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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5 perfumes: gourmand oddities

Sausages

Way back in 2008, Erin wrote a post called 5 Perfumes for: Gourmand Deniers. Her selection emphasized gourmands for people who are wary of gourmands; in her words, gourmands “that camouflage their intentions”. Like Erin, I don’t think of myself as a huge fan of sweet, dessert-based gourmands, although as time goes on I find more and more exceptions to the rule. Today, however, I’m thinking about an entirely different kind of gourmand. Here are five fragrances that smell like food without calling to mind the conventional offerings on a dessert tray.

Lush The Voice of Reason: If Dinner by Bobo were still on the market (and if it is, do comment), it would surely take top honors in any list of gourmand oddities, but as a reasonably meaty substitute I offer The Voice of Reason, which I described in my review as “rather alarmingly meaty”…

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Kerosene Unforsaken ~ quick perfume review & quick indie poll

Kerosene Unforsaken

The description for indie house Kerosene’s new fragrance, Unforsaken, tempted me right away, from the “decadent dessert sprinkled with warm coconut shavings and topped with cool clementine slices” to the vanilla cream, ginger and benzoin. I imagined something over-the-top, similar to what their Black Vines did for licorice and spice.

This is not that at all. Still, the first spray captured my heart: shimmering citrus over a pale, creamy backdrop, not quite strong or distinct enough to register as warm coconut shavings or vanilla cream…

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A Lab on Fire Paris*LA ~ perfume review

A Lab on Fire banner image

The idea for Paris*LA, one of the recent launches from niche brand A Lab On Fire, is simple enough: “LA, captured through Parisian eyes…”, and the description, “a refreshing Coca-cola marries a smooth-shelled macaron”, is enticing, perhaps, depending on your predisposition towards soda-inspired gourmands. I love them, the fizzier the better.

Paris*LA starts off energetically, with ginger and tart citrus (the notes: key lime, ginger, cola accord, neroli, coriander, thyme, macaron accord, amber and musk) and slowly rearranges itself into its key elements, the cola and the biscuit. The cola, admittedly, I’m not sure I’d recognize if I wasn’t looking for it. Paris*LA is only lightly fizzy on my skin, perhaps because I’m dabbing from a vial, and while all the cola “pieces” are there, it’s not the exact cola I’m used to…

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