Death by Cherry

By March

My kid was getting his usual buzz cut at the barbershop down the street – barber pole out front, dog-eared man-magazines, the whole nine yards, run by a chain-smoking Greek guy named Greg who had recently returned from a trip to the old country to visit his family.  He’s a sweet man and he wanted to share the bounty, and before I’d really registered what he was doing, he’d reached into a box on the counter and promptly stuffed a small square of something pink and powdered in my mouth.

“It’s good, yes?” he said beaming.  “Turkish delight.”  I think his mama made it.

Turkish delight, also known as rahat loukoum, for the uninitiated, is an age-old dessert traditionally made from rose-water (although you can use other flavors, like orange or green), chopped nuts like pistachios, and camel phlegm, mixed and boiled on the stove until it congeals and then dusted with talcum powder.

For those of us with textural issues, Turkish delight ranks right up there on the Do Not Want list alongside such classics as raw oysters, Jell-o, fish in aspic, anything in aspic, aspic itself, or ambrosia; and slightly less ghastly than shad roe or other offal or organs, including brains.  Let’s get drunk one night and I’ll tell you all about the time the Big Cheese’s mother cooked me some nice shad roe, in a clever but unsuccessful effort to drive me away.

I did with the Turkish delight what I did with the mouthful of spongy shad roe, which turned out to be every bit as delish as you’d think a sautéed, plump, fist-sized fish ovary would be.  I stared at a point in the middle distance, a smile pasted on my (closed) mouth, and searched for a way in which I might be able to spit the thing out without being caught.  No dice – Greg was watching me like a hawk.  Plan B entails using a beverage like beer, milk or water to help the swallowing process without actually chewing; this works well with things like squid and meatloaf.  Instead I had to go with the risky Plan C, which is a quick chew chew chew followed by a painful dry swallow and a fervent prayer that I wasn’t about to dry-heave this precious gift back up, right down the front of Greg’s hair-covered smock.

Anyhow, for those of you who haven’t tried Turkish delight, if you can’t get it locally, here’s a whole website, and it doesn’t look that hard to make from scratch, either – rather like fudge-making, you cook it using a candy thermometer and then pour.  When it stops quivering, you’re all set.

I got to thinking about Turkish delight after my unscheduled, shocking love affair with L’Artisan Traversee du Bosphore, which is sweet, but light and airy and delicious — more meringue, less aspic.  I should interrupt my ignorant, insulting dessert-diss here and state the obvious — Turkish delight of the rose-water variety is rose-scented (and flavored?) – but somehow, the few times I’ve smelled or tasted it, it registers as cherry, as in: jars of red Maraschinos, or cherry extract.  (Cherry pie – also on the no-thanks list. If you’re out of cherries for your pie, use sheeps’ eyeballs in your cornstarch; who could possibly tell the difference?  Throw in some red dye and some cherry extract and… voila.)

I decided to re-sniff and review some Turkish delight scents, in increasing order of toxic Death-by-Cherry (DBC) magnitude.

Traversee du Bosphore is the gentle, ear-nibbling, slow-talking, tobacco-enhanced, white-lie-telling intro to Turkish delight.   It’s a 1 on the DBC scale.

Keiko Mecheri Loukhoum – hawthorn blossom, Bulgarian rose absolute, precious woods, vanilla, Comores flowers, white almond, and musk.  This one gets compared back and forth to the Lutens Rahat Loukoum all the time.  I think overall I agree with sentiments on MUA – the KM Loukhoum is more powdery and less sweet, and it lasts longer.  Since powdery doesn’t make me moan with pleasure either, I can’t say I cared for it, but I can see why others do.  To my nose it’s closer to POTL*; more Death-by-Play-Doh than Death By Cherry.  Let’s give it a 3 on the DBC scale.

Serge Lutens Rahat Loukoum – white almond, crushed cherry pips, white honey, musk and vanilla.  This is part of the non-export line and I’m always surprised how many of the US reps don’t even know it exists.  I remember finding Rahat baffling and repulsive, simultaneously, when I had a sample awhile ago.  I lost it or gave it away, so I ordered another sample.  My new fondness for this frightens me a little.  On me it’s much less powdery (perhaps more bready?) than the Keiko Mecheri, and much sweeter, with that actual macerated-cherry note rather than the cherry-almond of heliotrope.  I can well imagine this driving people, Miel de Bois-style, screaming into the street.  This is a 5.5 or 6 on the DBC scale.

