Strange Invisible Perfumes Moon Garden






I’m sure all most of you are sick of hearing about LA Scentsation but  – wow! –  there is still just so much to talk about!  The goody bags alone could take weeks!   One of the coolest experiences for me was  in the gorgeous garden of that weird little apartment, stuffing the bags to the hilt with incredible swag.    When we got to the Strange Invisible Perfumes box I thought I would faint – boxes of the most GORGEOUS perfume.  I eased open a bottle of Moon Garden.  I sniffed.  And suddenly…the flowers sparkling in the daylight morphed into a misty, verdant garden bedecked with glowing white flowers.  Jasmine smells different at 3am – it does (trust me.  I’ve spent many a 3am waiting for a shuttle to LAX).  Tuberose doesn’t even reveal itself fully until after the sun goes down – the most narcotic of the Big White Flowers come alive in the dusk and dark.    Moon Garden captures that enchanted, surreal time between sleep and wakefulness, when it’s said the soul is least tethered to the body.   This scent, heady as it is, is the one that is least tethered to the skin, evoking the same dancing quality as the flowers that comprise it.   It comes, stamping, out of the bottle and…then it vanishes.  And just when you think you somehow just imagined that you applied it , it twirls back in and wraps its addictive tendrils around your neck, giving you a gentle squeeze around the throat…..then dances away …leaving a wisp of beauty…and ..the dance continues.  Moon Garden is almost impossible to get tired of, it keeps you guessing so.


Moon Garden also  evokes, perfectly, the surreal, fairytale quality of one of my favorite films, Jean-Jacques Beineix’s 1981 cult classic Diva.  diva It has that same claustrophobic outside/in feeling, with seemingly open warehouses and gardens enclosed by impenetrable walls and hedges, forcing you to look inward for the answers you seek, to questions you didn’t even know you had.

As I write this, it’s pouring with rain and the moon is nowhere to be found…. the sheets of water cascading off the porch roof onto the hedges below gives that same closed-in quality and the incessant rain has greened everything to an almost tropical feel.   I have a jasmine and a tuberose in pots on the porch, awaiting sunnier days.  But it’s 75F and the rain is warm enough to release some of their alien, green scent.  The sky is that stormy greeny/yellowy/grey that pushes the atmosphere closer to the ground, giving it  that same inside/out feeling….moongarden1

There are a lot of photos in this post.  Not because I don’t have a lot to say about Moon Garden…rather, it’s difficult to put the feeling into words.  It’s one of the weirdest, most beautiful Big White Flowers I’ve ever smelled.  I smell….heat…night…decay…life…lust…love.

Really simple notes, from the Strange Invisible Perfumes website :tuberose, pikake and resins.  Sure smells like a whole lot more – but maybe, done right, that’s all you need.


I’d love to share this with a lucky somebody!!  I know I am so far behind on having Carmine pull giveaway winners – but I PROMISE!  I’ll get him to pull this one p.d.q.  Leave a comment letting me know what evokes ‘closed-in’ for you – perfume, situation, whatever.  Come the weekend I’ll come out of my walled garden long enough to get him to spin randomdotorg.   I’ll post the winner for this AND the winner for the Laboratorio post that (blush) I lost!


  • Elena says:

    Good closed in: when my second daughter was born, I knew that those two or three days in the hospital were my brief time for just me, husband, and new baby. I never set foot out of the room or as much as looked out the window for at least 48 hours, and had zero desire for anything else in the world (save a visit from my older daughter) that wasn’t right there. You have really made Moon Garden sound irresistible, I hope I get to sniff it someday!

  • Mary K says:

    Strangely enough, I feel closed in when I pull into my my garage before I get out of the car. My garage is a tuck under style one, and I live in a town house. I kind of feel like I’m under the house! Please enter me in the draw; Moon Garden sounds fabulous!

  • FeralJasmine says:

    Closed in can be an emotional sensation. When I know I’m not thinking constructively but can’t seem to get on a constructive path, one of my favorite ways to try to get unstuck is to take a walk under the moon. So please enter me in the draw!

