The aldehydes will punch you in the face like the olfactory version of a shot of Everclear, but the cinnamon and Gardenia (cinnamon and Gardenia?!) will cushion your fall. (The galbanum made me think of Bandit and Cabochard, but this is infinitely more wearable than those femme-bot perfumes.) Speaking of femme-bots, commenters in other blogs have mentioned that their grandmothers, or certain writers of novels like White Oleander, have tagged Ma Griffe as "the prostitute's perfume." I think really what they mean is that it's the perfume of a woman doesn't give a damn.
Bright, green, soft, comforting, and yet slightly dangerous — the comfort and the danger, I think, come from the same source: cinnamon — this is one of those fragrances that shouldn't work, but does. Perhaps I'm reading into this after the fact, but although Monsieur Carles composed this from his no doubt immaculate scent memory, it does give one the impression of a perfume based on cerebral rather than sensual abstraction, like a robot asking for a kiss.
Check out this ridiculous Ma Griffe ad from 1972 that contradicts every connotation the perfume notes give about the Ma Griffe woman as a firecracker! I can only laugh. (Source: Copy Ranter)
Top notes: Aldehydes, clary sage, galbanum, bergamot
Heart notes: Gardenia, jasmine, ylang-ylang, rose
Base notes: Cinnamon, tonka bean, vetiver.