Byredo Gypsy Water and Breathing Gods

First, winner of the Tokyo Le Labo Gaiac 10 sample is:  monkeytoe.  Click on the Contact Us button to the left and send me your address, and I’ll get this in the mail!  You are in for a spectacular treat.

What a great name for a perfume – Gypsy Water! Before I spritz it on, I am seeing swirling, colorful skirts and shirts, castanets, flashing black eyes and white teeth set in dangerous faces that know a little too much about fun.

Does the fantasy hold up?  Well, very few of my fantasies don’t melt in the light of day.  Top notes of bergamot, lemon, pepper and juniper berries; middle notes of incense, pine needles and orris; and base notes of amber, vanilla and sandalwood.  Hmmm, this isn’t sniff-reading dangerous at all on the open.  Well, according to the literature,  this is “a fictional glamorization of this lifestyle filled with mystical woods and earthy influences.”  Well, it is earthy-ish and woody, but mostly it’s really freaking cuddly.  I want all my sweaters to smell like this.  It reminds me of something – Pafum Sacre underpinned with some not too sweet vanilla — is there something else like this?  This is snuggly and woody warm.  Couldn’t we have had just a little paprika in it for sauciness?  Well, it’s certainly a nice little cuddly scent, but the price tag is $195 at Barney’s for 100 ml, so you may not find that much cuddly to be in your budget.  Do you think it’s too expensive to spritz on my bed and pillowcases?  Maybe if they made it into a dryer sheet?  I really want to sleep in this.

The latest update of Perfumes: The Guide listed B Never 2 Be Busy to be — wait, B Never Too Busy 2 Be Beautiful, I think it is – annoying name, they should lose it — Breath of God as a newly minted, Genuine Five-Star Masterpiece, along with Chanel Sycomore.  B (I’m not typing that ghastly name more than once) is an offshoot of Lush that’s now also in the perfume business.  Of course I had my credit card in hand hovering over their website to immediately possess this Masterpiece.   Smoky notes, sandalwood, amber, neroli and patchouli with rose, lemon oil, floral notes and jasmine.  Sounds pretty generic, doesn’t it?  When I first spritz it on?  Motor oil can filled with flower petals, not holding the aluminum note in the least.  Listen, I love Santa Maria Novella Nostalgia and Goutal’s Eau de Fier, so this is never something that I look at as a bad thing.  I smell some bergamot, like SMN threw a little Eva in with the Nostalgia.  It’s definitely got its finger on the pulse of interesting, may even have it shoved up in the corner necking with it like crazy.  But I have to hold firm on this.  I love my oddities in perfume, love to wear them, sniff them, regale people with how freaky they are, but I just can’t put them in the Masterpiece category if I can’t argue that it’s a little mainstream and won’t send your average perfumista screaming from the store on the open.  This one does eventually yield a little, and the florals make some of the weirder things sit in the backseat of the oil-smoking Chevy, but you get up close, and it’s a freak, pure and simple.  Being also super-fun and interesting, I’ll happily wear it on dates with men I don’t want to see again, but no Masterpiece star from me.  The good news is this PTG Masterpiece is relatively cheap.  I can’t remember exactly what I paid for this huge bottle, but like 40 pounds maybe?    They have smaller bottles available for a lot less. 

Hey, it’s almost Christmas, and I have this big honking bottle of Breath of God sitting here, so let’s give away some more samples.   Drop a comment, tell me your favorite freak perfume and I’ll draw out five names to win a sample!

  • Simon Snider-Nevin says:

    Hey there,

    I read in the Toronto Star that this B is fantastic so I wanted to check the web for other opinions. It’s good to get yours!

    My favourite freak perfume would be Poison by Dior. It is an odd but good one.

  • Tania says:

    I have a few freaks in my collection, for sure!

