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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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