Midnight Fleur

Mini Nest trio, with black caps, the bottle in front with a black label and blue flower.

The most popular perfume of the brand, and with good reason.

A lovely beginning of spicy jasmine ice cream over powdery patchouli, that gives way to a seductive dark boozy vanilla for more than half the day at arms length, while the usual Nest wet floral base blooms in the shadows.
Gourmandish, but without the chewy praline one finds everywhere lately. There’s a sheerness that keeps it from seeming sticky, and the woods at the heart give it a nice backbone.

For those who’ve grown out of Bath & Body Works Warm Vanilla Sugar, but aren’t ready for Tom Ford’s Tobacco Vanille.

*

This album is a great tribute to all my favorite rock queens–here’s a celebration of Stevie Nicks.

Wild Poppy

Mini black capped Nest bottles, Wild Poppy in front with red flower illustrated label.

Whew. The rollerball application might not be the way to sample this one.

One stripe on the wrist and I get Enormous Fruits, in a Carmen Miranda hat so huge it makes my eyes cross.
Scrubbing twice knocks it back to a heavy raspberry rose headache, three feet off the skin, that no amount of dish detergent or aspirin can conquer.
I tried Goo-Gone, and Ajax.
It’s been two days.
I’m contemplating one of those foot peel masks. And acupuncture. Maybe an orbital sander?

*

Black Tulip

Little Nest roll-on bottles, the one in front showing a black label illustrated with a burgundy parrot tulip displaying a yellow pistil.

High school fruit-chuli.

Opens with ice cream parlor raspberry syrup, that the Nest site describes as black plum and black cherry. A few florals giggle as they pass by, then the patchouli kicks in like teenager’s antiperspirant, warming and sweet, for several hours before fading to the skin.

My mother grew Queen Of The Night tulips–the original black ones. They smelled faintly of green grass and a bit of nutmeg.

*

Mozart’s iconic Queen of the Night aria is actually titled “When Hell Boils In My Heart,” and commands her daughter to commit patricide or she’ll disown her. (My first stepmother sang this–go figure.)

Kelis samples the famous trills in Like You, (and Meryl Streep as Florence Foster Jenkins is amazing) but this electronica remix is fun.

Dahlia & Vines

Jumble of Nest mini rollerball bottles with black caps, Dahlia & Vines with pink pompon flower in front.

Y’know how when you pop a bottle of Zinfandel and get a big grape-y whiff that’s sort of sweet and exciting, but when you actually taste the wine, it’s drier with less fruity notes than you expected, so you’re kind of disappointed, even though it’s a reasonably nice wine for the price?

*

This song by Kat Dahlia has no vines but is not disappointing at all.

Amazon Lily

Sample card with botanical drawing of a white lily, spray vial and other Nest mini bottles.

The first spray is a sanitizing citrus that fades to weird artificial fantasy flowers–they feel a bit Tim Burton-ish, like they might eat your brains with slurping noises.
The dry drown is very cool, a woodsy musk that does a chilly freshwater slow dive that lasts for hours and hours.

Masculine, in a modern knight errant on a trippy quest way, but a Lady-of-the-Lake could pull it off, too.

*

Tim Burton directed this cute video for the Killers.

Sunkissed Hibiscus

Mini rollerball bottles with black caps, Sunkissed Hibiscus in front. I like the branding on Nest’s line–vintage naturalist illustrations, painted with vibrant colors on a dark background–this one is a voluptuous peach and orchid triffid.

The latest Nest is a big splash of generic herbal tea at the beginning, then gets greasy with coconut oil and milky white flowers for two hours. (Hibiscus is in the Malvaceae family, a kind of mallow, like ambrette–which explains the musky weight of the florals.)
The bottom is actually a bit nice, amber making a long lasting Nutella accord on the skin, perhaps a nod to the warm Cocoa Woods, which I liked very much.

I imagine it’s better in high summer than early spring, but I’ll likely pass it along to someone who enjoys suntan lotion scents before then.

*

Love this cover, which has a certain weight, too. Last summer was cruel, but a lot of artists have produced some neat stuff during the quarantine.

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.

*

Turn it up and let off some steam.

Citrine

citrine
Row of Nest mini bottles, Citrine–with label showing yellow flowers on black–in front.

This is lemon Italian ice, sold from a cheery street vendor in August.

Sugary citrus blooms, loud, with a wet floral that is supposed to be lotus, but seems more like yellow roses, with synthetic papery wooden notes underneath.

Citrine is sweet but safe, polite sillage that doesn’t overstay its welcome, no risks, no glory.
It needs a layer of musk, or even a bite of something animalic to make it shine.


Bono channeling his inner Elton-Bowie-Elvis is amazing. Whether you grin or groan, you have to admit he takes risks–and the song is great.

Passiflora

passiflora
A stack of black capped mini Nest bottles, the one in front with a labe illustration of a passionflower.

Bright wet loud green floral, but clumsy.

Lily-of-the-valley after they’ve been beaten by rain storms, hothouse tropicals bruised by the automatic sprinkler–
But then it goes overboard, into silage territory: a florist’s trimmings bucket and watermelon rind compost and fermented cucumber pulp.

Doesn’t come out of clothing until washed in hot water.
If it were less heavy-handed I’d enjoy the weirdness of it, in an I Am Trash kind of way.


This Passiflora (a folk band out of Costa Rica) is not clumsy at all.

Verde

verde
Nest mini-bottles in a purple dish, the one in front with a label illustrated with ferns.

Grandma’s bath salts (which also had a fern on the bottle, I think–)

Opens with harsh herbal lime and pine pitch, then softens down to nice wet crushed bracken and soap suds.

Stays close to the body all day, and leaves green smelling stains on the clothes.
I’d enjoy this on a guy–the alpha male who scrubs up clean.


Here’s more of the same color.