XII: L’Heure Mysterieuse

Cartier Red and gold box and sample vial, on an antique clock face reading 12:41.

L’Heure Mysterieuse has a lot of ties to LUSH Lord of Misrule, but where LoM measures time on standing stones, XII is a church clock-tower.

First strikes with dry spice and jasmine–peppery sharp, then resin and incense waft in, with a fifteen minute chocolate and cigarette break.
At the half hour patchouli chimes loud, taking over, only occasionally letting a few seconds of vanilla slip by.

Lasts the day at social distance with woody amber, brassy and stern.

*

K

Rectangular slate blue mini bottle with silver crown cap and a long red pepper.

This guy starts out like all his other man-pals, noisy and a little gin-drunk, but he’s sweet so you go home with him–and he cooks. Spicy peppers, herbs, citrus, figs, well mixed, and suddenly he’s fun, hot chili and warm blues. Not particularly athletic, but he’s long lasting with good wood and big wok energy.

*

Red Hot Chili Peppers cover of Stevie Wonder’s Higher Ground is good hard funk.

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.

*

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

Rose of No Man’s Land

Velvet rose with paper test of Byredo bottle, and decant vial.

The ad copy for Rose of No Man’s Land lists rose, pink pepper, raspberry blossom, papyrus and white amber.
I can pick out those notes, but all together it smells like the green-room at a drag show.

Ms Turkisha Petals camps out at the snack table–salty corn chips and berry ginger-ale–until Rose d’Red threatens her wig with pepper spray. Eventually Amber Oralgami sashays in after her paper dolls routine, to collapse on the sofa for a few hours.

Statuesque, sweet and savory, and a little chaotic in the best way.

*

Annie Lennox’s ironic hit is a drag show regular.

Spice Must Flow

Sample spray and paper tester of amber bottle, with the ELd’O medallion redesigned with a sci-fi planet vibe.

Did anyone else mutter, “Fear is the mind killer…” as they opened their little white package?

I was rather excited when Etat Libre d’Orange announced their obvious hat tip to Frank Herbert’s DUNE novels. The classic series revolves around the politics of a psychotropic spice which fuels all interplanetary commerce.
Melange is described as a glowing blue addictive cinnamon, mined from the sands of Arakkis.

ELd’O’s tribute is not Melange, and the nerd-girl in me feels this could have been really iconic with the addition of either cassia or canela.
Spice Must Flow does have a good desert planet vibe, though.

Opens with an explosion of hot ginger-cardamom-rose, powder dry, that shifts between sweet and salty until it settles to incense dust on the skin, where it lingers for days.
The peppery notes make it very masculine–though a Bene Gesserit witch could easily wear it in a subtle manipulation for dominance–a rugged cardamom bomb with rose thorn shrapnel.

*

DUNE was an influence on Thirty Seconds to Mars’s first album.

Citadelle

citadelle
Muzzy photo of spray sample and ad of androgynous model glaring perhaps because they are naked in the snow.

Lemon and a really nice peppery marigold an inch above the skin–the vetiver and bergamot project off my shirt cuffs better than my wrist–for an hour.

The literature says this one is supposed to evoke the spirit of the Haitian people. Not really getting that from the blonde in the wintery ad, but okay.
I’d enjoy it more as a candle.

*

Here’s a Haitian take on “the land of ice and snow” by the amazing Moonlight Benjamin.

JV x NJ

Sample spray and promo card, with the same ombre blue as the bottle.

This smells like your car after you’ve had it detailed because the neighbor kid puked Olive Garden all over the back seat.

It tries.
Lavender and orange oil solvent.
Windex and mint. A little lime and some hopeful sandalwood.
But it just can’t disguise the vomit.


(This is how to cover a song.) (Contains no barfing.)

Pink Pepper & Grapefruit

4711 Pink Pepper and Grapefruit
Mini splash flask with fuchsia label and gold accents.

A 4711 Acqua Colonia mini that didn’t come with the sampler set, but I had to have anyway because give-me-all-the-matching-things.

Nice fresh squirt-in-your-eye grapefruit and peppery bite that slowly fades to brisk rose on the skin. I like the masculine zing–this one has a bit of a bristly mustache.

*

More pepper. (Like the cologne, the original is better, but sometimes it’s fun to mix things up a little.)

Lemon & Ginger

4711 lemon ginger
Photo of mini 4711 flask with yellow and gold label, blurry with sunbeams.

More from the 4711 sample set of Acqua Colonia minis.

This one hits the sinuses like a cough drop, then sweetens to Italian ice. The ginger doesn’t have much of a bite, but it pushes the lemon out of cleanser territory and into soda-pop.
Lasts a perky half hour.

I’d love it as iced tea, too.

*

Lemon pop with a twisty video.

Dylan Blue Pour Homme

dylan blue pour homme edgy
Ad peelie of a rectangular blue bottle with gold medallion. This one is still on the Test At The Store list because I really wanted to like it.

Lemon poppy-seed salad dressing.
Sweet and moist with a few random peppercorns.

Might be nice on lettuce, but I wouldn’t want to sit next to it on a trans-Atlantic flight.


More Dylan blues–an extra sweet cover by Magnet & Gemma Hayes.