Kerosene Unknown Pleasures ~ fragrance review

Side street, Manchester

The Michigan-based indie fragrance line Kerosene released Unknown Pleasures in 2013. I first read about this fragrance with mixed emotions. The notes sounded appealing — Earl Grey tea, lemon, bergamot, honeycomb, tonka bean, caramel, vanilla and waffle cone. On the other hand — could it really be an homage to an iconic album by British post-punk group Joy Division? Yes, apparently: Kerosene’s product description continues, “You’re walking down a cold street in Manchester, listening to Joy Division, sipping on a warm cup of London Fog…”

For two years I’ve postponed trying this fragrance, partly because Kerosene isn’t widely available, and partly because I’m always hesitant to try anything inspired by a favorite work of art. Unknown Pleasures was integral to my college years and twenties, playing on steady rotation in my various dorm rooms and apartments (all decorated with a large poster of Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis). I love everything the band recorded…

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Jimmy Choo Illicit ~ perfume review

Sky Ferreira for Jimmy Choo Illicit

The latest fragrance release from luxury footwear brand Jimmy Choo is Illicit, a “modern floriental” developed by perfumer Anne Flipo. Illicit’s notes include ginger, bitter orange, rose, jasmine, honey-amber accord and sandalwood; its ad campaign is fronted by singer, model and actress Sky Ferreira.

I’m probably not the target customer for this perfume: I covet shoes from John Fluevog more than anything from Choo, Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin et. al., and I don’t know anything about Sky Ferreira. According to Sandra Choi, Jimmy Choo’s creative director, “Illicit embodies the daring spirit of the Jimmy Choo woman. She is alluring, hypnotic and lives her life to the full.”1 I don’t think any of this applies to me, either (alas)…

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Blackbird Broken Glass ~ fragrance review & a quick poll

Blackbird Broken Glass

I’ve never met my fellow Now Smell This writer Kevin “in real life,” but I feel as though we’ve been friends for years — not only because we’re familiar with each others’ fragrance tastes and we’ve read each others’ writing for so long, but because we share other, non-perfume interests and opinions as well. One of them is a background in art history. Another is a strong dislike of hot summer weather. Kevin’s recent post on two fragrances for heatwaves suggested one scent-strategy for coping with soaring temperatures: “merging” with the oppressive weather by wearing intense, vivid scents. As I was testing Blackbird’s Broken Glass this week, I thought of another: wearing a fragrance that foreshadows autumn…

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Lavanila Vanilla Breeze Sport Luxe Deodorant ~ scented body product review

Lavanila Vanilla Breeze Sport Luxe Deodorant

My part of the world has entered the so-called dog days of summer, which means I’m thinking about a mundane item like deodorant more than usual; and, as a scent-obsessive, I can’t use even the most basic body product without thinking about its fragrance. I used to buy antiperspirants at the drugstore, and any unscented variety would do. However, since I converted to deodorants a few years ago, I’ve become hooked on Lavanila. Lavanila’s “Healthy Deodorants” actually do their job, they don’t irritate my skin in any way, and they happen to smell great…

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Les Parfums de Rosine La Cologne de Rosine ~ fragrance review

Les Parfums de Rosine La Cologne de Rosine

Today was one of those hot-hazy-and-humid summer days in New York when the air had a palpable, spongy weight, the subway stations could only be described as “infernal,” and every trash receptacle was emitting its own unique stench. As a consequence, everyone was sweaty and miserable, and everyone — including me — was in a bad mood. One of the small comforts of my day was a sample vial of La Cologne de Rosine, the latest release from Les Parfums de Rosine, which refreshed me at a moment when I couldn’t have tolerated my usual powdery or spicy-sweet floral fragrances.

La Cologne de Rosine is a rose-tinted interpretation of a traditional Eau de Cologne, with notes of bergamot, mandarin, rose, freesia, violet, white musk, cedar and amber. It was developed for Rosine by perfumer Nicolas Bonneville. If you’ve read Robin’s recent posts on “old school” and “new wave” summer colognes, you may be in the mood to break out your own favorite colognes, regardless of the weather…

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