The Grail and the Candy

As you may know, renowned perfumer Clement Gavarry has been working on creating “Holy Grail,” signature scent for Marina (a.k.a. Colombina the Terrible) of Perfume-Smellin´ Things. The creative process is being posted on Made by Blog, where there is another fragrance under construction for Katie of Scentzilla. Marina is looking for a fragrance I will refer to as “a wearable MKK” with a skank factor of at least 8 (with MKK being a 10).

I´ve smelled the first two mods, and Clement still has a fair distance to travel down the road to Skankdom, although I am sure he will get there. At any rate, musing on these mods, I came up with an idea so boneheaded and completely wrong that I knew at once I had to do it. I created, over the weekend, three potential Holy Grail fragrances using combinations of existing fragrances. I have sent these sample viles vials off to Marina for her ridicule, and she will be posting her review of them at some point (assuming they don´t kill her), along with her best guess as to their compositions. I´ll let you know when her review is going up. I am sure Mr. Gavarry will ultimately create her perfect HG, using, you know, genuine perfumery skills as opposed to my laughable rip-offs, but why not have fun while we wait?

Disclaimer: I am aware that my little project is, on its face, absurd, and does not begin to approach the true art of perfumery. Any resemblance to Marina´s final Holy Grail will be purely coincidental. Furthermore, I am not poking fun at Made By Blog, a project that is fascinating and inspires both awe and envy in me.

On to the candy:

Reichenbach Golden Drop EDT – From Scentzilla, source of many fragrance oddities. I can´t find a single note on this, so I´m on my own. This fragrance illustrates the many wonders of Difference in Perception, because she included a warning not to smell it under any circumstances for the first half hour, and then it would morph into something special. Well, hon, of course I spent the first half hour sniffing it enthusiastically, waiting for whatever horror you were trying to spare me. I´m guessing its dirty-old-lady-perfume vibe puts you off? (An aside: generally I perk right up when reviewers on MUA or Basenotes complain that some fragrance is old-ladyish, because that usually means it´s a chypre, or maybe an ornate floriental, and thus I´ll probably like it.) I thought the first half-hour was great, in a mink stole, don´t stand-too-close-in-the-elevator way. You´re right, though – it dries down into a 60/40 incense/floral on me that is so delicious I want to lick my arm. This thing is $24 on PerfumeMart, which means I´ve probably just written a paean to something approximating Stetson, right?

Parfumerie Generale Iris Taizo – Patty sent me a bunch of PGs. First of all, I´d like to thank Patty for sharing this windfall of weird fragrance love. Second, I´d like to remind everyone that Iris Taizo is the fragrance Patty declared such a total scrubber that she posted that great picture of the woman in a gas mask. Third, I refuse to believe this is Iris. Iris only smells like urine or feet on me. This smells like — okay, it still doesn´t smell like an iris flower, and I know, I know, they never do. But it´s sharp and sweet, honeyed incense, and the cardamom makes the iris note is less powdery, more shimmering. This must smell like what folks are getting when they´re waxing all poetic over Iris Silver Mist, when all I get from ISM is armpit, a frowny face, and, if I don´t scrub fast enough, a migraine. (incense, cardamom, iris, Jinkoh wood, fig-tree honey.) Patty, I think it must have been the honey that killed you.

Parfumerie Generale Harmatan Noir – Patty and Colombina gave this the big thumbs up, so in our weird Triangulation Venn Diagram, of course I´d hate it. What are you two gals going on and on about, with the tea, the tea, the glorious tea? (Colombina even called it “darker and smokier than lapsang”?!) I don´t even get tea, much less the incense and patchouli. All I get is 90% ambered honey, which is pretty enough, but the deal-killer is the 10% dish-soap overlay. Ugh. Where´s that gas mask?

Parfumerie Generale Buttcrack Asso Aomassai – (caramel, hazelnut, spices, vetiver, bitter orange, balsam wood, incense, licorice, wenge wood, resins.) First fifteen minutes: cràƒ¨me brulee, candle wax and buttcrack. Total Scrubber. I left it on out of sheer perversity — I figured the drydown couldn´t get any worse. After half an hour that heinous sweetness disappears and it´s completely different, sort of a woody, spicy smell with what registers to me as strong pipe tobacco, although that´s obviously not in the notes. I still wasn´t wild about the fragrance on my arm, but I think it would be a great room spray.

