Darlings! November came in like a wrecking ball.  I’ll be back December 1st with thrilling reviews of really super fancy perfumes. We will even have a guest blogger and a holiday smell guide.

Stay frosty!



When Bombing Semi-Stinks: Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb

Flowerbomb!!  I almost didn’t get this in before this week bled into the next. Life can be tough kids and it takes time to stop and smell the flowerbombs.

So, check it out – another sample in a plastic podbag:


I went straight to the source for more info – Viktor & Rolf’s site – turns out they have a whole story (well, most fragrances do but let’s pretend to be awed):

When working on the Flowerbomb fragrance, Viktor&Rolf wanted to create something new. They dreamt of a fragrance that had the power to spread a positive message. 
A profusion of flowers as a weapon to spread the world with beauty and fantasy and to transform the negative into positive.

A profusion of flowers as a weapon to spread the world with beauty and fantasy and to transform the negative into positive!

So naturally I used the sample to spread some positive beauty on the Dodgers during the World Series:


And to hex the Astros pitcher:


It worked. I hope it continues to work.  I may mail this sample to Kikè and see if it helps him break his own playoff homerun record.

Truth is, he can have it. Despite the fragrance having the very best name I can think of – combining my two favorite things: explosives and flowers, I really didn’t love this one. In case you have been reading this blog, that makes two fragrance samples in a row that  I didn’t dig!  Come on sample bag! Give me something I can work with

The fragrance profile from Sephora gave me a few clues as to why the flower explosion didn’t work for me:

Fragrance Family: Warm & Spicy

Scent Type: Warm & Sweet Gourmands

Key Notes: Jasmine, Orange Blossom, Patchouli


An explosion of flowers, Flowerbomb opens with subtle traces of bergamot and mandarin, leading to a heart of an exquisite floral explosion, comprised of sambac jasmine, freesia, centifolia rose, and osmanthus. Deep amber, woody, and patchouli notes combine with warm vanilla and praline notes to complete a truly addictive fragrance. Wear it for a night out on the town with the girls, a romantic dinner, a spontaneous adventure with no definite destination. Flowerbomb ensures you’ll leave a trail of allure wherever you go.

I don’t dig the gourmands or the patchouli in this. I don’t want to be walking through a garden and have an undeodorized hacky-sacker shove an elephant ear in my face. That’s a little bit of what is going on with this one.

“Fashion is a dream…Fragrance is a dream in a bottle”—Viktor & Rolf

Fashion IS a dream! Fragrance is a dream in a bottle. I just don’t want this to be my dream. Keep your Allure Best of Beauty Award. I like my flowers delivered by the Olsen Twins.

Seventeenth Sample Breakdown

Terms or concepts learned:  Gourmand:  A gourmand fragrance is a perfume which consists primarily of synthetic edible (gourmand) notes such as honey, chocolate, vanilla or candy.[1][2] These top and middle notes may be blended with non-edible basenotes such as patchouli or musk. They have been described as olfactory desserts.They are also called foodie fragrances. Gourmand scents can be worn by women or men.  

Also new term: Flowerbombing (see below).

Things to work on:  Turning the negative into the positive. I really should have read the story of this fragrance earlier this week. I don’t know if it is the weather change or being asked to actually work at work or someone getting hater juice all over me or what, but this week was tinged with mehs.

Magic, luck, or compliments this fragrance brought me:   Now that I have all the complaining out of the way I will say I was able to do a whole 10, maybe even 11 minute set without bombing – only flowerbombing.   I also got to see some fab friends this week and went to a fun open mic.

Flowerbombing will be the new term for when you actually do awesome.    In a sentence, “I flowerbombed the F out of that job interview.” or “You know the conversation wasn’t going well until I started flowerbombing everything they said.”  Try it out now!  Let me know in the comments how you use this new valuable term this week.

Websites discovered:  I found a farm that is into flowerbombing.