Serge Lutens Louve – almond, rose petals, jasmine petals, musk and vanilla powder.  Let’s quote Luca Turin from The Guide – “neither very good nor very bad, but completely baffling” and (like Rousse) “another Lutens from the periode bizarre.”  You know what?  If you want to go all the way, this is the way to do it.  Having compared them over and over, I now think of Louve as the gum-cracking, reality-show-watching USA version of Rahat – younger, cloying, infinitely trashier.  It’s so resolutely déclassé I give myself fits of giggles imagining Lutens and Sheldrake huddled over the paper strips during its development, sniffing away, wearing their Hedi Slimane lab coats, and Lutens frowns and says to Sheldrake in impeccable French: “I don’t know … not enough hairspray?  Some more of that canned-pie-filling note?”  All the Lutens SAs in New York I talk to hate Louve, in marked contrast to the customer base.  You look at the bottles on display and Louve is a quarter-full or less; it must sell.  Wearing Louve is like sitting at the bar, flirting with the bartender, while you drink a rum and Diet Coke and eat the whole tray of maraschino cherries from the bar mixers.  It’s probably not good for you, and you might regret it later, but who am I to spoil your fun?  An 8 on the DBC scale.

Christian Dior Poison – sweet orange, bergamot, Sicilian mandarin, orange flower, jasmine sambac, gardenia, sandalwood, white amber and musk.  Technically not a true Death By Cherry, in the way that Godzilla is not a black widow spider.  If you’re going to walk this walk, though, your footsteps are going to have to head here eventually.  Dior Poison is Turkish delight re-writ monster-size and with an angrier hand.   It is a more complex idea – a fruity, plummy, musky amber-jasmine, an oriental with the wide shoulders of Joan Collins on Dallas in the 1980s – but boiled down it’s cough syrup, maybe one of those generic ones that’s grape and cherry at the same time.  Try to find an older bottle and spray it on two or three times.  Then hop in your closet, shut the door, and visualize yourself in an elevator at 8:45 a.m., on the way to work.   A 9.5 on the DBC scale.

Undoubtedly I’ve overlooked some of these death-by-cherry scents – how about that Montale Sweet Oriental Dream, anyone tried that?  Also, I’ve arbitrarily drawn a line separating death-by-cherry from the cherry-almond heliotrope ones like POTL and Hypnotic Poison and Etro Heliotrope, which I view as a whole different kind of death, more a death-by-powder.  Would you draw the same distinction?

*POTL = The People of the Labyrinths (POTL) Luctor et Emergo, an older cult-perfumista scent that smells, depending, like Barbara Bui, heliotrope, vanilla-powdery comfort, or Play-Doh.

samples: mine, all mine; manufacturers sprays of KM Loukhoum and SL Louve; Rahat from TPC, my own vintage bottle of Poison.

Image: from a UK Daily Mail article about a West Yorkshire man angry about “pornographic” Haribo candy wrappers in which cherries, lemons and … that mysterious green thing (a pickle?  A melon?) are doin’ the wild thang.  The Japanese and Germans are apparently fine with it.

  • Akimon says:

    I am a little confused by the notes listed here for Poison, they look more like those of Hypnotic Poison, which I find truly poisonous and slightly nauseating. To me, the original Poison, which I first encountered back in the 80s, is not just Fruity Bomb, it is also Killer Tuberose. The drydown is still amazing. I have a stash of Espirit de Parfum, in apple bottle and a small spray. It is deadly. It takes me back. I can’t believe I wore with wild abandon. Maybe the air was thinner back then?
    The raunchy fruit candy is raunchy and candy. Fabulous.

  • lemonprint says:

    I’m just glad someone else mentioned Play Doh in relationship to the loukhum note – Play Doh’s what I got from Traversee du Bosporus, sadly. (Very sadly – I thought I would love it. Glad I didn’t buy it unsniffed!)

    And I don’t know why people would object to fruits having sex (or foreplay) on food wrappers. Unless they think it’s miscegenation or something. Because that looks like a jalapeno to me.

  • Victoria says:

    March, it is funny that you mention SL Rahat Loukoum, because I was recently revisiting it to compare to something else and I was struck by how strong its cherry-almond notes are. And its musky base lasts for hours, if not days, on my skin!
    The best Turkish delight I have tried is made by Hadji Bey et Cie (you can buy it from, which is based in the US and carries the best selection of Turkish goods I have found online.)
    There is another type of loukoum candy made with reduced grape juice. Nuts are strung on a thread and dipped several types in this thick mixture. It dries to a chewy, aromatic goodness. In Turkish, it is called sweet sujuk (sausage, since it looks like it.) I prefer it to rahat loukoum, because it is less sweet.

