Wild Fire

Discovery set sample pray and intense model with dark lipstick and smudges on her face, and maybe a bird nest on her head.

Raw Spirit calls this “warm and seductive,” though “stifling and carnal” might be more accurate–

I got clubbed with thick hot amber at first spray.
As I gasped for fresh air, the guy wrinkled his nose and said, “Huh. That’s really sexy.”

Eventually the amber simmered down to nice dusty sandalwood tempered with jasmine very close to the skin that lasted most of the day, a spot of heat on the flesh, almost like a bruise.

I’d wear it for him, but I’d need some cooling sweetness–a breath of violet leaf, or maybe vanilla–to wear it for me.

*

This Wildfire is quite spirited, and a bit raw.

Shalimar Souffle

Large navy blue bottle with classic Guerlain amphora shape, with mauve evening clouds behind.

There’s a very fun generational skip with Shalimar Souffle–a fresh take on bygone fashion–that reminds me of the ultra-feminine girls who wear ’50’s pinup dresses in modern prints at the car shows.

This “Breath of Perfume” opens with lovely light citrus and jasmine, that soon gets interrupted by a peppery note that feels discordant–like it’s my skin, somehow, that is objectionable–but does fade in a few hours, leaving behind rich vanilla cake with lemon icing for the rest of the day.

Retro yet fresh at the same time, but weird on me. (One often sees “It doesn’t work with my body’s chemistry,” in reviews, but I rather feel that with this one I’m the one at fault.)
I gifted my big bottle, but kept the mini. Maybe I’ll improve with age.

*

Imelda May is the epitome of retro and fresh.

Dahlia & Vines

Jumble of Nest mini rollerball bottles with black caps, Dahlia & Vines with pink pompon flower in front.

Y’know how when you pop a bottle of Zinfandel and get a big grape-y whiff that’s sort of sweet and exciting, but when you actually taste the wine, it’s drier with less fruity notes than you expected, so you’re kind of disappointed, even though it’s a reasonably nice wine for the price?

*

This song by Kat Dahlia has no vines but is not disappointing at all.

Bulletproof

TokyoMilk black mini bottle with white pistol illustration, and a marching line of .45 caliber bullets.

Fierce out of the bottle, smoked black tea with two sugars and burning cedar shavings, loud in personal space, soft outside.
Lasts three hours before sliding into nutty vanilla and dark woods on the skin for three more.

Aggressive but interesting, with enough sweetness to be inviting.
Recommended for corporate mercenaries and apocalypse vigilantes.

*

DAG: Angharad used to call them anti-seed.
CHEEDO: Plant one and watch something die.
~ Mad Max: Fury Road

3121

Cut crystal bottle with gold detail and filled with purple eau de parfum, and purple and yellow kaleidoscope graphic box.

3121 is a decent album, in the top third of the stack by the Great Purple One, but the fragrance is a total flop.

“Black Sweat” was an early single and a good song, a bit of a throwback to “Kiss,” but the dark sweaty notes this opens with are not kissable at all–they’re fetid body odor and lime shaving cream.
Eventually settles to grubby white flower musk, in an invasion of personal space for most of the day–a reflection of “Lolita,” perhaps–sweet, too young and weirdly dirty and desperate.
Sadly, rather than “Incense and Candles,” this finishes with sawdust funk and murky patchouli.

Download the album, skip the perfume.

*

Best song on 3121:

Green Tea & Bergamot

4711 cut crystal spray bottle and box with drawing of bergamot branch and green tea leaves.

A quick tea with lemon cookies and Earl Gray.

Two bites of citrus frosted baked goods, three sips of bergamot flavored Dragonwell, then it’s gone, no crumbs left behind.
A refreshing spritz good anytime, for anyone.

Also nice on dinner linens.

*

This cover of Joni’s gem is another quick mood boost–

Folavril

Annick Goutal mini bottle embossed with her gold wreath logo, and Campari tomatoes.

I had so hoped that I wouldn’t fall in love with this little ’80’s vintage eau de toilette, but Folavril is the spiked herbal brew the Faerie Queen serves at summer parties.
A sunny day-drunk cocktail made with one part Chartreuse, one part Fleur Defendue, topped off with mango hard seltzer and garnished with tomato leaf.

Lasts through the afternoon, sliding back and forth between fruit nectar and a sharp, fizzy–almost soap-suds–green.
Stays close, leafier on clothes and sweeter on skin.

Sadly, other collectors love it too. Bottles are scarce, and pricey.

*

Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty came out with this beauty in 1981, too.

Éclat de Rose

Tester strip of Versace bottle, spray sample and desiccated rose.

Opens with dry salty roses that are polite, but not shy. Sweet water seeps in after a half hour, with a cool wet/dry ambroxan musk, and some dusty pink incense smoke rises six inches from the skin all evening.
Lasts overnight on cotton, and leans to the floral end of unisex.

I like it.
A smart “no-nonsense” professor vibe, and a nice change from the lush, fleshy petal fruit preserves everywhere.
(Sadly, at this price our prof needs tenure at an Ivy League school.)

*

This celebration of Joni is my mood today–

Song in D Minor

Margot Elena’s packaging is hard not to fall for–Victwardian collage with gold details and raised crests on the bottles–this one features a domed birdcage and sheet music.

TokyoMilk No. 13 opens with big white flowers, in a packed hot church kind of way–and even gets a bit sweaty a few minutes in.
The gardenia takes up a lot of elbow room, then slowly settles to a foot off the body with sticky amber that smells like the soap in the bathroom of a mortuary.

Lasts through the burial and the wake, and haunts your clothes for a week after.

*

Sky–the super-group that you’ve never heard of–included the classical guitarist John Williams, the bassist Herbie Flowers and percussionist Tristan Fry, (who both did session work with everyone from the Beatles to Lou Reed to Elton John.)
Bach’s Toccata and Fugue is easily the most famous song in D minor ever.