Love Tuberose

Opaque cream, silver capped, full sized and mini Amouage bottles, in a pile of pale pink and yellow flowers.

Love Tuberose is a huge ice cream cake cuddle of a scent, and became my favorite comfort fragrance at first sniff.

Starts with a bouquet of white flowers sculpted from sugar paste, with milky sweet notes that slide tropical and faintly fruity–I get a breath of apricot that is most likely me imagining things–so pretty and feminine and uplifting.
A half hour later the fun happens.
Puffs of whipped vanilla rise from the tuberose, with the creamy lightness you’d expect from jasmine, but they’re pure bubblegum, flirty sass with a hint of powder–if a scent could sound like laughter, this one does.
The sandalwood on the bottom keeps it from being too young and giggly. The wood notes are a support for the flowers, giving them strength without taking over, and are more apparent on cotton than silk.

Lasts a good three hours in personal space, then sleeps on the skin with a smile.

All Amouage perfumes are expensive–high end top-shelf bottles with quality ingredients and master blending–but for me, this one is a self-care mood-lifting therapy session with each spray, and worth the cost of a big bottle.

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This whole album is good therapy–

Illicit Flower

Mini Illicit Flower–a cut glass barrel bottle with a modern ice castle vibe–and mandarin oranges.

I’d call this one Illicit Citrus, but it’s actually quite safe and polite.

Starts with orange juice and orange blossomy rose that stays inside personal space for an hour, then eases to sheer jasmine musk with some sweet woods until noon.

Pleasant, but very little allure. A good one for a gift exchange–the bottle is lovely.

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This song is so pretty and strange–and weirdly apropos. We enjoy sweet scents meant to inspire hunger, yet so much of fashion is biased to the dangerously thin.

Destiny

TokyoMilk rollerball and magenta capped black packaging, on chunks of crystalized ginger.

TokyoMilk #79

Destiny is that marvelous obnoxious friend who’s a blast to hang with, but would wear you out if it were an everyday thing.

Rolls on in with sugary ginger and wild berries, in a heavy-handed but good way, then develops some nice nasty indolic tendencies.
A pleasant bitter-sweetness that might be the davana paired with honeysuckle interrupts for a few hours at arm’s length, then slowly settles down to creamy cuddly jasmine for the rest of the day.

Lots of fun, but for occasional use only.
(Can be hard to find. Snag a bottle if you see it at a price you can afford–I’ve see them as low as $12 used and $60 new.)

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I would totally hang out with Lizzo EVERY day.

Wild Fire

Discovery set sample pray and intense model with dark lipstick and smudges on her face, and maybe a bird nest on her head.

Raw Spirit calls this “warm and seductive,” though “stifling and carnal” might be more accurate–

I got clubbed with thick hot amber at first spray.
As I gasped for fresh air, the guy wrinkled his nose and said, “Huh. That’s really sexy.”

Eventually the amber simmered down to nice dusty sandalwood–tempered with jasmine, very close to the skin–that lasted most of the day, a spot of heat on the flesh, almost like a bruise.

I’d wear it for him, but I’d need some cooling sweetness–a breath of violet leaf, or maybe vanilla–to wear it for me.

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This Wildfire is quite spirited, and a bit raw.

Shalimar Souffle

Large navy blue bottle with classic Guerlain amphora shape, with mauve evening clouds behind.

There’s a very fun generational skip with Shalimar Souffle–a fresh take on bygone fashion–that reminds me of the ultra-feminine girls who wear ’50’s pinup dresses in modern prints at the car shows.

This “Breath of Perfume” opens with lovely light citrus and jasmine, that soon gets interrupted by a peppery note that feels discordant–like it’s my skin, somehow, that is objectionable–but does fade in a few hours, leaving behind rich vanilla cake with lemon icing for the rest of the day.

Retro yet fresh at the same time, but weird on me. (One often sees “It doesn’t work with my body’s chemistry,” in reviews, but I rather feel that with this one I’m the one at fault.)
I gifted my big bottle, but kept the mini. Maybe I’ll improve with age.

