Diaspora

Clear ice-cube shaped bottle with tall gold cap, and black and white and red packaging.

Kimberly New York’s site lists Asian pear and Fiji apple, Jamaican rose apple, and champagne.

I’m not discerning enough to sniff out which apple is which, but they’re lovely and crisp, with that marvelous boozy-floral note that fresh red peel has. There’s a powdery wax accord, almost like taffy with a hint of violets–recognizable if you’ve ever gone to a pick-your-own orchard–the dusty rime an apple produces naturally, that I just love.

Artsy–Kimberly Walker’s flagship fragrance–has the same candied apples at its heart. In Diaspora they’re the full body and soul, not just a note but the whole song.
I get gourmet wine gums at the bottom, a little younger vibe than bubbly, but equally as fun.

Like Indigo Love, my skin gobbles this up, so I have to reapply often (no hardship at all, because it feels delicious) but it lasts much longer in my hair, and forever on cotton.

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How amazing is this video from Nitty Scott?!

American Cream

Pale yellow filled small bottle in a wood display box at the nearest LUSH store–the furthest I’ve ventured from home in an entire year.

American Cream smells like Demeter Fragrance Library got stoned and went to a Ben&Jerry’s.

Scoops of strawberry vanilla with honey drizzle, and light herbal funk.
Not the highest you’ve been, but a long-lasting buzz.

Puff, puff, give.

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One of the sweetest slow jams ever.

Le Petit

Full sized (almost empty) Tokyomilk bottle with two sided label of a nest with speckled egg floating above.

TokyoMilk #02

Proceed with caution–
One light spritz gets you powder and cute plastic toys and baby hair–sweet with innocent violets and melting ice cream–all day long.
Two full sprays gets you a spanking by sticky artificial vanillin, itchy rubber pants, and a bath.

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I adore this sweet little tune, off a children’s album by the same guy who did Lump and Peaches–

This Moment

Adorable floral painted Lollia mini bottle with gold cap.

Opens summer bright with bunches of wet greens, more lily-of-the-valley in the rain than water lotus.
And appropriately, This Moment lasts only a few of them, soon settling to the skin with orange flower honey and gone in an hour.

A safe blind buy gift for tweens on up, and pretty on the vanity.

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I grew up on this song.

Rose Pompon

Red cut glass bottle with gold cap, pink striped tea roses and raspberries.

Heat activated roses that last FOREVER.

Opens with Ruby Red pink grapefruit juice cocktail spiked with raspberry Chambord, and as it warms, the roses bloom sweet with vanilla, and stay there for days. Weeks, even.

The rose masks the violets, I only smell them in my hair (which is Covid-19 long right now) and on my shirt cuffs when I’m not wearing it. If I pin my hair close to my head the roses open again, same if I re-wear the jacket.
In a hot bath the roses get thorny, woods with a bitter bite of the grapefruit again, gorgeous, yet also a bit masculine.

There are sexier fruity roses out there—(come to me, baby) Angel Nova and (sigh) Sådanne—but none as delightfully mercurial or long lasting.

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Just discovered Esperanza Spalding, a cool jazz artist with a lot of Joni Mitchell energy–

Dolly

Black and white photo of Dolly Parton on a blush sample card with her butterfly signature, and a spray vial.

Dolly Parton’s new perfume is a trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee in a bottle.

Opens with the strawberries-and-cream saltwater taffy from Old Smoky Candy Kitchen–soft fruity pink and gooey sweet–and lasts as long as one takes to melt in the mouth.
The middle is pure Dollywood, rhinestone musk and jasmine encore bouquets, synthetic but charming, though nowhere near as loud.
Finishes with a lingering view of the mountains, green forest woods and a hint of pine.

Oddly, Dolly is a bit shy, staying in personal space and fading quickly to the skin. I’d expect this brief a performance from a cologne, not a celebrity eau de parfum, but her short songs are good, too.

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This remix takes Dolly out of the mountains and into the club, with Junior Vasquez mixing Ladysmith Black Mambazo into the beats to raise the sun.

Omnia Golden Citrine

Mini Omnia chain link bottle in chrome and bright yellow.

Citrine starts with the transparent juice from canned peaches and mandarin slices, in a nice morning cocktail way, but then fades to powdery yellow flower pollen.

Benzoin at the bottom gets sticky and brings back some of the opening citrus, with the clear syrup from candied peel that bakers use–and I so wish this moment was longer and louder, there’s almost a Shalimar vibe for a second–but everything soon dries down to the Omnia sheer woods base.

Cotton holds the jasmine well, but on skin it’s all gone by noon.
I’ll try it again in the summer. Maybe I’ll like it more.

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Midnight Pearl

Discovery set sample with ad of a vampy-eyed model clutching a string of beads in a pool.

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.

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Emoni Bali is so fun.

Mystic Pearl

Sample spray and ad of a blonde gazing into the distance with parted lips and a string of beads wrapped around her middle finger.

A “fresh luminous floral inspired by Bali… using the scent of real pearls.”
(Do they grind them up, or somehow distill them? I feel like the liquid should have a paillette effect, or some shimmery nacre going on in the bottle.)

Mystic Pearl opens with a fresh vodka note that turns oceanic, then some jasmine and coconut. Sadly, I get none of the spices listed, which might have given this more backbone and lasting power. Disappears into the skin in under an hour, though lasts half the day on cotton.

(My pearls first belonged to my grandmother–they still smell like Charles of the Ritz.)

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This funky number is also inspired by Bali–with a lot more spice.

Angel Eau de Toilette

Angel EDT mini in the snow with rose sedum encased in ice.

A lovely crisp candied apple with a citrus zest, feminine and smart, but this is no shy cherub–she’s loud enough to make one a bit cross-eyed at close quarters.
Angel EDT is a cleaner version of the original, less syrup, less musk–the apple held in place with light pink florals at the top that slide into a wet minty patchouli and finish with sweet pale woods.

Lasts all day and sparkles in the cold, but tends to leave crumbs on my couch and wears my favorite hoodie without asking–my house is too small for the both of us.

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The air is foggy today and the wind skates just on the edge of freezing, trailing icicles as she goes.