Peachy 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.
Old 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.
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 Ryan Reynolds’ ARMANI shirt fit him so badly in the advert?!)
I love the Deadpool movies–this is a great cover of Wade’s favorite song.
Sharp green citrus that fades quickly to ginger and mushy orange flower. Doesn’t project well, but lasts on the skin three hours.
I get none of the advertised amber or bourbon, sadly.
It’s okay, but not very interesting.
I like the Arctic Monkeys. This song is a bit mushy, too.
Tilda 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–
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–
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.
The initial animal musk and asphalt is pure stray-in-heat, but soon gives way to some great cardamom. The balsamic vanilla is nice and chocolatey–and then it slides away quick, into the shadows.
I like it–I get the flirty alley cat vibe–but I want more claws, more of the yowl and sass that Zoologist would give.
Mooncat’s Strictly Roots is some spicy electro-reggae.
A twist of green sappy resin, then the cinnamon hits soft and heavy, and spreads with amber over dried apples and warm mulled cider. Fades in half an hour to sandalwood and shadows of roses on benzoin skin.
Brief, but gorgeous.
I recently discovered the Turkish group Taksim Trio–a bit new age, a bit traditional.
Hüzün means sadness, google translate tells me.
Peach blossom candy and fortune cookies, creamy tuberose sharpened with cardamom, and a bite of sandalwood on the bottom.
There’s a voluptuous mystique to it, gorgeous but with an edge, the sweetheart next door with a femme fatale secret.
Elusive on skin and lasting on silk.
I love it.
I loved Chinatown, too, all the crazy smells and the languages and the colors, the shops with fish and spices and trinkets. The restaurant with the sweetest old man who taught me to eat with chopsticks when I still needed to sit on a phonebook to reach the table.
Deee-Lite is also from New York. This song always makes me happy.