Rose Prick

Pale pink Tom Ford promo card with sample spray, and rose stem with thorns.

Ooh, I like this one–a nice dry rose, the way good sherry and a sharp sense of humor are dry.

Starts with an interesting spicy chocolate, and a bit of skanky-sour rose-hip fruit for a half hour, then gets powdery soft with enchanted rose forest patchouli thorns for the rest of the day.

Nothing sweet about it, and quite loud–this one enters the room before you do, and lingers after you’re gone.

Lovely for fairy-tale princes on a mission, and queens who need no rescuing.

*

A dry, dry song.

Simply Pink

Fuchsia capped red-to-orange ombre rollerball bottle on mound of pink sugar.

Loud strawberry freezer pop, from the concessions kiosk at the middle school dance.
Artificial sweetened berry pulp with nuances of scented doll, and sassy caramel licorice on the bottom.
Fun, but could be overwhelming during a slow dance.

*

This was the dance anthem when I was in junior high…

Catharsis

Palm reading sticker and sample card with arcane eye motif, and spray.

Garage metal shop–pleasantly sour earthy concrete, metallic dust with the smoke of flash sparks from a grinder, tools with wood handles that warm up with use–and spiced gumdrops.

Nice. Leans to the calloused fingertips end of unisex.
Lasts longer and louder on clothes than on skin, and makes one nostalgic for clove cigarettes.

*

Another metal catharsis.

I Want Candy

Full bottle of I Want Candy with gold cap and dark brown labels, surrounded by fruit slice jellies.

TokyoMilk No. 4 lists “Crisp Apples, Peaches, Violets, Roses” on the bottle, which adds up oddly to fruity jelly slices, but the cheap kind, that taste a bit plasticky under the sugar.

Then we go to the spa, where powdery cosmetic florals puff up and take over, soapy enough to strip away the gourmand sweetness, floating within social distance all day, like a hair product from getting done at the salon, that you can’t escape.

Weird and a little headache inducing.

*

The perfume was actually named after this song. Here’s a weird version, but with less headache.

4711 Jasmine

Large 4711 bottle–with white detailing–and classic teal and gold mini flask in the background.

The Jasmine variant is actually less enjoyable than the Rose of 4711’s Floral Collection.

Here, jasmine and tea take the place of the fruit in the original, drying it up, with a bit of tonka at the bottom to give back a some sweetness.
But instead of making the iconic herbal neroli creamy, the jasmine turns it waxy, and everything becomes a big box Crayola crayons, melting in the sun.

Lasts a half hour with big inescapable greasy trails, then fades to a smudge of paraffin on the skin.
Normally I’d find a household use for a cologne I wouldn’t wear, but this one doesn’t even smell clean.

*

Stardeath and the White Dwarfs is a cool experimental band out of Oklahoma.


Soleil

Large oval bottle with gold Fragonard sunburst cap, on verdigris brass sundial.

Jasmine and wisteria that span several decades.

Starts with big creamy-yet-spicy florals, a hit of 80’s soapy peaches and a squirt of 70’s disco rose pee, then gets powdery with late 90’s iris. Finishes up with a light sunny musk that’s brilliant on scarves.

For the woman who celebrates her laugh lines.

*

A melancholy sun. She sang this tribute five days after Chris Cornell’s death.

Gia

Tocca cruet mini bottle, in the center of a pink tea rose.

“Nice flowers,” she said, batting her lashes. “Juicy, too.”
“Rosy citrus,” came the reply, with a knowing smile.
“A sweet bottom, too,” she teased back. She didn’t bring up the feminine wood–they were already gone.

Flirtatious, but not much more.
Stays at elbow length for an hour, then fades to the skin for another two.

*

More Gia Woods.

Illicit

Mini cut crystal bottle with pale ecru eau, and a silver teaspoon of golden honey.

I get sheer honey at first sniff, with a tobacco and pink pepper dissonance that is probably the ginger fighting with the citrus. They duke it out, but the jasmine swoops in and wins, creamy florals thickening the honey and lifting it two feet off the wrist for half the day.
There’s a shard of woody amber close to the skin, that cuts through the syrup and keeps it from being too cloying.

Nice, but over-refined. I’m aware of the chemicals, and honey should be raw, y’know?
TokyoMilk Honey & the Moon is wilder, with twice the sillage and longevity, in the same price range.

*

This is a much sweeter, dirtier, synth honey.

Love Tuberose

Opaque cream, silver capped, full sized and mini Amouage bottles, in a pile of pale pink and yellow flowers.

Love Tuberose is a huge ice cream cake cuddle of a scent, and became my favorite comfort fragrance at first sniff.

Starts with a bouquet of white flowers sculpted from sugar paste, with milky sweet notes that slide tropical and faintly fruity–I get a breath of apricot that is most likely me imagining things–so pretty and feminine and uplifting.
A half hour later the fun happens.
Puffs of whipped vanilla rise from the tuberose, with the creamy lightness you’d expect from jasmine, but they’re pure bubblegum, flirty sass with a hint of powder–if a scent could sound like laughter, this one does.
The sandalwood on the bottom keeps it from being too young and giggly. The wood notes are a support for the flowers, giving them strength without taking over, and are more apparent on cotton than silk.

Lasts a good three hours in personal space, then sleeps on the skin with a smile.

All Amouage perfumes are expensive–high end top-shelf bottles with quality ingredients and master blending–but for me, this one is a self-care mood-lifting therapy session with each spray, and worth the cost of a big bottle.

*

This whole album is good therapy–

Hierba Nera

Coreterno sample card and spray, with cheeky neo-baroque postcard of a lady with a high ruff collar and spray painted mask.

I love the opening–green citrus with good rasp of nutmeg, and a nice hit of pot funk–but in 15 minutes Hierba Nera (Black Grass) slides into smoky amber resins with lazy projection.
The base notes of miscellaneous wood musks last half the day on the skin, with no residue on cotton.

Leans to the oak-y end of unisex.

If the top notes took center stage, I’d be all up in a bottle–the art-house basement party vibe is delightful–but the high doesn’t last long enough to warrant the cost.

*

Very fun video to a cool song.