Zoa Night Perfume

Marvelous swirling black bottle with frosted flower shaped cap–Regine’s classic bottle shape has a bit of a can-can dress vibe.

A fun and inexpensive vampy amber floral–
I love the big citrus champagne opening, fresh and flirty, though I wish it lasted longer before dissolving into the pink flowers. The vanilla at the bottom stays close to the skin for most of the day, with faint patchi amber an inch above.

There’s a joyful retro feel that makes me think of secondhand shoppes that cater to drag royalty and couture collectors, and sell Pop Rocks and Lemonhead candy at the register.

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This one was a hit in France in 2009, too.

Gold Fresh Couture

Gold window cleaner shaped mini bottle, metal shot rag scrap and an ochre pear.

A sweet cheapie that works hard at school and doesn’t make their parents nervous–
Cheerful pear and vanilla with a touch of floral woods to keep it from turning into melted ice cream.

Reasonable performance and would pair well with any off-the-shelf hair product in existence.
For Ages 13 and up.

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I’m really enjoying Moschino’s aesthetic right now–check out this new collection, upbeat campy fun that couldn’t give a flying fuck about binary gender expectations.

Planningtorock’s electropop “Girl You’ve Got My Heart” was used in Moschino’s wonderfully inclusive 2022 Spring-Summer walk, but “Much To Touch” is my favorite.

Jasmins Marzipane

Sample spray of pale pink eau, on promo card featuring bottles from the Maison Lancome collection.

This is so marvelously intriguing–a simple white floral that’s really a James Bond femme fatale in disguise.
Comes in with a big hello of jasmine to the entire room, begging questions at social distance–Is that violet? patchouli? heliotrope? cigarette ash?–then winks with a smirk, because no, they’re actually almonds and cashmere musk being clever.
Vanilla and sandalwood leave long trails in personal space like theme songs that get stuck in the head for hours and hours.

Bold and smart, and not as sweet as first impressions might give.

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A 007 twist that makes Katy Perry’s classic intriguing again–(I adore PMJ.)

Grain de Soleil

A mini bottle of red amber eau with Fragonard’s iconic sunburst cap in silver, sitting on fresh snow.

I needed a bit of sun today, and this little beauty gives big powdery vanilla amber warmth with just one drop. (Really, just one–this stuff gives off melting honey rose trails a mile long.)

Sandalwood and cinnamon on the bottom keeps the marzipan-ish heliotrope from getting sticky, and adds some maturity to the vanilla.
Lasts all afternoon and through the night on clothes, leaving sweet spice dust behind like footprints in the snow.

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Stay warm, yeah?

New Baby

Demeter mini splash bottle with black cap in my hand, and a mini in a yellow onesie holding my fingertip.

Demeter’s New Baby is an oddly exact mix of milky vanilla, mineral oil and powder that starts with a shriek, but soon settles to cuddle space with sleepy lemon curd.

Comparing it to the source material was fun but a bit startling. The lactonic notes–almost animalic–are very similar, and there is a definitely a sugar cookie thing going on, especially on the top of their little head. (Apparently there are Scientific Reasons why newborns smell so sweet.)
I’m not so sure how the lemon pie on the bottom relates, but it’s a nicer sour than burpings.

Very sniffable, but wearing it might require your own car-seat and diaper bag.

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Yep, I’m gonna be this this grandma.

VideCorMeum

Red bottle paper cutout tester, black velvet bag and sample spray–all with luxe copper accents.

Rich honey rose and vanilla incense, roughed up with some crushed herbs–as if Amouage Fate and Absolue Pour Le Soir met for antipasti before a fancy event–then skipped it and went for bezoin ice cream and meaningful conversation instead.

I don’t often think of perfume as an accompaniment to food–but this would be amazing on a romantic dinner date.
Leans more toward silk neckties than chiffon scarves, and lasts long into the night.

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Another gentlemanly rose–
Alejandro Rose-Garcia goes by Shakey Graves when he’s not acting.

Wish

Diamond pendant chrome capped mini bottle with blue eau (that’s starting to oxidize a bit–keep this away from light or it’ll turn amber) hanging in a white Christmas tree.

Wish is that loud-laughter bombshell at the holiday bash in a lurex dress and even cheaper lipstick, who gets sticky caramel everywhere and is the absolute life of the party.

Fruity vanilla, syrupy honey florals, and soft toffee woods, in a big fun mess with zero chill.

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Another awesomely messy holiday wish-

XOXO Luv

Tall bottle capped with plastic pink chrome hearts, with fuchsia box.

Gotta luv White Elephant gift exchanges.
I traded fuzzy socks for this.

Safe for tweens–a tropical peony that fades to a drip of melted mango mochi on the school uniform–with a performance modest enough for the strictest parental approval.

My feet are sad.

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XOXO is an American fast fashion brand owned by the umbrella company Kellwood out of Hong Kong (that also owns Baby Phat and Rebecca Taylor.)

Another teenage XOXO–Canadian-Korean artist Jeon Somi put this album out this year.

Qaa’ed

Gold diamond stamped sleeved bottle and matte black canister.

Lattafa Perfumes (out of the United Arab Emirates) can be found fairly easily online or in the beauty section of import shops at great prices–Qaa’ed cost me less than a tub of pistachio halva.
And while the eau doesn’t exactly smell rich, there’s some good spiced leather packed in the glitzy bottle.

Opens with a big dose of amber cinnamon sweetened with vanilla, then five minutes in cardamom carries in the leather–new work boots with rubber soles and saffron suede car coats lined with polyester–a bit synthetic, but made to last.
And the woods on the bottom do last, even through a hot bath, spicy oud and buckskin still sweet the next day.

Could be an affordable alternative to Bvlgari Black, especially in autumn–the cool florals replaced with warmth.

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Love this collaboration from these two Dubai based musicians.

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.

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