  • Kym says:

    I loved this post. Just the other day I tested the L’Artisan (nothing but rose on me), Louve, KM Loukhoum, Back to Black and Fumerie Turque. None were winners for me, but now I’d like to try the SL Rahat just for laughs…

  • rednails says:

    Hi March, the definitive death-by-cherry scent has to be Cassini. Like a slurp of unadulterated syrup. Both horrifying and wonderfully weird. Not for the faint hearted.

  • AnnieA says:

    Tapioca, congee or grits = glah. Italic is better than all caps, at least…

  • Flora says:

    I gotta try Rahat Loukhoum one of these days – always thought the KM Loukhoum would be sweeter, hard to imagine it’s less so than the SL version!

    Montale Oriental Dream is VERY sweet, yes, but not quite in this way. You wanna sweet Montale, try Mukhallat. Holy cripes, that stuff will make your molars spin like a jet engine at takeoff.

  • FragrantWitch says:

    Excellent! This gave ‘me such a giggle- thank you!

    Love cherry pie, like Agent Cooper in Twin Peaks ( oh how I loved that show) but generally hate anything even vaguely mucus related. So oysters are like a serving of hell as are aspics, chicken livers ( mucus with grit * shudder*) and pate. Also black pudding. And bananas unless just so otherwise they go into my AWESOME low fat banana bread recipe so it all works out.
    Have no desire to smell like cough syrup and smith bros cough
    drops rolled in coconut so will skip these fragrances- more money towards my extrait of Chamade!

  • angie Cox says:

    Isn’t that Rupert Everett and two friends ?

  • Tara says:


    When on evilbay, is there anyway to tell “vintage” Poison from current Poison? I used to be unable to deal with sweet, but now it works (at least sometimes…I love SL Rahat Loukoum) and I would like to retry the “real” Poison.



  • Patty says:

    ROFLMAO over that candy wrapper, and your post. Glad I wasn’t drinking anything. And that’s a LIME? I would have guessed a pickle, or maybe a hot pepper – yeah, *really* hot :snort snort:. “This jovial MAOAM man is very popular with fans, both young and old” – and obviously with fruit. ;)

  • Tamara*J says:

    Keiko Mecheri’s take on on Loukhoum with her edt Eau Poudree is a much more wearable turkish delight, it’s sweet but not so much powdery and the violet leaves and narcissus with white roses is really quite mesmorizing and for an edt it has the lasting power of a Twilight Zone marathon on Christmas Eve. Weirdly addicting.
    Just like the show.
    True story about the Montale Sweet Oriental Dreams.
    I wore it to bed, and it was just too heavy and rich with syrupy sweetness even dabbing it which I generally hate doing but I forgot to put the cap all the way back on the vial, so a smidge of it oozed on the top of my lil’ bedside dresser.
    In the morning looking at it, I spied that the perfume had EATEN through the frikkin white paint on there.
    Like all the way to the wood!!!?

    WTF? lol.
    It’s still there…a warning to me.


  • Elisa says:

    Has anyone tried DSH Winter White? It’s very powdery almond Play-Doh on me, like a less sweet version of Carol’s Daughter Almond Cookie.

  • tmp00 says:

    Did I screw up the boards?

  • tmp00 says:

    I think I love you best when you don’t like things…

  • Ann says:

    Hi Shelley, I second you on the italic! It’s got me off-kilter ’cause I feel like I need to angle my head to read it.

  • Shelley says:

    Dare I say all this italic is kind of like an eyeball texture issue for me? I keep leaning in close or trying to decipher an aside or wait for the main thread to come back…

    …like I said, never without issues. :x

  • Shelley says:

    Yes of course, textural issues with food. There are folks who don’t? When I was a kid, it was tomatoes. That gelatinous gop inside the wagon wheel slice? That stuff that was horrible enough on its own, but then delivered the coup de grace of SEEDS?!? Sure, a touch of crunch. Which made me pretty sure I was consuming an alien life form, possibly while it was still alive.