    There are the CDGs – the Odeurs, which, combined, are how I imagine Battlestar Galactica would smell on laundry day. And Tea, from their Leaves collection, which is pure lapsang souchong and/or creosote. I like it, but other people start looking for fire extinguishers. The same goes for CBs Burnng Leaves.

    Then there are the MACs. I have the three oils they did a few years back – Asphalt Flower, Instant Karma and Hypersouk. They are interesting, but wearable? Apparently, not so much. I get comments such as ‘can you smell gas?’ and ‘there must be a head shop near here!’

    But my favourite freakazoid scent is Kingdom. I don’t have it, but every time I try it, I’m half, ‘must have’ and half, ‘but it smells like I just had sex in a cake shop!’

    I don’t need to be entered into the draw, thanks – I already have BOG. Only a small spray though, as I wasn’t sure I liked it. Most of the spray is gone, and I’m still not sure… 🙂

  • dleep says:

    Worth Courtesan smells kind of naughty and freaky on me. Please include me in the drawing.

  • Style Spy says:

    For favorite freaks I’m going with Bulgari Black (which I sniffed for the first time b/c of Luca’s review, btw) and Tubey Crim, both of which are exquisitely strange, endlessly interesting, and truly beautiful. I think I’ll also toss in CdG Harissa, she of the sunny, vegetal, herbaceous summer afternoon cheeriness. It smells like nothing else, and never fails to lift my spirits.

    Would love to sniff Breath of God. Will it make me a believer?

  • cataleptix says:

    I’m new here and hooked deep.
    Freaky perfume…is there something that smells like the
    sound of black ice groaning under the stars?

  • mollypenny says:

    I have to agree on the Criminelle. That is the freakiest opening to me by far. And then the frog turns into the most exquisite prince. It totally freaks me out how it does that. Also agree on the Dzing, freaky deaky opening but LOVE the settle of the saddle.

  • Barbara says:

    My best freak is Pure White Linen Light Breeze, because suddenly I am a cheerful, put together soccer mom. And that is really friggen’freaky to me…Please enter me in the drawing. I have no idea where to get these wonderful scents, and am now going to go exploring.

  • missy anderson says:

    My favorite freak frag is Bond No. 9 Andy Warhol Silver Factory. I’m not sure if it’s odd enough to truly be a freak, but it’s the closest thing to freak in my wardrobe. Please enter me in the drawing.

  • elve says:

    Favourite freak perfumes: Dzing, Burning Leaves and Patchouli 24. And I would find some more in my drawer easily, but these are what comes to mind fist.
    I’d love to sniff BOG (which, btw, means god in Polish 🙂 )

  • G~ says:

    I don’t have a freak perfume yet. However, I do have some crazy ones, and one that makes me mad. I find Dzing by L’artisan to be just as crazy as the name suggests, namely circus. A cheery one at that with lots of smelly animals. Also, I find that Sweet oriental dream by Montale indeed is like being drunk on sugar. Simply because I can’t stand sweet scents in general, and to me that one is like Turkish delight, sweetened with honey and roses to that. And still I like it. Anyway, I’d love to be in the draw!

  • rachaelg says:

    diptyque l’autre? I guess that’s my weirdest. dzing, miel de bois, and all the other “weirdos” smell tame on me. I’d love to be entered in the drawing!

  • noyna says:

    Would love to try this! Your description had me laughing…BOG indeed…

  • Ashley says:

    I’ll echo everyone who mentioned Bulgari Black. I was really hesitant about wearing it when I smelled it on paper, but I find it very wearable. I think I’m going to finally break down and try Miel de Bois; I’m even more curious now about it. Please enter me in the drawing. I’ve been itching to try BofG ever since reading the guide update!

  • snowcrocus says:

    Is it anything like tauer’s mechanic/hyacinth thing?

