Starts with a cuppa ginger tea, a bit of citrus and powdered sugar stirred in, then gets fizzy and trippy.
Tuberoses bloom, bubbly and brash, arguing with the jasmine–who manage to pepper some sharp retorts–in an absurd and delightful Monty Python routine, complete with Silly Walks in vanilla lingerie. There’s a fun colorful vibe, too, in a cartoons-for-adults way, as if the scent cloud is infused with silk scarf hues.
And it lasts for hours, slowly settling close to the body with an occasional carbonated giggling hiccup of ginger ale and woody spice. In the morning it’s still there, a smudge of watercolor sigils on the skin.
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.
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.
Merry merry to me! This came in a cardboard box with very 50s Golden Age ivory scroll packaging–Fragonard first released Xmas E in 1929, possibly to compete with Caron’s Nuit de Noel–though this label font and plastic lid seem more recent. (The eau is in good shape, though quite dark, and stains the skin like iodine.) I wish I could find more info on it. A brief note at perfumeintelligence.co.uk, says this was rebranded as “Orchidée,” but I haven’t seen any other reference to that.
Opens with boozy spiced plums and some aldehyde fizz, which I’m guessing might actually be ylang-ylang, roses and sandalwood with a sprinkle of cinnamon. The florals are balanced out with oaky woods on the bottom. I bet it was marketed to men, too, when it was first made. Very festive in a mulled wine way–I think it’s cool that our ideas of what smells like Christmas hasn’t changed in almost a hundred years.
Peachy aldehydes that morph into peppery spice–cinnamon and clove, balsam and patchouli–then fade to 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, the woman who talks softly but commands all your attention until she’s done with you.