Saturday, July 9, 2011

Recent acquisitions

New sniffs! I acquired all of the below through swaps, as I'm on strict self-enforced lockdown when it comes to perfume purchases. I feel guilty enough for buying two new dresses in the past week.

Chinatown: The Bond No. 9 line is mostly overwhelming and overpriced, but there are a few among them I really like, notably Broadway Nite (which is almost unwearably loud but fabulous as art), Saks Fifth Avenue for Her and this one. Chinatown is categorized as a chypre but what I get is fruity patchouli gourmand, one of my favorite genres (see Belle en Rykiel, A*Men Pure Malt, L de Lolita Lempicka, etc.). I'm always surprised how well patchouli works in the heat. This has a peach fuzz quality to it, and unlike, say, Angel, feels somehow cool and refined as opposed to trashy and over the top, like you could actually wear it to work without irony. Plus, the volume level is perfect.

Wazamba: I just reviewed this one. It's basically incense with a gummi bear note. What's not to like?!

Cuir Mauresque: Whenever someone I know is in the market for perfume, I suggest they check out the Serge Lutens line, because almost everybody falls in love with one or another of them, and they're actually a pretty good value for niche. I, however, have never truly fallen in love with one. I like almost all of them, and would happily wear them if I came into a bottle (as I just did), but none of them really make me swoon. This one is a nicely done leather with soft spices -- like many Lutenses, better dabbed than sprayed. I love leathers and I'm happy to have it in the collection, though it doesn't hold a candle to Calice Becker's Cuir de Lancome.

Putain des Palaces: If you like conceptual poetry, you'll love conceptual perfumery! The name means Hotel Hooker and by a different name it really wouldn't smell as sweet, because you sort of have to get the joke to appreciate it. It's a brash, sweet, creamy, somewhat cheap-smelling floral accord layered on top of a skanky base -- supposedly leather, but what I get of it is almost entirely musk, the naughty type of musk found in Muscs Koublai Kahn. Thinly veiled ho, get it? Amusing and pleasant if you like filthy musk, which I do.

Vamp a NY: I've wanted to try this all-natural tuberose perfume by Olivia Giacobetti (author of the delicious Phikosykos) for a long time, and got a large sample in one of the above swaps. Unfortunately, the slight bubblegum facet of tuberose absolute is played up to the hilt here. It had me hallucinating that pink powder that gets on your fingers when you unwrap a piece of gum. More pleasant in the drydown, but this is one of the few tuberose compositions I've tried that didn't work for me, at least on the first test.

Magical Moon: I like the Hanae Mori line for what it is, mainstream stuff that veers young and sweet but done well. This one opens very complicated and peppery (as in capsicum!), then smears out to a rosy incense-wood-patchouli thing, reminiscent of Secret Obsession. It's really rather strange, with hints of bug spray and Flintstones vitamins, but basically in a good way. Better weird than boring, always.


  1. I now have to try Putain des Palaces.

  2. Diana, I'd be happy to send you a sample from my bottle! Email me if you're interested.

  3. 'Better weird than boring, always.' Amen, sister.

    Chinatown is a winner - the Bond No. 9 line usually leaves me yawning, but this one's a beauty.

    If only Cuir de Lancome kept its beautiful leathery beginning...

  4. Ah, I love the ambery drydown of CdL, but it's more delicious than bitey with leather, for sure.

  5. French films (or French subtitles for American films) give me the impression that putain is also the French equivalent of "fucking" used as a modifier. As in "Putain qu'il est beau ton cul!"

    I'll let you translate that yourself.