The almond turns into nutty field grains and the cotton into cardboard–exactly like the bottom of a can of Old Fashioned Oats. The label touts the word “Comforting” in several languages–and a nice bowl of oatmeal with brown sugar and cinnamon is a lovely comfort food–but sadly this has none of that indulgence.
Shirley Temple cough drops–medicinal grenadine, sweet and mentholated–that fade by the time the lozenge melts. The combination shouldn’t work. Camphor and red fruit should be dissonant, but here they ring bright and clarifying and joyful.
I love it–not to wear, it’s too ridiculously cheerful–but my entire house, my linens and my gifts will all smell like this next holiday season.
John Wick and Wednesday both sample Vivaldi’s Four seasons. It’s still winter here.
Starfruit & White Flowers is a lovely fruity floral, with crystalline green peachy-citrus notes, their sweetness carried deeper by the gardenia-neroli mashup. Pretty and linear, projects across the room for 10 minutes, then settles to the skin over the next half hour.
I’ve enjoyed most of the 4711 Acqua Colonia offerings, but this one is rather special–delicate, refreshing and cheerful, and even a bit sexy in a see-through summer evening sundress way– –but there’s also a crisp sugary vibe that works for daytimes in winter, too.
A nice clean herbal, but almost too soapy to wear on the skin–I feel itchy in it, like I haven’t rinsed enough. This one stays in the laundry room, to spritz on wet towels before they go into the dryer. (Did you know fabric softener sheets make your towels less absorbent?) Doesn’t last long, even on cotton, but the folding is more fun.
(Meet Lucy, our newest household addition.* She likes to eat rose petals, chase hair ties, and watch sandwich-making.)
I’m rather devoted to the House of 4711, but I’ve been putting off opening my bottle Wakening Woods of Scandinavia–even though it received kudus from People Who Know What They’re Talking About, and was designed by the Escentric Molecules guy–because I didn’t want to be disappointed. I have such fond memories of the various forests in Sweden I’ve seen and smelled (Trollskogen on Öland is amazing).
Wakening Woods is lovely…! Crisp green bergamot and some herbal spice at the start, ridiculously fresh and breezy, then after a few seconds, cool fir and alpine roses–the tiny ones that smell almost apple-y, but not sweet–over forest floor bracken.
Fills the room at first spray, but settles quickly to a few inches above the skin with nice ferny trails for two hours. Evergreen, but all-year-round.
* Adopt, don’t shop, yeah? Second-hand cats and wild-grown kittens have the best personalities!
Myrrh & Kumquat is marketed as being “harmonizing,” but it’s the first 4711 Acqua Colonia I’ve sniffed that gets flirtatious.
Opens with a sour candy citrus zing, then melts down into very personal space with sugary balsamic come-hither glances, for thirty minutes. Lingers with caramel sweet spice on the skin for another hour.
Unisex, unexpected, and marvelous. A good one for a spontaneous lunch date.
Another Myrrh. The Church has been around for forty years–this is an early one.
The Jasmine variant is actually less enjoyable than theRoseof 4711’s Floral Collection.
Here, jasmine and tea take the place of the fruit in the original, drying it up, with a bit of tonka at the bottom to give back some sweetness. But instead of making the iconic herbal neroli creamy, the jasmine turns it waxy, and everything becomes a big box of Crayola crayons, melting in the sun.
Lasts a half hour with big inescapable greasy trails, then fades to a smudge of paraffin on the skin. Normally I’d find a household use for a cologne I wouldn’t wear, but this one doesn’t even smell clean.
Stardeath and the White Dwarfs is a cool experimental band out of Oklahoma.
I’m not usually one for mint in fragrances, and most of the Acqua Colonias I’ve tried have been exactly what they advertise, so I’ve avoided this one for a while. But I like lychees, and I was curious what 4711 might actually do with “white mint,” and since it would fade in 15 minutes anyway, and it didn’t cost much–so why not?
Ugh. Opens with a big swish of eye-watering mouthwash that sits fuming on top of the body like camphor rub. And stays there–making the nose-hairs curl in despair as the pale floral lychee breezes on with a fleeting wave–for half an agonizing hour. Eventually dissolves to spearmint gum–that’s had all the sweetness chewed out–on the skin.
Too much mentholated hospital disinfectant vibes to even use as a room spray.
Try it, if you might enjoy wearing Listerine antiseptic wash. I don’t.
A very cool song (and hysterical video) by Mint Royal–
Opens with subtle wet fruit (the ad copy says watermelon and star anise, and I get it, after knowing what to look for) and sweet frangipani. Coconut ebbs in with vanilla in a sheer musky suntan lotion that lasts an extraordinary long time for 4711–the “Acqua Colonia Intense” wears like good eau de toilette–three hours with arm’s length sillage. I don’t get much of the woods on the dry-down, maybe a hint on my cotton cuffs, but there’s an unexpected smudge of caramel on the skin that I like.
Definitely unisex, but on masculine types this would come across as very luxe, a Tom Ford-ish Soleil for a tenth of the price.