This is not the monstrous perfume post from my drafts, but it might be worse. I’m just thinking about roses.
Earlier this week i got a cute pink sweater that made me want to wear it with the one rose perfume I like, and oh no. Oh no, it’s actually not just a tolerable rose, it’s beautiful and i want to own a big stupid bottle. I guess this is once again down to me losing my hypersensitivity to certain notes. So yes, it is Le Labo; yes, I despise the rustic minimalist brand aesthetic; yes, the prices are outrageous in general, but especially for something that basically smells like fancy hand soap. But like, it makes me feel pretty and fragile, which first of all lmao, and secondly i cant think of another perfume that noticeably affects how i feel. also for being one of those clean soap scents it wears very well and stays in your clothes for days so maybe there is sth to the price. Except of course there isn’t and i would never. but i do want to. it’s rose and a number of woods, as well as cumin but i barely get that at all. its detractors mostly seem to say that it’s not much of a rose, which has got to be why i liked it in the first place. i still notice the rose, and its just enough for me - delicate and subdued like the whole fragrance. the entire vibe is like... effortless, it could just be an incidental combination of someone’s skin, laundry detergent and like the grass they’re lying in. it’s like if the hypothetical jo malone fan instagram influencer i made up to get mad at became even more infuriating by developing wealth and good taste. i don’t like it but i love it, as the song goes lmao
just look at that ad photo, sets my fucking teeth on edge. the le labo gimmick is that the number (as in Rose 31) represents the number of ingredience to i guess again invoke minimalism, the bastards
anyway this whole experience made me want to look into the handful of rose samples and decants i have lying around, bc i always loved the idea of a rose fragrance even though i didnt like any of them in practice, and never quite gave up hope that i might find one that works for me. they tended to be advertised as unisex or male because obviously i have gender problems, but also because flowers make my nose itch and masculine florals tend to just be less floral (they also tend to include lavender so thats just as bad)
So i picked up Moschino’s Toy Boy and look at that bottle lmao the vibes are impeccable.
This isn’t the first Moschino that i got curious abt bc it gets talked abt as a playful unconventional men’s fragrance but like, they’re all so bad! even for the money! i don’t remember this one being so broadly bad, i was mainly irritated by a sickly musk note that some brands like to include, and i figured my sensitivity to that might be gone too. i actually think it is bc it wasn’t the problem that stood out this time around. the whole thing is just very loud, very sweet (gotta be the pear) and kind of astringent. It has the rose-citrus (bergamot in this case) combo, that i’ll mention again further down, which is i guess people’s go-to for “Rose.... but make it men”, and it just gives air freshener. It gives aerosol for the bathroom. I can see how despite the notes being very traditional to feminine-marketed fragrances (fruits and flowers) the creators thought of it as male bc it is so discordant and aggressive. i sprayed it one first and couldnt test anything else, even on my other arm, until i scrubbed it off again because it just overpowered everything. anyway, a perfume word to describe Toy Boy would be linear. It opens with its extremety and stays there. Another one would be synthetic, but i don’t like to use that one, and resent it when other people do - it’s snobbish. i think that “unnatural” effect is mostly down to the rose/citrus combination, which does the same thing in Amouage’s Lyric, which is crazy expensive. Anyway I love the teddy bear bottle and the name and the idea of it and how it’s fairly cheap but jesus is the scent obnoxious. which i guess goes w the whole vibe, but also an obnoxious bottle design or name is not literally damaging to people’s health and well-being the way scents can be, so like.
speaking of Amouage Lyric Man. So this is one is expensive and widely beloved.
The opening is absolutely horrific, astringent, soap up my nose, not even room spray but urinal cake. The vibe is upscale shopping mall/hotel lobby bathroom. Lyric Man has a reputation for being a sparkling clean rose, and yeah, the toilet bowl it evokes in my mind is extremely clean. This one is also rose and citrus, and i feel like thats just gotta be a bad combo. Rose is very perfume-y and citrus can evoke cleaning products, so its hard not to end up w sth that suggests room spray. As Lyric dries and the lime and bergamot dissipate it does become warmer, sweeter, spicier and more complex. I get the incense, vanilla, ginger and nutmeg that are supposed to be in there, as well as the musk that becomes more prominent the longer it dries. i can also see how it might have pine and sandalwood. However, the industrial chemical rose sticks around and makes the whole thing difficult to like. The drydown vibe is rose scented incense cones. Or maybe expensive hand cream. I can see the client for this, he’s 45+, fem, obnoxious and insanely hot, and also a heavy smoker w a slightly damaged sense of smell. Sorry i cant be him i guess.
(I will say i’m generally an Amouage hater, I don’t get them, I resent that everything they make comes in a boy version and a girl version, and I haven’t tried one thing from them that i liked. Tbf i was testing their florals before realizing that i generally gotta be careful with those, but also the one woody perfume i tried from them just smelled of untreated lumber so. maybe i gotta look into the feminine line, but again, i resent that they even have that)
And i guess like my fucking relationship to the brand does matter bc i am not gonna be bitch abt the Etat Libre d’Orange roses lmao
Experimentum Crucis opens green, juicy and vegetal, smells of rose stems and leaves, but quickly becomes sweeter and more powdery, as fruit-shampoo-cough-syrup notes and the actual rose emerge. The vibe is once again sharp, sweet and sour. It’s also a tart fruity rose, but apple as opposed to citrus, which i think keeps it away from being toilet spray. Finally the dry down is more muted, woody, and green. Basically the sweet sticky fruits disappear and it returns to a lighter and softer version of the first few minutes. so it’s A+ opening and finsih, obnoxious middle. I guess im just not into lychee, it makes things smell like fruit scented shampoo. Experimentum Crucis has the same broad idea as Toy Boy and Lyric (fresh clean fruity rose) but so much better, more pleasant and naturalistic (bad word to use for perfume, but i mean that it smells like living plants), less choking than either of those. But also i do stan ELDO.
I thought this could be my one rose until i tried Rose 31 again. Having them both next to each other right now, they’re different. Experimentum Crucis is fresh and plant-like, Rose 31 is .... lovely lmao. Anyway Experimentum Crucis is also kinda similar to ELDO’s older Hermann A Mes Cotes Me Paraissait Une Ombre, which is also a rose though i dont think of it as one. Its gimmick is evoking a petrichor wet pavement effect which it kinda does, but its generally much less appealing and natural smelling than Experimuntum Crucis, despite the whole idea behind it being to suggest the impression of a natural phenomenon. There is just sth unpleasantly acidic abt it.
I was also thinking about one of the Mendittorosas in connection to this whole rose idea, but turns but that one isnt a rose at all to me, or at leat not to the same extent as the above 4 are. Still very nice though, but i gotta think about it separately.
I guess the conclusion I'm coming to is i havent really changed my mind about rose fragrances, i still dislike the ones i did before but with like a bit more nuance and understanding. also unfortunately the ELDO is very good but not perfect, while wrt Le Labo Rose 31 i am once again appalled by my desires lmao
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