The Advent of Scent: Mega-Post, Weeks 24-31

I have been utterly failing to post about perfumes, but the testing has not stopped — in fact, at this point I’m within sniffing distance (heh) of trying new things for a solid year. So let’s try to catch up!

WEEK 24

* Sol (Haus of Gloi)
Described as “dry gingergrass, litsea cubeba, neroli, frankincense tears, saffron infused honey, rosemary and the faint touch of true sweet cinnamon bark.” I got the frankincense, ginger, and rosemary in the bottle, which sort of turned into cleaning fluid when I applied it. Fortunately that switched to STRONGLY lemon (from the litsea cubeba) as it dried, then just a faded citrus, but meh.

* Briar Path (Haus of Gloi)
Described as “a sun drenched trail leading to a day dream of ripe berries and wood rose, rich forest loam, ozone, dark amber and cream.” I only really got the rose in the bottle; after that it was sweet, tart berries, picking up a woody element and then a creamy amber during drydown. I don’t think I like this one quite as much as BPAL’s The Red Queen, but I like it enough to try again!

* Herb Garden (Haus of Gloi)
Described as “sun warmed tomato leaves, with rosemary, parsley, and mint.” An herby mint cleaning fluid in the bottle, very astringent on application, strongly parsley and mint. Over time it’s mostly tomato leaves, though, so meh.

* Zazz (Haus of Gloi)
Described as “tart cranberry, pink grapefruit, sparkling champagne all shook up with crushed ginger root.” I had such a terrible experience with BPAL’s Bon Vivant that I was very cautious of this one, especially since even in the bottle it struck me as ginger + flat champagne. In fact, I was so cautious that I decided to apply it to my ankle instead of my wrist — yes, I’m flexible enough to sniff my own ankle — and I was very glad I did. BLECH. Champagne may officially be on the list of Permanent Nope for me.

* U-Pick (Haus of Gloi)
Described as “apricot, Tahitian vanilla, sandalwood, and cedar.” Like many perfumes, this sort of did a swap from bottle to wet; it began as vanilla with a trailing apricot tang, then went apricot to vanilla. Eventually dried down to vanilla sandalwood, though, which is perfectly pleasant but not very interesting.

* Mandarin and Osmanthus
I assume the other thing I smelled in with the orange/mandarin is the osmanthus, since this is a two-note blend. Wasn’t hugely a fan.

* Lavender and White Chocolate Madelines
Very cloying and sugary in the bottle; then just mostly turns into white chocolate, not much lavender. Way too foody for me.

* Haus Amber at Midday (Haus of Gloi)
Described as “Haus Amber with a slice of pear infused yellow cake and a drop of chamomile.” I wish the pear had stuck around more in this one; it turned too quickly to just sort of a sweet cake.

WEEK 25

* Oberon
Described as “orchid, white musk, and bergamot wafting over juniper berries, with a gentle touch of soft, earthy patchouli.” This was a very confusing one! It actually smells more fruity to me, and starts out very clean and light — maaaaaybe that’s the orchid? I swear I almost smell pear in this, even though it isn’t there. I’ll try it again just to see.

* Falling Leaves Moon
Described as “a cascade of fading leaves against a backdrop of grey ambergris, grassy vetiver, carrot seed, fossilized amber, green cardamom, cinnamon husk, saffron, tobacco flower, and bay laurel.” Very green and astringent at the outset, which I guess is the grass and maybe the vetiver (still haven’t quite gotten a handle on that one). It’s interesting, but I just don’t like green scents well enough to keep this one.

* Goblin
Described as “black coconut, gnarly patchouli, and sweet benzoin.” Benzoin is another one I don’t know well, but since what I got out of this was only a little bit patchouli and no coconut, I assume it mostly came through as benzoin — which made me feel I smelled like an old attic.

* Beaver Moon
Described as “creamy coffee cheesecake with a hint of milk chocolate.” Very milky, sweet coffee, with a slight buttery touch, but not as horrible as that tends to be. It’s a good balance of what it is; I just feel it’s not for me.

