L’Air des Alpes Suisse

Tauer blue mini pentagon bottle with mountain graphic label, on iced over evergreen bough.

I thought there would be hot cocoa.

L’Air des Alpes Suisses is chilly and gorgeous, and stays that way.
The ambergris is a gust of cold wind carrying snow and pine, with a weirdly enjoyable sweet whiff of gasoline–and it echoes. The camphor in the woods somehow resonates, the way a struck bell vibrates the air in the room, with a slow two hour fade to the skin.

The linear sound wave quality is very cool, a good example of synesthesia in perfumery, though I keep wondering if it will resolve at the end.
(Is there a tease of warmth and chocolate in there, or is that my own wishful thinking?)

I like it very much, but I bet it’s a completely different scent in August.

*

An electro-pop dance hit out of Zurich that’s oddly soothing, with a gorgeous little video.

Sotto La Luna – Tuberose

Decant vial on paper test cut-out of Tauer cobalt bottle, and scattered whole cloves.

Sweet, buttery green tuberose sharpened by spice with a serrated edge.
Turns creamy on the skin with nice projection and lasts all day, but the geranium sticks to the cuffs with a funny veggie side dish note.
Pretty, but makes me crave fried chicken.

The structure is similar to Tuberose Flash, from the Tauerville collection, which I absolutely love. so I sprayed that on my other wrist to compare. Flash’s benzoin softens the jasmine and patchouli, where the ambergris and spices in Sotto La Luna brightens them.
Of course, I went for the spice cabinet next. and hit the raw materials. The clove was obvious, the sweet bite on top, but the cinnamon was more subtle–just a dusting of warmth.
That was fun.
(I’ll stay with Flash.)

*

This is so weird and unexpected–I like it.

Mitsouko Eau de Toilette

Mini scrolled bottle of Mitsouko Eau de Toilette at the center of a crimson firework Gerbera daisy.

1919.
House of Guerlain, Paris France.
Nobody:
Jacques: Here’s gunpowder and blood, coffin-woods and grave-moss, because War.
Nobody: (blinks)
Jacques: And some peaches and jasmine so it’s pretty.

Wow. Guerlain’s iconic Mitsouko is goth as Hell.
Opens with the sharp tang of citrus and peaches–bright coins to pay the ferryman–but made sanguine with roses. Funeral flowers bloom, more roses and lilac and jasmine, and slowly dry to cedar box dust. At the end, embalming spices rise from the skin, and ash smoke–the powdery residue of battle–until they fade to moss and lichen on headstones.

For elegant widows, death obsessed poets and wannbe undertakers.

*

This cheerful little tune is surprisingly dark–John Cale’s classic made modern by Owen Pallett.

Boreal

A sample vial of green liquid, with pine branch tips and a paper tester of a Pinewood apothecary bottle.

Boreal opens with a mix of things I find comforting in the winter–gingerbread, Tiger Balm, cedar bark, and pine needles–a lot of the Santa’s Workshop vibe of Guerlain’s Winter Delice, and I’d enjoy it on woodsman types a lot.
But the greenery dies down to faint resins on the skin in less than 2 hours, and I want more. The mossy notes do perform a bit better on cotton.

I bet it would be amazing in a beard oil.

*

This is a good pine.

Elephant

Wooden elephant statuette with decant vial, paper test of Zoologist bottle and green leaves.

Green grass and green tea and green coconuts and jasmine at the beginning–playful jungle notes that I like very much–but then the patchouli makes it rain, and the sweetness is lost.
Wood notes at the bottom dry it up and add some gravitas, but I wish the cocoa came through deeper, to give more weight.
There’s a lack of presence, in both scent and sillage, that I find disappointing.

The elephant in the room should fill the space, and this one doesn’t.

*

This Elephant makes me happy.

Cabotine

Mini Cabotine with frosted green clover-leaf lid, sitting in water floated with more green leaves.

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.”

Lime & Nutmeg

Mini bottle of Lime & Nutmeg with chartreuse label edged in gold.

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.

Diorella

diorella
Micro bottle of Diorella with a smaller circumference than the penny it’s perching on, and Dior’s iconic hounds-tooth pattern packaging.

The shy little sister of Diorissimo.

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.

Passiflora

passifloraBright wet loud green floral, but clumsy.

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.

Pleasures

pleasuresLovely 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.