    Spouse has issues with cottage cheese. Son #1 can’t do green beans. I’ve never been without issues. ;)

    Traverse the Bosphorus veered sweet and never looked back on my skin/in my nose. Louve doesn’t bother me, but then, I was the kid who liked to bring Smith Brothers contraband into my school desk every now and then. “But it’s for a sore throat…”

    Son #2 pointed out that it was a shame your rahat wasn’t like Edward’s in Chronicles of Narnia. The kind that makes you want more…

  • Kristen says:

    One of my first FB purchases was Montale Sweet Oriental Dream which I like to wear in winter. I thought it was pretty close scentwise to KM. Stay upwind of me!

    • March says:

      Okay, close to the KM? I was wondering whether I needed to hunt down a sample separately. If it’s that close, probably not.

  • Disteza says:

    I’ve got the exact opposite problem with food textures–I can do slimy just fine, but I won’t go near anything too rubbery. No squid or octopus for me, thank you. And no crustaceans either. The meat always feels like it’s wrapped in plastic when I bite into it.

    As for Loukhoum, I loves it. I even own a bell jar of Rahat, and strangely enough, wore it yesterday. Must’ve been on the same vibe!

    • March says:

      Crustaceans, yum. Although my first soft-shell crab freaked me out, those little legs hanging off the bun… oooh, a bell jar of Rahat? Hat’s off to you!

  • jenh says:

    Well this is disturbing. Cherry pie is my fave and aplets and cotlets are really just turkish delight, and I love them. Those perfumes, I like Poison.

  • Rappleyea says:

    And I thought rahat loukhoum was like nougat; I guess the similarity of the vowels confused me…. But what do I know living in central Ky.? The only Turkish Delight we know about here is a big basketball center from Turkey that U. K. is trying to get the NCAA to approve to play!

    When you wrote “congeals”, I almost lost it! UGH!! I completely agree with your textural issues.

    Hysterical post – very hard to sneak a read of this at work with laughing out loud and spewing tea! And btw, at least for the purposes of this post, shouldn’t the green thing be a pistachio?

    • March says:

      I think the green thing should be a pickle, but that’s only because it seems so wrong. Wth were they thinking?!

      Nougat (something crunchy, with crunchy bits) is fine, the stuff like torrone? I think that’s what it’s called. Although it’s heck on the teeth.

  • marina says:

    …camel phlegm? :d
    Yeah…all the scents you listed, except for Poison are indeed death for me, more or less. Well not the Bosphore, but I didn’t like it either. :(

    • March says:

      Okay, the recipes don’t LIST camel phlegm, but I’m sure it’s in there. And this probably isn’t anyone’s list of favorite scents. 🙂

  • OperaFan says:

    Anytime the M-i-L cooks you shad roe, just send it my way – have loved fish eggs since I was a child!
    I received a sample of Louve with an order last year, and since I don’t like to throw things away I need to find someone to unload it on. As you said, I find it totally baffling.

    • March says:

      Well .. I like caviar. Really. Cheap caviar and the good, big stuff. So I thought shad roe would be caviar, not a big, squishy ovary.

      Louve I’ve been wearing to bed, in tiny doses.

  • Louise says:

    I want BOLD not italics ; )

    I love Turkish Delight, but especially from a little corner shop in the Latin Quarter. I do recall you gagging as a drooled over the window display…

    I have only a few textural issues with food-raw oysters being high on the list. The rest are odd-I am also put off a bit by oranges, and don’t dig slime so much.

    Most of your listed perfumes also are a bit gaggy. With the notable exception of Teint de Neige. When I first met you for coffee, dear March, you brought a few perfumes for me to sample. One yummy was an oriental thingy-I don’t remember which, which we both cooed over. The other was Teint de Neige-a lesson to this newbie in how bad a perfume could really be….so I liked it, indicating my bad taste ; ) I even bought a partial bottle, which I only use a drop of at bedtime. Love it.

    I dislike cherry smells of all kinds. In theory, I love almond-but am still seeking a perfect bitter almond. Any ideas?

    Thanks for the post-Big Fun!

    • Disteza says:

      The perfect bitter almond? Have you tried Montale’s Amandes Orientales? That one did it for me–the almonds were downright cold and cristalline, not gourmand at all, and this from the girl who tends to amp up the sweet and plastic up the vanilla.

    • March says:

      I don’t have a perfect bitter almond – I like Disteza’s recommendation, though, which I haven’t tried. You and your TdN. Well, you’re not the only one!

  • Aparatchick says:

    We’re talking food texture issues and no one has mentioned lutefisk??? What is lutefisk, the uninitiated ask? Why it’s fish soaked in lye until it’s roughly the consistency of fish jello. There, that’ll give March nightmares.

