What is it about French perfumes that makes them so very French? I love and wear fragrances from all around the globe, but when I want or need to come across as a classy, elegant and smart woman, it is always a French perfume that I reach for. Often that meant Chanel No. 5, a Guerlain, maybe something from Fragonard or Molinard. Now I’m pleased to have a new solid option for such occasions: the Made By Me Nude Duo Compact with All Over U Musk and Blitz Fig.
I purchased the Made By Me sample set a few weeks ago and had a great time trying all the blends and sharing my experience with you. When the brand reached out to offer a Duo compact as a gift, it was a tough choice, but I liked the sophisticated aura achieved by the blend of musk and fig. The interplay of these two scents, in various doses and orders of application, offered a surprising amount of versatility.
Above all, I am so glad to get to try a full size Duo Compact after purchasing the sample set. Having tried the samples, I know already that the fragrances are wonderful, but packaging is a huge part of the consumer experience with cosmetics and perfumes. I’m not immune to the allure of a beautiful bottle or cleverly-designed compact. With the Duo, I get to experience the gorgeous, high-quality packaging that is a perfect complement to the Made By Me fragrances. Look at those bright colors! That little “Birth of Venus” homage! The shiny gold interior! If I didn’t know this was perfume, I would guess this was the latest cosmetics palette from a cool brand like Urban Decay, Pat McGrath or Huda Beauty. Palettes have captured the imagination of beauty influencers and makeup enthusiasts in no small part because of the delightful packaging. It’s a delight to see this concept applied to fine fragrances, too.
Made By Me Nude Duo All Over U Musk & Blitz Fig
Size: each perfume in the compact is 2 g/0.07 oz.
Packaging: a paper magnetic compact with a mirror, packaged in a paper sleeve. Both compact and sleeve feature beautiful multi-colored prints and images. The interior of the compact is covered in metallic gold paper. Made By Me notes, “We developed products based on FSC paper coming from FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) to reduce almost to zero the use of plastic: even the varnish protecting the paper is bioplastic varnish. We have an easy to recycle by bits product and apart from the mirror and the magnets a 100% recyclable item. The non-recycling parts can be reused.”
Base: Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Myristyl Trisiloxane, Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate, Parfum, Synthetic Wax, Caprylyl Methicone, Mica, Ci 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Microcrystalline Wax (Cera Microcristallina), Dimethicone, Laureth-4.
Vegan-friendly: Probably. Doublecheckvegan.com indicates cetearyl ethylhexanoate can possibly be of animal origin. According to the brand’s official website, Made By Me is currently applying for certification as cruelty-free.
Color and texture: the texture of both scents is a creamy solid, similar to a lipstick or cream blush. All Over U Musk is a soft beige and Blitz Fig is a muted reddish-orange in the palette. The colors disappear when applied to skin, leaving a trace of shimmer. The mica is finely ground and the shimmer would not be obtrusive for daytime wear, depending on how many layers of scent are used.
Natural perfume or mixed media: The fragrances are mixed media, with the catch-all “parfum” and natural isolates included in the ingredients listings for both scents.
Fragrance descriptions and notes: from the official website:
All Over U Musk
“Nude shimmer, a sheer caress of glimmering light and sensuality … the velvety peachy musk reveal the beauty of one’s own skin scent, awakening it like a first ray of sun.
All Over U Musk, it is like the primer of your makeup palette. It reveals the beauty of your own skin scent. Alone, it is a pure declaration of innocent sensuality. Blended, it will soften any other Nude Fragrance, bringing depth and gentle sensuality.
Hero Ingredients: White peach note, Musk notes, Freesia accord, Cedarwood Chips”
“Crispy, cutting edge, smart, this shot of pure vegetal energy, raw fig leaves, balanced by the gourmand reddish fig pulp, connects with the power of nature!
Alone, Blitz Fig is a demanding connection to nature, gourmand and raw. Blended, it will add the green power of nature to any other Nude fragrance, bringing a touch of crispy energy.
