Sunday, August 26, 2012

Lancome - Seul Tresor (vintage)

Vintage orientals are often too grand for me - Youth Dew and that projecting bosom, the feeling of having to approach Shalimar on all fours. Glamour can be oppressive. Seul Tresor, along with her beau Le Dandy by D'Orsay, offers a proto-gourmand, nearly domestic take on what can be a demanding family for me.
The route Seul Tresor winds out of Theda Bara territory is spice - not Road, no houris in sight, no intimate, acrid cumin funk - but something homespun, fine sleet of nutmeg on eggnog, clove-studded hams, warm vanilla-speckled puddings and custards. In some ways it resembles a Chardin reproduction in a 50s art book, the kind where the painting is printed on a separate shiny sheet, then pasted in - soft as duck down, placid, eggshell brown.
Perfume writing is littered with mothers who smelled like iris face powder and lipstick. Seul Tresor smells nothing like them, thank goodness.

Monday, June 11, 2012 - pictures&more.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Coty - L'Aimant (vintage parfum)

My body is radiating 85000 crimson haloes.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Hilde Soliani - CiocoSpesizissimo

Server: Hi, what can I do for you?
Person: May I please have one scoop of chocolate and one scoop of the basil sorbet, in a kiddie cup?
Server: Sure.
Person: Oh, thank you!
Server: That'll be $7.
Person: (rifles in pocket) Here you go.
Server: Here's your change. Enjoy the rest of your afternoon!
L'Interdit vintage mini - Givenchy
Fidji EdT c. 1984 - Guy Laroche
The not-so-past:
La Nuit EdT - Paco Rabanne
Aimez-Moi mini EdT - Caron

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Coty - Emeraude (vintage parfum de toilette)

After having been emotionally clobbered by vintage Shalimar parfum (in which I experienced flashes of light and voices from above, like the conversion of Saul of Tarsus en route to Damascus), I never thought I could write about oriental fragrances again. And I can't.
I'll just say that if Shalimar is eyes and smoulder, Emeraude is the smile after, and the hand-hold.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Paquin - 9x9 (vintage)

I probably shouldn't write about this, since the quality is so degraded. It smells like Ivory soap concentrate and decades-old unsold nylons.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Histoires de Parfums - Ambrarem

Amber as seen by Weegee - gritty, oil-slicked (hints of Petroleum?), harsh, glaring, medicinal. Warned by the shop assistant that "it was not for everyone," I find myself attracted, pitcher-plant-like, to this gunmetal ink sac of doomy oud and animal nothingness. I find it terribly sexy, despite it being deemed repugnant by those around me. It goes on forever.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Dr. Vranjes - Gigember e Estragone

Completely bonkers witches' tincture, strong enough to expel tumours.
My husband said I smelled like jalapenos.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Pascal Morabito - Or Black edt

Even more leaden than Bandit. I feel that I should not walk but hover soundlessly, fix a penetrating gaze upon unsuspecting townsfolk, point a skeletal finger at their trembling countenances, and declaim premonitions of their deaths from TB or bloody flux.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

two for imaginary sunshine

Guerlain - Anisia Bella (Aqua Allegoria)
Delicious, drinkable green anise and citrus fizz, for sundress weather.

Jacques Fath - Fath de Fath (vintage edt)
The same effect as Petit Guerlain - tonic and sparkling, with a pronounced lilac-soap/green drydown. My huge 227ml bottle came from the Ahlens Swedish department store, and the box lists the accord dominant: iris, rose, jasmine, ylang ylang, sandalwood, and vetiver. To splash on after summertime baths.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Alpinia speciosa.

The plant with the singsong name of ALPINIA SPECIOSA entrapped me by first smell, in Chidoriya's Secret de Geiko face cream - warming a little crescent between my palms, it released the most meditative, entrancing scent - moist, piney and still. It was the smell of Kawabata's House of the Sleeping Beauties, with its paper screens and window overlooking the sea. I find it more relaxing than lavender, with its skin-soft hint of camphor evoking snowy forests and childhood slumber. It's a smell of spectres and magical foxes stalking in the cool, silvery mist.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Serge Lutens - Un Lys

In the novels of Laura Ingalls Wilder and L.M. Montgomery (esp. the Emily series), there would be meticulous, paragraphs-long descriptions of women's clothing - ruching, button width, bustles, calico, collars. Un Lys is chocolate-coloured sateen with silver clasps.
I realise that my reviews are abstracted the point of utter absurdity so here is a guide:
Do I like it?: it doesn't move me. I like lily of the valley's virginal gleam and verdure, but lily itself just reminds me of vases blocking my view and pollen falling in dirty piles on the kitchen table.
TAKE TWO: fleshiness, pods, peachtone, dusty brown.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

roc's eggs

Having found a mini of Chamade parfum, I am now at a standstill for perfume buying. Finding a cheap bottle of Chamade was an obsession for a year - I've held (and cursed) many empty bottles and factices, but now that the glass heart pierced with a dart is safely in my closet, what do I do? What do I obsess over next? Tell me what I should place a target over and I'll try to let the arrow fly.

