head who has grit and grime mixed in to take away the inviting virility of suede. Instead, this virility comes from harsher and more-commanding musk choices, which align with a very photo-realistic cedar, being the antithesis of Terre d'Hermès (2006) in some ways. Wear time is long, and sillage will carry, so best use could be almost any time.

For me, this could almost be like a cross between Avon Windjammer (1968) and Comme des Garçons Black (2013), with that dark earthen-pitch edginess married with the vibe of "fresh after a shave" bracing sensibility. I really dig it, but I don't know how many people are truly going to want such an extreme take on lemon and cedar, making this the "niche alternative" for this particular style people seem to always scream for in the fragrance community for any classic or ubiquitous scent profile they wish was more "unique" or "expensive", so they could pedantically gloat about it to people who actually don't care. On second thought, Clandestine Laboratories probably wouldn't want someone like that proselytizing their brand anyway, since the vibe the whole house gives me is one that doesn't seek out attention as validation, hence the whole "you'll never find us" thing with their marketing. Absolutely singular in its purpose of creating a pastiche of Madrid in summer, but mixing it up with a bit of hirsute "bad boy" amplitude, Madrid by Clandestine Laboratories is a warm-weather fragrance for the running of the bulls, or just shooting the bull after a day turning wrenches under the sun. Smoke 'em if you got 'em. Thumbs up
27th June 2022
A high-pitched, undeniably urinous blend of the old-school "lemon cleaner" citrus, juicy ginger, and cedar introduces Madrid.

That opening drops from an shout to a hum and the cedar turns fluffy and soft and warm. The lemon and cedar enter into a dance with gently articulated magnolia. A subtle rosemary facet adds an herbal, garden-like touch to the blend. The late drydown retains some remnant of that citrus sparkle, with the cozy cedar and woods becoming the focal point.

It's a summery, jovial fragrance that seems perfectly suited to warmer weather. In its structure, I find it reminiscent of some of the more citrus-driven Les Indemodables scents, but the concept behind Madrid is more robustly articulated, giving it a bit of heft and personality that I didn't find in the more delicate Les Indemodables line.
15th January 2022