  • Mariekel says:

    I love skank notes in perfume (with the exception of MH Rien, which was just TOO dirty nappies for me), so it takes a lot for me to find any perfume freaky. That said, I have a lingering fondness for the smouldering cinder block that is Eau de Fier, Amouage Jubilation 25 (super skank!)and my own skankaluscious combo of Noir Epices and Steam Oud. Like a Turkish steam bath someone left a half-peeled orange in…

    Please enter me in the drawing!

  • sybil says:

    Please enter me in the drawing! Freakiest scent that also smells good is Bulgari Black. And freakiest scent that’s supposed to smell non-freaky (on me, anyway) is Kenzo Flowers–smelled weirdly like Chinese food. And bad freaky would be Miel de Bois, and I’ve had TERRIBLE luck w/ Andy Tauer’ Orris. Strictly my fault, it smells great in the sample.

  • Nancy says:

    I’m joining the Miel de Bois crowd. I love how it smells on me, but I have discovered that what I smell is not what those around me smell! I have had some disturbed looks and puzzled comments while wearing it. Please count me in for the draw for BoG. I would really enjoy trying a sample.

  • Francesca says:

    I don’t have a freak fragrance, either, though some people (ahem!) might put The Party in Manhattan in that category . . .

    These two sound very intriguing. Plus there’s a lovely Wiccan prayer that starts “Breath of the Gods.”

  • Tara says:

    My freakiest unwearable scents are Odeur 53 and 71.. I just keep them to sniff the bottles once in a while. Freakiest wearable scent is Byredo Pulp. That one is just weird, but compelling. Please enter me in the drawing!

  • samantha says:

    Good morning….I’d love to be entered in the drawing please, B.O.G definitely sounds interesting. I’d have to say my favorite “freaky” fragrance is CB’s Greenbriar 1968…the notes of hay,pipe tobacco,leather,dirt and a bit of axel grease are strange for sure but the result is really lovely.

  • Elizabeth says:

    I can’t read that name without the old hymn “Breathe on Me, Breath of God” playing in my head.

    Tubereuse Criminelle is pretty freaky. On me, It smells like flowers smeared with Icy Hot!

  • Masha says:

    I love to be in the drawing. My favorite freaks are Black Cashmere, Yatagan (the scent with steel balls), and Kenzo’s Jungle L’Elephant, which has had its share of raised eyebrows, let me tell you!

  • Kristy says:

    Comme des Garcons Odeur 71 is seriously FREAKY. I read in a review somewhere it smells like Robot Cloaking Odor. As in, to cloak one’s self in a scent that smells like robots, and that’s exactly what it is. Even a touch too weird for my blue haired self.

  • violetnoir says:

    Uh-oh, Patty…Did I mess up? I just received my bottle, too, was waiting for my decanting supplies, and was going to send you some of mine. I’m so sorry!

    Anyway, I agree that BofG is weird and freaky, but really not a masterpiece by any standard. I much prefer their 1000 Kisses Deep, which really is nice, at least a four star. Unfortunately, I kept the fancy spray bulb on my bottle, and it dried up! :-w


  • hvs says:

    CB I Hate Perfume Burning Leaves. Yes, it’s lovely, yes it smells exactly like burning maple leaves, and yes, it freeeeaaaks other people out.

  • Linda says:

    Oh, definitely Andy Tauer’s Lonestar Memories. It smells EXACTLY like a well-remembered boat dock in the sun. And sunscreen and someone’s perfumed hair. Takes me back to a teenage summer. But… well, that hot-tar-wood-and-dust-and-fuel-leaking-from-the-outboard accord, that’s special.

    Also, yes, Dinner by Bobo for its sweatyness, and Dzing for its leather, stables & circus peanuts, and Sables for its hot-maple-syrup-or-electrical-fire-just-getting-started aura…

    • Natalie says:

      Oooh, thanks for reminding me of Lonestar Memories. The opening smells to me like burning garbage in a Third World country — but in a good way!

  • EnKei says:

    Shalimar smells awful on me – would that count as a freak scent? Can you enter me in the drawing anyways?

