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.

Edit -6/3/21

The TokyoMilk Lost in Atlantis soap line has the same note profile, and it’s amazing. The plastic note becomes creamy, and the powder turns to sweet lather.
Reasonably priced on the Margot Elena website, too.

Mini soap bars with floral and nautical printed wrappers.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Very fun video to a cool song.

Sencha Bleu

Rectangular bottle with gold cap and double sided label printed with songbirds.

TokyoMilk #57 lists Hyacinth, Iris, Citrus Zest and Crisp Greens on the bottle, and there’s no false advertising there, aside from the “blue.”

This is a green scent, and cheerful.

A splash of green leaves, almost bamboo sweet, with a tiny hit of bergamot rind, and hyacinth–which comes across rather lilac–and a faint smear of petroleum jelly. Lasts an hour with six-foot sillage, then fades to the skin with a light summery-lawn musk.

Good for socially distant outdoor concerts.

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A pretty summer song. Not the best recording, but I like it.

Pink Sugar

Fuchsia capped rollerball bottle on mound of turbinado sugar. The eau de toilette is quite viscous, as syrupy as honey.

One of everything in a pay-by-the-pound candy store stuffed into a bottle.

Aquolina’s best seller is one of the most accessible gourmand fragrances out there.
Cheap and available, and marketed with childish sweet-shoppe vibes, Pink Sugar is the Candy Crush Saga of perfumes.

And I’ve finally recovered from my daughter’s teenage obsession with Bath & Body Works’ Warm Vanilla Sugar, (the only way to exorcise that stuff from the house is to paint the walls–seriously, there isn’t enough sage in the world) to sniff this without instinctively reaching for aspirin.

Opens with screaming marshmallows and raspberry gum-drops and orange Pixy-Stix, loud as elementary school recess. The rush soon melts into huge clouds of cotton candy nicely dirtied up with a little licorice. A bit more grown up, a little flirty, red heart-shaped lolly-pops get passed like notes in the cafeteria.
At the bottom is caramel, with just enough musk to keep it from being completely cloying, chewy vanilla that lasts all day and sticks to clothes like toffee.

And yes, the stuff is mind-numbingly sweet, but it’s also fun, and I can see why so many bottles peek out of the purses of grown women, too.

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I saw her in concert when I was 14. She was amazing.

Lychee & White Mint

4711 flask with carmine label and box with illustration of a lychee plant.

I’m not usually one for mint in fragrances, and most of the Acqua Colonias I’ve tried have been exactly what they advertise, so I’ve avoided this one for a while.
But I like lychees, and I was curious what 4711 might actually do with “white mint,” and since it would fade in 15 minutes anyway, and it didn’t cost much–so why not?

Ugh.
Opens with a big swish of eye-watering mouthwash that sits fuming on top of the body like camphor rub.
And stays there–making the nose-hairs curl in despair as the pale floral lychee breezes on with a fleeting wave–for half an agonizing hour. Eventually dissolves to spearmint gum–that’s had all the sweetness chewed out–on the skin.

Too much mentholated hospital disinfectant vibes to even use as a room spray.

Try it, if you might enjoy wearing Listerine antiseptic wash.
I don’t.

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A very cool song (and hysterical video) by Mint Royal–