A trip to India, for spices and Darjeeling and marigolds.
Opens with big bright lemon and brash cardamom–heaping handfuls still in their green pods.
There’s an interesting warm-and-cool, push-pull to the top notes that keeps it from settling down–and it stays that way, fresh from the citrus, yet powdery with the spice–for several hours at arms length.
Eventually green tea musk slides in, soothing it down and pulling the sillage in. Finishes with a breath of woody flowers on the skin.
A lovely scent for summer daytime wear.
Stromae is a Belgian musician who also manages to be both dry and refreshing (and stylish–his design line, Mosaert, is gorgeous!) His first hit came out in 2010, the same time as the fragrance.
Vintage rose solifleur from an antique reference set.
(Perfumeintelligence suggests this one was first formulated in Parma, Italy, in 1880.)
So how do you define what a rose smells like? This one does a pretty good job of it–
Opens with airy pastel buds, lemony with sugar in the tea, then ripens with earthy green leaves and bright fruity rosehip wine. The dry down is exactly that, dried petals–dusty, musky and spicy sweet with a hint of powdery cloves.
So top notes to bottom, a good illustration of rose that would hold its own against Perfume Workshop’s Tea Rose and Annick Goutal’s Rose Absolue–though it doesn’t quite have the luxe of Fort and Manle’s Harem Rose.
Everyone’s favorite pizza delivery tune, Funiculì, Funiculà, came out in Italy at the same time. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, so here’s some Sting.
“Fresh and sensual” according to the tagline, but I get grapefruit pith and greenhouse at first spray, then it settles into vetiver an inch or two above the skin for an hour.
Oddly dated, but pleasant–it’s how I’d imagine the interior of an old VW bug that’s been decomposing in a retired philosophy professor’s back yard would smell like–full of weeds and nostalgia.
This scent was supposed to be inspired by Haiti. I don’t really feel that, but I’ve never been.
Twa Fey (Three Leaves) is a very special Haitian folk song–this is a gorgeous version by Emeline Michel.
Mint juleps–sugary booze and spearmint–with a solid wood note on the bottom.
Becomes a skin scent quickly, but lingers louder on clothes.
It’s got some of the XY gene of Eros and Bleu de Chanel, but with an organic softness that makes me nostalgic for the head shop that sold the best handmade candles and always played B.B. King albums.
The scent might be too simple to represent the complex history of the barrelhouses of the South that gave birth to the blues–but there’s an earthy sweetness to it that I’d enjoy on a guy with a good voice.
A splash of limeade and orange zest, a rub of basil and flower petals, a breath of cedar, and then it’s gone.
The brevity is a strength–4711 glories in its opening moment, the interaction of refreshment, the awakening.
Many of us grew up with this one in the medicine chest rather than the vanity, used to disinfect cuts and soothe burns. It’s still one of my favorite comfort scents.
Haydn’s Surprise Symphony (No. 94) came out in in 1792 too.
Climbs green trees and drinks peach tea, then holds orange flowers at paws length during the descent to the forest floor.
Sweet, comfortable and ponderous, but not terribly exciting.
The latest version of this is done with green apples instead of bamboo–I think I liked the older one better.
Daniel Caesar is an R&B artist from Canada, too. (Zoologist is out of Toronto.)
A long sweet lemony opening, with black currant herb tea, and then birch bark. The pine needles develop an hour later, woodsy green but sugary, the way a forest smells after snow.
Lasts the morning on the wrist, and on the cuffs all day.
It’s swanky, in an understated way–clean projection but mouth watering up close–and makes me look forward to winter.
Måns Zelmerlöw, of Swedish Eurovision fame, released this cheerful tune in 2016, too.