Saturday, December 13, 2008

Chanel - Coco Mademoiselle

Charming floral confection that suits an upper-class fresh-pressed squeaky-clean sophomore perfectly. This has none of the opulence and duskiness that I associate with Chanel, but all the toothsome appeal of a shiny school ring and jingling charm bracelets. Not bad at all. Healthy and BLONDE.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Guerlain - Eau de Coq

Very strange, stale-sweet smelling eau de cologne, perhaps an ancient bottle?
My boy described it best: "Urinal cake made of Pez"

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Tom Ford - Amber Absolute (Private Blend)

Richer, deeper, and more insidious Ambre Sultan. But why pay $60 more when you can get the Lutens for cheap?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Serge Lutens - Fumerie Turque

The brightest autumn fire burning (everything I wished Burning Leaves by CB I Hate Perfume would be), fierce and raw and smoky-sap-sweet, with an unfortunate drydown turn to used leisure suit or leatherette in a 1974 retirement home. Stale. Nose-squinching. Boy-of-the-household HATED IT.
Ripoff Habanita.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Frederic Malle - Dans tes Bras

Watery violet and heliotrope at first, drying down to pale, plastick'd, metallic, salty skin - almost quiveringly quicksilver metallic, like sucking on a spoon. Much more interesting on paper - there it's intimate and dark, forested, soilish. Shadowy.
Ripoff Apres l'Ondee.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Shu Uemura - Fleur de Terre

For a line so entirely based on artifice (feathered fake eyelashes, Shibuya-district-bright makeup, Mika Ninagawa's candied palette), a foray into 100% natural perfumery is warying. Fear not - all the perfumes in Shu Uemura's limited-edition 25th anniversary line are superbly strange - Fleur de Rose is cream soda glitter, a sweet lolita in a champagne glass; Fleur de Source is reminiscent of saunas, frosty pines, and Jack Frost on windowpanes; and then there's my flummoxing favourite, Fleur de Terre. When wet it smells of the brightest, ripest bergamot, and you wonder what sun-soaked Italian villa they drew inspiration from - then quickly the gilded door shuts, and it turns abruptly to baby powder on melted plastic skin. You smell like a lovely doll, lashes batting, clockwork movements - but there's blood and breath underneath it all. To me this perfume is weirdly brilliant because it captures the vulnerability of putting on a facade, it's strange and moving and diaphanous, translucent flesh.

IMPORTANT: As with many perfumes made for the Japanese market, Fleur de Terre is very subtle. Use a spray more than the usual.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Juicy Couture - Viva La Juicy

Mandarin orange wonderland. Chocolate box, crackling pralines, neon Ray-Bans, too much blush and a horsey Lou Doillon grin. Bubblegum macaroon. Confectioners' glaze. This smells like everything good aout being a teenage girl - breathlessness, crushes, oversize baubles, snapping Bubblicious in class . . . if this wafted through high school halls everywhere, I would not complain. Throw us a kiss!, in between munches of butter tarts and butter creams.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

L'Artisan Parfumeur - Safran Troublant

Like deliciously dissolving in a silken pool of muhallebi and squares of silver-leafed, saffron-and-pistachio flecked barfi. Milky, rosy-skinned, sinuous.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

True Religion

Clean hair. The unfortunate model gracing the sample looks one rib away from being an internment camp victim.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Tocca - Brigitte

Tangy rosepetal conserve. This is the equivalent of looking at a lemon - salivation dries up, an appetite suppressant.
This is the most boring perfume ever. Spare me. Spare us.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hanae Mori - Magical Moon

In which a spritesome, turquoise-haired faery, delicately fattened on grouse, guavas, clusters of crimson berries, overripe grapes, and split figs, lets loose a staggeringly fetid turd.
I smell like a fluffer girl.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Seven Skies - Belle Histoire