Paul & Joe Blanc – (Hawthorn, Angelica, Almond, Sweet Pea, Freesia, Rose, Musk, Heliotrope, Cloud of Milk.) Yikes. This is a fabulous fragrance — on someone else. I think it´s the hawthorn and angelica that´s chafing me? I´ll try it again in a few days, but my guess is it´s coming up soon in a bottle giveaway.

Caron Montaigne – I tried. I really did. I opened my leetle tiiny mind up as wide as it could go and just took it in. And this one just confirms. That. Caron. Is. Not. For. Me. Again, objectively, this is a gorgeous fragrance. But that base! (Caron base: geranium, licorice, leather, iodine, and vanillin.) I can´t get away from it fast enough. You Caron fiends should definitely check it out, though.

Patou Vacances – I . want — I want to bathe in this. Come hither, perfumed slave boys, and tend to me! Grandma´s lilac, but only if Grandma drove a Bugatti and married a member of minor European royalty. Lilac, something green — I Am The Queen.

This week´s sample giveaway is — Apothia! Your own professionally sealed, store samples of Velvet Rope, L, and If. If you want them, say so in the comments below. I´ll announce the winner Thursday.

mad scientist image:

  • cait says:

    I love the entry about Vacances and I plan to repeat it as my mantra: “Lilac, something green, I am the queen!!!!!” I want Vacances soooo badly.

  • March says:

    TMP — hey, bud, you’re supposed to be WORKIN’.

    You’re in for the drawing.

  • March says:

    Dinazad — I don’t think I’m objecting to the buttcrack per se. It’s the hazelnut-praline buttcrack combo I find oddly nauseating./:)

    Montaigne — airy, garden loveliness … oh, I wish it were so on me.

  • March says:

    Katie — yeah, I can sorta see that. But I found it loud AND pleasant. It’s a funny one. Great price, too!

  • tmp00 says:

    Aomassai- I love it myself, but I have to say your review (the title of it especially) made me laugh out loud- so hard that someone came to my office to check on me. Damn! Busted! :d

    Please enter me in the drawing.

  • dinazad says:

    You mean that sliver of stinkiness that cuts through all that caramel and creme brulee in Aomassai is Odeur de Buttcrack? Frankly, that’s what makes me like Aomassai. I love perfumes in which an animalic (or as that nice guy who answers to your questionnaires at Parfumerie Generale put it: almost sulfurous) thread puts opulence (which I adore) into perspective. E.g. Chopard’s Madness which so few people seem to love (sob! poor thingie – it’ll be sure to always find a loving bosom to rest on with me).
    Now Montaigne does not have that in my perception. It is all airy, English garden loveliness on me. I still love it though….
    I’d love to be entered in the drawing, by the way.

  • Katie says:

    Hm, sorry. That should read “every tester sprayed at a department store AT THE SAME TIME.” Ooops!

  • Katie says:

    Ach, with the Golden Drop I was trying to warn you off that opening that to me smells like inhaling the collective smell from every tester sprayed at a department store – it’s overwhelming and loud. As it settles, I find lavender, clove, certainly there’s cinnamon and nutmeg, musk, ambergris, and a vanillic ping that is quite tiny. I just think the opening is heavy and slighty mentholic, and not particularly as enjoyable as the rest of the scent I guess 😉 I really have no info on the notes either, so that is just a guess – and your guess is as good as mine or anyone else’s as to what the hell is in it!

  • CIndyN says:

    Iris = urine or feet! Too funny. I guess we all have a body chemistry issue. Mine is mimosa = BO.
    Anyway, please enter me in your drawing.

  • March says:

    Veronica — you’re in! BTW I found that photo by googling, but the creepy thing is, I do look a little like that gal. My hair’s better.

  • March says:

    Missy — well, there you go. That Cuir in her review does sound amazing.

  • March says:

    Robin — dang, I still need to send you your Stinky Orange and something else…

  • March says:

    Pam — that’s hilarious. Thanks for the tip. I got a bottle of Mitsouko that way — it was spelled Mistouko, or Mitsuoko, or something…

  • March says:

    Patch — yeah, where ARE those slave boys?:-w

    You’re in for the drawing.

