This week boasted single-digit Fahrenheit degrees and crisp, aldehydic (now I know!) air outside while a candle, incense sticks, and a diffuser scented the atmosphere inside (not all at the same time). Work was fairly non-stressful for me but I felt more tired than usual. For my second week of wearing a different perfume each day in January 2022:
Saturday, Jan. 8: The Body Shop White Musk—I didn’t realize until looking into it that I need to specify that my bottle is the eau de toilette, launched in 2007, while the original iconic fragrance that captured adolescent hearts was the eau de parfum, launched in 1981. Enveloping in fluffy clouds and assertive at the same time, this clean musk is an innocuous everyday companion.
[The next 4 are free samples I got with other purchases on the Luckyscent website.]
Sunday, Jan. 9: 4160Tuesdays Silk, Lace & Chocolate—The first whiff of this made me think that I might have found a replacement for my beloved, long-discontinued The Body Shop Amorito, a chocolate-jasmine olfactory delight to adults and children alike. The chocolate in Silk, Lace & Chocolate is not too dark, and it opens with a light floral accompaniment, which I thought might be neroli or jasmine. It turns out to be bergamot and strawberry. Although the fruit is listed as a top note, I only start to recognize it in the heart phase, when it turns candy-like. However, all the while, something is “pushing back” slightly at my nose, and I believe it is the amber accord. I struggle with the amber genre for this reason, and I have a similar response to smelling labdanum on its own as well. Finally, this perfume, which I feel lives up to its name quite well, settles into a boozy vanilla.
Monday, Jan. 10: 4160Tuesdays Over The Chocolate Shop—Not as complex as Silk, Lace & Chocolate, this one also lives up to its name. Its development on my skin follows that of eating a piece of chocolate: first, it’s cold and hard, then it warms and softens, until it melts and gets richer. It’s never very strong and stays close, sharing aspects of amber and vanilla with its cacao-centered predecessor.
Tuesday, Jan. 11: Masque Milano L’Attesa—A strong iris, with full lipstick and carrot facets. My mind connects it with a physical texture that is neither matte nor glossy but glittery, the way many luminous white floral perfumes smell. Something ever-so-slightly prickly to my nose. This might be from the accompanying neroli, followed by ylang-ylang and tuberose—none of which I could distinguish individually. I did not perceive the champagne accord in the opening, which was one of the reasons I wanted to try this perfume, but maybe I just didn’t recognize it. On the whole, L’Attesa is well balanced and the iris gets warmer and woodier with body temperature. It never goes into creamy territory, as the glitter follows the development all the way down to a mossy base.
Wednesday, Jan. 12: Pierre Guillaume Paris Mad About You—Cherry blast. Like cough syrup, with a heavily medicinal twinge also prominent in the loquat syrup used in popular Chinese medicine. This must be the opening of licorice and red fruits. Soon it calms into more familiar woody, powdery territory, and the red fruits bridge into a brief black tea phase. The licorice remains strong, possibly driving sharp ionones to bring us to violet. After about an hour, some comforting leather emerges, but the shadow of liquid cough remedies lingers. Eventually it settles into candy or sweetened fruit juice on fabric and becomes more powdery on skin. My last impression of it is as a cherry-violet—knowing it’s supposed to be black tea, and having smelled tea notes in dried cherries, this isn’t too surprising.
Thursday, Jan. 13: Dana Incognito—I bought a vintage mini of this at an antique store a while back without knowing anything about it. The amber color made me think it would have similar qualities as the 80s’ or 90s’ drugstore perfumes that I was trying to find, and it did—this “amber floral” launched in 1992 hosts a tug-of-war between the cooler, more “old-fashioned,” carnation and lily-of-the-valley and the warmer, more honeyed, rose and ylang-ylang, among other flowers. The bouquet persists even into the resinous drydown featuring benzoin and other warm notes.
Friday, Jan. 14: Le Labo Ylang 49—After being reminded of ylang-ylang by Incognito yesterday, I craved an all-out indulgence of this tropical flower, and Ylang 49 is one of my all-time favorite perfumes. With the eponymous flower complemented by gardenia and oakmoss, this juicy chypre floral is my olfactory shield and power source in a bottle. My other half, unprompted, told me that I smelled good, which hasn’t happened in a while with all the other perfumes I’ve worn.
Wishing all a restful weekend (and Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the United States).