  • Dea says:

    Comme des Garcon Synthetic: Skai is pretty freaky for me. I feel like an anime character when I wear it.

    Please enter me into the drawing.
    Cheers everyone! ~~dea

  • elizablue says:

    wow, those sound great! i don’t count demeter as a contender so much because it lasts about 2 seconds, but i love their Dirt scent. i wish it did last because i love to layer with it. i also love to wear this crabtree & evelyn thing just called “cologne”. it is lovely and dirties and deepens almost anything! please enter me in the drawing! thank you!

  • Nika says:

    In my world MH L’Air de Rien wrestles with SMN Maresciala(is that the right spelling?) for a Freak title. I love and wear both, but many people around don’t get them. I was sitting in the movie theater wearing L’Air de Rien when my sister asked me:”What’s that smell, is there a bum sleeping under the seat somewhere?” Needless to say, I never mentioned it was my perfume:d
    Would love to be in the drawing, thanks!

  • helenviolette says:

    Hmmmm- now it is hard to fly the freaky flag, b/c of my acquired tastes. I remember thinking Dzing! and Bulgari Black were strange at first whif…I do have to be in a freaky sort of mood for Bal a Versailles. Hope to sniff this “masterpiece”!

  • Ben A says:

    I’d love a sample. Please enter me!

    Favorite freak perfume: Miel de Bois, my sample of which I happily used up, but tried to do so entirely in private (never before have I seen such instant hatred from my wife). Montale’s Aoud Lime finishes a close second.

  • Pam says:

    I’ll have to say Montale Aoud Lime is my freakiest scent that I actually love to wear. The freakiest scent I have that I just can’t wear at all is Diptyque L’Ombre dans L’Eau. On me it smells like a dumpster behind a florist shop, filled with stagnant water.:-&

    Oh, and please enter me in the drawing!

  • MJ says:

    That is THE worst name ever, if product names are supposed to be easy to understand and remember in total! Too many Bs!! Yowza!

    But I’d try a sample, so please enter me.

  • Jenn says:

    I love the Lush fragrances, I would love to try BOG!!! My favorite freaky fragrance is Escentric Molecules Escentric 02, because I totally get the brand-new Apple computer scent!!

  • Nancy says:

    Please enter me in the drawing. I think that I have been freaked out too easily in the past.

  • Lora says:

    Well, I won a sample of the Social Creatures Frankfurt Kitchen, and I think I’d call that freaky. There is something in there that I can’t quite place my finger – or nose – on. Is it alcoholic? Chocolately? Coffee? I don’t know, but it sort of makes me wince, but I also sort of like it …

    Please enter me in the draw.

  • kathleen says:

    I must agree with Magpie, Tubereuse Criminelle, camphor & floral, weird. I find it addictive, though. Maybe Black Oud, as well, which I also love.

    • KarenG says:

      I 3rd Magpie and kathleen’s Tubereuse Criminelle. Just the opening is freaky on me, and I LOVE it. It’s too short lived, however, it soon turns to a very generic tuberose. Sad.

  • Magpie says:

    I think my fav freaky scent is Tubereuse Criminelle. Though not as freaky, I think, I also really love Tauer’s Lonestar Memories, which is decidedly an “I’m wearing this for me, not you” scent.

  • dinazad says:

    I’d love to be in the drawing! Thanks for entering me!

    As for freaky fragrances: I find most of the scents listed above rather nice and sometimes a bit tame. With the exception of Chypre Rouge, which is weirdly fascinating. And Eclix la Perla, which on my smells of sardines and vanilla.

  • March says:

    Oh, I want some!! Can I have some? Where’s my eye-batting emoticon…. 8-|

    Based on the comments, we clearly need to do a post on freaks.

  • Aimee L'Ondee says:

    Didn’t LT also love Superworldunknown? Has anyone smelled that one?
    I’m dying of curiosity now!

    Dzing is my favorite freaky perfume, and I’m definately in the market for more! Sign me up for the drawing!