Mmm mmm yum, like munching on a candy necklace in the middle of a cherry-pie-plant thicket. Normally I detest sugary concoctions, but something about the Seven Skies line is so good-natured and eager to please that it softens me up and makes me smile in return. Coltish, charming, and beaming warmly.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Frederic Malle - Carnal Flower

This should be exuding from some monstrous, carnivorous, fleshy pink flora in thick, viscous, milky drops. Headspinningly worthy of "What was that?" second glances, this is an intoxicating, meaty, heady, feverish tuberose that sucks you dry. Intimate and indecent, this is brabusting Italian screen heroines - Silvana Mangano, Sophia Loren - magnified to 50x lifesize and in 3-D surround sound. How to wear it: nude, mouth constantly open a la Story of O, and possibly spread-eagled.

EDIT: Thirteen hours later, this party girl's still working her jaw muscles somewhere in a corner. Astonishing.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Serge Lutens - Five O'Clock au Gingembre

Feminite du Bois stamped with a gingerbread boy cookie cutter. Perhaps without the cool cedared aloofness of the former, but still, a bit redundant. Shape up!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Comptoir Sud Pacifique - Princesse Muscat

Fermentation of bloomed-over grapes pressed from gout-ridden feet. Syrupy, like certain Greek jams, brambleberries, a bit viscous, runny . . . not in the slightest like actual "perfume," but a sepia photograph of a Burgundy winery. Very strange - I wish I could see what a proper wearer of this looks like.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Donna Karan - Cashmere Mist

Powder powder powder . . . between the thighs of a menopausal woman. Lingerie washing-up liquid, netting, fleshtone panthose, potpourri sachets.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Christina Aguilera - Inspire

Tart candied apple gone acrid and bitter, with an odd whiff of Indian food mart. A bit unnerving.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Sugar syrup candied pineapple one tooth gone crystalline sugar pink sugar two teeth dropping out (bloody hunks on carpet) wire drill forcing mouth open sugar sugar IV sugar injection sugar bad doctor sugar syrup crystals cane cane molars bicuspids gone entire top tier of teeth gone maggots out of molars sugar fruit ananas glace sugar TEETH EYES GONE.

(Damn this wretched mess.)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Estee Lauder - Sensuous

At last, a department store fragrance that doesn't cling of lychee/red berries/midnight cosmos/pink pepper. It is a gourmand, but a dark, rich one - death by profiterole, croquembouche, and creme anglaise. Fades to a velvety skin scent.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Jean Desprez - Bal a Versailles

Whompingly impolite oriental that rushes out of the gates with a blast of incense. Smoky, woody, the smoulder of this belies the cutesy bottle and frou-frou name. This is the flipside of the gamine coin - if Leslie Caron and Jean Seberg had pixie haircuts and tiptoe espadrilles, this is the winged cat's eyeliner and piquant mole by the mouth. Flirtatious without the cloying, sickly, heavy nature of other orientals, this is perfect for autumn, for bed, this is a shocking pink Schiaparelli cocktail dress with nothing on underneath.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Pacifica -Tuscan Blood Orange

Pedestrian fruity melange, should come out of a tangerine-coloured squeeze bottle.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Fendi - Fendi

Softcore dubbed Italian Cinemax jerk-off flick, circa 1988.
(To be worn while tearing off your shoulderpadded bolero jacket to expose a black lace bustier underneath)
If this was committed to paper the pages would be stuck together.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Baby Phat - Seductive Goddess

Pie a la mode and berry sherbet mix in the first hour, it then deepens to a faded xerox of . . . Etat Libre d'Orange's Vraie Blonde, I shit you not.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Serge Lutens - Louve

Anticipating another animalic beauty to the Lutens stable, Louve was a disappointment in its utter docility - a cherry almond clafoutis where I wanted glandular secretions and fangs. More imagination, next time!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Estee Lauder - Youth Dew

A powerful fragrance you can taste in your mouth and feel in your eyes from one microlitre of application. It smells mouldering, like an exhumed matron who died from emphysema whilst on the bidet. Musty, bitter, this should never have been resurrected, it smells of death already, permanent marker, a broken string of pearls, a sixty-year-old matted powder puff, rotten matte lipstick, stagnation, a vacuum cleaner exploded.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Boucheron - Miss Boucheron

