Mayotte / Mahora 
Guerlain (2000)


Average Rating:  29 User Reviews

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Mayotte / Mahora by Guerlain

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About Mayotte / Mahora by Guerlain

People & Companies

Fragrance House
Robert Granai
Packaging / Bottle Design

Like most Guerlain fragrances, this scent has a story behind it. Apparently, Mahora is a women of 'magnetic attraction', embodying the beauty of nature. Oh, and she also lives on an imaginary sixth continent, from which she visits us to offer us this scent.

In 2002, the fragrance was discontinued.

In 2006 it was relauched as part of the Les Parisiennes collection and renamed Mayotte, after the island from which the inspiration for this scent came, and the company own a plantation.

It was discontinued once again in 2016

Fragrance notes.

  1. Top Notes

  2. Heart Notes

  3. Base Notes

Reviews of Mayotte / Mahora by Guerlain

There are 29 reviews of Mayotte / Mahora by Guerlain.

A big and bold bouquet of tuberose and ylang-ylang is blooming. Vanilla and an exotic coconut aroma complete this intoxicating blend which is creamy and refined. Mahora is rich and vintage feeling, a tropical-floral seductive and haunting.

Frangipani and tuberose - a simple but surprisingly well suited floral combination - freshened up with a good dash of neroli with a nigh herbal whiff: This triad together forms too notes that not only are beautiful together, but quite unique - an opening with an original result; a feat not commonly found in a mainstream fragrance. The opening with a sheer delight.

In the drydown the floral side takes over, with a rich ylang-ylang in the foreground and an pleasant wood/jasmine as accompaniment. Throughout all this time, the tuberose permeates them all; not a fat or waxy tuberose, but the lighter, brighter and more elegant variety. Even is the base the result is a touch original at times.

The main addition towards the latter phases is a pleasant, fairly restrained tonka that is of moderate sweetness and never heavy or cloying. Never is this comparison really very sweet.

I get moderate sillage, excellent projection and a very impressive thirteen hours of longevity on my skin.

This spring creation, suitable for cooler days and evenings, is well blended with interesting twists and very good performance. Whilst conspicuously lacking any true Guerlinade, it is nonetheless a well executed creation in the tradition of this brand. 3.5/5.

Well, after reading Mahora's posted blurb, I can't offer an agreeing testimonial describing said perfume as a scent of "magnetic attraction". Oh, wait: it was to the wearer (me). I love/d Mahora. Mahora was DROP-DEAD GORGEOUS. So lookit: okay. When, back in the day, I sported this number, I was pretty much certain that I was the recipient of perfume trash-talk (well, I can only hope it was the perfume. 'Cause that's psychologically easier for me to deal with than... well... ugh, you get my drift). Even after the rolled eyes, whispered comments and withering stares, I wore Mahora everyday 'til my bottle was drained.
Mahora! Mahora! MAHORA!
I love you!

Mahora is a curious creature: a tropical almost-chypre. It does not, to my knowledge, contain oakmoss however, like the oakmoss-free 31 Rue Cambon, it has a chypre feel due to the rasping vetiver/sandalwood base on top of which heady white flowers bloom.

I agree that the opening is a little startling but Mahora rapidly settles into a balanced composition. The heady white florals are tempered by the earthy, slightly dirty base. The sandalwood and vanilla evokes that sweet, slightly musky, salty smell of hot sand.

If Mahora evokes a tropical island, it is one with an untamed, dense and dark jungle at its heart. No insect free beaches, sun oil or pina coladas to be found here.

Despite the current and seemingly endless 1980s revival of cheap fashion for tweens to twenty-somethings, the 80s are gone. Thank god! Don't let that horrid decade haunt you! Still, if there were one thing that I could tease out of the 80s and bring to the present it would be polarizing perfumes. To the propagators of 1990s-styled apologetic perfumes, to the radiant Iso-E Super wearers, to the nanny perfume mob who would rid the world of fragrance (Watch out! Color is next, then oppressive fabric.) I say wear Poison! Wear Giorgio and Opium. Blast yourself with Lou Lou and walk in public in the light of day!

Better still, try Mahora. 1980s in scale, 1970s in indulgent style, 1920s in complexity and sophistication, Mahora (2000) paid tribute to the decades that preceded it as it dived headfirst into the new millennium.

From the spicy animalic start, through the creamy floral heart, to the woody-vanillic drydown, Mahora is as rich as they come. Using principles from classical perfumery, but seemingly new compositional tricks, Guerlain laid claim to the fairly unpopulated genre, the spicy-animalic resinous tropical woody floral. This perfume does draw attention to itself. So what? If you don't like it, don't wear it. Polarizing is great! Part of the aesthetics of perfumery, as in any art form, is that in addition to critical consideration, we should identify what we like and what we don't. How else can we proceed in what is both an artistic discussion and an exercise in pleasure?

That said, I disagree with those who do not like Mahora and therefore say that it is a bad perfume. In addition to its volume and attention-seeking, it is calibrated, dissonant enough to hold one's interest and shows textbook classical evolution. Mahora shouldn't have been discontinued, it should have been studied.

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