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.