Friday, August 24, 2012

Ramon Monegal Mon Patchouly: fragrance review

Mon Patchouly, part of the impressive new Ramón Monegal perfume collection from the former owner & perfumer of Spanish Myrurgia (since swallowed by Puig), straddles the line between woody oriental fragrance and oriental "gourmand", intended for people of either sex persuasion who love soft, rich, deep scents that invite you closer with a delicious Jon Hamm hum rather than proclaim their aggressive intentions with mock bravado. It's patchouli reinvented; traditional, yet new; an overdone fragrance note of the 2000s which here gains a precious, quietly exciting patina.


The association with the suave Midwestern actor is reinforced by the subtly retro "masculine cologne" hint ~with its herbal indefinable rosy touch under the musk and woods~ that Mon Patchouly exhibits, further enhanced by the rum & whiskey tonality it gains as it unfolds its dry cocoa powder opening on the skin. It's enough to induce daydreaming of more elegant times, when men were virile and women were femmes. Aside from the phenomenal lasting power of the fragrance on my wrists ~withstanding an entire extended weekend that involved 2 showers, one prolonged sea dip (!) and several hand washings, obviously~ Mon Patchouly is also distinguished by its variability according to the skin it performs on.

On my own feminine skin, this RM perfume sweetens, mollifying the intense gourmand dryness of French roast coffee dregs & cocoa of Borneo 1834 by Serge Lutens. Fans of Montale Boisée Vanille and L'Artisan Havana Vanille/Absolument Vanille might find a similar boozy, darkish, real vanilla pods note hiding; rich and resonant, full of complexity and sub-plots, sometimes the latter even slightly repelling but always compelling. On my significant other's male skin Mon Patchouly dried down more resinous ambery, though not quite the thick, beer-belly-amber we know from elsewhere; I detect a hint of raisin and smoke too which provide contrast, probably revealed by skin Ph magic. The fragrance has the right balance and artistry not to fall into the over-familiarized (Just think, how many sweet amber patchoulis can you name at gun point? This isn't one of them).

The mossier, greener, woodier elements come forth from the back like dark secrets of a life behind closed doors, trysts during lunch break and hushed phone-calls, while still retaining the cigar box elegance and connoisseur complexity. I'm absolutely sure that come autumn and winter, Mon Patchouly will be delegated on the very front of my perfume closet (alongside the more panseasonal marvel Mon Cuir of the RM line which I sport as I write and on which I will write a separate review), its snuggly warmth a comfort for hectic days when its escapist fantasy will consume my commute and daily chores. I just can't fathom how bind-blowing Ramon Monegal's Mon Patchouly will be on a mohair scarf shared between'll have to wait for me to divulge in due time!

Bottom line: scrumptious! I'd love to get one of those beautiful inkwell bottles for myself.

Notes for Ramon Monegal Mon Patchouly: Patchouli, olibanum, oakmoss, geranium, jasmine, amber

Available at Luckyscent in eau de parfum concentration.

In the interests of full disclosure, I was sent a sample from the manufacturer.


  1. I have a few samples of Ramon Monegal as well and so far Mon Cuir is TDF! Mon Patchouly sounds beautiful, but I'd love to see your review on Mon Cuir!

  2. Cheryl15:47

    Lovely review of a 'must have'...sigh

  3. Sigh, that Jon Hamm, is many dreamy things or really the stuff dreams are made of. The best part the guy has an amazing sense of humor. Sorry, not perfume related I just really love Jon Hamm and I had to share this:

  4. Joolz,

    I have fallen hard for Mon Cuir. I'm thinking I should plunge for a full bottle, though the price is keeping me back right now. It's indeed to die for! (stay tuned for the review).

    The patchouli is just as lovely (really lovely), though we have probably seen more patchoulis than leathers, so the competition is less striking.

  5. Cheryl,

    ah...I almost despair to find beautiful stuff, though it's so much more of a lovely despair than the reverse (finding coal instead of diamonds)

  6. Jen,

    I can't disagree. He's really handsome in a timeless way and his acting chops are good too. It's a mystery why he didn't become famous much sooner (though it did provide an excellent basis for a maturity that wouldn't have been possible without those experiences, I suppose)

    Sadly, I can't see streaming outside the US... :-( Any youtube/vimeo links on that? Sounds fun!


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