Dream

Lollia “Little Luxe” bottle (I love them all so much) with gold letters and blue back design and gold cap, and a bit of florist purple fluff.

Slightly threatening cellophane packing tape.

The (very cute) bottle says White Tea and Honeysuckle right on it–but that’s been taken to the post office and shipped far, far away, leaving nothing but adhesive esters and nervous tension.

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One out of five American adults deal with anxiety issues, and those rates are even higher for teens–

X For Women

Clive Christian tester packet on a china saucer. I’m not a fan of the cardboard “pull-and-press-here” samples–they’re one use only, usually tear, and dribble more than spray.

The smoothest peach smoothie that ever smoothed, sucked through a straw by Bettie Page. In full color.

Fruity, soft, creamy and boldly sexy–garnished with pale green jasmine that brings out the pineapple, for hours. Finishes with lovely sweet musk with a bit of smoke, pursed lips and a wink, erotic and flirtatious, yet genuine at the same time.

I’ve seen a lot of comparisons to Gucci Rush, and I definitely smell the resemblance. However, X strips out the plastics and reblends with powdery orris and labdanam, elevating the peach out of vinyl album cover and into burlesque editorial.

The over 50¢ a spray is rather cost prohibitive–Clive Christian can seem more interested in selling his own price tag than a good perfume–but X goes on like really fine lingerie, as much an indulgence for oneself as for anyone else, with banging projection that lasts for ages.

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The smoothest–

Rose Jam

Simple LUSH bottle with black cap, surrounded by pale pink rose petals.

Gourmand roses, to be eaten on toast.

Fruity citrus petal mash, exactly like the jelly I loved from the Turkish import store, perfect for little girls’ tea parties and big girl indulgences.
Loud lemony rose-hips at the start, with the faintest herbal green and sweet spice, and loads of sugar for hours and hours.
Eventually settles to floral caramel on the skin and cuffs, and stays there all day long.

Wear with lots of pink.

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Ebru Gündeş is a popular singer from Istanbul.
Google says the title of this song means “I Have a Lot of Business with You,” but translations of the lyrics have a much prettier vibe than that.

Jimmy Choo

Delicious Bosc pear and and mini brown glass bottle shaped like a pineapple (or a grenade?) with a silver cube lid.

Cruise ship pears, in a tacky self-indulgent way, and rather enjoyable, until the hangover hits.

Starts out with swanky fruit salad garnished with flowers, eventually takes a dip in an overly chlorinated pool, then smokes a Caramelo Joe cigar off the upper sun deck.

The headache slowly creeps in after the first hour, insidious, like the low grind of the boat motor that you try not to notice. Eventually you can’t ignore that you might be seasick, with regrets that you jumped too fast at the good price.

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How does Florence manage to make falling apart so pretty?

Simply Pink

Fuchsia capped red-to-orange ombre rollerball bottle on mound of pink sugar.

Loud strawberry freezer pop, from the concessions kiosk at the middle school dance.
Artificial sweetened berry pulp with nuances of scented doll, and sassy caramel licorice on the bottom.
Fun, but could be overwhelming during a slow dance.

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This was the dance anthem when I was in junior high…

I Want Candy

Full bottle of I Want Candy with gold cap and dark brown labels, surrounded by fruit slice jellies.

TokyoMilk No. 4 lists “Crisp Apples, Peaches, Violets, Roses” on the bottle, which adds up oddly to fruity jelly slices, but the cheap kind, that taste a bit plasticky under the sugar.

Then we go to the spa, where powdery cosmetic florals puff up and take over, soapy enough to strip away the gourmand sweetness, floating within social distance all day, like a hair product from getting done at the salon, that you can’t escape.

Weird and a little headache inducing.

Edit -6/3/21

The TokyoMilk Lost in Atlantis soap line has the same note profile, and it’s amazing. The plastic note becomes creamy, and the powder turns to sweet lather.
Reasonably priced on the Margot Elena website, too.

Mini soap bars with floral and nautical printed wrappers.

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The perfume was actually named after this song. Here’s a weird version, but with less headache.

Gia

Tocca cruet mini bottle, in the center of a pink tea rose.

“Nice flowers,” she said, batting her lashes. “Juicy, too.”
“Rosy citrus,” came the reply, with a knowing smile.
“A sweet bottom, too,” she teased back. She didn’t bring up the feminine wood–they were already gone.

Flirtatious, but not much more.
Stays at elbow length for an hour, then fades to the skin for another two.

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More Gia Woods.

Illicit

Mini cut crystal bottle with pale ecru eau, and a silver teaspoon of golden honey.

I get sheer honey at first sniff, with a tobacco and pink pepper dissonance that is probably the ginger fighting with the citrus. They duke it out, but the jasmine swoops in and wins, creamy florals thickening the honey and lifting it two feet off the wrist for half the day.
There’s a shard of woody amber close to the skin, that cuts through the syrup and keeps it from being too cloying.

Nice, but over-refined. I’m aware of the chemicals, and honey should be raw, y’know?
TokyoMilk Honey & the Moon is wilder, with twice the sillage and longevity, in the same price range.

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This is a much sweeter, dirtier, synth honey.

Love Tuberose

Opaque cream, silver capped, full sized and mini Amouage bottles, in a pile of pale pink and yellow flowers.

Love Tuberose is a huge ice cream cake cuddle of a scent, and became my favorite comfort fragrance at first sniff.

Starts with a bouquet of white flowers sculpted from sugar paste, with milky sweet notes that slide tropical and faintly fruity–I get a breath of apricot that is most likely me imagining things–so pretty and feminine and uplifting.
A half hour later the fun happens.
Puffs of whipped vanilla rise from the tuberose, with the creamy lightness you’d expect from jasmine, but they’re pure bubblegum, flirty sass with a hint of powder–if a scent could sound like laughter, this one does.
The sandalwood on the bottom keeps it from being too young and giggly. The wood notes are a support for the flowers, giving them strength without taking over, and are more apparent on cotton than silk.

Lasts a good three hours in personal space, then sleeps on the skin with a smile.

All Amouage perfumes are expensive–high end top-shelf bottles with quality ingredients and master blending–but for me, this one is a self-care mood-lifting therapy session with each spray, and worth the cost of a big bottle.

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This whole album is good therapy–

Sencha Bleu

Rectangular bottle with gold cap and double sided label printed with songbirds.

TokyoMilk #57 lists Hyacinth, Iris, Citrus Zest and Crisp Greens on the bottle, and there’s no false advertising there, aside from the “blue.”

This is a green scent, and cheerful.

A splash of green leaves, almost bamboo sweet, with a tiny hit of bergamot rind, and hyacinth–which comes across rather lilac–and a faint smear of petroleum jelly. Lasts an hour with six-foot sillage, then fades to the skin with a light summery-lawn musk.

Good for socially distant outdoor concerts.

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A pretty summer song. Not the best recording, but I like it.