I was sixteen when I saw the Stravinsky Fountain in Paris, and fell in love with Niki de Saint Phalle’s wonderful sculptures.
She released her perfume in 1982–as a way to fund her life-long Tarot Garden sculpture project–with a variety of illustrated bottles, including a zodiac series called Eau Defendue.
The eau de toilette opens with peaches and wormwood, and mint–that has just enough of a toothpaste-and-orange-juice dissonance to make one wake up and pay attention, not unlike the vibrant color-blocking of her sculptures–weird and bright, yet pretty.
Carnation and patchouli and some green-dyed-leather twists it around for several hours, and woodsy moss covers the skin for the rest of the day.
Jean Tanguely, Niki’s partner, insisted that moss be allowed to grow on the Centre Pompidou sculptures, as Nature’s contribution to the art–so it can’t be a coincidence that the perfume carries the same green notes.
For more about the artist and her Tarot Garden, check out this New Yorker article.
Igor Stravinsky (watch a video of him conducting here) was a huge influence on John Williams, as well as The Beastie Boys, who sampled The Firebird Suite in two of their songs from Hello Nasty.
I like to think Niki de Saint Phalle, whose artistic style included found materials and juxtaposed media in her feminist compositions, might have approved of this cover by Robyn Adele Anderson. (And the guy on the Theremin is awesome!)
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.
Sea buckthorn, — or argousier (French), sanddorn or havtorn (Swedish), olepiha (Russian) — is a thorny bush growing in the sandy soils on European coasts and across northwestern China and Mongolia. The leaves are sage green, and the berries bright orange.
The oil of the hippophae rhamnoides is gaining popularity as a cosmetic ingredient and the berries as a dietary “superfood,” packed with vitamins and nutrients. I first discovered sea buckthorn on the island of Öland, Sweden, when my father’s wife made a custard pie with berries harvested from her yard.
The fruit is pungent smelling, with an herbal spiciness of clementines and cardamom, and has the firmness of a cranberry, with a single seed in the center. The pulp is sour, with a waxy mouth-feel, and tastes like lemons, but without the citrus bite–more luscious, almost like passion fruit. Sugar brings out the flavor beautifully.
Zarkoperfume’s wonderful Cloud Collection–with seaberry at its center, sweetened with jasmine and bolstered with wood and leather notes–shows off the creamy richness of the fruit.
In contrast, Brocard’s Oblepiha i Kryzhovnik pairs the sandthorn with gooseberry, highlighting the astringent spice.
Sea-buckthorn can also be found flavoring herbal and black tea (compare Ahmad’s Sea Buckthorn Candies to Twinings’ Lady Grey) and in jams and jelly candy and–my favorite–licorice truffles.
A unique fruit I hope to taste and sniff more of in the future!
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.
Tomato, by Demeter Fragrance Library.
Late summer garden pungent freshness that fades to delicate leafy green in minutes.
A super cheap yet lovely spritz.
I like this cover of Sublime’s Doin’ Time/Summertime, too.
David Bowie wore Minotaure.
So of course I had to know what the Goblin King smelled like.
Paloma Picasso’s only masculine opens with a sharp and spicy fizzy lime pop, then eases into fruit candy–the fancy jelly slices with sugared edges. The sweetness turns floral, then herbal, bubblegum slowly drying down to brooding cedar.
Sandalwood talc and vanilla tonka powder settle above the skin, shimmering all night long, both comforting and seductive, sexy Stardust indeed.
Fades into the collar and cuffs with androgynous amber, and leaves songs stuck in your head–You remind me of the babe–for days.
My favorite Bowie song is still China Girl.