C’est une pipe

pipeSådanne is knee-meltingly good.

If you’ve ever smelled any Slumberhouse scents you’re going to find traces of several in this new one. There’s the hay of Sova (oh god why didn’t I buy a bottle when I could), the cranberry sour of Zahd (without the actual smoky cranberry essence Josh Lobb used in that limited-edition masterpiece), perrrrrrhaps some of the saltiness of Pear & Olive – though I’m reluctant to even say that, because then I know some of you will go “Ew, salt” and I will have to herd you back into position like restless cattle by waving my arms and shouting “NO IT’S REALLY GOOD SNORT IT NOW!”

And there is tobacco. Oh God is there tobacco. This is not the hollow synthetic chemical tobacco of, say, Back to Black from By Kilian (which you all know I love love love in a way that is just not right). This tobacco used to be green. It had juices. It is not the sticky forbidden potfest that one might find, for instance, in another By Kilian, Smoke for the Soul. This tobacco is what you smelled when you opened your father’s pipe tobacco pouch, or your grandfather’s, and you inhaled, and you wondered how anything could smell so good in one form and yet make unpleasant smoke. (I never cared as much for the smell of pipe tobacco smoke, infinitely better than cigarette smoke though it may be.) The cherry tones you noted in that pipe tobacco come and go here, depending on how much you try to bring them into focus.

It might, in fact, be the smell of your grandfather’s pocket, where the pipe tobacco smell melds with the smell of butterscotch drops and warm skin and wool into something unmistakably masculine, and wonderful.

I don’t even want to describe it that way, though, because to me this scent has a sexuality that is immediate. Think of every verb you’ve ever used to describe taking in a lover. They all apply to this perfume. Inhale, lick, bite, mouth, nuzzle, breathe, taste. This perfume’s palpable body wants to be rolled around in your senses a bit. Other people might think you are just wearing something that smells of pipe tobacco. But you will notice so much more. The musk like salty hot skin, the warm sweetness of kisses – something drizzled on the body and licked off would leave traces that would smell like this.

Other reviewers have mentioned a sweetness to Sådanne. Since everything goes fairly sweet on me, that particular quality doesn’t really stand out to me. I can easily imagine gourmand lovers not loving Sådanne, because it isn’t particularly clean. This is not going to appeal to the Pink Sugar crowd. I think some perfume lovers may be put off by Josh’s own description of this one as “stained glass syrup”. It is neither as sweet, nor as cloying, as that description makes it sound (though like all Slumberhouse scents, it isn’t sheer and it isn’t shy.)

Here’s the entirety of Slumberhouse’s copy:
“Stained glass syrup
Serenades in damascone minor
Allegory obscured / pastel wound
A slurry of subtlety

note list unavailable”

If there’s a key to this scent in the company description, it’s that key word “damascone.” The light, aaaaaaalmost milky rose quality of Turkish delight is in this scent. (If you loved Traversée du Bosphorus from L’Artisan, do get your mitts on some of this and write and tell me how you think they compare.) That gives it its lickability, especially as the tobacco fades and what is left is the orange-red fire-candy of the damascones.

I would suspect that rose haters would hate this scent without ever once really consciously realizing that it’s the damascones they’re smelling. If no one told you, I don’t think the word “rose” would ever enter your head. Or at least it wouldn’t mine. But I think it’s the interplay between those molecules and whatever is making up the rest of the scent that gives it such texture. As Mark wrote in his reflection on the candy-apple red of this scent, at Colognoisseur, this scent is NOT linear. It’s going to change on you. Go along for the ride.

I wouldn’t call it a pastel wound OR a slurry of subtlety, but that’s the poetic license of the creator. I think it smells like the men in this photograph look like they would smell. Or at least the hand that’s been packing that pipe. Be careful with it. In the wrong hands, this scent could be a weapon.

I hardly know how to recommend this scent. If you love Slumberhouse of course you can’t miss this one; if you love tobacco scents or hay scents you will kick yourself if you pass this by. There is a relationship here to LUSH’s cult scent Rose Jam. Which I hate. I don’t have to be logical, I’m just calling it like I see it. If you love Rose Jam, you need to smell this. If you hate Rose Jam, I still think you should smell this.

Personally, I can’t really get my brain past the thought that the person you’d buy this for had better be someone you want to have an awful lot of extremely personal sex with. In the tiny doses I’ve put on it’s worn fairly close to the skin. I think if I smelled this on someone in public, I’d stop to take a second look – and I’d be sure to look them in the eyes for a long time.

Stained glass syrup? Not to me. A little sticky, yes; fragile, no.

Image is pipe by aubnonymous., via Flickr. Used under Creative Commons license; some rights reserved.

