Bee

This one is gorgeous: beeswax comb filled with vanilla and flower nectar and a bit of tonka that manages to come across as animalic, and so incredibly sweet you expect it to be sticky on the skin. The heliotrope–which I’ve not been a fan of lately–gives nice structure to the benzoin, and a lovely powder dryness to the honey-syrup.

There’s a brilliant smudge of labdanum on the bottom, a perfect hint of beekeeper’s smoke. Fills the room like a summer swarm and lasts forever.

I loved it passionately until the guy said it reminds him of that scented toilet paper from the ’70’s and now that’s all I smell and I’m so sad about it.

*

This one is as sweet as the perfume–

Fracas

Big bang bubblegum, for adults only.
Drunk peach and vampy tuberose that bursts loud and proud and marvelous.
A twist of orange for zing, carnation for spice, roses to flirt, and a woody base for backbone.

This girl does what and whom she pleases, tuberoses untethered, with a wink and a pop and a smile.

*

First released in 1948, Fracas was a favorite of Rita Hayworth and Brigitte Bardot. Released again in 1998, it became a signature scent of Madonna. Ray of Light came out that year, too.

Cabotine

In the summer Cabotine is an overwhelming mess of spicy flowers; in cold weather it becomes cassis tea with honey.

Heavy carnation, gingery white florals and huge green hyacinth are eye-watering in the heat, with a whopping dose of black currant on the top and bottom giving a bite of acidic fruit in the beginning and an angry cat scratch at the end.

But in the winter, everything blends into sweetness, berries and nectar and soft musk, cheerful and petal soft–and worn under clothes, the sillage relaxes to an enjoyable comforting layer.
Lasts til morning on skin, and til spring on fabric.

*

Cabotine came out in 1990. So did Sinéad O’Connor’s iconic cover of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U.”

siI got this at Åhlens in Stockholm, a blind buy based on the (unusually talkative for a Swede) saleswoman’s advice–and I love this stuff.

It’s like VS Strawberries & Champagne finally old enough to drink, Chevaux d’Or without the gold plating, or Sadanne after moving to Milan.

Black currant wine cork pop at the beginning, then jammy roses that bloom on the clothes for hours. Woody vanilla, with enough patchouli to give it a smirk, stays close to the skin all day.

Fruity sweet, a little powdery, but with a bite and effortlessly stylish.
Chatty Swedish sales lady nailed it.


This hit came out of Italy in 2013 as well, also stylish and interesting.

Poppy & Barley

Poppy & BarleySweet yet somehow dusty–pleasant for dry autumn days, and Jane Austen novels.

A wake-up splash of sweet whiskey mash with some soft fruit, then calms down to an easy earthy floral a few inches above the skin for half an hour.
Slowly fades to sheer musk with a hint of ripening grain.

Comparing it to the source (I cook with barley in the winter, so I had some on hand) was fun–I could definitely find the powdery sweetness of the kernels.


Love this instrumental on an old classic–

Hummingbird

hummingbird edgesHoneysuckle nectar and lilac and more honey, then a mouthful of cherry and lily-of-the-valley cream, but always the pervasive tropical green note that is the Zoologist trademark.

Sits a few inches above the skin for several hours, but it’s too sweet for me.


This cover of Leon Russell’s Hummingbird (made famous by BB King) is also sweet but much less flighty–

Pretty Rotten

pretty rotten edgyTokyoMilk No. 33 opens with poisoned alcohol, that metallic knife edge of distillation fumes called “the angels’ share.”
Dusty bruised apples roll in fast, brown sugar and rose–nice, but on me soon get lost in the forest green notes–and end in bittersweet musk.

A fairy-tale step-mother perfume.


Movie soundtrack videos are usually kind of meh, but this one is fun.

The Knave of Hearts

Knave of Hearts edgyIn-the-face PIE.

Toasted caramel, baked berries and vanilla cream. A hit of roses keeps it from being too cloying.
It’s a step above a Yankee Candle Bakewell Tart, but one I’d put in the Scentsy warmer rather than wear.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab blends are hit or miss for me–but the quality of the oils is always good.