M.Micallef DesirToxic cover

DesirToxic by M.Micallef is a unisex spicy oriental fragrance, released in 2019, and created by Geoffrey Nejman.

A fragrance by the niche house that has been on the fragrance scene since 1996, often underrated, and one that deserves more attention.

After doing my online research to see what other bloggers think about this scent, I was quite shocked to find only one other English-written review for something like this.

Usually, I would gladly share my thoughts about why these kinds of situations happen, but the only thing I can think of is that this brand is probably not providing free bottles to reviewers, which, in my eyes, is a big plus.

This way, all reviewers are less likely to try to ‘sell’ you something they don’t like and will be more realistic with their opinions.

M.Micallef DesirToxic in three words: FAMILIAR – SMOOTH – INVIGORATING

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But, there is something about this perfume that I’ll share with you in more detail in the later chapters, which I actually don’t like.

For a fragrance house that has survived this long without spending a ton of money on marketing and giving away free bottles like there is no tomorrow, this composition could have been something else. Let’s see why.

Fragrance Information

M.Micallef DesirToxic box

Established in 1996 in Grasse, the global epicenter of perfumery, Parfums M.Micallef is a creation of the passionate collaboration between Martine Micallef and Geoffrey Nejman.

This family-owned business introduced the innovative concept of “Art and Perfume.” As both perfumers and artisans, their distinctive signature has gained acclaim from a discerning clientele.

Presently, this renowned brand is well-established in 75 countries, with a presence in 900 luxury stores, including their opulent Micallef mono Brand Boutiques.

Luxurious, gourmand, radiant, flowery, alluring, woody, spicy, and consistently stylish, M. Micallef fragrances evoke the finest ingredients, with a spotlight on the extraordinary blooms from the Pays de Grasse.

As a trailblazer in the realm of oriental scents, the company has expanded its spectrum of tones, driven by a passion for unique blends and guided by a natural instinct for the avant-garde.

M.Micallef DesirToxic Story

Geoffrey Nejman is a self-taught perfumer who has done 20 different creations for Micallef, and for someone who started this business with his partner and the assistance from Jean-Claude Astier, that’s quite an accomplishment.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much information about this release on the official website, which is an utter shame and an aspect of their business that should be handled with more care.

Besides this, the brand classifies this composition as spicy woody, and it comes in 30ml and 100ml flacons as Eau de Parfum. The retail price ranges from $114.00 to $267.00.

Perfume Theme

A note from the brand: “This intriguing eau de parfum deploys on male and female skins alike an addictive abundance of sensual raw materials, among which stands out cannabis, a rare ingredient in perfumery.”

Notes and Classification

  • Perfumer: Geoffrey Nejman
  • Perfume Oil Concentration: Eau de Parfum
  • Fragrance Type: Spicy Oriental
  • Release Date: 2019
  • Target Audience: Unisex
  • Masculine/Feminine: 70% – 30%
  • Most dominant notes: Cardamom, Tobacco, and Cinnamon
  • Age Group: 25+
  • Seasons: Fall and Winter
  • Occasions: Leisure, and Night Outs
  • Longevity and Projection: 6 – 8 hours with moderate projection
  • The recommended number of sprays: 5 – 7
  • Compliments: High
  • Likeability: High
  • Uniqueness: 2/5
  • Presentation: 4/5
  • Value for money: 7/10
  • Accords: Spicy, Aromatic, Warm
  • Reviewed batch code: 221501 – August 2022
  • Reformulated: No
  • Holy Grail Scent Rating: B
  • Sample/Buy/Pass: Sample
  • Testing Period: 4 months
  • Production: Available

Top notes: Bergamot, Cardamom
Heart notes: Cinnamon, Black Currant, Cannabis, Tonka Bean
Base notes: Oakmoss, Benzoin, Musk, Patchouli

Perfume Presentation

Let’s begin with the drawbacks before delving into the aspects I appreciate. The box that encases the bottle follows a traditional pedestal-style packaging we’ve encountered repeatedly.

