Impressions de Giverny

Impressions de Giverny edgyThis one bombs an apple orchard with flowers–exploding petals everywhere–big fat magnolias, roses, white lilies, orange blossoms,  ylang ylang, tons of neroli.
White musk takes over after fifteen minutes with a metallic edge that somehow cheapens the flowers, like a vase made from aluminum, then everything fades to a lick of ambergris on the skin.

I’d like it more as a candle.

I dreamed of a pilgrimage to Monet’s waterlily garden, like all impressionable teenage art students–


charlatan edgyFlowery jasmine pear for a few moments.
(I don’t get the chocolate.)
Rose and something minty that turns pleasantly bubblegummy for a while.
(Maybe there’s some chocolate in a peppermint chip ice cream way?)
Later a bit of sandalwood and amber tinged vanilla that WANTS to be chocolate–
(I probably shouldn’t test scents when I’m hungry.)

Yummy, but this one feels like a scent for a birthday party, rather than a person.

Best party song ever.

Confessions of a Garden Gnome

Confessions of a Garden Gnome edgyOpens with bergamot then rolls around on forest floor with violet leaf and lily-of-the-valley for a few hours.
Finishes with musky rose and wet ambergris on the skin.

Very brooding male pixie.
I love it.

(I may have posed in a compromising photo with a certain lawn ornament, many many years ago…)

This duo from Cleveland is doing fun things with music and video.


Fort & Manle bottle cutout paper tester, and sample spray from the discovery set.

Boozy 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.

Amber Absolutely

Amber Absolutely editMight be the nicest amber musk I’ve ever tried, but I think I’d need to be a bit less girly-girl to pull it off properly–this one falls more into the laid-back dude territory of unisex.

At first, plums–not the pale juicy kind, the dark prune ones, with that blue rime on the thick skin–drink smoky black currant tea with honey, while wild roses bloom in the distance. Then the amber kicks in with masculine wood, warming up some musky benzoin for several hours.

Quite nice, and projects louder and longer than any other Fort & Manle I’ve tested so far.

A mellow 311 cover–

Süleyman Le Magnifique

suleyman edgyA twist of green sappy resin, then the cinnamon hits soft and heavy, and spreads with amber over dried apples and warm mulled cider.  Fades in half an hour to sandalwood and shadows of roses on benzoin skin.

Brief, but gorgeous.

I recently discovered the Turkish group Taksim Trio–a bit new age, a bit traditional.
Hüzün means sadness, google translate tells me.


bojnerhoffOr: Mr. Bojnokopff`s Purple Hat.
This is what nefarious charlatans who make devil’s deals for true magic (that always backfire and involve a twirled mustache) smell like.

Lavender and bittersweet chocolate on a cedarwood stage lit with vetiver gaslight, and lasts longer on silk than on skin.

I always fall head over heels for an elegant villain.

So the story behind this one is of an illusionist in 1897, Russia, the same year of Rachmaninoff’s disastrous debut of his first symphony.  It opens with some serious mustache twisting.

Harem Rose

harem-rose edgySugar and roses at first spray, then more roses, with stray woody spice underneath, then more roses (and sneezing!) with a bit of caramel benzoin and more roses.

The random notes trickling in and out seem like passing cars blaring random pop songs while one is listening to Ella Fitzgerald.

Close to the skin within ten minutes and gone in twenty.*

*ETA: lasts months on cotton–so perhaps a better one for hair and scarves rather than skin?

Forty Thieves

forty-thieves edgyOpens with incense and intrigue, and a sweet, spicy neroli rose that blooms a yard off the wrist.
Soon melts down to rich amber resin and sandalwood and lingers on the skin for an hour.

Lovely and mysterious, but I wish the honey notes lasted longer–and that price is not a steal.

This song effectively ended the eighties, and confused a hella lot of us about fashion, gender norms, and which ends of our cutoff jeans we were supposed to wear where.
Damn, I miss Prince.