Candy, Sloth, Greed

What´s the rule for the fruitcake samples? You know – the vials of marginal fragrance that get thrown into your swaps and orders as freebies.

Not the good stuff Luscious Cargo threw in because they´re hoping you´ll buy it. (You will). Or the surprise decant of a Caron Urn scent in a swap. I’m talking about frags like that carded sample of Liz Claiborne. I mean, I´m sure somebody out there wears it – she sells the sh!t out of that stuff. (Or maybe not … is she dead?) But I’m not going to be the one to pass it on.

Don´t get me wrong – some of my absolute favorites I´ve gotten as afterthoughts from other folks that (possibly) it didn´t work out for. But some of those things look a little suspicious to me.

Okay, ’nuff said. Let’s move on to today’s Candy Grab Bag reviews:


Sloth by S-ex Perfumes – Last time I did a screed on 100% Love, another S-ex perfume. I laughed and sneered and snickered at the whole sperm-driven marketing approach for this company. I laughed at everything but the actual juice, which is a knockout. Well, shortly thereafter, I received a gift package from Sacre Nobi, the Andy Warhol (Wizard of Oz?) behind the S-ex Venture. I test-drove Sloth, in part because Scentzilla said it was orange (I love orange) but mostly because it would give me the opportunity to confirm my suspicion that the Emperor Has No Clothes. I mean, come on. Sloth? Like the zoo animal? Oh, wait, no, like the Deadly Sin which lends itself so well to the art installation (and internet beefcake photos). And, well, goddamn these people. It´s orange, sure – but orange and WHAT, exactly? Luca Turin, did you smell this one before you went AWOL? Because I need your handsome schnoz to smell this and tell me what the hell that other note is. Pine-Sol? Barbicide? Linoleum and rosemary? Some kind of green, mildly industrial smell. The juice is so sniff-worthy and lip-smacking that if I run through my sample at my present rate I may have to, um, buy some more. And that will just kill me. I am refusing on principle to smell the others in the package until next week, because this is clearly some sort of nefarious plot against my personal scent integrity, and I am pissed.


10 Corso Como – I like this, really I do. But since I’ve gotten four of these in a month, unsolicited, I am beginning to wonder: is there enough of this in existence to cover two-thirds of the face of the earth? “The fragrance is a rich scent that has a warm sandalwood base with more subtle hints of frankincense and rare oud wood so expensive, it is sold by the gram in India. [Oh, as opposed to the usual perfume ingredients, which are so cheap they´re sold by the 50-gallon drum at Sam´s Club?] The result is a wildly romantic mix of rose, geranium, vetiver, musk, sandalwood and Malay oud-wood oil.” – Beauty HabitOn me it’s a fairly butch vetiver/sandalwood, with just enough oud to make me dream. I’ve got to get some of those Montales…

Versace Dreamer – I spilled this all over myself making a decant. What a great fragrance this is, why do I forget about it? I don´t smell the Tootsie Roll note, or the auto parts accord, or some of the other weird things people get in this (see NST for a hilarious archived review). A smooth leather jacket and a hint of tea, with a little caramel, and something else that absolutely does not exist in nature, but if it did it would be a comfort scent. This is a men´s fragrance – using that term in its loosest possible sense. Like David Bowie.

Etro Eliotropo – Eliotropo must be Italian for “invisible.” Gone. Zip. Nothing. (Nadie?) Same thing with the SMN Heliotrope. Or maybe P´s filling the empty vials with water?


16310 Yuzu Rouge – I smelled the cheap yuzu oil at the Gap, which grabbed my interest just enough I asked Marlen about yuzu, since he’s in Japan, and he got busy and made a whole list of yuzu frags. I randomly selected this one because there were decants on eBay. If you like your iced tea unsweetened, if you wish the lemonade you´re served had half the sugar, if you like to suck on the occasional slice of lime just for the buzz, get yourself some of this. It smells grapefruit-ish, only more so, and much more sour. I love it. It´s also sitting on a base of something (vetiver?) that makes it a summer cologne rather than just a one-off fruit note.

L´Artisan Tea for Two – My favorite winter tea scent – a smoky lapsang opening that drifts into cherry pipe tobacco, a soft leather armchair and a good book. A regular comfort scent.


Serge Lutens Chergui – boisdejasmin reviewed this, reminding me that I´d bought and forgotten about my sample. This may turn into my first actual Serge purchase. (Full disclosure: they´re so generous with sample atomizers at my local boutique that I´ve been able to wear Un Lys, Fleurs d´Oranger, A La Nuit and Clair de Musc regularly without having to purchase them. Yet.) Leather, tobacco, sweet tea, incense, and the base that comes along eventually in a number of other SLs, including Douce Amere and Arabie. On me: a winter comfort scent, along the lines of l´Artisan´s Tea for Two, only Serge-ish – denser and sweeter.

Serge Lutens Tuberose Criminelle – Jesus H. Christ. Maybe it smells like heaven, but I´ll never know, because I´ll never get past the camphor opening. I gave it to my sister-in-law. She just laughed. She wouldn´t even try it on.


Serge Lutens Rahat Loukoum – Patty recommended spraying this on liberally to really garner the full effect. She must have been mad at me about something. I appreciate the IDEA of this scent – inspired by the sweet almond-cherry Turkish Delight. It´s the reality I can´t live with. Unbearably cloying almond and cherry cough syrup, drying down into a musk I´m not loving. Buy yourself the Jergens Original hand lotion and spend the $100 you saved on something else, but not…



Baby Phat Goddess – I was actually reserving this one for a full review, but I couldn´t face it. A perfume that makes Britney Spears´ Curious look like one of those baffling, rigorous intellectual journey-type fragrances you´d see in some hipster perfumery in Amsterdam. Gardenia, White Rosebuds, Cedrat Flower, Blue Lily, Hyacinth, Black Pepper, Seringa, Musk, Exotic Woods, eye of newt, strychnine. WARNING: DIGRESSION – do you really *mean* seringa? As in, the fairly rare deciduous caterpillar tree of the African veldt? Or do you mean “syringa,” or lilac (or even mock orange), which is what I smell? Do you think nobody notices these things, or looks them up? Or can spell? This is shaping up to be a general perfume gripe of mine… anyway, Baby Phat Goddess is the perfect reflection of its creator, Kimora Lee Simmons – loud gardenia and hyacinth top notes, vulgar, artificial-smelling lilac, its cloying sweetness giving way to the bitter truth of a nasty drydown. There is Skank, and there is Crap. This is the latter.

Le Parfume de Therese by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle – If I´m remembering correctly, this is the fragrance Edmond Roudnitska created for his wife´s exclusive use, released to the public later on. You don´t need to buy it – you can make it yourself. Here´s how: 1) Go spray yourself with some Bandit. 2) Now put some Diorella on top of it. 3) Go buy some cilantro, chop it finely, and smear it all over your body. Et voila.

Floris Cefiro – I know, I know, I ragged on this one already as a scrubber. But this is an update. I sent it to Patty. (Don´t worry, I warned her). Here´s her feedback: “Cefiro is a nasty little thing, it had to go in the trash. :)”

Oh. So that´s what you do with the fruitcake samples!


Doze (yeah, right) –
The Begam of Oudh,
The Pipe Lighter –
Turkish delight –
Kimora nurturing the bling, uh, girls –

  • marchlion says:

    Katie, I should stop already about the Cefiro, someone really nice sent it to me. It’s… strong.

    I smelled Curious and Goddess on the same trip. Robin was right; Curious is not that bad. Comparing it to Goddess two minutes later, lemme tell you, Curious could have been a Malle parfum. I totally forgot to check on the price! Maybe she’s charging xtra for the bling on the bottle?:smile:

  • Katie says:

    Oh good lord, Cefiro. You know, that has consistently been the one Floris I’ve never cared to revisit. I sniffed it all of ONE TIME from a tester (not on skin, though) and wondered “who cares?” I can’t even remember enough about it to hate it.

    I love that picture you found depicting the “elegance” of the crazy lady who I don’t even have to mention by name now that I’ve placed the word elegance between quotes. I didn’t react quite so severely to her scent, but I am not surprised that most of us will H. A. T. E. it deeply. What’s most jarring to me is the price she’s getting away with charging for it. Sheesh. Stuff and nonsense is what that is.

  • marchlion says:

    Yeah, that Yuzu is the bomb. I like that sour smell. The Dreamer… I find it very wearable. That, however, is not a universal feeling. Reading Robin damn it with faint praise is very, very funny (Marlen liked it, though!) It was on Chandler Burr’s original Weird Perfume list, too, I believe.

  • Cait says:

    I LOVE Yuzu Rouge. Love it. It’s kind of like one of the IUNX waters. I wish it weren’t so pricey, though. Running outta my decant.

    Of the group you reviewed, the Yuzu is my favorite, the only one I really love.
    But I want to try this Dreamer scent everyone raves about. Sounds good.

  • marchlion says:

    Robin — between you and Patty. Okay, okay, sheesh. I’ll try TC again. The opening is like sucking a mothball, though. It’s hard when it’s a smell I particularly loathe.

  • marchlion says:

    M, wait — are you joking about never speaking to me again, or joking about Therese being One of the Greatest Scents Ever Created?:smile:

    Wow, I worked at that one. Honest. I just …. couldn’t get there. ::sob:: It was like Bandit, only more so, and that’s saying something. I felt like I’d been mugged.

    S – perfume. There must be ONE of those I hate…. b@stards.

  • marchlion says:

    V, thanks for the tip on Therese — a much better way to go about it. And thank you SO much for your take on Sloth… maybe I should get some petitgrain oil, I’m very fond of what I think of as its fizz.

  • marchlion says:

    P — well, if I actually BUY the Chergui, I’ll ruin my track record as a mooching cheapskate. But you’re right. I do want it.

  • Robin says:

    I have been laughing since yesterday about your description of my beloved FM Therese.

    But begging you: try the Serge TC again. Give it a chance. Really. It is worth it.

  • Marina says:

    I am considering not talking to you ever again. Such disrespect to Le Parfum de Therese, one of the Greatest Scents Ever Created. *shakes head in disbelief*

    Just joking!!

    Finally we get to read your review of Baby Phat. 🙂 Agree with everything. There is skank, but this is crap.

    And finally, S-Perfume. I was just like you. Sperm on the packaging? No way, Jose, I thought. I am addicted to several of their scents now. I love them with the intensity of a new convert 🙂

  • Victoria says:

    Fantastic series of review! Le Parfum de Therese is a stunning beauty, but if I were to go about making it myself, I would rather substitute Eau d’Hermes for Bandit. It is Roudnitska’s own, leather based, with even a touch of cilantro, so you do not need to worry about green stains from the chopped herbs! 🙂

    As for Sloth, I smell orange blossom, jasmine, some green notes, all finishing with a slight metallic twist. Smells remarkably like petitgrain oil I have. Very easy to wear.

  • Patty says:

    Kimora, cheesecake and hash pipes… all in one post. Dude at the top in amazing.

    So get that Chergui so I can try some. C’mon, you know you want to.

    And the Criminal is amazing. Think of it as menthol to clear your nose for the smell ahead. I think I’ll wear some tomorrow, I have been missing all that nose-clearing goodness. But that little thing that peeps up is so beautiful in an hour!