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1/30/21
etat libre d'orange - secretions magnifiques

sweaty debauchery in the locker room of an indoor pool with rusty metal ladders. borowczyk's film 'immoral tales' (1973), copulating on the beach with clammy hands, surrounded by sea water. freshly-squeezed juice dripping onto a heaving chest, overwhelmingly salty skin. crimson rivulets stain thighs, ushering in an era of muliebrity and quasi-second-menarche. the waves crash, the salinity evanesces, and sore bodies are cleansed of blight. sandy knees and tired feet tangled in seaweed on the shore. what is left is bloody fingers, sore hangnails, slashed skin from rusty ladders of an indoor pool reeking of chloramines and sweat, and a faint sense of wistful regret. pulsing heat-effed mirage emanating from the anemic adrenaline-swollen abdomens of down-in-the-mouth darlings. tepid tongues swirling ichor circles into creamy corium in honor of paul klee's 'clouds over bor.'

the saltiness of a thumb sucked for slightly too long, soaked dirty laundry.. but still, cleaner and crisp at the same time. a lightly sweeter heavily-chlorinated indoor pool. licking a wound when caught without a bandage. cheap metal clasps on a necklace from a former fling and souring buttermilk. go on, bite into the neck of a long lost lover languishing in the throes of heartbreak, like the succulent gristle you never could resist. perverse, cruel, romantic. in a word: sullied.

forgive me for waxing poetic, here is an anecdote: i let a male friend try it, and he recoiled, saying, "yeah, uh, that smells like semen."

songs for secretions magnifiques: cherish 8 by ike yard, cold desire by strip tease belette, swallow it by fad gadget, kiss before the fall by htrk, passionkiller by das kabinette.

edit 7/6/21: wearing this in the summer, the iris is more pronounced and a certain surprising sweetness is prominent, buttery and light! is it uncouth to admit i'm wear this casually?

1/30/21
tom ford - rose prick

a heart-shaped valentine from overseas draped in the most delicate lace anointed in an unfamiliar oriental oil. candied rose petals and turkish delights on a bed of patchouli and aromatic eastern spices. cloud-watching on your back in a field and leaning over to kiss the love of your life.. sweet-n-spicy. wandering through a mystical, magical garden in a dream, suspecting that there is more than what meets the eye.

intoxicating, deep, seductive roses, covered in spices and so lightly, lightly caressed by the faintest traces of tonka bean, weak enough to not make the scent an overpowering gormaund vanilla, but prominent enough to prevent it from smelling green, soapy, and earthy. youthful but elegant, refined, sophisticated sweetness with a kick of peppercorn. roses, but more how we dream of them to smell, with an underbelly of phantasmagoric sweetness and spice, providing an ever so slightly metallic giving off the impression of a slight blood accord--petals and drops of blood, dancing around and morphing as the scent progresses, teasing the nose with hints of cream and vanilla in a psychedelic spicy underground that prevents this from ever feeling like the dated, powdery, or overwhelmingly spicy, perfume it could've so easily and tragically been with the wrong combination of notes.

this perfume is like the most grown-up and layered version of one of the olfactory experiences which graced my childhood self with joy: scented strawberry shortcake DVD cases. those turmeric and pepper notes, though, wew.. no chance of ever mistaking this for a little girl's perfume.

2/05/21
valentino - valentina pink

juicy jammy rose! so sweet and fruity, but never sickening, becoming rosier by the minute as it settles into skin.. plump strawberry dancing around until it grows weary and gently leans into a fainting couch covered in sugar-coated roses with blackberry stains. the blackberry provides such a surprising amount of warmth as the scent unfolds, keeping it grounded and preventing it from becoming a cheap or tacky body spray sort of scent. the praline note scared me a little before trying, as i'm not the biggest fan of contrived 'foody' notes (i do not want to smell like a chocolate bar), but it's such a seamless transition and smells like very subtle honey-drizzled vanilla orchid at the end more than anything else.

edit 3/1/21: i wore this while sitting in front of a heat lamp at the end of the day and wow! i thought the scent was gone by then, but the heat brought it right back. i felt as if i was surrounded by roses and blackberries, with the muskiness amped up as well. oh, how lovely, how gorgeous, i felt so happy and excited. this is most certainly a perfume that is highly sensitive to heat!

2/23/21
juliette has a gun - miss charming

dolls sitting criss-crossed atop a dresser. balmy creams coating nervously-bitten lips. victorian candies wrapped in rose petals.
upon first sniff, close to my skin, i tilted my head! immediately i smell berries and a faint rose, but it smells so similar to a childhood scent--lip smackers. it must be the artificial berries! my second thought was that it smells like putting your nose up close to a packet of mixed berry gum and acai hi-chew! miss charming undoubtly has an interesting artificial quality to it initially, similar to a sweetly scented doll fresh out of its box, but so youthful and rounded, not plasticine or nauseating. sugary sweetness grounded by musk. some people say they get hints of pencil shavings or rubber in this, but whatever is giving off that impression to them comes across as slight waxiness to me.

if all the talk about wax and gum is off-putting, fret not, because the longer it stays on my skin, the rosier and more complex it becomes, with the lychee coming out to play, pulling it further away from the childlike waxiness and into the realm of a sultry but lighthearted rose jam. if you've ever had japanese rose candy, it smells just like that. nostalgic, childlike top notes and a delicious, feminine, womanly dry down that becomes more mature and distinguished as it goes on.

2/23/21
parfums de marly - cassili

demure with a grin. ripe nectarines with fragile wings of ivory painted pink with satin ribbons. wedding veil crowning lustrous tresses. tender plums swollen with nostalgic comfort, powdered in sugar. drunk on rose syrup, kissing angel food cake. red currant as lipstick, rose petals as blush. wedding day sanguineness. spring-fresh sweet kisses shrouded by a faded velvet satin curtain. yellow, orange, red, pink, beige. peachy-keen dessert: bite down and twist, severing the stem and devouring its fleshy fruit; the sweet yet acidic bite of its jaffa interior drives me to my knees, prying the pit from its flesh and using it to clean the corners of my mouth. licking lips and snickering, hands covering my mouth in good mannered mindfulness. marzipan topped with drupes and cream.

opens with a bright, gorgeous rose and sweet red currant, then gives way to a hearty, smooth plum surrounded by pink and yellow flower petals. stunning, genuinely. so fruity and fresh, yet still creamy and cake-like thanks to the vanilla at its core. from juicy to floral to lactonic to soft woodiness.. further into the dry down, the more rounded, powdered, and subtly spicy the scent becomes, yet manages to remain so light and juicy somehow, with a consistently mouthwatering, saccharine peachy spine and a hint of creamsicle, powdered sandalwood, and rose..

songs for cassili: love connection pt ii by parenthetical girls, rose liz printemps verdure by guillaume de machaut, touch by howl in the typewriter.

2/26/21
perfumer's workshop - tea rose

dewdrops gently forming on a rose bush surrounded by early morning fog. pressing your face into a bouquet taking a deep breath, condensation forming on the inside of the plastic wrap. cellophane lingerie sequined in tears protecting the green bundles of amputated chlorophyll within. citrine juices dripping down a tender pop-up page of rouge amidst the viridescent verdant grass of the doldrums.
freshly cut stems, close to contradictory gentle thorns, so silky as it graces the skin of a thumb with smoothness of its sides, the urge to prick yourself is present. a young girl moving away from her hometown, cheek pressed against her pink florets in the back seat of her parents' car, crying onto each petal (chihiro from spirited away!). innocence and naivety leading to pricked fingers, a tale as old as time. familiar and forever-comforting, curious--a pure, clean rose. god, yes, thrust your face into the cellophane, pirouette in the rosarium letting pollen alene your hair like a blessing from the heavens.
this layers quite gorgeously with other perfumes--it provides a realistic edge of rose that can quickly make a fragrance more fresh and green. i must say, this perfume is incredibly strong and powerful despite the scent being that of a delicate, fresh rose, so i would advise caution in over-spraying this, as it would be very easy to overwhelm both yourself and others (if that is of any concern to you..).

