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