Green Lover

A bit of clematis leaf and sample vial, with Lolita Lempicka promo card featuring a waterfall over green mossy rocks.

I never really thought of Shamrock Shakes as sexy, but daaamn–this is a guy’s gourmand done right.

A milky mint confection spiked with orange flavored gin–(Tanqueray Flor de Sevilla is a pretty nice one)–that elevates it out of after school detours for fast food and into high end pastry shops with a liquor license.

Lolita Lempicka’s trademark syrupy-yet-powdery vanilla musk, here turned into sweet green teasing shadows, drifts in and out of intimate space all day, whispering invitations to drinks and dessert.
Yum.

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Toy Boy

Moschino promo card and sample spray, advertising a black bottle in the shape of a teddy bear.

This guy is fun, jeans and a whimsical graphic tee with nice shoes–he can tell a great joke without punching down, knows good drink recipes, and flirts with just his eyes.

Quick pink pepper and slice of pear, with a pinch of spice at the beginning, then an earthy–almost oily–masculine woody rose blooms in personal space for half the day.
Drifts down to the skin with more woods and fluffy fiber notes–the way a new skein of silk mohair yarn smells, a bit musky and animalic, and so, so soft–for a few more hours.

Lighthearted, affordable and a nice change from the ginger-lavender-vanilla mash-ups that are everywhere right now.

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An earthy song by the Rosewood Thieves.

Kitten Fur

Miss Lucy Fur of the white coat and pink nose, posing on a beige lambskin throw and a black-capped mini splash bottle from Demeter Fragrance Library.

Our little girl smells faintly of flea drops and raw silk, but I get it.

Demeter Kitten Fur opens with new cat carrier plastics, and a metallic cage clang that is soon overtaken by musky vanilla lactones that should not be smelled up close–like back away from that with your tail puffed up–except that it’s sort of interesting in a weirdly cute way.
Lasts at least two hours, and finishes with powdery Cashmere Mist on the skin.

Not for me, but I understand the appeal.
I’d love to see a Zoologist version of this–some civet or black currant bud would give it claws.

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Kittens are fun.

Gold Lily

Yellow daylily and mini gold ball capped Shangai Tang bottle with with ivory symbol for longevity.

Sheer lily, sweet floral with an undercurrent of earthy spice, held in place with light patchouli and some pale musk. At a distance the flowers are lovely, but an up-close sniff turns it into car air freshener for a while.
I like the coriander and clove drydown on the skin, after the synthetics fade.

The company has moved their fragrance production toward room scents and candles–I think that’s a good direction for them.

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I went down the Google-hole looking for current pop music in Shanghai right now, and fell hard for the modern-hits-traditional vibe of this one. (Google translates the title as “I walked through the lonely long river in Mobei and the sun sets,” but Encore lists it as Xiao – “Rivers and Lakes.”)

Beach Walk

Replica sample spray and promo card featuring the bare back of a blonde at the seashore.

Another citrus-coconut-floral for barefoot surf dodging–

A soft bergamot opening, with that squeeze of lemon juice to lighten the hair in the sun, then coconut creme sun lotion and sweet tropical flowers carried at arms length, ending in a sheer driftwood musk that melts to the skin after a few hours.

Nice, but I already have a Soleil Blanc sample to get busy with, and a few doses of Moon Bloom and Salty Flower to finish, a Sunkissed Hibiscus mini, and an enormous bottle of Sunny Seaside of Zanzibar, so I’m not likely to shell out for this one.

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A golden oldie made sunnier–

Joy

Miniature iconic black Joy bottle with red domed cap and gold writing, sitting in the petals of a red-tipped cream rose.

Joy opens bright, rose and tuberose made extra sweet and loud with ylang-ylang.
Jasmine soon blooms, indolic and spring green with rosebuds that slowly ripen then turn almost spicy and dry down to sandalwood. Musk with a hint of cat purrs at the bottom, keeping it from being too pristine.

There’s really no way to explain how perfectly blended the bouquet of flowers is, yet every single element is so distinct–the way a Matisse painting comes together perfectly, the way a string quartet becomes more than the sum of the strings–gestalt theory produced in perfume.

I still have the bottle I bought in Paris when I was sixteen, but I never wear it–I feel like I’m putting on airs (farting above my ass–to use a French idiom) or playing dress up in clothes I’m not woman enough to pull off.

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Joy came out in 1930. The next year Josephine Baker released the record that made the world pay attention to more than her banana skirt.

“I have two loves, my country and Paris…”

Ciel

Clear mini Amouage bottle with silver dome lid on the edge of a garden pot, and blue sky with wispy clouds behind.
Today will be lovely, the weather woman says.

Ciel seems to be trying to compose solar and aquatic vibes out of flowers–sun-showers, maybe?

Opens slightly spicy and green, and soon turns watery but oddly creamy, with a lot of jasmine.
Then the bottom makes it really weird, soapy woods-musk, with some Amouage brand incense muddled in, polluting the whole sky with floral acid rain.

I’ll stay inside.

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Here’s a gorgeous clear sky:

Orchid Bloom

Shanghai Tang mini bottle with gold ball cap and blue symbol, with strawberries and blueberries.

Fruity wine with floral musk underneath.
The berries open strong and fun, but the orchid is too sheer, like its made of silk and chemical dyes. The musk on the bottom is delicate but loud–a bit shrill, to me.

Shanghai Tang is an amazing fashion house out of Hong Kong, with cross-cultural designs that lean kitschy in the best way.
The founder, Sir David Tang, was a fascinating guy–he was a philanthropist, socialite, business magnate, English professor, and newspaper columnist. His granddaughter runs the company now.

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AGA is a Cantopop star from Hong Kong. This one is off her latest album So Called Love Songs.

Cashmere Mist

Curved, clear, cut crystal mini bottle that could possibly look like a flowing scarf?

Mid-nineties musk.
Opens with sneeze-worthy powdered nail polish remover and leather flip phone cases, then softens to vanilla SoBe soda on the skin.

Wear with a slip dress over a tight t-shirt, and ankle boots.

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Aaliyah’s debut album also came out in 1994–this was my favorite song.

Musk Deer

Zoologist bottle cutout paper tester, green cardamom pods, decant vial and enamel deer brooch.

Rude at first, then lovely.

Opens with loud fecal spice, like something large and furry shat cardamom pods in your personal space.
Just as your eyes start to water in protest, the cedar tamps down the fumes with some nice florals, and then the softest powdery musk takes over.
The orris root makes this brilliant–not like Lolita Lempicka’s pulverized violet candy–more fae monarchy walking in the forest, raising sugary pollen that glitters in the sun.

The base woods stay sweet on the on the skin for half the day, with the musk trailing a foot above.

Unisex. Leans delicate, after the feral beginning.

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Music for modern elven kings: