The Advent of Scent, Week 12

The Kurayami Hime Citrus Collection continues . . .

* Honeysuckle Lemon Curd (Haus of Gloi)
Described as “rich lemon curd with a touch of fresh honeysuckle.” This wound up smelling a good deal like Lemondrop from their summer collection: very sweet lemon in the bottle, tarter when it goes on, a brief appearance of a floral note, but then settling down into a nice, smooth, mellow lemon that I can only think to describe as “cushioned with honey.” This is going in the keep-for-now pile!

* Mandarino di Sicilia (Perris Monte Carlo)
Described as “green mandarin, bitter orange, yellow mandarin, petitgrain, jasmine, geranium, orange blossom, cedar, amber, and musk.” The citrus element fades pretty rapidly, but something in here manages to rein in the floral notes so they don’t tip over into that quality which usually makes them annoy me so much. It isn’t enough to make me like it, but it’s much less objectionable than most of its ilk.

* Chypre Azural (Les Indemodables)
Described as “Sicilian tarocco orange oil, Egyptian centifolia rose absolute grand cru, Indonesian patchouli, ambergris tincture, and tarragon from the Alps” (which I’m sure smells oh so different from tarragon that comes from elsewhere). In the bottle, it reminded me strongly of the yuzu soda I’d just drunk, but it went soapy as I wore it. Not horribly so — like Mandarino di Sicilia, it stayed mild for some reason — but still not desirable.

* Bess
Described as “rosemary, orange flower, grape spirit, five rose variants, lemon peel, and mint.” Very medicinally mint in the bottle, with the faintest after-whiff of grape; wet, it turned into Vicks Vapo-Rub. That fortunately went away and turned into mild roses with some fruity hints, but the best I can say for it on me was that it was inoffensive.

* The Cobra and the Canary (Imaginary Authors)
Speaking of offensive . . . this one is described as “lemon, orris, tobacco flowers, leather, hay fields, and asphalt.” Even allowing for the fact that Imaginary Authors’ last ingredient is always something random and unreal, blech. Starts out medicinal and then turns into asphalt leather tobacco. No thank you.

* Amber Cologne (Bortnikoff)
Another competitor for “way too many notes” with bergamot, lemon, white and pink grapefruit, sweet orange, cardamom, frangipani, jasmine sambac, Virginia cedarwood, sandalwood, grey and brown ambergris, oud from Sri Lanka, Bouya oud, and vanilla. Unsurprisingly, it’s a bit hard to sort through; it’s sort of floral and/or aquatic citrus early on, but later I think I might be picking up on the ambergris, as there’s something kind of warm but in a different way from sandalwood or vanilla. I’m going to try this one again, less because I like it, and more because I want to investigate it further.

* Safran Colognise (Nishane)
Described as “cedrat (which I think is citron?), passion fruit, pink grapefruit, saffron, magnolia, pink pepper, musk, ambergris, and leather.” Somehow it had that “cold” note I’ve picked up from other things, even though it shares no ingredients except for musk with them, and musk is absolutely not cold. I’m wondering if it might be some non-scent component in the perfume instead — I don’t know enough about perfume chemistry to know if such a thing might be in there. Anyway, cold and bitter citrus turns to leather and citrus turns to musk and leather with the faintest citrus edge. Meh.

* Arancia di Sicilia (Perris Monte Carlo)
Describe as “blood orange (brown extraction & sfuma torchio extraction (whatever the heck that means)), almond, cinnamon, labdanum, coffee, iris, musk, and amber.” In the bottle, it splits the difference between the sweet orange and bitter orange scents I’ve tested. On, it . . . practically vanished. As in, I probably swiped myself ten or twelve times with the wand from the sample vial in an attempt to make it something other than a ghost of a scent. It got a touch stronger later on, but I think what happened is that the citrus broke down instantly upon hitting my skin, and I had to wait for the other notes to do their thing. Which started out as almond and amber, then transitioned to what I suspect is the iris — that or the labdanum, which is a thing I still haven’t really learned to ID. Something earthy and sweetish but also kind of rough? Anyway, I don’t like it enough to experiment with it more, especially as I think I’d empty the bottle in another pass or two.

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