OK, I’m a closet goth. I like deep aubergine lipstick, thick black eyeliner, and darkwave. I don’t appear very “goth” since most people associate this with what they remember from high school: Hot Topic, crushed velvet, and Wet n Wild black lipstick. Anyways, what I’m saying is that I tend to like “gothic” (moody) fragrances too: dark, mossy, mildewy, smoky incense. This is why I had to try Etro Messe de Minuit (midnight mass). Etro Messe de Minuit is a gothic fragrance because it sees the beauty in the darkness. I sample many fragrances but I know I have to have a bottle of Messe de Minuit. It’s the perfect fall/winter fragrance for me. But, it has a spring/summer appeal as well. It’s incense and it’s myrrh heavy. It’s so gothy dreamy.
I’m sure this smells like mass or cathedral incense but being the pariah that I am, I have no idea what church incense smells like. I can only go by other’s circumstantial accounts 🙂 This may be the only Messe de Minuit review that you’ve ever read that doesn’t compare it to the church! This fragrance is incense to me. If you like incense then you have to try Messe de Minuit. This fragrance opens as a citrus frankincense incense, smoky but tart. There’s a laudable, balancing addition of citrus notes: sour lemon and zesty bergamot. Don’t think that this is some sunny citrus blend. It’s not. The citrus is smoky. The citrus is devoured by a cloud of incense smoke. This is a smoky citrus with a hint of wintery, mulled spices. As the fragrance develops, it’s burning myrrh incense. It’s smoky but more like a settled haze of smoke than a cloud of smoke. The spicy, lemony citrus always peeks through the incense in Messe de Minuit. The smoke settles on the citrus. At some point in wear, it wears spicy like cinnamon and clove. It slightly reminds me of Old Spice because it’s citrus spice. The dry down reminds me of copal, amber, and myrrh. The citrus is gone and I’m left with resin like residue with a settled cloud of smoke. * Many reviewers and wearers comment on this fragrance’s mildewy notes. I do not pick up any dampness or mildew from Messe de Minuit on my skin. However, I’m in rainy western Washington. Everything is mildewy and wet. How could I pick up on such a note that inundates me? On a dry day, I thought I did but it may of been a mildewy breeze!
Etro Messe de Minuit is dark but not too dark. It’s not a Christian Death album or video. I like to think of Messe de Minuit as R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion” type of fragrance. It’s borderline creepy but still mainstream enough to be popular like the song and video. I see the citrus as the mandolin in Messe de Minuit. It’s unexpected in a smoky, incense fragrance but it just works and that citrus is what makes Messe de Minuit so unconventional. (R.E.M.’s video here).
I love Etro Messe de Minuit. I love smoky, moody fragrances. Messe de Minuit is incense. In fact, it reminds me very much of the wonderful but discontinued GAP Om EDT. Do you remember that one? If you do and you miss it, then try Etro Messe de Minuit. I think you’ll be happy. Etro Messe de Minuit, like R.I.P. GAP Om, is an EDT. It wears lightly for a smoky, incense fragrance, never feels heavy. However, it does last much longer than other colognes. I can still sniff the smoky resin on my skin after 8+ hours of wear in the cooler months. In the summer the citrus is more prominent on my skin and it of course, wears for a shorter period of time.
Notes listed include: incense, lemon, bergamot, myrrh, amber, and vanilla.
Do try Etro Messe de Minuit if you love “churchy” incense scents! Also, give it a try if you like Comme des Garconnes Incense Series Avignon EDT, Lubin Itasca EDP, Carthusia 1681 EDT, Heeley Cardinal EDP, Byredo Chambeur EDP, Annick Goutal Myrrhe Ardente EDP, and/or Crazylibellule & The Poppies Encens Mystic Crazystick. And yes, even GAP Om EDT.
The 3.4 oz. spray 0f Etro Messe de Minuit retails for $155. It is available at Aedes. I need to pick up a bottle during the rainy season.
Want more reviews? Try…
Nathan Branch (thank you for the Cure video!)