I love this stuff! At first, vanilla ice cream, sweet and a little sweaty, with that strange metallic smoke of burnt wire, but wonderful–y’know the scent in the air at McDonald’s, when the shake machine blows a circuit mid-pour? That.
The singed plastic note grows into the middle–the vetiver, hot and ashy, but sexy in a smouldering way–for a nice hour inside cuddling space, before melting down to the most enjoyable myrrh for the rest of the day.
ELdO spins a nostalgic story about the gigolo who aged out and had to go into trade (yay for artsy ad copy!) that reeks of classism and fatism and ageism–NoT aLL eLeCtRiCiAnS!–and yet, because this stuff is so fantastic, we get a marvelous tribute. The workingman’s ass crack made voluptuous, his sweat pheromonal–and who doesn’t love the guy who fixes the shake machine?!
Myrrh & Kumquat is marketed as being “harmonizing,” but it’s the first 4711 Acqua Colonia I’ve sniffed that gets flirtatious.
Opens with a sour candy citrus zing, then melts down into very personal space with sugary balsamic come-hither glances, for thirty minutes. Lingers with caramel sweet spice on the skin for another hour.
Unisex, unexpected, and marvelous. A good one for a spontaneous lunch date.
Another Myrrh. The Church has been around for forty years–this is an early one.
Fir and sweet balsam pine, with benzoin making it soft. There’s a timeless quality to Fresh As, as if it could have been worn by a troubadour of centuries past, with stringed instruments made of spruce wood and polished with golden resins, yet also by a modern musician, fresh electric ozone and green Recording-In-Progress lights. Pair with a clever shirt and a tweed cap.
My brother introduced me to this one–I love the way this is filmed, so we feel like we’re in the studio with them.
Opens bright, with fresh lavender and herbs, held together with Amouage’s signature spicy rose incense. After thirty minutes or so, soft animalics drift in with dried sweet everlasting flowers and seashell ambergris, and stay in personal space for hours. Rich salty resin sticks to the skin most of the day, and patchy cardamom on clothes forever.
One of my most beloved songs. Adele turns it even angstier than the original by the Cure.
This is the other guy in your MFA class–who rolled his eyes at the dude who started every sentence with “Actually…” He smoked menthols, and cooked you dinner with five spice powder and wrapped his leather coat around you when the weather turned bad, and you never officially dated but once in a while you still get a postcard from Asia that smells of joss sticks.
From Diptyque’s collection 34. The copy says incense and osmanthus in “a tribute to Japan.”
Opens with sweet flowers and aniseed, then immediately ripens into a weird camphor with amarena cherry cough drop notes and smoke, and stays there for a long afternoon. The end comes slowly, a leather on the skin that is more slick vinyl than soft cowhide.
It’s a strange one, chemical but pleasant. I’ll keep the sample in the medicine cabinet–it might be comforting on a sick day.
Here’s the very famous Japanese girl group Momoiro Clover Z’s collaboration with KISS, because why not?
Not bad. The peelie gives me vanilla plums and creamy coffee, with some purple flowers tucked in there.
I’d look for a bottle, but I’ve still got half a Midnight Fantasy left, a few samples of Moonlight, minis of Black Tulip and Belle de Nuit to finish and a fresh J’adore, and maybe I’m a bit tired of the steady diet of prunes, y’know?
Edit — 3/4/21
Wound up with a (very pretty) mini bottle. The peelie was a reasonable match to the juice in person, though the real thing has less of the cafe-au-lait that I liked. Very purple, very plummy, and very vanilla. Dries down to tonka woods on the skin in four hours or so. Way to young for me.
I’m horribly intimidated by people who worship at the altar of Guerlain.
They say, “Mitsuoko, a classic of the genre,” and “L’Heure Bleue is my universal reference,” in reverent tones. I nod silently and try to look discerning while hoping my Lolita Lempicka or LUSH holds against my nervous sweat.
I keep trying Shalimar–vintage bottles and new–and sometimes it’s cedar sawdust and vanilla powder, and sometimes it’s leathery old lemons and oddly sweet turpentine.
I’ve just never gotten a “feel” for the stuff. It lasts forever on the skin, projects like mad, and reminds everybody else of somewhere, some time, or someone, but I’ve never understood the magic.
Everything wonderful is in there–a citrus opening, earthy rose and patchy iris in the middle, smoke and civet and balsam on the bottom–but there’s never that gestalt moment when the scent becomes more than the sum of its parts.
So I keep sniffing it, hoping for the a-ha understanding, when my novice schnozz graduates to full-on fragonista, capital-N-Nose, and maybe I will see the light that is Guerlain.
Shalimar was introduced in 1925, when Paris was overrun with American jazz and the années folles of art and entertainment following the Great War.
Gershwin hit Europe with Rhapsody in Blue that same year.
This father-son duo do a great piano arrangement.
Incense that’s been soaked in sweet wine, an antique spice chest with gilt hinges, a library of flowers pressed in rare books–
Fills the room at first, labdanum fueling soft animalics, then slowly fades to the skin. Wormwood takes the sweetness from the cloves to make them leathery and rich, but roses soften the edges, making it feminine.
Lasts all day, and even longer in the hair, vintage luxury at its best.
Emaan Zadjali is an American-Omani online sensation who calls her music “trap-soul.” I like this smoky tune.