Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle (2017)

Average Rating:  11 User Reviews

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Reviews of Promise by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

There are 11 reviews of Promise by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle.

Love or Hate

for me it's Love

paint thinner/ acetone opening

then a burst of leather, vinyl and latex

wild animal kind of vibe

heavy duty performer

Jun 28, 2021

This is my Malle week where I have most of the Desert Gems plus a couple standards lined up for a formal introduction to this house. Out of the Desert Gems I tried thus far, Promise is the most straightforward so I'll start here. Release this as an attar and I'd be on it. The fruit-rosemary-rose-wood reminds me very much of Amouage Al Mas attar with apple for lemon and cypriol for oud.
May 1, 2021

There are not many fragrances which I have sampled and genuinely couldn't eventually get around to liking after multiple wearings. Sadly, this is the exception. I get a very pungent and harsh plastic note and after it dries down I just get old stale, chewed up bubble gum. Unfortunately, from beginning to end, there's nothing in this scent profile which appeals to me.
Mar 20, 2021


If you wore this to work you'd be justifiably FIRED. You'd be fired, hired the next day, and fired again. That's how upsetting this fragrance is.

I'm not sure how they combined the smell of death and sex in the same bottle, but they did. I almost choked when I first put it on and now I can't stop wanting to wear it. It's upsetting. It's Catherine-and-Heathcliff level turmoil.

I have no idea what to do with this stuff.

Maybe I do.

Feb 9, 2021

I get sweet raspberry and musk.
It leans to the masculine but as a man you just don't want to smell like a slightly dry version of one of those boiled sweets that you half finished and had to hurriedly put in your top pocket as you got called in for your interview.
It is too masculine for a lady unless you are pin striping it.
As the dry down proceeds it looses its sweetness but never relinquishes an element of fruitiness. It projects and lasts very well.
You can wax lyrical about different notes and historical this and spiritual successor to that but ...the problem is that its a nice smell with little application I can see.
As such its a James Dean of the the niche olfactory world. A true rebel without cause and a flawed work of art with no one to belong to.
Please please don't let this show FM is going all unisex. Moon was dreadful. As Picasso honed his art he looked for simplicty and unification. The perfumer here is looking for needless complication and self obsession.
Fragrance: 8/10 just don't know who would carry it off
Projection: 8/10
Longevity: 8/10
Feb 4, 2020

Promise opens with an intersting slightly sweet, but also tart unripened apple with underlying airy rose support. As the composition moves to its early heart, the apple vacates, leaving the airy rose to take the fore, adding sanitized light patchouli and mild pepper support, with faux-oud-like cypriol rising from the base, growing slowly in its intensity as time passes. As the composition moves to the late dry-down, the cypriol has become the star as the rose has long since vacated, staying so through the finish, only allowing hints of resinous dry honey-like labdanum to peep through in support. Projection is excellent, as is longevity at around 12 hours on skin.

When I first heard about "Promise" being another Ropion and Malle collaboration, I was really eager to try the composition, as Ropion does his best work under Malle's direction yielding great results like Portrait of a Lady, Une Fleur de Cassie, Carnal Flower, and the first offering in the Malle Middle East series, The Night. The chances of another winner seemed pretty high, but there was one key note that was a potential showstopper... cypriol. Cypriol is used by many perfume outfits to approximate the smell of oud. It might have been a tell-tale sign of things to come when Malle priced Promise significantly less than all the others in the Middle East series that used real oud within. I would like to say Ropion was able to skillfully tone down the cypriol in Promise, but alas it is the composition's downfall, marring an otherwise fine effort by the master. On the plus side, the tart apple note really is handled quite skillfully, pairing surprisingly well with the airy rose and the initially supporting cypriol. It is only when the cypriol becomes the star about midway through the heart phase of development that the composition loses its balance, and loses the "promise" of being a major winner for Malle. I suspect that with some time, a perfumer the caliber of Dominique Ropion would have been able to get the composition balance in tune, but alas, as is, Promise becomes the weakest effort of the Malle Middle East series, and leaves this writer considerably wanting. The bottom line is the $390 per 100ml bottle Promise has some innovative tricks up its sleeve, but just can't keep that faux oud from obscuring its finer points, earning a "good" to "very good" 3 to 3.5 out of 5 stars, and a tepid recommendation outside of any price considerations. If one considers the price tag, "Promise" is a tough sell.
Nov 24, 2019

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