Incanto Heaven

Mini peach colored handbag shaped flask with cerise butterfly motif, and suds.

Fruity bubble bath and Cinnamon Toast Crunch breakfast cereal.
I would have loved this when I was ten.

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Mom was the hippest of hippies, Dad a classical musician, and at ten years old I was a bloodthirsty little punk, so of course Judy Collins’ cover of Pirate Jenny from Threepenny Opera was my protest song when asked to help with the housework.
Nina Simone covered it best, but I really like this recent one from Shilpa Ray with Nick Cave and Warren Ellis.

Rose and Me

Coreterno discovery set with Fornasetti style branding, sample spray, and black promo card with cool blue reflections.

Opens with spicy saffron roses, big and jammy, in Fort & Manle fashion.
Then lemon leaf geranium jumps in with a big splash–that flowers in the rain thing that Nest does–pleasantly tart and wet.
After an hour or so, a nice smoky tea brews, with patchi honey and Amouage’s woody rose incense.

The best performance of Coreterno’s perfume catalog, with fill-the-room floral sillage and semi-permanence on clothes. Hardly original, but that might be a part of their branding: a pastiche of beloved cliches that blend into a new but still familiar composition.

Not one I’d wear–this one would be more likely to wear me–but I’d love to huff on someone else, especially masculine types in retro neckties.

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Here’s another pastiche of cliches done perfectly.

Pamplelune

Medium Guerlain bottle with gold beehive lattice neck and ball cap, with a mini bottle doing something suggestive to a pink grapefruit half.

Grapefruit pith in the best way, a smart bitterness that slides to sweet throughout the day.

There’s a weirdness, a uniqueness to it that is almost distracting–I’m sniffing my wrist every few seconds, wondering if it still smells the same as the last huff I took. (How much of my enjoyment is just an oxygen rush?)

The performance is a lot of fun. Begins like an herba fresca cologne, a bright wake me up of citrus zest with a tart bite of fruit, then it cools down to a few inches above the skin and stays there, slowly growing soft with vanilla, with the tenacity of an eau de parfum.

Wonderful.
Marketed to women, but would be delightful on anyone.

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Feeling this one today.

4711 Jasmine

Large 4711 bottle–with white detailing–and classic teal and gold mini flask in the background.

The Jasmine variant is actually less enjoyable than the Rose of 4711’s Floral Collection.

Here, jasmine and tea take the place of the fruit in the original, drying it up, with a bit of tonka at the bottom to give back a some sweetness.
But instead of making the iconic herbal neroli creamy, the jasmine turns it waxy, and everything becomes a big box Crayola crayons, melting in the sun.

Lasts a half hour with big inescapable greasy trails, then fades to a smudge of paraffin on the skin.
Normally I’d find a household use for a cologne I wouldn’t wear, but this one doesn’t even smell clean.

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Stardeath and the White Dwarfs is a cool experimental band out of Oklahoma.


Gia

Tocca cruet mini bottle, in the center of a pink tea rose.

“Nice flowers,” she said, batting her lashes. “Juicy, too.”
“Rosy citrus,” came the reply, with a knowing smile.
“A sweet bottom, too,” she teased back. She didn’t bring up the feminine wood–they were already gone.

Flirtatious, but not much more.
Stays at elbow length for an hour, then fades to the skin for another two.

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More Gia Woods.

Quercus

Mini Penhaligon’s bottle with gold tassel, and sprigs of variegated lemon thyme.

Quercus means oak, but I get lemon thyme.

Opens with a bright herbal splash of citrus, that lasts through a burst of green florals. Settles to the skin in twenty minutes with some moss musk for another hour.

Nice gardening vibes, but a bit pretty. This guy grows orchid varietals, rather than getting his hands in the dirt.

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Mood this morning.

Belle

Tocca mini cruets and sample spray with pink and gold card.

Uninspired pink lemonade and pale florals (that try really hard to be roses and lily of the valley) at first, but soon turns into a nice citrus musk with a cool metallic edge–a bit like Nestea iced tea in a can.

Young and safe–a good first date scent.
Stays in personal space for an hour, then drifts down to the skin over the next two. Gone by curfew.

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This update of Anita Ward’s disco hit is NOT appropriate for a first date.

Illicit Flower

Mini Illicit Flower–a cut glass barrel bottle with a modern ice castle vibe–and mandarin oranges.

I’d call this one Illicit Citrus, but it’s actually quite safe and polite.

Starts with orange juice and orange blossomy rose that stays inside personal space for an hour, then eases to sheer jasmine musk with some sweet woods until noon.

Pleasant, but very little allure. A good one for a gift exchange–the bottle is lovely.

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This song is so pretty and strange–and weirdly apropos. We enjoy sweet scents meant to inspire hunger, yet so much of fashion is biased to the dangerously thin.

Karma

A pot of Karma solid perfume, on the iconic blue, red and white box of Satya Sai Baba incense.

Dreamcicle orange vanilla ice cream pop and Nag Champa incense, done quite well. Sweet, herbal and spicy with nice urban hippie overtones.

The solid floats in personal space with sweet citrus for a good two hours before a slow melt into the flesh. The consistency is a bit waxy but not drying–works brilliantly as a cuticle cream.
The liquid lasts forever on paper, until laundry on cotton, and a day on skin–with more of the pine and patchi base.
I love both.

Sadly, a little hard to find sometimes. LUSH is fairly upfront about world trade and the sporadic availability of natural resources–and some of their fragrances only wind up in bigger metropolitan stores.
I’ll get a back-up bottle next I see one.

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I’ve always loved this song, and the video is a costume dream–

Mandarine & Cardamom

Cut crystal 4711 Acqua Colonia flasks, the bottle in front with an orange and gold label.

The first spray is a bright sweet puff of Tang powder, crystal clear sugary orange, that settles down to the skin in 60 seconds.
A bit of herbal citrus peel lingers with some green spice for a quarter hour, a little longer on clothes.

Lovely and refreshing.
Wear to breakfast.

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This song makes me both happy and a little melancholy.