    • donanicola says:

      Heh Aimee (lovely name) I’ve sniffed the superworldunknown – it made me laugh out loud. Sweet, fruity vanilla and I thought quite trashy but I got to say I really liked it (fun!) and may cave on a bottle of body spray in the summer. They talk about the circus as an inspiration but to me it was fairgrounds.

  • donanicola says:

    Removing my head from where its been buried for what seems like months (piles and piles of invoices – nothing interesting) just to quickly say I sniffed this on Saturday after reading the latest from Tanca and it is weird. Good for what it is, but weird. On the other hand the “male” side of the composition, Exhale, (woody incense) is absolutely lovely and I’ll be buying a bottle in the New Year. Most of the B scents were at least interesting and many downright fun. I’d recommend anyone in Oxford St/Covent Garden over the weekend for last minute shopping to drop in and sniff. Fun cosmetics and products also available. Have been enjoying the blog from a distance cos of work to which I must now return but Festive Greetings to everyone!

  • Graham says:

    Hmmm…. I think my favorite “freaky” perfume (or perhaps ANTI-perfume) would have to be CdG’s Tar. I’ve always enjoyed the smell of bus diesel fumes, asphalt, and oil…. I get a little of all that with Tar. Kind of a weird comfort scent for me – always evokes travel/road trips (and odd flashbacks to grade-school field trips on chartered buses)… 🙂

  • Melissa says:

    It takes a LOT to qualify for freaky with this crowd, dontcha think? When I really consider the lineup of starring notes of some of my favorite fragrances, I marvel at how my tastes developed in this direction. But listing them here wouldn’t make anyone bat an eye.

    The ones that come to mind are similar to those that others have listed and generally fall into the categories of whip-cracking leather or gloriously skanky and sometimes both. Bandit certainly, La Nuit de Paco Rabanne and Nuit Noir by Mona di Orio may not be truly “freaky” for us, but they might raise the eyebrows of the non-perfumista crowd. Do they count? In any event, I would love to be in the drawing.

  • Shelley says:

    Breath of God. Is this a vengeful god? My mind reels at the possibilities of what might emanate from the bottle based simply on the name…thank goodness you looked the god right in the eye! o:-)

    Favorite freaky perfume? I’m the one who thinks Bulgari Black is a comfy vanilla, who runs from most florals but loves me Black Cashmere. On the other hand, don’t get me started on Kingdom yet again… (I guess that makes Bulgari Black, maybe, my favorite freaky…I don’t think of myself as such…to me, Fracas is freaky–freakily powerfully headache inducing tuberosinous.)

    • Musette says:

      Oh, c’mon…..Fracas is just a nice, flowery little flufferbunny!!!

      And I am Marie of Romania.=))
      (just kidding – I love Fracas and wear it in many iterations).

      You and Kingdom, I swear. Whazzup with dat? I have you to thank for the intro and I love it but admit to being seriously amused by your Pushmepullyou relationship with that frag. We’ll have to have coffee again and discuss this at length.

      Patty (trying to shorten the thread here) – my Freak perfume would have to be either Yatagan or Aromatics Elixir. Yat smells exactly like armpit on me – and nothing BUT armpit so it’s basically unwearable. AE is a Migraine Waiting to Happen but still I try to embrace her every now and again and get the beat down every.single.time.

      Would love to be entered in the draw!


  • meg jamieson says:

    freaky…Dinner by Bobo. Mandy Aftel’s Tuberose and Cepes. But in very, very different ways.


  • fountaingirl says:

    Oh yay what fun! I really want to try this.

    Hrm. I’m going to nominate Nikki de Saint-Phalle for freak status here. It’s heady, sweet, spicy, and if you get up close, a wee bit *poisonous* smelling. I decided I had to have it for my signature fragrance when I was 14, so I wandered the halls in high school trailing this very aggressive waft behind me.:))

    (I think that it was the snake bottle that did it actually. I wish I still had the painted miniature, it was lost in a move. I have since learned that choosing perfumes by the pretty bottle is a lot like choosing wines by the pretty bottle — you get a cool bottle but may end up wondering what in the world to do with what is inside!)