Slightly-above-average fruity thing, enlivened by some woods.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Chanel - Sycomore

This is what the mace smells like when the riot police are all amphibian-eyed Helmut Newton amazons. Mutant vetiver, burnished to a poison-dart-frog-venomous sheen, with no trace of heart or pity.
It could be fabulous on a boy.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Yves Saint Laurent - Rive Gauche

Immense rose. Eau de Pantsuit. Dry, sober, an eggshell off-white, not the towering metallic I expected. Such a beautiful iconic canister, though.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Guerlain - Vetiver

A classic, clean vetiver, perfect for boating or shrimping, for worn cotton shorts and little nets, baskets, gathering shells seaweed rocks, white sunshades, a rocky Breton beach . . . wading, salt . . .

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Caron - Farnesiana

Mimosa blossom-marzipan, milky tea, powder, a Victorian virgin's petticoat, stocking garters, meadowfoam, nectar, honeysuckle cream.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Robert Piguet - Bandit

The most bitter, argumentative, viper-tongued perfume ever made. This is what bile smells like - a hornets' nest, rubber, leather, sharp and acidic. This is the sound of your nerves shredded to bloody threads after lying on a bed of caustic-soaked nails.
EDIT: Six hours later it fades to an astringent eau de cologne, bracing and herbal.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Lancome - Magnifique

Bog-standard woodsy-floral that smells like dried spittle, or Tresor or Volupte (some such). I really loved Hypnose, so to see Lancome immerse itself in whitebread pap (the Princess fucking Diaries!) is a walloping disappointment. Also, the tagline for it is the absolute cheeseball dregs. This deserves to tank.

Monday, August 4, 2008

L'Aromarine - Mousse de Chene (Oakmoss)

Drycleaning a Shakespearean professor's forty-year-old tweed suit.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Molinard - Habanita

Powdered vetiver and vanilla that smells like a bright young thing's knickers. Quite wonderful - pearled combs, flashing eyes, a fiery red swathe of a mouth, and a kiss-me-quick beauty mark beside it.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Fendi - Theorema

Childhood gluttony, reimagined - cellars overspilling with mid-autumn cider apples, cinnamon spiced biscuits, bitter Italian sodas made from bigarade oranges, chinotto fruit, and quinine, olivine warmth. Now out of production, this is a warm, intimate fragrance for fall, for thick Norwegian fishermans' sweaters bucked with silver clasps, for bonfires made of sugared maple leaves, and for a Daisies feast of caramelised plum tartlettes, Dutch pannekoeks strewn with apples, onions, and molasses-thick stroop, and speculaas.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Santa Maria Novella - Potpourri

To embalm a saponified corpse by - evergreen smoke, eucalyptus, juniper berries, ashes. Nosecurling and assaultive when first sprayed, this later takes on the tone of catacombs, monks' robes, and funereal ironwork.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Pacifica - Sandalwood and Tibetan Mountain Temple

Sandalwood really and truly reeked of lemon Pledge, then withered and died eight minutes later. Did someone mislabel bottles?
Meanwhile, TMT makes me yearn not for saffron robes and prayer wheels, but for a crackling gingerbread house with dolly mix roofing and ice cream cone firs. (Pepper-mill at first, then pepparkakor)
Munch, crunch, crumbs on apron, snowglobe.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Flirt! - Glamourazzi

Surprisingly non-offensive bakery item, and normally I am averse to patisserie in the parfumerie. Like a big shimmying tropical cream pie. OR BETTER, shimmying glittery dancing girls (Katie Price types) with pierced navels on a tropical cream pie float bedecked with pineapples, floozy pirates, and mai tais. Cheap fun!

