Eve

Paper test strip cutout of a square St. Claire bottle, and test vial of Eve.

Eve was finalist in the 2020 Art and Olfaction Awards within the artisan/independent category, and it’s aptly named, with enormous seductive apple trees growing out of a single drop.

Comes on strong and skanky at first, dirty jasmine that cleans up with roses as it settles down and turns to orchard blossoms. Then the whole tree fills the room, woody trunks, green leaves, and fruit.
After a few hours, powder coats everything in personal space, for the whole day, with smudges of sweet char on the cuffs until laundry day.

The 35% concentration is way too indolic for me–I feel naked wearing it (which might be the point.)
An eau de toilette would be less overwhelming.

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Another take on Eve and the garden.

Honour

Whiskery cat nose sniffing the gold dome of a white mini Amouage bottle, and some magenta button carnations.

Pleasant white flowers at first, not a lot of personality, but sweet–then after a few minutes the tuberose and the carnation pick up the spicy notes and turn more interesting.
There’s a delicate watery feel under the florals–more morning garden dew than rainy lotus pond–that might come from the lily-of-the-valley and rhubarb; green, a little earthy.
Some resinous stuff on the bottom gives a little texture and holds the gardenia in personal space the whole day long.

I get a maternal vibe, in a young expectant mother way–pretty, but not for me.

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This Honor isn’t watery at all.

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.

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Another sweet and melancholy Honey.

4711 Magnolia

Iconic 4711 bottle in pale orchid and gold tones, and magnolia leaves.

At least Magnolia doesn’t make me sad. I took Rose and Jasmine rather personally.

Starts a bit tangerine-ish, then white flowers–a bit pulpy, but not horrible–with leathery leaves bloom for a few minutes.
Dries down to soft woods on the skin for an hour.

Lasts a remarkably long time on cotton–might be a good one for refreshing upholstery.

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A pretty song from the famous scene in the original Wickerman movie.

Beach Walk

Replica sample spray and promo card featuring the bare back of a blonde at the seashore.

Another citrus-coconut-floral for barefoot surf dodging–

A soft bergamot opening, with that squeeze of lemon juice to lighten the hair in the sun, then coconut creme sun lotion and sweet tropical flowers carried at arms length, ending in a sheer driftwood musk that melts to the skin after a few hours.

Nice, but I already have a Soleil Blanc sample to get busy with, and a few doses of Moon Bloom and Salty Flower to finish, a Sunkissed Hibiscus mini, and an enormous bottle of Sunny Seaside of Zanzibar, so I’m not likely to shell out for this one.

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A golden oldie made sunnier–

Joy

Miniature iconic black Joy bottle with red domed cap and gold writing, sitting in the petals of a red-tipped cream rose.

Joy opens bright, rose and tuberose made extra sweet and loud with ylang-ylang.
Jasmine soon blooms, indolic and spring green with rosebuds that slowly ripen then turn almost spicy and dry down to sandalwood. Musk with a hint of cat purrs at the bottom, keeping it from being too pristine.

There’s really no way to explain how perfectly blended the bouquet of flowers is, yet every single element is so distinct–the way a Matisse painting comes together perfectly, the way a string quartet becomes more than the sum of the strings–gestalt theory produced in perfume.

I still have the bottle I bought in Paris when I was sixteen, but I never wear it–I feel like I’m putting on airs (farting above my ass–to use a French idiom) or playing dress up in clothes I’m not woman enough to pull off.

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Joy came out in 1930. The next year Josephine Baker released the record that made the world pay attention to more than her banana skirt.

“I have two loves, my country and Paris…”

Wander

Cute gold capped .25oz mini bottle, enameled with gray, white and green flowers.

This one is all about the bottle, which says Midnight Gardens & Wildflower right on it.
The ad copy talks about night-blooming jasmine, cypress and waterlily, adding up to a sweet wet flower mush that’s pleasant at a distance, and hits the back of the throat with a bit of algae pond funk up close.

Performs reasonably well with some nice “lake mermaid” vibes.
Not my thing–the Lollia line tends to be too soft for me–but the “Little Luxe” bottles are adorable and way too easy to collect.

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Here’s a soft wandering song.

Acqua di Tuberosa

Two 50-year-old micro bottles. The one on the right–honey amber eau, with a pristine white bow–came from a sealed set. The opened one (I have no idea when)–with a stained yellow bow and deeper oxidized liquor–is richer, with spicier base notes.

This little beauty shows off the lighthearted facets of tuberose–sweet milky florals, the giggly sweet aromatics of bubblegum, the sugary mint of wintergreen, buttercream icing–without going into the skanky indolic camphorous aspects. (More on Amouage’s Love Tuberose end of the spectrum than Moon Bloom.)
A bit of sandalwood on the bottom anchors it, and there might be a bit clove, too–I get nice hints of Tabu there.

I can definitely smell it–though I still have to shove my nostrils up into stuff to get a good full whiff. So I’m guessing all my receptors are still firing, they’re just weak.
My first Covid symptoms hit four weeks ago. The folks I’ve talked to, that have weathered it through, have said they finally got their taste and smell fully back after two months.
Mine seems to be coming back faster than that–most likely due to the vaccine, rather than me huffing everything that crosses my path.

Vintage Borsari mini bottle, the label featuring a woman draped in flowers in a draw-me-like-one-of-your-French-girls pose, on a chrysanthemum flower to make my photo fancy.

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An uplifting song with some spice on the bottom. It’s so nice to feel better.

Gelsomino

Pooka sniffing a micro Borsari 1870 bottle with pale bow and amber eau.

Gelsomino is Italian for jasmine.
This vintage beauty from Borsari 1870 is a good reference–I’ve reached for it often this week as I attempt to retrain my nose–first formulated in 1930.

Jasmine is the soprano of the white flowers–the violin, while neroli is the viola and tuberose a cello–gorgeous when on pitch, shrill when off.
Jasmine can be milky, too–lactonic–with clouds in the tea that make everything soft, and also very indolic with skanky “Pollinate me, Baby” invitations.

I usually find elements of apple, matcha, and the top lemony opening of roses here, bright cheerful nectar–and I finally do again, though they’re muted. I have to shove my face into my wrist, when I remember it being loud as a struck bell.

So yay, my sense of smell is coming back intact, just slower than I’d like. But hey, I’ll take what I can get. Baby steps.
And sinus medicine.

Borsari 1870 Fragrance Collection, packaged in a gold edged black tome that holds 24 mini bottles`. A gift shop gem from the 1970s, this Italian floral sampler makes a great reference library.

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We learned the traditional Chinese “Jasmine Song” in elementary school. The amazing Song Zuying is joined here by Celine Dion, who takes it to Vegas.
(More sopranos.)

Ciel

Clear mini Amouage bottle with silver dome lid on the edge of a garden pot, and blue sky with wispy clouds behind.
Today will be lovely, the weather woman says.

Ciel seems to be trying to compose solar and aquatic vibes out of flowers–sun-showers, maybe?

Opens slightly spicy and green, and soon turns watery but oddly creamy, with a lot of jasmine.
Then the bottom makes it really weird, soapy woods-musk, with some Amouage brand incense muddled in, polluting the whole sky with floral acid rain.

I’ll stay inside.

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Here’s a gorgeous clear sky: