Rose Pompon

Red cut glass bottle with gold cap, pink striped tea roses and raspberries.

Heat activated roses that last FOREVER.

Opens with Ruby Red pink grapefruit juice cocktail spiked with raspberry Chambord, and as it warms, the roses bloom sweet with vanilla, and stay there for days. Weeks, even.

The rose masks the violets, I only smell them in my hair (which is Covid-19 long right now) and on my shirt cuffs when I’m not wearing it. If I pin my hair close to my head the roses open again, same if I re-wear the jacket.
In a hot bath the roses get thorny, woods with a bitter bite of the grapefruit again, gorgeous, yet also a bit masculine.

There are sexier fruity roses out there—(come to me, baby) Angel Nova and (sigh) Sådanne—but none as delightfully mercurial or long lasting.

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Just discovered Esperanza Spalding, a cool jazz artist with a lot of Joni Mitchell energy–

Delight

Sample vial on a detail of The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch, with two spoonbills riding a goat, a porcupine floating in a dandelion, and what might be a game of mounted naked dodge-ball on the right.

Delight is quite nice, with tropical sweet flowers that settle to a good ’70’s funky green jasmine. I get a pinch of gourmand spice, though none are listed–maybe the bottom notes of the rose?–that makes it modern and feminine and fun.

A single drop fades to the skin in two hours, but lasts on fabric for days.
This might be the most mainstream fashion, blind-buy-safe blend from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab that I’ve sniffed so far. I’d rec it to anyone who loves Estée Lauder flower showers but has a reaction to the woody musk on the bottom.

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Delightful song with some retro funk and modern sweetness.

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:

Chloé

Revamped rectangular Chloé mini bottle in the center of a ginormous fuchsia rose.

This relaunch came out in 2008–a complete break from the original Lagerfeld tuberose potion— now a sheer tea rose.

New Chloé opens with sweet soapy peonies and a soft fruity hit of litchi. The rose blooms quickly, so squeaky shower clean it’s almost transparent, and lasts inside personal space until soaked off again in a hot bath.

Floral, feminine and pristine.
I’m way too messy to pull it off.

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Here are some feminine roses and other flowers, from the album Petals for Armor.

Angel Nova

Rose-red and chrome Mugler Angel star casting pink shadows.

How much do I love this?!

Starts out cool and syrupy, like raspberry sorbet, then slowly melts into gorgeous sugary rose–the kind they make Turkish delight from–with a woody base tempered with benzoin.

The rose and the woods are linear, but there’s a slow progression to the fruity notes. They start tart and crisp and fill-the-room gigantic, but they sweeten through the day, softening to arms’ length pink floral candy, and end in the evening with a marvelous berry flavored cola on the skin.

Definitely a shift from the iconic patchouli-chocolate-caramel of the past thirty years, but this New Angel and Eau Croisière is a refreshing direction, and I’m totally ready for it.

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Here’s another Nova that I love–

Pink Pepper & Grapefruit

4711 Pink Pepper and GrapefruitA 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.


I’ve always loved this weirdo group, though I did squirm a bit when my mum asked me the name of the band playing on my “pick-me-up playlist.”

siI got this at Åhlens in Stockholm, a blind buy based on the (unusually talkative for a Swede) saleswoman’s advice–and I love this stuff.

It’s like VS Strawberries & Champagne finally old enough to drink, Chevaux d’Or without the gold plating, or Sadanne after moving to Milan.

Black currant wine cork pop at the beginning, then jammy roses that bloom on the clothes for hours. Woody vanilla, with enough patchouli to give it a smirk, stays close to the skin all day.

Fruity sweet, a little powdery, but with a bite and effortlessly stylish.
Chatty Swedish sales lady nailed it.


This hit came out of Italy in 2013 as well, also stylish and interesting.

You Or Someone Like You

You or Someone like you bright edgy“Possibility in the blue air.”
Chandler Burr’s collaboration with ELd’O–in an homage to LA–is quite good.

A big fresh peel of grapefruit, then a mint mojito–with really nice white rum–and roses.
It’s bright and fresh and cheerful, loud projection and nice longevity, cool green musk at the end, kind of a Gucci Envy updated for this modern age.

I like it much better than the book, which is not cheerful at all, and has very little citrus.