My Queen, My Doh, My Wild Woods

Is there some sort of Murphy´s law in effect at my Regular Joe Department Store? I go there and try to buy some undies, or a set of towels, and the sales clerks scatter like gazelles into the far reaches of each floor.

I have to stalk them until I corner the one who’s too busy yammering on a cel phone to notice my ambush, and then I have to mad-dog him/her until he/she rings up the sale, usually while continuing to take that personal call.

The perfume counter, in contrast, is the one place I´d like to stop and smell the roses (and musks, and marine accords) in peace. And that´s the one place the sales clerks are trolling like starving hyenas.

It´s no small wonder I bug the hell out of them. I´m all over the map, for one thing. I want to smell the Baby Phat Goddess and then the Curious – is this the original one? And then the Arpege, please. No, I do not want to smell Pure Turquoise. Yes, the Vera Wang is very nice and no, I don´t want to smell it. No, I have already smelled that new Estee Lauder, and I am not interested. (Here´s a hint: telling me “We sell a ton of this!” is probably not going to be a deal closer with me. Neither is the fact that for my $70 I get the matching lotion, the powder, the room spray and for all I know a heart-shaped diffuser to hang from my rear view mirror).

I made a sincere effort at the Department Store because I wanted to include at least one easily obtainable frag in today’s Candy Post, and here it is:
My Queen by Alexander McQueen – Here’s one you don´t need eBay or a French Connection to get ahold of. “Meant To Make Every Woman Feel Like A Queen.” Puh-lease. But the notes sound great on paper: Almond, Violet (top), White Musk, Florals, Heliotrope (middle), Cedar, Vetiver, Vanilla And Iris Notes (base). And it is those things, quite pleasantly almond-y, violet and heliotrope for about 10 minutes. And then … (Cue the music from Jaws.) I believe this is the rest of the equation: almond + musk = Play-Doh. I mean, it´s not BAD. It´s just not… good, either. And in 20 minutes, consider it gone. I wasn´t expecting Serge staying power for $55, but come on.

Speaking of Play-Doh… People of the Labyrinths Luctor et Emergo – this is the Play-Doh one, right? I went and looked at NST, and whatever glory you guys are getting from this, it sure escapes me. I get an opener of incense, Play-Doh, followed by a big spoonful of vanilla, and … Play-Doh. I agree the smell of Play-Doh is theoretically a comfort scent, but not for me. Maybe I´ve spent too much time trying to dig it out of the carpet and cracks in the floor with a toothpick. Actually, Play-Doh is officially a banned substance in our house, pretty much for that reason.

Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur – Cait wrote the funniest thing about how her dad´s shorthaired pointers were REALLY digging this scent when she was trying it out. Definitely the sort of smell that, if I´d taken a walk through the neighborhood, all the male dogs would have jumped their fences and pursued me with One Thing on their minds. It´s that dirty, and I love dirty, so I loved the first 30 minutes of this. But then it´s just vanilla and amber. Okay, okay, still some musk there, but where goes the trash-talking, junk-in-the-trunk part? I got so bored I dumped some Jicky parfum on top of it. Hah. NOW we´re talkin´! If I keep doing that I´ll probably burn a hole through my hand but, God, it was so good it must be illegal.

Serge Lutens Tuberose Criminelle (Part 3) – I refused to actually put this on, I gave my sample away, and Robin and Patty told me I had to get it back and try it, so I did. The Big Cheese and I work together. He looked over at me the other day with a thoughtful expression and said, you´ve really got your bitch on today, don´t you? It was true. I did. That sort of day is useful for taking care of outstanding administrative snafus, so I applied half my large vial of TC and headed off to the bank to offend some people regarding an account there. TC answered two questions for me: first, can you hate something on yourself while other people love it? (Yes. I got not one but TWO compliments on this, one of which was still during the Vap-o-Rub phase). Second, can the beauty of the drydown overcome the horror of the opening? For me, sadly, no.

Wild Woods by Coty – well, this reminds me of something (SMN Citta di Kyoto?) It does NOT remind me of the rest of the current Coty ouevre of watered-down classics and wretched musks (Vanilla Fields, anyone?) This is labeled for men, and would smell great on a guy, but it´s a perfect unisex frag that makes me think of those thin Japanese incense sticks. Thanks to Marina for turning me on to this one. If you like a dry, woody incense, buy this online for $10. (No, that is not a typo.) It´s so good, Coty will probably discontinue it. If someone asks you what they´re wearing, I think what Marina and I finally came up with was “Bois Sauvage.”

Gazelles, John Fields
Nymphs and Satyr, William-Adolphe Bouguereau

  • marchlion says:

    Katie — since you brought the subject up, the first time I saw the ad blurb for My Queen I thought it said My Queer.