  • Datura5750 says:

    Well I grow a lot of plants for their night scented properties and my tiny garden is a a series of small spaces, so I would love to try this!

  • mim says:

    Closed-in, in a bad way: top-heavy rooms where shelves furniture and decor seem to loom, lights on inside during the day with shades blocking the sunlight. No natural daylight makes me feel spacey, weird, and claustrophobic.
    Closed-in, in a good way, like ensconced or enveloped: dense branches arching over me, fuzzy scents like ombre fauve

  • susan says:

    When I think of ‘closed-in,’ I think of the courtyard gardens of New Orleans and the traboules of Lyon. 🙂

  • tomate farcie says:

    I remember the days when I worked in an office–to me that is closed in! This sounds like a great tat take on a white floral

  • this sounds WONDERFUL!!! Hmmmm- closed in….I am at a loss for fragrance- but a nice closed in for me would be a Saturday afternoon on the couch, cuddled up with the dogs and some good snacks and bevs and a movie I have been wanting to see (and the kids and hubs are gallavanting about without me)- and the house is CLEAN and the laundry is done AND put away….

  • kizzers says:

    Hope I’m not too late for the draw! 🙂 The only perfume for me that feels a little closed-in is Apres L’Ondee. Maybe not so much closed-in but, frozen in time – haunting and hopeful, but never changing or evolving into something darker or brighter. It’s almost as if it’s just waiting for a moment to pass.

    This SIP perfume sounds delicious.

    Some of my jasmines and honeysuckles are strongest at night, and they are planted under my bedroom windows so that the scent can drift in on the cool breeze. Magical!

  • CC ... says:

    Wow, this perfume sounds lovely! Can’t think of anything more closed in than having to hunker down and wait … wait … wait until a hurricane has finally departed the area. Yes, I live in a hurricane alley. Thank you for the draw.

  • leathermountain says:

    Closed in by a hurricane raging outside. Emerging to find my city transformed. Closed in again by the consequent suffering that seems increasingly inevitable amidst lives built along the coasts of a rising sea.

  • Liz K says:

    Closed in is not a particularly wonderful experience for me but I do love to be safe at home during a rain shower (safe being the operative word as it seldom rains and few here can drive in the wet). I do also love a good quiet lurk in the garden at night and agree that white flowers are just that much more delicious after midnight. I have never tried any of the SI line but several sound really great and Moon Garden in particular.

    PS. I am nowhere near tired of hearing about Scentsation and wishing I could have been there.

  • hongkongmom says:

    This perfume sounds intriguing. Hong Kong is a kind of locked in city….so many people. Funny, on our balcony we have ylang and frangipani, and we get whiffs of the beautiful fragrance…or of the cars and pollution…especially when it is dar(moon garden?)Your trip sounded absolutely amazing. Glad you all had a fabulous time

  • Amer says:

    Sounds magical as it ought to be. White flowers are the vampires of the plant world after all. Many times however we have been treated to a “functional jasmine” or anemic tuberose that we seem to have been disenchanted. Fortunately I am always ready to be enchanted again. Closed in… I’ll just go with recent experience: wearing Autoportrait by Olfactive Studio felt like I am locked in a storage room with not enough air 🙁

  • taffyj says:

    Closed in? Having to go through an MRI test. Even one valium (prescribed) couldn’t keep the Telltale Heart from popping into my head. Oy and the noise!

  • Nemo says:

    “good” closed in = taking a just bearably hot shower on a chilly morning!
    not so good closed in = being in a meeting with a cranky boss…

    Luckily, Moon Garden sounds like the first kind 🙂

  • Susie says:

    My parents live in rural Maine. When night falls, the house is enclosed by a heavy darkness. We city visitors are afraid to go outside. The house is heated by a wood-burning stove. My parents, husband, and sons cook, eat, draw, play cards and talk. It’s really cozy!