Friday, July 18, 2008

By Kilian - Love

Don't tell me people pay $225 to smell like an Earl Grey marshmallow.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Paco Rabanne - Metal

This begins as the most evil, venomous, Zyklon-B antisept known to man, a poisonous Chartreuse-coloured wraithe capable of liquefying your eyeballs and slurping them in one gulp. Towers crumbling, X-ray vision corroding flesh and sinew, empty-craniumed pod-dwellers gestating in cocoons of steel wool and mercury - for these glorious 15 minutes I am a pure megalomaniac, skewering hearts, bitter and Furious, sing the song of the uranium-veined Siren -
(Whispers: is it dated? It's mineral crystals that phosphoresce, lanterns . . .)
Malevolence, fuming -
Snapped spinal cords and punctured innards.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Bvlgari - Jasmin Noir

Sexually active big sister to Serge Lutens' Un Bois Vanille - very little jasmine, much almond milk plushness, like the slicked-back hair of a Robert Palmer video vamp.
EDIT: amazing lasting power - the next day this is kissing cousin to Lubin Idole, ebony and mahogany richness, glossy, luxe, lickable.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Escada - Moon Sparkle

Explosion at the Lotte chewing gum factory in the middle of a sweltering Korean heatwave.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Mistral - Mer du Sud (South Seas)

High-end Febreeze with a prickling industrial carpet-cleaner quality. Forgettable.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Baby Phat - Fabulosity

Cloying jam-'n'-KoolAid concoction that makes me wish for a Jim Jones white night, in order to end the pain.
(What is it with grown women smelling like Full House? Is the underlying message now that male objects of affection are latent paedophiles? This should be packaged in a ring pop sucker.)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Chanel - No. 18

The opening notes of this are so completely horrid that I can't think straight. Ambrette seed, despite its creampuff name, is a VILE, asafoetidic, toecurling shitstain of a smell, like crabbed pubic hair burning, all the circles of hell combined, a million rotting goat carcasses, any medical term ending in -asis, papait mix, and the plague. If you can still breathe after the miasma has cleared (5 min.), what remains is a metallic sylph, like one inhabiting a dying brook. This is the strangest fragrance ever conceived, a headfucker, I can't imagine who would want to shell out $200+ to smell like a mermaid amputee.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Santa Maria Novella - Eva

This is the most delicious variation on vetiver I've ever had the good luck to chance upon.
While other houses showcase the root's icy, earthy, or soapy qualities, SMN cuts through the often antiseptic aloofness with the bubble of sarsaparilla spice and sunshine sparkle of bergamot. This is a perfect everyday scent, playful, classy, and compellingly sniffable. A day later I can still smell it. Adorable 50s plaid-and-wood packaging too. Superb.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Jennifer Lopez - Deseo

More sophisticated than one would expect.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Celine Dion - Sensational

Mindless, but not dreadful. Soulless florist. Peaches from a botulism-infected tin.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Comme des Garcons - Carnation

Febrile and as glossily, glaringly red as freshly-licked cinnamon hearts. Not very subtle, the equivalent to Tex Avery's Red Hot Riding Hood. Music to be wolf-whistled to.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Comme des Garcons - Series 3 - Incense: Avignon

The scent that I think emitted from St. Lydwine of Schiedam's sores.
Like all CdGs on me, it has zero lasting power, but its evanescent existence is marked with exquisite Decadent gloom.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Lush - Potion solid perfume

For years, I believed the perfect scent was that of Roger and Gallet carnation soap, spicy and simple. Potion replicates the exact smell for hours on end - 11 hours later, it still lingered on my wrists. However, its major drawback is that same linearity. It has zero development and screams the same pink shrillness for an entire day.
For value and longevity though, ($11 for a tin that will last forever - the perfume is not very malleable, you'll never make a dent in it) Potion beats other oeillets, like Bellodgia, CdG Carnation etc. Bang for the buck, but apply sparingly.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

