Un Matin d’Orage

Beads of water on a frosted Annick Goutal bottle sitting in a puddle, with prismatic sunlight.

This “Stormy Morning” dawns with lemony ginger and a lot of wet green notes that turn into an enjoyable petrichor–and stays dewy on the gardenia and jasmine all day.

Very sweet and very white, with the same mixed-message quality of pristine indolics in La Chasse aux Papillons.
Also similar to Reflection–a bit less grounded by the sandalwood–and about two-thirds the cost.

Pretty, but not terribly exciting–a good storm should have a bit of thunder and lightning, yeah?

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This morning is sadly just dreary.

Wakening Woods of Scandinavia

White cat with a very pink nose, and a large pale green cut crystal flask and leafy printed box.

(Meet Lucy, our newest household addition.* She likes to eat rose petals, chase hair ties, and watch sandwich-making.)

I’m rather devoted to the House of 4711, but I’ve been putting off opening my bottle Wakening Woods of Scandinavia–even though it received kudus from People Who Know What They’re Talking About, and was designed by the Escentric Molecules guy–because I didn’t want to be disappointed.
I have such fond memories of the various forests in Sweden I’ve seen and smelled (Trollskogen on Öland is amazing).

Wakening Woods is lovely…!
Crisp green bergamot and some herbal spice at the start, ridiculously fresh and breezy, then after a few seconds, cool fir and alpine roses–the tiny ones that smell almost apple-y, but not sweet–over forest floor bracken.

Fills the room at first spray, but settles quickly to a few inches above the skin with nice ferny trails for two hours.
Evergreen, but all-year-round.

* Adopt, don’t shop, yeah? Second-hand cats and wild-grown kittens have the best personalities!

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Tori going Nordic.

Un Jardin sur le Nil

Promo card illustrated with lily-pads and Hermès bottle, and sample spray.

I’ve never been to the Nile, but the Lily Pool Terrace at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden smells a lot like this–standing water in the sun, but nice, with that marvelous fruity green aquatic plant funk.
There’s other stuff blooming too, indistinct but still there, bulbs from the fragrance garden, and distant herbal vegetable leaves, with a bit of city haze underneath.

Perfect for summer, but good for hot autumn afternoons with Chardonnay, too.

Lasts the morning on skin in personal space, and most of the day on clothes.

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Hossam Ramzy was an amazing percussionist–he’s worked with everyone from Led Zeppelin to Shakira. (Y’know the riff in Jay-Z’s Big Pimpin’? That’s him.)

Fanghorn

Pineward sample vial and paper test cutout of Fanghorn bottle, burlap pouch and a taxus tip with green needles.

Nice.
Fanghorn is a bit brighter than Murkwood and less sweet, with an earthy forest floor petrichor replacing the myrrh and incense.
Realistic pine in a summer rainstorm for an hour, then green lichen on the skin for the rest of the day.
Semi-permanent on cotton, with the wet fir opening.

Leans to unisex trees with rough bark.

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More Tolkien inspired art:

Mandragore

Aubergine Annick Goutal ridged bottle, half full.

Modern warlock potion.

Zings with citrus and black pepper out of the bottle, then sweetens up for a little while with anise and ginger. Other herbs are mashed up in there too, and the concoction constantly shifts, releasing smoky bubbles of impossible spell components for several hours–black violet leaf, glass wormwood, electric lavender.

Settles down to a bite of green on the skin, and is gone by noon.
Flips to the grimoire page of unisex.

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I love this.

Green Lover

A bit of clematis leaf and sample vial, with Lolita Lempicka promo card featuring a waterfall over green mossy rocks.

I never really thought of Shamrock Shakes as sexy, but daaamn–this is a guy’s gourmand done right.

A milky mint confection spiked with orange flavored gin–(Tanqueray Flor de Sevilla is a pretty nice one)–that elevates it out of after school detours for fast food and into high end pastry shops with a liquor license.

Lolita Lempicka’s trademark syrupy-yet-powdery vanilla musk, here turned into sweet green teasing shadows, drifts in and out of intimate space all day, whispering invitations to drinks and dessert.
Yum.

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Valentino Uomo Acqua

Cut crystal mini flask with tiny cherry tomatoes on the vine.

Lovely tomato greens honed sharp with citrus, but then they soften–the sage takes the iris and turns it into that dusty rime on herb plants, rather than sweet powder.
Then Acqua (an odd name for this flanker because I don’t find it aquatic at all) slowly eases down to high quality Italian shoes, but they’re green and soft, keeping some of that suede texture that both sage and tomato leaves have.

Refreshing and smart–lasts half the day in personal space, longer on cuffs.

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Bassi was one of the founders of the Italian hip-hop scene–this one came out in 2017, the same year as Uomo Acqua. My favorite line (that translates well into English) is “I have always been half rapper, half man, divided halfway between the sky and Milan.”

Wild Whims

TokyoMilk barrel canister and bottle with botanical drawings of chrysanthemum, echinacea and clary.

From the newest set, TokyoMilk 80 touts Sweet Grass, Clary Sage, Verdant Florals, Citron on the label, and the clary–a lavender-limey herbal–is nicely prominent, I’m happy to say.

Opens bright, cologne-ish–green lemonade on lawn chairs in the hot sun–that settles to the skin within an hour. Turns a little sweaty in a pleasant bitter citrus pithy way for another hour or two.
Fresh, soft, and unisex.
I’d enjoy it as bath salts, too.

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Garbage covers U2 with a dreamy urgency that’s just lovely–(the whole album is great.)

Or Noir

Opaque black bottle with gold block letters, in front of a drawing of a lion’s head with dragonfly wings, because it’s a really boring bottle.

Big boss moss meets elegant earth mother with sweet spice (alliteration much?)–as if Chanel № 5 and Niki de Saint Phalle had a gender-fluid love child.

Begins with sassy juicy fruit aldehydes–that manage to give off interesting gasoline fumes–then grows calm and cool with a bouquet of spring flowers at arm’s length. Those are soon overtaken by deep voiced oak-moss sugared with ylang-ylang, cloves, and a spoonful of vanilla that settles to the skin by evening.

The top notes last ages on clothes, with some patchouli bitterness that I don’t get on the skin, but like very much.
Or Noir has been around for over 40 years, and is still in production. Reasonably priced too.

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Some more Gasoline with pretty bitterness.

Viole del Pensiero

Nosy blue-point Siamese cat sniffing wild pansies, and a tiny purple bowed bottle with a plastic gold cap.

Pansies are so fun! The smaller johnny-jump-ups have the most scent (which isn’t much) and are the easiest to grow.

Borsari 1870’s 1970’s reissue of a 1920 classic that I picked up in 2010 (…Let’s do the time-warp, agaaiin…!) is a greener violet than many, with a dewy leafy opening that stays verdant as it slowly dries down to sweet floral powder.
There’s a bit of woody backbone at the bottom–I’m only getting a smidge, but it’s there–some subtle oakmoss, maybe? that takes it out of traditional feminine flowers and into intriguing unisex garden.
Nice vibe of the whole plant, not just an extraction of the petals.

I have to shove my nose into things to get good results–a big huff rather than a delicate sniff–but I’m getting there!

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Another vintage one that got me moving. (I still get worn out quickly, but I’m much better than last week!)

It’s just a jump to the left–