3/3/21
etat libre d'orange - tilda swinton like this

autumnal hues of sienna and flax. wilted leaves crunching under loafers. family trips to the mountains, appalachian avidity. drywall and carpet. traveling to grandparents' house and being met with a familiar scent in the air right as you walk in. freshly baked pumpkin bread sits upon the counter top alongside a half-peeled tangerine, on the windowsill sits a bear-shaped bottle of honey. clean blankets and sheets await you in the guest room.
you know the scent of walking into an house that isn't yours, before you've been desensitized to it, perhaps with newly-installed carpet?

3/3/21
etat libre d'orange - archives 69

cherry stems woven into licorice swirls, vines slithering along lattices. ring around the rosies. ashes fall from above met with soft smiles in the orange grove, hazy air, crown of smoke. the war is over, rejoice with pitter-pattering paprika, tapping delicate talons. whispering "look, but please also touch, touch, touch." webs of spun sugar for enveloping only the most fervent in victual gossamer, desperate to be disencumbered from diligent defense. rosacea and tickled eyelashes. hoards of peeping toms gawking in perverse joy teetering on obsession. the brooding, punished vixen surrendering to tenderness, cracked open by the blessings of myrrh and benzoin left outside her cage. in a frenzy, heat and ruby bulbs, engulfed in fires of passion and gleefully knocking down each calcified barrier built over time like dominos--repressed no more. wrapped in rice paper strings: squeezed, blushing brightly, clutching orchids to her chest, pink of a pristine scallop shell, feet kicking like a newborn baby filled with joy. sweeter by the minute, oh won't you stay a while and let the ice melt and the plums ripen before you choose to not leap forward with reckless abandon? rebirthed, a sucrose phoenix rises from its ashes in all its fiery glory.
archives 69 has a distinct medicinal quality to it, coupled with its musky sweetness, like candy you'd find in a shop in the mountains: necco wafers, sassafras lozenges, and authentic licorice. cough syrup? close, but not quite! far too sweet and soft for the grips of dextromethorphan's daunting dissociative glow. the mentholic rush of camphor with a strong kick of spice, becoming softer after just a few minutes of clinging to the skin so closely, nervously, naively unaware of its own power, like billowing smoke reaching the ground during a firework show, circling round heads casting a spell under the inky night sky bespeckled with sugar. pepper and paprika, without a flaw, complementing the tart, saccharine essence of plum, yielding happily to sultry smoky sweetness. as the scent dries down further, it even becomes bright and effervescent, like sparkling embers peeking through torrefied oak, a waif finding their way home.. a lesson in letting down walls and giving into softness. sensual, piquant, syrupy, dry.

songs for archives 69: abraxas by la punta bianca, svetlana by xex, her needs by sandra plays electronics.

3/3/21
etat libre d'orange - la fin du monde

oily flower petals surrounded by smoke coughed from naive lungs. stumbling through kiosks with the graceless gait of an adolescent albatross. sweet balmy seeds and cracking resins, tyrosine crystals strewn across.. alluring, sneaky, mysterious, familiar. faux-nostalgia and repeating memories. the long-lost indie zeitgeist and fallen alt-lit idols.

alright, hear me out.. this smells exactly like walking through a shopping mall that has an auntie anne's pretzel shop, a victoria's secret, a movie theater, and an old navy. this sounds nonsensical and overly-specific, i know, but it is so true! at first, all i really smelled was butter and smoke, with a tiny amount of fragile sweetness trying desperately to peep its head in. i wasn't thinking much about times or places, since was such a unique scent and i was trying my best to focus on individual notes. i let my friend test it out, and he immediately furrowed his brow and said "this smells like the mall." i started laughing, but he insisted it smelled like a shopping mall! i thought about it, then i sniffed the testing paper a few more times.. i didn't get it, but then with one more sniff, i realized he was right.

it smells like walking through the crowded halls of a shopping mall in the 2000s: passing by the fresh salty pretzels, the pink and sweet entryway of victoria's secret, the abercrombie & fitch doors that reek of men's cologne, the white interior of american apparel and the even whiter shoplifters, the old navy that always somehow manages to smell like paper and plastic... and of course, the old mall movie theaters, with their floors full of spilled popcorn and the smell of their black and red carpet in the air. the hipsters gossiping about neutral milk hotel, the broken families searching for DS games for their children, the couples in matching hoodies, and the mall goths sporting fishnet gloves from hot topic hiding cigarettes in their pockets. dancing in a hipster runoff genre tee, fresh from the year 2009, proclaiming "i am carles!" a heaviness hangs amidst the joy, a dark cloud, the dregs of class society.

if a hauntological perfume is possible, la fin du monde has met the mark. nostalgia is no longer bound to the crackling of vinyl and forgotten memories of british big band records. with a rising popularity in dissecting 2000s pop culture, liminal spaces, dead malls, and post-Y2K subcultures being resurrected from their graves, i would argue that la fin du monde is perfume's answer to hauntology confined to the 21st century. malls are dead, but capital prevails.

songs for la fin du monde: walkabout by atlas sound, nature of the experiment by tokyo police club, chores by animal collective, sweet sixteen by think about life, young adult friction by the pains of being pure at heart.

edit 7/5/21: my friend liked the nostalgia this fragrance gave him so much that i let him keep my bottle on his work desk for several months. he did not even spray himself with it, he simply took the bottle and smelled the cap periodically for a dose of comfort. i did the same when near, taking time to inhale the scent from the atomizer every time the bottle met my eyes, its depth and complexity shining more and more with each sniff. my fondness for the scent has grown so much.

3/4/21
etat libre d'orange - yes i do

graceless purity, fumbling with her cue cards. not virginal but still moral, or at least trying to be. teary-eyed smiles and lips bleeding from being nervously bitten, or maybe that's just irresponsible stains from the cherry jar. accidentally breaking both rosaries and promises, all while in a white gown, standing alone in a field of flowers, longing for love and lusting for life in pre-hymneal hysteria. a pink beaded rosary breaking on accident. mother's little martyr waiting for a sultry savior! "sweetheart, you are what you are: aghast, a gash, an earmarked bell jar."

an invigorating blast of pure and whole lily-of-the-valley, covered in dewdrops, promptly followed by the all too familiar caress of gentle jasmine. there is a tart fruitiness of pear present, coupled with a whiff of orange blossom. a soft, candy-like sweetness of marshmallow rears its head, and thus begins the 'parenthetical girls' arc. it is a delicate marshmallow, never cloying or remotely close to a cheap vanilla cupcake body spray. olfactory embodiment of resilience and honesty despite fragility, in the face of the most abject masculinity and sharpened claws. etat libre d'orange are correct, there are shades of grey concealed by the pink-and-white charm. dizzyingly girlish with secrets. it's as if a single touch from the wrong hands could cause such a dainty creation to collapse to its bruised knees, but do not fret, it dusts its dress off and is on its way again quickly, albeit while blushing. the aldehydes, oh, how perfect, the opposite of unnatural and chemical-y, so fresh and soothing, like clean satin pillowcases. impossibly clean despite all it encounters. a perfect concoction.
for those who cry in bed at night thinking of past, present, and future love, wrapped in satin ribbons of pain and pleasure, believing that naively hoping for the best is better than being hopelessly jaded. how we all salivate when the bells ring!

**longevity on skin is subpar for me (becomes a skin scent very quickly, absolutely gone after under a few hours), but very good on fabric (over 48 hours). the jasmine comes out a lot more on my skin, while the sweetness pops out even more on my clothing. much better sillage than i would have expected: i used my travel spray and about 20 seconds later my friend across the room said "something smells so good--what is that smell? is that you?" hehe ~

songs for don't get me wrong baby yes i do: love connection by parenthetical girls, le chant de l'etoile by kuroyuri shimai, the angel in the white gown by stereo julia.

3/4/21
etat libre d'orange - attaquer le soleil marquis de sade

juices of a green apple punctured by sharpened incisors flowing onto a brand new pool floaty. plasticine and squeaky clean, perfect for carnivorous cuspids. slick leather and plummy depths. latex, rubber, pvc. hot pavement and sweat, whiskey and cinnamon. the result is smutty, but somehow, not offensive, and not as subversive as one might expect anything related to marquis de sade to be... debaucherous libertines are never as interesting as we expect them to be behind the curtains, i s'pose.

songs for attaquer le soleil: hard by sophie, leather high school by james ferraro, warm leatherette by the normal, paper moshay by antioch arrow.

