Just looking at the notes of a scent is usually not enough to know what the scent would actually smell like. Here, I am lending my non-professional but sensitive nose to sniff some Maison Margiela Replica scents and describe them as much as I can, focusing on the base notes, long after the top and middle notes have dissipated. Why just the base notes – because this is the scent that lingers on, and is what we’d be smelling for a much longer time. Simply put, the base note is more important to me than the top and middle notes. (Edit : I tend to do the blasphemous thing and spray on fabric. These are my experiences with usage on fabric!)

Hopefully some may find this useful, but otherwise, it was a fairly interesting and educational exercise for myself :

By the Fireplace : Smells exactly like roasted chestnuts. Very strong scent, and seemingly lasts forever.

Matcha Meditation : Not sure if I can articulate the smell well. It does smell like matcha – more specifically, strong green tea – including even that little tinge of bitterness. However, there is a sweetness that you wouldn’t typically get from tea without sugar. I would describe it as similar to the smell from eating matcha ice cream, but it is not heavy or creamy and is instead surprisingly refreshing. Hints of jasmine/chrysanthemum tea at the very end of the scent. Lasts relatively long.

Whispers in the Library : Smells like a woody (and to me, a bit of floral) warm vanilla, with a tiny hint of old books. In my opinion, needs more of that “old books” smell. Relatively long-lasting.

Beach Walk : Smells like those potpourri that claim they smell like the sea. Although it doesn’t smell like the sea to me, it conjures a very carefree and vacation-like image in the mind. Very “clean” and summery smell. I was very drawn to this scent even though it is not what I would typically go for. Seemingly lasts forever.

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Under the Lemon Trees : Had a natural citrusy smell that was quite refreshing. Didn’t last too long, and is easily overpowered by the other scents.

On a Date : Smells like peach tea to me. Didn’t last very long.

Autumn Vibes : Personally, I didn’t think it smelled like autumn with the top and middle notes, so the early scent is a bit abstract to me. However, the peppery and woody notes last a long time, and it eventually settles into a sweet smoky scent that is reminiscent of a cosy fireplace. If your idea of a fireplace leaves no room for roasted chestnuts, this would be a good alternative to By the Fireplace (this was what I had imagined By the Fireplace to smell like).

Coffee Break : This smells nothing like coffee nor anything remotely coffee-adjacent to me, and I am sad. Annoyingly translates to a soap smell for me. Hard pass.

Lazy Sunday Morning : To me, this was an abstract scent. Settles into a sweet and musky rosy scent.

Conclusions : Since the Replica scents are marketed to smell of something very specific, or at least be reminiscent of a place or time, I would consider the more abstract scents a miss – e.g. Lazy Sunday Morning smells like a generic perfume scent rather than invoke a feeling or memory. In my opinion, the standouts in this list of scents I’ve tried are

  1. By the Fireplace
  2. Matcha Meditation


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