Constructed from sturdy cardboard, the packaging features brand details on its sides, mirroring those on the bottle. However, it appears dull and uninspiring, concealing a true artistic gem within.

Additionally, the foam securing the bottle tends to wear off after some time. Despite this, the firm grip it provides prevents the bottle from banging inside, minimizing the risk of potential breakage.

Onto the bottle, the only element here for which I have no complaints. A complete stunner, it deviates from the typical stock bottles often seen in new quasi-niche houses.

Crafted with precision, the bottle boasts a harmonious blend of sophistication and modernity. It literally looks as if it was hand-painted by artists who took great care to ensure perfection.

The “smashed” rocks or glass details that span from one side of the bottle to the other, featuring blue and black colors, combined with the rough-textured cap and the pressurized atomizer, render it one of the best perfume bottles I have ever seen.

An absolute delight for fragrance collectors who appreciate having aesthetically pleasing fragrance bottles on display on their perfume shelves.

Great job to anyone who decided to design this collection like this. I guess we can all agree on growing tired of poor-quality fragrance bottles that all look alike.

My Experience With Perfume

M.Micallef DesirToxic bottle and box

In one of my earlier articles featuring this fragrance, I mentioned that this composition is magical, capturing the essence of fall in a bottle.

However, I also noted that it is a clone of a couple of other fragrances, so I’m not quite ready to eat my own words yet. Lucky me.

Every time I write a review about a fragrance, I aim to consider every potential customer, from fragrance enthusiasts to general consumers.

Individuals who might purchase one or two perfumes per year, with little knowledge about the intricacies of the fragrance world, will likely declare this as their best-ever fragrance for cooler weather.

However, we perfume hobbyists are more discerning, having spent years sampling hundreds, if not thousands, of different fragrances.

Given that this is a niche fragrance with a relatively steep price point, though justified for a brand with such a longstanding presence in the market, I still have my reservations.

Dear Geoffrey, it’s commendable that you’ve chosen to pay an hommage to fantastic and discontinued fragrances, as you’ve done previously with Avant-Garde, Osaito, EdenFalls, and Royal Vintage, to name a few.

However, wouldn’t it have been better to infuse something more unique into these creations, providing an unusual twist to distinguish them from their inspirations?

This can’t merely be a happy accident anymore. I understand that there has been a lack of creativity in the fragrance world for more than ten years now, but come on.

All of the most prominent notes could have been mixed with something like ebony wood in the base—a note that is often underused but spectacular when done right.

Yes, I may sound like a critic again, critiquing a fragrance that, in the end, is a good deal when considering it’s a blend of Opium Pour Homme by Yves Saint Laurent and A*Men Pure Havane from Mugler.

The saving grace is the fact that I actually prefer this one more than those two because it amalgamates the best aspects of both, but lacks something more, as mentioned before.

My critique is rooted in the belief that, as fragrance journalists, we must take a tougher stance with brands that resist offering something new.

The perfumer’s talent is undoubtedly visible here, but please, let your next creation live up to M. Micallef’s name.

Top Notes

M.Micallef DesirToxic - cardamom

  • Bergamot
  • Cardamom

Alrighty, now that everything that was bothering me is behind us, let’s get to the good things, of which there are more than a few, for this pleasant ride.

The opening is great, smooth, and nostalgic. Achieving this without disrupting the entire composition is a feat of its own.

Whether you’re young or old, new or experienced with perfumes, you’ll probably enjoy it as well. At the forefront, a burst of citrus zest dances on the skin, invigorating the senses with its lively and fresh demeanor.

This quickly transitions into a delightful spicy kick, emanating from a state-of-the-art cardamom note that is blended terrifically.

Even with all my critiques, I love how this opens and captures the magic of Opium Pour Homme, Pure Havane, with hints of Parfums de Marly Layton.

The initial zestiness serves as an invitation to the warm, fruity, and creamy heart and base notes, so keep that in mind.

