Make Me Blush

TokyoMilk canister and gold capped bottle, illustrated with magnolia blossoms on a script background.

This beauty is much more likely to make everyone around her blush.

TokyoMilk #72 lists Magnolia, Honeysuckle, Jasmine Vine and Bourbon, and does them slow and sexy–understated creamy white florals take an hour to fully bloom in personal space, leaving long honey trails behind as they grow.
Underneath, a few inches above the skin, a touch of charred whiskey barrel grounds the lushness of the flowers, keeping them earthy and seductive.

(The bourbon notes are well done–smoky oak caramel with a hit of vanilla spice–that stay dry and thankfully don’t turn into teenage praline on the bottom.)
(Our queen finds getting carded tedious–no one would mistake her for an underage girl.)

Lasts only half the day–through afternoon on cuffs, and into the evening in the hair–but the opening comes in so easy, a later spray seems like a continuation rather than a refresh.

My favorite TokyoMilk out of the newest batch, and might be the best since Honey & the Moon.
There’s an enticing maturity to it that I really appreciate, as if the cottage-core princess grew up and got provocative.

*

Love the way she grows up in this redo of Sting’s classic.

Star Cross’d

Gold capped bottle and canister with marvelous unicorn constellation and celestial motifs on blue.

Five stars for the packaging, I’d like that design as a mural on my ceiling, but the first spray is a synthetic, skin-burning, cleaning solvent mess, and it doesn’t get better.

TokyoMilk #87 lists citrus leaves, water lily, frankincense and vetiver, which somehow adds up to the most abrasive lemon oil ever–
After fifteen minutes murky pond weeds grow a foot off the skin, just to add further insult, but luckily the base takes care of that with a nice dose of Pine-Sol fumes.

Might be a good one to keep for when guests call to say they’re coming by, and you can’t be arsed to clean–you’ll at least smell like they’ve interrupted you scrubbing the floor.

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I’m fairly picky when it comes to covers of this song–Seven Nations’ is good, and so is Rick Springfield’s, but today I need Jimmy Little’s soothing version.

Radiant Gem

Canister featuring a fern and uncut crystals and schematics for gem facets, and gold capped bottle–sometimes the lids can be a bit tight.

TokyoMilk #76 lists lemon balm (I might get this at the beginning, with some pine needles) amber, daphne and musk (which I don’t suss out at all.)
I mostly get sweet licorice, Lily-of-the-Valley, and a bit of earthy rubber, in a pleasant haze a few inches above the skin.

Off-beat, non-invasive, with very collectible packaging. Another on-brand issue from Margot Elena that would make a safe gift for anyone who would enjoy an herbal floral.

(For more of a sheer jewel vibe, check out any of Bvlgari’s Omnia line–Paraiba is very faceted.)

*

This Jem sparkles from Wales-

Arsenic

Black TokyoMilk mini bottle featuring a white beetle, sitting in the eye socket of a plaster skull draped in a snakeskin printed scarf.

Now this is what a Halloween fragrance should be–weird, earthy, evocative, and tricky sweet.

TokyoMilk Dark #17 lists Absinthe, Vanilla Salt, Cut Greens, and Crushed Fennel on the bottle–and Arsenic lives up to that, and more.

Wormwood out of the bottle, a satisfying poison green, with a bit of dusty white frosting, both edible and stand-offish.
A twitch of licorice keeps it fresh and fun for several hours at the edge of social distance, and then slides down to intimate space with intoxicating herbal green woods and mineral salts–the the kind that smell a bit sour and glitter when the light hits them right–until the next morning.

The sweeter top notes linger longer on hair and silk, and the bottom blooms brilliantly in a steaming bath (or cauldron.)
Compelling and sexy.
Leans to the warlock section of the spell-book.

*

Sonoran Bloom

Canister and gold capped bottle featuring a red and fuchsia illustration of a cactus bloom. Yes, I did blind-buy it on the packaging alone.

Anosmia Bloom is a better name for the opening–I worried that my covid nose had returned–two big sprays on my wrist and one directly on my cuff and for a while all I got was watery citrus.