  • March says:

    missy — sorry. MKK is shorthand for Serge Lutens Muscs Kublai Khan (which I have probably just misspelled.) It is, in my opinion, the Baaaddest of the Bad in perfumery (with SL Borneo a close second). It is, I guess, an animalic, leathery musk, and is probably better experienced than described. It has its devotees, and Marina is one of them. It and Borneo are both truly amazing scents. They are not, however, part of my personal repertoire.

    You’re in the drawing!

  • March says:

    Marina — oh, yeah. I took careful notes. Most of which will only highlight what a dope I am. So you can Rebuild these. I bet you already own most (if not all) of them.

  • March says:

    Patty — well, you know I’m all about sharing the love:d How could that Blanc thing be so evil?

    Looking forward to your rag on ISM.

  • March says:

    Ina — I am looking forward to the review.

  • March says:

    Marina and the rest of you — puh-lease, do NOT sweat the typos in your comments. First of all, it’s clear what you meant to say. Second, remember you are commenting on the post of a woman who realizes days/weeks later that I have misspelled the NAME of a fragrance I reviewed. (French in particular vexes me.) How embarrassing is that? Here — check ahead in my comments, I am going to attempt to spell out MKK for missy without looking it up. $20 says I can’t do it.

  • March says:

    Judith — yes, I have heard that MKK is wearable…=)) Seriously, I was striving for what I think Marina is looking for, which is something a little more subtle and … effervescent? Rounded? Golden? Without losing its edge. We’ll see how I did.

  • Veronica says:

    “March, you look so cute in your lab coat!”

    Oh. I thought it was Shirley from ‘Laverne and Shirley’. Or a young Linda Ronstadt. (I mean that in a good way.)

    Please enter me in the drawing. Merci beaucoup.

  • missy says:

    Ho Ho Ho! I am ignorant no more, for I now know that MKK: Muscs Koublai Khan!
    And boy does it sound nasty!
    And gosh I’d like to try it.
    Thanks to Columbina for name checking it today in her review of Cuir.=:)

  • Robin says:

    Hey, since I’ve already been blessed with one of your custom fragrances, I have faith that you’ll make something perfect for K 🙂

  • Pam says:

    March, I love your HG project idea. Can’t wait to read M’s reviews and then your reveal. BTW, if anyone is ever looking for Vacances on eBay, be sure to try Jacances in your search as well. No kidding.

  • Judith says:

    Well, at least Marina didn’t type “to” for “too.” Sigh. I wish we could edit our comments.:)

  • patchamour says:

    Hey, what I want to know is where can a dirty old lady get some of those perfumed slave boys? LOL and HS (holding sides). I’d love reading these posts even if I hated perfume. Can’t wait to hear what your mixes are.

    Please enter me in the drawing. Merci.

  • Ina says:

    Marina, I thought you were drunk in that first comment of yours. :d

  • missy says:

    ummmm…………what is MKK? (hating to reveal ignorance)
    Please enter me in the drawing. Thx!

  • My goodness, I should never write comments before I drink at least 2 cups of coffee. That one was just gibberish. Somebody, please, delete it, take a pity on me!

    What I meant to say was:

    March, you look so cute in your lab coat!

    I cannot wait to try my viles…um vials. But what are we going to do if I love one of them so much, it is full bottle worthy for me? I’d have to buy the bottle of all scents you used. Did you write down the proportions and such?

    And I second everything Judith said above, including the part about Vacances.

    *crawls away in shame*

  • Patty says:

    How can you just be so… well… wrong!? 🙂

    I agree on the blanc. I think that’s the one that I put on in the store, and my mom, sister and niece made me shop on the other side of the mall until I could get home and shower. Had all the charm of camel spit.

    I am just dying to sniff these, um, things, you’ve concocted.

  • Ina says:

    March, you’re truly one of a kind. Please don’t ever change. Can’t wait to read Marina’s impressions of your lab project! :d

  • March, you lok so cute on your lab coat :d

    I cannot wait to try my viles…um vials. But what arew e going to do if I love one of them so much, it is full bottle worthy for me? I’d have the bottle of all scents you used. Did you write down the proportions and such? 😡

    And I second everything Judith said above, including the part about Vacances.

  • Judith says:

    I love your project, although I will point out that to my nose (or on my skin), MKK IS wearable (I am sure M would agree) and Aomassai is delicious! Well, we are not complete EFTs because I really like Vacances to.:) Can’t wait to see M’s reaction to your concotions!