L'Artisan Parfumeur - Bois Farine

CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH! This made me laugh out loud, because the top note is exactly like being konked over the head with a baguette. What remains is a gentle nut-bread loafiness, like coffee cake dusted with icing sugar. Not at all bottle-worthy, but decant-decent for a five-minute pick-me-up.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Eau d'Italie - Sienne l'Hiver

Iris has an elegiac, opalescent quality that reminds me of dying naiads. I cannot wear it - it tastes too much like tears. Would fare better on a pale blonde racked by consumption, attended by a slyly necrophiliac suitor.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Diptyque - Tam Dao

Sprayed on my watch and fabric, this is the heavenliest, creamiest sandalwood, silken and voluptuous, like swimming in a vatful of custard. It lasted a full week.
On skin, however, it doesn't exist. Disappeared into the ether, or somehow got deflected off my wrist. A tremendous disappointment.

EDIT JUNE 4: A tingling cassia red hot sweetness that prickles my tongue, crossed with an Ikea manufacturing plant. Something is wrong with my hormones these days - I can see why in medieval Europe menstruating women were kept away from dairies. This is the second time I've hoped for Tam Dao to replicate the unforgettable milkiness I fell in love with - now all I get is a flurry of love-bites - where is the doe-eyed sandalwood my dreams are made of?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Thierry Mugler - Alien

Uninspired floral with the most hideous marketing campaign on earth.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Etat Libre d'Orange - Eloge du Traitre

Beautifully done men's fougere, with a spicy, cuminous edge. Evades all cliches of men's perfumery (fresh, watery, sporty) and exists in its own elegant sphere of dove grey and slate blue. Vegetal without verdancy. Dusky, resinous, wonderful.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Keiko Mecheri - Ume

This is the happiest perfume on earth. Plump Victorian lasses writing New Year's greetings sealed with jonquil-coloured wax, a hundred cups of mulled wine being raised aloft and tinkling, very dainty wholesome cheer. This is the first flush of Orientalism in the West, Earl Grey sipped from a china tea-service painted with frail-flower beauties. Alas, my sister said it's very Euphoric - her signature scent! This Lillie Langtry in scent will adorn my clothes, then.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Comptoir Sud Pacifique - Vanille Amande

. . . and all the teeth drop out of my head, riddled by suppurating sores and diabetic shock.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

L'Artisan Parfumeur - Dzing!

Rubber, black leather, motorcycle goggles, sawdust, moist paper pulp. Affecting and odd, like Sylvia Bourdon's trysts on a Harley-Davidson, the death-defying stunts of the visitor in Radley Metzger's The Lickerish Quartet, and the hallucinations of the acid-soaked Girl On a Motorcycle. Petrol, danger, sweaty palms gripping shiny handles. In an hour heady benzoin and caramel notes emerge - the olfactory equivalent of a Victorian topsy-turvy doll. 7/10.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Serge Lutens - Miel de Bois

My compliments to Christopher Sheldrake for making this astonishing beauty, which resembles no other perfume on earth. I'm still literally catching my breath, so my words will come out all scattershot . . . Honey removed of all its Winnie-the-Pooh connotations, it's honey made from hemlock and toxins, nux vomica, folktales of wooden babies turned into ravenous monsters (see Otesanek), wooden teeth gnashing you to bits, ohmygod I can't believe this exists, STING STING STING, I'm going to bathe in this by the vatful, OH! but I am in love.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Thierry Mugler - Ice*Men

Well-lubricated ass.
It all dissipates after 30 seconds and dries down into sport-deodorant mode, but that top-note is one of the oddest and most sordid imaginable.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Thierry Mugler - A*Men and A*Men Pure Coffee

What piqued my interest in A*Men was its supposed resemblance to my beloved Borneo 1834, in that it had notes of patchouli and chocolate. Would this be a more price-reasonable alternative to my rare-as-hen's-teeth paramour? Alas, no. A*Men smells exactly like that species of male that goes clubbing, blinds your eyes with a permatanned oily sheen, is hirsute, has chains a-clanking, and has a ridiculously groomed goatee. The kind that likes to see desperate straight girls kiss for attention in between body shots and Brazilian waxes. This is a laughable little nubbins, a goofy adolescent horndog with a permanent hard-on. A very, very small one.
A*Men Pure Coffee is wan, a malformed foam heart on a too-weak latte made by an incompetent, 17-year-old barista in training.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Serge Lutens - Arabie