3/4/21
etat libre d'orange - jasmin et cigarette

skin, sebum, and unwashed tresses--delightfully human and dirty. desperate attempts at covering up remnants of insufflated tobacco with perfume and floral incense. memories of bonfires and rolling down fields of hills enclosed by fruit trees. second-hand smoke flowing through one's hair. foreign fruit markets and making one's way through the labyrinthine depths of cramped spice shops. unwashed cardigans and gunne sax dresses from goodwill. caked-on scents of sweat and smoke after leaving a show by an underground synthpop musician in a tiny venue. vintage floral sofas with blood stains, you know the ones. a house with a cat, a raggedy ann collection, and an ashtray petting zoo. spending summer watching 70s saturday morning cartoons in a trailer with a chain-smoking aunt.

on my skin, it starts off absurdly piquant and tangy, borderline sour, bringing forth thoughts of unbathed bodies, eastern spice shops, and sweat. animalic overload, heat and oily secretions. within minutes this calms down and becomes more floral, earthy, and yes, smoky. the faint jasmine is coupled with a soil-like accord, backed by the heart of the fragrance: smoke, floral incense, and the subtle stuffy sweetness of tobacco. further into wearing it, the bright, saccharine, fruity freshness of apricot dominates alongside the darkness of smoke, which really ties it all together.

my friend said this should have been simply named "thrift store," but i find it uncannily similar to how everyone smells after spending all night dancing at a concert or club, surrounded by cigarette smoke, cocktails, lipstick, and sweaty bodies. it's very strangely comforting and pleasant.

songs for jasmin et cigarette: vegas by nico, salty by macha, desk man by banana head, menstrual mask by ariel pink, good clues by gary war.

edit 7/3/21: i wore this to a punk show tonight, it was a perfect fit!

3/4/21
etat libre d'orange - putain des palaces

the contents dancing at the bottom of a well-used leather purse: vintage lipstick jostling around, feminine hygiene products, old compact powder, fruit lozenges, solid rouge.. stuffy subtle sweetness of violets blooming between post-menstrual legs. ivory flesh of a feminine back in an odalisque by lefebvre, osseous and angular. make a mess of the dining room, disgracing the bloodline and spoiling thy name--who else will indulge on the pastilles and gateau? surely not the bourgeois heiress. icing dribbling onto the décolletage of the fille de joie in ecclesiastical ecstasy.. the film daisies (1966) comes to mind: "one should try everything."

this opens with such a sweet, pink, fruity juiciness, followed by a soft rose, but for some reason few people here mention anything like this. how could that be? the notes listed here don't even have any fruit voted on much by the masses! after looking at the etat libre d'orange site listing for this, i feel validated. - the actual top notes: mandarin, ginger, raspberry - middle notes: iris, rose, rice powder - base notes: tonka bean, sandalwood, musk
the iris, rice powder, and sandalwood certainly create a sheer powdery quality, but it never once begins to smell like talcum powder thanks to the candy-like fruits being gently squeezed above. so much raspberry and orange upon spraying! the iris and lily-of-the-valley then take the reigns with musk instructing them from the back. i like it, and this is coming from someone who typically utterly detests most "powdery" fragrances; however, it's very strong and became ever so slightly suffocating to me even though i only sprayed my wrist once and do enjoy the scent. even after scrubbing with soap and a sponge, i can still smell it. impressive.

songs for putain des palaces: diet by au pairs, bend me shape me by the models, i confess by dorothy, precious by iud.

3/16/21
tonymoly - bebe

lemonic ethanol from a baby blue teapot cascading over piles of talc, propelled forward by gusts that'd put the outer banks to shame. powder blown right into one's face, intruding the nose and burning the eyes. i have given this dozens of chances, and i adore the packaging, but it is almost unbearable. not a fruity powdery scent, not a waxy powdery scent, not a violet powdery scent. it is talcum powder, new diapers, baby oil, and headaches. 'bebe' indeed. purely baby powder. nauseating, migraine not merely knocking at one's door but intruding, barging in with a halligan bar.

despite the powder parade, it's not remotely youthful. it is the scent of ominous sterility, hospital rooms and their ever-presence of the liminal push-and-pull between life and death. of course, how compelling, how provocative that could be, if only someone tried harder than the usual go-to talc, unrealistic rose, iso e super, and velvione... forgive me, but i do not want to smell like the midway point between a geriatric patient and diapered tot.

4/8/21
tom ford - black orchid

holy darkness. cherries kerplunking onto tongues, and so the game of death begins--oh how even the mighty must fall. dank decaying mahogany casket encased by damp soil sprinkled with gardenias. petrichor fills the air, a fitting foray into the dawn of grief, because who could do anything but resent a sunny day in wake of tragedy? deviant kisses on creaky church pews caked in dust, a tender reclamation of bataille's 'story of the eye', sporadically gasping for air with adrenaline and choking on the cascades of resinous incense. take solace in the blooming orchids of perversity under a kaleidoscope of softly lit clouds from the stained glass windows. whirling in a fairy ring of mushrooms surrounded by berry bushes and thickets, of course, all within cemetery grounds.

opens with a medicinal, synthetic mimicry of oud, playing tug-a-war with a sharp, bubbly sweetness reminiscent of cheerwine and cherry cola, presumably due to the ylang ylang atop a woody base. the shimmering sparkly sweetness fades, the perfume disrobes, dropping its white garb to the waterlogged hardwood and the rich soil underneath. it says come hither, just to lure you towards an acrid frenzy of dark european chocolate, 99% cocoa and bitter to the taste. black necrosis gives way to pockets of cloves toasting over smoke, and in the end powdered with ground vanilla beans. dark, brooding, eating your heart out. "in church on sunday making out in front of the preacher, you had a black shirt on with a big picture of nietzsche."

songs for black orchid: marble station by sort sol, pedal danse by aine o'dwyer, gallowdance by lebanon hanover, un froid seul by opera multi steel, je derve avec láir by yōran, closed session by proctis day. yes, it's a coldwave scent, what can i say?

4/8/21
juliette has a gun - not a perfume

cotton duvet swimming. virgin skin, clean and pristine. damp linoleum embellished with translucent droplets so opalescent, easily mistaken for pearls gutted from the succulent innards of pinctada. intoxicatingly fragrant pages of a diary, minding the razor-thin edges. white light, white heat. flocculent snowfall, civil twilight over yonder through the windowsill left ajar, the draft tousling tresses with the misty stratosphere's cooling tonic. musk afloat, sliced with a chilled steel blade. sea smoke parted with peaky hands. let us rest on the cool ivory, savoring the breeze..

cooling synthetic musk, not likely to weigh one down. no, we are free to twirl as we wish with the effortless grace of a ballerina on ice! sweet in the way only skin could ever be. step out of a shower in the silent evening and into the world of whirring air conditioner's looping lullabies. cold but blanketed, airy but fuzzy, clean but textured. a winter breeze in a bottle.

songs for not a perfume: heading for the door by duster, virgo's maze by part time, un tour de manche by dominique a, surf washing on spring marble by james ferraro, all cats are grey by the cure.

4/12/21
tokyomilk - pretty rotten no. 33

sordid soiling folly foibles, here we stand adam and eve surrounded by leafy dendron, woodsy guardian angels. jump, springing into sensual seedtime. satiating appetites biting into temptuous overripe honeycrisp and ambrosia. venerating the vernal equinox pollenating our hair under boughs of carolinian dogwood. trois lapin, we become sweet rabbits nibbling at rose petals spoiling into the soil. sweet organic decay, making analogies to eroticism watching the flesh of the forbidden fruit turn amber. flesh salty to the taste, oceanic mist of sweat and spit evaporating from sweltering necks. ripped tights and green ribbons. kissing in the market, forgiveness under the cherry blossom tree. uncontrollable hunger, gnawing on your knuckles--androgyny in the smelting of two lovers. saudade moss, maudlin molasses, the sweetness of cukor bila smert: sugar white death.

freshly-bitten apple, to honey-drizzled candy.. animalistic-bordering-on-machismo musk, to an ocean breeze rustling a rose bush.. pure green apple skin, curling as it's peeled with scraping teeth. transgressive saccharinity, prurient sweetmeat, fallen on the forest floor after a single bite, overripe and rotten once forgotten by the two lovers distracted by themselves. postponing the bitterness of betrayal in hopes for one more minute of bliss before the fall.

songs for pretty rotten no. 33: klepana by ksiezyc, through the bindbole wood by hole dweller, beguiling the hours by flaming tunes, grass by freshly wrapped candies, through the woods by jerry solomon.

