Wow, has it really been since the end of January that I’ve compile a list of stinks o’ the week? Lordy. Well, better later than never, right? Though I guess in this case is more like “scents of the month/s” But we won’t dwell on my faults and laziness, okay? Previous weeks: one // two


First up, Kiehl’s Original Musk: I do think this is the perfect musk; it hasn’t got that lofty sneeze-inducing quality that I associate with Egyptian musk, but it does have a feral edge of skankiness, and an underlying bittersweet powderiness that keeps a scent that is mostly warm and clean from becoming bland and blah. Kiehl’s musk is exactly what I imagine 1974 to smell like. Astrology enthusiasts, embroidered caftans, and an endless parade of Tupperware parties through your rust & mustard & olive wallpapered kitchen. {perfume sample pictured alongside the utterly exquisite “black mirror” snake pendant from Flannery Grace}


Mandragore by Annick Goutal. Mandragore reminds me of a scene in the 1980’s vampire film The Lost Boys, when the main characters’ grandpa says “….well that’s about as close to town as I like to get.” My perfume shelf is filled mostly with deep, dark, resinous autumnal fragrances, and Mandragore, with its bright, effervescent lemony/peppery opening that quickly fades to a gently minty bergamot, is as close to a “summer scent” as I like to get.


Absinth by Nassomatto. Bittersweet mosses, green woodsmoke, and sinister woods. It’s a bit of a nose-jarring scent at first sniff, as if the punk-poet green fairy quit bohemian Paris to live amongst the ancient dryads and they didn’t get on well but eventually formed an uneasy friendship. It’s a softly surreal, slightly subversive scent, and I totally imagine Meatface here wearing it.


Avignon from COMME des GARÇONS Incense series. In short, it smells like the melancholy elegance of a poet who writes with terribly expensive pencils. Pencil shavings & poet’s tears. All of CdG’s Incense fragrances smell like poetry to me, so here is Avignon captured alongside some of my favorites.


Pink Sugar by Aquolina. If you’ve not tried it, it’s exactly what you think it is. Which is to say an ultra sweet, teeth-aching miasma of fizzy spun sugar. Marshmallow and a tiny twist of lemon with a barely-detectable licorice spike. It is wretched. It is divine. I inexplicably adore it. I buy the “hair perfume” version so I can spritz with manic pixie dust mad abandon. The dry down is sweetly vanillic and woody, like maybe the bark of the mythic candy floss tree in the dime store candy forest. I know heaps of folks who hate this stuff. Oh well. More for me!


Me, Myself, and I by Ego Facto. I’ve had this bottle for over a year but haven’t really worn it much until recently, and I’m here to tell you, it is strangely addictive. I was initially intrigued by the notes {Hemlock flower, exotic basil, Tuberose absolute, lavender flowers, Java Vetyver roots, Gaiac wood} and I’ve read that hemlock is an unpleasant scent, but anytime it’s listed in a fragrance, I can’t help but to want to give it a go. Me, Myself and I is sort of raw and green and smoky all at once. There is something just this shy of mentholated to it, and though it’s slightly bitter and almost musty at first, hours later it’s a really lovely, flowery-fresh, woody scent. What I love about it most, though, and this is going to sound weird (and maybe gross to some of you), is that it smells vaguely like the handbag or the scarf of a long-time smoker. There was a girl I went to high school with, the sister of my boyfriend at the time, who was beautiful and popular and had her shit super together, and she was, at that time, a somewhat heavy smoker. Every time she’d swing her waist-length, impossibly shiny black hair around, I’d catch a whiff of cigarette smoke, perhaps tinged with her expensive shampoo, (it was probably Origins; a store had just opened in the mall at that time) and I’ll be honest, I thought it was an unbelievably gorgeous, sophisticated scent. (Note: I’m not even a smoker, I have never smoked anything in my life. I’m just a weirdo, I guess.)

guardianGuardian from Solstice Scents. Described as a forest chypre blend and a botanical talismanic perfume, it smells of dense earthy shadows and amber sunlight through a forest canopy, and feels like finally coming home.


Death & Decay from LUSH. I wrote about this back in 2015, for Death & The Maiden, and my thoughts have not changed much. A mass of white lillies, a wreath, perhaps – sweet and clean and full, waxen, and with a dignified clove-like spice, you can almost envision their alabaster form and curve. A calming, quiet, meditative, floral, almost too fresh to call classic, but it certainly evokes a kind of nostalgia. This fragrance calls to mind little girls dressed all in white, playing hide and seek around an open casket because they don’t know yet to be sad at funerals.

Antique Lace

Antique Lace from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab (discontinued). Many years ago, a friend spilled my beloved bottle of Antique Lace. Which made me awfully sad, I can assure you. I was even more devastated shortly thereafter to discover they had discontinued this soft, sweet, whisper of a scent. Imagine my surprise to learn, seven or eight years later, that they are offering it again! It may have sold out already, but you can bet your fluffy pantaloons I hastily procured a replacement bottle for myself.

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