    I thought, wow, that’s a ballsy campaign.

    Frankly, I was surprised how boring the juice was. If I had to nominate a frag for My Drag Queen, it’d probably be Fifi Chachnil.

  • marchlion says:

    Patty — nope, but I WISH that was my dog. That’s a right fine lookin’ standard poodle in that (completely uncredited) photo I snagged off the ‘web. Our pood is this weird 3/4-size thing, we refer to him as our Substandard or Nonstandard Poodle.

  • Katie says:

    I’ve now decided I can live without ever having tried the POTL. I’m one of those people who’s skin is so attuned to the “Play-Doh” note that I turn perfectly good fragrances into the stuff. Although, I DO like Hypnotic Poison, which is totally vanilla and Play-Doh, but I don’t even care, ’cause that one comes across like Play-Doh is a right sexy mofo.

    Also, am I the only one who silently adds the word “DRAG” to the “Meant To Make Every Woman Feel Like A Queen” spiel? Not that it smells that way or anything, so perhaps it’s just a stupid personal glitch in action there.

  • Patty says:

    March, is that YOUR dog? 🙂

  • marchlion says:

    P, for me, I think it’s like… when I look at MUA and people are talking about Jicky, and to a lot of people it smells (literally) like sh!t. They use the word “fecal.” That is not what I smell, but I understand why that might be what they smell, and I understand further that something that smells like sh!t is not going to be a big draw for them. I’ll commit to trying TC every now and again, but I think the camphor is my sh!t equivalent.

  • marchlion says:

    Cait — well, anything would smell better in Paris! In my mind I contemplate wearing En Passant while walking around the 6th on a rainy April afternoon. I think the sheer gorgeousness of that would probably do me in.

  • Patty says:

    Now, I used to hate that TC open, but now I just revel in it, knowing what is to come. I think it must be what masochists go through, enduring the pain and assalt on their nose so much that that sweet, sweet drydown is every so much more enjoyable. Now that open smells deeeelicious!

  • Cait says:

    :rotfl: I am honored to have tipped you off to the true audience for MR; who let the dogs out(?) Ultimately, I tend to agree, March. Jicky is clearly more interesting. Though I also agree with Marina that the cardamom is hella yummy. HELLA.

    If I could get a heart shaped diffuser for my rearview mirror, I’d endure the company of even the most precious of my local SAs.

    March, try TC next time you are in Paris. I think it was made for that setting. I get into the sewer on cool seine air vibe. I love TC.

  • marchlion says:

    Robin — according to someone (Cait? I’ll blame her) it’s the same wintergreen oil scent that’s responsible for both the Vap-o-Rub in TC and the floral chiller of Malle Carnal Flower, there’s just a heckuva lot more in TC. I revisited Carnal Flower recently, and I went from “not me” to total adoration, not sure why the big change of heart. The TC… the green smell (which registers in my brain as Camphor, even though that’s not quite right) remains too prevalent, even hours later, for me to work around it. It’s just a smell I really, really loathe. The Serge Cumin in Oranger, for instance, I hate, but can only smell directly on my skin, so I just don’t sniff myself and all is paradise. But that camphor — ack!!! It’s all around me, hours later, like a gas cloud. Therefore I can smell the presence of the tuberose, but not come close to a real revel in its beauty.

  • marchlion says:

    Marina, this is why I love comparing notes. I get NONE of the spices in MR, must be why you read it as a comfort frag? And the POTL — not sweet, just a *dead ringer* for Play-Doh. Eau de Play-Doh.

    Oh, yeah, I remember your Nelli Rodi review! Hm, thinking they’re not going to be quoting you on their website. I appreciated your eliminating a whole line for me, actually. Thanks.

    Fine, rub my nose in your $3.99 Wild Woods. I say it’s a bargain at twice the price!

  • Robin says:

    Cracking up at the 2 compliments for TC! Go, TC!! But please be specific: are you admitting to the glory of the dry down? You just can’t live through the opening?

  • marina says:

    My Queen is a definition of Blah and Meh. Why did they bother releasing it?

    POTL, how I dislike thee, and how thee dislike me. I suspect it wants to kill me. Whether it is warm or frosty weather, it is out to cloy me, to strangle me with its super-sweet amber fumes.

    I guess I am very lucky regarding MR, because it is full of spices on me in the later part of the scent. Half of my kitchen spice-rack is in there 🙂 Mmmm, cardamom…

    I love Tubereuse Criminelle. The horror of the beginning doesn’t put me off. This kind of stuff doesn’t scare me anymore, I am immune. Well…unless it is something from Nelly Rodi’s scent factory. There was some scary stuff there.

    And, finally. Bois Sauvage. Bwa ha ha! BTW, don’t buy it for $10, it’s not a bargain! I bought mine for $3.99!