--What does the promo say?--
"Parfums M Micallef...is announcing the launch of the new ART COLLECTION with a duo of gourmand and sensual fragrances: Rouge N°1 and Rouge N°2...The M Micallef Company gives priority to qualitative and natural ingredients in its fragrances...Martine Micallef has reinterpreted the Art Deco fundamentals [combining] geometrical figures, cubic cap and bottle adorned with circular shaped Swarovski Crystal Rocks. Floral-fruity eau de parfum Rouge N°1 combines delicious yellow fruit and a generous bunch-of-flowers heart, warmed by the vanilla and white musk base. Oriental-floral eau de parfum Rouge N°2 mixes the refinement of a bunch of jasmine, orchids and violets with oriental scents of amber, vanilla and animal notes."
The samples sent to me for free by M Micallef were just plastic vials. However, it's true that the bottles themselves look very impressive. My only worry is that this extravagance in the packaging could drive up the price of the perfume itself.
Spritz onto pressure points to have the scent linger all over your body.
The Rouge N°1 is, in my view, far too heavy, evoking images of overly made-up old ladies and retro film stars (and sadly not in a good way). I suspect that the overbearing ylang ylang is responsible for this, with the other aspects of the scent not getting a look-in. Perhaps purchase for your grandmother!
On the other hand, Rouge N°2 is a delight, and perfect for young ladies or the young-at-heart. Sparkling and uplifting, it is carried on the blissful wings of violet, citrus and blackcurrant. Vanilla and jasmine ensure it isn't too sharp, while nutmeg and amber make sure it isn't sickly sweet. Unique and perfectly balanced.
M Micallef's perfumes are made with very high-quality ingredients, so while you may wish to reapply once during the day just to get that burst of the head notes again, it's not strictly necessary, since even though you stop smelling it, it does last all day.
--Value for money--
On the one hand, I can't blame you for the sharp intake of breath that I myself experienced upon realising how expensive M Micallef's fragrances are. Alongside the absolute cost, relatively speaking I can see why people might want to go for a bigger name: for a similar price, you can choose eaux de parfum from brands such as Giorgio Armani, Guerlain, Yves St Laurent or Acqua di Parma. On the other hand, such a quantity (remember we are talking about a 100ml bottle here) would last you an incredibly long time - with daily use, I'd estimate a minimum of 18-24 months. Rouge N°2 is a unique scent using high-quality ingredients that would give you a kick out of using a limited edition perfume whose fragrance you really love every day for nearly two whole years. Plus, you'd have the moral satisfaction of supporting a smaller parfumière, as opposed to one of the big boys. The choice is yours.
M Micallef perfumes can be purchased in the UK at Fortnum and Mason, as well as at Harrods (at Roja Dove's).