    I don’t know why I like Bosphore – the notes aren’t a combination I’d usually go for – but I do. But I’ve never liked the idea of smelling cherry anything in perfume, so I think I’ll stay on the low end of Death-by-Cherry scale.

  • Alice C says:

    Mals, I have to be in the right mood to eat boiled okra, but love fried okra–it’s a Southern thing, ya’ll…;-)

    March, your article reminded me I had a sample of the SL Rahat. Put it on…I’m getting the almondy cherry and vanilla so far.

  • Style Spy says:

    But… but… CHERRY PIE!!!! And I guess okra is right out, too, then, eh?

    I hate those stringy things on the sides of bananas. AAMOF, bananas in general are tricky — too ripe and I can’t choke ’em down. They go from um-nummy to gaggity overnight. I also hate popping an orange segment into my mouth and biting down on a seed. ::shudder:: I can eat jello although I don’t want to, but what COMPLETELY skeeves me are the dried bits around the edges of the bowl of jello which my mother loves, how wrong is that???

    Oh. Perfume. I love an almond note, but less love a cherry note, so it’s tricky. Too much cherry and you veer into gas-station air-freshener territory for me. Ooooooh, I HATE that smell, like someone is trying to choke you to death with a urine-soaked cherry life-saver…

    • Mals86 says:

      Okra is RIGHT OUT. I grew up eating every esoteric veggie my mother could find, and I can manage just about all of them (beets, turnips, parsnips, lima beans, eggplant, brussels sprouts, every kind of greens known to man) – but not okra.

      • Ann says:

        Hi Mals, I’m right there with you on the okra, except when it is fried, it’s slightly more palatable to me and I can eat a little. And I love your veggie list — haven’t thought about parsnips since I was a kid. I ate all of those you mention, too (strict grandparents — you ate what they put on your plate or you starved), but got sick once after eating brussels sprouts, so ever since I’ve had to pass them by.
        BTW, this post got me thinking of rhubarb (which I adore but is hard to find in the South). Thoughts, anyone?

      • Style Spy says:

        Fried okra is a wonderful thing, especially if you have some ranch dressing to dip it into. I kinda like okra, I like the way the little seeds pop between your teeth, but I think we’re getting into the fish-egg territory that makes so many squirm. March, I have a gingered banana-bread recipe that is TO DIE FOR, and of course the gooey-er the nanners the better in that case.

        I recently discovered turnips and we get along like a house on fire. What a delicious little root! I also adore brussels sprouts. But lima beans – under no circs. Actually, I don’t like ANY beans, except green and jelly. It’s a great failing of mine, but there was a terrible stomach flu episode as a child and I’ve never gotten over it. (Ya know what’s interesting, though? There was also a terrible white-wine incident when I was 19 or so that according to these terms should have turned me off grape-squeezin’s for the rest of my days. And yet? Not so much.)

    • March says:

      Banana strings are ooky. But we have the perfect banana-thing going on over here. Everyone else likes them raw. 🙂 When they’re really ripe, I’ll eat them. When they’re beyond that, it’s time for banana bread. :)>-

      • odonata9 says:

        Me and my husband are the same way – there is a very small window when bananas are OK for me and they have to have a little green on them and no brown. On the other hand, my husband will eat them up until I throw them in the trash because they are almost entirely brown.

        I have lots of food texture issues and I realized recently that most of them are related to fruits/veg with thickish skin with soft insides, so no tomatoes, cooked cherries, too ripe plums, etc. Also no go on slimy (okra, oysters, organ meats) and aspic is all kinds of wrong – had some with some sort of meat in a Russian restaurant and wanted to hurl.

  • Josie says:

    Oh, how I love that candy wrapper!!

  • Ann says:

    Good morning all! March, your hilarious post had me (almost) spewing my tea — no spewing of the expensive stuff
    allowed :)
    Food texture-wise, I really like skate wing and even escargot, just can’t dwell too much on where it came from. Organ meats are a no-no for me, and oysters a little off-putting, but am trying to learn to enjoy them once in a while as DH loves them. I haven’t tried Turkish Delight, but will gamely give it a go should I ever encounter it. Want to (very gingerly) re-visit vintage Poison and I kind of like TdB, but have not tried the others. Thanks for a hoot of a post!! P.S. I like tapioca pudding, too.

    • March says:

      And another tapioca fan. These scents are obscure-ish and I can’t fault anyone for managing to resist them. Rather like organ meats. And I’m glad I made you laugh.

