Maison Martin Margiela has enjoyed considerable coverage from its innovatively named Replica series of fragrances.
With many enticing names like Whispers in the Library, Beach Walk, By the Fireplace and today’s subject Jazz Club, the Replica range is presented beautifully.
I discovered this range early on in my journey into fragrance, and was caught up completely in the cult.
Testing Jazz Club at a local store, my newbie olfactory brain thought it was the best thing since sliced bread.
I didn’t buy it, though, as I was too caught up in trying all of the new things.
As I began to nose more scents and sampled the products of other makers (Floris Honey Oud, Clive Christian E Gourmande Oriental, HDP 1740 are three in particular that eclipsed Jazz Club for me), I began to see the Replica range in a dimmer light.
I realised that many of them were a fleeting hint of the name on the bottle, thumped with a heavy dose of vanillin to try and garner more mass appeal.
This made me duly apathetic to the whole range, including Jazz Club which I so enjoyed in the beginning.
I began to think it was a good idea that I never bought it.
Several months passed, I forgot all about the scent, then one day my partner came home one day and presented me with a 10mL vial of it.
I reintroduced my nose to ˆJazz Club.
This time I found neither feelings of love, nor apathy.
Instead, I found it pleasant company.
I still characterise Jazz Club as being reminiscent of a scented candle with a booze and cigars theme.
The blend very much reflects that, and frankly this scent would do nicely as a candle.
Very fleeting top notes of lemon and neroli present to the nose upon spritzing. Pink pepper is also cited to be in the top here, but I don’t detect it.
Heart notes contain the sweet spice of a rum accord; this overpowers its companions clary sage and vetiver, of which both are barely detectable.
Base notes are compiled of a tobacco accord distinctively synthetic in nature (hence the continued candle references), a heavy dose of vanillin – an unfortunate characteristic of many Replica scents – and benzoin resin.
Development over its life is linear, however this isn’t a bad thing.
Performance over time for me is rather fleeting, capping out around the four hour mark.
The scent projects better than it performs, with an above average field of projection.
Blend Quality: .5/1
Reminiscence of a soy candle and a heavy handed dose of vanillin keep Jazz Club from being all that it can be.
Margiela nailed the presentation across the whole Replica line, with the 100mL bottles being both unique and visually appealing. Presentation and branding is impeccable.
Personal Smell Score: .6/1
The scent smells better than most of its counterparts in the sub-$200 price bracket, and slightly above average on the grand scale of things. If you’re looking for quality over quantity, it may be worth paying the extra money to move into the next price range, even for something like Tobacco Vanille.
Total score: 3.1/5
It’s by no means a world beater, but it is quite good value for money and safe. If you’re thinking of gifting, this may well be a much better route than the usual designer gift scents like Sauvage and company.
What Would I Wear This With?
Jazz Club is a fairly easy wear, and tends more towards comfortable cool weather outfits in my opinion.
I don’t tend to pair it with suits or the like, as there are scents better suited to such roles (Penhaligon’s Sartorial, Christian Provenazo Patchouli Noir).
You can dress this one down as far as you like. Jeans and a tee wouldn’t raise an eyebrow, though it might cause you to shiver in the cool season…