Initially, all I had up here was the following:Hey, thanks for checking in. You’ve probably noticed there’s not much here right now. That’s because I’ll be typing this whilst most of you are still asleep in bed. Please check back later. Love you.
Hence the first comments below. Just clarifying. I’m a lazy git.
When you’re an addict, you’re always waiting for the next hit to arrive at your crib, and I’ve been blessed with more gear than I know what to do with these past couple of weeks, dog. Yo yo, I’m only using some of these silly words because part of that delivery was three of L’Oeuvre Noire by my brother from another mother, Kilian ‘Down wid da Crew’ Hennessy. More on that later.
Let’s start with generous of heart Gina. She posted me out two of her recommendations – one for the men’s scent category and another by Creed. The first was the discontinued (?) Yohji Homme. Now, I’ve not looked into this one’s availability – for all I know, bottles are selling for £££ on Ebay. Oh, sorry, you probably need a financial translation. Bottles are probably selling for $$$$$$$ on Ebay… It’s good enough to be in that daft situation. Gina said it was a scent that screws with her; sometimes she loves it, other times she wishes she’d worn something else.This might be due to a combination of factors – it’s both a gourmand (coffee, licorice, rum, I think) and slightly astringent in the classic fougere mode. It’s lovely actually. Coffee notes often have me running for the hills; here it’s handled with deftness, offset by an appropriate level of sweetness. This is a man’s scent without the chestwig or the scuba gear. Beautiful. I might have to add it to my list. Epicea, the Creed, is much more straightforward. I’m already familiar with the same brand’s Cypres-Musc, which is a full on pine scent – quite dry, with the musk only becoming prominent at the end of the scent’s life. Epicea’s more subtle, but still very much unadorned in style. No flourishes or shifts into strange quarters. None of that chilly Creed metallic quality that has infected their scents since the 80s. Although pine dominant, the scent is also fairly sweet. A touch of hesperidic top notes are made slightly less acidic by this aspect, and very rapidly the pine takes over. It’s joined in a rousing chorus by spices. Cardamom is particularly prominent with its perfumey floral ‘is it cold? Is it warm?’ scent play. Another lovely winter warmer. Thank you Gina.
Bryan, who sometimes makes an appearance on this site, is probably one of the most generous people I’ve ever communicated with. I had two huge FedEx parcels arrive a couple of weeks back, and it’d be rude to put a value on the contents, but let’s just say that boy doesn’t mess about with his giveaways… The main reason for this was he wanted to hand over his bottle of Chypre Rouge, as he no longer wears it. Chypre Rouge is old news really – lovers; haters; can’t-be-bothereders. But anyway, this is the first time I’ve sprayed the perfume – I’ve only ever tried it via samples and roll-on decants before. I loved it then, and love it more now. Celery schmelery is all I’m saying. It’s a weird jolie-laide affar, but somehow made more beautiful by its diversions and quirks. Bryan, you’re the most marvellous guy a guy could know. Thank you for your generosity.
Onto Chaya. Now, I love this woman for many many reasons, and I’m not going to enumerate them all here. But one is her true and unstinting generosity of spirit, in time and action. She sends out parcels to all and sundry – it’s a wonder she can fit in her nursing, her yoga, her weight-training and most importantly her lovely family given the amount of time she must spend down at the post office. I won’t go on as I’ll embarrass her, but if you’ve ever received anything from her, perfume or otherwise, you’ll know exactly what I mean. And she’s the reason for my fo shizzle rubbish up above. She sent me three by Kilians – the butchest ones, I think (no marshmallow, tuberose or mystery third, the main accord of which I forget). Like many, I’ve found it really easy to laugh at the absurd copy of the website before sniffing the scents. It is of course funny that a fey little Frenchman with pursed lips, trying to do his best Byronic pose but not really having the stubble coverage to muster it (let alone the cruel sneer), should link Baudelaire and Pharell Williams. I guess on one level, these R’n’B stars are no longer street; their wealth separates them from that reality pretty quickly, I would think. And that is the hidden connection here – they’re all rich boys, selling cool in one way or another (the first to, most frequently, middle-class white boys, the second, most frequently, to nutters like us). But the assumption in the copy that there is equivalence in the poetry of one of the greats of decadence and the lyrics of contemporary R’n’B is one of those daft relics of postmodern free-floating relativism that needs to be jettisoned forthwith. Bring back Kant and categorical imperatives, I reckon.
Sorry about that. I was going off the point. And probably referencing philosophy inaccurately. That’s one of my worst habits. Onto the scents. Least favourite of the bunch was A Taste of Heaven. It starts promisingly and is the colour of Gucci’s Envy, which seems an appropriate link, given its moniker. Initially, there’s a medicinal blast -the absinthe? -which quickly softens and widens in quality becoming rich and vanillic early on. But then – straight into classic, bog-standard male cologne territory. Dull, really. Straight to Heaven is better. Its list of notes reads like a ‘Suits Lee down to the ground’ menu and once again, the opening salvo is wondrous. Patchouli is rendered lithe and limber by rum, almost convincing me I’m smelling something like a spiced orange. But then it fades. And fades some more. And then develops a note that blights so many male scents that I actually want to remove it from my skin. And NOW, godammit! It’s lovely for a while at least – as I imagine heaven itself is. Not sure I could cope with it for all eternity though. My favourite of the trio was Cruel Intentions, but I’ve misplaced the vial and can only go on memory. And my memory is terrible. This is a scent that plays on juxtaposed notes – there’s the sharpness of oud and the softness of something else, the doodah of A and the shoeshine of B. You get the picture. Please, fill in the blanks for me – it’s actually pretty good, though not all those $$$ of pretty good. And feel free to praise Chaya in the comments below. She’s worth it.
The last scent I’m going to mention is one I actually paid for myself. I know. Can you believe it? Outrageous… It’s Cumming. Late to the party, I ordered this unsniffed. It’s one of Katie Scentzilla’s favourites, and that woman has good taste. It also looks like it may be discontinued – discounted everywhere I looked, including the one place it’s available from in the UK – hqhair.com. To keep this short and sweet – I don’t get much squeal of rubber (though I can see why others do), singe of smoke, or much whisky for that matter – though it seems more present later on in the scent. But I do get something I love. One of my favourite smells ever is the cheesy, biscuity, earthy quality of dogs’ paws. I’m not a pervert, honest. It’s here, in Cumming, in spadeloads. It must be truffle + mud = dog paw. I love it. It is a damp, open air smell and it does perhaps capture some aspect of Scotland – more the dank drizzle and mist than the expansive views and heather. Please, don’t buy this unsniffed. It’s not really a perfume proper until it dries down to its last moments. Like many of Brosius’s creations it’s an experience rather than a skin fragrance. Though there are plenty of us weird enough to wear it often. And you’ll need to wear it often if you wear it at all, as it doesn’t have much tenacity.
I’ll leave the last words to Matt. I’d told him nothing about it, but made him sniff it last night. ‘Eurgh, that’s wet leaves’ was all he said. He did say CDG’s Palisander smelled ‘bucketty’ (?) though, so I’ll leave it up to you whether or not you take his words on board. Sometimes I think he has perfume-related Tourette’s.
As I haven’t done this in a while, for samples of some of today’s scents, leave a comment below and I’ll notify you who got lucky in next week’s post.
Oh, and by the way, that’s the terrace of avarice and prodigality above. In hell. Don’t say you weren’t warned.