Bulletproof

TokyoMilk black mini bottle with white pistol illustration, and a marching line of .45 caliber bullets.

Fierce out of the bottle, smoked black tea with two sugars and burning cedar shavings, loud in personal space, soft outside.
Lasts three hours before sliding into nutty vanilla and dark woods on the skin for three more.

Aggressive but interesting, with enough sweetness to be inviting.
Recommended for corporate mercenaries and apocalypse vigilantes.

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DAG: Angharad used to call them anti-seed.
CHEEDO: Plant one and watch something die.
~ Mad Max: Fury Road

Desert Blush

Sample vial and promo with blonde wearing a dred-wig and pink dress in a grassy field with a cloudy mauve sky.

The ad copy says “warm sophisticated floral” but all I get is sandalwood and cedar musk that turn dry and dusty, like old leather.
Where have all the flowers gone?

Good for aging cowboys and folk singers, I suppose.

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This song has been translated into thirty languages, and got Pete Seeger inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Lampblack

Lampblack bottle test strip and decant vial, and a grapefruit.

This smells like a flirtation at the race track on a sunny day–with a tumbler full of Gin & Juice on the side.

Delightfully bitter citrus, and ebony black oily resins–new tires and gear oil and leather and asphalt, all inky surfaces that get a touch of sweetness as they heat up–that stay close to the skin for the afternoon.

It’s weird but fun, and I really like the dichotomy of it.
Minerals gone organic and wild and dark, but bright and warm at the same time, and strangely inviting.

Leans masculine, but I’d wear it on high heel boot days–definitely on the Want-a-Full-Bottle list, and now I’m curious about the rest of the line.

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One part Beefeater’s gin, three parts Ruby Red grapefruit juice. Pour over good ice and garnish with lime.

Liliana

Tester bottle and boxes with Rococo motifs on a rustic looking store display.

There’s a very surreal vegetarian tea-party thing going on with Liliana.

Opens with pretty peaches and juicy florals, then turns to watermelon curry. After an hour or so, settles to woods and canned spinach liquid in personal space, and leaves a smudge lemon curd on the skin the next morning.

The vibe actually works, in a foodie in Fluevog witch boots kind of way.

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Pop-goth strings crack me up–here’s one for a garden party, Bridgerton style.

Eternity Moment

Pooka casting a perfect cat head silhouette shadow while sniffing a clear mini bottle with pale pink liquid, that’s surrounded by square pink candies (which taste like snobby Smarties.)

Cotton-candy vodka out of the bottle that settles to Choward’s guava mints–and lasts longer than most top notes usually do, even longer than it takes for the candies to melt on the tongue (though it’s hard not to crunch them)–then eases to light flowers in personal space that slowly fade to wood musk on the skin.

Safe, pleasant, and affordable.

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Here’s a moment of Eternity from Imelda May.

White Sandalwood

Pile of Nest square minis, White Sandalwood–with a botanical drawing label–in front.

Almond nutshells and work boots.

Nest is hit or miss with me–though I love their pretty little bottles. White Sandalwood leans masculine with fresh cut wood and an earthy leathery note, and dry almonds–almost toasted, but not gourmand at all–and I like it.
A little lasts a long time–too much explodes with Hypnotic Poison strength Sharpie marker. Pair with jeans and a flannel shirt.

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Turn it up and let off some steam.

Mitsouko Eau de Toilette

Mini scrolled bottle of Mitsouko Eau de Toilette at the center of a crimson firework Gerbera daisy.

1919.
House of Guerlain, Paris France.
Nobody:
Jacques: Here’s gunpowder and blood, coffin-woods and grave-moss, because War.
Nobody: (blinks)
Jacques: And some peaches and jasmine so it’s pretty.

Wow. Guerlain’s iconic Mitsouko is goth as Hell.
Opens with the sharp tang of citrus and peaches–bright coins to pay the ferryman–but made sanguine with roses. Funeral flowers bloom, more roses and lilac and jasmine, and slowly dry to cedar box dust. At the end, embalming spices rise from the skin, and ash smoke–the powdery residue of battle–until they fade to moss and lichen on headstones.

For elegant widows, death obsessed poets and wannbe undertakers.

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This cheerful little tune is surprisingly dark–John Cale’s classic made modern by Owen Pallett.

Boreal

A sample vial of green liquid, with pine branch tips and a paper tester of a Pinewood apothecary bottle.

Boreal opens with a mix of things I find comforting in the winter–gingerbread, Tiger Balm, cedar bark, and pine needles–a lot of the Santa’s Workshop vibe of Guerlain’s Winter Delice, and I’d enjoy it on woodsman types a lot.
But the greenery dies down to faint resins on the skin in less than 2 hours, and I want more. The mossy notes do perform a bit better on cotton.

I bet it would be amazing in a beard oil.

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This is a good pine.

Omnia Golden Citrine

Mini Omnia chain link bottle in chrome and bright yellow.

Citrine starts with the transparent juice from canned peaches and mandarin slices, in a nice morning cocktail way, but then fades to powdery yellow flower pollen.

Benzoin at the bottom gets sticky and brings back some of the opening citrus, with the clear syrup from candied peel that bakers use–and I so wish this moment was longer and louder, there’s almost a Shalimar vibe for a second–but everything soon dries down to the Omnia sheer woods base.

Cotton holds the jasmine well, but on skin it’s all gone by noon.
I’ll try it again in the summer. Maybe I’ll like it more.

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