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–

Paris – Biarritz

Chanel promo card and sample spray.

Absolut Citron vodka and green bell peppers an inch off the skin for an hour or so.
Unisex and pleasant–a polite one to wear on the train, but nothing special.

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This song IS something special.
Stone Gossard (of Pearl Jam and Mother Love Bone) and Adam Levine did an amazing cover of this one at the I Am The Highway tribute concert. It’s worth tracking down for a listen–I’m not always a fan of Maroon 5 but Adam has a range as broad as Chris Cornell, and this tune needs it–that whole show was amazing, but today is rainy and gray and I just need the original.

Tubereuse Indiana

Creed sample card with splash vial, featuring portraits of the company founder (James Creed, 1760) and the designer of Tubereuse Indiana (Oliver Creed, 1980.)

Hmmm.
Well…

I get a fair bit of lily-of-the-valley, and maybe some gardenia, but not a lot of tuberose. Or vanilla.
Some ambergris rises from the skin about an hour in, but it’s got a cigarette ash aftertaste that seems dated.

The whole thing feels like it’s trying to have vibes of the action TV shoes in the late 60’s–The Mod Squad, and The Avengers, even Batman, all with slick sexy fashions contrasted with dangerous underworlds–but misses the mark (and doesn’t seem to go anywhere near India.)

For a good Indian tuberose with a kiss of vanilla, a bottle of Sikkim Girls and a mortgage payment can be had for the same price.

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Diana Rigg lived in Rajasthan when she was young, and spoke Hindi.
Cool lady. Smoked a lot.

Murkwood

Olive brown sample vial and burlap gift bag, smoking incense stick and pine sprig.

Sweet smoke, and pine trees.
Soft and resinous on the skin, sharper and greener on cotton cuffs.

There’s a hint of something dangerous lurking underneath, that takes the incense out of the headshop and into darker, more niche territory–the moist forest floor threatened by distant fires, the spilled tea leaving ominous stains.

Very unisex and a bit sexy. Lasts a good two hours a foot off the wrist, then rests on the skin for two more.
I really like it.

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Acoustic Cure Forest might be my favorite.

Tocadilly

Mini frosted Rochas bottle with purple ball under the cone cap (the eau inside is pale green) and a stack of cucumber slices.

Quirky garden freshness, that goes backward in time through the day.

Starts at afternoon in the garden with loud cucumber and pear and sunny lilac, then gets wet and green with hyacinth, in a slow rewind to morning dew on the grass, until it slides back under the covers with comfy creamy-but-powdery woods on the skin.

A bit off-beat and rather nice.

Rochas seems to have stopped production, but sealed bottles can still be found on line for cheap.

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This fresh cover might you take you backward, too.

Pamplelune

Medium Guerlain bottle with gold beehive lattice neck and ball cap, with a mini bottle doing something suggestive to a pink grapefruit half.

Grapefruit pith in the best way, a smart bitterness that slides to sweet throughout the day.

There’s a weirdness, a uniqueness to it that is almost distracting–I’m sniffing my wrist every few seconds, wondering if it still smells the same as the last huff I took. (How much of my enjoyment is just an oxygen rush?)

The performance is a lot of fun. Begins like an herba fresca cologne, a bright wake me up of citrus zest with a tart bite of fruit, then it cools down to a few inches above the skin and stays there, slowly growing soft with vanilla, with the tenacity of an eau de parfum.

Wonderful.
Marketed to women, but would be delightful on anyone.

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Feeling this one today.

Sencha Bleu

Rectangular bottle with gold cap and double sided label printed with songbirds.

TokyoMilk #57 lists Hyacinth, Iris, Citrus Zest and Crisp Greens on the bottle, and there’s no false advertising there, aside from the “blue.”

This is a green scent, and cheerful.

A splash of green leaves, almost bamboo sweet, with a tiny hit of bergamot rind, and hyacinth–which comes across rather lilac–and a faint smear of petroleum jelly. Lasts an hour with six-foot sillage, then fades to the skin with a light summery-lawn musk.

Good for socially distant outdoor concerts.

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A pretty summer song. Not the best recording, but I like it.

Lychee & White Mint

4711 flask with carmine label and box with illustration of a lychee plant.

I’m not usually one for mint in fragrances, and most of the Acqua Colonias I’ve tried have been exactly what they advertise, so I’ve avoided this one for a while.
But I like lychees, and I was curious what 4711 might actually do with “white mint,” and since it would fade in 15 minutes anyway, and it didn’t cost much–so why not?

Ugh.
Opens with a big swish of eye-watering mouthwash that sits fuming on top of the body like camphor rub.
And stays there–making the nose-hairs curl in despair as the pale floral lychee breezes on with a fleeting wave–for half an agonizing hour. Eventually dissolves to spearmint gum–that’s had all the sweetness chewed out–on the skin.

Too much mentholated hospital disinfectant vibes to even use as a room spray.

Try it, if you might enjoy wearing Listerine antiseptic wash.
I don’t.

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A very cool song (and hysterical video) by Mint Royal–

Marine Sel

Glass pot of solid perfume with a gold lid, and box illustrated with 1920’s drawing of swimming gentlemen.

TokyoMilk #54

Margot Elena lists notes of mineral salts, fresh water, turned earth, and white woods–which adds up somehow to sweet seaweed.

Opens with an aquatic fruity green note that stays wet for an hour before sinking into the skin with a faint wave of salty driftwood.
The solid is sheer, without much projection, but this is one I wouldn’t want to douse myself with–I think it could easily turn brackish and swampy.

Simple, amiable and unisex.
Good for reminiscing about seaside vacations, but collectors’ prices seem high for those memories.

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Green Tea & Bergamot

4711 cut crystal spray bottle and box with drawing of bergamot branch and green tea leaves.

A quick tea with lemon cookies and Earl Gray.

Two bites of citrus frosted baked goods, three sips of bergamot flavored Dragonwell, then it’s gone, no crumbs left behind.
A refreshing spritz good anytime, for anyone.

Also nice on dinner linens.

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This cover of Joni’s gem is another quick mood boost–