Dodo

Dodo illustration from Leopold Fitzinger’s 1864 Picture Atlas of birds, and a Zoologist card (with a much more dapper dodo) and sample spray.

Did the dodo go extinct because they actually smelled like this? Recent studies of their oversized beaks have suggested they had an acute sense of smell–were they so offended by their own species, they refused to mate?

Zoologist’s Dodo smells like screeching black currant cat pee, cheap body spray over unwashed teenager, and fresh basil.
For way too long.

Eventually settles to fruit salad with herb dressing tinged with feather musk–but unlike Snowy Owl, it’s not cute downy fluff, it’s molting fowl.

Fairly permanent on cotton.

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I like this dodo sound.

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.

20,000 Flowers Under the Sea

20,000 Flowers under the sea
A gold capped bottle with an ocean flora and a marvelous blue octopus label–on a giant scallop shell.

TokyoMilk #31

Another well named scent from Margot Elena.

A crashing wave of flowers and seashells, but somehow sadly watery–
Then the coral blooms with terrific ylang-ylang flowers, for hours, and slowly settles on the bottom with sweet salt.

Good for mer-folk types and surfer sweethearts.


This one has a snorkeling kind of ambiance-

Attaquer le Soleil

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

joint
Mini deep red bottle of Roccobarocco Joint, with blue ceramic tray and rolling papers. (Papier JOB was first made in 1838–and even had posters designed by Art Nouveau artist Mucha!)

Opens 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.

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Ysatis

ysatis edge
Cut crystal Ysatis mini bottle with skyscraper lines and pyramid top, filled with dark amber liquid.

Opens 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 edge
Discovery kit sample with red bottle cut-out paper tester.

Big 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.

Hyrax

Pooka sniffing decant vial and Zoologist bottle paper test strip, on Edward Lear’s watercolor sketch of a hyrax. (He did not approve.)

No.
Just. No.
This does not smell like some sexy anthropomorphic Furry wet dream musk, this smells like road kill during rutting season. Shrieking tire residue and terrified mammal anal gland excretion.

It won’t scrub off. My skin still smells like turtle pee and tarmac and rot-gut bourbon. I am not okay.
My cat is not okay.

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