Eldo’s divisive masterpiece has distinct topography.
At arms length, we go down a flirty Rococo corridor, powder pastel whispery blue iris, edged with coconut cream. A sweet pretty floral, like those sugar pastilles that taste of cosmetics.
Breaching personal space opens the boudoir door, and we’re thrust into the climax of an orgy–the smell of sweat, fluid and semen hits the back of the throat before we even see who is connected to whom, and how.
Plenty has been asked about context. Would this, on a totally blind sniff without knowledge of the name, still have the same connotations? (Can the innocent innately understand the scent of sex?)
The cloying milky-metallic ooze–with a weird side note of bleach musk–is instantly recognizable, quite loud, and long lasting. Sécrétions does indeed have a magnificent time, for hours and hours. Perhaps there is tantric practice involved.
Eventually, finally, the earthy dissonance eases down until there’s nothing left but a sweet balsamic afterthought on the skin.
It’s kind of amazing.
Would I wear it? Absolutely not. Do I keep it around to dare friends to sniff? Absolutely. (Good revenge on my scotch drinking pal who slipped me that shot of Laphroaig–the stuff tastes like bogwater dipped in tar–just to watch my face.)
This cover is just wrong. Brilliant, but wrong. (Like Secretions, very NSFW.)
This one is all about the bottle, which says Midnight Gardens & Wildflower right on it. The ad copy talks about night-blooming jasmine, cypress and waterlily, adding up to a sweet wet flower mush that’s pleasant at a distance, and hits the back of the throat with a bit of algae pond funk up close.
Performs reasonably well with some nice “lake mermaid” vibes. Not my thing–the Lollia line tends to be too soft for me–but the “Little Luxe” bottles are adorable and way too easy to collect.
So the COVID anosmia thing seems to be ebbing, but it has a tide. I’ve felt better and better these past weeks, but then this weekend I felt kinda lousy, and my tea tasted like it was made from a twice-soaked bag and sizzling bacon smelled like a distant campfire. But today I woke up feeling great, and had a very fragrant Darjeeling and a tasty biscuit, so I reached for an old favorite that I know well–
Tokyomilk 61 Petit Parfum Solide–Sugar Plum–came out at least fifteen years ago, an early one from Margot Elena offering peach, candied mango, white tea, persimmon and “deep cassis.”
–and all that comes through. Creamy sweet summer fruit, cool wet mango and cheeky black currants, just like I remember, and I don’t have to shove it up my nostrils to find them. Interestingly, the guy doesn’t smell the sugary fruity notes, he only gets the ammonia end of the cassis. He’s been laying on the hot sauce pretty hard too–so we’re guessing he’s maybe two weeks behind me in the C-19 recovery. (Or maybe he’s sailing on a lower tide.)
Quirky garden freshness, that goes backward in time through the day.
Starts at afternoon in the garden with loud cucumber and pear and sunny lilac, then gets wet and green with hyacinth, in a slow rewind to morning dew on the grass, until it slides back under the covers with comfy creamy-but-powdery woods on the skin.
A bit off-beat and rather nice.
Rochas seems to have stopped production, but sealed bottles can still be found on line for cheap.
This fresh cover might you take you backward, too.
Margot Elena lists notes of mineral salts, fresh water, turned earth, and white woods–which adds up somehow to sweet seaweed.
Opens with an aquatic fruity green note that stays wet for an hour before sinking into the skin with a faint wave of salty driftwood. The solid is sheer, without much projection, but this is one I wouldn’t want to douse myself with–I think it could easily turn brackish and swampy.
Simple, amiable and unisex. Good for reminiscing about seaside vacations, but collectors’ prices seem high for those memories.
Alpha evergreen rosemary and rain on top, Ray-Ban Wayfarers and herbal musk on the bottom.
Clean, mild at a distance and brash up close, Cool Water rejoices in its chemicals–the polymer sheen of a new laserdisc, NutraSweet powder, the antiseptic wetness of lubed condoms–with the late eighties zeal for cheap innovation and mass appeal.
I swiped a bottle from a pretty college boy thirty years ago (he took my Sandman comics, so I don’t feel guilty about it) and still wear it with pegged jeans and a skinny tie on soft butch days.
I wore this cassette tape out in my Walkman–another sweet and synth number from 1988.
The description is “sultry and floral” with their signature essence of South Sea pearls. (I’m still confused by this. Do they use oyster juice, like that nasty clam stuff in a Bloody Caesar?)
Opens with an oceanic inky floral that is a bit Squid-ish, though not as weirdly wonderful. (Margot Elena’s 20,000 Flowers was a bit like this too, only with ylang-ylang instead of frangipani.)
Wades in a foot off the skin with sweet florals for a couple hours, but eventually dries down to some light woody spice–that I would really enjoy on a guy, maybe the bitcoin beach bum type who throws great parties.
A “fresh luminous floral inspired by Bali… using the scent of real pearls.” (Do they grind them up, or somehow distill them? I feel like the liquid should have a paillette effect, or some shimmery nacre going on in the bottle.)
Mystic Pearl opens with a fresh vodka note that turns oceanic, then some jasmine and coconut. Sadly, I get none of the spices listed, which might have given this more backbone and lasting power. Disappears into the skin in under an hour, though lasts half the day on cotton.
(My pearls first belonged to my grandmother–they still smell like Charles of the Ritz.)
This funky number is also inspired by Bali–with a lot more spice.