* Scrappy Damsel
Described as “orange blossom, neroli, white musk, shimmering amber, yellow sandalwood, Himalayan cedar, radiant saffron, and golden honey.” Sweet and thick in the bottle, sandalwood and maybe amber; goes more floral on application, with a hint of the woods. But mostly it’s very heavy and sweet, a mix of the musk and amber and honey — too heavy for my taste.

* Kali
Described as “cassia, hibiscus, musk rose, Himalayan wild tulip, lotus and osmanthus swirled with offertory dark chocolate, red wine, tobacco, balsam and honey.” Oddly, this goes in the opposite order I would expect; it starts out like chocolate wine, then goes floral. Not gratingly so, with a sort of resinous wine touch, and I like it enough to try again.

* Empathy (House of Oud)
Described as “pear blossom, raspberry flowers, Indian davana, fruity tobacco, raspberry infusion, scorched wood, transparent mosses, benzoin, silver fir, and Irian oud.” Basically just a slightly fruity generic cologne, which faded very fast.

* The Poinsettia Gown
Described as “rose cream, jasmine cream, mallow, vanilla foam, and sweet amber.” A dance of sweet jasmine rose swapping which one is dominant until it goes to vanilla amber, which is not interesting to me.

WEEK 26

* Musc Invisible (Juliette Has a Gun)
Described as “jasmine absolute, cotton flower, and white musk.” Pleasantly cotton-y, which is not something that often works for me — it easily tips over into laundry smell — but “surprisingly not off-putting” isn’t enough to make me keep it.

* 31 Kisses (Haus of Gloi)
Described as “electrified strawberry, a snap of wild cherry, smooth cream soda, and a little bit of sugar. Nicely fruity! Strawberry cream soda turned into cherry cream soda turned into strawberry cherry with a hint of cream; I like it enough to try again.

* Fig & Cranberry Sufganiyot
Very fruity dessert, though it strikes me as more raspberry than cranberry; over time the fig grounds it a bit. I’d call it good at what it is, though it isn’t for me.

* Lady Vengeance (Juliette Has a Gun)
Described as “lavender, bergamot, rose, patchouli, and ambroxan.” Clean citrus tempered by lavender, with the rose coming through later, and an inoffensive touch of ambergris (that’s a note I rarely like). Fine, but meh.

* Amber and Cardamom
Sweet cardamom, drying to something that smells like honey musk. I almost like it, but not quite.

* Wolf Moon
Described as “bone-white sandalwood aged with beeswax and balsam, crushed grass and juniper berries, ambrette seed, and lupine musk.” Juniper, picking up grass, then going resinous, ending in sandalwood. Meh.

* Blackberry and Oud(h)
(The parenthesis is there because sometimes it’s spelled with the H and sometimes without, depending on where you look.) The oud really hits me as chemical, in a way that really screws with the blackberry. Eventually that smooths out, but I just don’t really like oud. (With or without an H.)

* Anyway (Juliette Has a Gun)
Described as “neroli, lime, hedione (jasmine-like), absolute jasmine, and ambroxan.” Sprayed on, this is SUPER CITRUS . . . for about two seconds, seriously, that was gone by the time I’d extended my arm for my sister to sniff. After that it’s faintly floral, then faintly ambergris, bah.

WEEK 27

* Pear Inc. (Juliette Has a Gun)
Described as “pear accord, cetalox, and musks.” Very pear at the outset, but like the citrus in Anyway, that goes away very fast, and then you just have ambergris. The whole thing doesn’t last very long.

* Attaquer le Soleil Marquis de Sade (Etat Libre d’Orange)
I have yet to find a single-note perfume I like. This one is just labdanum, which I don’t hate, but also don’t love.

* Jovial Embrace
Described as “blackberry, wild plum, oakmoss, and red currant.” This is another that reminds me of The Red Queen, darkly fruity with a woody note. I’ll keep to compare.

