Valentino Uomo Acqua

Cut crystal mini flask with tiny cherry tomatoes on the vine.

Lovely tomato greens honed sharp with citrus, but then they soften–the sage takes the iris and turns it into that dusty rime on herb plants, rather than sweet powder.
Then Acqua (an odd name for this flanker because I don’t find it aquatic at all) slowly eases down to high quality Italian shoes, but they’re green and soft, keeping some of that suede texture that both sage and tomato leaves have.

Refreshing and smart–lasts half the day in personal space, longer on cuffs.

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Bassi was one of the founders of the Italian hip-hop scene–this one came out in 2017, the same year as Uomo Acqua. My favorite line (that translates well into English) is “I have always been half rapper, half man, divided halfway between the sky and Milan.”

Arancia di Capri

Sample card and promo spray in Acqua di Parma’s signature navy blue. The company crest is a crowned shield with a rampant lion, some griffins and maybe a tree trunk on an ermine field, all wreathed in jingle bells.

Opens with juicy tart mandarin slices, and some petitgrain and a hint of cardamom–that all comes together like a nice splash of summer tea, in intimate space.
Melts down over an hour, to the faintest smudge of orange flavored caramel on the skin.

The quality of ingredients is quite nice. I’d be impressed with the performance if Arancia di Capri were an eau de cologne, but for a shy eau de toilette it’s a bit costly.
Guerlain’s Aqua Allegoria Teazzurra is a bolder, sweeter tea, and 4711’s Acqua Colonia Myrrh & Kumquat has a sharper, more interesting citrus. Both are longer lasting at better prices.

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Found this one the other day.


Amazing Grace Bergamot

Squarish bottle with silver tall top cap filled with pale pink eau, and a label illustrated with flowers and lemons.

The Amazing Graces can be a bit shrill to me, but a friend recommended this one, so I had to stick my nose in it. Bergamot is smoother than the other flankers, more aromatic-container-garden than cut-flower-bouquet.

Soft citrus zest and pale orange flower with some cool lily-of-the-valley green, that warms up with a hint of sheer herbal rose (that might actually be geranium) then slides down to elusive musk.

Philosophy advertises this as an eau de toilette, but it performs more like a cologne splash, a refresher that stays close to the skin for a few hours.
Makes for a brilliant mask spritz.

(Thanks, Bethe!)

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The Bergamot is a husband wife duo with a fun positive vibe.

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.

4711 Magnolia

Iconic 4711 bottle in pale orchid and gold tones, and magnolia leaves.

At least Magnolia doesn’t make me sad. I took Rose and Jasmine rather personally.

Starts a bit tangerine-ish, then white flowers–a bit pulpy, but not horrible–with leathery leaves bloom for a few minutes.
Dries down to soft woods on the skin for an hour.

Lasts a remarkably long time on cotton–might be a good one for refreshing upholstery.

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A pretty song from the famous scene in the original Wickerman movie.

Frost

St. Clair sample vial on a promo photo, with scattered with cloves.

Starts uncomfortably fecal, a bit the way Musk Deer does, but after five minutes or so, roses grow out of the fertilizer. They bloom, bright and lemony with petitgrain tea, then get ripe and sweet for a good two hours, a foot of the wrist.
The base settles to great smoky vanilla spiked with cloves, that last most of the day on the skin.

Elegant, after the earthy opening.
I’d wear it to garden parties, if I were extroverted and socially adept.

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Discovered this cool group today–

Wild Whims

TokyoMilk barrel canister and bottle with botanical drawings of chrysanthemum, echinacea and clary.

From the newest set, TokyoMilk 80 touts Sweet Grass, Clary Sage, Verdant Florals, Citron on the label, and the clary–a lavender-limey herbal–is nicely prominent, I’m happy to say.

Opens bright, cologne-ish–green lemonade on lawn chairs in the hot sun–that settles to the skin within an hour. Turns a little sweaty in a pleasant bitter citrus pithy way for another hour or two.
Fresh, soft, and unisex.
I’d enjoy it as bath salts, too.

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Garbage covers U2 with a dreamy urgency that’s just lovely–(the whole album is great.)

Myrrh & Kumquat

Large cut crystal splash bottle with gray and gold label, and box with drawing of a kumquat branch.

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.

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Another Myrrh.
The Church has been around for forty years–this is an early one.

Yellow Diamond

Miniature Versace bottle with yellow cut gem cap, in front of a lemon, with scattered yellow wood sorrel blooms.

Lemon candy and wildflowers, but weirdly fragile and sharp at the same time.
Gets powdery on the drydown, sweet golden pollen with a bit of musk that drifts off the skin now and again–pretty, but itchy in the throat–for three hours.

Good for summer cocktail parties.
Wear with a sundress and sinus medication that doesn’t react with alcohol.

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This one is also fragile and pretty–

Paris – Biarritz

Chanel promo card and sample spray.

Absolut Citron vodka and green bell peppers an inch off the skin for an hour or so.
Unisex and pleasant–a polite one to wear on the train, but nothing special.

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This song IS something special.
Stone Gossard (of Pearl Jam and Mother Love Bone) and Adam Levine did an amazing cover of this one at the I Am The Highway tribute concert. It’s worth tracking down for a listen–I’m not always a fan of Maroon 5 but Adam has a range as broad as Chris Cornell, and this tune needs it–that whole show was amazing, but today is rainy and gray and I just need the original.