In an old lady’s greenhouse: Aerin Waterlilly

Waterlillies remind me of ponds and ponds remind me of two things: 1) A really murky swimming hole from my childhood that was known as Sherwood’s Pond  (that might have been a toxic runoff for all I know)  and  2) A cute wishing well with lilypads.

I love a wishing well! I wonder if I could start one around here as passive income.

This sample of Aerin’s Waterlilly Sun is one of the more adorable things I’ve encountered in 2017 (not that there’s been a lot of opportunities for adorable in 2017, although I suppose there’s still time ..)


It has a top made of magical dragon jade:


And it smells like.   Like, grass clippings and generic bodywash and scented stationary.  It’s almost pleasant but not as bright as I would have expected from a scent with a jeweled top on its sample size.

I had a chance to ask a friend and fellow fragrance connoisseur what she thought and she said, “It smells like an old lady’s greenhouse room.”

Not a new lady’s but an old lady.  It has some heft – I think they call that musk.

There’s one old lady’s greenhouse room that I know of and I’m confident that her greenhouse encapsulates the essence of Aerin’s Waterlily Sun:


It’s the old greenhouse lady from Minority Report!


Lois Smith plays Dr. Iris Hineman who keeps killer plants and knows everything (as any old lady in a greenhouse should). She’s the one that is like “Dude, Tom, find the minority report and you will be free.” And then gives him an anecdote so he doesn’t die from being attacked by one of her poisoned plants. 


I’m not the only person that is obsessed with this scene (or this movie).  If you haven’t seen it, check it out. The whole thing looks like Aerin Waterlily Sun smells, but better.

What makes it smell this way? Let’s check out the beauty store description:

Like sunlight reflecting on water, bright Sicilian bergamot and lush dewy greens entice the senses for an invigorating, luminous first impression. Delicate yet alluring waterlily and soft, exotic jasmine sambac add layers of depth and intensity, warmed by sweetly inviting musk. The effect is bright, dewy, and fresh.

Notes: Sicilian Bergamot, Jasmine Sambac.

Style: Floral. Watery.

Bergamot. Blech.

My friend who gave me the green house line told me she had a couple of the Aerin fragrances and that Aerin was related to Estee Lauder.  I fact checked this and would like to report that the Aerin website “about” section says:

Aerin is a global luxury lifestyle brand inspired by the signature style of its founder, Aerin Lauder (of the LAUDER family as in Estee Based on the premise that living beautifully should be effortless, the brand develops curated collections in the worlds of beauty, fashion accessories, and home decor. With a passion for art, travel, fashion, and design, Aerin’s own lifestyle serves as a focal point of inspiration for the brand. Classic but always with a modern point of view, every piece is created to make life more beautiful, with a sense of ease and refinement.

Reading this, I a strange urge to see Aerin accidentally tumble into Sherwood’s Pond while wearing a $3000 kaftan.  That would be so classic!

I hope the next sample smells better.  To be fair, the temp is changing here and even though I had a pleasant week and weekend, my sinuses are exploding in my face and it makes me a little cranky. I bet Dr. Iris Heinman would have a cure for me.

Until then:

Sixteenth Sample Breakdown

Terms or concepts learned:   Nepotism as “classic but always with modern ease and refinement.”

Things to work on:  A greenhouse. And getting more of those American greens yaknowwhatimsaying?  Speaking of this scent costs $170 for a 1.7 oz bottle.

Magic, luck, or compliments this fragrance brought me: I was so lucky that I got to meet up with a friend who reminded me of old lady greenhouses. I got a free pass to a real swanky food and wine event and I ate a turkey burger with someone I care about and I caught Turner’s walk-off three-run homer just a few hours after purchasing Hulu Live so I could watch the game.  So this scent may be stanky but it may have powers.

Websites discovered: A Jezebel article confirming what I’d already gathered from reading the barely-100-word “about section” of Aerin’s site.