O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
wie treu sind deine Blätter!
Du grünst nicht nur
zur Sommerzeit, Nein auch im Winter, wenn es schneit.
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
wie treu sind deine Blätter!
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum!
Du kannst mir sehr gefallen!Wie oft hat nicht zur Weihnachtszeit
Ein Baum von dir mich hoch erfreut!
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum!
Du kannst mir sehr gefallen!
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum!
Dein Kleid will mich
was lehren:
Die Hoffnung und Beständigkeit
Gibt Trost und Kraft
zu jeder Zeit.
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum!
Das soll dein Kleid
mich lehren.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Heeley - Cardinal

Instead of the cold, stony majesty of Comme des Garcons' Avignon, this is the radiance of the sun filtering through a rose window. Lighter and sweeter than most incense fragrances, this is the Sister Sourire of the school.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Guerlain - Herba Fresca (Aqua Allegoria)

Vaguely nauseating tisane that reminds me of being six and waiting for my sister at her orthodontist's office. Smells like a folklore abortifacient.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Clinique - Happy

Sickening, insipid, and weak, like an orange crayon, then turns into the aerosol foam used to clean carpets with. Very close to Cyprus Rose candle wax.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Guerlain - Mandarine Basilic (Aqua Allegoria)

Glasses filled to the brimful with fizzy Orangina, sipped through green-and-yellow striped straws. Orange Crush - then - shampoo.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Versace - Bright Crystal

Slicing through starfruit and satsuma.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Montale - Ginger Musk

Blonde Californian valley-girl sweetness. Should be wearing something hot pink and tight. Teenage - just got braces removed. Seventeen magazine 1988. No ginger - just berry sorbet and wafer-cookie frolic. Bubble yum. Tangerine satin prom dress. When I smell this, my teeth hurt.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Annick Goutal - Neroli

When wet I get that crisp, stem-green pureness that made me fall in love with neroli so long ago. I love its freshness - when I smell it I crave citrus sodapop and sundresses. Alas the tang of neroli fades all too quickly, leaving behind the scent of eau de cologne. I want to put my hair in Heidi braids and gather blossoms from trees, put them in my basket, behind my ear. Neroli does smell like springtime, gay yellow ribbons and meadows.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Chanel - Coromandel (Les Exclusifs)

1st hour - Sexy, smoky, Parisienne Oriental marvel. This reminds me of the Guido Crepax heroine Valentina - Louise Brooks bob and siren lips, getting into op-art adventures of sex and intrigue.
2nd hour - I smell like a combination of ashtray, patchouli and vanilla. Things are not developing as I expected.
3rd hour - Getting headachey and stifled. Far too strong for my liking. Cigarette fumes. Cough. Had to part with this.

Saturday, April 5, 2008


Subtle, professional fragrance with vague tropical fruit tones. Fades to the lightness of an angel's kiss after five minutes, though. Airy, cottony, puffy - like a crisp white shirt or shell-pink cardigan with pearls.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Etat Libre d'Orange - Putain des Palaces

Unlike the rice-powdered-anis-de-Flavigny-sucking courtesan imagined in the copy, this smells like a hennaed West German prostitute, c. 1975. All I get from this overly-cloying concoction is baby oil - maybe its name should be Happy Ending or Queen of the Jack Shacks.
This is what they douche and de-spunk with.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Mont Blanc - Presence d'une femme

Men's aftershave mixed with the toothrotting syrup from tinned pineapple. Strong and dated - like opening a scent strip from a magazine from 1986.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Etat Libre d'Orange - Vraie Blonde