* * *
In my head now is witchery and future folklore. You wouldn't tell by looking at me (dirty Vans and lazy hair) that my secret world is scented with beeswax candles, brackish fern-croaked holywells, and various roots and sprigs. Here are some roc's eggs for you to search for (pref. to a soundtrack of Broadcast and Sonoko):

The Living Stones: Cornwall by Ithell Colquhoun. The 'Obby 'Oss, charms, walking barefoot on country lanes. Pure silence. A reminder to be receptive

The Man, Myth, and Magic encyclopedia set. Everything to know about ley lines, holy rollers, hysteria, and menhirs. This set will take you down so many paths. I read these over and over again as a child. These made me, ha!

Down Below by Leonora Carrington. Even though this book describes her incarceration in an asylum, Leonora still represents ultimate Surrealist freedom in love and language.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Paquin - Ever After (vintage)

Do people wear Chanel No. 5 in daytime hours? Can one wear Chanel No. 5 in broad daylight? If that little square bottle is too sacrosanct for mundane fritterings (post office, bank, buying groceries), put on a dab of Paquin's Ever After, and be fooled by the aldehydic champagne-bubble opening. When the spume subsides there is a heart of almond blossom and iris, white and fluffy as a cotton boll.

(I was lucky to find this in a little weather-beaten set, with 9x9, Espoir, and Goya.)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Nina Ricci - Bigarade (vintage edt)

(It is possible that this has charm in early fall, sunset walks. But for now when it is -83765 out and I feel like constructing a wigwam/fortress/tumulus of crocheted blankets, sofa cushions, and living cats, its coppertoned, borderline-immortelle feel goes down sickly. The promised bitter orange is not there. This is a cedar cabinet filled with maple leaves.
This did not age well.)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

the stork dropped more off

Nina Ricci - Bigarade edt mini
Christian Dior - Dune edt mini
Jean-Louis Scherrer - Scherrer 2 edt mini
Coty - L'Aimant parfum mini (vintage)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Houbigant - Flatterie (vintage)

"In December 1959 at the Daniel Cordier Gallery in Paris the eighth 'International Surrealist Exhibition' devoted to 'EROS,' as conceived by Duchamp and Breton, opened its doors . . . In another room a tape of the recorded sighs of women making love played endlessly, while mists of a perfume by Houbigant, called Flatterie, scented the air."  - Perfume: Joy, Obsession, Scandal, Sin by Richard Stamelman

Glass labyrinth of mirrors opening onto billows of snow-white iris, lilies with violet hearts. Flowers with grasping hands instead of stamens. Nusch Eluard. Diaphanous milky agate of smell. I want to cradle my head to my wrist and never wake up.

EDIT FEBRUARY 14: The iris, the iris of Cuir de Russie. It's there.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Necessary Destruction Part 2 - Lentheric Dark Brilliance (s)nip

After laying low and skulking about (illness, lack of employment) I am ready to demonise the earth ONCE MORE with inane perfume talk! Yay, clap hands.

In the mood for breaking things, I decided today would be the perfect moment to break open a perfume snip. Immediate death (a snip is only good for one use, and barely gives out enough to warrant a vial) = good! The satisfaction of hearing the icicle snap of obsolescent plastene = good! Having a little crystal chunk of said artificial material embed in my finger = not so good, but it matched the spit 'n' bile mood.

I broke off both ends of my black-tipped Dark Brilliance (s)nip and wrote with the uric-acid yellow fluid on my arms. The consistency was slightly syrupy, and left a strange film on my skin. Thick incense and soap-flake smell, a wraith of something that has been imprisoned in plastic for the past 65 years.
It smells like it wants badly to be My Sin by Lanvin, but it has none of that narcotic slumberland oneirism. It smells like ironing out those oldtimey gel air fresheners that shrivelled like scrotums once they hit the 2-month mark.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Creative Scentualization - Perfect Veil

Pick up x female interest mag (InStyle, Cosmopolitan, x tabloid weekly, x x) and turn to page 32.

(Let me know what you see - it will be true.)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Gorilla Perfume at Lush - Breath of God

Thhis smells like the conclusion of The Wicker Man.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

necessary destruction

Today, a wee cardboard tube containing Lentheric Perfume Snips.
I have always seen nips, aka snips - embryonic sample vials, made of plastene, very dangerous and needle-looking, with coloured balls at the end. I reckon you snap off the coloured balls and then the precious liquid can issue forth. Here is what is left in my little sample pack:
Dark Brilliance
Will test as soon as I get over my fear of plastene snapping off into my pupils, ingestion by overly curious cat, etc.
Also: Bal a Versailles "parfum de toilette" (what is this? pick one or the other!) by Jean Desprez
Le Dandy edt by D'Orsay - simply divine, words to come soon.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Guerlain - Shalimar Parfum Initial

The fresh bergamot of a tin of new Earl Grey tea, pinkness, men's soap-on-a-rope, and, faint and barely breathing, the smoky amber richness of Shalimar, all bouncing off one another like a volley of tennis balls, never adhering or coalescing into something great.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Hilde Soliani - Vecchi Rossetti +

Cherry-coloured funk that slides to cherry wood.

Serge Lutens - Jeux de Peau
Maple butter and stroopwafels. It feels strange to associate this homely little muffin with the eldritch Oriental elegance of Lutens. I feel to apply it with a honey wand -
Carousels, autumn fairs, childhood. Buckles and brown betties. Makes me feel knobby-kneed and gauche. Goldenrods, honey-bears, walnut wood. But with all this warmth I still feel a desolation hollowing itself, barren honeycomb - the emptiness of Jean Rollin carnivals, Mouchette on the bumper cars.