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.
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.
A 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.
First breath is sangria and smoke, a quick break between acts on the side door sidewalk of the theater, then sticky honey sweets to soothe the throat as the lights flicker–Places, please!–and meanders back to leather and walnut-wood seats and gaslight.
Stays close, and lasts on the skin with benzoin and incense for ages.
The adorable bottle opens with that ambrosia fruit salad made with orange jello and canned peaches and marshmallows that your gran always made for parties, then turns into handfuls of powdery Smarties for a few hours.
Lasts longer on clothes than skin, a deeper dry down of vanilla sweet resin, infused with peach cordial.
Weird and flirty and so fun.
I love it.
This was a big hit in 1994, when Deci Dela came out. Also sweet and funky and fun.