Heart Notes

M.Micallef DesirToxic - spices

  • Cinnamon
  • Black Currant
  • Cannabis
  • Tonka Bean

The transition is also top-notch, and Nejman knew what he was doing here. Oh, and that black currant, just like the one found in Creed’s Aventus, always puts a smile on my face.

Cannabis, the obvious elephant in the room, is non-existent here, so don’t worry that you’ll smell like “weed”.

It’s just a marketing ploy to keep you talking about this perfume. For comparison, this accord is more pronounced in Nasomatto’s Black Afgano.

Along with black currant and still detectable cardamom from the opening, cinnamon, and tonka bean join the party, making it more sexy and inviting, which gives it a layer of intrigue, keeping the overall composition dynamic and engaging.

I wouldn’t necessarily say that DesirToxic falls completely into the gourmand territory. Yeah, it has some sweetness but is grounded with a greener base.

With that said, I can also guarantee with certainty that there is also a cherry-like pipe tobacco note inside here that ties it up with Pure Havane, not disclosed in the official note breakdown.

Base Notes

M.Micallef DesirToxic - moss

  • Oakmoss
  • Benzoin
  • Musk
  • Patchouli

As the fragrance gracefully concludes its aromatic journey, the base notes emerge to provide a lingering and quite memorable finale.

I understand that many of us who fall into the let’s say “younger crowd” have a hard time enjoying the chypre fragrances from the past based on the macho oakmoss note, but this is different.

At the foundation of the composition lies a rich woody, pipe tobaccoish, and vanillic accord which rarely goes wrong. The vanilla is more of a dusty kind, and the oakmoss is devoid of its bitterness.

In the end, it provides a semi-sweet and comforting undertone along with a magnetic musk resonance to finish this symphony with a bang.

All in all, if your taste matches mine, this is an olfactive trip you’ll enjoy, and be pleased to have something like this in your collection.


In terms of its performance, I’m pleased to a certain degree. With its naturally heavier notes, it is not a “beast mode” in this department.

Feels like it would have suited the workplace better than a nightclub, but that is fine when all things are considered.

Six to eight hours with initial strong projection that will mellow down within the first three to four hours making it a more moderately projecting scent.

As for the sillage, it gracefully envelops you, creating a personal aromatic aura that draws attention without being overpowering which is a plus in my eyes.

LONGEVITY: 6 – 8 hours
SILLAGE: Moderate

Target audience and compliments

Unisex but more manly, sweet but mature, and refined yet playful. It seems like this is my kind of perfume.

Jokes aside, no matter who you are, the blend is perfect for younger and older fragrance lovers who want multidimensional scents in their rotation.

This one has to be tested first to decide whether it’s for you and if it fits your lifestyle.

Now, for the “compliment” crowd, since I know you have been eagerly waiting to hear this: Yes, while it still projects, you will probably hear the wildest positive feedback from the people you know, and maybe a couple of those unsolicited compliments as well.

This just works since sweet and spice almost always make everything nice. A “compliment monster” in the bottle.


When & Where

Fall and winter fragrance here. The colder it is outside, the better it will work. The semi-sweet and spicy elements align well with the cozy atmosphere of those seasons.

It complements the earthy scents and chilly air of this season, adding a touch of sophistication and allure to your winter wardrobe.

After seeing the official notes, we already know that DesirToxic ain’t the most versatile fragrance out there, and there are just a couple of different scenarios where I see it fitting.

Such as nightclubs, fancy dinners, Christmas fairs, and similar occasions. Maybe it’s just me, so I don’t wear sweeter and sensual fragrances to the workplace.

SEASONS: Fall, and Winter
OCCASIONS: Leisure, and Night Outs
ATTIRE: Evening Wear, Date Night, Special Occasion, Stylish Blazers and Jeans

Uniqueness and value for money

We all knew this was coming. This just cannot be considered art. The only reason why I didn’t give it the worst possible score in this department is because of how good the blend itself is.

