The sea salt projects at arm’s length from the skin, and the frangipani a handspan, which makes for an interesting personal experience. The ambroxan base augments the ocean notes brilliantly.
Lasts all day on the skin and until the tide turns on clothes.
Sandalwood and vanilla that turns chocolaty on me. The saffron makes it soft and rich and a little bit butch, in a marvelous battle-ax sous-chef way.
Quite lovely but almost no sillage. Lasts through the cheese course, but not dessert.
Lemon and a really nice peppery marigold an inch above the skin–the vetiver and bergamot project off my shirt cuffs better than my wrist–for an hour.
The literature says this one is supposed to evoke the spirit of the Haitian people. Not really getting that from the blonde in the ad, but okay.
I’d enjoy it more as a candle.
Alcoholic juicy figs out of the bottle that turn creamy with jasmine right away, then has fancy tea and cake for thirty minutes.
I like the clary sage that keeps this clean and not too sweet, but it’s definitely on the feminine end of unisex.
The pine bottom notes settle under the skin for another hour.
Nice, but not a whole lot of personality.
Woody peach pits and Earl Gray tea.
Very unisex and young, in a steal-your-boyfriend’s-cologne kind of way. The top is bergamot tart and juicy sweet fruit, but gives way to the floral pretty quickly, then the oakmoss and patchouli take over for the rest of the day.
Fun, but classy.
This one is pure sexy fun–as if Opium and Tabu met at a Starbucks for an espresso and free wireless.
Cloves and roses at first sip and oakmoss and patchouli at the bottom of the cup.
Not huge or long lasting, but charming in a comfortable late ’70’s way.
Might come across as dated on a woman now, but a man wearing this today would cause whiplash as he walked down the street.
Goth girl weird, and nice.
An exploding Bic pen in the best way: big inky dark indigo iris that fades to purple suede and some woods at the bottom. Lingers close to the skin for an hour or two.
The only one of V&R’s Magic Tricks to read “witchy” to me–this one is spell components thrown in a cauldron, and it works.
A squirt of lemon juice that sweetens to hard candy and aniseed for an hour, then settles to citrus oil woods and Joy dish soap suds for another two.
I get why it’s so popular–there’s something fancy, yet low-key about it–like good taste with a sense of humor.
A drier 4711, less sweet, less herbal, with twice the lasting power…
…which means twenty minutes rather than ten.
The orange flower is lovely, but it gets eaten up by the bergamot pretty quickly. I like the amber at the bottom–it roughs up the jasmine, but the rosemary and lavender don’t have the freshness of the basil.
If I were stupid rich, I might buy a bottle, but tried and true and cheap suits me just fine.
A 4711 Acqua Colonia mini that didn’t come with the sampler set, but I had to have anyway because give-me-all-the-matching-things.
Nice fresh squirt-in-your-eye grapefruit and peppery bite that slowly fades to brisk rose on the skin. I like the masculine zing–this one has a bit of a bristly mustache.
I’ve always loved this weirdo group, though I did squirm a bit when my mum asked me the name of the band playing on my “pick-me-up playlist.”