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.

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

Ashore

Amouage sample spray, and package featuring a watery sunset.

Nice at first–
Starts with spiced whipped cream-y jasmine in personal space that slowly drifts to a hand-span off the wrist as the cardamom ripens–then it takes an odd turn as curried raw salmon for a few hours.
The rose sticks to clothes more than skin, with sweet resins that last most of the day.

I’d enjoy it more without the fish course.

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This song has absolutely nothing to do with the ocean and has no sushi.

Un Matin d’Orage

Beads of water on a frosted Annick Goutal bottle sitting in a puddle, with prismatic sunlight.

This “Stormy Morning” dawns with lemony ginger and a lot of wet green notes that turn into an enjoyable petrichor–and stays dewy on the gardenia and jasmine all day.

Very sweet and very white, with the same mixed-message quality of pristine indolics in La Chasse aux Papillons.
Also similar to Reflection–a bit less grounded by the sandalwood–and about two-thirds the cost.

Pretty, but not terribly exciting–a good storm should have a bit of thunder and lightning, yeah?

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This morning is sadly just dreary.

Queens

Sample sprays, one still in Bond № 9 royal blue foil wrapper, on pic of bottle with the Worlds Fair globe sculpture in gold.

On blind sniff I got the bergamot, and what I first thought was jasmine and apricot–but turned out to be tuberose and osmanthus–with sandalwood on the bottom.
The rest was just a pleasant spicy amber fruit mush that I couldn’t deconstruct, like that purple hard candy that you wonder what flavor it’s supposed to be.
Lasts a pretty day in personal space, finishing on vanilla ice milk musk.

Really nice, but other than an apropos slight hit of Chinatown, and the gorgeous bottle, kind of tame–

Queens NY is diversity and contemporary art, and Louis Armstrong and Rockaway beach, fusion street food, Houdini’s grave, Astoria, shopping for absolutely anything in Flushing, and crazy little museums about the oddest things–but it’s not tame.

(I remember walking under the El, before “Sunny Jamaica”–yeah, I’m old.)

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Awkwafina is the best thing out of Queens right now.
(NSFW with five-borough-language.)

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 in 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 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…”