Archive for the ‘scent geekery’ Category

Smell II

August 8, 2012 - 8:57 pm 11 Comments

…For lo, life continued to be relatively unexciting and there were a bunch more things on the shelf I hadn’t tried, some of which I didn’t even know we had.

Captain of Industry

Ah, the heady scent of monopolistic lucre! This scent is all about what it feels like to take a private elevator up an Art Deco skyscraper. It is the scent of standing in the wood-paneled office on the top floor of that skyscraper, gazing out through floor-to-ceiling windows upon the churning factories of your capitalist domain. It is the scent of wearing a suit jacket and tie, but NO PANTS.

Because you can.

Mahogany backing a glass of really super-expensive scotch, with a curl of the best lemon peel. How best? This lemon had its own summer home and a personal assistant. That’s how best it is.

This one belongs to Stingray, though he’s largely put it aside in favor of other things. (Including that Barbaric Splendour that didn’t work for me.) In the bottle it smells extremely lemony, with the whiskey/scotch backing it up. Wet on my skin it smelled like I had bathed in a whiskey sour, which wasn’t exactly unpleasant but carries unfortunate social implications. Once it dried the wood came forward a lot more, and gave it the balance it needed. Miss Bonnet added some Drambuie to the Captain’s scotch, candied the lemon peel, and changed the mahogany to rosewood, but otherwise didn’t muck much with the scent. I like it, but I probably won’t wear it much since I still think of it as Stingray’s.

Down Quark

The up and down quarks are the most stable of all the quark pairs: the others undergo particle decay and end up as one or the other. Were one inclined to indulge a metaphorical fancy, one might note that Up and Down could be interpreted as the afterlives of the other quarks, which gives Down in particular a rather nifty bit of villainy.

Quarks in hell: black patchouli, smoked clove, and a leather bullwhip. Fun!

In the bottle: WOULD ANYONE LIKE SOME OF OUR CLOVES? PLENTY OF CLOVES UP IN HERE. This continued when I put it on my skin, which immediately resulted in my smelling like a pack of Clove chewing gum left in a car on a hot day. Happily, though, the more it dried and warmed the more the leather came forward; once it had “finished”, it came out as dark, a little dangerous, and a little sexy. Only problem is that it took ages to do this and I spent the rest of the time smelling like the aforementioned chewing gum. Stingray loved the end result, I’m not sure how I feel about it. I will probably put it up to the stress test, but I’m not looking forward to the lecture from my captain about how clove cigarettes aren’t any better for my lungs than the regular ones.

The Melancholy Death of Nikola Tesla

We owe Tesla a debt we can never repay: as the father of modern electrical engineering, radio, and innumerable other things that looked like mad science until they worked, he’s also the father of this shop. His life was brilliant but his death, alone and impoverished in a Manhattan hotel, was a heinous injustice from a bright world that owed him everything. We can’t change the past, of course, but we can make a memorial in our chosen medium.

Our tribute to him is a subtle blend of sandalwood, earth and light patchouli, given an antique twist with a touch of violet and the industrial fumes of a world struggling out of gaslight into incandescence

This is… very aptly named. In the bottle it smells pretty much like it’s described, dark and brooding with a light floral note and a sense of things you can’t quite identify lurking around the edges. Wet on my skin it smelled of VIOLETS, a universe of them, and came very close to getting washed off. (Also, for some reason, anise.) As it dried the florals calmed down and something that smelled like some sort of machine oil came forward, as well as some woodiness and a quality I can only describe as “wistful”. Overall it made me smell like a Gothic engineering student, carrying a tasteful bouquet of violets. (Possibly to decorate my re-engineered hearse.) I’m not sure if I LIKE smelling like that, but kudos to ZOMG for managing to brew something that smells exactly like the abstract concept it’s meant to.

Elder Spicecake

Elder Spicecake: ELDER SPICES THAT MAN WAS NOT MEANT TO USE. Smoky clove, cinnamon, rum and apple puree with a strong whiff of some intrepid but unlucky adventurer’s musky bay rum (applied shortly before he fell into the Elder Cake), all covered with a sticky-sweet glaze.

In the bottle this smells JUST like the description- a big, dark, rummy cake that smells a little musky and somehow mean. Then I put it on my skin and discovered that it smelled just like the fruitcake my grandmother used to send at Christmas, which could be problematic because it was craving-inducing. Apparently, though, Miss Bonnet didn’t want cake, because by the time it dried the only thing remaining of the smell was again, cloves- and the clove faded pretty fast. This was not AT ALL what I expected to happen; I had been avoiding trying this precisely because I thought it’d make me smell like the elder spicecake had eaten me.

The Baron

Rich, complex, and powerfully masculine, the Baron is a scent to wear when conquering towns and administrating with a practical-minded, questionably benevolent hand. Bergamot, lavender, and amber mellowed by spiced rum, bay leaf, and cedarwood.

I waited this long to try this one because it belongs to Stingray, and, well, is described as “powerfully masculine”. In the bottle it smells about like you’d think, though the woods and herbals are most aggressive. Wet on my skin the bergamot and lavender were most prominent, though the smooth spiciness overall was there.

Then Miss Bonnet got hold of it. I’m still wearing it, and I smell like someone’s tea party, complete with cookies. I have no idea where the vanilla came from, but it’s there. It is, to put it mildly, no longer masculine. Why she rejected the spicecake and turned Baron into a ladies’ luncheon I have no idea, but that’s how it worked out.