Wild Fire

Discovery set sample pray and intense model with dark lipstick and smudges on her face, and maybe a bird nest on her head.

Raw Spirit calls this “warm and seductive,” though “stifling and carnal” might be more accurate–

I got clubbed with thick hot amber at first spray.
As I gasped for fresh air, the guy wrinkled his nose and said, “Huh. That’s really sexy.”

Eventually the amber simmered down to nice dusty sandalwood–tempered with jasmine, very close to the skin–that lasted most of the day, a spot of heat on the flesh, almost like a bruise.

I’d wear it for him, but I’d need some cooling sweetness–a breath of violet leaf, or maybe vanilla–to wear it for me.

*

This Wildfire is quite spirited, and a bit raw.

Desert Blush

Sample vial and promo with blonde wearing a dred-wig and pink dress in a grassy field with a cloudy mauve sky.

The ad copy says “warm sophisticated floral” but all I get is sandalwood and cedar musk that turn dry and dusty, like old leather.
Where have all the flowers gone?

Good for aging cowboys and folk singers, I suppose.

*

This song has been translated into thirty languages, and got Pete Seeger inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Winter Oak

Sample spray and ad with righteously pouting blonde who should be allowed to wear more clothes when it’s that cold.

The ad copy says “smooth creamy warming” but I get “edge of the forest hermit.”

The first spray is a burst of sour citrus and vegetables with herbs, in a messy sun-drenched garden way, then everything gets spicy, woody cloves and earthy peppercorns for an hour on the skin.
The end is a slow fade of soft with smoky firewood that’s still a bit too green to burn.

I’d really enjoy this on a guy, which is funny, because the guy said he’d enjoy it on me.

*

Winter came back yesterday, for one last kiss.

Midnight Pearl

Discovery set sample with ad of a vampy-eyed model clutching a string of beads in a pool.

The description is “sultry and floral” with their signature essence of South Sea pearls. (I’m still confused by this. Do they use oyster juice, like that nasty clam stuff in a Bloody Caesar?)

Opens with an oceanic inky floral that is a bit Squid-ish, though not as weirdly wonderful. (Margot Elena’s 20,000 Flowers was a bit like this too, only with ylang-ylang instead of frangipani.)

Wades in a foot off the skin with sweet florals for a couple hours, but eventually dries down to some light woody spice–that I would really enjoy on a guy, maybe the bitcoin beach bum type who throws great parties.

*

Emoni Bali is so fun.

Mystic Pearl

Sample spray and ad of a blonde gazing into the distance with parted lips and a string of beads wrapped around her middle finger.

A “fresh luminous floral inspired by Bali… using the scent of real pearls.”
(Do they grind them up, or somehow distill them? I feel like the liquid should have a paillette effect, or some shimmery nacre going on in the bottle.)

Mystic Pearl opens with a fresh vodka note that turns oceanic, then some jasmine and coconut. Sadly, I get none of the spices listed, which might have given this more backbone and lasting power. Disappears into the skin in under an hour, though lasts half the day on cotton.

(My pearls first belonged to my grandmother–they still smell like Charles of the Ritz.)

*

This funky number is also inspired by Bali–with a lot more spice.

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.

Bijou Vert

bijou vert
Sample spray and ad with a wet faced model staring moodily from greenery.

“Fresh and sensual” according to the tagline, but I get grapefruit pith and greenhouse at first spray, then it settles into vetiver an inch or two above the skin for an hour.

Oddly dated, but pleasant–it’s how I’d imagine the interior of an old VW bug that’s been decomposing in a retired philosophy professor’s back yard would smell like–full of weeds and nostalgia.

This scent was supposed to be inspired by Haiti. I don’t really feel that, but the closest I’ve been was Jamaica, and it smelled like bus fumes and curry.


Twa Fey (Three Leaves) is a very special Haitian folk song–this is a gorgeous version by Emeline Michel.