  • donanicola says:

    As an UK resident – ONLY the Daily Mail could have written/published that article, almost as hilarious as your post. I’m trying to work out where my food texture issue boundaries are since I love a small piece of fresh turkish delight every now and again but can’t stand the skin that forms on milk when heated (though I love semolina!)As to the fragrances I’m a fan of TdB and will be buying a bottle soon. Everything else on your list (apart from Poison) is a huge no-no. Poison I can now sniff and appreciate (got one of those teeny esprit bottles). And for the record I dislike POTL but like eating cherry pie – oh it’s all so confusing! HNY all!

  • Musette says:

    btw –

    this is, without a doubt, one of the FUNNIEST posts I have read in quite awhile. Mercury is out of retrograde, I didn’t kill anybody and you are back! with a BULLET!

    and I thank you! ^:)^

    xo >-)

  • Musette says:

    I hate every. single. fragrance you listed there. [-(

    But I absolutely LOVE that candy wrapper! LOVE IT! The Yorkie needs to just roll with it. Fruit and pickles need a li’l sumpin-sumpin, too, y’know! (and the visual it’s conjuring is a variation on the old question “why do dogs lick their____?”

    xo >-)

    ps. I am not a cherry fan, except for real cherries and cherry Jolly Ranchers – my worst cherry experience? Grabbing (and using) a bottle of Jergens lotion – they’d changed it to …cherry? 😮

    • March says:

      So, do you think that’s a pickle? Which makes the label even weirder, I guess… I don’t even like cherry Jolly Ranchers, although I wouldn’t say no to apple or watermelon. Horrors. And that Jergens, people LOVE that smell. They buy it just for that. b-(

  • Melissa says:

    I’m trying to think of one oddly textured food that bothers me and I’m coming up kinda blank. Does mayonnaise count? Or is it the flavor that makes me wanna heave? I grew up on all kinds of offal and other foods that have difficult textures. Liver, sweetbreads, um, gefilte fish. My father loved liver, my mother loved sweetbreads and kidneys and I think we all liked sour cherry desserts. But I can’t remember trying rahat loukhoum. Halva and baklava, yes.

    I don’t like any of the fragrances above, and somehow that fact that Bosphere is sheer makes it worse for me, not better. And I really can’t wear People of the Playdoh. But I suspect that I wouldn’t like a halva scented fragrance either.

    • Masha says:

      People of the Play-Doh, that’s it exactly! (I like it, BTW.):d

    • March says:

      oh my goodness I shouldn’t read these lists in the morning. I admire your food moxie. And I can’t imagine you liking any of these fragrances!

    • DinaC says:

      Gefilte fish was the single worst texture I’ve ever put in my mouth. I grew up eating Jello, so it’s not the gelatin that bothers me. It’s the fishiness in the gelatin. To me, fish needs to be a hot entree, not a cold slimy gelatin. Of course, I was a guest at a Passover Sedar when I was given this choice morsel, so I had to do the March chew-chew-chew swallow thing and hope I didn’t regurgitate it. I guess you have to grow up eating gefilte fish to appreciate it. :-(

  • Robin says:

    No, no, no: if the list includes Rahat and KM Loukhoum, it has to have POTL before it has Poison.

    (you asked!!)

  • Colleen says:

    The best intro to Turkish Delights
    I grew up on these things as a kid and the nuts really help with textural issues. They’re best fresh though

  • Fiordiligi says:

    That was funny! I was recently sent some Greek “Turkish Delight” by a dear Greek friend and it was actually lovely, although you could feel your teeth disintegrating as you ate it. You wouldn’t want more than 2 pieces a year, I don’t think.

    I don’t have foody texture issues really, probably because I am vegetarian, but I know I did back in the mists of time when I consumed meaty things (ugh!) Jelly is tricky but I would never knowingly eat it anyway.

    I am very fond of KM’s Loukhoum Eau Poudree but haven’t worn any of the others you mention, except of course the dreaded “Poisson” back in the 80’s, to go with the shoulder pads.

    • March says:

      Wait, you don’t like jelly? Like, grape jelly? I’m now completely irrational, I can see. I love jelly, but not aspic. (or savory jelly, I guess.)

      Yeah, Turkish delight seems like fruitcake in the richness department.

      • Fiordiligi says:

        Oh, the language thing: in British English jelly = American Jell-o, more or less. Grape jelly = grape jam. Jam is nice! Confusion all round. Aspic is entirely disgusting. I don’t eat gelatine anyway being veggie but even agar-agar is horrible.