4/21/21
demeter - funeral home

floral sofa in a dusty foyer. blinds shut, so little light, the room appears greyscale. heavy lilies weighed down by their own petals, drooping in stagnant murky water. hints of mildew hanging in the humid air, with wafts of sterile solvents and formaldehyde. scuffed patent leather mary janes, toes tapping together by the cemetery creek, shaking shins on the glistening grass underneath weeping willow arms and spindly tendrils. play-acting mouchette, tumbling down a hill into water, dropping a teacup and mourning loss.

initially sharp and synthetic white florals that turn one's nose up and smell like cleaning chemicals, but as the scent settles down further it grows softer, like real white lilies with thick petals, at times becoming borderline aquatic, other times smelling earthy like rich soil, reminding me of decaying plants by a riverbed, forgotten bouquets in a hospice room, and the sterile haunted air of a mortuary.

songs for funeral home: trees and flowers by strawberry switchblade, lotus garden by g-schmitt, moved to tears by lowlife, when you're quiet by earwig.

edit 8/16/21: forgetting how bad demeter splash bottles are, i accidentally spilled a third of the bottle onto my forearm! despite this much of the scent being on me, it still only lasted about an hour before turning into a faint skin scent. such a beautiful scent, though.

4/23/21
lush - lust

pale florets blooming under the night sky, water flowing under an old creaking bridge. bemusing boudoir pout, claret lips dotted in carmine cruor. mischief in the park searching for star jasmine vines and honeysuckle bushes to plunder, sweet nectar gracing eager tongues. starlight over foggy car windows, tights ripped astray. fingers slowly circling 'round joints, playing the holistic human-helmsman. clammy coy clasping in a linen cocoon made for two, incubating and turning overripe in ardor. a fine white dress tattered at the edges. torrid teardrops, fear no more. less talk more action, open arms embracing raindrops rilling on bare skin with grace in the humid heat of summer. swollen sparkling moon in all her glory above two lovebirds. night falls, lovers rejoice and awaken greeted by grey skies in the morning-after with streaks of baby blue and blushing pink. a breakfast of sugar-coated lokum in the shade of ballet slippers and a cup of green tea jasmine pearls swirling in rose water.

a foray of indolic, narcotic, concentrated, heady jasmine. at first, a piercing glare of terror with flared open eyes, but quickly she unwinds, opens her heart, and melts into a puddle of delectable delicate petals, jasmine and sweet rose, coated in honey and tangy, bright ylang-ylang. coquettish and coltish, finally sighing in relief and letting her eyelashes meet.. jasmine on the offense, jasmine kicking, jasmine taunting, jasmine dancing, jasmine seducing, and eventually, jasmine in her most vulnerable state. candied petals and honeydew leaves, bubblegum and indole. utter sweetness, sublime gentleness. laying languid and smiling softly, rose-in-hair, cheeks flushed. a juxtaposition between base carnality and the purity of desire with good intentions, heavy petting outside of a church--satiated 'objet petit a.' the scene in 'la maman et la putain' (1973) in which jean-pierre leaud asks, "tenderly, or violently?" sweeter by the minute..

songs for lust: imperial motors by lives of angels, genius of love by tom tom club, soft as snow but warm inside by my bloody valentine, pull my hair by bright eyes, just like honey by the jesus and mary chain, babies by pulp, kogda tebe grustno by pasosh, orpheus under the influence by the buttertones.

4/30/21
tom ford - tubereuse nue

finespun white doilies under pastries in a garden gazebo. butyraceous waxen florets of tuberose as makeshift marchpane. nectarous resins dulcified for consumption. manically skipping through fields with unbridled affection bursting through one's chest. lovingly ruminating the beauty of fresh flower buds, tinkling lilies.

opens with puffs of pepper followed by a foray of faithful florals: funerary lilies, plump and plasticine, shining under sunbeams. smoke hangs midair only to be parted by sappy snowbell, syrupy styrax, ushering in an epoch of sweetness! lie amidst the sea of pallid petals. pink and milky white bulbs spreading open one by one, tantalizing tubate stars. basking in butyric acid, buttery white sweetness of tuberose, full-bodied and warm like summer solstice evening heat. childhood memories of my mawmaw's backyard garden. faint remnants of spice linger, traces of sichuan replaced by candied ginger wrapped in leather strings. treacly tres leches cake gently powdered with cocoa and topped with perianths--balmy balsamic benzoin blushing in a field of flowers.. honey and vanilla coconut milk coating tuberose sepals. a creamy white delight!

songs for tubereuse nue: stranger in paradise by the parapluies, untitled 2 by moscovite five, fireflies made out of dust by happy jawbone family band, tea with dolly by family fodder.

5/5/21
mugler - angel

melted chocolate at the bottom of an old backpack stained with grass. ethyl maltol spilled onto a bath mat. choking on a honey-filled straw. caprylic. pressing every dissonant key on an out-of-tune piano all at once.

sigh, here we go. my nemesis. every single time i have passed by angel by mugler in a department store, i have tried it. i tried it on various testing strips, i tried it on the sleeve of my sweater, and finally, i tried it on the skin of my arm. every single time i have tried angel, i have scrunched my face up and gagged. i wait, and wait, and wait, hoping and praying for a glorious drydown that may cause something to finally click. it never comes.

upon spraying, i am hit with the smell of bug spray, overripe fruit ready for a compost pile, and rubbing alcohol. sharp, synthetic, obtrusive, and solventy. i usually adore sweet perfumes, but for the entire first hour or two of my wearing this, there is nothing remotely sweet, only a cacophony of confused and pungent notes fighting with one another, desperate for the spotlight. anything that was supposed to register as fruity and fun falls flat on its face, managing only to come close to cough syrup and the body odor of someone who sustains themselves solely on licorice. finally, around the 3 hour mark, angel becomes vaguely reminiscent of something some could argue is "sweet." i am left smelling like a stale chocolate bar in a pile of dirt coated in honey. chocolate is the main note on my skin, but not *real* chocolate, rather, it is what chocolate-scented stuffed animals sold on valentine's day smell like. while that is somewhat nostalgic, i never did enjoy this smell, and here it bares resemblance to molten plastic and burnt hair.

every ~20 minutes while walking around with my friends, i sniffed my arm, each time visibly disgusted, but happy and grateful that the scent became at least somewhat less putrid in time. my female friend commiserated with me in my repulsion, but my male friends said it didn't smell as bad as we thought, although they conceded it seemed potentially overwhelmingly strong and sharp. they could not make out a single note in the fragrance and weren't sure what they were smelling at all.

angel is the perfume equivalent to taking every colorful item in a pastry shop and throwing it into a massive blender, or a child mixing all their bright paints; what we are left with is not a rainbow swirl, but rather, a dingy dark color that reeks of something gone amiss.

songs for angel: negroe in N.Y. by van kaye + ignit, stutterer by five starcle men.

5/7/21
etat libre d'orange - dangerous complicity

red, red, red. mulled wine in a maroon dress. crushed velvet cradling blushing apricots. stolen kisses and cardinal cheeks. lustful by the fireplace with a glass in one hand, and in the other a second-hand poetry book's flaunting tattered pages filled with doting love notes in ruby ink.

sparkling rum mixed with cheerwine and cherry cola, licorice as a straw, bubbly and boozy. salty evening skin. zingy osmanthus and its fleshy apricot aroma. smooth zest, ginger with a soft side. rounded sweetness of ylang-ylang's luscious yellow batting eyelashes.. sugar begins to dissolve in a mahogany mug while the musk of fuzzy cashmeran is amplified, cozying up to the smooth warmth of sandalwood as it grows. creamier and softer in time with coconut and clouds of violet. dark, effervescent, woodsy, sweet..a little sultry and vampiric to boot!

songs for dangerous complicity: a une passante by little nemo, le nez rouge by sombre septembre, la tourmente by asylum party, winston and julia by polyphonic size.

