Winter Delice

winter delice
Mini Guerlain gold topped hive shaped “bee bottle” in a snowy evergreen bough.

This is what Santa wears when he’s visiting a naughty house, because they’re a little nice, too, aren’t they?

Manly gingerbread cookies left under the tree.
Bright fir, fresh cut, leaking sticky pine pitch, and spice–baked ginger, ground cloves–with a syrupy base of resinous vanilla musk.

Long lasting in personal space, balsam trails with with brown sugar rubbed into the skin. Unisex, but should be worn by St. Nick types with big beards and twinkling eyes.

I like the candle even better. The pine takes center stage with a fruity note of cranberry, backed up by some smoky rose infused tea.
My house smells like a present–I’ve been a good girl this year.

Lit candle in spice brown glass jar with white and gold embossed seal.

Merry, merry.

Timbuktu

timbuktu

Sophisticated and warm–leans to the yang rather than the yin–it’s got outward force, this stuff.

Sweet spice at the opening, with a hint of rose, that settles into resinous green incense, heavy on the vetiver. Soft patchouli projection for half the day, with honey cardamom on the skin.

Has really nice organic alpha notes, with none of the usual chemical musks–for days when you need a little more power in the flesh.


Fate for Women

fate for womenFate for Women is the queen in an urban fantasy who reads your palm with a handshake and leaves you wondering if you’re going to be invited for a bedtime snack, or eaten in a stew.

Opens with cinnamon and pepper–almost itchy–then sweet incense flares with a breath of rose for an hour. Eventually the most gorgeous benzoin melts with vanilla into leather and lingers all night.

Incredible on silk scarves.


This cover of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins is spicy-smoky-amazing.

Amber Absolutely

Amber Absolutely editMight be the nicest amber musk I’ve ever tried, but I think I’d need to be a bit less girly-girl to pull it off properly–this one falls more into the laid-back dude territory of unisex.

At first, plums–not the pale juicy kind, the dark prune ones, with that blue rime on the thick skin–drink smoky black currant tea with honey, while wild roses bloom in the distance. Then the amber kicks in with masculine wood, warming up some musky benzoin for several hours.

Quite nice, and projects louder and longer than any other Fort & Manle I’ve tested so far.


A mellow 311 cover–

Calycanthus Brumae

Calycanthus Brumae edgyNice for a guy who wants people to believe he just bathed.

Opens with a bit of watery citrus, then the spice-bush kicks in, smoky sweet and earthy–kind of nutmeg-ish with frothy lime flowers–and then ends with ginger tub cleanser.

I bought this one in my quest for calycanthus scents–here the sweet-shrub is overpowered by the bergamot notes and comes across soapy.

It’s nicer on clothes.


This cute song also came out of Italy in 2012.

Lune Feline

luna edgy2The initial animal musk and asphalt is pure stray-in-heat, but soon gives way to some great cardamom. The balsamic vanilla is nice and chocolatey–and then it slides away quick, into the shadows.

I like it–I get the flirty alley cat vibe–but I want more claws, more of the yowl and sass that Zoologist would give.


Mooncat’s Strictly Roots is some spicy electro-reggae.

Süleyman Le Magnifique

suleyman edgyA twist of green sappy resin, then the cinnamon hits soft and heavy, and spreads with amber over dried apples and warm mulled cider.  Fades in half an hour to sandalwood and shadows of roses on benzoin skin.

Brief, but gorgeous.


I recently discovered the Turkish group Taksim Trio–a bit new age, a bit traditional.
Hüzün means sadness, google translate tells me.

Eu Vent de Vous

eu vent de vousStarts harsh but finishes mellow.

Cardamom bombs the opening, the same throat closing assault when entering any truck stop store outside Paris, Appalachia–menthol cigarette ash and candy bars–but then it slowly melts into the skin with tobacco and vanilla a la Tom Ford.


Not many people realize Tom Waits actually wrote this one–also harsh and mellow.

Squid

squid zoo
Decant vial with sea blue eau de parfum, naturalist drawing of a squid, and test paper cutout of Zoologist bottle.

It’s blue! And weird and wet and marvelous.

Marine water and smoke out of the vial that darkens down to black fountain pen ink, dirtying up sea foam.
Algae blooms, delicate green, strangely organic and chemical at the same time, with big juicy sillage.
The ambergris rises to the surface an hour later, making it even wetter with ocean spray; benzoin sweetens it, turning it fresh again.

Six hours later and it’s still there, chaotic, never seeming to settle down to one depth; yet it’s oddly comforting and beautiful.


Gov’t Mule does a terrific jam cover of Jimi Hendrix’s 1983 (A Merman I Shall Be)–from Electric Ladyland–that goes deep under water around the 4:15 mark.