        • Masha says:

          You know, I’ve eaten some home-made aspic when I lived in Russia, and it was really delicious. But the commercial stuff has always seemed quite disgusting.

  • Winifreida says:

    I should add, I think its really porno the way that pickle has TWO cherries licking him/her

  • Masha says:

    Well, when I was in Istanbul, I gorged myself silly on kilos of BAKLAVA, the best edible creation in the known universe. The tastiest kind is made with ground pistachios and clotted cream. I do like lokum a little,particularly lemon with pistachio. Can’t stand lokum perfumes, though, they are gagworthy, all of them…except Bosphore, it’s sheer enough to wear, and it has that kick of suede. Now where are the baklava perfumes??

    • Masha says:

      Oh, yeah, and Germans love their kinky candy wrappers. I’ll have to scan and post a few sometime!

    • March says:

      YES with the kinky candy wrappers, bring ’em on! And I love love love baklava, which isn’t slimy at all, although I’m too lazy to make it. We have a lot of Greeks here so it’s easy to find.

      So Bosphore wasn’t too sweet on you either. Nicely suede-y on me too.

      • Masha says:

        I’m with you on the slime thing- raw oysters an aphrodisiac, oh right!! YUCK! I guess by comparison, they’d make any guy you’re with look good…. I’m not a big fresh fruit fan, prefer dried, just not that into mucus….

  • Furriner says:

    I don’t have the textural issues, but I hate anything cherry-flavored, pretty much (I chalk it up to pinworm medicine from childhood). I hate cherry pie….. Perversely, maybe, I like cherry cobbler. Sour cherries in some otherwise savory dishes can be good, too. I don’t want to smell like ’em though.

  • Winifreida says:

    Wha ha hahah – too funny!
    Actually back in the olden days real turkish delight was quite exotic and fab to this country hick who tasted the real thing while on hols at my bohemian Sydney rels, it used to have a beautiful real rose ‘note’ and bitter almondy thing that none of the modern goo seems to have…it must be that which these loukhoums are modeled on.
    I was completely gobsmacked upon first smelling Serge’s Rahat, but grew to really love it. Unable to procure, will settle for Sweet Oriental Dream!
    Strangely, Traverse the Bos smells even a little sweet for me!
    I do love Alessandro, in this style.:@)

    • March says:

      Huh, Bosphore is sweet on you too? I must kill off the sweet a little on that one. And I wore Rahat and Louve to bed a couple nights ago. :d

  • violetnoir says:

    Oh my god, woman. You had me at camel phlegm! Hilarious!

    I do admit that I love maraschino cherries and cherry pie, although I don’t love cherry pie as much as I adore blueberry pie. But I can’t imagine a blueberry pie fragrance. Yuck!

    Anyway, Happy New Year, babe!


  • DinaC says:

    Great post, March. By a total coincidink, I wore Traversee du Bosphore today for the first time. I decided that it’s not for me, unfortunately. Too sweet. I got a lot of apple, almond, and powdered sugary sweetness from it. Didn’t really sniff cherry, rose or tobacco, but I could try again another day. Maybe when the weather is totally different, not so cold and dry.

    My curiosity about TdB was kicked off because I lived in Turkey for a couple of years as a kid. In all that time, I only remember seeing Turkish delight a couple of times. That congealed texture generously covered by white powdered sugar never appealed to me. Bleh. I’m more of a chocolate fan.

    My favorite memory of Turkish delight comes from “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe,” when the Witch Jadis lures Edmund into her thrall by giving him a huge box of Turkish delight. That will always be my primary association with Turkish delight. :-) DD and I are reading those books together out loud right now, so it happens to be fresh in my memory, too.

    I do have distinct memories of rose jelly, though. (The kind you spread on toast.) The Turks made jelly from rose petals, and it smelled and tasted just like roses off a rose bush, not cherries, to me. As a kid, I just couldn’t figure out why anyone would want to eat rose-flavored anything.

    I think I’ll take a pass on the whole cherry category. It seems to come paired along with sweetness, which I can’t really handle in my fumes. I got a kick out of reading your DBC scale — you’re such a clever writer! :-)

    • March says:

      I thought of that scene in Narnia! It’s great in the movie too. And yeees, they are all pretty sweet! How I could like them as scents and loathe Turkish delight is how I got started on this foolishness.

