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