Mitsouko Eau de Toilette

Mini scrolled bottle of Mitsouko Eau de Toilette at the center of a crimson firework Gerbera daisy.

1919.
House of Guerlain, Paris France.
Nobody:
Jacques: Here’s gunpowder and blood, coffin-woods and grave-moss, because War.
Nobody: (blinks)
Jacques: And some peaches and jasmine so it’s pretty.

Wow. Guerlain’s iconic Mitsouko is goth as Hell.
Opens with the sharp tang of citrus and peaches–bright coins to pay the ferryman–but made sanguine with roses. Funeral flowers bloom, more roses and lilac and jasmine, and slowly dry to cedar box dust. At the end, embalming spices rise from the skin, and ash smoke–the powdery residue of battle–until they fade to moss and lichen on headstones.

For elegant widows, death obsessed poets and wannbe undertakers.

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This cheerful little tune is surprisingly dark–John Cale’s classic made modern by Owen Pallett.

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.

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Emoni Bali is so fun.

Apple Tabac

My Pineward sample vials came in a little burlap bag–the brand has a home-spun vibe. The apple was delicious.

Bright waxy McIntosh apple skin out of the vial, with boozy pipe tobacco.
Pine comes in quickly, but less evergreen and more flowering conifer–the autumn blooming trees with the dusty pollen, immortelle-ish sweet.
Linear, loud, and long-lasting, with country fair vibes.

I’d enjoy it more as a candle.

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Carnival madness with Eddie Izzard.

Youth Dew

youth dewPeachy aldehydes that morph into peppery spice–cinnamon and clove, balsam and patchouli–then fade to oriental incense over dry powdery rose.

This one was first released in 1953–Joan Crawford wore it. It’s got a great slinky, film noir, dark-silhouette-framed-in-smoke feel… she commands all your attention until she’s done with you.


This one came out the same year.

Azzaro pour Homme

azzaro pour hommeOld school “sir” in the best way.
A brief peppery lavender deluge, then alpha fennel seeds with a caveman club, and some very gentlemanly leather and juniper on the bottom.

Handshake projection at first, then settles quickly to an herbal skin scent until he gets physical and heat warms up the spice again.

This guy does exactly as he pleases. He’s usually polite about it, but not always.


This classic came out in 1978, too.

Armani Code

armani code edgy
Ad peelie with Deadpool Ryan Reynolds in a bow-tie either putting on or taking off a jacket.

Polished leather and bergamot tea and suave manners at the start, sweet woods and spice and innuendo at the finish.

For the guy who is aggressively smart, rather than physically dominating.

(But why on earth does Blake Lively’s husband’s ARMANI shirt fit him so badly in the advert?!)


I love the Deadpool movies–this is a great cover of Wade’s favorite song.

Like This

like this edgesTilda Swinton’s first signature opens with more sugar than I expected–candied orange peel, neroli and honey and pumpkin spice. The immortelle (my mum called it “everlasting”) brings an enjoyable sweet yellow curry and wildflower note–but then I got a hay-fever reaction and had to scrub between sneezes.

Pair with a pretty autumn scarf and antihistamines.


This one also came out in 2010, and sweeter than expected–

Macadam Paz

macadam paz
Light blue cardboard push-up stick printed with Albrecht Dürer’s 15th century woodcut drawing of a rhinoceros.

Vanilla musk on the skin that turns into really enjoyable leather and peaches, hot nutmeg and herbal incense–

This Le Soft is perfectly soft butch–sweet and rough, spice and smoke–held close.
I like her quiet confidence.

Pair with a watch or wallet chain and other marvelous cliches.


Here’s my other favorite gender-bendy-Frenchie at the moment–

Wanted

Wanted edgy
Revolver barrel shaped bottle on ad peelie.

This one might need sniffing on a warm body. From the magazine peelie all I get is dentist office–pink saccharine fluoride rinse and lemon antiseptic spray–in a Little Shop of Horrors way.
(And maybe it’s a sexier symbol in France, but the bottle is a turn off in these gun-crazy times in the US…)


A French song with some sweet swagger. I like it better.