Bitter Peach

Tom Ford promo card and sample spray, and very fuzzy peaches, one bitten.

Is Tom Ford trying to be the Timothy Leary of perfumery?
Seems like his best stuff is all-about-the-experience-man, and Bitter Peach is a mescaline trip.

First spray goes on with a swirly peach milkshake, but with the sugar turned down and spiked with amaretto–not for children and kind of amazing, for a quarter hour or so.

Then it gets down to business, a sour mash fruity Mandelbrot set that could be edged with almonds, cigarettes, cinnamon, and more, (but is really just intoxicated florals)–mixed with a few paranoid minutes of nauseating pizza and sour milk vomit–which is how you know the drugs have kicked in, right?

Then everything mellows out and turns dreamy and sexy, the peaches held a few inches above the skin with patchi sandalwood and made creamy with vanilla and benzoin for the rest of the evening.

Chaotic and fun.
Please use responsibly.

*

This slowed down cover of the Beatles’ hit draws out the psychedelics but is no less frenetic.
Spooky Tooth released The Last Puff in 1970–their I Am the Walrus was used in the (hopefully not) last episode of the brilliant show Watchmen.

Incanto Dream

Pink Incanto Dream mini bottle, on a heap of clear Jolly Rancher candy with purple edged wrappers.

Pineapple Jolly Ranchers, and greasy on the skin.
Lasts two hours with no projection and stains the cuffs.

For a sweet fruity floral with a woodsy bottom, Angel Nova is a better investment, with four times the performance and six times the quality.

Or just eat the candy.

*

Another dream. This one has angsty kissing with Scott Eastwood.

Wild Poppy

Mini black capped Nest bottles, Wild Poppy in front with red flower illustrated label.

Whew. The rollerball application might not be the way to sample this one.

One stripe on the wrist and I get Enormous Fruits, in a Carmen Miranda hat so huge it makes my eyes cross.
Scrubbing twice knocks it back to a heavy raspberry rose headache, three feet off the skin, that no amount of dish detergent or aspirin can conquer.
I tried Goo-Gone, and Ajax.
It’s been two days.
I’m contemplating one of those foot peel masks. And acupuncture. Maybe an orbital sander?

*

Bella

Mini Vince Camuto perfume with gold filigree topper, and pink box embossed with an orange flower and gold seal.

Another fruity floral that fits the high school dress code, in designer shoes.

A citrus hard candy and canned peaches opening, that soon gets roughed up by an amber school bus, and eventually maced with hairspray.

One for the gift exchange when you drew the mean girl’s name, and want to come off classy.

*

Another Bella:

Journey Woman

Red faced gold Amouage mini bottle with domed cap, and apricots.

Opens with opulent spiced honey mead and elegant jasmine, then slices fresh apricots and sprinkles them with a bit of pollen dust.
But Journey isn’t delicate–there’s a solidity on the bottom, like sturdy hospital clogs, leather and wood and rubber soles–that keeps her from being frivolous.

The dichotomy reminds me of my grandmother, who loved rich and exotic things, but didn’t hesitate to tie on a smock when nurses aides were needed during the war.

Stays within personal space for most of the day, then fades to the skin with sweet tobacco musk for the evening.
I like it–though my wallet is a little too lighthearted for this kind of gravitas.

*

Really feeling for healthcare workers right now. May their shoes never, never, never let them down.

Sugar Plum

Matchbox with glittered plum botanical drawing and Tokyomilk crest, and silver lidded pot of butter yellow solid perfume.

So the COVID anosmia thing seems to be ebbing, but it has a tide.
I’ve felt better and better these past weeks, but then this weekend I felt kinda lousy, and my tea tasted like it was made from a twice-soaked bag and sizzling bacon smelled like a distant campfire.
But today I woke up feeling great, and had a very fragrant Darjeeling and a tasty biscuit, so I reached for an old favorite that I know well–

Tokyomilk 61 Petit Parfum Solide–Sugar Plum–came out at least fifteen years ago, an early one from Margot Elena offering peach, candied mango, white tea, persimmon and “deep cassis.”

–and all that comes through. Creamy sweet summer fruit, cool wet mango and cheeky black currants, just like I remember, and I don’t have to shove it up my nostrils to find them.
Interestingly, the guy doesn’t smell the sugary fruity notes, he only gets the ammonia end of the cassis.
He’s been laying on the hot sauce pretty hard too–so we’re guessing he’s maybe two weeks behind me in the C-19 recovery. (Or maybe he’s sailing on a lower tide.)

*

Thelma Plum is pretty amazing.

Be Delicious Fresh Blossom

Chrome DKNY mini apple filled with pale pink eau.

“It gets better,” a teacher once told me, and I clung to those words even through college.

Fresh Blossom doesn’t.

Starts summer school with fruit flavored sanitizing cleanser and Pert shampoo. The roses soon call attendance, sharp and artificial on wire stems, loud enough to make one wince.
A few hours later, the florals settle to apple woods, a smear of Yankee Candle MacIntosh that stains the clothes.

This one gets a passing grade only for the longevity.

*

Wussy’s cover of the Beatles needs more play–it’s got a great Cowboy Junkies hits The Runaways feel.

Fiori d’Amore

Bvlgari promo card embossed with Allegra glass candy motif, and pink rose taffy and red hard candy.

“A magnificent floral expressing the loving exaltation of receiving a giant bouquet of roses” is some of the silliest ad copy ever written.

So… Yay, roses!
Woody tea hybrids with what is supposed to be a fancy new raspberry accord but actually smells of salted lemons, in a fun tequila shots vibe.
The fruity notes sweeten up as it drifts down to the skin over an hour or two. Not a cheap date for the performance, but good on hot summer nights spent eating spicy food with the fingers.

*

Here’s a smooth take on a St. Germain classic.

Black Tulip

Little Nest roll-on bottles, the one in front showing a black label illustrated with a burgundy parrot tulip displaying a yellow pistil.

High school fruit-chuli.

Opens with ice cream parlor raspberry syrup, that the Nest site describes as black plum and black cherry. A few florals giggle as they pass by, then the patchouli kicks in like teenager’s antiperspirant, warming and sweet, for several hours before fading to the skin.

My mother grew Queen Of The Night tulips–the original black ones. They smelled faintly of green grass and a bit of nutmeg.

*

Mozart’s iconic Queen of the Night aria is actually titled “When Hell Boils In My Heart,” and commands her daughter to commit patricide or she’ll disown her. (My first stepmother sang this–go figure.)

Kelis samples the famous trills in Like You, (and Meryl Streep as Florence Foster Jenkins is amazing) but this electronica remix is fun.

X For Women

Clive Christian tester packet on a china saucer. I’m not a fan of the cardboard “pull-and-press-here” samples–they’re one use only, usually tear, and dribble more than spray.

The smoothest peach smoothie that ever smoothed, sucked through a straw by Bettie Page. In full color.

Fruity, soft, creamy and boldly sexy–garnished with pale green jasmine that brings out the pineapple, for hours. Finishes with lovely sweet musk with a bit of smoke, pursed lips and a wink, erotic and flirtatious, yet genuine at the same time.

I’ve seen a lot of comparisons to Gucci Rush, and I definitely smell the resemblance. However, X strips out the plastics and reblends with powdery orris and labdanam, elevating the peach out of vinyl album cover and into burlesque editorial.

The over 50¢ a spray is rather cost prohibitive–Clive Christian can seem more interested in selling his own price tag than a good perfume–but X goes on like really fine lingerie, as much an indulgence for oneself as for anyone else, with banging projection that lasts for ages.

*

The smoothest–