Thé Bleu

Pale blue frosted purse spray balanced on rim of teacup filled with Lipton and 3 springs of lavender.

Freshwater mer-folk bath salts.

The first whiff is a slippery murky green note that reminds me of okra. Thankfully, that soon slides away, washed off by fancy French laundry powder–the lavender and violets dried out by iris.

Then comes a round of decongestants in the form of minted tea, an odd sinus clearing smoke under the florals, giving everything a cool blue vibe that I sort of like, for about three hours in intimate space.

Weirdly swampy yet clean.

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Another cool blue.

Eve

Paper test strip cutout of a square St. Claire bottle, and test vial of Eve.

Eve was finalist in the 2020 Art and Olfaction Awards within the artisan/independent category, and it’s aptly named, with enormous seductive apple trees growing out of a single drop.

Comes on strong and skanky at first, dirty jasmine that cleans up with roses as it settles down and turns to orchard blossoms. Then the whole tree fills the room, woody trunks, green leaves, and fruit.
After a few hours, powder coats everything in personal space, for the whole day, with smudges of sweet char on the cuffs until laundry day.

The 35% concentration is way too indolic for me–I feel naked wearing it (which might be the point.)
An eau de toilette would be less overwhelming.

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Another take on Eve and the garden.

Sécrétions Magnifiques

Etat Libre d’Orange target motif box and sample spray, with a blue circumcised pencil eraser.
(Best bachelorette party ever.)

Eldo’s divisive masterpiece has distinct topography.

At arms length, we go down a flirty Rococo corridor, powder pastel whispery blue iris, edged with coconut cream. A sweet pretty floral, like those sugar pastilles that taste of cosmetics.

Breaching personal space opens the boudoir door, and we’re thrust into the climax of an orgy–the smell of sweat, fluid and semen hits the back of the throat before we even see who is connected to whom, and how.

Plenty has been asked about context. Would this, on a totally blind sniff without knowledge of the name, still have the same connotations? (Can the innocent innately understand the scent of sex?)

The cloying milky-metallic ooze–with a weird side note of bleach musk–is instantly recognizable, quite loud, and long lasting.
Sécrétions does indeed have a magnificent time, for hours and hours. Perhaps there is tantric practice involved.

Eventually, finally, the earthy dissonance eases down until there’s nothing left but a sweet balsamic afterthought on the skin.

It’s kind of amazing.

Would I wear it? Absolutely not.
Do I keep it around to dare friends to sniff? Absolutely.
(Good revenge on my scotch drinking pal who slipped me that shot of Laphroaig–the stuff tastes like bogwater dipped in tar–just to watch my face.)

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This cover is just wrong. Brilliant, but wrong.
(Like Secretions, very NSFW.)

Lolita Lempicka

Lavender Lolita Lempicka apple bottle pressed with white and gold ivy, and gold stem cap from 1997. The new bottles are plain faceted glass, but supposedly the fragrance hasn’t been reformulated.
And a mess of star anise pods.

I grabbed this one this morning, a test to see how much I’ve recovered–and I definitely pass!
Maybe not with the highest marks–I had to douse myself in it to get everything I know is there–but my schnozz is working, and sniffing this one is like hugging an old friend.

The top notes all come through, a gorgeous thirty-minute-long opening: sweet anise and violet powder blast, with a bit of cool green ivy to keep it wild and fey.
Then the middle blooms, a foot off the skin for three hours: licorice candy, dessert cherries in almond amaretto, dusted with iris flour so everything stays light.
Settles soft, to clothes and hair until the wash: vanilla ice cream, the almond end of tonka, and sugar musk, a brush of vetiver to keep it dry.

Delicious, iconic.
The lighthearted gourmand that exchanged Angel‘s chocolate edible underwear for lace fairy wings, and made fantasy haute couture affordable.
I wore it for a decade.

A dish full of black twists and pink and white Good & Plenty. Licorice was the first thing I could taste, after Covid-19.

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The album Surfacing came out the same year–

Viole del Pensiero

Nosy blue-point Siamese cat sniffing wild pansies, and a tiny purple bowed bottle with a plastic gold cap.

