Rose and Me

Coreterno discovery set with Fornasetti style branding, sample spray, and black promo card with cool blue reflections.

Opens with spicy saffron roses, big and jammy, in Fort & Manle fashion.
Then lemon leaf geranium jumps in with a big splash–that flowers in the rain thing that Nest does–pleasantly tart and wet.
After an hour or so, a nice smoky tea brews, with patchi honey and Amouage’s woody rose incense.

The best performance of Coreterno’s perfume catalog, with fill-the-room floral sillage and semi-permanence on clothes. Hardly original, but that might be a part of their branding: a pastiche of beloved cliches that blend into a new but still familiar composition.

Not one I’d wear–this one would be more likely to wear me–but I’d love to huff on someone else, especially masculine types in retro neckties.


Here’s another pastiche of cliches done perfectly.

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.


A dry, dry song.


Tocca cruet mini bottle, in the center of a pink tea rose.

“Nice flowers,” she said, batting her lashes. “Juicy, too.”
“Rosy citrus,” came the reply, with a knowing smile.
“A sweet bottom, too,” she teased back. She didn’t bring up the feminine wood–they were already gone.

Flirtatious, but not much more.
Stays at elbow length for an hour, then fades to the skin for another two.


More Gia Woods.

Noa Fleur

Pale pink capped spherical mini bottle, reflecting my garden upside down.

A little girl in frills pretending she likes black coffee.

Opens with sweet green, then big blowsy peonies and roses take over with a bit of vodka jam, but soon a weird dark sour note blooms underneath. Maybe the spices hit the musk at odd angles on me, but it’s just sort of awkward.

Lasts three hours too long and leaves faint black currant pee on the clothes.


This Doors song has been stuck in my head for a week–here’s a breathy feminine cover that rocks out nicely at the end.

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.

Éclat de Rose

Tester strip of Versace bottle, spray sample and desiccated rose.

Opens with dry salty roses that are polite, but not shy. Sweet water seeps in after a half hour, with a cool wet/dry ambroxan musk, and some dusty pink incense smoke rises six inches from the skin all evening.
Lasts overnight on cotton, and leans to the floral end of unisex.

I like it.
A smart “no-nonsense” professor vibe, and a nice change from the lush, fleshy petal fruit preserves everywhere.
(Sadly, at this price our prof needs tenure at an Ivy League school.)


This celebration of Joni is my mood today–

Rose Silk

Mandarin orange and a gold topped Shanghai Tang bottle with the Chinese symbol for longevity in red, casting a cool shadow.

I keep hoping for someone to put out a real raw silk scent, with the strange animalics that rise from a new bolt of rough tussah or heavy dupioni. (Camel has a hint of it.)
There’s none of that here–Rose Silk is a sheer chiffon perfume, refined and delicate.

Opens with a bright squeeze of mandarin citrus that soon tempers down to a calm rose a few inches off the skin, that lasts most of the day.
Not particularly inspiring, but well made. A good blind-buy for a gift.


Coco Lee and Yo-Yo Ma’s ending credits song to one of my favorite movies of all time.

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.

Kate Spade New York

Sample card and spray, with pink on white graphic pattern of Kate’s spade.

Seems like every design house is desperately churning out their version of a citrus-berry-rose, as if fruit sorbet is the must-have wardrobe staple now that COVID-19 has made hard pants a thing of the past.

This one should have been named TRULYsprite.
Kate Spade New York is nice, bright strawberries with lemon-lime zest opening, rosy refreshing middle and a mineral chrome shine at the base. It’s fun and bubbly, but it’s a bit brief, and a bit simple.
Pair with stretch leggings.

This is likely the first fragrance that Kate Spade herself didn’t have a hand in producing, on some level. Do most legacy houses take the safe route after their creator has recently passed?
I hope they find their way back to her iconic cuteness-as-an-artform aesthetic.


Terry Gilliam took Kate Bush and Donald Sutherland to a new level of cute in her “Cloudbusting” video.