* The Robotic Scarab
Described as “polished metallic notes, glossy leather, frankincense, star anise, and thin lubricating oils.” In the bottle, mostly frankincense, with an overtone of anise; on application, mildly leather and anise with a hint of frankincense. Then it goes straight to leather and then fades, leaving maybe a tiny hint of resin. Bah.

* Hearth
Described as “sweet pipe tobacco, cherry wood, the warm, worn leather of an easy chair and a pleasant, subtle waft of fireplace smoke.” Points for being a bit different! It starts out as the pipe tobacco, sweet and a little fruity, and then goes to sweet spiced smoke. It also fades pretty fast, though, at least on me.

* Famous Kabuki Actors in Imagined Scenes of Lovemaking
Described as “goat’s milk, honey dust, vanilla husk, oak bark, cardamom pod, tobacco leaf, cedarwood, and vetiver.” For once the tobacco wasn’t unpleasant, but that’s because I mostly didn’t smell it. Cardamom vanilla honey in the bottle with a bit of that buttery note, going to cardamom and butter on application, but fortunately the latter backed off, leaving sweet spiced with a later woody trace. Still not quite me, though.

* 500 Years (Etat Libre d’Orange)
Described as “cardamom, Turkish rose, saffron, cocoa, oud, amber woods, bergamot.” Bergamot and OUD followed by OUD and I think I’m about ready to stop trying OUD.

* Spring Vacation (Haus of Gloi)
Described as “sweet tonka, fluffy marshmallow, ripe strawberry and pastel sweet pea flowers.” This is one that really smells like bubblegum at first, with a fruity tone, but then it goes musk-adjacent. Pleasant enough, but I don’t need it.

WEEK 28

* 2020 Aesthetic
Described as “cherry pulp, crushed raspberries, and sugar.” Cough syrup, but not unpleasantly so? It goes a bit too chemical over time, though, and doesn’t remain fruity enough.

* Gingerbread Zombie
Described as “gingerbread, vanilla bean, peppermint, and milk chocolate chips.” Very buttery gingerbread at first; then the butter fades, the vanilla rises up, and the peppermint cuts the gingerbread. Inoffensive, but I’m not enough into the general concept.

* Eau de Protection (Etat Libre d’Orange)
Described as “black pepper, ginger, Bulgarian rose, bergamot, jasmine, benzoin from Laos, blood accord, patchouli, incense, and cocoa.” On application, citrusy and fresh with a hint of rose; the rose persists, taking on pepper and ginger instead. But in late drydown it’s strongly floral with a patchouli undertone, so neh.

* Black Twig, Apple Labdanum, Oak Bark, Cedar, and Bourbon Vanilla
Apple with a heavier undertone that becomes woody over time, and then some vanilla. I’ll keep for now, to try against other apple blends.

* Oud (Les Élixirs)
Described as “blood orange, cypress, cardamom, timur pepper, frankincense, vanilla bean extract, patchouli ‘cœur’ and oud wood.” Starts as cypress, pepper and a slight astringency that’s probably from the orange, but then . . . patchouli and oud. Meh.

* Fou d’Absinthe (L’Artisan)
Described as “absinthe, star anise, dry pine, cistus, angelica flower, blackcurrant buds, clove, ginger, nutmeg, patchouli, pepper, pine needles, and fir balsam.” Licorice and pine in the bottle; on me, it becomes very green and astringent, with ginger and licorice. Then it mellows out to something clean and fresh, in a way that evokes laundry — I’d honestly quite like this as a dryer sheet. Not so much as a perfume on me, though.

* Apple Spice Hard Candy
Does what it says on the tin; heavy, thick apple with spice. I may try this again.

* Mmmm… (Juliette Has a Gun)
Described as “raspberry, geranium, neroli, jasmine, tuberose, orange blossom, patchouli, and sandalwood absolute.” I got fifteen seconds of sweet fruity warmth; then the fruit was gone forever. Tuberose and I think the geranium for a bit, followed by sandalwood patchouli; I say meh.