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Youth Clubbing in black and white.Sorry, I wasn’t trying to alarm anybody about saying I had to adjust my perfume purchases. I’m taking some classes I have to pay for, that’s all, and I still have some other financial things to get in order from moving. (I’m not ready to admit publicly that I am getting yet another graduate degree. These things just aren’t done.) I feel like people come here for the perfume news, if anything, not the me news.

I’m going to Sniffapalooza! THAT’S fun.

Uh, what else. Gucci Guilty Black is in fact even better than the original – in its “concentrated” form (not that I buy that for a second) it’s got a certain butteriness to it that really appeals on top of the lilac and amber. Too bad about the Batman bottle.

Are you following Mark at Colognoisseur’s adventures at Pitti? He goes to all these perfume expos I never even know about. I love living vicariously through his posts. (I like Italy too.)

Also check out his reviews of the new By Kilians. If you’re like me and you love the By Kilians you love and you really dislike the ones you don’t love, this set of impressions is crucial. I’ve already tested Intoxicated and I enjoyed it; I wish By Kilian would come out with a set of three travel sizes of this set, as I’m sure I’m going to enjoy the others too. I feel like there’s only so much tobacco a woman can get away with wearing, but I intend to push it.

I am super pleased with my Olfactif samples this month. I’d just been wanting to try Mohur again (I am the only perfumista in the world who didn’t go apeshit for it, apparently) and there it is! I’m really pleased with roses and I’m pleased with this selection. I own Lady Vengeance but my purse bullet has a top that doesn’t close very tightly and I seldom pull it out, so a little travel spray is welcome; and I want a bottle of Rose Cut but didn’t spring for it because I know I wouldn’t wear it that much. So this is perfect.

Traveling this week for work – trying to think of what to take with me besides the In the City of Sin and Lavande et Encens I’ve been wearing all year. But I probably won’t think of anything. (Mohur maybe. :-) )

Almost everything in my perfume collection is now much more findable in the new place, except when it’s not. I need to redo my whole inventory. And when something ISN’T in the collection where it should be, I am totally lost. I am talking about you, L’Artisan L’Eau du Navigateur. I am NOT shelling out for you again. I know you’re in this house somewhere.

Did you see The Black Narcissus’ review of Aimez-Moi? I’ve always considered it the codependent cheap cousin of N’Aimez que Moi which I love and have in several forms and never want to be without. N’Aimez que Moi is so much more dignified, more sad, more serious, and somehow beautiful. But now he’s made me want to snort Aimez-Moi again (apparently, of course, in the vintage edition). If only for the crazy.

Splitmeet on NST next week. I’ll be super-busy all day but hoping to check in. All I really want is to split a travel set of the Le Labo city exclusives. You can get any one of them you want in the set; I just want Musc 25 (though even that for $85 for 10 ml is ridiculous. I have to finish my review, “Le Labo: The Silliest of Exclusive Brands”.) I also might want a couple (but only 2 of 3) of the regular scents (I still want some Ylang for sure). I’m not interested in decanting and have bought all the decants I can afford recently and then some. I need to get rid of decants I’m NOT using.

(But I’m always afraid I’ll want it later. I hate Sospiro Wardisina. HATE it. I’ve seldom hated a perfume so much. But then I keep reading reviews of it that rave about it, and I sure as hell don’t want to ever shell out for it AGAIN, so I hold on to it. That’s stupid, right?)

Updated my theme and somehow Atahualpa has finally turned on me; it’s layering my header elements in the wrong order and I’m not enough of a CSS hacker to fix that. And basically too busy to be arsed about it. Oh well.

Somewhere in this house there’s ALSO the big bag of samples from LAST Sniffapalooza that I haven’t gotten through yet. If I can find that before NEXT Sniffapalooza, I will count that a win!

Image is 18.08.11 Mish:Mash by Daniel Easton, via Flickr. Used under Creative Commons license; some rights reserved.

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Liking bad stuff

gucci-guilty-Chris-Evans-BWI’ve been craving fairly bad perfumes. Not things formulated to smell bad, but just, cheap, possibly cheerful perfumes.

Perhaps it’s the late summer heat, perhaps it’s being tired and dispirited so much of the time (this is always a tough time of year and this year is perhaps the worst); perhaps it’s knowing that my budget has to change now with new priorities and my perfume taste is changing with it.

Whatever it is, I’ve been reaching for some fairly bad perfumes lately. Not the ones you all know I love, like Billionaire Boyfriend or Le Petite Robe Noire. No, I mean I got myself some purse sprays of Gucci Guilty – solely because of Chris Evans in the ad campaign, I am the first to admit it, lord those eyelashes are ridiculous – and I’ve been wearing the stuff. There’s something addictive about its synthetic lilac and amber mix. I’d be embarrassed to dig into it. But there it is.

(Actually I don’t know if I could write a review of it other than “Synthetic lilac and amber mix.” Perhaps “Surprisingly pleasant synthetic lilac and amber mix”? “Spring lilacs and fall amber in an all-season synthetic blend”? Or just “Works fairly well as a deodorant”?)

