Perfect

Mini bottle with blue plastic bow on top and box with sketchy illustration of a banana on the side.

There’s something oddly coquettish about about this one, as if the perfume flirts with the wearer.

Opens with pink candy fruit and spring flowers (Do I get a whiff of banana or am I just looking for it because there’s one on the package?) that immediately settle to an inch above the skin, and stay there all day long, blanketed down by the softest wood musk–
–but in that intimate space, Perfect is an attention seeker.

I can only smell it when I lift my hands near my face–during a drink from a glass, resting my chin on my fist, smoothing my hair–but those moments are intensely sweet and distracting, a private tease with a wink and a smile, meant just for me.

The notes aren’t that special (seems like rhubarb and cashmeran are in everything right now) and a bit too girlish for me, but the performance is clever and fun.
I’d love to see more designers explore this topography.

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Duran Duran’s cover of Lou Reed’s classic is perfection.


Quatre en Rouge

Red promo card and white topped sample spray.

A trumpet with a mute, playing jazzy raspberries in a roomful of roses that’s too small to contain them.

The red apple opening hits sharp, the petals fall flat, and the metallic musk bass line, though sweet, is way too brassy to wear indoors.

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“You’d never know it, but buddy, I’m a kind of poet
And I’ve got a lot of things I’d like to say…”

Classic Lady Day, with Harry “Sweets” Edison on the trumpet.

Bubble Gum

Pink ceramic bottle and Dum-Dum bubble gum lollypops.

Bel Rebel’s interpretation opens with a tutti-fruity candy coated gum ball, loud and boisterous, the kind that clatters down the clear spiral base to ding the silver door of the coin machine.
I get the orange flavored one, citrus tart and sweet.
Sadly, the trace amounts of cloves aren’t enough to elevate it out of the candy dish–more sweet spice is needed to blend the fruit sours into that truly iconic bubblegum flavor.
I’m reminded of Fruitchouli Flash, an earthier distant cousin, maybe.

Settles down to elbow length after half an hour, with a dusting of chalk powder and the faintest hint of mint. (I got sneezy for a minute, but perhaps not the fragrance’s fault? Cold-season and all.)
(It’s 23 eff degrees outside, right now.)
Nice, and sniffy–I’m aware of it as I type–but I wish the heart had a bit of L’Interdit‘s tuberose or jasmine to cream it up and give the opaqueness that the bottle suggests. Bubblegum isn’t clear–

Lasts half the day, slowly fading to lighthearted patchouli on the bottom, with some super soft musk, an inch above the skin through the evening.
I like it. For the price, I’d hoped to love it.

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I do love this–

Gold Fresh Couture

Gold window cleaner shaped mini bottle, metal shot rag scrap and an ochre pear.

A sweet cheapie that works hard at school and doesn’t make their parents nervous–
Cheerful pear and vanilla with a touch of floral woods to keep it from turning into melted ice cream.

Reasonable performance and would pair well with any off-the-shelf hair product in existence.
For Ages 13 and up.

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I’m really enjoying Moschino’s aesthetic right now–check out this new collection, upbeat campy fun that couldn’t give a flying fuck about binary gender expectations.

Planningtorock’s electropop “Girl You’ve Got My Heart” was used in Moschino’s wonderfully inclusive 2022 Spring-Summer walk, but “Much To Touch” is my favorite.

Aqua Allegoria Passiflora

A gold topped beehive mini bottle with pale pink eau on a white box with magenta accents.

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.

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A good bad mood song.
(The whole album is awesome.)

Untold

White cat with a pink nose sniffing a crystal mini bottle with quilt lines cut into the sides. There’s a hint of cassis-catness in Untold, so use a light touch.

A wealthy aunt perfume. She spends more on handbags than her nieblings pay for tuition, but she gives cool birthday gifts and is the first one they come out to.

Cut glass pears and white flowers, with a sprinkle of ground pepper. Ends on folding money musk and soft patchouli.
Not bad.

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Woke up with this stuck in my head this morning–it’s raining, too warm for December but I’m not complaining.

Zut

Mini bottle shaped like bare-from-the-waist-down legs with a dress puddled at the feet, and a pink and green box with gold accents. The original bottles had frosted panties with polka-dots and stripes.

Such a fun surprise!
I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it wasn’t this clever little multi-faceted cassis that shifts to vanilla leather and jasmine incense then powdery tonka musk and back again.

Bergamot makes for a fresh opening, with ylang-ylang and lily-of-the-valley keeping it sweet and licorice-ish for a good half hour. Then the florals get complicated and ever changing–a bit of suede from the marigold, rose tinged sandalwood, creamy orris dust–held to personal space for half the day by the black currant jam.

Unisex, cheerful, and very high end.
There’s a Guerlain vibe to the airy sweetness, yet the base is grounded with an earthy Chanel weight–and it’s all combined with a quirky hit of Lolita Lempicka gourmand.
I can’t help but love it.

Elsa Schiaparelli–a French designer who worked with surrealist artists Marcel Vertes and Salvador Dali–put this out in the 1940’s (though I’ve seen it cited 1937, too) as the bottom half to Shocking’s torso. It was re-released in the late nineties, and is apparently out of production, but unopened boxes are still available at reasonable prices.
I may have to get a big bottle.

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Wish

Diamond pendant chrome capped mini bottle with blue eau (that’s starting to oxidize a bit–keep this away from light or it’ll turn amber) hanging in a white Christmas tree.

Wish is that loud-laughter bombshell at the holiday bash in a lurex dress and even cheaper lipstick, who gets sticky caramel everywhere and is the absolute life of the party.

Fruity vanilla, syrupy honey florals, and soft toffee woods, in a big fun mess with zero chill.

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Another awesomely messy holiday wish-

Christmas Wine

Sample vial and test paper apothecary bottle cut-out, and vintage star shaped ornament.

Big spiced plum mulled in cloves all day long, with an undercurrent of sharp needle fir.
Tart fruit bites in as it warms, sweetened with candied orange peel, fun and inviting.
Performance drifts in and out on skin, but anchors really well on winter knits.

Way too much holiday spirit for me to wear, but I’d love my house to have this much cheer.
I’ll scent my solstice votives with the sample.

*

More cheer.