Guerlain’s Mahora (2000), also rhymes with “My Horror”, is a perfume that got a 1-star review from Luca Turin (he calls it the worst Guerlain perfume), but also a perfume that I have to get for a few reasons:
1) If this perfume was released by some lesser known perfume house and got a 1 star review, I say, “Oh well.” But it’s a major release by Guerlain and has got such an humiliating rating, I really want to smell it and try to understand what has gone so wrong.
2) Guerlain renamed it to Mayotte and bumped up the price to $270. I wish I could rename a carton of expired milk and call it cheese. If Mahora and Mayotte are the same perfume but Mahora is so much cheaper, why not get a bottle and think that you have purchased an expensive bottle? (The logic is so flawed and I am so superficial, it’s scary.)
3) One day the sales lady of the perfume shop that I frequent told me, “Awesome, the perfume that you said was horrible finally got sold! All gone!” I wish there was a mirror on the spot so that I could see my facial expression of a unhappy smile. I thought that bottle was my secret. I have planned to get it when I have no other perfumes to buy. Anyway, I found it again in another shop and decided not to let it slip away.
I am smelling Mahora right now, and I don’t know what is going on. Is it bad? I didn’t cringe. Am I delighted? No, I’m not smiling. Actually, I am feeling a little puzzled. I can relate it to a little bit of Serge Lutens’ Tuberuse Criminelle (gasoline and tuberose), which got high accolades. I can also relate it to some Lush’s weird little jasmin/coconut perfumes, but Lush is born-this-way-weird and Guerlain isn’t. Is it a one-star perfume? I think it’s a bit too harsh – if you go to fragrantica and check out the reviews, a lot of people are ooh-ing and ahh-ing over the “beautifulness” of this perfume. I believe a good amount of effort was put in making this perfume, and sometimes even Stephen Spieldberg makes a bad movie, so if you enjoy it then wear it. For now, I am keeping it till it’s $500 on eBay.