White Sandalwood

Pile of Nest square minis, White Sandalwood–with a botanical drawing label–in front.

Almond nutshells and work boots.

Nest is hit or miss with me–though I love their pretty little bottles. White Sandalwood leans masculine with fresh cut wood and an earthy leathery note, and dry almonds–almost toasted, but not gourmand at all–and I like it.
A little lasts a long time–too much explodes with Hypnotic Poison strength Sharpie marker. Pair with jeans and a flannel shirt.

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Turn it up and let off some steam.

Rhinoceros

Test paper cut out of bottle, a decant vial, carved wood rhino and a shot glass with an ounce and a half of hemlock cones.

Drunk pine cones and combat boots, but comforting.
This is that big guy at the bonfire who wrapped me up inside his motorcycle jacket to keep me warm, and whispered dreadful jokes in my ear all night long, and I’ll always be a little in love with him.

Fills the room then eases into personal space for the entire night, and lingers on the skin the next.

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Rhinoceros was a supergroup experiment by Electra Records in 1969. There’s a good stampede in the middle of this one–

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.

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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.

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This is a good pine.

Cool Water

Teal blue mini bottle of Cool Water in the icicles of my arborvitae.

Alpha evergreen rosemary and rain on top, Ray-Ban Wayfarers and herbal musk on the bottom.

Clean, mild at a distance and brash up close, Cool Water rejoices in its chemicals–the polymer sheen of a new laserdisc, NutraSweet powder, the antiseptic wetness of lubed condoms–with the late eighties zeal for cheap innovation and mass appeal.

I swiped a bottle from a pretty college boy thirty years ago (he took my Sandman comics, so I don’t feel guilty about it) and still wear it with pegged jeans and a skinny tie on soft butch days.

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I wore this cassette tape out in my Walkman–another sweet and synth number from 1988.

Midnight Pearl

Discovery set sample with ad of a vampy-eyed model clutching a string of beads in a pool.

The description is “sultry and floral” with their signature essence of South Sea pearls. (I’m still confused by this. Do they use oyster juice, like that nasty clam stuff in a Bloody Caesar?)

Opens with an oceanic inky floral that is a bit Squid-ish, though not as weirdly wonderful. (Margot Elena’s 20,000 Flowers was a bit like this too, only with ylang-ylang instead of frangipani.)

Wades in a foot off the skin with sweet florals for a couple hours, but eventually dries down to some light woody spice–that I would really enjoy on a guy, maybe the bitcoin beach bum type who throws great parties.

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Emoni Bali is so fun.

Sea Buckthorn

My grandfather’s old grey Stetson and a paisley tie slung around a clear flask.

L’Ome is the Durance en Provence eau de toilette line for men. This one is a great OG barbershop cologne.

Argousier (sea buckthorn) on top, with that creamy lemony note lasting for a half hour over alpha herbs and lavender.
Wood fills in the bottom, cedar with some masculine sour sandalwood on the skin.

Old school gentleman–a bit of a curmudgeon but sweet underneath.

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Gentleman

gentleman
Ad peelie with high contrast photo of black labeled bottle and baby’s breath flowers, with the slogan “The New Gentile Man.”

The peelie advertises pear, iris, leather and patchouli, but all I get is baked vinyl car seats, hot tires and a melting popsicle.

Perhaps the “New Gentle Man” needs to park his convertible in the shade?

Legend Spirit

legend spirit
Simon Clark in a casually unbuttoned at-the-neck shirt and sport coat staring intensely on an ad peelie.

Manly herbaceous man who fashionably needs to shave tones it down for a corporate meeting.

Grapefruit juice and lavender for breakfast, oak desk and middle management musk at the end.

He’ll get his promotion soon.