Being something of a mutineer myself, refuting bullshit my entire life in order to find a way of living truthfully, I can relate to a perfume called Mutiny.




If only the perfume contained even an ounce of revolt or rebellion or fury – particularly at this precarious and dangerous moment in time. A pushing back AGAINST something : :  : a firm rejection. Fronted by the zeit-cool Willow Smith, directed by John Galliano on behalf of the fashion iconoclast Martin Margiela, you could be forgiven for expecting to smell something with at least a few microbeads of startle and novelty – a push in some exciting, anti-Nazi, ungendered direction. Something fresh. Unanticipated.




Instead, though not displeasing, what you get is something UTTERLY FAMiLIAR in the Flowerbomb mould; the thick vanilla candy floss that is the sediment in practically every woman’s perfume now ( though this is billed as unisex ), and something tuberosey, another recently prevalent ingredient — in the last Gucci, in Stella’s Pop, and the like: unthreatening, sexy, and there’s nothing wrong with these easy,  off the shoulder, Friday night drinks after work type scents with an eye to hopefully chatting someone up at the bar – the warm fragrance of all the current tropes placing you safely in the nose space of the contemporary acceptable. I only smelled this cursorily at the department store, and  who knows, it might smell very nice on another person, up close, when it melds properly with skin.




What irks me,  though, is the chasm between the ‘concept’ and the execution. It as if with perfume, now, the smell of the creation – the sole reason for its existence – feels almost like an AFTERTHOUGHT. We are not trusted anymore to respond nasally/emotionally to innovation ( I remember the shock of the new of Issey Miyake’s L’Eau  when it debuted, a similar fashion originator to Margiela, whose perfume- which I personally never actually liked – was still undeniably previously unsmelled. The smell ITSELF was the point : it encapsulated a new feeling: of leaving one decade and entering another; it felt futuristic. And the public responded. People DO like newness, originality.)



That intrepid, more avidly risk taking approach has long since been replaced with a bland temerity. So only the images, and the ad campaigns ever hint at something new ( but not really even then : what, actually, is mutinous about a blank pouting stare into the camera ?). The scents themselves are just like doppelgängers, dressed up in the conveyor belt of next season’s ready to wear.








Filed under Flowers

21 responses to “MUTINY by MARTIN MARGIELA (2018)

  1. They should have called it ‘Middle Of The Road’ by Martin Margiela.

    Or Mediocre.


    Another anticipated yet not exactly what’s expected fragrance ! (“go with the flow,dollar dollar bill”!)

  3. What a pity about this lost opportunity. Why do you think they are so scared to be adventurous, when this is exactly what attracted people to the brand in the first place?

  4. Nelleke Oepkes aka Booknose

    Another The Medium is the Message!
    Adding insult to injury.
    Noses of the World revolt!
    Superb comment M. Ginza.
    Even without smelling it you have me up in arms!

  5. Tara C

    Nothing to see here. I now look for offbeat little indie outfits to surprise me. The big corporate brands only go for same and safe. It’s owned by L’Oréal Luxe.

    • That would explain it.

      What recent discoveries have you made?

      • Tara C

        I’ve been enjoying Hiram Green’s Slowdive, Papillon Perfumery’s Salome, Skive by J. Hannah Co. and Atlantic Ambergris by Areej le Doré.

      • I have Slowdive – what a freaky perfume. Really deep and hypnotic, like going back a few centuries to some bucolic backdrop with honeybees. I have heard great things about Areej as well. What is it like? (haven’t heard of Hannah).

      • Tara C

        Areej is really different, he is non-IFRA compliant and uses natural animalic ingredients, plus top quality oud and mysore sandalwood. Small batches, offbeat scents. Kind of reminds me a bit of Slumberhouse in style.

  6. At least if the had called it “Mediocrity”, there would have been some truth in advertising. I do not look at any commercial release to be any good, nor even wearable, by my standards at least.
    The only commercial release, if it even is, that I thought was somewhat wearable is Twilly by Hermès. At least it has something interesting happening.
    Personally I wasn’t expecting much from Martin Margiela, and that seems to be what is being sold…not much.

    • Mediocrity would actually be kind of brilliant in a way, a kind of ironic statement. I wish it WAS called that. I think Mutiny should be something really shocking, like some kind of unwearable pomegranate chrysanthemum or something, or a lime violet; something that suggests bucking against the candfloss strains of this clogged and banalised world.

      • Beau de l'Air

        I agree that Twilly is quite good, I’m going to buy it for my 14 year old kid for christmas. On the male side of Sephora it’s even worst. haven’t liked anything since Dior Homme Parfum and that was 4 years ago…

      • I quite liked Twilly for the initial gingery tuberose thang, but as it pans out it gets a bit nothingy. Still, at least it smells nice for a while, and I can imagine it actually being rather lovely on a younger person.

  7. femeraldgirl

    this review got my curiosity piqued!

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