Peach Me

Sample spray and promo package, with bottle test strip and some candle tins to make my photo a little less boring.

or, Kirkland’s in liquid form.

Seriously, this stuff opens with nice juicy tropical peach dangling-from-the-mirror car air freshener, or maybe even the clip-onto-the-vent-because-my-dog-barfed-on-the-way-to-the-vet, you-can-buy-it-in-wax-melts-too kind.
The fruit fades to the skin over the next six hours into spice mix potpourri from the store at the mall that starts selling cinnamon scented pine cones in September.

If you can afford to splurge, Tom Ford’s Bitter Peach is the surreal masterpiece–but an awesome, long lasting succulent peach for a tenth the cost of Bel Rebel is Outremer PĂȘche. Or if you want that retro spice bottom, go with Dior’s Dolce Vita.

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Proper nasty punk Peaches, that you won’t hear on the Muzak speakers in Kirkland’s.

Eclipse

TokyoMilk Dark black bottle with white enamel details of a solar eclipse, lit with stars.

TokyoMilk #99

Black Anise and Mint Leaf (Margot Elena is so marvelously extra) make for an intrusive yet great wormwood opening, but then the “Smoked Amber” tramples all the herbs into damp bachelor pad funk.

Touted as unisex, but it’s taking up waaay too much room on the subway seat while boasting about its car emissions.

Lingers a foot off the skin for half the day, and on cotton until a hot water wash.
Wear with a barbershop Ivy League cut, and mirrored aviator shades. (Maybe don’t wear it.)

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Soundgarden covering The Doors. Also a bit rude, but in the best way.

Poudre de Parfum Scintillante

Lolita Lempicka powder atomizer globe in a snowbank with lavender spritzed snow.

Lolita Lempicka shimmering powder. I fully own up to buying this for the bottle.

There’s something dreamy and cutely sinister about it–the sweetness doesn’t come through as much as in a liquid formula, so the licorice and and almond cyanide are really carried in the musk.

Leans unisex in a sleepy morning skull-print pajama bottoms way.

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Alabama 3 (or A3 in the U.S. because copyright shenanigans) came on everyone’s radar with the theme song to the Sopranos. They’ve got a crazy acid house country blues sound that I love–here’s one of my favorites.

Bubblegum

Large bottle of Demeter Bubblegum with silver tall top in a red vending machine filled with rainbow layers of gumballs.

Demeter Fragrance Library’s Bubblegum is the best pure pop out there–exactly what it says it is, the way it should be–cheap, sweet and fun.

Yes, Fracas‘s smutty fabulousness is amazing, and several niche brands have a highbrow interpretation (Bubblegum Chic by Heeley and Bel Rebel’s Bubble Gum are nice) but for a moment of uncomplicated selfish joy, go with this one.

Sugar, spun with cloves and wintergreen, and a tiny hit of synthetic musk just to keep it soft, and that’s all.
For anyone of any age.
Lasts a loud hour or two on skin with a bit of sticky residue, and hard to get out of clothes.

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I got Covid again this summer.
The flu symptoms lasted only a week or so, but the sinus fuckery is still ongoing–sometimes plain tapwater can smell like garlic mush, and milk will smell like fuzzy marmalade, and I lose all confidence in my nose–but then I have days where everything is crystal sharp and exactly as it should be.

Today has been lovely–crisp cool autumn with no allergens or humidity–so I’m sniffing all the things.

At Last

Mini bottle with white lacy floral motif, and metal tube of lotion with the same design on yellow.

Overly friendly envelope glue and laundry starch.

And the “handcreme”, though nice and rich, smells even more deliberately boring.
I’m not one for lotions, but I’ve been gardening today–my neighbor (who probably wore some slinky Chanel back in the day, but doesn’t bother with all that silliness now) gave me a Dior sized heap of lily-of-the-valley bulbs–so my knuckles are thirstier than a pumice stone.

I have no idea why Margot Elena thought anyone would want to smell like this.
Lollia This Moment is a much better choice–not weird or fusty at all–and the bottle is cuter.

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Also not frumpy:

And Soul

White bottle with gold cap and graphic anatomical heart, on a linen tea towel, with hand sifter, sprinkled with all purpose flour.

Orange flour water.
Seriously, this stuff has a weird dusty bread dough thing going on.
The bottle says Oolong Tea, Bamboo Reed, Orchid & Air (whut?) and White Musk, but I get sweet uncooked enriched buns, with that puff of powdery steam when you punch the rise down.

Doesn’t last or project much. Leaves a smudge of sugary floral musk on the skin for a few hours, but that’s all.
A good gift for home cooks.

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I’m hungry, now.

Perfect

Mini bottle with blue plastic bow on top and box with sketchy illustration of a banana on the side.

There’s something oddly coquettish about about this one, as if the perfume flirts with the wearer.

Opens with pink candy fruit and spring flowers (Do I get a whiff of banana or am I just looking for it because there’s one on the package?) that immediately settle to an inch above the skin, and stay there all day long, blanketed down by the softest wood musk–
–but in that intimate space, Perfect is an attention seeker.

I can only smell it when I lift my hands near my face–during a drink from a glass, resting my chin on my fist, smoothing my hair–but those moments are intensely sweet and distracting, a private tease with a wink and a smile, meant just for me.

The notes aren’t that special (seems like rhubarb and cashmeran are in everything right now) and a bit too girlish for me, but the performance is clever and fun.
I’d love to see more designers explore this topography.

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Duran Duran’s cover of Lou Reed’s classic is perfection.


Quatre en Rouge

Red promo card and white topped sample spray.

A trumpet with a mute, playing jazzy raspberries in a roomful of roses that’s too small to contain them.

The red apple opening hits sharp, the petals fall flat, and the metallic musk bass line, though sweet, is way too brassy to wear indoors.

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“You’d never know it, but buddy, I’m a kind of poet
And I’ve got a lot of things I’d like to say…”

Classic Lady Day, with Harry “Sweets” Edison on the trumpet.

Delicious Delights Cool Swirl

Frosted DKNY apple, the top half pale green, with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Pistachio Pistachio

Cool Swirl is a trip through our nearest Korean grocery, with the produce that smells of sweet greens and strange fresh fruit, the dairy case full of coconut water, the shelves of flower scented cosmetics, ending at the freezer chest by the register, filled with melon popsicles and Bravo pistachio treats.

Lasts a half hour in intimate space and becomes a faint skin scent of musk and ice cream.
(For longer satisfaction skip the scent and grab a pint of B&J’s.)

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I really should have chosen BLACKPINK and Selena Gomez’s “Ice Cream” but it makes my head hurt, so here’s Tom Waits instead.

Untold

White cat with a pink nose sniffing a crystal mini bottle with quilt lines cut into the sides. There’s a hint of cassis-catness in Untold, so use a light touch.

A wealthy aunt perfume. She spends more on handbags than her nieblings pay for tuition, but she gives cool birthday gifts and is the first one they come out to.

Cut glass pears and white flowers, with a sprinkle of ground pepper. Ends on folding money musk and soft patchouli.
Not bad.

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Woke up with this stuck in my head this morning–it’s raining, too warm for December but I’m not complaining.