I would like to start today´s Candy Samples post by thanking Christopher Brosius of CB I Hate Perfume for creating a new scent, Black March, in recognition of my extraordinary work on Perfume Posse.
Okay, that´s a lie. But had I hired Mr. Brosius to do a custom fragrance for me (a service that is available on his website) I doubt he could have come up with anything that pleased me more than Black March.
My interest in fragrances most likely started with gardening and its associated smells. Black March is earth, wet slate, root, damp, sap, trowel, rhizome, hint of earthworm, clay, moss, light rain. It gives me an extraordinary pleasure buzz. I am now experimenting by layering it with light florals, since it plays the perfect supporting role with that earthy sap base. It is strangely metallic and wonderful with Hiris. Combined with Rose Ikebana (Patty´s suggestion) it is Nirvana. If you like virtual reality fragrances, gardening, or just the smell of playing in the dirt, consider this one.
Micallef Rose Aoud à¢â‚¬” I may have the sweet-eating skin that kills off many a floral, but it doesn´t seem to eat roses very well. However, I think this would send someone who is a fan of rose and aoud right to the moon.
Serge Lutens Borneo 1834 à¢â‚¬” I could tell by the look of shock on my mailman´s face that we´d had a Fragrance Malfunction. Fortunately I clued him in awhile ago what all those packages are, since I didn´t want to scare him with the occasional leak. Wouldn´t you know it, this is the one that blew à¢â‚¬” not some gentle, ethereal thing (one of the Bulgari Teas, maybe?) but freaking Borneo. I bet you could smell it all the way down the hill. Anyway, I was thrilled, because this and MKK are my only remaining Dirty Serges on the to-smell list. So. Borneo smells more chocolately and less skanky than I expected, although I’m not sure I am up to its challenge. Its spicy, mildew-sweet fug reminded me of another weirder-than-weird fragrance I love à¢â‚¬” Etro Messe de Minuit à¢â‚¬” only Borneo is more animalic. Anyone else notice that similarity, or were the fumes just getting to me?
Straw Hat à¢â‚¬” I read Legerdenez´ review and had to have it. It is my new non-vintage Vintage. It reminds me of my (fictional) Aqua-Net-wearing, Chesterfield-smoking, rule-breaking grandmother. Notes: lemon, lavandin, geranium, rose, violet, heliotrope, patchouli, vanilla, musk. It´s on clearance for $6.99 at Vermont Country Store, which I´m taking as a sign it´s been discontinued. This stuff in vintage sells for $300 on eBay. If you poke around in the Yankee Bargains section of their website you will discover some other heavily discounted fragrance gems. I can personally recommend theà¢â‚¬¦
Eau de Fraicheur by Weil, which is your standard summer cologne along the lines of 4711 that is, yes, a dime a dozen. But c´mon, $3.99 a bottle!?!? You can leave it in your glove compartment and freshen your car with it. This has a deliciously retro feel and all of the lasting power you´d expect (which is to say, pretty much zilch. It´s small, tuck it in your purse.)
The Vial I Found on Top of the Dryer (Part Deux) à¢â‚¬” This was in the last candy samples. Then à¢â‚¬¦ it disappeared. Now it´s back. I have to know what it is à¢â‚¬¦ a hint of tobacco? Maybe a little Tea for Two-ish, but less so. I am sending it to Colombina before it gets away again, this strikes me as her sort of thing.
Ines de la Fressange à¢â‚¬” I bought this on clearance, unsniffed, from Sephora because a) the notes sounded good (Neroli, Mandarin, Bergamot, Blackcurrant, Lily of the Valley, Peony, Orris, White Rose, Patchouli, Benzoin, Musk, Vetiver); b) it was on clearance for $20; and c) Cheezwiz recommended it, and we like a lot of the same things. It is a charming summer floral that wins me over because it is not too sweet. Layered with Passage d´Enfer, my go-to incense that adds sparkle without burying the original fragrance, it’s so wonderful I´m considering decanting them into one bottle and starting my own perfume line.
