I seem to be one of this tiny demographic that liked Mahora. I see Mahora as the swan´s song of the Guerlain house before its creative death. They say a lot of horrible (fake) things about Mahora. They say most of it ended in the sewers of Paris after its commercial flop. Thanks god Mahora, this fictional continent that inspired Jean Paul Guerlain, didn´t sink, like Atlantis, in the sewage, but survived in the exclusive Mayotte, after some slight changes in the formula.
Mayotte is a beguiling rendition of ylang ylang. This note is the very center of the fragance, and its many facets (floral, green, cosmetic, bitter, spicy, ethereal) are enhanced by the other ingredients. The lush opening is a tropical white flower, more bitter than the most tropical tuberoses, although keeping the richness and creaminess of this genre. This exotism is boosted by a juicy plumeria, that makes the ylang fruitier, and there is a spicy note also (pikake surely)
But what makes Mayotte interesting is the earthiness that exudes. Is way more than a usual suntan tropical floral. Bitter strong vetiver, no doubt, with nuances of soil, and the warmth of sandalwood, round off this full bodied perfume.
After a while the fragance becomes airy, sweeter. Vanilla takes flight, and illuminates the ylang still reigning, along the fragant sandal. Mayotte is now a warm cosy oriental.
There is a gourmand facet in this fragance. It doesn´t smell edible, but FEELS edible,it has a chewable texture of warm, moist out of the oven bread (but you wont smell bread or pudding of any type) Sorry i cannot explain myself better.
Tuberose, wisely in a solicitous supporting role until the drydown, takes over the Ylang then, so the floralcy is never lost. The last sigh of Mayotte is a persistent woody oriental.
I didn´t like the name Mayotte. The invention of Mahora after a trip to the Guerlain´s plantations of ylang ylang as a vision of a new, inviting, better world was a message of hope for the new millenium. That was poetic. This plantation was in the island of Mayotte, and while it keeps the connection with Mahora, a regular geographic denomination seemed...reductive.
After smelling Mayotte, i see this choice of name with other eyes. Mayotte is real, i has never been there but i stepped with bare feet on its black wet soil, felt the warm rain and smelled cascades of ylang´s green-yellow petals hanging of its branches. Paradise is not a fiction name, is still on earth: you don´t have to dream with it when you can go there, protect it, fight for it. Mayotte is a masterpiece to keep.