Vjola Nishane Istanbul
Vjola brings to mind a boarding school gone wild. On the great lawn, an unending tug of war; initially between lowerclassmen, the Sweets (violet and muguet) and the Vamps (tuberose and marigold); until bigger, more formidable Betty’s add weight to either side. Rose and magnolia lend lean, mean heft to The Sweets, while iris and jasmine yank for the Vamps, cigarettes dangling from the corners of their painted pouts. When the rope finally snaps, the blooms fall down and decompose into a vanilla-immortelle-heliotrope-honeysuckle ooze. Terrifically long-lasting, this floral’s fracas will keep all disputes at bay.
Made in Heaven A Lab on Fire
Like a burning ball of fire, Made in Heaven lands on skin aflame. An orb of magnolia, jasmine sambac, tuberose and orange flower is rolled, dipped in a caramel made with mandarin juice, and then rolled again in the gritty dust of orris, cereal accord, vanilla bean and saffron. Then, to flambe; though still sweet, this bonbon smokes, like CO2 from Willy Wonka’s factory. This angel-sent meteor is a temptation, a small taste of the unimaginable splendor behind the pearly gates. Succulent splendor.
Eau de Protection Etat Libre d’Orange
This rose is suited and booted. Laced in a corset of jasmine and benzion, she paints herself with sparkling ginger and black pepper until she glows (under blacklight), douses her skin with annoyance-repelling bergamot, and walks out of her dressing room with a stick of lit incense in her hair. The final touch, her ‘ruby slippers’, are gladiator sandals made of patchouli’s durable leaves. Her feet are powdered with cacao, so no matter how far she runs, she’ll never blister. Battle-ready, this floral is designed for those noses who are ready to rage or rave–and don’t care who knows it.
L’Orchidee Terrible Imaginary Authors
This orchid is no cousin of Tom Ford’s dark sweetheart. This precise, terrible flower is synesthetically alabaster, a star shaped blossom of petals at acute angles, with a knot of chartreuse tendrils at its center. Delicate as it is foreboding, this blend of aldehydes, satin and blindingly white florals is anchored by honey and white musk–but we barely feel the weight of those sweeter counterparts. Gleaming, rich but featherlight, this is classic glamour. A smooth operator.
Rosa Nigra UNUM
Another powerhouse from UNUM, Rosa Nigra promises to be the freshest, woodiest, floral you’ve worn in a long time. Fantastically green (absinthe) and sweet (freesia, peach, vanilla) Rosa Nigra is anchored by the silken grain of cashmere wood and the soft, dense animalism of musk. An illuminating scent that’s never overbearing but has the grip of gorilla glue, Rosa Nigra is controlled, joyous elegance.
Tubereuse 3 Animale Histoires de Parfums
Though eminently floral, this tuberose has a lot going on. A quadruplet of citrics populate the top of this fragrance, creating a subtle freshness that diffuses over the rest of the composition, little crevices of light amidst the general dark. A heart of jasmine, tuberose, dried grass and plum smells like a take no prisoners Manhattan made with Zubrowka. A base of hay, tobacco, immortelle, woods and an additional dose of tuberose make for a stunning post-cocktail cigar. A real speakeasy harlot, this tuberose is aptly named: be prepared for its sumptuous slink.
Haute Voltige L’Artisan Parfumeur
A peony like no other, Haute Voltige is a loud, proud, saucy flower that won’t take no for an answer. Peony, fresh and citric all on it’s own, get’s an additional dose of brightness from pomegranate and juniper berry. Black pepper, oakmoss and balsam fir create a satisfyingly dry, textured, base of spice and dulcet greenery that sophisticates the composition. Bittersweet and refreshing as a jolt of electricity, Haute Voltige redefines what it means to wear a clean, crisp floral. As acerbic as Joan Rivers with a gulp of Alsatian riesling behind her sharp teeth. Great fun.
No.14 Noontide Petals Tauer
Focus on the fizz: aldehydes are the star of this show, the glittering best friend to every flower, illuminating even the dullest of petals. Since the blossoms that grace Noontide petals are anything but dim, there’s the aldehydic presence makes this potion the sparkliest on our list: rose, jasmine, tuberose and ylang-ylang forge a fruity-animalistic-clean union in the core bouquet. Tauer’s basenote standbys (vanilla, sandalwood, frankincense, iris, vetiver) are made all the more enigmatic with a twist of patchouli and styrax. Like a gondola ride through a river of shimmering florals, with the most desirable gondolier imaginable staring down at you. An effervescent swoon.
A simple duo of ginger and tigerlily, but oh what a combination this is. Lily, like rose, sometimes gets a bad wrap–it’s associations with the ultra-clean or even soapy concoctions of days-gone-by relegates this innocent bloom to some people’s idea of ‘grandma chic’. But whatever your age, or whatever your scent references, this lily will surprise you. Characteristically bright, yet not antiseptic, the tiger lily possesses a mellow fruity quality as well as an appetizingly sweet texture. Ginger, with its beneficent powers, adds an imperceptible–yet undeniable–dose of crunchy, fresh spice to the mix. This lily is very warm, yet still controlled. Vibrant, stylish grace.
Stercus Orto Parisi
You’ve probably already heard it by now, but in case you didn’t know…those wonderful indoles we talk so much about in the context of jasmine? Well, they’re also found in human excrement. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, last but not least, we essentially have the ***t flower. That being said, there’s nothing offensive or off-putting about Stercus. Orto Parisi, a line based on the smells of the body (because, according to the perfumer, this is where our souls are revealed) is a collection of fragrances that successfully upend expectation; if jasmine was listed as a main note in stercus instead, no one would quibble. Earthy, sensuous and deeply attractive, Stercus continues to be sprayed, smelt and bought regardless of its inspiration.