Minuit Noir

LL licorice
Black and gold Lolita Lempicka apple on a pile of licorice all-sorts.

Sweet and evil.
Lolita Lempicka Minuit Noir will always be my witching hour perfume–my house reeks of it on Halloween.

Sugar spells and dark iris magic, wicked candy licorice and violet patchouli brew.
It’s nicely powdery, keeping the juice intriguing–fey dust rather than cloying syrup.

Lasts all Samhain and charms sleeves for days after.


4711

4711 and limes
Coin shaped flask with iconic gold and turquoise label, red and gold cap, and cut limes in the sun.

A 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.


Haydn’s Surprise Symphony (No. 94) came out in in 1792 too.

Chinatown

chinatown
Bond No. 9 sample sprays and bottle shaped cut out tester with red cherry blossom design, and a fortune cookie.
[The best way to make a friend is to be one.]

Peach blossom candy and fortune cookies, creamy tuberose sharpened with cardamom, and a bite of sandalwood on the bottom.

There’s a voluptuous mystique to it, gorgeous but with an edge, the sweetheart next door with a femme fatale secret.

Elusive on skin and lasting on silk.
I love it.

I loved Chinatown, too, all the crazy smells and the languages and the colors, the shops with fish and spices and trinkets. The restaurant with the sweetest old man who taught me to eat with chopsticks when I still needed to sit on a phonebook to reach the table.


Deee-Lite is also from New York. This song always makes me happy.

Cloud Collection

cloud collection 1 edgyThe Cloud Collection perfumes are lava lamp groovy, with separate liquids rolling around in the bottle. One is advised to shake it for four seconds (shaking a lava lamp is not suggested, though the result is the same) until it turns cloudy, before spraying.

Spicy-tart sea buckthorn at the opening, and leather, then thirty minutes later the berries turn sweet and creamy, with a smooth oud-y base.
The fruit lasts on the skin for three hours–about the time it takes for the perfume salad dressing to separate again–but the sweet woods project much longer and louder, and linger on clothes all day.

zarko cloudThe scent lives up to the novelty of the liquid. The seaberry (which I love in tea and candy) is unusual, a berry version of the lemon custard in Aqua Allegoria Teazzarro; and the base is rich as any Fort & Manlé, with twice the longevity.

I’ll wear this one a lot this fall.


Farveblind is is also weird and fun and Danish (like Zarkoperfume).

Aqua Allegoria Teazzurra

teazzurra edgy
Guerlain beehive bottle with pale blue cologne on a swath of teal dupioni silk embroidered with honeybees.

Lemon cremes and iced sweet tea with chamomile.
Fresh, light and lovely, yet also soothing, the way laundered linen feels on the skin.

Stays just inside personal space all day,  and lasts on clothes forever.
I could live in this stuff all summer long.


Adele’s 25 came out in 2015, too.

Squid

squid zoo
Decant vial with sea blue eau de parfum, naturalist drawing of a squid, and test paper cutout of Zoologist bottle.

It’s blue! And weird and wet and marvelous.

Marine water and smoke out of the vial that darkens down to black fountain pen ink, dirtying up sea foam.
Algae blooms, delicate green, strangely organic and chemical at the same time, with big juicy sillage.
The ambergris rises to the surface an hour later, making it even wetter with ocean spray; benzoin sweetens it, turning it fresh again.

Six hours later and it’s still there, chaotic, never seeming to settle down to one depth; yet it’s oddly comforting and beautiful.


Gov’t Mule does a terrific jam cover of Jimi Hendrix’s 1983 (A Merman I Shall Be)–from Electric Ladyland–that goes deep under water around the 4:15 mark.

Sådanne

Sadanne edgy
Clear glass flask with pewter cap, filled with blush liquid.

Tipsy strawberries and seawater, roses and a tangled forest.
Projects like spilled wine and soaks clothes for weeks.

Several years ago I wrote a novella set on Öland, an island off the coast of Sweden. My two young lovers celebrate midsummer eating strawberries and getting drunk, and if the pages could be scented, they’d smell like Sådanne.

Salty sand and boozy sweet fruit, so sun-ripe it’s alcoholic, eaten in the shadows of the sea-wind twisted trees on the shore.
I adore it.

*

Norne

norne edgy
Slumberhouse flask with olive green liquid, casting funky shadows.

A Midwinter’s orgy.
Opens with fir and sticky chocolate, incense and sex.

Seriously. This stuff is like having violent Viking-love in a heap of furs in front of a balsam bonfire. It writes runes on your body with spruce psychotropics and sweet ash.

The juice is dark and lays heavy on the skin, like hands and honey and pine tree sap, and stains clothes with green spoor.
Amazing.


Norne can  refer to a calypso orchid, or to the three Norse goddesses of destiny.

Tomato

tomato edgier
Extra large bottle with Demeter no-frills label, and a heap of cherry tomatoes.

Tomato by Demeter is every urban gardening hipster chick sunbathing topless on the roof. Stray honeysuckle and dandelion weeds are overtaken by crushed tomato leaves and the great red globes ripening on the vine. A smudge of pollution and sweat and dirt sticks to the skin, but doesn’t stop the invasive Organic Goddess green.
I’d worship her in the summer.

Forget what you think about “cheap” perfumes and buy the big bottle–it makes a wonderful room spray, too.


Willie Nelson and Cyndi Lauper singing a Gershwin duet is my favorite thing today.