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.

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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.

Jimmy Choo

Delicious Bosc pear and and mini brown glass bottle shaped like a pineapple (or a grenade?) with a silver cube lid.

Cruise ship pears, in a tacky self-indulgent way, and rather enjoyable, until the hangover hits.

Starts out with swanky fruit salad garnished with flowers, eventually takes a dip in an overly chlorinated pool, then smokes a Caramelo Joe cigar off the upper sun deck.

The headache slowly creeps in after the first hour, insidious, like the low grind of the boat motor that you try not to notice. Eventually you can’t ignore that you might be seasick, with regrets that you jumped too fast at the good price.

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How does Florence manage to make falling apart so pretty?

Rose Prick

Pale pink Tom Ford promo card with sample spray, and rose stem with thorns.

Ooh, I like this one–a nice dry rose, the way good sherry and a sharp sense of humor are dry.

Starts with an interesting spicy chocolate, and a bit of skanky-sour rose-hip fruit for a half hour, then gets powdery soft with enchanted rose forest patchouli thorns for the rest of the day.

Nothing sweet about it, and quite loud–this one enters the room before you do, and lingers after you’re gone.

Lovely for fairy-tale princes on a mission, and queens who need no rescuing.

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A dry, dry song.

Lord of Misrule

Bottle of amber perfume with a tall black cap and a blue and clear glass cruet with scattered pepper.

Lord of Misrule is what to wear to wild Bacchanalia parties where you sign a waiver to not hold the host responsible for any bruises, scratches or accidental pregnancies.

A pinch of lemon zest, then a bite of fresh ground black pepper–with sharp teeth, enough to make one wake up and pay attention–and woody patchouli that’s been sweetened with a hit of licorice powder.
The base is everlasting vanilla kisses, dark and dirty and rough in the best way, that linger on clothes and sheets for several nights afterward.

On the right guy, this would give soft demi-satyr vibes.
On the right woman, this would be dangerous.

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I have mixed feelings about the Hunger Games series, but the movie soundtracks were amazing.

Be Delicious Paris

Mini blue liquid filled DKNY chrome apple dwarfed by a Pink Lady apple, and violet blue flowers.

The final flanker from the DKNY Hearts the World set, and the best of the lot.

This time our girl is drinking wine at the nearest bar after French Club let out and enjoying a menthol cigarette. The usual green apple has turned to chardonnay, the flowers-for-teacher left in the classroom, the sandalwood burnt to patchouli ash.

Lasts a few hours in personal space–then the dry-down turns surprisingly rich and masculine on the skin for a few hours more, a rough vanilla cologne vibe that elevates Paris way above the other cities in this line.
Definitely one to snag at TJMaxx.

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This sweet little song goes to Paris, Texas.

Angel Eau de Toilette

Angel EDT mini in the snow with rose sedum encased in ice.

A lovely crisp candied apple with a citrus zest, feminine and smart, but this is no shy cherub–she’s loud enough to make one a bit cross-eyed at close quarters.
Angel EDT is a cleaner version of the original, less syrup, less musk–the apple held in place with light pink florals at the top that slide into a wet minty patchouli and finish with sweet pale woods.

Lasts all day and sparkles in the cold, but tends to leave crumbs on my couch and wears my favorite hoodie without asking–my house is too small for the both of us.

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The air is foggy today and the wind skates just on the edge of freezing, trailing icicles as she goes.

Twilly Eau Poivrée

Tw’ili-Pepper sample, mortar and pestle with pepper-corns, and a little black Hermès hat.

Heated car seats can be rather disconcerting. The ass is rarely that warm without the shame–or satisfaction–of a good spanking, so one tends to squirm, waiting for the accompanying sting.

Eau Poivrée is such the perfect fresh-ground peppercorn that I get anxiety waiting for the sneeze that never happens.

Before the first spray even lands on my skin, I’m frantically taking a deep breath, holding it, waiting for my eyes to water, getting slightly melancholy that no one is around to say “Bless you!”–and I stay that way for two hours.

The delicate rose and sheer patchouli eventually temper the spice, but by that time I’ve already taken an allergy pill and called my therapist twice.

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A satisfying Pepper:

Fruitchouli Flash

Sugar coated peach gummy candy and a bottle with a black and white “F” Tauerville label.

A spontaneous date in a bottle that starts flirty and sweet, and ends dirty (in the best way.)

Comes in with a two pound bag of Haribo peach gummies and an armload of white roses that soon get rogered up by earthy patchouli.
Brash and loud, it gives you a laughing good time, and hangs out til the next morning.

And I’d call it “genderful” rather than “unisex,” sliding all over the spectrum–from sugary feminine florals to blunt masculine woods–rather than staying in some safe place in between.

Fun.

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A genderful song that’s not by Cher or Bowie: