Poppy & Barley

Poppy & BarleyA wake-up splash of sweet whiskey mash with some soft fruit, then calms down to an easy earthy floral a few inches above the skin for half an hour.
Slowly fades to sheer musk with a hint of ripening grain.

Comparing it to the source (I cook with barley in the winter, so I had some on hand) was fun–I could definitely find the dusty sweetness of the kernels.


Love this instrumental on an old classic–

Cafe Tuberosa

98i7u/cafe tuberosaFun.

Cocoa and loud roses, orange zest and white flowers. Coffee kicks in after 15 minutes and settles into personal space for another quarter hour.
The chocolate sticks to the skin, but the citrus lingers longer on clothes.

I’d like it on a guy, too–a laid back type who wears floral print shirts and has a good belly-laugh.


This one is also fun and laid back.

Vaara

VaaraStrangely sweaty in a four seasons way.

First sniff is wilting tulips and grubby spring earth, then humid summer roses bloom for a bit before fall spice takes over with sweet curry funk. Finishes with a cool murky aquatic on the surface of the skin.

The notes list quince, carrot seeds, coriander and peony; benzoin and cedar and a bunch of other stuff that I can’t suss out, but would have liked to experience.


This bit of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons is much more exciting.

Clementine California

clementine californiaThis one missed the mark on me.
There’s a weird rough plastic note that swallows up the fruit–like the mesh bag holding the Halos is consuming them–then some vague pine arrives and immediately soaks into the skin.

The ad copy talks about spices and herbs but I get nothing fun like that. Maybe I’ll give it another try when the weather is less January.


A more fun California.

Attaquer le Soliel

attaquer le solielMarquis de Sade–Attack the Sun.

On first blind sniff, I get an earthy animalic lemon with some smoky cedar resin. It’s marvelous, almost like wet oil paints–complex and changing with a hint of sweetness. Even my cat got nosy.

So I looked up the description, and discovered it’s pure labdanum. Rock-rose, and that’s all. The designer apparently doesn’t like it, so he made a solifleur in an attempt at immersion therapy.

Labdanum is at the heart of two of my favorites by LUSH, Tank Battle and Rentless, grounding the clove and the aniseed. On its own, it becomes airier, balsamic and musky, and decadent.

Projects at arms length for an hour, and on the skin for three more.


“How many times, good God, have I not wished it were possible to attack the sun, to deprive the universe of it, or to use it to set the world ablaze –” Donatien Alphonse François de Sade, The 120 Days of Sodom

Another riff on the decadent Marquis:

Nirvana Amethyst

nirv amethWeird–sugar cookies that have been dropped in the dirt.

There’s tobacco, but it’s muddy–cigarette butts left out in the rain.
And there’s honeysuckle, but they’re kind of bruised, like the sun shone too hot.
The spice is nice, powdered ginger and cloves,  a soft baking mix for shy cooks.

Stays close, grubby sweets snacked on in private, but lasts all day.
I can’t explain why I like it, but I do.


This Nirvana cover is also weird and sweet.

Maduro

MaduroBoozy pineapple fruit dipped in herbal honey, garnished with minty patchouli–but then some dank tobacco weirdly dirties up the sweetness.

It’s an odd mix, like Jimmy Choo Man put on silk argyle socks and Birkenstocks.


Maduro is an ode to a famous box of Cuban cigars from 1961. Despite Fidel Castro’s ban on rock music the same year, Los Zafiros were quite successful.

Cabochard

cabochardThis makes me feel like I’ve walked out of the most expensive shoe store in Paris.

A quick opening of aldehydes and spicy fruit, as if to anchor the time period–and a few of the usual flowers to say I am French!then the leather kicks in with patent pointy toe boots and kid gloves, leaving prints behind for days.

It’s down to earth–this footwear has solid heels–with oakmoss and pungent geranium and a pinch of tobacco.
I’d wear it if it had a touch more sweetness.


This tune came out in 1959, too.

Black Orchid

Black orchidChocolate covered mushrooms.
Tom Ford’s biggest is actually an olfactory pun on truffles!
The bottle is even textured like gills.

Opens sweet and dirty and loud, earthy cocoa and umami fungus that grows on your skin and your clothes and the walls of your dining room.
They slowly warp into wet white flowers and syrupy fruit, in a change of dinner courses that doesn’t take the old plates away, a trencher of watermelon garnished with petals and patchouli.
Afterwards vanilla beans, smoked like cigars.

Very sexy, in a you-make-me-hungry way, but don’t wear it if you’re dieting.


So many ‘shroomy covers of this song. I’m stuck on this awesome Arabic one right now.