5/16/21
serge lutens - nuit de cellophane

a painting of a flower by an agoraphobe. calculated efforts at seeming effortless. salons and their innate dissonance, hairsprays clashing with conditioners, vanity clashing with insecurity. rubber-faced plush toys, smickering with springy cheeks. a film about falling in love in paris by someone who's never set foot in france. a void, and the futile measures one is willing to take to hide it from the outside world. authentically inauthentic. a lack.

deceptively delightful opening: a rush of jasmine, illuminated by a subtle apricot-like sweetness from gentle osmanthus with a slightly smoky undertone. mere minutes later, all of the enjoyable, recognizable white floral notes quickly disappear to be replaced by locks lavated with shampoo, white lotion, a lifeless doll fresh out of its packaging, oleaginous soap, and hints of dry grass. the facade cannot be maintained.
a puff of synthetic perfume dressed up as a lily, begging you to call her angelic, to pull her closer, yet when you reach out, your hand phases through her like a hologram. what is left is a generic, light, 'nice' scent that all would immediately recognize as a vague entity of Perfume with a capital P, full stop. not jasmine, not osmanthus, not fruit, but an unidentifiable, unremarkable 'perfume.' offensively inoffensive. hollow and soulless.

not remotely dark or suitable for nighttime, despite its title; in fact, a more appropriate name would have been 'jour de salon.'

songs for nuit de cellophane: i want to be you by your funeral, 22 faces by garden of delight.

5/17/21
agent provocateur - agent provocateur

dusty roses clamped between trembling teeth. the sweetness of sweat with its sour tinge. rendezvous in a stuffy opium den, heaving chests, heavy breathing amidst the smoke. a fuzzy feather boa cascading down sticky skin. glimpses of leather straps of a garter underneath a dress hugging a pale thigh. a wink, a glint. intimate and seductive, a tiny bit elusive. rings and chains, pins and needles. lace scrapes the ceiling, a large rose hangs in the room. cries of ecstasy echo with mingled scents of bittersweet ruby saffron threads and creamy white petals.

an initial blast of thick musk and saffron, with a sooty rose burnt at the edges trailing behind. a tartness is present from this point onward, bright and citrusy magnolia petals providing a subtle sweetness, pushing and pulling with the dusty rose and animalic undertones. truly, what comes to mind is sweet sweat, the type of sweat only lovers understand. gardenia frolics in the background, helping to ground the composition with its soothing earthiness. tied together by leathery vetiver, we are left with a scent of desire.

songs for agent provocateur: sully by kebab, enjoy the pain by pink industry, blister by moonshake.

5/17/21
diptyque - olene

nostalgic delectation, sweet and soft. wet petals mashed between pale yellow and white polka dotted paper cranes. a white opal ring embellished with citrine and honey. summer evenings in the rural south; earthy naivety. memories in the making. broochy blossoms cascade to ankles, shoulders softly pushed forward in a curtsey, not like a proper lady but instead of an affectionate granddaughter who knows her way around a teacup. petals warm and soft against tender skin glowing in the golden hour sun, pressed softly and daintily by the hands of an angel. a gentle low voice speaking softly to me, a certain someone's breath in my ear.

sharp young stems tucked in by creamy corollas who rule with grace. peachy skies, warm air, honeysuckle everywhere; on the sides of the road, surrounding forests, under bridges.. star jasmine growing above tunnels; engulfing rails, and climbing up sides of bakeries. heady, nectarous secretions blessing country roads. two white flowers sharing a bed, intertwining stems. carolinian cadence.. ~ walking through the park with friends and remarking that the tunnels smelled of candy, just to learn moments later that star jasmine and honeysuckle surrounded us. childhood memories of springtime and summer, running down the hills of my elementary school to find the honeysuckle bushes, siphoning their sweet nectar.. bare feet stumbling across white clovers, making friends with bumblebees. my heart.. tears fill my eyes. a fragrance that gently brings me to the midpoint between the dream world and the heights of lived experience.
photorealistic, sweet, fresh, creamy. white, yellow, green.

songs for olene: down periscope by orbidöig, the fragile class by parenthetical girls.

5/18/21
strangers parfumerie - sangre dulce

syrupy sangaree dribbling down quivering lips. sanguinary eucharist, blood-red wine. glistening forehead blessed with ashen cross. stovetop molasses: sordid southern fawn-attractant. incense molting onto hot sand. berries-from-bush as makeshift lipstick, dirty and divine. warm wassail, gnawing on cinnamon bark, yuletide yearning. anele the hysteric intoxicated on amorous ardor. a rose witch hazel anointment with the help of a sugar-glass aspergillum.

so sweet, so smoky, so dense. tart strawberries hugged by burnt sugar. mulled wine, dark and hot to the touch. granada pomegranate seeds lovingly staining fingertips. a footing of deadnettle bringing forth memories of fluttering through serpentine aisles of patchoulic headshops. so warm, hot to the touch. thick melted brown sugar drizzled over roses. reminiscent of the sweet terror of the scent that flooded the kitchen in my southern childhood home every autumn: bloodthirsty carnist patriarch in pursuit of bucks to conquer with boiled molasses, deceitful dulce. boiling sugar meant for deer. in the end, an inkling of nag champa. red warmth, orange trees, yellow flowers.

songs for sangre dulce: shower me with lipstick by ariel pink's haunted graffiti, the candle's burning out by the surprise party, the ashy front by l'eponge synthetique.

5/18/21
serge lutens - dent de lait

rivulets of tears trailing down buccal pillows whilst hugging scraped knees in a milkbath. grey, periwinkle, white. neurotic in a bathroom. hunched over the sink in silent tête-à-tête with a burnished mirror's reflection, cursing the likeness with a busted lip and swollen gums. remnants of dermatillomaniac lovebites. dolly-eyed subconjunctival hemorrhage. sterility of frigid ivory tiles. lace curtains cascading with glum clouds behind. lukewarm water. a pearled marble trinket dish filled with cotton. palatable and clean, opening with an aldehydic overload, bleachy and chlorinic, but thankfully gives way to heliotropic powder and creamy almonds providing a semi-sweet lactonic base reminding me of mikakuto and fujiya milk candies. there is a metallic undercurrent of sterile, cold stainless steel as opposed to dingy orange rust a la 'secretions magnifiques.' a tinge of blood, faint and human, not unnerving, like being nicked by a razorblade in the tub, fanciful frothy hotel soap stinging the wounds, watching red clouds form in caprine bathwater. forlorn memories of bleached porcelain, riz au lait, the four humors, and castile suds. have you ever cried sitting at the bottom of a shower as minimal synth played from a phone speaker? cold, soapy, metallic, soft.

songs for dent de lait: dream for your bathwater by terror bird, tenderface by victrola, everybody's night by deux, doctors + nurses by earth's epitaph.

6/3/21
prin - anatolia

chiffon and lovebites veiled by a leather jacket, filter of a divvied cigarette stained with lip gloss between sooty fingertips. smudged kohl on a gamine androgyne's eyelid. pink angora sweater covering lanugo, imitating ed wood. lingerie under a suit. vanillic sighs tangled in makeshift shibari.

at first, a full-blown leather-suede wonderland, a rush with hints of fresh apple and spices.. quickly, the scent lets its guard down, and develops into sophisticated round sweetness: gentle vanilla undercurrents coupled with sweet rose and soft cocoa powder. sniffed up-close, the masculine suede is obvious, but from afar, the scent trail screams turkish delights, bubblegum, and vanilla--so sweet and feminine, becoming sweeter the longer it stays on skin, with dirty patchouli and wafts of smoke lingering beneath. strangely sad but hopeful. gender-effed. salivating and delightfully confused..
pink, brown, black.

songs for anatolia: under the radar by ry rocklen, ruin my night by t.v. dinners, nothing to hide by nervous gender, menopause man by ariel pink's haunted graffiti, geneva gentleman by geneva jacuzzi.

