Superstitious by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

Notes: Jasmine, Rose, Peach, Amber, Incense, Vetiver, Patchouli and Aldehydes.


I should know better by now than to buy even a travel sized bottle of perfume on the first sniff, but rules are made to be broken. Buying the recent Malle release, Superstitious, on the spot was a calculated risk though. Val the Cookie Queen already owned the 10ml bottle and I know if she says something is good, it’s good.

Superstitious was created in association with fashion designer Alber Elbaz and the perfumer is the great Dominique Ropion. It’s the second in the ‘par Frederic Malle’ collection; the first being Dries Van Noten.



Superstitious with its evil eye


The main body of Superstitious is all about jasmine and aldehydes. Please don’t be put off (like me) by ‘The A Word’.  These aldehydes are of the fatty, waxy variety, not the fizzy, forceful kind. The effect feels like a glistening sheen on the skin.

I’ve long had a yearning for a jasmine perfume but until now I’ve always found them either too heady or too indolic. Here, the jasmine isn’t high-pitched or overly animalic. The combination of jasmine, aldehydes and a touch of almost creamy peach gives Superstitious an unfussy opulence; like a frothy mountain of tulle. Although superficially it appears spotless, there is a pinch of smutty spice just underneath those gauzy layers, which hints at things come…

The drydown of Superstitious is sensual in a lived-in, mussed up kind of way. The sales assistant told us that people are calling the scent “posh sex”, which is actually not a bad way of describing it – it’s pure refinement that’s been tempted to engage in pure debauchery.

The base is an incense-y, woody, vetiver that is attractive in an unconventional, broken down way. It’s as if you’ve been rolling around on the floor of an abandoned building, albeit in a ball gown.

For me, discovering a hidden filth scene can be much more exhilarating then a blatant show of carnality. Someone would have to wait until the end of the night to experience that unseemly side. Anything that is not quite what it seems at first look always intrigues me.

It’s a cleverly constructed composition, going from radiant and gleaming to earthy and deeply sensual. Be aware that it is a BIG perfume with day-into-night longevity.

Its floral aldehyde style may hark back to the grand perfumes of the first half of the twentieth century but Superstitious doesn’t read as vintage or even retro.  There’s an edge to this fragrance that makes it completely contemporary.

I’m normally not attracted to the large-scale perfumes like Carnal Flower for which Ropion is known for. However, I don’t find Superstitious overwhelming. It makes a statement but I apply it judiciously and it seems to meld with my skin. In fact, it possesses everything that draws me to a perfume: contrast, tension, mystery, sensuality, originality and unmistakable quality.

Superstitious is impossibly glamorous in the most undone, sexy way imaginable.





I understand Superstitious has been polarising people. What’s your take on it?


Filed under Perfume Reviews

33 responses to “Superstitious by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

  1. Fab review, Tara! Just tested Superstitious and found it quite overwhelming at the beginning but maybe the SA over sprayed. Love the image of the abandoned building and a dressing gown. What struck me though at some point was its similarity to Mona di Orio OSmanthus Oudh at the heart and dry down, but this might be how it develops on my skin. XxxE


    • Interesting! I am starting to conclude that this one is very different depending on the person. Thomas found it really animalic but I didn’t. To compare it to Osmanthus Oud it sounds like it was pretty skanky on you. You really don’t want to over-spray it though.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. In honour of this wonderful post I`m gonna wear Superstitious to the gym today. Eat that Lynx Boyz.


  3. Ha, me too, loving the image of rolling of the floor of an abandoned building in a ball gown. That should frankly be done more often 😃
    You made me very curious with the talk of intrigue, I hope to sniff it soon. Your lovely review made me think of the barbara herman’s Eris perfumes, though I haven’t tried them either. They are on my list too…


    • I love complexity and contrast and find that kind of mustiness in the drydown sexy, so it really fascinates me. There’s so much to get your teeth into. I wonder how it will behave on your skin. It seems like you never know what you’re going to get until you wear it. It’s fun people are perceiving it differently though.
      Yes, it’s a modern take on a classic style, like the Eris Perfumes.


  4. Beautiful review! How much did I love the ‘frothy mountain of tulle’, ditto the rolling around in an abandoned building which I see appealed to the others too. I scored a sample of this at Les Senteurs, and I am going to keep wearing it – I agree with Esperessence that the opening is pretty full-on / fierce due to the aldehydes, but then it settles down and is really unusual and distinctive. I have it on good authority (you can guess who!) that it smelt ‘amazing’ on you, and that was my impression when I sniffed your neck after you had had it on a little while. It totally melded with your skin but was still quite a big production on me at all times. I think you should be that girl in the ball gown, no question…;)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ooh, interesting…I just dabbed it on again today and the aldehydic opening was super soapy, but not particularly fizzy. It really prickled up my nose last time, but today I am definitely getting the bubble bath facet of the aldehydes.


    • Cheers, V! I think I’m lucky it works really well with my skin chemistry. Not too aldehydic or too animalic. It’s going to be a case of “suck it and see” for most people. It’s one of those you have to try for yourself and see what you get. Dabbing is good option though. Over-spraying would be deadly 🙂
      I do want to be that girl in the ball gown, it has to be said.


      • It has carried on developing into something very soft and muzzy, still clean so far. I think it likes the heat. I’d venture to say that our mutual friend might reckon it smelt considerably better on me now than first time round for whatever reason – and I like it a lot. Maybe the dabbing suited me compared to spraying, who knows?


        • Good news! Yes, application plays a big part here though Val assures me it’s still great with a hefty spray. It is definitely more on the clean, soft and muzzy side on me.


  5. A pinch of smutty spice… I love the sound of this one already. I have not tried it. Would love to after reading your review. R


  6. Good lord, woman, that’s now three for three on the lemming inducement.


  7. Lady Jane Grey

    Reading all the reviews out there it feels as if I would have tried a different perfume… On my skin the jasmine is rather deconstructed, and is combined with bubble gum with artificial aromas. I blamed my skin and temperature and whatever, but with the second testing it was a soapy unpleasantness.
    So, from me it’s a NO !

    Liked by 1 person

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