Seahorse

Zoologist sample spray with turquoise eau, and promo card featuring a seahorse in a kelp toga, looking a bit perturbed at my spice jar with a seahorse skeleton and some tiny shells I found on Sanibel Island.

Zoologist’s newest is a surreal snorkeling jaunt that begins at the bottom of the reef with the weirdest lunch of buttered seaweed on rye toast, goes on to examine some herbal indolic anemones, then drifts ashore on pleasant low tide algae funk.

Seems a little gimmicky–a fun excursion, but I don’t want to smell like it.
Lasts minutes on skin, but like sand, is impossible to get out of clothes.

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This equally odd Sea Horse takes a trip through folk blues, new age, and Jim Morrison.

Un Matin d’Orage

Beads of water on a frosted Annick Goutal bottle sitting in a puddle, with prismatic sunlight.

This “Stormy Morning” dawns with lemony ginger and a lot of wet green notes that turn into an enjoyable petrichor–and stays dewy on the gardenia and jasmine all day.

Very sweet and very white, with the same mixed-message quality of pristine indolics in La Chasse aux Papillons.
Also similar to Reflection–a bit less grounded by the sandalwood–and about two-thirds the cost.

Pretty, but not terribly exciting–a good storm should have a bit of thunder and lightning, yeah?

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This morning is sadly just dreary.

Sécrétions Magnifiques

Etat Libre d’Orange target motif box and sample spray, with a blue circumcised pencil eraser.
(Best bachelorette party ever.)

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.)

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This cover is just wrong. Brilliant, but wrong.
(Like Secretions, very NSFW.)

Awaken Within

White kitten paw messing about with scrap of blue tapestry with a woven bee, and a white and gold mini bottle with bee motif.

TokyoMilk Light No. 2 advertises Jasmine, Orange Blossom, Neroli and Citrus & Sky on the bottle.

The rollerball goes on with orange juice and honey, then the jasmine and neroli kick in with a watery ozonic that’s oddly dense–like melting dry ice–a handspan off the skin for half the day.

Nice–maybe a little melancholy.
A safe gift for someone who wears delicate jewelry and sturdy shoes.

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Another sweet and melancholy Honey.

Coach Poppy

Coach Poppy mini with orange ribbon bow and ball cap, on a gold daisy.

The only poppy to be found here is a possible bit of peppery sandalwood that wishes it were bagel seeds.

Another ubiquitous accessory designer candy floral.
Safe for brunch with the girls on the way to the mall.

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This one keeps showing up on my suggestions-based-on-your-listening-tastes banner.

Wander

Cute gold capped .25oz mini bottle, enameled with gray, white and green flowers.

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.

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Here’s a soft wandering song.

Sugar Plum

Matchbox with glittered plum botanical drawing and Tokyomilk crest, and silver lidded pot of butter yellow solid perfume.

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.)

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Thelma Plum is pretty amazing.

Tocadilly

Mini frosted Rochas bottle with purple ball under the cone cap (the eau inside is pale green) and a stack of cucumber slices.

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.

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This fresh cover might you take you backward, too.

Marine Sel

Glass pot of solid perfume with a gold lid (I dropped and cracked the pretty crested lid, sadly) and box illustrated with 1920’s drawing of swimming gentlemen.

TokyoMilk #54

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.

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