Make Me Blush

TokyoMilk canister and gold capped bottle, illustrated with magnolia blossoms on a script background.

This beauty is much more likely to make everyone around her blush.

TokyoMilk #72 lists Magnolia, Honeysuckle, Jasmine Vine and Bourbon, and does them slow and sexy–understated creamy white florals take an hour to fully bloom in personal space, leaving long honey trails behind as they grow.
Underneath, a few inches above the skin, a touch of charred whiskey barrel grounds the lushness of the flowers, keeping them earthy and seductive.

(The bourbon notes are well done–smoky oak caramel with a hit of vanilla spice–that stay dry and thankfully don’t turn into teenage praline on the bottom.)
(Our queen finds getting carded tedious–no one would mistake her for an underage girl.)

Lasts only half the day–through afternoon on cuffs, and into the evening in the hair–but the opening comes in so easy, a later spray seems like a continuation rather than a refresh.

My favorite TokyoMilk out of the newest batch, and might be the best since Honey & the Moon.
There’s an enticing maturity to it that I really appreciate, as if the cottage-core princess grew up and got provocative.

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Love the way she grows up in this redo of Sting’s classic.

Bubble Gum

Pink ceramic bottle and Dum-Dum bubble gum lollypops.

Bel Rebel’s interpretation opens with a tutti-fruity candy coated gum ball, loud and boisterous, the kind that clatters down the clear spiral base to ding the silver door of the coin machine.
I get the orange flavored one, citrus tart and sweet.
Sadly, the trace amounts of cloves aren’t enough to elevate it out of the candy dish–more sweet spice is needed to blend the fruit sours into that truly iconic bubblegum flavor.
I’m reminded of Fruitchouli Flash, an earthier distant cousin, maybe.

Settles down to elbow length after half an hour, with a dusting of chalk powder and the faintest hint of mint. (I got sneezy for a minute, but perhaps not the fragrance’s fault? Cold-season and all.)
(It’s 23 eff degrees outside, right now.)
Nice, and sniffy–I’m aware of it as I type–but I wish the heart had a bit of L’Interdit‘s tuberose or jasmine to cream it up and give the opaqueness that the bottle suggests. Bubblegum isn’t clear–

Lasts half the day, slowly fading to lighthearted patchouli on the bottom, with some super soft musk, an inch above the skin through the evening.
I like it. For the price, I’d hoped to love it.

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I do love this–

Lempicka Homme

Pale blue promo card with silver ivy leaf, spray sample and several packs of gum wrapped in pale blue.

Must love licorice.

That Lempicka Homme and Black Jack chewing gum have the same color branding cannot be a coincidence. This stuff is dead on.
Black magic aniseed, herbal sharp with a hint of powder–a freshly unwrapped stick–then earthy sugar, the real stuff, no aspartame here, slowly easing down to the musky woody notes at the bottom as the sweetness fades.

There’s other stuff, too, just to be sophisticated, rum and almonds and some smoky labdanum, a little less syrupy than dad’s version, a little less purple, but still witty and fun and cheerful.
Lasts a nice three hours in intimate space, then another three on the skin.

(I do love licorice.)

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More Black Jack in blues.

African Rooibos

Paper test cutout of red flask and copper label wrapped sample spray on a china saucer with a cup of red tea.

Herbal tea that’s so spicy it puts hair on your chest, then rocks you to sleep.
Warm peppery cardamom at first sip, but slowly steeps into hearty yet smooth red tea with tonka.

Lasts the day on skin–intimate and sweet (orris root keeps it from getting syrupy)–with some soft wood smoke on the bottom.

I really like it, and had fun comparing it with yesterday’s sniff, Amouage Lyric Woman, which has a lot of the same notes under the rose. African Rooibos is much earthier–more knight to Lyric’s queen.

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Rooibos grows only in the Cederberg Mountains, north of Capetown.
Here’s some more South African goodness from the very popular pop duo Mafikizolo.

Lyric Woman

Square, deep red mini flask with domed lid and Amouage medallion in silver, with a sprig of scarlet tipped rose sedum.