WEEK 29

* Surprise Ejaculation (oh BPAL, your names . . .)
Described as “white pear, white champaca, pink grapefruit, and effervescent white musk.” Fruity hippie in the bottle, champaca with more pear than grapefruit, though there’s a bit of an edge from the latter. Gets grapefruitier for a bit, but unsurprisingly, it ends in musky champak.

* The Creeping Mist
Described as “orris, yuzu, white ginger, linden flower, petitgrain, and lotus.” Fruity dryer sheet! This is another that’s basically inoffensive laundry material, being a very mild floral, kind of soft and rounded, that I assume is the linden flower or the lotus.

* Erotic Sake Bowl
Described as “pink grapefruit, sugared yuzu, lemon leaf, raspberry, Queen mandarin, and plum blossom musk.” BPAL’s mandarin note pretty much always strikes me as an orange Tic-Tac, which isn’t unpleasant, but also isn’t my speed. Winds up as fruity musk.

* Experimentum Crucis (Etat Libre d’Orange)
Described as “lychee, apple, rose neo-absolute, jasmin absolute, honey, patchouli, and musks.” Ten seconds of sweet citrus turns into ROSE + jasmine. This basically stays hella floral throughout.

* Bois D’Oud (Perris Monte Carlo)
This maker seems very prone to note-stuffed blends, as this has “bergamot, fruity peach, plum, jasmine, rose, orris, orange blossom, oud, cedar wood, blackwood, patchouli, vanilla, amber, labdanum, and musk.” It’s woody and complex, mostly being the oud and cedar and labdanum (and maybe the orris? that’s another one I don’t have a good handle on); I never really got the fruit. Meh.

* Fat Electrician (Etat Libre d’Orange)
Described as “vetiver from Haiti, chestnut cream, olive leaves, myrrh, vanilla, and opoponax.” Creamy vanilla chestnut then goes to . . . see above re: me not really grokking vetiver yet, ditto opoponax, so I’m not sure what I picked up there.

* Hex (Haus of Gloi)
Described as “brackish amber, aged vanilla bean and three dark fruits.” Darkly fruity is about right, and it’s also sort of warm and “round” — not quite what I’m used to from vanilla, so I’m guessing that’s something to do with the “aged” part.

* The Dormouse
Described as “four teas brushed with light herbs and a breath of peony.” I don’t know peony well enough, but this is sort of herbal-y citrus, like a nice cleaning product, going green over time. Unfortunately, it also turns soapy after a bit, so, nope.

WEEK 30

* First Fruits
Described as “white pomegranate, golden grapes, apricot, black fig, and lemon and orange rind.” Very much fruit punch at first, initially a bit brightened by citrus, then grapier. The fig settles in after a while, and it seemed like there was some musk in there. I’ll try it again.

* Bronze (Nanadebary)
Described as “bergamot, mandarine, cinnamon, jasmine, iris, amber, vanilla, cedarwood, and light musk.” This was pleasant but not distinctive: kind of a generic perfume shifting to slightly cinnamon-tinged amber. I like that mix, but not enough to keep.

* Vanilla Vibes (Juliette Has a Gun)
Described as “fleur de sal (sea salt), orchid absolute, natural vanilla absolute, sandalwood absolute, brown musk, tonka bean, and benzoin absolute.” Cologne-y vanilla that turns to musky vanilla; it’s basically just generically warm.

* Rien (Etat Libre d’Orange)
Described as “incense, rose, leather, orris, cistus, oakmoss, patchouli, amber, cumin, black pepper, and aldehydes.” The leather hit hard here — there was a strong incense note at first, some patchouli and amber later, but really just LEATHER. Blech.

* Pink (Nanadebary)
Described as “nutmeg, coriander, Sicilian tangerine, bergamot, sandalwood, cedar, Indian amber, and Bourban vanilla” (spelled that way; I suspect it’s a typo). Generic cologne with a citrus lift that lasts about ten seconds after application, and then it’s just vanilla sandalwood. Boring.