6/3/21
prin - mandodari

mopped lavatory still lingering with bile. aldehydic animalic ardency. mucin and spittle staining a handkerchief. claustrophobic from bumpy backseat asphyxia, smoke curling against rolled-up windows. putrid breath wilting once-resilient flowers, shells of their former selves. warmth which warns of impending nausea. emetic rituals behind locked stall doors, bulimic cheeks sapped of color. oily scalp adorned with white ash. where abject filth and cleanliness meet.

at first, nothing but civet, heavy and warm. then, stark-white aldehydes. the tuberose and frangipani are far from manifesting as sweet, only providing a subtle butteriness beside a sour filth accord alongside the bleached aldehydes, civet, moldy oakmoss, and oily cumin notes. public bathroom party time.

projected very strong on my skin for an entire day, making my head throb a bit. i felt sickened by how much it smelled like a grimy public bathroom caked in bleaching powder and unwashed animals, but still found myself leaning in to be taken by the smell repeatedly regardless. i am repulsed, but so fascinated by the depth. impenetrable smog.

6/27/21
mancera - velvet vanilla

pink apothecary potion slithering down eager gullet. frosted eyelashes batting in the face of the big bad wolf, frolicking to one's demise on gumdrop trails. roseate chiclets folded into meringue swirls and aquafaba mousse. fingers of the mischievous ingénue secretly dipping into fuchsia wedding cake batter, sitting on a countertop with ballet flats swaying back and forth against alabaster nylons. binging dragées in private, froly jordan almonds and love pearls spiraling down porcelain behind closed doors.

perplexingly sweet, with complex floral and fruity hues beyond the striking bubblegum accord. creamy tuberose with so much depth one can almost reach out and lap up its notes of buttercream and milk. at times, heady and reminiscent of runny, hot pink amoxicillin i drank with delight as a child; but mostly, soft hubba bubba gum gently coated in powdery sugar, along with the classic tutti-frutti flavor profile: kaleidoscopes of strawberry, banana, and pear intermingling to create the iconic sweetness already so deeply-ingrained in the confectionery collective unconscious, recognizable to all even if not nameable. beneath all the saccharine singing, into the drydown, hints of subdued spices become subtly apparent: cloves and angelica, with faint coos of gummy cinnamon. at the core of the entire composition remains a strong spine of warm, bright vanilla.
not medicinal, but still complex. not cloying, but still sticky sweet.
"i want to be the girl with the most cake..."

songs for velvet vanilla: bittersweetness by babel 17, cats on mars by yoko kanno, lady by hasami group, don't eat healthy cereal by bored young men.

7/2/21
lush - sikkim girls

white bubblegum popping between the lips of an unwashed beatnik shiny with oil. dancing through candy-flavored narghile smoke, clouding above heads. shared hookah as a bond. oil lamps and french opium, warm skin slick with sweat under paper lanterns. clinging to quellazaire in a hostel as a makeshift guiding light. creamy yellow flowers stained with dirt, stems pushing through damp topsoil.

contradictory! simultaneously so dirty and so sweet, somehow maintaining a sense of freshness throughout the heady skank. it becomes much more floral and saccharine the longer it stays on skin, but initially it's as if i'm wading through thick clouds of smoke and civet. the drydown introduces a much-needed tinge of honey, creamy frangipani, and buttery tuberose, oh-so warm and balmy..
the scent performs drastically differently throughout my cycle: heavy, dirty notes come through when my body temperature is colder and my follicular phase has just begun. sweetness begins to rear its head during ovulation towards the luteal phase. my body temperature rising and cycle progressing propels and enhances a full-fledged bubblegum accord. this scent's warm tuberose blooms on my skin, so sensual with sweet frangipani.

songs for sikkim girls: until your temples are pounding by macha, nonsense nonsense by bubonic plague, nos rêves by long orme, dr. max by alex body.

7/9/21
serge lutens - datura noir

melted marzipan draped over plump rainier cherries, dulcified and deliquesced. sensuous grace in a rococo cafe, rocaille and coquille with powdered cheeks and a corset tightly bound to the ribcage. edwardian elegance! maraschinos enveloped by silk. lace-covered legs sprawled across a red gingham picnic blanket under peach clouds, drunk on cherry liqueur, aristocratic roleplay with the decadence to match.

immediately upon application i am smacked with an overdose of heliotrope, sharp and oily like children's sunscreen and baby wipes; a sense of dread washes over me, but thank heavens this dissipates within mere seconds! my skin's warmth quickly releases the scent's notes of creamy almonds and tuberose, sweet like marzipan, perhaps even a hint of tiare.. what follows is a wonderful concoction of gentle hues of fruit: cherry, peach, apricot, all so delectably smooth and gentle, yet tart and realistically sour—benzaldehyde bliss..
the remaining powderiness is not anywhere near being close to talc, but rather of marshmallows and pastel pink turkish delights sprinkled with sugar, sometimes red scented markers. far from being juvenile, the pulpy fruit facet and grounding coconut coupled with buttery tuberose are enough to mitigate any potentially cloying aspect of the sweetness present--sophisticated, regal sweetness.

songs for datura noir: fairly terry by variété, stilyagi by puro instinct, néas chilckilg by co-mix.

7/9/21
serge lutens - la religieuse

sweet narcotic bliss found in a field by a church, tainted and holy all the same. grey lace mantilla covering curls kept from view. secret kisses between snow angels, elusive heat emanating amid nippy air. black cherries held by the stem between grinning teeth.

such dirty sweet jasmine, utterly perverse in juxtaposition to puffs of orthodox incense swirling through diffused light from stain glass windows. the dichotomy of a white flower historically stuck between purity and dark sensuality. sweeter in time, with buttered lily peeking through rings of smoke surrounding cold white petals from heaven; drops of cherry syrup red like the blood of martyrs strewn across. cold and grapey. i want to bathe in this, perhaps with the helping hand of a generous priest and a sprinkling of holy water; a saccharine baptism.
borowczyk's 'behind convent walls' nunsploitation comes to mind, bringing forth further memories of robert burton's 1621 book 'the anatomy of melancholy,' reporting that the temperance and repression forced onto nuns leads to debaucherous rebellion and bursts of hysteric sexuality and fornication (first partition, subject iv).

songs for la religieuse: play alone by asylum party, abandoned chapel by fae kin, heaven's blade by coil, kissing and kicking by the last laugh, bloody snow by natural snow buildings, nothing to say easy to answer by rise and fall of a decade.

7/10/21
serge lutens - fils de joie

sticky sweet honey stretched between splayed fingertips. unfurling petals, blooming buds during nightfall amid summer humidity, open wide and welcoming. waxen hexagonal honeycomb cells collapsing and coalescing, releasing their nectar all over. popping pomegranate seeds, sublingual sugars with hints of sweet menses—animalic bodily blends of blood, sweat, and honey elixir dripping onto pearly petals, beckoning 'valerie and her week of wonders' (1970).

i spilled fils de joie all over my fingers, and upon inhaling, i smile so wide, exclaiming to myself, "it smells sticky!" texture captured and conveyed by scent; hot and syrupy, viscous amber.. magenta merlot, subtly metallic and saccharine like kissed wounds. jammy, fleshy grapes coated in viscid gold. far from being light, the honey present is deep in color, lovingly crafted by bees with a knack for feasting on overripe plums and blackberries. ylang-ylang, bright and effervescent, sparkles and shines on top of the thick ambrosia and warm fluff of musk.

songs for fils de joie: honeysuckleswallow by a.r. kane, heartland by the sound, touch by minimal man, romance by ian north, razzamatazz by pulp.

8/2/21
histoires de parfums - tubereuse 2 virginale

wispy white dress stained with red syrup caught on thorns, snagged and soiled with a smile. illicit affection and surreptitious duets; a secret rendezvous prompts an indiscreet smile smudging lipstick across a neck, lovingly stained. hidden horizontal hug in a field of white flowers, poppies scattered throughout like pockmarks. with stretched arms, undressing begins with eyes and backseams; teeth grazing, soothed in the cruelty of sentimentality.
a rush of an off-putting camphorous opening—green, rousing, invigorating—soon lets its guard down, learns to loosen up, and gives in to a medicinal cherry along with tangy, pithy tangerine. luckily for me, the cherry sweetens and the metholic tinge rounds out and drops off in time, allowing the scent to become creamy white with flecks of red. thorns melting off a vine reveal a satin finish, desperate to mingle with balsamic buttery tuberose, which dominates after half an hour with sweet and smooth jasmine undertones as coconut plays peek-a-boo with sour cherry behind the scenes. pearl white, cherry red, drover yellow.
the longevity leaves much to be desired, but that feels like part of the experience—elusive and kittenish; just when one is arrogant enough to believe she is in grasp, she is gone with a wink.

songs for tubereuse 2 virginale: sing by the sweetest ache, srpski jeb by pulp, c-86 is killing my life by parenthetical girls, speak my language by the cure.