Lyric opens with bright bergamot and sharp green cardamom that slowly relaxes over chai tea–cinnamon vanilla sweetened with ylang-ylang–and dark velvet roses, for two hours or so. A lemony herbal note from the geranium drifts in and out, keeping it refreshing.
Amouage’s usual incense is anchored by sandalwood on the bottom, holding it more to clothes than to the body, and under that, powdery orris made creamy by an almond-ish tonka on the skin.

Absolutely lovely, with capricious projection–sometimes a huge flourish of roses at arms length, sometimes just a hint of intimate spice–but might be too sultry for me.
This one requires the rubies and Arabian horses and smoking kohl eyeliner type, and I’m more of a garnet and beat up jeep and mismatched cat’s eye gal.

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A sultry song.

Delicious Delights Cool Swirl

Frosted DKNY apple, the top half pale green, with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Pistachio Pistachio

Cool Swirl is a trip through our nearest Korean grocery, with the produce that smells of sweet greens and strange fresh fruit, the dairy case full of coconut water, the shelves of flower scented cosmetics, ending at the freezer chest by the register, filled with melon popsicles and Bravo pistachio treats.

Lasts a half hour in intimate space and becomes a faint skin scent of musk and ice cream.
(For longer satisfaction skip the scent and grab a pint of B&J’s.)

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I really should have chosen BLACKPINK and Selena Gomez’s “Ice Cream” but it makes my head hurt, so here’s Tom Waits instead.

Gold Fresh Couture

Gold window cleaner shaped mini bottle, metal shot rag scrap and an ochre pear.

A sweet cheapie that works hard at school and doesn’t make their parents nervous–
Cheerful pear and vanilla with a touch of floral woods to keep it from turning into melted ice cream.

Reasonable performance and would pair well with any off-the-shelf hair product in existence.
For Ages 13 and up.

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I’m really enjoying Moschino’s aesthetic right now–check out this new collection, upbeat campy fun that couldn’t give a flying fuck about binary gender expectations.

Planningtorock’s electropop “Girl You’ve Got My Heart” was used in Moschino’s wonderfully inclusive 2022 Spring-Summer walk, but “Much To Touch” is my favorite.

Jasmins Marzipane

Sample spray of pale pink eau, on promo card featuring bottles from the Maison Lancome collection.

This is so marvelously intriguing–a simple white floral that’s really a James Bond femme fatale in disguise.
Comes in with a big hello of jasmine to the entire room, begging questions at social distance–Is that violet? patchouli? heliotrope? cigarette ash?–then winks with a smirk, because no, they’re actually almonds and cashmere musk being clever.
Vanilla and sandalwood leave long trails in personal space like theme songs that get stuck in the head for hours and hours.

Bold and smart, and not as sweet as first impressions might give.

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A 007 twist that makes Katy Perry’s classic intriguing again–(I adore PMJ.)

Grain de Soleil

A mini bottle of red amber eau with Fragonard’s iconic sunburst cap in silver, sitting on fresh snow.

I needed a bit of sun today, and this little beauty gives big powdery vanilla amber warmth with just one drop. (Really, just one–this stuff gives off melting honey rose trails a mile long.)

Sandalwood and cinnamon on the bottom keeps the marzipan-ish heliotrope from getting sticky, and adds some maturity to the vanilla.
Lasts all afternoon and through the night on clothes, leaving sweet spice dust behind like footprints in the snow.

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Stay warm, yeah?

Star Cross’d

Gold capped bottle and canister with marvelous unicorn constellation and celestial motifs on blue.

Five stars for the packaging, I’d like that design as a mural on my ceiling, but the first spray is a synthetic, skin-burning, cleaning solvent mess, and it doesn’t get better.

TokyoMilk #87 lists citrus leaves, water lily, frankincense and vetiver, which somehow adds up to the most abrasive lemon oil ever–
After fifteen minutes murky pond weeds grow a foot off the skin, just to add further insult, but luckily the base takes care of that with a nice dose of Pine-Sol fumes.

Might be a good one to keep for when guests call to say they’re coming by, and you can’t be arsed to clean–you’ll at least smell like they’ve interrupted you scrubbing the floor.

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I’m fairly picky when it comes to covers of this song–Seven Nations’ is good, and so is Rick Springfield’s, but today I need Jimmy Little’s soothing version.