Mandarine & Cardamom

Cut crystal 4711 Acqua Colonia flasks, the bottle in front with an orange and gold label.

The first spray is a bright sweet puff of Tang powder, crystal clear sugary orange, that settles down to the skin in 60 seconds.
A bit of herbal citrus peel lingers with some green spice for a quarter hour, a little longer on clothes.

Lovely and refreshing.
Wear to breakfast.

*

This song makes me both happy and a little melancholy.

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.

*

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

Folavril

Annick Goutal mini bottle embossed with her gold wreath logo, and Campari tomatoes.

I had so hoped that I wouldn’t fall in love with this little ’80’s vintage eau de toilette, but Folavril is the spiked herbal brew the Faerie Queen serves at summer parties.
A sunny day-drunk cocktail made with one part Chartreuse, one part Fleur Defendue, topped off with mango hard seltzer and garnished with tomato leaf.

Lasts through the afternoon, sliding back and forth between fruit nectar and a sharp, fizzy–almost soap-suds–green.
Stays close, leafier on clothes and sweeter on skin.

Sadly, other collectors love it too. Bottles are scarce, and pricey.

*

Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty came out with this beauty in 1981, too.

Dodo

Dodo illustration from Leopold Fitzinger’s 1864 Picture Atlas of birds, and a Zoologist card (with a much more dapper dodo) and sample spray.

Did the dodo go extinct because they actually smelled like this? Recent studies of their oversized beaks have suggested they had an acute sense of smell–were they so offended by their own species, they refused to mate?

Zoologist’s Dodo smells like screeching black currant cat pee, cheap body spray over unwashed teenager, and fresh basil.
For way too long.

Eventually settles to fruit salad with herb dressing tinged with feather musk–but unlike Snowy Owl, it’s not cute downy fluff, it’s molting fowl.

Fairly permanent on cotton.

*

I like this dodo sound.

Winter Oak

Sample spray and ad with righteously pouting blonde who should be allowed to wear more clothes when it’s that cold.

The ad copy says “smooth creamy warming” but I get “edge of the forest hermit.”

The first spray is a burst of sour citrus and vegetables with herbs, in a messy sun-drenched garden way, then everything gets spicy, woody cloves and earthy peppercorns for an hour on the skin.
The end is a slow fade of soft with smoky firewood that’s still a bit too green to burn.

I’d really enjoy this on a guy, which is funny, because the guy said he’d enjoy it on me.

*

Winter came back yesterday, for one last kiss.

Koala

John William Lewin’s 1803 drawing of “Coola and Young,” Zoologist bottle paper test strip, decant vial and tip of a eucalyptus branch.

Down Under barbershop bloke.
Zoologist went for environment rather than animalics on this one, though apparently koalas do smell like cough drops.

Opens with a big bar of masculine eucalyptus soap, and rinses down to herbal spice and vanilla mint. Within half an hour there’s a splash of smoky tea that I wish stayed longer, then it dries down to soft wood musk on the skin.

I like him, even if he’s not giving out Vegemite sammies.

*

I’m old enough to remember when this first came out on the radio.

Riva Solare

White card with Allegra collection icon of a glass Murano candy, sample spray and blue and yellow hard candy rods.

Bvlgari’s ad copy talks about sparkling citrus and the excitement of boat ride on the Mediterranean.

The bergamot on top has some nice sunny herbal lime sweetness–but it quickly ebbs to orange flower and watery musk on the skin, and completely sails away in half an hour.

For that price I was expecting a bottle of Asti and a day trip on a yacht, and instead I got a lemon lolly and a Sea-Doo run around the nearest buoy.

*

This recent hit from Italy is a lot of fun.

Fresh As

LUSH pot with teal solid perfume, and a pine cone and needle branch.

Fir and sweet balsam pine, with benzoin making it soft.
There’s a timeless quality to Fresh As, as if it could have been worn by a troubadour of centuries past, with stringed instruments made of spruce wood and polished with golden resins, yet also by a modern musician, fresh electric ozone and green Recording-In-Progress lights.
Pair with a clever shirt and a tweed cap.

*

My brother introduced me to this one–I love the way this is filmed, so we feel like we’re in the studio with them.

Cocktail

Large black label bottle of Cocktail at the local Lush store. The recent health regulations made testing cumbersome, but I’m glad precautions are being taken, and the sales associates were patient.

An odd one that started with faint florals and shy herbs with no projection from the test strip–a meh from me at the store–but slowly filled my car with big branches of moss and limes on the way home.
If Cocktail came in a small size, or better yet one of their solid pots, I’d order one, but there’s no way I’d shell out for three ounces without being able to test it on the skin.

*

This song always winds up on my driving playlists.

Snowy Owl

Zoologist card with drawing of a bird princess in a cute winter hood, sample spray and a craft feather wing to make my photo fancy.

Snowy Owl is clever and gorgeous and a little wistful–

Opens with wintry wind notes, and a weird animalic beat that really does smell like feathers (that anyone who has kept chickens would immediately recognize, and can be found in new down pillows, too) but is freshened by sugary alpine mint.
There’s a tease of spring florals, green and sharp but distant, and a vaguely earthy sweet resin that’s somehow creamy, like ice milk that hasn’t been flavored yet.
Projection is mild, but not exactly linear, with white forest floor musk shyly creeping in now and then.
Lasts most of the day, and even longer on mitten cuffs.

Recommended for ski instructors, Swan Lake dancers, and anyone else–but only when the temperature is below freezing out.

*

I love this melancholy winter song–and how amazing this party must have been!