New sniffs on the block

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 – 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.

  • Amarie says:

    Love your post as always Lee.
    I too have been intrigued by Cumming, and am interested in how it developed on you. I love smoke and whiskey, but dog’s paws and wet leaves….that sounds pretty o.k. too.
    Please put my name in the hat 😡

  • Solander says:

    I’d say “eurgh, dog paws!” and “yum, wet leaves!” instead, but nonetheless, your description of Cumming is perfect. Glad you smelled it at last! It’s such a soft, cuddly comfort scent for me, but not as in a roaring fire and a glass of scotch, as a drizzle of rain so soft it’s almost a mist and a woollen sweater.

  • chayaruchama says:

    Lovin’ you all right back !
    Dog paws !
    I’m with ya, it doesn’t get much better than that- inless it’s cat/ cavy tummy…
    or lil’squirrel breath on your hands !
    or Clydesdale sweat…

    Can I ‘Cumming’ with you ?

    Welcome home, Patty !

  • Dusan says:

    I have been trying all effing day to connect to the net. Finally, sheesh! (will spare you the adjectives)
    Patty’s here, yoohoo!
    Kudos to Gina, Yohji is splendiferous in a “not-in-your-face” way.
    You know, I’ve been nurturing this special fondness for you and Bry since my review of La Myrrhe, you’ve been my bestest of friends ever since 🙂 Chaya I like to call Mother Earth, her warm embrace knows no boundaries…
    On a more profane level, I think Wet shoulda been called Cumming. Or summing.

  • Susan says:

    OMG! “bucketty” & “dog paws” – all in the same perfume post-
    You are too funny!

  • Robin says:

    Cumming really is a great scent, wet leaves & all. Just the perfect thing for this time of year.

    And thanks for more confirmation that I don’t need to get samps of the by Kilians!

  • Gina says:

    Lee, I was SO happy to send you the Epicea and the Yohji. When I get bigger decant bottles, I’ll send you some more of both. I bought the bottle of Yohji about a year ago after reading what Luca Turin said about it in the NZZ Folio. I paid 60 bucks, and actually hesitated on doing that! I’m thrilled you like them both, I think they have a strange beauty, and I’m all about strange beauty.

    I LOVE the smell of dog feet! I think they smell like popcorn and dirt.

    • Lee says:

      Are YOU a strange beauty Gina. Popcorn and dirt – it’s kind of true (though dirt in the UK doesn’t mean the same – it’s simply a catch-all for unclean stuff. We use earth, soil or mud I guess… Whatever you call it, it’s there)

  • Marina says:

    Referencing philosophy inaccurately is such a horribly annoying trait…or so I’ve been told many a time. :d:x:x:x

  • Divalano says:

    Oh my word. A perfume review that includes both bucketty & dog paws. How could I not want to read you every week? lol, thank you. And thanks to Gina, Bryan, Chaya & everyone else who keeps you supplied so that you can come dazzle us with your wordsmithery. And lastly thanks for convincing me I don’t really need to immediately endanger my credit cards by rushing to find samples of By Kilian. Unless of course on off chance I win the draw, then all bets are off. Enter me, please? Thanks 🙂

    • Lee says:

      You’re entered, and I’m sure you don’t mind me phrasing it that way…:”>

      I think your credit cards are safe… for now.

  • tmp00 says:

    Bryan is a wonderful man and Chaya is a lovely woman. They are the best, and it can’t be said enough.

    It must be a Cumming week- I ordered a decant of it from the Frip and the review of it will hit next Friday on PST.

    I know you can buy it at his site:

  • Elle says:

    Cumming is such a brilliant scent! I was surprised it wasn’t edgier, but it’s an immensely comforting, wearable scent and I’ll be very sad if it’s being d/ced. I’ll also have to stock up. *Need* it. Oh, but due to some unexpected kindness from the fragrance gods, you can still find Yohji Homme for fairly reasonable prices. Great stuff.
    I completely agree w/ you on those three Kilians. But I think I hated Taste of Heaven more than you did – a total scrubber on my skin. Reminded me of uber cheap shaving cream. Shuddering at the memory and still have the traces of a raw spot on my hand where I used a Mr. Clean sponge in a desperate attempt to make sure it was absolutely gone.
    Joining in w/ the Chaya love. Always look forward to reading her comments on the blogs and boards – has to be one of the most interesting, fun people around and clearly has a heart of pure gold. And how great to hear about Bryan (love his posts) and Gina as well – obviously there are a lot of incredibly wonderful people in the perfume obsessed community.

