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.

*

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.

*

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.

*

Elephant

Wooden elephant statuette with decant vial, paper test of Zoologist bottle and green leaves.

Green grass and green tea and green coconuts and jasmine at the beginning–playful jungle notes that I like very much–but then the patchouli makes it rain, and the sweetness is lost.
Wood notes at the bottom dry it up and add some gravitas, but I wish the cocoa came through deeper, to give more weight.
There’s a lack of presence, in both scent and sillage, that I find disappointing.

The elephant in the room should fill the space, and this one doesn’t.

*

This Elephant makes me happy.

Dior Addict 2

Addict 2 mini bottle and a pink crowned heart necklacepave charms are my latest side obsession.

This one came out in 2005 and wasn’t in production long–my mini came in a vintage lot I found online.

A pink grapefruit with lotus and woodsy musk, Addict 2 is the free-spirited big sister of Versace’s 2006 Bright Crystal.
Watermelon keeps the pomegranate lighthearted, with a hint of sweetness from lily-of-the-valley.
Sheer sandalwood holds the base close to the skin.

I do wonder about the dedication to this scent–full-sized sealed bottles are a hot auction item and can go for niche prices–it’s a bit pale and thin to me.
Eau de Star (2007) has more depth and longevity and is easier to find, if one is looking for a fresh retro watermelon.

*

Pop songs and perfumes can make addiction seem fashionable but dependency shouldn’t be taken lightly.
The SAMHSA website provides a lot of info on substance abuse and recovery help.

Apple Tabac

My Pineward sample vials came in a little burlap bag–the brand has a home-spun vibe. The apple was delicious.

Bright waxy McIntosh apple skin out of the vial, with boozy pipe tobacco.
Pine comes in quickly, but less evergreen and more flowering conifer–the autumn blooming trees with the dusty pollen, immortelle-ish sweet.
Linear, loud, and long-lasting, with country fair vibes.

I’d enjoy it more as a candle.

*

Carnival madness with Eddie Izzard.

Golden Delicious

Mini gold chrome DKNY apple sitting in the center of a halved golden delicious.

(I love TJMaxx flanker gift sets!)
This is the most refined of the Be Delicious line that I’ve sniffed so far.

A slice of fresh apple, soft flowers and a bit of plum sauce, that quickly go green with lily-of-the-valley for an hour–the usual DKNY floral fruit teacher’s fare.
Later when the woods give the base some backbone, it gets sophisticated–turns out the substitute has a master’s degree in postmodern design.

Lasts through afternoon study hall in personal space.

*

Another Golden that’s delicious.

Omnia Amethyste

omnia AmethystePurple flowers made of glass.

Opens with a breath of citrus and wet green, but then gets cool and clear the way that all the Omnias do, this time with powdery iris that blooms for a hour, and heliotrope at the bottom that lasts all morning.
Some faint woods close to the skin give it a pretty solidity, like a crystal vase with a heavy base.

There’s an interesting fragile-but-strong vibe to it.

*

This caught my morning mood.

Dali Eau de Toilette

Starts juicy with sweet orange and neroli, then gets a little rosy before lying down with clean woodsy white musk. Lasts close to the skin for the morning.

It’s nice, but sadly not weird or innovative at all. I want more from the master of surrealism–give me swans reflecting elephants, or burning giraffes, or something cool.

***

“Love is surreal…”
(This is the best song off this album.)