Strange Name, Good Green...
Synthetic Jungle opens with bitter green resinous galbanum with a supporting hyacinth infused lily-of-the-valley and banana-like ylang-ylang derived floral accord before gradually transitioning to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart, the perfume stays bitter green but smooths out as the lily-of-the-valley takes the fore in a big way, supported by remnants of the ylang-ylang and sanitized green jasmine. During the late dry-down the composition stays highly linear with the lily-of-the-valley finally ceding control to remnants of the green jasmine that co-star with thin, slightly musky patchouli through its lengthy finish. Projection is good to very good and longevity outstanding at over 20 hours on skin.
The name "Synthetic Jungle" doesn't exactly inspire one's champing at the bit to try the perfume based on name alone. The perfumer, Anne Flippo, is new to the Malle line and while quite prolific and in some cases successful sales-wise isn't much of a qualitative winner, at least not to the tastes of this writer. That said, name and perfumer aside, Frederic Malle tends to have a pretty good record of working with perfumers and having them produce their finest work, and in this case, Malle has successfully again directed a perfumer to qualitative success in Synthetic Jungle. No, this is no masterpiece like Portrait of a Lady, but lovers of green compositions - lily-of-the-valley primarily derived in particular, will find plenty to love here. Additionally, while the perfume obviously uses synthetics in its base to exhibit its crazy longevity metrics, it never comes off smelling synthetic at all despite this, and I would wager the name is less a descriptor for the ingredients used, more implying a "re-creation" of a jungle in the perfume. I am not sure if I personally smell a jungle when wearing "Synthetic Jungle," but it certainly smells plenty green and plenty good, enough to get me to buy a bottle. The bottom line is the $295 per 100ml bottle "very good" 3.5 stars out of 5 rated Synthetic Jungle is no masterpiece, but while highly linear and far from innovative, will appeal greatly and is recommended to lovers of all things green, particularly compositions like Malle's own Lys Mediterranee.