CB I Hate Perfume – I Am A Dandelion + Giveaway

Some days I find myself wishing that the wind would come and take me to a far-away land, where no one can find me and where I can be contentedly alone. On days like these I wear I Am A Dandelion by CB I Hate Perfume [water perfume, not the perfume absolute]. For then I don’t just imagine myself as a dandelion floating in the gentle breeze, I become the dandelion, I inhabit its body in a way that Thomas Nagel could never conceive of what it is like to be a bat. Continue reading

Etat Libre d’Orange: Archives 69

Round and round we go…

The ad-copy of Archives 69, from the Etat Libre d’Orange website:

She carries her memories like her scent. 
They surround her, they endure, and they speak her name. She is a collector, and among her souvenirs can be found the beauty of beginnings, the ache of endings. In the sanctuary of her heart lie the sacred and the profane, they come together like the notes of her fragrance. She doesn’t linger long at the altar of regret. She lights the candle and burns the incense at the shrine of remembrance and expectation, pleasure and pain, in anticipation of the glorious memories yet to create. And when you know her, you will know the end of innocence. With the song of a siren, she lures with an indecent charm, an almost malevolent delicacy. She sings to the inner animal. She awakens the sleeping lion, she tames the savage beast. She shows the way to wondrous and frightening delights, and we may be surprised by the strength of her seduction.

She is masculine/feminine, succubus and incubus, and she can be dangerous, but only to those who willingly resist the confines of safety. 
We shudder at the urgency of her will, and tremble at our own hungry response. In her insatiable desire to have and to give, she is under and over, she consumes with her life force. She knows when to strike, when to stroke. And as she feasts, we taste every delicious touch, every bite, every flicker of her tongue. She is heaven and hell, the terrible and the beautiful.
She can dance on a grave, awakening the spectre with a blood kiss, and we will join her in this feverish whirl, to the tempo of a tango, until we are one with her, in mind and body. 

And you will carry this memory as you carry this scent.

69 rue des Archives is the address of Etat Libre d’Orange. Archives 69 is the essence of Etat Libre d’Orange. This is a perfume designed to free the senses, to open the heart to all the possibilities. It is an invitation to pleasure, an ode to seduction. It comes without restrictions, rules or regulations. It is yours to do with as you wish.

This is the scent of sensual liberation.

Now this is a sleeping lion and a savage beast 😀

Errr, how about, no? To be absolutely honest, I snorted and tried my best to stifle my laughter when I read this ad-copy while typing away in the library. A succubus/incubus who seduces and licks you, who “awakens the [your] sleeping lion” and “tames the [your] savage beast”? Even with my propensity for the absurd, this description of Archives 69 really takes the prize for most over-the-top, most irrelevant description of the perfume.

Lest you believe that I dislike the fragrance, allow me to state upfront my take on the fragrance itself: it’s intellectually-stimulating (definitely not stimulating in the way they describe) and generally wearable. I’d even consider it to be an edgy fragrance. The challenge now is coming up with ad-copy that better fits the fragrance. But before we dive into that, what does Archives 69 smell like?

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Phaedon – Coton Egyptien

source: fragrantica.com


I spent days trying to write
the perfect letter for you.

I wrote and scratched out
words. I crumpled paper
until my floor started to think
it was a cotton field,
and I thought of inviting you
to come pick through it,

to see if you could find
the softness I was trying
to tell you about

but I was too afraid
your fingers would wear raw
on the bolls, that you would grow
tired of stooping
to pick up the things I’d grown
in my head

so I put an empty envelope
in your mailbox, and wrote

Love me, please,

on the outside,

– Gabriel Gadfly

“I wrote and scratched out words”

I’ve been wondering for some time what to write about Coton Egyptien by Phaedon. Did I love Coton Egyptien? Well, yes and no.

Coton Egyptien opens with the sheerest, most delicate galbanum and freshly cut grass. It is to perfumer Pierre Guillaume‘s credit that he has managed to achieve such a soft, gentle opening using a note that usually comes across as sharp and spiky. Does it smell like cotton sheets? Perhaps not exactly, but Coton Egyptien conjures images of clean white sheets hung to dry in an open field.

“I thought of inviting you to come pick through it”

Coton Egyptien‘s beautiful opening doesn’t last for long, unfortunately. As it progresses into its heart, clean florals take over. The orange blossom, lily of the valley and jasmine blend together in a mildly sweet blend that is difficult to describe in any way other than “pleasant”. It’s not particularly interesting, but then again, neither are cotton sheets.

“you would grow tired”

As we reach the drydown, Coton Egyptien becomes a sheer (I seem to be describing the whole development of Coton Egyptien as sheer! Well it’s true!) white musk that’s rather non-descript. Although this makes it remain true to its theme of sheets, it comes across less as luxurious egyptian cotton than it does the cheap sheets one can get from IKEA.

“Love me, please, on the outside, instead.”

Ultimately, Coton Egyptien works best for me in its opening movement. Even then, the rest of the fragrance makes sense in that they are all related to the idea of ‘cotton’. Do I love it? Perhaps not entirely, but I’ll wear it on a warm spring day when anything else would be too heavy.

[Review based on my own bottle, purchased from Bloom Perfumery, London. Coton Egyptien has unfortunately been discontinued. It is being replaced by Lentisque, a reformulation of Coton Egyptien that smells more floral but does away with the lovely galbanum opening.]

~ The Smelly Vagabond

L’Artisan Parfumeur – Caligna

I bemoan L’Artisan Parfumeur‘s decision to move away from the beautiful, hand-drawn, travel-inspired sketches they’ve been using in the advertising for their previous scents. I get that they want to ‘move in a different direction’. There were so many excellent directions they could have moved in. For example, advertising that’s inspired by photography (well, Olfactive Studio‘s done that already), or apocalyptic art, or comic books, or history, or fruit loops… or well, anything. Anything but what they’ve done with the advertising they used for Caligna. Evidently, the marketing team at L’Artisan Parfumeur caved in to the ‘tried-and-tested’ recipe for advertising that would translate to sales: Continue reading