8/2/21
francesca bianchi - sex and the sea

neck-as-saltlick in summer heat, sticky sweaty secretions filling the air. pineapple chunks swimming in a pool of milk, yellow pulp floating to the surface. constellations of freckles and sand adorn a bare back, lovers connect the dots with petals, odalisque versus the shameplant pudica pose. cloying clamminess following flustered lip-bites, found in the prudish and permissive both when the time strikes right. wild-eyed facing tranquility in losing oneself to something, someone—the warm breath of a whisper against a cheek.

one of the most deep and beautifully blended compositions i have smelled so far, sex and the sea made me gasp. it opens with thick vanillic resins oozing across hot skin, introducing a sharp saltiness, beckoning a briny breeze in a coastal town. tropical flowers pop in and bloom, immediately falling into a perfectly smelted duo of milky coconut and pineapple. up close, skanky and salty; from afar, creamy and smooth, even a bit honeyed! salt and sweetness, perfectly intermingled, not fighting against each other for the spotlight, dancing together and becoming one. delectably human, sweetly filthy.

songs for sex and the sea: resounding seashell by jacy, do i make you feel shy by connan mockasin, ultraman in surf villa by reesa and the rooters, time unlimited by high tide, in my garden by k2, heading east by emil.

8/2/21
a lab on fire - freckled and beautiful

spilt milk seeping into a red-white gingham kitchen tablecloth. gauze-wrapped heart full of mawkish nostalgia. playing sick just to be able to stay in bed, sinking into warmth and avoiding the outside world for just one day, sheets against skin, clinging to a favorite blanket—oh, close the door, please turn the light off!—tossing and turning in a cotton petticoat with childish guilt, annulled by breakfast in a backyard garden.

so warm, so dainty, gentle, airy, and light.. opens with a toasty note of european digestive biscuits, which quickly leans into milky sweetness: a lovely lactonic accord right at home with fresh but balmy honeysuckle nectar, soft and not remotely green, a beloved scent from my own childhood. sleepy sentimental nostalgia in a bottle. early morning grey-purple sky sleepiness, safe in bed knowing love is real. a mnemonic delight!

songs for freckled and beautiful: why i bleed by dominique a, drifting off by master bedroom, a peaceful swim by goose mother.

8/10/21
annick goutal - songes

daffodil glowing under flares of sol, warm sunlight parted by creamy cumulus. wading through whitewater christening, ivory bulbs dotting hair. "what does it matter? all is grace," said bresson honoring simone weil, uttered in harmony with more than just faithful flowers. the sweetness of skin, purity of desire, and softness of grazia. all is fine in the morning.

living up to its name, songes is dreaminess and absolution in a bottle. i want to swim in it, wafting through gentle golden waters. elegant milky sweetness! ah, the flower petals present in songes are so delectably creamy, as soft as clouds and as smooth as skin. it is subtly sweet; demure and delicate, not a gaudy gourmand!
all petals, no stems—green is nowhere to be found! warm hues of pastel yellow reverberate throughout, opening with an indolic spark and subtle spicy earthiness which aids in creating the wonderful warm fullness of the scent. what comes to dominate is a peachy frangipani flabellum, fanning lilies and star jasmine unfurling under warm sunlight.. bright ylang-ylang begins to sparkle, interlocked in a sweet tryst with vanilla, but far from cloying, remaining tethered by a powdery note reminiscent of mimosa. tiare in the base provides the smoothest bed for these pretty petals to fall into, creating an illusion of a coconut or whipped cream accord, making me wonder if any tuberose is hiding in this composition..

velvety, the scent feels like a second skin. home never smelled like a cinnamon christmas candle to me—home is warm white petals hugging me all around, complex in their range of piety to carnality, hot southern humidity curling locks of hair and sapping nectar from stamens. songes is perfectly floral and saccharine, a lovely expressionist painting of a garden.

songs for songes: take it kindly by kaoru todoroki, white gardens by ian north, song for ellie greenwhich by parenthetical girls, 夏の模写 [summer replication] by yoshiki tabata.

8/11/21
frederic malle - carnal flower

jungle canopy conjugal bed swaying after rainfall, surrounded by swollen white petals. damp skin, muggy air hanging heavy with humidity. wrapped in decaying flowers, sunless and shaded under a green ceiling of succulent leaves, bedewed and glistening. tossing and turning in amatory frenzy, rays of white sunshine begin to sliver through fan palms.

my heavens, what a scent. in my first few wearings of carnal flower, a camphorous opening overwhelmed me. eucalyptus dominated with fangs flashing, ruthlessly protecting the purity of white flowers i could catch whiffs of from behind the gate.. the more i wear it, the more the fragrance begins to let its guard down, allowing me closer and closer to its prized petals—have i earned its trust at last? carnal flower now hugs my skin instead of gnawing at it, still opening with a rush so vibrantly verdant and metholic i can feel the coolness in my nose, but instantaneously unwinding, with the eucalyptus creating a glistening freshness reminiscent of crisp, invigorating morning air. you can quite literally feel the humidity, heat, and waxy thick leaves of the tropical jungle carnal flower invites you to. fog hangs above lush green forests full of white flowers flecked with dewdrops.

the jasmine is dry and unsweetened, like a fragrant satchet of jasmine green tea pearls. a semi-sweet, transparent tuberose in the base fills out any lacking fullness, sufficiently creamy yet still aqueous and green, supported by notes of coconut water and melon sweetness, certainly contributing to the watery facets of the composition, ultimately balanced out with floral notes. the melon manages to be photorealistic, with both bitter rinds and sweet succulent flesh present, without a single garish hint of calone! deep into the drydown, vegetal tuberose, watery melon, and coconut remain, imitating the natural salty sweetness of naked skin graced by a tropical breeze. carnal flower leaves me feeling pleasantly sunkissed and clean-spirited, yet somehow still dirty, and beautifully so..

songs for carnal flower: nothing but flowers by talking heads, patch it up by larkin grimm, er ra by alice coltrane.

8/12/21
zoologist - hummingbird

heavenly homilies. tresses interwoven with poise by a creek, locks of curls garlanded by white ribbons. vines clinging to lattice, ivy crawling up notches of spines. weeping willow embrace caught in tussore, maiden ankles totter with tulips. lively stillness, repose in pastoral cottage, home to taupe rabbits; pink noses twitching against tender bloemen, periwinkle petals as reprieve.

gentle lilac ebbs and flows at the top of hummingbird, translucent with a vanillic tinge. the opening is effervescent and boozy, with hints of hoppy beer! seamlessly transitioning into a bubbly fruit cocktail, cherry dominates on my skin, candy-like but fresh and fleshy, slowly meshing with bright green apple—rube that i am, i think of an open-wide bag of jolly ranchers, with the more opulent part of my brain being reminded of lokum as honey and roses become more prominent. the honey note is graceful but a bit thin, luckily still managing to act as an amber adhesive binding each facet of the fragrance together. a painterly suggestion of honeysuckle glows with warmth at the center, not photorealistic but delightful never the less. herbal hues of chamomile and syrupy agave become detectable to my nose, and while never overtly green, a subtle tea accord is present along with subtle suggestions of wet grass.. mimosa persists deep into the drydown alongside creamy meringue and musk—beneath all the sweet foliage lies a soft powderiness, fine, fluffy, and feathery.
purple, green, yellow, white.

overall, i'm very touched by hummingbird. how tranquil it is! i feel soothed and put at ease by it, transported to meadows full of wildflowers and berries by running water, feet in the river and daisies in hair. a scent of peaceful nature and countryside dreams.

songs for hummingbird: the bedside book by the humble bee, snowflake by the durutti column, kaze no shounen (isoeru) by ichiko hashimoto.

