citadelleLemon and a really nice peppery marigold an inch above the skin–the vetiver and bergamot project off my shirt cuffs better than my wrist–for an hour.

The literature says this one is supposed to evoke the spirit of the Haitian people. Not really getting that from the blonde in the ad, but okay.
I’d enjoy it more as a candle.


encens edgy

This is the other guy in your MFA class–who rolled his eyes at the dude who started every sentence with “Actually…”
He smoked menthols, and cooked you dinner with five spice powder and wrapped his leather jacket around you when the weather turned bad, and you never officially dated but once in a while you still get a postcard from Asia that smells of joss sticks.


CalignaAlcoholic juicy figs out of the bottle that turn creamy with jasmine right away, then has fancy tea and cake for thirty minutes.

I like the clary sage that keeps this clean and not too sweet, but it’s definitely on the feminine end of unisex.
The pine bottom notes settle under the skin for another hour.

Nice, but not a whole lot of personality.


cafe edgyThis one is pure sexy fun–as if Opium and Tabu met at a Starbucks for an espresso and free wireless.
Cloves and roses at first sip and oakmoss and patchouli at the bottom of the cup.
Not huge or long lasting, but charming in a comfortable late ’70’s way.

Might come across as dated on a woman now, but a man wearing this today would cause whiplash as he walked down the street.

Dirty Trick

dirty trickGoth girl weird, and nice.

An exploding Bic pen in the best way: big inky dark indigo iris that fades to purple suede and some woods at the bottom. Lingers close to the skin for an hour or two.

The only one of V&R’s Magic Tricks to read “witchy” to me–this one is spell components thrown in a cauldron, and it works.


Eau d’Hadrien

Eau d HadrienA squirt of lemon juice that sweetens to hard candy and aniseed for an hour, then settles to citrus oil woods and Joy dish soap suds for another two.

I get why it’s so popular–there’s something fancy, yet low-key about it–like good taste with a sense of humor.










fioriFiori is a Georgia afternoon wedding, with Bellinis and petit-fours on barn-board tables–a fancy outdoor picnic with lace gloves and rustic decor.

Peaches and jasmine on the top, sandalwood and cedar on the bottom.
The reception lasts only two hours, but it’s memorable.

Neroli Portofino

neroli portofino edgesA drier 4711, less sweet, less herbal, with twice the lasting power…
…which means twenty minutes rather than ten.

The orange flower is lovely, but it gets eaten up by the bergamot pretty quickly. I like the amber at the bottom–it roughs up the jasmine, but the rosemary and lavender don’t have the freshness of the basil.

If I were stupid rich, I might buy a bottle, but tried and true and cheap suits me just fine.