Saturday, November 19, 2011


Baime represents the kind of thing niche perfumers should be doing, but usually don't - creating a fragrance that is unique, daring and extremely well composed.  The "extemely well composed" part is what most niche fragrances lack these days.  Baime represents niche perfumery at its best.

This is a superb fragrance!  It's an intensely herbal basil and vetiver scent, unlike anything else I've ever worn.  Basil and vetiver - who would have thought that two dry-as-bone ingredients like these could work so well together?  As it turns out, they happen to blend together perfectly here, and that's one of the reasons I'm so impressed with this perfume.

Fresh basil has a very complex and delightful smell.  If you've ever crushed basil leaves in your hand, or if you've cooked with it, you know that it smells fresh, peppery, fruity and intensely green, all at the same time.  When it's cooked, it also develops a slight anisic facet, like the smell of pastis or black licorice.  Fresh basil is practically a self-contained fragrance, in leaf form.  It's a wonderful, uplifting smell, to those who like it. 

You need to spray this on liberally to be able to smell it in its full glory.  When I first tested Baime, with a spritz to the back of my hand, it smelled merely okay, like a decent herbal fragrance composed mainly of dry thyme and marjoram.  I didn't really smell basil.  However, when I sprayed it on my chest, neck and wrists, Baime totally came to life.  That's also when I realized how important the vetiver is Baime.

I love how complex Baime is.  It goes on extremely fresh and green, with brisk lavender and the basil giving an invigorating kick.  The basil smell really starts cooking after the lavender fades, and Baime captures all of the complexity that fresh basil has.  I get lemony, peppery, anisic, and of course green smells from the basil for hours, and the vetiver in the background merely sustains that wonderful complexity and freshness.  As the hours pass, Baime becomes more of a vetiver fragrance, which gives it a slight woody smell, and that's perfectly fine by me.  This is a delightful scent!

It took guts for MPG to release a scent like this.  It's not as if there are mobs of people kicking the doors down to buy basil fragrances.

Baime is required sampling for any fan of dry herbal fragrances.  It's probably my favorite herbal fragrance.  However, if that kind of scent is not your cup of tea, then stay away from this like the plague.

MY RATING:  9/10

Fragrance House:  Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier

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