    I came upon Strange Invisible on a vacation about two weeks ago.It is incredible! Bought Virgo. Loved Epic Gardenia and Fire and Cream. Don’t remember Moon Garden but I’m sure it’s amazing!

  • Elia says:

    I don’t like feeling closed in, so I don’t ever let the weather box me in.
    I’d hope not to associate a closed in feeling with any perfume,
    but Moon Garden sounds lovely.

  • Patricia R. says:

    I want to try anything from SIP, but being at the eastern part of the Atlantic doesn’t help. I’m glad original perfumes are still being made, in spite of thousands of new releases.

  • fleurdelys says:

    Closed-in is how I feel on any beautiful summer day when I am stuck at work! Thanks for the drawing.

  • helical gnome says:

    I want this perfume! Your description makes it sound so perfect right now. Inspired by your words, I think my closed in experience comes from those very sunny days where the hot humid weather feels asphyxiating and you have to pull down the curtains, remain close to the air conditioner, immobile, just close to the cold air, closing your eyes and you can hear the AC making this drowsing buzzing sound and you feel you are just about to fall asleep yet you are awake.
    Thanks for the give away!

  • wefadetogray says:

    Scents that make me feel or remind me of “closed in” experiences are PG Indochine while hugging my husband in a cold day, watching a movie in bed and Indochine transfers to his arms because we are hugging or walking together under the misty rain these past few rather cool days here in NYC. Bois de Isles and Sienna Musk also make me feel closed in with myself in a auto-sensual yet not auto-erotic way: just very closed in with my thoughts and my own skin and somehow closed in with something else, bigger, greater than myself. I feel I am not making any sense. Thanks for the post; it was lovely!

  • Beth says:

    Good closed in is a memory of being in my canopy bed as a kid, and having the drapes pulled about it, reading a book while the rain fell. Nice and cozy. Bad closed in is a memory from a week ago… middle seat, middle row on an 9 hour flight, the woman right next to me throwing up, the woman right in front of me with her seat back literally in my lap (I measured, 1 foot between her chair and my chest) and next to laid back woman a baby crying hysterically. Turbulence so bad I wasn’t allowed to stand up and walk away. Worst flight ever!

  • mridula says:

    closed in is falling asleep as I have all my life with the covers pulled over my head and the sheets tucked all around my body (not the bed/mattress). Very corpse like. Now that I am a perfume collector this is also the little cave in which whatever scent of the night amplifies itself. last night it was Bois farine, which I actually was not crazy about.

    • I always have to have the small of my back ‘tucked’ so I can totally relate! Being stuck in your cave with Bois Farine….hmmm…mebbe not! LOL!


  • FearsMice says:

    Like others, I love the cozy, closed-in feeling of being on a screened porch — especially during summer rainstorms!

    • it is nice, innit? Our neighbor has a very, very deep back porch (about 20′) and sitting on that porch is so cozy. It’s the perfect combination of outside/in! xoxo

  • Lynne Marie says:

    Lovely post. I was reminded of a place I used to stay on a lake in the Adirondacks. There was a huge screened-in porch that fronted the lake and on rainy days I would sit out there, drawing and making cards, cozy but surrounded by the smell of wet pines. Navegar comes close to capturing that smell but not quite. Someday I’ll find the elusive perfume of that porch. Thank you for stirring up a fond memory, Musette!

  • Caroline says:

    SIP is such an intriguing brand. Love BWFs. Being trapped near someone wearing too much of something like Opium or Youth is a bad kinda closed-in feeling.

  • solanace says:

    Good closed-in: On the couch, watching some Disney cartoon with the kid while the rain pours outside. Popcorn and lemonade are a must.
    Bad closed-in: Inside a car. Since I was a child, I always thought sightseing from inside a car does not count. Gotta walk.

    I’m very curious about SIP, I got Fire and Cream on a very generous swap and love it. It’s so herbal and alive!