Pansies are so fun! The smaller johnny-jump-ups have the most scent (which isn’t much) and are the easiest to grow.

Borsari 1870’s 1970’s reissue of a 1920 classic that I picked up in 2010 (…Let’s do the time-warp, agaaiin…!) is a greener violet than many, with a dewy leafy opening that stays verdant as it slowly dries down to sweet floral powder.
There’s a bit of woody backbone at the bottom–I’m only getting a smidge, but it’s there–some subtle oakmoss, maybe? that takes it out of traditional feminine flowers and into intriguing unisex garden.
Nice vibe of the whole plant, not just an extraction of the petals.

I have to shove my nose into things to get good results–a big huff rather than a delicate sniff–but I’m getting there!

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Another vintage one that got me moving. (I still get worn out quickly, but I’m much better than last week!)

It’s just a jump to the left–

Cashmere Mist

Curved, clear, cut crystal mini bottle that could possibly look like a flowing scarf?

Mid-nineties musk.
Opens with sneeze-worthy powdered nail polish remover and leather flip phone cases, then softens to vanilla SoBe soda on the skin.

Wear with a slip dress over a tight t-shirt, and ankle boots.

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Aaliyah’s debut album also came out in 1994–this was my favorite song.

Violette

Promo card with Tocca’s Rococo crown, sample vial, and a purple viola from my garden.

The copy on the sample card is ridiculous–springtime on the Champs-Elysees does not awaken the spirit of love, unless you are turned on by sour sycamore trees, car exhaust and urine.
Also, African Violets have no fragrance.

Violette opens leafy green, with some sharp spice in a dinner salad gourmandish way, and a hint of black currant, (so perhaps they got the Paris pee right.) The ginger gets powdery sweet on the skin, with an odd note of pine tree, then it all disappears after 20 minutes.

If you’re collecting Tocca bottles (which are rather adorable), go for it, but don’t bother hunting this one down for the scent.
LUSH’s Kerbside Violet has ten times the urban violet vibe for the same price, and any of Marc Jacob’s Daisies are sweeter and longer lasting.

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Paisley Park produced J.J.’s first album–Prince’s stamp is all over this song.

I Want Candy

Full bottle of I Want Candy with gold cap and dark brown labels, surrounded by fruit slice jellies.

TokyoMilk No. 4 lists “Crisp Apples, Peaches, Violets, Roses” on the bottle, which adds up oddly to fruity jelly slices, but the cheap kind, that taste a bit plasticky under the sugar.

Then we go to the spa, where powdery cosmetic florals puff up and take over, soapy enough to strip away the gourmand sweetness, floating within social distance all day, like a hair product from getting done at the salon, that you can’t escape.

Weird and a little headache inducing.

Edit -6/3/21

The TokyoMilk Lost in Atlantis soap line has the same note profile, and it’s amazing. The plastic note becomes creamy, and the powder turns to sweet lather.
Reasonably priced on the Margot Elena website, too.

TokyoMilk mini soaps with retro nautical wallpaper styled wrappers.

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The perfume was actually named after this song. Here’s a weird version, but with less headache.

Soleil

Large oval bottle with gold Fragonard sunburst cap, on verdigris brass sundial.

Jasmine and wisteria that span several decades.

Starts with big creamy-yet-spicy florals, a hit of 80’s soapy peaches and a squirt of 70’s disco rose pee, then gets powdery with late 90’s iris. Finishes up with a light sunny musk that’s brilliant on scarves.

For the woman who celebrates her laugh lines.

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A melancholy sun. She sang this tribute five days after Chris Cornell’s death.

Le Petit

Full sized (almost empty) Tokyomilk bottle with two sided label of a nest with speckled egg floating above.

TokyoMilk #02

Proceed with caution–
One light spritz gets you powder and cute plastic toys and baby hair–sweet with innocent violets and melting ice cream–all day long.
Two full sprays gets you a spanking by sticky artificial vanillin, itchy rubber pants, and a bath.

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I adore this sweet little tune, off a children’s album by the same guy who did Lump and Peaches–