  • Francesca says:

    Well, you’re certainly back with a bang, March. Great column. Haven’t tried any of those scents, except Poison, a long time ago, and it made me sick.

    Must admit, though, I’m fond of Turkish Delight especially the dark green extra-chewy kind, that comes in a big coil and coated with pistachios (it looks gross); not bothered by texture in most food, except for skate. Now there’s a great big EW for you.

    • March says:

      I had fun writing this, thanks. And your description of Turkish delight made my skin crawl wonderfully. I have not tried skate, and now I don’t think I will.

      • Furriner says:

        Skate can be really delicious! If you are ever in Japan or maybe in a Japanese restaurant, try “ei no hirei”. Some bars serve it to snack on! It’s like shark.

      • Francesca says:

        The taste *is* delicious. But it really is just about the only food I’ve ever tried whose texture completely skeeves me out.

  • mals86 says:

    (Oh, no. No, no, no no nonononono. That is not ambrosia. THIS is ambrosia: I can certainly see why you’d hate THAT.)

    I have texture issues myself: oysters, clams, smoked salmon, that skin around segments of citrus fruits (that seems to bother no one else on the planet)… but not Jell-O. Jell-O is, um, as easy as… well, cherry pie. Which I really like. Particularly if made with real fresh sour “pie” cherries, as opposed to that gummy stuff that comes in cans.

    Haven’t tried most of your list there, but I have no fondness whatsoever for Eau de Play-doh, like POTL. HATED Louve (OMG, cherry cough syrup, gedditoffme!).

    Poison I still have mixed feelings concerning. (Angry monster Turkish Delight??)

    • Occhineri says:

      My daughter can’t deal with the skin around orange segments either; bell pepper skin is out, too. She does love some KM Loukoum, though, which I think is one of the sweetest things I’ve ever smelled (& yes, very powdery).

      • March says:

        That’s funny. Orange segments, who knew? They don’t bother me.

        KM Loukhoum is more powdery than sweet on me, but still darned sweet.

    • March says:

      Well, that’s highfalutin’ ambrosia. I became acquainted with it during my college years in the midwest, where everyone had their own family recipe, but they all seemed to include Miracle Whip and mini marshmallows.

      While I’m being a goof, I might as well ‘fess up to my inordinate fondness for tapioca pudding, which makes many normal people retch, including my husband, who’ll eat anything that isn’t moving.

      Jello’s loads of fun to play with but I’m pretty sure we’re not supposed to eat it.

      • Olfacta says:

        My dad loved tapioca pudding too, the real kind where you have to separate eggs, whip the whites, boil the rest while (constantly) stirring, then fold in the whites, etc — you get the idea. My brother said it looked like frogs’ eyeballs in vanilla custard.

        I thought about candy while sampling TdB. But what I really noticed was the wrapper in your photo. I swear to God I’ve been to “lowbrow” art exhibits featuring cartoon-based paintings costing thousands that weren’t as good as that label. Not nearly.

        • Mals86 says:

          Frogs’ eyeballs!

          MY dad loved to drown cooked white rice in milk and sugar and eat it like cereal. (He ate peanut-butter-and-sweet-pickle sandwiches too.)

          • Masha says:

            I thought my dad was the only one who ate PB & pickles! Where does that awful sandwich come from?? My dad “innovated and improved” it by adding mayo and putting it on a tortilla! :-)

        • March says:

          Frogs’ eyeballs, yum. And when I was googling for an image for this post, I just couldn’t resist that one. I think it’s hilarious.

        • Natalie says:

          We used to call tapioca pudding “Fish Eyes in Glue” — yum!

          • Natalie says:

            FYI, I grew up eating brains, sweetbreads, tripe, etc. and thus had to get over any textural issues early on. Shad roe and raw oysters are amateur stuff! Still can’t do steak tartare, however. Blurgh…:-&

      • kathleen says:

        Mmmm…tapioca. With a small spoonful of Tiptree Little Scarlet, strawberry jam, in the middle, and a dollop of, unsweetened, whipped cream, on top, just to hide it.

      • Shelley says:

        Right here. Not that I want to gather in the town square, or anything, but did anyone else notice the mention of frog eyes in custard is what set the wonky italics train in motion? It’s like…like…eye of newt. A spell. A certain notion, caused by a potion…maybe a bunch of hokum, started by the loukoum…

    • Elisa says:

      I’ve never liked oranges, for the same reason. I can deal with clementines as the ratio of pith to fruit is lower.

      Louve is the first sample I ever threw away.