Simply Pink

Fuchsia capped red-to-orange ombre rollerball bottle on mound of pink sugar.

Loud strawberry freezer pop, from the concessions kiosk at the middle school dance.
Artificial sweetened berry pulp with nuances of scented doll, and sassy caramel licorice on the bottom.
Fun, but could be overwhelming during a slow dance.

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This was the dance anthem when I was in junior high…

Soleil

Large oval bottle with gold Fragonard sunburst cap, on verdigris brass sundial.

Jasmine and wisteria that span several decades.

Starts with big creamy-yet-spicy florals, a hit of 80’s soapy peaches and a squirt of 70’s disco rose pee, then gets powdery with late 90’s iris. Finishes up with a light sunny musk that’s brilliant on scarves.

For the woman who celebrates her laugh lines.

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A melancholy sun. She sang this tribute five days after Chris Cornell’s death.

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.

Illicit

Mini cut crystal bottle with pale ecru eau, and a silver teaspoon of golden honey.

I get sheer honey at first sniff, with a tobacco and pink pepper dissonance that is probably the ginger fighting with the citrus. They duke it out, but the jasmine swoops in and wins, creamy florals thickening the honey and lifting it two feet off the wrist for half the day.
There’s a shard of woody amber close to the skin, that cuts through the syrup and keeps it from being too cloying.

Nice, but over-refined. I’m aware of the chemicals, and honey should be raw, y’know?
TokyoMilk Honey & the Moon is wilder, with twice the sillage and longevity, in the same price range.

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This is a much sweeter, dirtier, synth honey.

Love Tuberose

Opaque cream, silver capped, full sized and mini Amouage bottles, in a pile of pale pink and yellow flowers.

Love Tuberose is a huge ice cream cake cuddle of a scent, and became my favorite comfort fragrance at first sniff.

Starts with a bouquet of white flowers sculpted from sugar paste, with milky sweet notes that slide tropical and faintly fruity–I get a breath of apricot that is most likely me imagining things–so pretty and feminine and uplifting.
A half hour later the fun happens.
Puffs of whipped vanilla rise from the tuberose, with the creamy lightness you’d expect from jasmine, but they’re pure bubblegum, flirty sass with a hint of powder–if a scent could sound like laughter, this one does.
The sandalwood on the bottom keeps it from being too young and giggly. The wood notes are a support for the flowers, giving them strength without taking over, and are more apparent on cotton than silk.

Lasts a good three hours in personal space, then sleeps on the skin with a smile.

All Amouage perfumes are expensive–high end top-shelf bottles with quality ingredients and master blending–but for me, this one is a self-care mood-lifting therapy session with each spray, and worth the cost of a big bottle.

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This whole album is good therapy–

Sencha Bleu

Rectangular bottle with gold cap and double sided label printed with songbirds.

TokyoMilk #57 lists Hyacinth, Iris, Citrus Zest and Crisp Greens on the bottle, and there’s no false advertising there, aside from the “blue.”

This is a green scent, and cheerful.

A splash of green leaves, almost bamboo sweet, with a tiny hit of bergamot rind, and hyacinth–which comes across rather lilac–and a faint smear of petroleum jelly. Lasts an hour with six-foot sillage, then fades to the skin with a light summery-lawn musk.

Good for socially distant outdoor concerts.

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A pretty summer song. Not the best recording, but I like it.

Pink Sugar

Fuchsia capped rollerball bottle on mound of turbinado sugar. The eau de toilette is quite viscous, as syrupy as honey.

One of everything in a pay-by-the-pound candy store stuffed into a bottle.

Aquolina’s best seller is one of the most accessible gourmand fragrances out there.
Cheap and available, and marketed with childish sweet-shoppe vibes, Pink Sugar is the Candy Crush Saga of perfumes.

And I’ve finally recovered from my daughter’s teenage obsession with Bath & Body Works’ Warm Vanilla Sugar, (the only way to exorcise that stuff from the house is to paint the walls–seriously, there isn’t enough sage in the world) to sniff this without instinctively reaching for aspirin.

Opens with screaming marshmallows and raspberry gum-drops and orange Pixy-Stix, loud as elementary school recess. The rush soon melts into huge clouds of cotton candy nicely dirtied up with a little licorice. A bit more grown up, a little flirty, red heart-shaped lolly-pops get passed like notes in the cafeteria.
At the bottom is caramel, with just enough musk to keep it from being completely cloying, chewy vanilla that lasts all day and sticks to clothes like toffee.

And yes, the stuff is mind-numbingly sweet, but it’s also fun, and I can see why so many bottles peek out of the purses of grown women, too.

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I saw her in concert when I was 14. She was amazing.

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.

Punk Motel

Coreterno sample card and spray, with some artsy marketing swag featuring Baroque boys in tights.

One to wear with ratty Converse All Stars, sucking down an Orange Julius–while you’re shopping at Tiffany’s.
Like there’s a comfortable I-don’t-give-two-shits vibe, but it’s really high end.

Marshmallow citrus at the start, a bit of rose meringue in the middle, creamy vanilla and salty musk at the base. Rather than being sticky, the sugar is airy and light, yet also very rich.

Stays inside the clothes for half the day, and leaves a faint sweet funk on the cuffs ’til evening.
If I could actually afford to shop at Tiffany’s, I’d bathe in the stuff.

*

Best Stooges cover ever–

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.