Fizzy, sherbet-powder effervescence. Champagne baths in valentine-heart-shaped tubs, poodles dyed magenta and turquoise, hot pink boudoirs decorated in marabou and foams of lace. I was skeptical of ELdO at first, with their admittedly tacky marketing/packaging, but Vraie Blonde smells exactly like the copy says - Marilyn and Jayne, boop-oop-ee-doo innocence and a continually kissy-pursey mouth. Oh, if only I had a suitable chest for a merry widow! This should come in dusting powder and bath oil forms. Very fun and sweet - 7.5/10

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Jo Malone - Black Vetyver Cafe

My sister has a certain word, "stenchomatic," for things that appall her with an especial funk. The first spray of this is stenchomatic - reminiscent of the tar-like sludge left on the coffee maker if my boyfriend neglects to wash it for a day or two. Industrial dregs, brownish muck draining into rivers. Little birds and fish dropping dead. A few minutes later a slight hint of soapy vetiver emerges, but it's too late to wash away the rank tuberculitic slop smothering my nasal caviities. Unhealthy and sweltering, like being made to tend to patients' wounds.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Lubin - Idole

I love Idole. Boozy, dusky, and dark, like the Man Ray photo of Kiki de Montparnasse caressing an African statue. Wildly sexy. Exotic starlets of the silver screen: Anna May Wong and Josephine Baker. Diaphanous and silky. Gleaming. I'd spray this on the nape of my neck, so the sillage would invite touchings and my love's mouth.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Keiko Mecheri - Osmanthus

A rush of golden sweet blooms - like washing your face in dewdrops - then drying down to a simple vanilla cake frosting.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Laurence Dumont - Vanille Blueberry

While fooling about in Sephora, my boyfriend and I traipsed to the Gourmand section where it unleashed a flood of CARNIVOROUS CARNAL FEELINGS.
Every smell in the Laurence Dumont line made boy-of-the-household's ears perk up, his eyes brighten with joy, and his nose wiggle wildly. Kind of like a happy cat with kitty-kibble or a wee dog. Vanille Gingembre - "It's GOOD" (accompanied by much head-wagging) Tarte aux Myrtilles - "It's GOOD." Every one got an emphatic nod and tongue-lolling and exclamations of "I want to eat you!" Vanille Blueberry, however, made his pupils turn to hearts in a veritable Pepe-Le-Pew frenzy of wrist-biting and inhalation. I just offered him my wrist now and he sniffed it straight for ten seconds.
"It smells like one of those Strawberry Shortcake dolls with blue hair. It smells like what they spray on their hair before they ship them off."
Meaning: I smell like a cross between a Magic Marker and a Chinese plastic Blueberry Mufin puppet from the year 1987, but who am I to complain when I have a happy boy running and smiling all around me?
Message: sexy perfumes are not florals. FUCK FLOWERS. Smell like a candy rack Lik-M-Aid.
Says boy: "Write that you put on Vanille Blueberry which smells like Blueberry Muffin and I buttered your muffin. It'll fly off the shelves."
FINAL RATING: Me - 6/10. Boy - 9/10.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Diptyque - L'autre

One day in Baroque Art class a lady sat next to me who kept wafting rank effluvia. Les Miserables sewers and a gaping cloaca.
When I was little I got to look at my sister's sticker albums from the 80s. She had a page devoted to scratch-and-sniff stickers. A memorable one stank of dill-pickle.
This smells like I've been nestled under a hobo's armpit, snugly.
Boy-of-the-household = "You smell like B.O."
This was the most regrettable perfume-purchase of life.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Parfumerie Generale: Querelle (Private Collection)

Not so much Querelle as Ali (not speaking in Genet terms, but Fassbinder!) - wave upon wave of unfurling Middle Eastern spice-shop scent, cut through by the emerald soapiness of vetiver. This isn't the immaculate vetiver of Guerlain however - this is vetiver freshly plucked, dirt still clinging to the roots.
Boy-of-the-household gave it a 6/10 - perhaps preferable on one more swarthy, sweaty, and with a week's worth of stubble.
Two hours later a very gentle oakmoss emerges, a note I've previously felt downright fear from, due to Serge Lutens' fecal and overpowering Chene. This oakmoss makes me feel like climbing trees and playground kisses.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Friday, February 15, 2008

Crazylibellule and the Poppies: 129 (L'Olfactive)

Edible almond-milkiness reminiscent of Kenzo's Amour, drying down to a tart redcurrant bite, like I squashed a harvestful in my lace apron while dallying with a stablehand. On paper sneezings of pink pepper, rose-slippered-feet darting away out of reach.