L´Instant Pour Homme à¢â‚¬” Having failed to find anything to appreciate in the various iterations of L´Instant for women, I´d never gotten around to Pour Homme, even though I love Guerlain. On the blog recently I was asked about this one (thanks, Dusan!) and I took the challenge. What a dunce I am for not trying this sooner. It is a rich, delicious citrus/patch cologne that dries down to citrus-incense with just a touch of my beloved Guerlain skank. By the way, I am not a fan of major patchouli, so I was a bit worried, but this one is not your hippie-love-oil patch, nor is it especially masculine.
L´Artisan Ananas Fizz à¢â‚¬” it begs the question, do you want to smell like a canned, overly-sweet pineapple? My answer is no. For whatever reason, I´ll smell like an orange, or a pear, or even an apple (or a cucumber, or a carrot), but this? No. However. If you´re the coconut-cocktail-type (think of the smell of a pina colada) this might be for you. Full Disclosure: Colombina reviewed this recently and it sounds like it´s delightfully tart on most people.
Annick Goutal Muguet à¢â‚¬” Bois de Jasmin did a lovely LOTV roundup recently, and the AG Muguet came up. There was some talk that it had been discontinued. Maybe it has, but I re-checked and it is available from my local Neiman Marcus, so if you´re hankering for a bottle, it´s out there. I am not the Queen of Muguet, but the AG is stunning. It manages the green sweetness of the flower without being cloying, and without the acrid note that is present in some of her other soliflores.
Etro Anice à¢â‚¬” I don´t want to smell like a pineapple, do I want to smell like a licorice jellybean? I am still deciding. This is anise, start to finish, and I love the smell of anise. I bet this is going to be a big winner in July here when the asphalt is melting and I can barely lift my head.
Vow 2006 by Vow Fragrance à¢â‚¬” Scentzilla did a post on this line of limited edition EDPs I hadn´t heard of, for the Bride in your life. A lovely, grown-up (but not too) summer fragrance that would be a nice gift for the future bride or her bridesmaids (great idea, Katie à¢â‚¬” why not give a fragrance instead of some stupid tchotchke?) My other entries in the Bridal Fragrance category would be Vera Wang Sheer Veil and Marc Jacobs Blush.
Hot Dog à¢â‚¬” Scentzilla and I share a fondness for off-the-wall perfume oddities. I was frankly a little disappointed that this didn´t smell like a hot dog (there´s a measure of how outràƒ© my fragrance tastes can get!) This is a tasty fig-coconut-oil summer fragrance somewhat along the lines of Bobbi Brown Beach, without the half-smoke on the Boardwalk. Scentzilla wowed me after the fact by informing me that this is actually a fragrance for your pooch. Personally, I think my pooch would like Musc Ravageur.
L´Artisan Eau de Artisan à¢â‚¬” depending on the day, this is either a straightforward, perfectly acceptable unisex cologne along the vetiver-petitgrain line, or all that with an interesting metallic/earth/ozone twist. I much prefer the twisted version.
Okay, you lurkers (and regulars, if you´re interested): this week I am having a Fracas Giveaway: Piguet Fracas is à¢â‚¬Å“the queen of all tuberose fragrancesà¢â‚¬? as Robin aptly describes it on Now Smell This. I need to clear some more space off my perfume shelf. If you´d like my partial bottle of Fracas (it´s opaque black, I don´t know how much is left, but probably a lot) and the matching dusting powder in a glass shaker, leave a comment below saying à¢â‚¬Å“I want that Fracasà¢â‚¬? or something to that effect. I´ll do a drawing, Number One Daughter will pick a random number, and I’ll send it, free, to one of you. I’ll announce the winner on Thursday.
Icy branch, wvec.com
Straw Hat cologne, vermontcountrystore.com
Photo from my wedding (that’s the Big Cheese, center)