4711 and limesA splash of limeade and orange zest, a rub of basil and flower petals, a breath of cedar, and then it’s gone.

The brevity is a strength–4711 glories in its opening moment, the interaction of refreshment, the awakening.

Many of us grew up with this one in the medicine chest rather than the vanity, used to disinfect cuts and soothe burns. It’s still one of my favorite comfort scents.


saintMovin’ to the country,
Gonna eat a lot of peaches
Presidents of the United States of America

(That song is stuck in my head now.)

Scentbird sent me a few things to sample in nice purse spray decants. Saint by Kat von D was one of the most fun.

There’s a fun vampy feel to it–a 1950’s burger joint date in the spring–wood paneling dash, a drive under blooming fruit trees with the top down, ending in a peach parfait with two spoons–but there’s some smoke in the sugar, and the flowers lean toward musk, keeping it from being silly.


Tommy Girl

tommy girlI love this one on everybody else–fruity fresh honeysuckle and minty citrus–but it sits all wrong on me.
Opens sweaty on what should be sweet blossom, the lemonade is bitter–almost pithy–and the roses dead. The pretty woodsy floral base is bleachy-screechy and sinus headache inducing–though I get compliments as I ask for aspirin.

If I can make it through the first two hours, the drydown is lovely.

Light Blue Pour Homme

light blue pour homme edgyThe same lemon and white musk, but all the sharp herbs and incense smoke make it oversexed.

The glory of the female version, and why it’s such a powerhouse, is the ace quality that strips away any overt gendered invitation.

So by omitting all the sweet notes, the masculine edition just becomes another passive aggressive drink garnish at the patio bar.


ysatis edgeOpens with lemony ylang-ylang, then settles to aldehydic woods and tuberose with some animalic dank notes that keep it from being too sweet.

Strong sillage, and long lasting, but it does seem from another time, when perfume focused on gravitas and established style. Now the trends seem to aim for playfulness and creativity.

This might have more personality on a gentleman, today.

Lolita Lempicka Eau Légère Pailletee

ll paillettes edgy(Paillettes are spangles, the dangling sequins on shimmering gowns.)

Fairy dust potion.
Seriously, this is what Tinkerbell sprays all over folks so they can fly.

My favorite L.L. bottle ever, filled with the most magical, silky, pink frosted liquid, scented with a light powdery version of the original.

This came out in 2001, but it’s worth nabbing second hand. The scent is lovely, of course–violets and aniseed and sheer musk–but the body shimmer feels and looks so amazing on the skin. (Especially dark skin! The only time I ever broke my no-perfume-in-costume rule was for the actress who introduced me to this beauty. She looked incredible under the stage-lights.)

I was the only kid who loved getting Good & Plenty licorice candy while trick-or-treating. Lolita Lempicka smells like they taste, so maybe that why I enjoy it so much.