The first Crazylibellule to make me say, "This is delicious."

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

L'Artisan Parfumeur - Dzongkha

Inspired conflicting feelings in my friend O. and I. Frightening and unsettling on the paper strip, I could not decipher any of the notes in this feral, unearthly scent. Freshly sprayed, it's vile. Baffling. Like having your eyes clawed out. It's not perfume, it's magick (yes, spelled the Genesis P-Orridge way), blood and spew, black-headed pins stuck through wax poppets. I simply was aghast at first, I had never smelled anything remotely resembling Dzongkha before. O. was equally flabbergasted - "You smell like Off!, like mosquito repellent, like DEET. It has a bite." But yet I was curious to see how this perfume would develop on my skin. It's certainly unusual - O. asked me what I want my ideal perfume to do, and I said, "Provoke, unsettle." This perfume does everything and more - it repels. It makes me want to throttle someone. When my mother smelled it she fairly screeched, "You smell like a Chinese medicine stall," and my dad pushed my hand away from his nose when I held it up for a sniff. However, I can't stop smelling my wrist - the monstrous fanged creature spitting out venom has softened (just barely) to a musty, medicinal, dry, definitely unsweet scent of cardamom, leather, church incense, damp soil, smoky tea and roots, and the most uncloying, un-icinglike vanilla.

The more I learn about scent the more deadened department store fragrances appear to me. I hate the cliched, pink blossoms/pink grapefruit/pink sugar/iced lychee/blackberry martini simple-syrups tossed out daily - I hate the simpering virgins (did I steal that phrase from someone?) or the paradoxically passionless femmes fatales in the ads. I've become to resent perfume being used as a mask, when really it should be a mirror to every aspect of our personalities, no matter how angry, silly, quiet, peculiar, or even rancorous. That's why I admire Dzongkha and its creator Bertrand Duchaufour - beautiful and brave artists like him are really expanding the world of scent, not for the fantasy sleek-limbed models in fairytale gardens or on Seychelles beaches, but for real, imperfect, unglamorous, unsexy people who laugh and cry too much.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Yves Saint Laurent - Elle

Says boy-of-the-household, "All the stuff at Macy's smells the same." He gave it a 4/10. I am very sad because this does fall into the category of "Gang Raped at a Macy's" - a profusion of anonymous pink notes, cheap lip gloss, and simple-syrup fruit cocktail.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Crazylibellule and the Poppies: 122 (L'Olfactive)

De si belle humeur ce matin.
I swipe my underarms with deodorant that smells like this every morning. Does deodorant put one in a good mood?
Crazylibellule should enter functional perfumery: fabric softener sheets and bathroom cleaner.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Crazylibellule and the Poppies: Apres-midi en douce (Le Baton)

Opening of fresh jasmine pearl tea, honeyed and sweet. At first got my hopes up for a jasmine without the overwhelming sultriness of Serge Lutens' A la nuit, but the jasmine soon faded to leave me instead with images of young girls riding horses in dewy pastures, with wreaths of pink flowers and baby's breath. Pleasant for a 12-year-old girl. It then morphed into the smell of Teenage Softies and the word "Modess," the scent of a becoming-a-young-miss menstruation guide. Bat your eyelashes and pink marshmallow hearts. Five minutes later the jasmine shyly returned, richer, but still gawky and impulsive - laciness under a school skirt and flushed cheeks. Shampooed hair. A surprise kisser.