    • I like driving in the country – good thing, too, as I don’t have time to walk the 40miles to Peoria! LOL! But there’s something calming about driving, especially alone and in silence, that just settles me down. Proper sightseeing, though, I agree – much better to walk. Unless you’re going to an island, in which case it’s better to boat over. Just sayin’ 😀


      • solanace says:

        Boats are the best. Bicycles too. Come to think of it, I like the wind in my face, like a dog – and I’d probably enjoy a convertible. 🙂

  • Dana says:

    I think tight spaces can feel claustrophobic at times and cozy at other times. Don’t enjoy planes and crowded elevators. Comfort comes from laying in a warm bubble bath, even if it is in my far from luxurious bathroom. Moon Garden sounds incredible and I keep thinking of the scent called Moon Drops from Revlon. Thanks for the chance to sniff.

    • OMG! I remember Moon Drops! I’ll have to unearth some of that and compare! LOL! (ya nebber know…though I suspect SIP is eons away from MD)


  • Lean S says:

    Working on a research problem in my office. Might sound like the bad sort of “closed in” feeling, but it’s a cozy comforting area for me. Thank you for the draw.

  • Portia says:

    Hey Musette,
    I have this one too and about a quarter of it leaked during the flight. The box in our bedroom smells so damn good. It is evening and sexy and voluptuous and really makes me reel.
    DNEM Just sropped by to give love
    Portia xx

  • Ann says:

    Amazing fragrance, Ms.A — thank you!! Can’t think of any closed-in spaces right now, but I do remember as a child that several pals and I had a makeshift fort/glorified tree house out in the orange grove and it felt so private and cozy, like our own little kingdom.

  • Victoria says:

    Love to get this perfume. You described the scent very well and the mix is amazing. I am very curious and right now, I am actually thinking of the best closed in experience I had.

  • Connie says:

    Ooh, this sounds lovely. Closed in makes me think of group hugs and hide and seek.

  • thegoddessrena says:

    I think being in the middle seat of an airplane, with armrest hoggers on either side makes me feel closed in

  • Merlin says:

    About a decade ago I spent a few months in Jerusalem and when I came back home to Joburg, boy was I glad to look up and see a wide expanse of sky!

  • Bridget C says:

    Closed in for me is going to the carnival. The abundance of people, screaming carnies, animal dung, blaring music of the rides, the flashing lights, etc. It’s like sensory overload and I shut down! I’d much rather be in a moon garden! Thanks for the draw!

  • Elizabeth Watson says:

    A closed in feeling comes to me when I am sitting in the tiny garden at the north side of my house. It is surrounded by hedges and a van der wolf pine. There is a path of flagstones leading to where I sit on a small bench, surrounded by lilies of the valley, Solomon’s Seal and white bleeding hearts. A quiet place where I can hide myself in the early morning and listen to the birds. Moon Garden sounds beautiful. It could be the name of my little garden space of all-white flowers.

    • It is precisely that! Moon gardens are designed with all white (or very, very pale) flowers, to showcase their beauty by moonlight, when deeper colors are tempered by the gloaming. xoxo

  • poodle says:

    Closed in in a bad way is being stuck in a car with my mother in law. Closed in in a good way is being stuck at home on a cold day with a good book, a blanket, and a hot cuppa something.

  • Being in an elevator or a car with others within the first hour of me applying one of my stronger fragrances. All I can think is “hurry up! let me out!”. I try to enjoy myself, but not at the expense of others.

  • Heather A says:

    So Moon Garden does disappear and reappear – I thought I was losing my mind! It goes from turpentine to soaring white flowers to…air. And then it comes back all ghostly and ephemeral. Love it, but it’s kind of insane. DNEM, as I also was lucky enough to get this at the event. Closed in? “Waiting For Godot” – because they are outside, but trapped and it feels so static. And Brian Eno’s “Another Green World” because it makes me feel like I’m in suspended animation when I listen to it. And I happen to listen to it a lot when I am driving endlessly around LA, which is another closed-in and cut-off sort of situation, now that I think about it.

