Masculine Plural yet weak and singular.
A 'modern' fougere and by modern I mean gutted to the point of snooze.
A splash of Artisan Aqua and good old Brut dialed back to 15% strength gets you close to this. Wispy fragrances should not be considered masculine. Not full bottle worthy by any stretch.
To be honest, I find the opening of masculin (lower case?) Pluriel a bit of a mess. It smells fine - that is to say, pleasant - but it doesn't have any of the gaps, the rise and fall, of classic fougeres. This puts all the notes out there at once.
The drydown is fairly well done and there is a strong and effective lavendar accord that pulls the scent, not only together, but within the boundaries of the genre.
It's just a bit boring. It doesn't add to the fougere genre at all, in my view. And I kind of get on with those reviewers who think this is a bit too "modern".
This was my first full bottle from MFK that I purchased while I was in Paris, after sampling all of the unisex and masculine MFKs. It stands out as one of the best from MFK alongside 540 (women only), Oud Silk Mood and APOM, and I can safely recommend it as a signature scent for year-round wear, although I wouldn't wear it daily. If you are looking for a traditional, boring fougere, this is probably NOT it. It has more of a younger, exuberant, modern vibe to it, but without being 'sharp' or 'metallic' or anything you would typically associate with modern frags. It has a lingering sweetness that I really enjoy. It is not particularly distracting, so you can wear it at the workplace with no issues. Performance is good for an EdT, and bordering on EdP strength. I have learned to apply more than I think I need, and that results in very good all-day performance upwards of 12 hours. I wouldn't say I douse this on, but it definitely takes more than a few sprays to get the desired effect, and I find that it is very tough to overspray this.
MP is both pleasant and inoffensive, and feels rich and luxurious. It would work well in casual clothes or dressed up. It works fantastic in the winter due to the inherent sweetness, but it doesn't become overpowering or cloying in the summer either. Therefore I can't imagine any scenario in which I would want to avoid it. If you are the type of person who likes to pair frags with memories or periods of time in your life, this would be great for that, and has the ability to invoke nostalgia if you go a long period without wearing it.
I have received many (MANY) compliments when wearing this, and especially on days when I also receive a haircut(?). It seems to be one of my most complimented frags. I get my hair cut roughly every 3 weeks (before COVID) and I have learned to apply this in the morning on that day, because without fail I will receive at least one if not 5 compliments from random people and strangers that day. Every single time. I'm not sure why, but MP blends perfectly with whatever products they use at my barber and it just radiates luxury from my skin, especially as your body temperature rises. I have also received several compliments on other days of the month, but this is not a frag that gets complimented every single time I wear it. It's not a hyper-masculine bro frag like Aventus where it commands attention in that way. I also feel that I don't want to wear it daily because I do think it is more on the linear side, and it could become tiring as a daily wear fragrance. I don't want to ruin the appeal by wearing it all the time, if that makes sense. It doesn't have enough of that unique je-ne-sais-quois factor to make it perfect, but it is definitely a must try and FBW if you are a fan of Kurkdjian in the slightest.
Beautiful opening, really. I also didn't expect this to be a vetiver to the degree that it is. My first impression was: okay, this can no doubt beat my Aqua di Parma Colonia Club and even my Creed Bois du Portugal. With at that point just a really good vetiver, patchouli, cedar and timber wood notes. All at a clinically clean level, ultra refined, as we know (only) MFK to do it.
Not so fast though. Question marks arise after the opening as to where exactly it's going. You see, it has notes you'll appreciate, but they are reminiscent of the masculine, cheapie, vetiver inspired aftershaves(think Mennen, Brut). You know, the brands you can find in grocery stores, the aftershaves, EdT's and such. MFK did keep the bad stuff in those out of Masculin Pluriel, of course. The few moments that you think there's going to be dirty animalic musk, in the end fade for clean peppery notes with an earthiness. This likely is the patchouli with the "leathery accord". That last note is very non-linear, kind of like now you smell it, now you don't.
I miss musk, I miss ambergris. It remains too herbal if that makes sense. The leathery accord adds a clean oakmoss note that is very welcome but it leaves you wanting more than that.
It's perfect at what it does but I feel it could have beaten Aqua di Parma and Creed to it, yet refused to enter the game. What a missed opportunity. That took it from positive to neutral for me.
Maison Francis Kurkdijan created a rather tried-and-true staple fragrance with masculin Pluriel (2014), following in a well-worn lavender fougère groove but replacing restricted base materials with his own modern wizardry to avoid the "Dad's Aftershave" smell that a lot of young nouveau-riche professionals who buy this level of perfume want to avoid. Furthermore, masculin Pluriel makes something of a statement on the state of masculine perfume overall, since it tries to repackage classic and more "natural-smelling" tropes guys once took for granted as luxury, while the designer realm "beneath" such houses as MFK seems intent on serving up cheapo woody amber oceanic sawdust pancake syrup as the new standard for "the rest of us". It's a bit alarming in the same sense that selling variants of popular soda flavors in expensive glass bottles with "real sugar" as the reason for prestige, but such is the exploitative nature of unfettered Capitalism. In any case, we get a nice tart and leathery fougère accord which might have passed as a Puig or Guy Laroche scent in the 80's, suffused with ambrox instead of oakmoss, and that isn't bad.
The opening of masculin Pluriel brings in a sharp English lavender over metallic aldehydes and a lemon which fades quick after minutes. The lavender remains with the aldehydes, creating a feeling similar to Penhaligon's Sartorial (2010), which is another example of middle-class postmodernism served up as a new standard of luxury, but masculin Pluriel never takes a vanillic direction since it doesn't seek to go in a Pinaud or Dana Canoé (1936) direction like the Penhaligon's. A crisp suede-like note inhabits the heart alongside some black pepper and cedar-like synthetic wood, eschewing the usual dandy florals of a fougère for a more-direct masculinity true to its name. Vetiver, patchouli, and a small dusting of tonka glaze the ambrox base to establish the green "nü-gère" accord and that's a wrap for this one. Sillage isn't pumping but longevity is respectable for a modern eau de toilette, although masculin Pluriel seems reserved enough that its only recommended use would be office wear or formal occasions where unfeeling airs of class are recommended.
There is a certain gray bleakness about masculin Pluriel that reminds me very much of Bottega Veneta Pour Homme (2013), and if this is your vibe, I'd stick with the Bottega because it is a much less expensive scent with a comparable personality, just lacking the obvious lavender and hot-pressed iron ambiance of the aldehydes in the MFK scent. Also they are so very close together as to have me think Mr. Kurkdijan might have been more than a tad inspired by the Italian scent, but wanted to put his haute bourgeois barbershop stamp on the style to compete with the aforementioned Penhaligon's or Parfums MDCI Invasion Barbare (2006), which also tries to reinvent the fougère as something too good for the common man. All classist gripes aside, masculin Pluriel is a good scent in a common but comfortable vein, I just have a hard time coming to terms with something smelling like a cologne I used to pick up at a Rite-Aid in my youth being shucked to me for the price of a Playstation. Still, this stands on its own enough to not feel like snake oil, and it succeeds in imparting the class its competition mostly fails at delivering, so I give masculin Pluriel a thumbs up.
A very nice fougere that is well made.The leather note is a slightly different touch. I enjoyed wearing Masculin Pluriel today. I would like a bit more projection, but it's still quite nice. I'm working my way through the Francis Kudkjian line and have enjoyed the three I've tried so far. I don't think I would invest in a FB of Masculin Pluriel at this point, as I have several fougere's I enjoy wearing more, but it's not out of the question that I'll pick this up sometime. Francis Kurdkjian is a very talented perfumer.