Lanvin Me seems to have simple ingredients, but the blueberries juxtaposed with licorice is almost dissonant, and the sandalwood–which makes an evocative smudge of smoke–is surprisingly alluring. The bit of tuberose sweetening and roses keep it pretty, but they’re unanchored and a little wistful– And somehow, it absolutely works.
There’s an unexpected cleverness that elevates it out of fashion/pop-star fruity-floral territory and makes it unique–a multifaceted aspect that includes all four seasons: spring blooms, summer berries, autumn campfires, winter spice.
Lasts a nice six hours in personal space, and another six on clothing, and can easily be worn any day of the year. Affordable and accessible online–definitely one I’ll recommend.
Okay, yes. Beetroot is weird–an undead gourmand?!– but it’s interesting.
Begins with a big shovelful of the same dusty soil opening that Zoologist Bat has, cellar dry, and cool. The sweet notes in the middle are an hour or so of white sugar–granulated crystals without fruit or flowers or spice–oddly earthy in its purity, and rather fun. The end lasts another two hours, a smudge of dirt on the skin, with subtle smoke that reminds me of Tank Battle.
Not one for daily wear, but I’ll douse myself in it for the local Zombie Shuffle next Halloween.
Demeter Fragrance Library’s Riding Crop is not the stuff of Bluegrass tack shops, with clean virgin hide goods and polished silver bits, nor of stables full of equine sweat and clover hay.
This unisex cologne is a quick trip to the sex shop. Tops with leather and latex, changes position with high end water-base lube and a hint of drying spice–cardamom, perhaps–and bottoms with pleasant musk and a post-coital smoke.
Fun. Doesn’t last long, and stains the clothes a bit.
Lots of folks have covered this Velvet Underground song, but The Kills’ acoustic cover turns it intimate and consensual.
Sweet smoke, and pine trees. Soft and resinous on the skin, sharper and greener on cotton cuffs.
There’s a hint of something dangerous lurking underneath, that takes the incense out of the headshop and into darker, more niche territory–the moist forest floor threatened by distant fires, the spilled tea leaving ominous stains.
Very unisex and a bit sexy. Lasts a good two hours a foot off the wrist, then rests on the skin for two more. I really like it.
Big boss benzoin that morphs into cuddly cloves, and swanky.
Splashes on with spiced sipping vodka and a squeal of brand new tires, (I should probably spell it tyres, because these are definitely fancy imports) and cracks a leather licorice whip at everyone for a while. Then it relaxes, and slowly settles just above the skin with soft smoky vanilla powder–rich sweet incense ash–and whispers complements all day long.
I’m crushing hard on this one. Very unisex, but wouldn’t be offended by the assumption of male pronouns.
This grunge oldie is smoky and sweet, with a nice aggressive edge.
Fierce out of the bottle, smoked black tea with two sugars and burning cedar shavings, loud in personal space, soft outside. Lasts three hours before sliding into nutty vanilla and dark woods on the skin for three more.
Aggressive but interesting, with enough sweetness to be inviting. Recommended for corporate mercenaries and apocalypse vigilantes.
DAG: Angharad used to call them anti-seed. CHEEDO: Plant one and watch something die. ~ Mad Max: Fury Road
Sugary orange gummy candy on top, cheeky and loud, that projects for 2 hours at arms length before slowly drifting down to floral oak-y tea leaves, left to stew in the bottom of the pot. The finish is quite nice, smoky and mysterious, and long lasting on fabric.
Also, this one matures well in the bottle. I’ve an older rollerball as well–five years at least, the juice has turned dark and thick–that opens with a whiff of boozy plum wine before hitting the Brach’s Orange Slices, and has a slightly richer dry-down. I like both equally.
Love this sweet and mysterious song from one of my favorite duos.
The End of the World definitely starts with a bang.
Opens noisy, an explosion of salt and pepper popcorn that leaves one thirsty, then the minerals seep in, metal smoke and charred woods, and concrete rubble. The fallout stays dominant on clothing, but after an hour or two flowers grow on the skin, powdery with a bit of ash, soft and strange.
Weirdly violent, in a post-apocalyptic movie way, and hopefully not prophetic.
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.
There are few times I would ever recommend anyone not snatching up an adorable miniature vintage bottle from a brilliant costume and fashion designer, filled with tuberose and sweet smoky spice mixed by Francis Kurkdjian himself, that lasts at the most delicate arm’s length forever–
–but this mini Fragile is a pain in the ass. The press-on tab lid on the bottom leaks, because gravity. The gold detail on the bottle on the bottle decomposes with alcohol, and since perfumer’s spirits are usually 190 proof, that happens quick. And the mouth, one of those irritating single drop orifices (orifii?) that essential oil bottles have, gets clogged up with glitter particles and has to be cleaned out with a pin.
So don’t. Walk on by. Keep scrolling.
I do love me some Gaultier. His costumes in Fifth Element were amazing.