8/13/21
strangers parfumerie - fleur de lune

candy hearts on cotton. dusty rosy maple moth forewings, luminous lepidoptera love shimmering light in scintillating scotoma. moondust in radiant splendor. fine downy gossamer in white glow. pink persian silk tree starbursts, humming inflorescence.

a feat in olfactory texture, fleur de lune exemplifies powder. no talc, lipstick, or stuffy violet—only fluffiness, shining under pale beams. an intimately recognizable fantasy accord of cotton sits at the base of the composition, providing a fleecy bed for petal confetti. a bouquet of clean white flowers lies at the heart of everything, with magnolia catching my attention the most, having a citric and champagne-like sparkliness to it, glittering like light reflecting off ground-up particles of crystals. cotton and magnolia together result in a bit of laundromat air, but stays far from becoming astringent or aldehydic, bringing forth memories of warm cotton sheets and towels. iris at the top is dry and chewy, yet satin-smooth. the tuberose remains just noticeable enough to provide a subtle butteriness, and while not overtly tutti frutti, there is a hint of peachy pink gum stick coated in fine white powder.

i have not yet tried zoologist's moth, but it's hard for me to imagine something beating fleur de lune in cute mothiness!

songs for fleur de lune: heaven or las vegas by cocteau twins, cicadaville by bored young men, everybody's night by deux.

8/17/21
naomi goodsir - iris cendre

azure flowers slipped under chantilly lace corselette. warm rainfall cried from ashen clouds. tinny church bells hugging under steeple, flèche circled with incense beckoning quiet funerary grace and dusty bible pages. trembling thin wrist in need of nourishment reaching for a silver spoon. damp grass peeping from concrete, shaded by sky laden with overcast.

endlessly elegant, iris cendre is fine silk in a bottle. iris is front and center, clean-cut, cool, and refined, almost austere despite its comforting draw. so full and justified in its presence, it is as if i can reach out and feel its petals—waxy, gummy, and buttery, to the point of becoming what i feel is best described as "chewy." indeed, the scent's silhouette is nearly palpable, and while i may not be able to take a bite out of it, i feel completely nourished each time i smell it on my skin. violet plays a supporting role, lifting the iris up further into the spotlight, kindly offering even more softness, but remaining humble enough to avoid spilling chalky powder everywhere. a subtle dustiness present manages to stay comforting and far from stuffy, like an old book at home in a towering bookshelf. incense wafts throughout the scent cloud, silver ribbons of smoke softening all they kiss, with semi-sweet tobacco as the finishing touch, providing a perfect amount of warmth, reminding me that everything will be okay.

iris cendre makes me feel underdressed, in need of black lace gloves and a velvet pillbox hat with a veil. regal and sophisticated, yet so gloomy and distant. so strangely sad and happy at the same time, a bittersweet scent. i find myself craving it on dreary days when raindrops stream down foggy windows, and i think it would be perfect for a less-than-jovial church service. dark and solemn, but hopeful never the less.

my friend, who recommended that i try it in first place, says that iris cendre is more than just a "good smell," transcending the category of scented-commodity, sharing space with replenishing necessities such as hearty, starchy stews containing radishes, carrots, and other root vegetables. i do find myself craving it periodically, especially in the cold, as if it were a comforting meal from a concerned relative on a winter day, full of much-needed calories.

songs for iris cendre: grey skies by turquoise days, telephone by iron curtain, cindirella by pro memoria.

8/18/21
robert piguet - fracas

lace garter clinging to thigh; ivory tracery mimicking stained glass window filigree. matrimonial kiss, pert wedding vows. white gown stained with peachpit pulp, sprawled supine on connubial coverlet. tresses tangled in ornate coronet.

fracas is every bit as buxom as it is delicate. a recommendation from someone, he said that fracas was somehow innocent to him despite its reputation for being a va-va-voom scent. at first, i understood his assessment: bubblegum-sweet tuberose, fruity pebble orange blossom, syrupy peach, dewy leaves.. yet the longer it warms up to my skin, and the more i wear it, the animalic, sensual underbelly of the fragrance grows stronger.

tuberose lies at the heart of the scent, subtly tutti frutti like bubblegum yet with an air of maturity. buttery and creamy like a good tuberose should be, but still sensually basalmic and heady, not sickeningly sweet or synthetic. in cooler temperatures, fracas is deceptively frigid, with sour tinges from the green notes and bergamot present; but in heat, i am blessed with a rush of fatty tuberose, succulent nectarine, and humid leaves from the get-go—viscid and eager. complementing the tuberose, there is an osmanthus accord which leans towards tangy apricot, coupled with lactonic peach, suggesting sweet sweat on sheets, even a bit of spit.. overripe and fleshy, bright peaches drip juices all over and stain the once-clean white petals. milky facets combined with narcissus lend towards hot silken skin and oil paintings of daffodils and buttercups. orange blossom provides a direct stream of bright floral sweetness, reinforcing the pre-existing bubblegum accord from the tuberose. grapey jasmine winks beneath the surface. the hotter it gets, the fuller fracas becomes. innocent at first; eager to reveal seductively saccharine stained flowers and bodily warmth, i'm in love.

songs for fracas: lilies on a g-string by garden of delight, new bride by mystery plane, afterglow by glamor cult.

8/19/21
marlou - carnicure

sullied décolletage skin stained with remnants of a tawdry tryst. hot honey oozing onto midriff draped in fur. a wink, a caress. floccose cyprian in heat before a sordid seduction tangled in fleece. dried petals as bookmarks between musty love letters.
it took me several wears to even begin to get anywhere close to understanding carnicure. wading through clouds of dirty animalia, initially, it seemed like all i could get from it were burnt notes of thick civet; now, i smell a pleasant creamy sweetness, along with a froot loops orange blossom towards the top of the composition, which ends up creating an almost tangy effect coupled with all the skank. the violet is just subtle enough to enhance the downy texture of warm musk, avoiding powdery mishaps.
civet still continuously dominates on my skin, but the musk is sweeter and fluffier than i would have ever guessed it would become! a bit of soft cocoa and honey mingle with the dirty skin-like creaminess. still far from explicitly gourmand, the sweetness is gently gesticulated through a cloud of incense smoke in a wooden cellar, a mirage gesturing come hither. deeply inhaling reveals sandalwood, and despite the overall plushness of the fragrance, the woodsy notes are quite dusty and dank, like an old attic full of mildewy books on arcane esoterica and seduction, filled with pressed white flowers from a stranger's long lost lover.

songs for carnicure: space heater by geneva jacuzzi, come come by balcony routine, leather me by metal guru.

8/23/21
beaufort london - vi et armis

devilish debaucher. nocturnal roué draped in leather, twirling cigarette. beguiling with a vampiric wink. beads of sultry sweat hanging from the dirty locks of shakespeare's beast with two backs. horripilated flesh at the crack of a whip. birching by a boudoir doorway—a portal to hell.

i confusedly smiled like mad upon spraying vi et armis for the first time, only able to smell slabs of meat, burnt hair, and southern barbecue for the opening minute. enthralled and repulsed, i felt a slight pang of a rush in my chest. charred gristle, peppered on a wooden platter. my smile contorted as i grew shocked and slightly disturbed at how evil it smelled; however, the meatiness dissipates and is replaced with bitter tobacco and thick clouds of smoke—not incense, but a grey stratus haze from shared cigarettes in the backseat of a car. no longer pure evil, but rather seductively sinister, the dark puffs part like a splitting zipper, allowing room for a white tea note to peek through. crushed tea leaves provide a fleeting breath of fresh air, as if opening a postcoital bedroom window in a hot-and-heavy daze with unwashed hair, chain-smoking and spilling spicy brandy, washed in pale moonlight. deep into the drydown, semi-sweet woods with balsamic secrets reign, sighing in relief.

i can't help but imagine a sardonic silent type in a leather jacket by yves saint laurent, with purposefully messy hair, silently smirking with a ciggy between bruised knuckles. magnetism before morals, he is far from a fallen angel, as he never had wings in the first place. if vi et armis were a man, i would despise him and his tricks, no matter my flushed cheeks. luckily, it is just a fragrance, so i am free to blush. the first scent to not only make my face turn pink, but make me feel resentful. such a visceral experience. proposed alternative names: débauché, lucifer, eros.

songs for vi et armis: tear you apart by she wants revenge, wrong boy by molly nilsson, handsome devil by parenthetical girls, eros and apollo by studio killers, don't come around here no more by tom petty.