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.

*

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.

*

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.

*

“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.

*

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

99 Regent Street

Sample dabber and beige Hugh Parsons box, with crest featuring green oak leaves on white and a helmet head topped by a unicorn and so on. The London company was established in 1925 and has nothing to do with the Hugh Parsons of Springfield, Massachusetts, who was acquitted of witchcraft in 1651. (His wife wasn’t so lucky.)

This would be a reasonably refreshing powdery Dude-Bro fragrance if the ball-peen hammer of musk didn’t hit the center of the forehead quite so hard.

Recommended for outdoor use only.

*

This hammer is much better.

Narciso

Mini cube of dark eau (yes, it stains) with an ecru top. The full sized bottles are lined with opaque white.

Delightful.

An opalescent woody musk–there’s a lovey creamy yet multifaceted quality about it–and blatantly rich. Starts out with a splash of Shalimar cola, then dusts up with earthy mineral powder made carnal and soft by gardenia.
A bit of rose grows up a few hours in, wild, dry and thorny over the cedars, staying in personal space all day.

Marketed to women, but would be absolutely lethal on masculine types, in a sulking prince way.

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Benjamin Haycock is a singer/rapper/songwriter out of the UK–I love the percussive techniques he uses on the guitar.

Incanto Bloom

Mini handbag shaped pink flask and gold and red floribunda tea rose.

Honestly, I’m only writing this one up because it’s the last in the gift set and I need closure.
And the photo turned out cute and I have some time to kill while waiting to get my COVID-19 booster vax.

Incanto Bloom might be the most heinous of the collection.
(No, lady giving me the stink-eye for sneezing, I’m not contagious.)

So this mess goes on with grapefruit rind and curried sawdust, then delivers a bouquet of artificial roses before dying a sad musky death. Luckily, it doesn’t last long.

The disconnect between Ferragamo’s clothing and footwear design standards (their boots are marvelous) and this entire Incanto line of fragrances is hard to understand. The house knows what quality is, they’ve just chosen not to produce it.

(Get your booster shot, yeah? This crap isn’t over yet.)

*

Maroon 5’s hit came out in 2010 too–doesn’t last long either, but it’s more fun.