Call it a clone, an “inspired-by” fragrance, or whatever, but you cannot be serious with this price for something like this, which just makes me roll my eyes in disbelief.

Which brings us directly to its price point. Surviving in this niche luxury market is pretty hard even for more well-known brands, let alone M. Micallef.

I’m glad to see that Micallef is still here, and I hope that they will continue to release new perfumes in the future.

With all this said, the value for money falls into two of the following categories. If you can get it for around $100.00 – $120.00 for 100ml from fragrance discounters, you are pretty safe and have my personal recommendation.

It brings out the best memories I had with Pure Havane and Opium Pour Homme, and yes again, I like it more than those two fragrances.

If buying it at retail is your only option without sampling it and no matter what you have read elsewhere, it is a hard pass. Probably one of the biggest ones I have seen yet.

There is no excuse for a designer blend disguised as a luxury niche at this price point, even if you are Roja, Creed, or Amouage.

Shop fragrances smart, and don’t fall into the hype.


Pros and Cons

In the diverse landscape of perfume, each composition brings its own charm, complexities, and shortcomings.

Exploring the pros and cons provides a comprehensive view, aiding fragrance enthusiasts in their quest for the perfect olfactory experience.

Understanding these nuances allows you to make a more well-informed choice, ensuring a tailored match for individual tastes.


  • A great alternative to Opium Pour Homme, Pure Havane, and Layton
  • One of the best bottle designs of all time
  • Fairly priced at fragrance discounter webshops
  • Compliment-monster


  • Limited versatility
  • Terrible retail price
  • Not that strong for its main occasion – clubbing
  • A clone of more popular discontinued perfumes
  • Not the highest quality ingredients for a niche fragrance

Collection & Similar Perfumes

DesirToxic is part of the “Jewel Collection” from Martine Micallef, which currently consists of 15 different perfumes. At this point in time, DesirToxic doesn’t have any other flankers.


  • M.Micallef Royal Vintage – an aromatic leather fragrance released in 2013. The main notes include cypress, leather, and bergamot. The lasting power is between 4 – 6 hours with moderate projection.
  • M.Micallef EdenFalls – a spicy oriental fragrance released in 2021. The main notes include pink pepper, milk mousse, and vanilla. The lasting power is between 5 – 7 hours with moderate projection.
  • M.Micallef Osaito – a citrus aquatic fragrance released in 2016. The main notes include sea notes, citruses, and myrtle. The lasting power is between 8 – 10 hours with moderate projection.


  • Mugler A*Men Pure Havane – an oriental fragrance released in 2011. The main notes include honey, tobacco, and vanilla. The lasting power is between 8 – 10 hours with strong projection.
  • Yves Saint Laurent Opium Pour Homme – a spicy oriental fragrance released in 1995. The main notes include black currant, star anise, and vanilla. The lasting power is between 6 – 8 hours with strong projection.


  • Parfums de Marly Layton – a spicy oriental fragrance released in 2016. The main notes include vanilla, apple, and cardamom. The lasting power is between 8 – 10 hours with strong projection.

Final Words

M.Micallef DesirToxic bottle sideways and box

In this story, there is good and bad as well. Thankfully, the positive sides are strong enough to make it all right in the end.

DesirToxic fits into this tale perfectly and invites you for another ride. Is this scent a toxic desire as the name suggests?

Probably not. More like a dear friend you haven’t seen for a while that brings back all the great memories you have created through life together. That’s what this is all about.

What are your thoughts about M.Micallef DesirToxic? Let’s start a conversation and let me know in the comment section below.

In case you are in doubt about whether you should consider buying any fragrance or not, it’s always good to take a look at Scent Grail’s S.P.A. Signature Factor Guide.

It is easy to use and the most relevant perfume-buying guide on the web. This way, you can check out if a particular fragrance is worth checking out, and potentially find your signature perfume.


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Until next time, stay humble, and keep smelling great!

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