    • Lee says:

      Oh yes – we should all praise each other more often. Maybe I should track down a bottle of Yohji… Hmm…

      And *whispers* I did scrub off the Taste…

    • Anne says:

      Elle, did you say a Mr. Clean sponge? Am crying with you as I look at a raw spot just above my wrist. Yes, a Mr. Clean Sponge. Did take take Shocking off, not a trace left but several layers of skin are MIA! Seemed like such a good idea…………

      • Elle says:

        Oh, I feel for you. Literally. 🙁 My skin burned for hours afterwards. I adore my Mr. Cleans for everything else, but I think from now on I will stick to a vigorous scrubbing w/ liquid Tide and a follow up coating of unscented deodorant to get off toxic smelling samples.

        • Lee says:

          I once scrubbed something off with a similar Brit thing and had lacerations on the back of my hand. It was probably what I’m stupidly testing again right now… blech (a Guerlain Christmassy AA. How did I forget how much I hate this?)

  • Billy D says:

    You’ve got me interested in Chypre Rouge again…but you did not rekindle my interest in Christopher Brosius. God bless the man for carrying out his vision, but I have yet to find a CB that actually works beautifully on me. Maybe I should seek out Cumming?

    Now if it were cats paws, then we’d have a deal.

  • Sharon says:

    Nice reviews Lee! I too love Chaya. I send her big hugs and much love. ((((((((((Chaya)))))))))))).

  • dinazad says:

    Oh, and I wanted to add: I agree, Chaya’s the greatest, cat’s pyjamas, bee’s knees, you name it. Lovely person!

  • dinazad says:

    Ahhhh, Yohji Homme – beautiful! The others sound quite interesting, but I have to say that the horrendous prices for new “luxury” niche perfumes make me want to go back to the days when 4711 was all I needed. Fact is, high price doesn’t always mean quality, even if it is marketed as such. Grumble….

    Wish we could get Cumming hereabouts – it sounds very interesting, to say the least!

    • Lee says:

      I know – these prices! I’ve had to pimp my body to pay for Bois d’Armenie – it’s not been pretty, but the perfume’s worth it.

  • March says:

    Well, did he mean bucketty in a good way? Or a bad way?

    Look, Patty’s back! Squeeeeee!!!!!<:-p I'd be sad if they d/c'd that Cumming. I don't think I ever saw it in a single store, only online. Deep discounts all over the place is not a good sign.

    • Lee says:

      No idea, though I got three ‘ooh lala’ style comments in Palisander at work… Two women wanted the name so they could get Christmas presents for their husbands…

      And lots of people were touching me in the office yesterday.

      So Palisander is now my hubba hubba scent…

      Yeah, doing the Patty boogie over here….

  • Anne says:

    Lee, heard/read so many descriptions of Cumming. None have made me THAT interested enough to seek it out. Until now. Dog paws! If you are crazy for loving that then I and my two grown daughters are standing in the lineup beside you. We snuggle lots with our two family dogs and specific smelling of the paws goes with that. The best description we could come up with was dirty Fritos corn chips. Your descriptions are so much more creative. For dog paws alone, please enter me in the draw. :)>-

  • Patty says:

    Horribly behind, but love you, miss you all, will be posting tomorrow!!! xoxoxoxoxo

  • Abigail says:

    Thank for the lovely post full of lemmings, semi-lemmings and I guess hell-lemmings.

  • Louise says:

    Lee, you deserve every parcel of love and perfume that comes your way. You give both in abundance, and receive all with grace. Expect more coming your way in the near future.

    I’d love to meet the generous Bryan and amazing Patty. Knowing half the PP crew has brought real joy to my life, as well as help run up by credit cards :”> . Meeting the others would be such a delight. After this weekend’s local sniffa, we must at least dream of some way to get as many of us as possible together somehow, to play and sniff. Certainly you could teach us all to speak properly, and March could teach us all the best way to hom. Patty and Bryan and all would have all kinds of untold gifts to reveal, no doubt.

    I already have a little via-Lee crush on Chaya-also great admiration for her comments and suggestions. If in Boston, I’d love to pay my respects.

    I love Cumming. Such an easy linguistic set-up, heho. But it plays
    a lot with me, and the booze emerges nicely on me. This seems to be a booze-scent week for me-Ambre Russe today. Stress relief?

  • Maria says:

    Lee, your power over the Posse faithful is astonishing. You even get comments to your “pardon us while we redecorate” posts. ^:)^

    I’m wearing Eau de Merveilles.

    • Maria says:

      Oops! That should have been Eau des Merveilles. It’s not Water of Marvels but Water of the Marvels. If I weren’t so tired, I’d find some way to quote Marvell.

  • Kim says:

    Darn – and I wanted my word for the evening and a sniff for the evening! Looking forward to reading it tomorrow – Lutens Ambre Sultan will have to do for now.

  • perfumequeen says:

    Darn. And I wanted a sniff to build a dream on. Guess I’ll apply some Encens et Lavande instead and look forward to tommorrow! Luv ya Lee!