TokyoMilk #84 lists Petrichor, Saguaro Flower, Agave and Red Clay.
(Saguaro are the big tree cacti out west, with flowers that smell like overripe green melons and are beloved by bats.)

Margot Elena’s “Desert Splendor Awakened” takes a while to wake up, but after a half an hour of weak lemonade, the flowers bloom a hand-span above the skin, herbal-sweet with earthy green notes.

Reasonably pleasant, but nothing special.
Lasts half the day in intimate space, with some dusty musk stains left on cotton.

*

A night-blooming tune.
(R.I.P. Dusty Hill. Texas has gone to hell without you.)

Excess

Matte black rectangular bottle with white octopus illustration.

TokyoMilk #28 lists amber resin, oak bark, blood orange, and patchouli–and they’re easily identifiable and rather nice.

The orange is sharp–not juicy, but pleasantly pithy–bolstered by the oak, which carries a bit of root-beer sweetness. The patchouli deepens the blend without taking over, listing more toward sailor than mermaid.

Excess is pleasant and polite, lingering in intimate space for half the day, and a lot less Lovecraftian than the black bottle, name and octopus illustration advertise. (I was hoping to get to use the words squamous, eldritch, and abnormal in this write-up, but sadly, no.)

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Here’s a cool cover of the creepy tune from Pirates of the Caribbean 3.

Savage Belle

TokyoMilk bottle and cylindrical canister, featuring a yellow striped black kingsnake, and nightshade, foxglove and amaryllis (all poisonous flowers.)

TokyoMilk No. 68 lists Warm Ginger, Bergamot, Charcoal Accord and Wisteria on this new one, but I don’t get much of that.

There’s a splash of sugar-free Canada Dry at the beginning, and a hint of guttering candle in the middle–but it’s gone in thirty minutes. A wisp of purplish citrus clings to cuffs for another hour.

The packaging is gorgeous, though.

*

This song is a bit more savage.

Novacaine

Opaque black bottle with silver cap, box and slate blue inner liner with Rocky Horror lips, and toothpaste, toothbrush and floss.

TokyoMilk No. 85 lists Crushed Ginger, Thai Pepper, Frankincense and Vanilla Orchid on the box, but it opens with Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
The pepper kicks in immediately and makes the ginger, cardamom and clove mix a bit antiseptic, in a comforting way–like Band-aid adhesive–then it all soaks into the skin, leaving a smear of vanilla frosting and a dusting of head-shop olibanum.
Within two hours, it disappears, gone completely numb.

I really like it. There’s a laid-back medicinal feel to it, with good self-care cuddles.
Good for the guy who’s still too young or shy to pull off Old Spice.

*

My favorite laid-back jam band version–

Awaken Within

White kitten paw messing about with scrap of blue tapestry with a woven bee, and a white and gold mini bottle with bee motif.

TokyoMilk Light No. 2 advertises Jasmine, Orange Blossom, Neroli and Citrus & Sky on the bottle.

The rollerball goes on with orange juice and honey, then the jasmine and neroli kick in with a watery ozonic that’s oddly dense–like melting dry ice–a handspan off the skin for half the day.

Nice–maybe a little melancholy.
A safe gift for someone who wears delicate jewelry and sturdy shoes.

*

Another sweet and melancholy Honey.

Wild Whims

TokyoMilk barrel canister and bottle with botanical drawings of chrysanthemum, echinacea and clary.

From the newest set, TokyoMilk 80 touts Sweet Grass, Clary Sage, Verdant Florals, Citron on the label, and the clary–a lavender-limey herbal–is nicely prominent, I’m happy to say.

Opens bright, cologne-ish–green lemonade on lawn chairs in the hot sun–that settles to the skin within an hour. Turns a little sweaty in a pleasant bitter citrus pithy way for another hour or two.
Fresh, soft, and unisex.
I’d enjoy it as bath salts, too.

*

Garbage covers U2 with a dreamy urgency that’s just lovely–(the whole album is great.)