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 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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.