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Imelda May is the epitome of retro and fresh.

3121

Cut crystal bottle with gold detail and filled with purple eau de parfum, and purple and yellow kaleidoscope graphic box.

3121 is a decent album, in the top third of the stack by the Great Purple One, but the fragrance is a total flop.

“Black Sweat” was an early single and a good song, a bit of a throwback to “Kiss,” but the dark sweaty notes this opens with are not kissable at all–they’re fetid body odor and lime shaving cream.
Eventually settles to grubby white flower musk, in an invasion of personal space for most of the day–a reflection of “Lolita,” perhaps–sweet, too young and weirdly dirty and desperate.
Sadly, rather than “Incense and Candles,” this finishes with sawdust funk and murky patchouli.

Download the album, skip the perfume.

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Best song on 3121:

Song in D Minor

Margot Elena’s packaging is hard not to fall for–Victwardian collage with gold details and raised crests on the bottles–this one features a domed birdcage and sheet music.

TokyoMilk No. 13 opens with big white flowers, in a packed hot church kind of way–and even gets a bit sweaty a few minutes in.
The gardenia takes up a lot of elbow room, then slowly settles to a foot off the body with sticky amber that smells like the soap in the bathroom of a mortuary.

Lasts through the burial and the wake, and haunts your clothes for a week after.

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Sky–the super-group that you’ve never heard of–included the classical guitarist John Williams, the bassist Herbie Flowers and percussionist Tristan Fry, (who both did session work with everyone from the Beatles to Lou Reed to Elton John.)
Bach’s Toccata and Fugue is easily the most famous song in D minor ever.

Grand Amour

Amber filled Annick Goutal mini splash bottle, behind a spire of blue hyacinth.

A garden party of an earlier era–

Fruity hyacinth wine and Victorian button boots, damp spring earth and sheer amber musk.

Roses and jasmine and vanilla add a splash of sweetness. The flowers fade to the skin in a few hours, but leave green stains on the clothes for days.

Pretty, but Grand Amour needs to be a bit more exciting, for me to have Big Love at that price.

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This song is all Lindsey Buckingham, but Stevie Nicks does play her skirt really well.


Sunkissed Hibiscus

Mini rollerball bottles with black caps, Sunkissed Hibiscus in front. I like the branding on Nest’s line–vintage naturalist illustrations, painted with vibrant colors on a dark background–this one is a voluptuous peach and orchid triffid.

The latest Nest is a big splash of generic herbal tea at the beginning, then gets greasy with coconut oil and milky white flowers for two hours. (Hibiscus is in the Malvaceae family, a kind of mallow, like ambrette–which explains the musky weight of the florals.)
The bottom is actually a bit nice, amber making a long lasting Nutella accord on the skin, perhaps a nod to the warm Cocoa Woods, which I liked very much.

I imagine it’s better in high summer than early spring, but I’ll likely pass it along to someone who enjoys suntan lotion scents before then.

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Love this cover, which has a certain weight, too. Last summer was cruel, but a lot of artists have produced some neat stuff during the quarantine.

Twilly

Mini Twilly with Hermès scarf patterned box, and knobby bit of ginger root. I adore the trademark black derby cap–a redux of Mercury’s golden helmet, because Hermes, of course.

Twilly is a witch potion. A good one.

Starts with a cuppa ginger tea, a bit of citrus and powdered sugar stirred in, then gets fizzy and trippy.

Tuberoses bloom, bubbly and brash, arguing with the jasmine–who manage to pepper some sharp retorts–in an absurd and delightful Monty Python routine, complete with Silly Walks in vanilla lingerie.
There’s a fun colorful vibe, too, in a cartoons-for-adults way, as if the scent cloud is infused with silk scarf hues.

And it lasts for hours, slowly settling close to the body with an occasional carbonated giggling hiccup of ginger ale and woody spice. In the morning it’s still there, a smudge of watercolor sigils on the skin.

Cheerful modern magic.

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