In the summer Cabotine is an overwhelming mess of spicy flowers; in cold weather it becomes cassis tea with honey.
Heavy carnation, gingery white florals and huge green hyacinth are eye-watering in the heat, with a whopping dose of black currant on the top and bottom giving a bite of acidic fruit in the beginning and an angry cat scratch at the end.
But in the winter, everything blends into sweetness, berries and nectar and soft musk, cheerful and petal soft–and worn under clothes, the sillage relaxes to an enjoyable comforting layer. Lasts til morning on skin, and til spring on fabric.
Cabotine came out in 1990. So did Sinéad O’Connor’s iconic cover of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U.”
The last mini from the 4711 Acqua Colonia sample set.
Lime and dark spice, with a frothy hit of Ivory soap, but there’s a Coca-Cola vibe to it, too.
Green citrus projects a yard off the skin for five minutes, then the nutmeg slowly settles to the skin and disappears, over the course of an hour.
I dumped the whole bottle in the tub and it was marvelous.
Harry Nilsson was a such a brilliant (and strange) musician. His parents were Swedish circus performers, which makes me happy.
Opens with an Earl Grey tea splash that gets lost in a huge green not-quite-blooming-yet flower garden–a bit of jasmine and blushing rosebuds–for an hour.
Big starchy oakmoss dries up the bottom a foot off the skin and stays there most of the day.
It’s nice, but doesn’t say much.
This oddball song was a huge hit in France in 1972, the same year Diorella came out.
Lily-of-the-valley after they’ve been beaten rain storms, hothouse tropicals bruised by the automatic sprinkler–
But then it goes overboard, into silage territory: a florist’s trimmings bucket and watermelon rind compost and fermented cucumber pulp.
Doesn’t come out of clothing until washed in hot water.
If it were less heavy-handed I’d enjoy the weirdness of it, in an I Am Trash kind of way.
This Passiflora (a folk band out of Costa Rica) is not clumsy at all.
Lovely rosy cranberries, fresh and juicy at first hello.
Then it gets brilliant with an unusual spicy-sweet, warm floral–
Karo-karounde is an African bush related to coffee, with rich blooms said by the Perfume Society to smell like jasmine and chocolate. L’Artisan Parfumeur features it at the heart of Timbuktu.
–I get a lot of pink pepper and curry-plant from it, maybe even nutmeg.
The guy says it smells like cilantro.
I think he’s catching the green edge of the lily-of-the-valley, and maybe some of the sandalwood at the base.
Doesn’t project as much as the other Estee Lauder foghorns I’ve tried. Misty florals stay within personal space, with sweet spicy roses on the skin, for most of the day.
Pleasures came out in 1995, and Joan Osborne released One of Us. Prince covered it best.
“Black clove and cassia flung onto glowing cinders and mingled with slow-dripping poisons.”
Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab’s description beats even my purple prose–but it’s spot on.
Bright green leaves with that black currant sting, then–CLOVES. Big loud sweet woody spice, with a breath of smoke and an unnecessary dash of dirty cinnamon. After an hour it dries down to powder, a smudge of gingerbread dust and vanilla on the skin.
More insidious than godlike, but definitely good for tricky witchery.
Here’s an insidious witchy song with an awesome Bond-girl vibe.
I love the opening, a magician’s big poof of flowers hidden in a sleeve.
They turn green quickly, facefuls of huge leafy citrus blooms with extra greenery, and woodsy patchouli stems by the armload.
Private Collection came out in 1973, but doesn’t bare the civet fangs that were so popular then–the base is cedar and bright spice a few feet from the skin. The dry down on clothes is wildflower sweet for two days.
The top notes are so fun, and the finish is pretty, but the middle feels like I’ve been whumped in the chest by the biggest bridal bouquet ever thrown.
I was sixteen when I saw the Stravinsky Fountain in Paris, and fell in love with Niki de Saint Phalle’s wonderful sculptures.
She released her perfume in 1982–as a way to fund her life-long Tarot Garden sculpture project–with a variety of illustrated bottles, including a zodiac series called Eau Defendue.
The eau de toilette opens with peaches and wormwood, and mint–that has just enough of a toothpaste-and-orange-juice dissonance to make one wake up and pay attention, not unlike the vibrant color-blocking of her sculptures–weird and bright, yet pretty.
Carnation and patchouli and some green-dyed-leather twists it around for several hours, and woodsy moss covers the skin for the rest of the day.
Jean Tanguely, Niki’s partner, insisted that moss be allowed to grow on the Centre Pompidou sculptures, as Nature’s contribution to the art–so it can’t be a coincidence that the perfume carries the same green notes.
Igor Stravinsky (watch a video of him conducting here) was a huge influence on John Williams, as well as The Beastie Boys, who sampled The Firebird Suite in two of their songs from Hello Nasty.
I like to think Niki de Saint Phalle, whose artistic style included found materials and juxtaposed media in her feminist compositions, might have approved of this cover by Robyn Adele Anderson. (And the guy on the Theremin is awesome!)