    • Ann says:

      Oooh, Heather, another Brian Eno fan! I remember listing to his groundbreaking music (“Discreet Music,” “Music for Airports,” etc.) back in the day. And I loved his work with Roxy Music …

  • Jade says:

    Oh my, the perfume sounds lovely. I gave it a good long thought to figure out what I evokes closed in and the thing that kept popping into my mind was me in a room with the drapes closed because it’s raining outside, sitting in bed, reading a good book at the light of a lamp, completely unaware and uncaring of what goes on outside.

  • Christine says:

    Closed in. Hrm. When I think of closed in, I immediately think of airplane travel. I’m not claustrophobic, but I absolutely loathe flying. There’s something about being stuck in this relatively small tube hurtling through the air at hundreds of miles an hour miles above the surface of the Earth that just doesn’t do it for me. I experience extreme panic and anxiety. The worst part? I can’t leave. I’m trapped in that torture chamber until I reach my destination.

    • solanace says:

      Hi, fellow scared flyer. 🙂 You described my exact feelings. That’s why I like Alitalia. The planes are old, but at least there is enough wine to calm me down a little.

      • Wine is very helpful. I gave up being scared of flying years ago because I had to travel so much – once I ‘gave over’ and realized there wasn’t a damn thing I could do, save making sure I knew where the exits were (and not wearing Louboutins ) – seriously – that’s about it – I just lost the overall anxiety. I now use that time to sleep. Window seat, right in front of the engines…between that engine sound (hrrmmm…hrrrmmmmm) and the gentle flex of the wings..I’m OUT! I once fell asleep awaiting takeoff and didn’t wake up until we landed in Mexico City!

  • Lisa D says:

    Diva! One of my top ten films of all time – I’m going to go butter a baguette, in it’s honor. DNEM, as I was one of the lucky ones who got a bottle of Moon Garden in my bag (a bottle. of parfum. SIP.). Good gracious, it was a bit stunning.

    Closed in? I went spelunking, once. The operative word being, once.

    • I’ve been hearing Diva’s theme song in my head all night and now this morning. Could be worse. I could be hearing the killer’s polka music!

      Moon Garden is stunning, isn’t it? It’s HUGE…then it’s quiet.


    • Tara says:

      OMG I loved Diva! A great 80’s French classic. DNEM because I too got a bottle in my goody bag

  • ncmyers says:

    Moon Garden sounds amazing: rich and lovely.. mmmm! As for closed in, last summer came early, 90+ and humid in May. By late August we’d had almost no rain and what seemed like countless 100 degree days. The heat and sun were so aggressive leaving the house even to go for a short errand or to work was like running a gauntlet. There was much rejoicing when it finally broke! This year looks better, thank goodness,

    • It has rained so much, so hard here that right now (no rain and a bit of blue sky) feels like All Summer In a Day, though the air is turgid with the promise of more rain.

  • Lauren says:

    Wow, moon garden sounds amazing.
    Your writing takes me back to one of my favorite ” closed in” experiences. Sleeping in a tent in the wilderness. Huddling in a zipped up sleeping bag, listening to the outdoor nightlife. Add a rainstorm and you’ve got an extra level of cozy.

    • Oooh, nice! That’s how I felt yesterday evening, when I was writing this post. The porch is deep enough to withstand any non-windy downpour and I was inside, looking out – that extra layer of protection from the porch roof made it very cozy, without being claustrophobic.


  • Spiker says:

    Oh dear, I’d dearly love a sample, but I’m not sure I have a good example of closed-in. I appreciated your descriptions and they set a scene beautifully. I just don’t have the ability to match them. In desperation, I’ll go literal. I once toured a Los Angeles class submarine (not one of the big ones), and everything seemed to close in around me the entire time. And, of course, it was the opposite of your outside-in images. There, everything was metallic and artificial. They could have used a little Moon Garden!

    • Los Angeles class subs are attacks, right? (I remember that from The Hunt for Red October). For attack subs, the smaller they are, the more nimble, at least from that era (iirc). I would last about 3.2 seconds on one of those.

      You’re in, btw – this wasn’t a class assignment! Whatever your description is, works for me!