It must be time for some new candy samples, which also gives me an excuse to drop in a thing of beauty by one of my favorite painters:
John Singer Sargent — Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose
Floris Malmaison: I was jonesing for a nice carnation, and Boisdejasmin recommended this one. Victoria, I kneel at your sweetly-scented feet. The smell of a spicy carnation with a kiss of cloves and a warm base of a lightly powdery, delicate musk. Gorgeous.
S-Perfume Lust: Some fragrances go wrong on my skin through no fault of their own (Serge/Sheldrake Bois d’Anything springs to mind here). Some things are just all wrong straight from the bottle, and Lust is one of them. This falls squarely into my Rasputin’s Armpit category a photorealistic rendition of a hairy, unwashed underarm in humid August. If unwashed armpits are your lust thing, or if you think I’m wrong, email me and I’ll send you my large-ish sample. Possibly the nastiest smell I have ever deliberately applied to my person.
Shalini: it costs $400 an ounce, notes are tuberose, neroli and tiare- so don´t spill it, honey. A soaring, ethereal white flower arrangement, created by Maurice Roucel. It manages to be every glorious thing it promises on the Aedes website, without the cloying aspect I would usually find from a fragrance this rich (in all senses).
Mona di Orio Carnation: Top notes include bergamot, clove and geranium. Middle notes include ylang ylang, violet, jasmin and precious woods; Base notes include musk, amber and styrax. This is a faintly spicy, face-powder smell, with a touch of a musty, sweet mildew. Meh. Nuit Noir: Top notes include orange flower, cardamom, ginger and orange guinee; Heart notes include olibian, cinnamon, tuberose, sandalwood, clove and cedarwood and base notes include amber, leather, musk and tonka bean. I wanted to love this one, Columbina says it’s a winner. On me it is, well, animalic to the point of zoo-smell, served with a generous dusting of cinnamon and a squeeze of orange. Lux — Top notes include Sicilian lemon, litsea cubeba, petitgrain bigarade. Heart notes include vetiver, cedarwood and sandalwood Mysore. Base notes include musc, amber, vanilla bourbon and labdanum. A cheerful, lemon-y winner. Not an entirely novel concept, but still quite pleasing in a fresh citrus-cologne way.
Creed Fleur de The Rose Bulgare: What a bitter disappointment. Many sophisticated fragrance friends said this is the most true of roses. On me it manages to be (paradoxically) thin and cloying, a high-end-catalog silk erose, rather than a rose. I might as well give up writing fragrance reviews right now, after all, I’m the flake who found Malle’s Une Rose to be the most realistic thus far. My 11-year-old Junior Nose pronounced it “fake like cherry candy.”
Escentric Molecules Escentric 01: is based around the radiant warmth of Iso E Super, taken in an unprecedented concentration of 65 percent. Ornamenting the radiant wood tonality of this fascinating aroma-chemical is the sweet piquancy of pink pepper and the verdant tartness of lime peel. Orris incense veils the velvety composition with sweet delicate smokiness; its subtle sensuality underscoring the darkness of Iso E Super — Aedes. Ooooo-kay. I’ll take their word for it. I figured anything with this chemistry-set approach was worth smelling if only because it’s such a refreshing antidote to the ‘natural perfume is better’ cant. (Natural how? Better than what?) I’m not going to begin to pretend to understand the mechanics of this fragrance. (There’s also a whole precious blurb about the brilliance of their binary-code bottles, which I’ll spare you). I am simply going to tell you that I did one of those road-runner-type screeching stops when it wrapped itself around my olfactory receptacles. It is a really, really cool incense smell, brightened by lime and some other juju like somebody’s holding the whole thing up to a powerful source of light. Unisexy.
Molecule 01: is composed solely of Iso E Super, an aroma-chemical with a warm woody tonality. It possesses a velvety quality that is simultaneously elusive and tenacious. Well, not that elusive — it smells like Windex and pepper, and half an hour later it’s just pepper. It’s interesting, but I much prefer the Escentric 01, even though I’m not sure it’s worth $135. All niche perfume sample that are referenced can be found at Surrender to Chance