* Be Careful What You Wish For (4160 Tuesdays)
Described as “pink grapefruit, juniper berry, peach, white oudh, raspberry, strawberry, gaiac, patchouli, vanilla, plum, and dark oudh.” In the bottle, juniper, grapefruit, and maybe oud. Goes fruitier on me, mostly peach/strawberry with a bit of juniper sharpness that dulls over time. Not bad, but not enough.

* A Hundred Years Ago
Described as “green vetiver and ocean mist with a blast of elemi, verbena, and wild bergamot.” This went straight to soap the instant I applied it. Blergh.

* Picaroon (Haus of Gloi)
Described as “sun scorched mahogany bough crusted with a crystalline sea spray! Faint plundered rare spices. Lemongrass, coconuts, fine Mexican lime and Haitian bay rum.” In the bottle, sweetly woody with some citrus overtones; on me it becomes coconut rum with a bit of lime, then kind of some lemongrass spice, finally settling down into sweet woody coconut.

WEEK 31

* Hummingbird (Haus of Gloi)
Described as “lightly spiced cake with pineapple, banana and pecans. Topped with vanilla frosting, honeysuckle blossoms and a drizzle of red currant nectar.” I didn’t get too much banana; for a while it’s mostly vanilla and pineapple, more cake-y early on, more honeysuckle later — but then HI VANILLA. I’d eat this, but I don’t want to wear it.

* Insalata Nocturna (Haus of Gloi)
Described as “green Bolivian lemon, rubbed tomato leaf, black fig syrup and basil.” Technically there is no parsley in this, but boy howdy did I smell like parsley. Which I don’t mind, but I also don’t want.

* Lassi (Haus of Gloi)
Described as “cool, fresh mango cream, Tunisian orange blossom absolute, black ginger to ground, splash of green tea and a soft squeeze of lime juice.” The mango and lime dominate in the bottle, with a faint undertone of cream and some astringency from the tea. Wet, it’s lime tea with an under-layer of mango cream — the former does a nice job of keeping the mango under control, and there’s maybe a hint of orange later. Mango isn’t my favorite, though, so no.

* Sunbeam (Haus of Gloi)
Described as “warm amber, sun-dried corn stalks, mimosa flowers, fenugreek absolute, and shimmering aldehydes.” It annoys me faintly when a description just says “aldehydes,” because apparently those can smell like lots of different things, but from what I can tell what I smelled in here was mostly the fenugreek, and DO. NOT. WANT. It’s been a while since a perfume made me desperately wish I could get further away from my own arm.

* Boca Chica (Haus of Gloi)
Described as “rich gardenia blossom, red mandarin, coconut cream and ripe banana.” I think I’m finally starting to get a handle on what gardenia is like; it reminds me of tuberose, being kind of thick and heavy, but in a nice way. The mandarin and coconut lift it as it dries, and it turns into a nice balance of gardenia and coconut, though it’s not my type of thing.

* Lemongrass Ice Cream (Haus of Gloi)
Described as “rich coconut milk ice cream infused with lemongrass and vanilla. Garnished with a lime leaf.” Never really got the coconut; it’s semongrass with a milky undertone that fades over time, giving me a distinctly lemon-lime scent . . . and then vanilla. I like vanilla, but I find too much of it in a perfume to be tiresome.

* Asperitas (Haus of Gloi)
Described as “rain soaked grass, Egyptian musk, a touch of patchouli and myrrh, bright flashes of lemon, and a sharp crack of pepper.” I have no idea how this one managed to go floral, given those listed notes, but the lemon went away and there was only ever a hint of patchouli and myrrh; nothing else came through.

* Hestia (Hexennacht)
Described as “marshmallow and clove,” and while I got the clove for sure . . . how did this manage to smell like apple? And then later on, bubblegum. I’ll give it another shot just for comparison with other apple scents, but it’s probably a no.

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