I was also struck by Mark at Colognoisseur’s recent review of Avon perfumes, in which he calls out Flor Alegria as the best of their current offerings. Looking over the Avon website I couldn’t help but notice that Flor Alegria isn’t doing all that hot; but Rare Gold was their top seller. They had me at jasmine and woods, so I picked up a little to try, along with its flankers Rare Pearls and Rare Diamonds.

As a kid I was a huge wide-eyed fan of Avon’s perfumes, even though my grandmother looked at them askance. I wasn’t foolish, I knew what she thought, she of the Chanel No. 5; but she also had a bottle of Giorgio that she wore a hell of a lot more often and I knew there was something to be said for cheap(er) thrills. And the fragrances seemed so impossibly grown up to me. I can’t believe they’re still selling Timeless in that gorgeous amber bottle. I hated the smell of it as a kid (I wonder what I would think of it today?) but man, that bottle called to me.

Rare Gold is a wearable cheap perfume, in the White Diamonds category (I’ve written a million times how much I love White Diamonds in the parfum), and actually it kind of gives me hope for perfume for the future. Because it really does smell like perfume, NOT like Flowerbomb, and NOT like Angel. That’s nice.

I also picked up – and have been wearing – a plain ol’ bottle of Burberry Brit. This fruity vanilla just hits a sweet spot with me, pretty much the same one as LPRN (but I can switch it out some days and wear this instead). Pretty, comfortable, all-purpose, and yet those big ol’ fake molecules stand up to the heat. I like it.

It’s not like I’m going out looking for these things specifically. It’s just what’s appealing to me right now. And of course after you try one, you want to try another, like potato chips. (Or pulling a thread on your sweater. Until you have no more sweater.) I’ll probably get my mitts on some Gucci Guilty Intense too just to try it, though I don’t like the Batman-logo bottle, either for men or women. (Batman in Joker colors.)

Yes, after all that, for an afternoon pick-me-up last night I put on a dab of Ormonde Jayne Man. It’s light-years ahead in quality – in richness, in detail, in beauty, and no doubt in ingredients that aren’t solely artificial musk and musk derivative molecules the size of my head that will never ever degrade in nature. I enjoyed it. But maybe I enjoyed it more because of the switch-up from the lighter, easier perfumes?

I dunno. If I ever willingly buy a bottle of anything by Versace, shoot me.


They’re ad images.

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Smell the revolution

How many of us wear perfume to draw attention to ourselves? I think few, actually. We wear perfume for ourselves, for pleasure, and we worry about it being too much for the folks around us, if we are being “that person” whom everyone else can smell coming a mile away.

What if we wanted to . . . → Read More: Smell the revolution

The pleasures of sweat

Am I the only one who doesn’t use perfume to fight the heat? Of course, I can talk – this is the mildest summer I’ve had in a decade of living on this godforsaken island, with very little real heat to complain about.

But even in the swelteringest summer, I complain about still air as . . . → Read More: The pleasures of sweat

Obligatory Beach Perfume Post

I think what’s special about the smell at the beach is dead things. Sorry, not particularly romantic in a perfume blog, but it’s true. The sun-cooked, salt-pickled smell of seaweed that has washed up on the beach is heaven to me, and the smell of a real oceanic beach, with its sand and rocks, would . . . → Read More: Obligatory Beach Perfume Post

Sorry. I’ve been a Bisy Backson.

SO I moved. And I took a class. I helped hold a conference, presented at another one, took a different class. Work went a bit haywire. And I’m still unpacking.

I’ve been doing some other things for my fun down time than perfume. A bit of writing, and setting up my house. Now that I . . . → Read More: Sorry. I’ve been a Bisy Backson.

Everything is ———

I’m not low maintenance. I feel badly for my nearest and dearest sometimes. (Though if I were low maintenance, I wouldn’t have been able to do a lot of things that I’ve done that I wanted to do.) Sometimes I make myself tired. Where to start, what to say, when I’m feeling picky and pokey . . . → Read More: Everything is ———

Gotta move

Yes I want to write a wrap-up of Sniffapalooza, start reviewing some of the perfumes I smelled (I’ve really been enjoying SuléKó’s scents – I think there’s an English site too somewhere. The perfume is intended to follow in the footsteps of classic Russian perfumery; the bottles are to die for.)

But I have to . . . → Read More: Gotta move

Merry Candy Perfume Wedding

Today the Candy Perfume Boy, well-known perfume reviewer and the fellow who made me fall in love with all fumes Mugler, is getting married.

After weeks, perhaps months of speculation, Thomas revealed that his wedding fragrance is .mito by vero profumo. So in honor of his wedding, I’m wearing .mito today and decided to review . . . → Read More: Merry Candy Perfume Wedding