Santa Maria Novella’s site calls Calicantus “a bouquet of fruity floral notes,” which makes it sound like every Victoria’s Secret bottle in the last two decades, and this is quite special.
It’s marketed to women, but has terrific bay notes usually found in seventies aftershaves, and I’d enjoy huffing it on a guy, too.
Opens soapy clean, with citrus blossoms that soon settle into calycanthus flowers–with the sweet clove/anise of carnation, but with a little more nectar on top, and the earthier base of honey on the bottom–and some woody support.
The dry down is quick yet unexpectedly sweet, the fruity notes in the description–peachy with an almond/sour cherry bite and a drop of amber.
Lasts on silk forever.
Calicantus came out in Florence in 1999, when Anna Oxo hit it big with Senza Pietà–Without Mercy.
The perfect spring, distilled into liquid form.
Very topographical–at arms length an easy breeze, in personal space it becomes new blooming roses edged with silvery musk, and on the skin it’s budding orchard trees and soap lather–and lasts that way for hours.
Some scattered herbs keep it organic, and a touch of incense smoke gives it a bit of body.
Lovely, but for me, spring is usually March storms and mud-season, messy and chaotic. This is too refined.
This breezy-but-refined song topped charts in 2002, when Amouage first released Dia.
Sweet soapy sandalwood and senior English Lit class, prom carnations and packed bleacher musk.
I wore this at seventeen, with pleated stonewashed jeans and my grandfather’s Stetson Stratoliner à la Molly Ringwald.
Three decades later and it still holds up, an affordable and cheerful Chanel knock-off with riper peaches at the end.
This debuted in 1986, along with Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc. and we all swooned over the album cover. Here’s a gorgeous version of my favorite Dwight Yoakam song.
A messy bouquet of flowers, the kind you’d hand pick as a child and bring home to your mum. Wildflowers crowd in with lilies, spills of wisteria, a stray carnation, a random rose from the neighbor’s yard, yet vague–no single bloom stands out as the star.
Awkwardly maternal, in a “Very nice, dear,” kind of way.
Another awkwardly maternal one that came out in 1984. I remember desperately wanting that silver and black dress.
Capucine means nasturtium in French–I grew them in my little garden when I was a girl–and there’s a hit of that weird woody spice note at the opening.
Mostly though, I get fancy tea-shop–jasmine oolong and marzipan cakes–and dusty bakery musk in the air, with fresh roses on the cafe tables.
The dry-down lasts close to the skin all afternoon, a gorgeous elusive vanilla, with an Alice-in-Wonderland vibe–ruffles and cookies and riddles.
This sweet little song was a huge chart topper in France the same year.
I like blood oranges, and this is a nice ripe one.
Opens with a bright hit of sweet juice then settles to peel, with a breath of green underneath. Sits two inches above the wrist for an hour or two, then fades to candied citron and sandalwood on the skin.
It’s a little pricey for the lack of longevity and projection, but maybe not for a citrus aficionado.
Blood Orange is amazing and this video is a giggle. The costumes are brilliant–I keep wondering what scents they all might be wearing–
The blackest richest dirt, and polished exotic coffin woods, vanilla sweet flowers to cover the scent of death—-but then it lingers for a while at a distance, ethereal with a breath of incense ash and mystery.
My not-so-inner goth-girl finds this utterly lovely.
How sweet is this song?!