I’m going to try to write about perfume, but I’m fuming at the moment. The kitchen looks like it’s been set up for a toddler group’s first experience of paddling – puddles everywhere. There’s a leak under the sink I can’t seem to fix cuz the u-bend join keeps
fu messing up and no amount of rescrewing, cleaning, crying (that was meant to say drying, but it’s an appropriate typo), sealing, seems to fix the fu devil. All because, since this morning, I’ve been installing a new dishwasher – our aged old chugger gave up the ghost a year ago and I’m sick of cooking and then also bloody well washing up. I thought I’d set it all up myself to save a little money. What a f**kwit I am. I guess I’ll need to call a plumber out soon if the u-bend doesn’t sort itself. Still, I’ve got lovely clean dishes after my first run through, even if there are drills, bits of wood, screws and all manner of other home improvement artefacts scattered over the granite work surfaces, like some post-ironic art installation. And that’s not to mention the content of two cupboards and all the extra bits of piping I’ve had to buy and cut to cope with our totally bizarre drainage set up in this 200 year old house. Rant over.
There’s been a lot of ladytalk on this site recently, what with March’s recent obsession with nail varnish and her Wednesday article on lipstick. Gordon Bennet (mild, archaic British expletive), I’m happy for the little ladies to have their interests, but puhleeze, all the bleeding details started doing my head in. So instead, I thought I’d bring us back to proper manly talk, for guys who are tough enough and maybe like it rough: car engines golf lifting weights wrestling football home improvement perfume. There, that’s better. I feel the stubble growing as I type the words. Three fragrances this time. In mini-review style, given the drips that continue to call to me. First up, Ormonde Jayne’s latest release, Zizan.
I’ll triangulate for you and end with a description. Take the woody dry smokiness of Gucci pour Homme, add in the contrasting feel of the top notes to drydown of Rochas Lui (where green and yellow citrus notes replace orange ones) and sprinkle on a dash of masculine austerity from le Labo’s Vetiver46. That le Labo number starts of trying to convince you you’re trapped inside a monks’ apothecary, circa 1500, before changing its mind and softening up, with tonkaish vanillic touches. The Ormonde Jayne goes the other way – starting out bright and playful before becoming grey with incense and dry woods. It’s tough, it’s manly, it’s very different to the softer Iso e Super-driven features of both Isfarkand and the superior Ormonde Man, but it will no doubt please lovers of retro-infused scents of a permanently hairy, chest-thumping, strutting-as-though-you’re-hung-like-a-donkey butchier-than-thou scents. And a bonus for lovers of binomial classification: the name comes from the Latin for vetiver. Or so I read on basenotes. (It has nothing to do with French genitalia). Is it all about the vetiver root though, as the name would imply? Only in the same sense that Vetiver 46 is, though it does have greener aspects than that church-to-cuddle number. I will say though, even thoug Linda Pilkington herself calls it a powerhouse, the ingredients are refined, high quality, and a pleasure to sniff, even if the scent isn’t something you’d wear.
- Next, the re-released LP No. 9 from Penhaligon’s. Once again, the info:
- Minty black and warm, LP No. 9 casts a spell of powdered darkness from its complex heart of ylang-ylang, spices and iris. The aromatic mingle of clove, vanilla & earthy patchouli add a sweetened ginger-ale touch to heady layers that open and smooth into a moreish bubblegum-scented delight.
- So there you go. I got no bubble gum, though that might be a reference to the clove note. For me, it was five parts Rocabar, four parts Un Bois Sepia and one part dentist’s mouthwash. I liked it enough, though my testing was fleeting. The sample is somewhere in my car.
- As is the last of the trio, another Penhaligon release. Elixir is designed by Olivia Giacobetti as an update of their classic Hammam Bouquet. However, it’s more in a reference to the idea of a hammam, I think, than that venerable fragrance itself.
- Here’s the story: Head notes: Eucalyptus Steam, Cardamom, Orange blossom absolute and White cedar; Heart notes: Red Turkish Rose absolute, Egyptian Jasmine absolute, Cinnamon leaves, Mace and Rosewood; Base notes: Benzoin “tears”, Tonka beans, Vanilla, Incense, Red Sandalwood and Guaicum wood. Opening with eucalyptus and the harmonising hot spices of cardamom, cinnamon and mace, the senses are massaged with the dark magic of Turkish rose and jasmine, sharpened with a twist of orange. Heat and smoke rise and the incense and woods mingle with the earthy rub of resins and spices. A touch of vanilla and the soft persistent roundness of hypnotic Tonka bean complete the atmospheric dry-down.
- Interested? I was. But, perhaps more than any of those ingredients would indicate, this is primarily an incense scent. Now, I’ve never been very goth, drawn as I am to the frivolous and funky. Therefore, a combo of incense and rose, resting on a background of whispered spices, ain’t my thing. And the first time I tried this, that’s what I got. However, on two subsequent occasions I received quite a different impression, based perhaps on whatever that eucalyptus steam is supposed to be. It smelled like a high quality sauna, a place of luxury and relaxation (though, to be honest, saunas ain’t my thing either) and, though evanescent, I was happy to sample some more. I won’t be buying it, but it’s good to see Giacobetti continue to explore oriental sheerness in her recent work. Is it just me, or does that bottle look like some tat from a set of bad stage props?
There. I’m done. Back to the plumbing, unfortunately. To make someone smile, leave a message if you’d like to receive my samples of these. I’ll throw in the women’s LP for good measure too. I hope to respond to you at some point during the day, though the kitchen disaster may well continue, and I’ve got much loved guests arriving from Calfornia. I have pumpkin pie to bake! With ginger and cardamom cream!
- p.s. A tip. Never try writing in wordpress using Google Chrome. You’ll regret it.Unless you enjoy failing to reformat your text. Aaargh!