And the “handcreme”, though nice and rich, smells even more deliberately boring. I’m not one for lotions, but I’ve been gardening today–my neighbor (who probably wore some slinky Chanel back in the day, but doesn’t bother with all that silliness now) gave me a Dior sized heap of lily-of-the-valley bulbs–so my knuckles are thirstier than a pumice stone.
I have no idea why Margot Elena thought anyone would want to smell like this. Lollia This Moment is a much better choice–not weird or fusty at all–and the bottle is cuter.
A nice clean herbal, but almost too soapy to wear on the skin–I feel itchy in it, like I haven’t rinsed enough. This one stays in the laundry room, to spritz on wet towels before they go into the dryer. (Did you know fabric softener sheets make your towels less absorbent?) Doesn’t last long, even on cotton, but the folding is more fun.
Scintillating strawberry baby powder. Brilliant, with a delicate dissonance that shifts between sparkling floral dust and sweet berry syrup, for hours and hours. Chaotic, with the lure of a candy shaped bar of soap, and easily worn by anyone from age 9 to 90–
–unless if you happened to be in elementary school in 1980. Because this smells exactly like Strawberry Shortcake doll hair.
Here’s another dissonant Insolence that works well:
“Long Covid” is a thing. I’m getting better, just more slowly than I thought. It’s been 10 months, now. (The guy hasn’t got his taste back properly, and says the sky looks pinker than it should.) The waves of exhaustion come and go, with joint pain popping up in odd places–a ghost in the machine–and shrouding sensations that make me doubt my nose and my playlists.
Sometimes my most beloved songs seem flat, the blues going gray.
I took a break from the sniff tests for a few months, nervous that my receptors were too scarred to function properly. I’ve found comfort in my old favorites–Tank Battle has been a constant through this two-steps-forward-one-step-back recovery–spraying more, pressing my nose deeper into my skin, rejoicing at the familiar notes in the muted performance. Not all have stayed the same, though.
Poe’s Tobacco–which used to be an autumn go-to, with apples and amber and tea–now seems more summery, orchard blossoms and sun in trees, and maybe some jasmine I wasn’t aware of before. The tobac still gives it depth, but the woods lean more floral now, and less toward books in shadowy corners. I’m sad about it, that the niche-but-accessible cleverness has worn off.
A nice, easy to find vintage–but not quite as offbeat and fun as I remember. I hope it’s just me.
Orange flour water. Seriously, this stuff has a weird dusty bread dough thing going on. The bottle says Oolong Tea, Bamboo Reed, Orchid & Air (whut?) and White Musk, but I get sweet uncooked enriched buns, with that puff of powdery steam when you punch the rise down.
Doesn’t last or project much. Leaves a smudge of sugary floral musk on the skin for a few hours, but that’s all. A good gift for home cooks.
A fun and inexpensive vampy amber floral– I love the big citrus champagne opening, fresh and flirty, though I wish it lasted longer before dissolving into the pink flowers. The vanilla at the bottom stays close to the skin for most of the day, with faint patchi amber an inch above.
There’s a joyful retro feel that makes me think of secondhand shoppes that cater to drag royalty and couture collectors, and sell Pop Rocks and Lemonhead candy at the register.
This is so marvelously intriguing–a simple white floral that’s really a James Bond femme fatale in disguise. Comes in with a big hello of jasmine to the entire room, begging questions at social distance–Is that violet? patchouli? heliotrope? cigarette ash?–then winks with a smirk, because no, they’re actually almonds and cashmere musk being clever. Vanilla and sandalwood leave long trails in personal space like theme songs that get stuck in the head for hours and hours.
Bold and smart, and not as sweet as first impressions might give.
A 007 twist that makes Katy Perry’s classic intriguing again–(I adore PMJ.)
A tropical fruit freshie that disappears from the skin in 30 minutes, leaving a sour baby-spit-up stain on clothes. I get none of the promised ylang-ylang or crystalline lagoon waters, and I’m rather annoyed about the whole experience.
The brand website irritated me even more, with its suggestions for layering this scent with others in the latest collection. At $140 a bottle, we’re paying you to properly blend the fragrance, Guerlain.
A good bad mood song. (The whole album is awesome.)