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.
First sniff is wilting tulips and grubby spring earth, then humid summer roses bloom for a bit before fall spice takes over with sweet curry funk. Finishes with a cool murky aquatic on the surface of the skin.
The notes list quince, carrot seeds, coriander and peony; benzoin and cedar and a bunch of other stuff that I can’t suss out, but would have liked to experience.
This bit of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons is much more exciting.
This is what you wind up smelling like when you’ve been attacked in Bath & BodyWorks by the associate wielding Warm Vanilla Sugar, and you try to wash it off in their dinky sink with something that promises to be perfume-free but isn’t.
Here’s another “Skin.” Much sweeter, and twice as sultry.
Opens with a big splash of blood orange juice that softens down to ginger-ale zing, then settles to soft wet musk on the skin for a few hours.
There’s a slight note of feet on the bottom that wants to be warm woods, but doesn’t have the right balance.
This one teeters between nice and meh for me–a sportsball guy could pull this off better than I could.
You can’t beat the original, but this cover of Sade’s Paradise roughs it up on the edges in a good way.