Macaque Yuzu Edition

The new Macaque promo and vial, with a tired lemon and a bottle of bleach.

So the Zoologists cleaned the monkey cages with lemon scented Clorox.
Now the bleach musk augments the animalics for an uncomfortable hour before fading into resinous pine trees, but I appreciate the removal of the rotten fruit from the original Macaque.

Dries down to long-lasting Mtn Dew and turpentine that’s sweeter on cotton than skin.
Better, but still not the most fun exhibit at the Zoo.

*

StellaCorvo (sounds better the Italian) and Cris Pinzauti–who does lots of neat looped stuff–on Peter Gabriel’s classic.

Epic Woman

Gray marbled Amouage card with sample spray. The actual bottle is bright India green with gold accents.

Big sweet spice and roses, soured up nicely with lemony geranium tea. There’s some creamy orris powder underneath, with frankincense and vanilla to turn it luxe, but the woods on the bottom keep it grounded, so it doesn’t turn into a cinnamon roll.

Elegant and gorgeous, but also weighty–Epic kind of makes me nervous, like I’d be expected to dance the tango at a moment’s notice, or that dressing in anything but silk brocade would be a disappointment, while wearing this.
(Maybe I’d prefer the cinnamon roll?)

*

An easy take on Neil Young’s epic song–

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.

*

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

Murkwood

Olive brown sample vial and burlap gift bag, smoking incense stick and pine sprig.

Sweet smoke, and pine trees.
Soft and resinous on the skin, sharper and greener on cotton cuffs.

There’s a hint of something dangerous lurking underneath, that takes the incense out of the headshop and into darker, more niche territory–the moist forest floor threatened by distant fires, the spilled tea leaving ominous stains.

Very unisex and a bit sexy. Lasts a good two hours a foot off the wrist, then rests on the skin for two more.
I really like it.

*

Acoustic Cure Forest might be my favorite.

Hierba Nera

Coreterno sample card and spray, with cheeky neo-baroque postcard of a lady with a high ruff collar and spray painted mask.

I love the opening–green citrus with good rasp of nutmeg, and a nice hit of pot funk–but in 15 minutes Hierba Nera (Black Grass) slides into smoky amber resins with lazy projection.
The base notes of miscellaneous wood musks last half the day on the skin, with no residue on cotton.

Leans to the oak-y end of unisex.

If the top notes took center stage, I’d be all up in a bottle–the art-house basement party vibe is delightful–but the high doesn’t last long enough to warrant the cost.

*

Very fun video to a cool song.

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.

*

This Wildfire is quite spirited, and a bit raw.

Amazon Lily

Sample card with botanical drawing of a white lily, spray vial and other Nest mini bottles.

The first spray is a sanitizing citrus that fades to weird artificial fantasy flowers–they feel a bit Tim Burton-ish, like they might eat your brains with slurping noises.
The dry drown is very cool, a woodsy musk that does a chilly freshwater slow dive that lasts for hours and hours.

Masculine, in a modern knight errant on a trippy quest way, but a Lady-of-the-Lake could pull it off, too.

*

Tim Burton directed this cute video for the Killers.

Winter Oak

Sample spray and ad with righteously pouting blonde who should be allowed to wear more clothes when it’s that cold.

The ad copy says “smooth creamy warming” but I get “edge of the forest hermit.”

The first spray is a burst of sour citrus and vegetables with herbs, in a messy sun-drenched garden way, then everything gets spicy, woody cloves and earthy peppercorns for an hour on the skin.
The end is a slow fade of soft with smoky firewood that’s still a bit too green to burn.

I’d really enjoy this on a guy, which is funny, because the guy said he’d enjoy it on me.

*

Winter came back yesterday, for one last kiss.

Koala

John William Lewin’s 1803 drawing of “Coola and Young,” Zoologist bottle paper test strip, decant vial and tip of a eucalyptus branch.

Down Under barbershop bloke.
Zoologist went for environment rather than animalics on this one, though apparently koalas do smell like cough drops.

Opens with a big bar of masculine eucalyptus soap, and rinses down to herbal spice and vanilla mint. Within half an hour there’s a splash of smoky tea that I wish stayed longer, then it dries down to soft wood musk on the skin.

I like him, even if he’s not giving out Vegemite sammies.

*

I’m old enough to remember when this first came out on the radio.

L’Air des Alpes Suisse

Tauer blue mini pentagon bottle with mountain graphic label, on iced over evergreen bough.

I thought there would be hot cocoa.

L’Air des Alpes Suisses is chilly and gorgeous, and stays that way.
The ambergris is a gust of cold wind carrying snow and pine, with a weirdly enjoyable sweet whiff of gasoline–and it echoes. The camphor in the woods somehow resonates, the way a struck bell vibrates the air in the room, with a slow two hour fade to the skin.

The linear sound wave quality is very cool, a good example of synesthesia in perfumery, though I keep wondering if it will resolve at the end.
(Is there a tease of warmth and chocolate in there, or is that my own wishful thinking?)

I like it very much, but I bet it’s a completely different scent in August.

*

An electro-pop dance hit out of Zurich that’s oddly soothing, with a gorgeous little video.