Frederic Malle vs......


Active member
Apr 9, 2020
Hi Ive recently discovered the world of Frederic Malle,and i must say they are rather good.
How would you all rate the following in a spray off!!!!
The other frags im familiar with and really love but the Frederic Malle are all new to me.
FM Portrait of a lady vs Lyric Man Amouage-
FM French Lover vs Mousse Iluminee Rouge
FM Monsieur vs Patchouly Profumum Roma
FM Vetiver Extraodinaire vs Sultan Vetiver Nishane
Thank you.


Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Mar 26, 2019
Poal > Lyric *by a landslide
Mouse Illuminee > French Lover *close call
Monsieur > Patchouly *close call

(I haven't smelled Sultan Vetiver)


Well-known member
Nov 4, 2014
I don't know Nishane, but Frederic Malle and Profumum Roma are two of my three favorite houses.

I've never been too taken by Lyric Man, so I'd go with Portrait of a Lady...but if you were to put Portrait of a Lady up against Meraviglia from Profumum Roma's Note di Profumum line, I'd go with Meraviglia.

Monsieur and Patchouly--I could go either way.

I'd take French Lover over Mousse Illuminee, easily.


Well-known member
May 15, 2015
I've not tried the Rogue or the Roma, but looking at these comparisons, I feel like Malle is the more refined/classic choice in each category. This is why I love Malle so much, they may not blow you away at first with novelty, but they are so well done that it's the brand I come back to and wear over and over again the most.

So it depends on what you are after. Not a note is out of place in Frederic Malle which some people might find clinical, but I appreciate the balance of creativity with refinement and classicism.

An example from your list, the Nishane is just so many different vetivers colliding together it smells like a total mess to me. You get all the worst aspects of vetiver amplified and it is overly strong and cloying. The Malle, however, is vetiver done with an exacto knife. So clean, so polished, so pleasant, and imminently wearable. Might be boring to some but I haven't found anything else like it on the market.

I feel similarly about the Amouage which is very nice but goes through so many stages. A nice rose, soapy sharp green, then sandalwood dry down. Some people love this story like progression of a fragrance, but I don't like the fragrance at some points in its progression and I don't like when the end of a fragrance is unrecognizable from the start. Portrait on the other hand has a continuity from start to finish, a dusty smokey fruitchouli and rose. It isn't really to my taste, but of the two I think I would get tired of the Amouage quicker.

Sheik Yerbouti

oakmoss fiend
Basenotes Plus
Jul 20, 2017
1. Portrait by far. Lyric is just nice.
2. These are mismatched. On paper they are both aromatic spicy green but they are miles apart. Mousse Illuminee is treemoss, floral, semi-sweet, resinous, of the forest. French Lover is vegetal, spicy, angelica, vetiver. Both excellently unique. Get both.
3. Haven’t tried Patchouly. I would give Monsieur a miss though.
4. Haven’t tried Sultan Vetiver. Vetiver Extraordinaire is nice enough.


Well-known member
Sep 19, 2010
I’d definitely pick French Lover & Portrait of a lady.
Vetiver extraordinare & Monsieur... I think you can find better Patchouli & Vetiver fragrances out there.


Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Nov 5, 2010
FM Portrait of a lady > Lyric Man Amouage: bigger, stronger, bolder. Lyric is nice too, just not as complex
Mousse Iluminee Rouge > FM French Lover: there's a sharp note in FL I am oversensitive to.
FM Monsieur > Patchouly Profumum Roma: these are close. Monsieur is smoother. I'd say neither is a must buy fo rme
FM Vetiver Extraodinaire vs Sultan Vetiver Nishane: I have not tried Nishane but VE is one of my favorite perfumes. Fresh and zingy.



Sound Scents
Basenotes Plus
Jun 1, 2003
Lyric Man is excellent, but Portrait of a Lady is a masterpiece. I easily would pick PoaL of the two.
Both French Lover and Mousse Illuminee are good. I would say it is about a tie with maybe a slight tilt to the former. I would purchase neither.
Monsieur. is bad, but Patchouly from Profumum Roma is forgettable. Probably I would go for the latter, but many other patchouli offerings would be preferable to both.
Vetiver Extraordinaire is excellent and purchase-worthy, but I haven’t tried the Nishane, so can’t compare it.
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The Bark

Well-known member
Jan 24, 2003
I'd go with POAL over Lyric Man.

The only other pick would be Patchouly over Monsieur. Patchouly is a scent I really like, but there's more going on than just patchouli (amber, sandalwood and frankincense.) It's somewhat comparable to Jovoy's Psychédelique without venturing to far into chocolate cake territory in the dry down.


Well-known member
Jan 21, 2006
While strongly influenced by a strong subjective bias in favor of the FM scents, likelier to rate (though in an admittedly biased/subjective way of someone still quite unlearned) French Lover and POAL at least slightly above the comparative choices.
Plus also additionally recommending Geranium pour Monsieur not necessarily on comparison to any similar choice, as much as a rewarding standalone option on its own-if looking both for a outstandingly elegant as much as everyday versatile male classic at the crossroads between no nonsense tradition yet with a hint of daring creativeness.

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