  • Erin says:

    Goutal’s Eau de Ciel is freaky on me but perhaps only on me –the green parts smell a little like uncooked hot dogs after a bit…

    May I be registered, please?

    • Pikake says:

      uncooked hotdogs….that gave me my first “laugh out loud” of the day, for real. Thanks for sharing your freakishness.:o)

  • Gail S says:

    Ahh, been wanting to try Breath of God enough to drag my fingers out of the sickbed for a few minutes 8-x

    It may not seem like much of a freak fragrance to perfumistas, but my Black Aoud sure does raise some eyebrows when I wear it. There’s not a lot of weird around here, at least perfume-wise.

  • Connie says:

    I don’t have a freak perfume yet, either. However I would love to be included in the drawing. Thanks!

  • Zoe says:

    Shared first place: Chypre Rouge and Miel de Bois. Ye gods. I’m sure there are some eminently wearable creations by Lutens, but I’ve only chanced across the weird, so far. Bvlgari Black wins for freaky AND wearable.
    Hey, shouldn’t this be a category in the BN Awards? Most freaky perfume.

  • pyramus says:

    Does Tabu count as a freak scent? Because it’s dirty filthy shameful. It’s a cheap floozy. In a good way, of course.

  • Roland says:

    Not only by it, but buy it, too. Duh. 🙂

  • Roland says:

    I love the names. If it was cheaper, I’d by the Gypsy Water… I’d love to sample BOG, too!

  • zeram1 says:

    Freak as in odd or as in way cool? Hmm, I would have to say Mancera Silver. Would love to be in the drawing as well.

  • Well, freaky is as freaky does. I can’t wear Bandit as it overwhelms me in a dominatrix-jasmine sort of way. But I wouldn’t call it freaky. Lots of people wear it and survive. For me, “freaky” are all the concept perfumes that smell of . . .nothing. Or someone’s memory of nothing. L’Animatiere from Les Nez is one of those. L’Aire du Rien is another. Fill up a bottle with alcohol and hire a writer who drank the rest of the alochol and you have a freak flag flapping in the wind.

    And sure, sign me up for the Breath of God sample. Must smell like the nose being chased around by a bolt of indignant lightning. Now THAT’s an image!

  • Weezy says:

    Does Borneo count as a freaky frag? It’s certainly not your typical womens scent. I feel like I’m wearing a big hunky sexy pendleton shirt wearing boyfriend. I love it and can’t wait to get some more. I would like a chance to try the BOG!

  • Juno says:

    What a great name for a perfume. Both of them actually.

    I think the oddest thing I have smelled is Feu d’issey which smelled like the alley behind a restaurant…on a space station. Which is not entirely bad.
    Black Tourmaline and Black Cashmere are two of my absolute favorites and Dzing makes me laugh whenever I wear it.
    Would love to try the Breath of God though, it sounds fascinating

  • Mindy says:

    I don’t have a freak perfume yet. Can I still be entered in the giveaway?

  • Natalie says:

    Depends on how you define “freaky,” right? I’ve seen Black Tourmaline described as a sausage roasting over a campfire, and then there’s the dirty-undies backstory behind Bandit… Those are eminently wearable to me, however, but I do have a sample of something called Umami (that “fifth taste” thing), which smells like the air conditioning exhaust vents of certain big New York City apartment buildings (yes, it’s a very specific smell!). I’m still trying to figure out why anyone would want to smell like that…

    Breath of God is sounding vaguely like Tauer’s still-in-the-works Hyacinth and the Mechanic, but I’m guessing the latter will be divinely wearable if it’s anything like his other creations. Nevertheless, I would love to be entered for the freaky BoG sample!