American Cream

Pale yellow filled small bottle in a wood display box at the nearest LUSH store–the furthest I’ve ventured from home in an entire year.

American Cream smells like Demeter Fragrance Library got stoned and went to a Ben&Jerry’s.

Scoops of strawberry vanilla with honey drizzle, and light herbal funk.
Not the highest you’ve been, but a long-lasting buzz.

Puff, puff, give.

*

One of the sweetest slow jams ever.

Eternity Moment

Pooka casting a perfect cat head silhouette shadow while sniffing a clear mini bottle with pale pink liquid, that’s surrounded by square pink candies (which taste like snobby Smarties.)

Cotton-candy vodka out of the bottle that settles to Choward’s guava mints–and lasts longer than most top notes usually do, even longer than it takes for the candies to melt on the tongue (though it’s hard not to crunch them)–then eases to light flowers in personal space that slowly fade to wood musk on the skin.

Safe, pleasant, and affordable.

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Here’s a moment of Eternity from Imelda May.

Kate Spade New York

Sample card and spray, with pink on white graphic pattern of Kate’s spade.

Seems like every design house is desperately churning out their version of a citrus-berry-rose, as if fruit sorbet is the must-have wardrobe staple now that COVID-19 has made hard pants a thing of the past.

This one should have been named TRULYsprite.
Kate Spade New York is nice, bright strawberries with lemon-lime zest opening, rosy refreshing middle and a mineral chrome shine at the base. It’s fun and bubbly, but it’s a bit brief, and a bit simple.
Pair with stretch leggings.

This is likely the first fragrance that Kate Spade herself didn’t have a hand in producing, on some level. Do most legacy houses take the safe route after their creator has recently passed?
I hope they find their way back to her iconic cuteness-as-an-artform aesthetic.

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Terry Gilliam took Kate Bush and Donald Sutherland to a new level of cute in her “Cloudbusting” video.

Rose Pompon

Red cut glass bottle with gold cap, pink striped tea roses and raspberries.

Heat activated roses that last FOREVER.

Opens with Ruby Red pink grapefruit juice cocktail spiked with raspberry Chambord, and as it warms, the roses bloom sweet with vanilla, and stay there for days. Weeks, even.

The rose masks the violets, I only smell them in my hair (which is Covid-19 long right now) and on my shirt cuffs when I’m not wearing it. If I pin my hair close to my head the roses open again, same if I re-wear the jacket.
In a hot bath the roses get thorny, woods with a bitter bite of the grapefruit again, gorgeous, yet also a bit masculine.

There are sexier fruity roses out there—(come to me, baby) Angel Nova and (sigh) Sådanne—but none as delightfully mercurial or long lasting.

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Just discovered Esperanza Spalding, a cool jazz artist with a lot of Joni Mitchell energy–

Springtime in a Park

Replica sample card with a pink liquid filled spray, and a really tasty Bosc pear.

Springtime in a Park is supposed to replicate Shanghai 2019, but I get Car Wash 2004.

Starts out with a blast of flower lather, and then some not-quite-shrieking neon-green pear liquid soap, then blooms with bonkers loud lily-of-the-valley suds.
Bath-time is over in an hour, drying down to clean musk on the skin.

*

Donna Summer had much better spring fling flair.

Dolly

Black and white photo of Dolly Parton on a blush sample card with her butterfly signature, and a spray vial.

Dolly Parton’s new perfume is a trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee in a bottle.

Opens with the strawberries-and-cream saltwater taffy from Old Smoky Candy Kitchen–soft fruity pink and gooey sweet–and lasts as long as one takes to melt in the mouth.
The middle is pure Dollywood, rhinestone musk and jasmine encore bouquets, synthetic but charming, though nowhere near as loud.
Finishes with a lingering view of the mountains, green forest woods and a hint of pine.

Oddly, Dolly is a bit shy, staying in personal space and fading quickly to the skin. I’d expect this brief a performance from a cologne, not a celebrity eau de parfum, but her short songs are good, too.

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This remix takes Dolly out of the mountains and into the club, with Junior Vasquez mixing Ladysmith Black Mambazo into the beats to raise the sun.

Be Delicious Paris

Mini blue liquid filled DKNY chrome apple dwarfed by a Pink Lady apple, and violet blue flowers.

The final flanker from the DKNY Hearts the World set, and the best of the lot.

This time our girl is drinking wine at the nearest bar after French Club let out and enjoying a menthol cigarette. The usual green apple has turned to chardonnay, the flowers-for-teacher left in the classroom, the sandalwood burnt to patchouli ash.

Lasts a few hours in personal space–then the dry-down turns surprisingly rich and masculine on the skin for a few hours more, a rough vanilla cologne vibe that elevates Paris way above the other cities in this line.
Definitely one to snag at TJMaxx.

*

This sweet little song goes to Paris, Texas.

Purplelips

Purple mini bottle with a stack of lips à la Han-Solo-in-carbonite, on a detail of The Temptation of St. Anthony.

I love a good pun.
These Purple Lips open with juicy blueberries that would stain the teeth, and linger on violet and lilac flower candy that dye the tongue. Sheer woody musk on bottom keeps it in personal space for half the day.

But one could easily find this scent–though maybe not as cool a bottle–in a fast fashion chain for teens. I want more from the house of Salvador Dali.
Give me chessboards on the ocean floor. Give me ship sails made of butterflies.

*

The Cocteau Twins kept it surreal.

Angel Eau de Toilette

Angel EDT mini in the snow with rose sedum encased in ice.

A lovely crisp candied apple with a citrus zest, feminine and smart, but this is no shy cherub–she’s loud enough to make one a bit cross-eyed at close quarters.
Angel EDT is a cleaner version of the original, less syrup, less musk–the apple held in place with light pink florals at the top that slide into a wet minty patchouli and finish with sweet pale woods.

Lasts all day and sparkles in the cold, but tends to leave crumbs on my couch and wears my favorite hoodie without asking–my house is too small for the both of us.

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The air is foggy today and the wind skates just on the edge of freezing, trailing icicles as she goes.

Dolce Vita

Ceylon cinnamon and my ancient bottle of Dolce Vita.

I feel a lot of kinship with Dolce Vita.
She tries really hard to be that spicy peach tart who likes a good cinnamon roll (and a little sugar in her bowl…) but can’t quite get the pieces together enough to pull off the whole outfit.

The ingredients are all there–juicy ripe fruits at the beginning, spicy vamp seduction in center, and lingering vanilla woods at the end–but the top is too young, the skirt too brash, the shoes too cute.

I keep trying it, hoping somehow she might have gotten over the awkward stage and come into her own, but in thirty years all that’s changed is that the gold leaf has flaked off the bottle.
Me too, Dolce Vita. Me too.

*

This song came out 90 years ago and is still one of the filthiest songs ever recorded.