Bal à Versailles

Bal à VersaillesA golden oldie from 1962–and proof that ladies of a certain age can still hold their own–classy, fun and sexy.
(Elizabeth Taylor wore it!)

Opens with lovely roses and neroli, then gets almost fruity with the creamiest jasmine ever. After it warms up with sweet benzoin and balsam, civet slinks in with vanilla and stays within arms reach for days.


That same year saw the release of Joan Baez In Concert, with this song that caught the ears of Jimmy Page and Robert Plant.

Attaquer le Soliel

attaquer le solielMarquis de Sade–Attack the Sun.

On first blind sniff, I get an earthy animalic lemon with some smoky cedar resin. It’s marvelous, almost like wet oil paints–complex and changing with a hint of sweetness. Even my cat got nosy.

So I looked up the description, and discovered it’s pure labdanum. Rock-rose, and that’s all. The designer apparently doesn’t like it, so he made a solifleur in an attempt at immersion therapy.

Labdanum is at the heart of two of my favorites by LUSH, Tank Battle and Rentless, grounding the clove and the aniseed. On its own, it becomes airier, balsamic and musky, and decadent.

Projects at arms length for an hour, and on the skin for three more.


“How many times, good God, have I not wished it were possible to attack the sun, to deprive the universe of it, or to use it to set the world ablaze –” Donatien Alphonse François de Sade, The 120 Days of Sodom

Another riff on the decadent Marquis:

Joint

jointOpens loud with bright green basil and sweet coriander spice–then slides into flowery honey tobacco with some good patchouli funk.

A few hours later it morphs into leather with smoke and soft civet musk, and stays there for the rest of the day and evening, filling the room.

Joint is a powerhouse, but a refined blend rather than blunt force. No true cannabis/hemp notes, but there’s a dank ganja accord that’s really nice.


Anthony Mills is a renaissance man who’s toured with Harry Belafonte, painted murals at Fasching and raps around Stockholm with a distinctive ghetto-trance country style. He’s got a buried treasure trove of tracks on youtube–this is one of my favorites.

Ysatis

ysatis edgeOpens with lemony ylang-ylang, then settles to aldehydic woods and tuberose with some animalic dank notes that keep it from being too sweet.

Strong sillage, and long lasting, but it does seem from another time, when perfume focused on gravitas and established style. Now the trends seem to aim for playfulness and creativity.

This might have more personality on a gentleman, today.


Ysatis came out in 1984, and I discovered short-haired girls.

Mad Madame

mad madame edgeBig green leaves at first spray, then waxy flowers and roses in a huge stainless steel vase.

Eventually settles into a watery flood of black currant tea and wet dog–a fancy one with manicured paws and a pompadour.

Both swanky and skanky. Not for me, but it’s got a certain likeable strut.


Kathi MacDonald was an unsung rock and roll heroine–she recorded with The Rolling Stones, Ike & Tina Turner, Joe Cocker, Big Brother and the Holding Company, and many more.
She had lots of strut.

Civet

civetMy cat just peed on the carpet.

No, that’s not what Civet smells like–it’s actually quite lovely. Leather and citrus and peppery carnations, smoke and it’s so lush.
But when I dabbed it on my wrist my cat freaked out, frantically pawed at my sleeve and then took a stress squirt on the rug.

Never have I felt so sexy doing laundry.
ETA:
Carpet is clean, cat is sleeping, perfume calmed down to sweet black coffee on the skin.


This Rolling Stones cover was the B-side of Jesus Christ Pose. (Best played loud.)