Hero Ingredients: Fig leaves accord, Tonka bean absolute”
Longevity: the longevity on these is excellent, usually six to seven hours, with some blends lasting a little longer. As individual fragrances, All Over U Musk lasts a little longer than Blitz Fig.
Sillage: these have moderate sillage upon application, fading to intimate (a few inches above skin) after an hour or two, depending on the blend. Blitz Fig has bigger projection than All Over U Musk.
The Experience: The full-size product reinforces the multi-sensory engagement that the Made By Me concept offers. The two fragrances in the Duo look like contouring creams or a blush/highlighter pair, are distinguishable by their color as well as their scent, and offer a unique textural and visual experience when applied with the fingers. It’s akin to the satisfaction of applying a cosmetic that goes on bright but blends down to a subtle flush on the skin. Watching as the colors mix and fade, leaving behind only a soft shimmer and their scent, adds another level of enjoyment to the fragrance application experience. Application is arguably the most satisfying step in the process of wearing a fragrance–the rush of that first intense aroma as the alcohol dissipates! Better still, with a solid, we bypass the medicinal waft of alcohol altogether and go straight to the aroma rush.
Apply these solids anywhere that you would normally apply liquid or solid fragrance: pulse points, back of neck, ends of hair, etc. (I would not apply these to clothing, due to the color and shimmer.) The brand describes a “dose” of fragrance as two circles across the product made with two fingers. That’s a perfect amount to start any blend, but may not be intense enough if you’re applying just one of the fragrances–you’ll want to apply at least a couple doses and/or apply the fragrance to multiple pulse points. On the other hand, I don’t think it is possible to apply too much of the fragrances in this medium, though the amount of shimmer becomes more noticeable at three or four doses.
Equal doses of All Over U Musk topped by Blitz Fig is the most logical recipe for this Duo. The other recipes are largely variations on this theme, but with subtle differences for taking a fragrance from day to night, office to nightclub, etc.
I found that adding Musk+Fig+Musk, in that order, sweetened the fig and trimmed its green twigs a bit. Musk+Fig+Fig amplifies the fig and produces a more intense aroma overall. An interesting experiment: swiping Musk+Fig side by side on my wrist like bracelets, rather than one atop the other. The “bracelet” method gave a fuller experience of each individual scent, allowing me to smell all the “Hero Ingredients” in each as well as their combined aroma.
Your purchase of a Duo will also come with a Sample Kit, for additional blending options. Perfumistas will no doubt try blending these solids with all the other liquid and solid fragrances they own, and I know I’ll get around to that eventually. The All Over U Musk in particular seems like a “layering genie” (thank you again to Lucy Raubertas for that wonderful expression!) that would work its magic with just about any other fragrance.
The packaging and product names in the Made By Me Nude collection suggest they were designed with a youthful consumer in mind, but the Nude fragrances and the various combinations you can achieve with them are sophisticated, fully-realized fragrance concepts. (Nude and musks not your thing? Sit tight and follow the brand on social media for news about their upcoming Glamour fragrance collection.) If these scents intrigue you, the Sample Kit is a bargain and a great place to start, at $8. Duos are currently priced at $59, and the full size palette with all the scents is $119 as of the date of publication. The brand takes returns and will issue a refund if you’re not satisfied, but I find it hard to believe that you won’t be. I’ve tried hundreds of fragrances in my years as a perfumista and I still found new delights to explore with these scents.
Thank you to Made By Me for the opportunity to try a Duo!
Where to buy: the fragrance palette, Duo compacts and sample kits are available for sale on the official Made By Me website. The brand currently ships to France, UK, most of the EU, USA, Canada and South Korea, with more countries to be added soon.
Additional Notes: the label includes a period-after-opening symbol of 18 months.
All images by me. The Nude Duo was a gift from Made By Me. All thoughts and opinions are my own.