Call Me Sexy Ruby (just don’t make me smell like one)

I found myself in a Macy’s this past weekend.  I had to make a return but I decided to wander around the make-up counter area first.  I was surprised at how few people work at them anymore. You know how late-capitalism forced companies to combine jobs? I bet they just have someone from the shoe department come over and match your foundation if you stand at the Clinque counter for long enough.

I came of age in the mall era and I still find them very calming. High ceilings, odd lighting, creepy mannequins – I love all of it. I believe that malls are the weighted blanket of 80s children.

Ever notice how, despite the fact there there are thousands of products at a department store make-up counter, they always smell the same everywhere and have for decades?  Well I do. Probably because I worked one of my favorite jobs at a make up counter back in my salad days.   I found myself over-inhaling like the scent memory would have enough power to transport me back to applying eyeshadow on the crepe-y lids of an elderly woman sitting on a stool near my Shisedo counter.

Then I came across the fragrance counter and a display for MICHAEL KORS SEXY RUBY.  I said to myself, oh wait, now THIS is the answer to my troubles: sexytimegemstones.    And I spritzed and sprayed and waited for some magic.


It’s too bad it really stinks. I love a floral but I hate when it’s smothered in the wrong warm somethingorrather.  Like someone stored their rose petal stash in a box of Nag Champa.

It really, really smells like some perfume that was trending in the early 90s.  I want to say Exclamation, but I haven’t smelled that in awhile. I remember the bottle so well, don’t you?


I am also not writing the name correctly – ex’cla -ma’tion, got it?  And who knew? Khol’s still sells it – here’s the fragrance info:

An ecstatic floral splash. Exclamation by Coty is a candied flower shop in a bottle, with bright notes to excite your senses.

FRAGRANCE NOTES Apricot, green, peach, bergamot, orris root, jasmine, heliotrope, lily of the valley, rose, sandalwood, amber, cinnamon, musk, vanilla and cedar.


Well well well,  now I want to do a side by side comparison of that with Sexy Ruby to see what is making me think of the 90s. Looks like ol ex’cla -ma’tion had apricot and rose and lily of the valley all mixed with some amber and sandalwood too (eeesh…not my fave).

But let’s not focus on the negative! I love a ruby. It’s my birthstone and I consider it one of the more goth-royal birthstones. I also think more people should be named Ruby and that we should do a study on old ladies named Ruby to see if their lives have been rich and sexy.

Speaking of sexy – even though I don’t like this scent, I can’t help but appreciate how nonchalantly the word Sexy is used its name.  That’s a pretty hilarious word, try it out in front of anything you’d like to have in a fragrance: Sexy Daisy, Sexy Dynamite, Sexy Ocean.   Fun, huh? But this works because rubies, are indeed, sexy and also very expensive.

Remember this movie?

Well, it’s a pretty unsexy story about turtlenecks, boring arranged marriage sex, and rubies.

A jewel of a fragrance inspired by Michael’s unique interpretation of sensuality, strength and glamour.  Boldly luxurious, brilliantly faceted, and mesmerizing to encounter.

Fragrance deets from SEPHORA

Fragrance Family: Floral

Scent Type: Warm Florals

Key Notes: Raspberry, Apricot, Indian Jasmine Sambac

About: A scent as brilliant as the jewel that inspired it. Michael Kors Sexy Ruby is a modern chypre that sparkles with sensuality. The temptation of velvet apricot and juicy raspberry gleams like a fiery ruby with the striking display of lush florals. The beguiling charm of luscious rose petals invites you in, while intoxicating Indian jasmine sambac pulls you close. It’s enveloped by the sensual warmth of cashmere woods for a boldly addictive experience.

CASHMERE WOODS – Wait a minute. Haven’t I seen or smelled that somewhere before?



Oh that’s right. It’s a Glade scent and one of Bath & Bodywork’s popular fine fragrance mists (remind self to do a post on fragrance mists).

I don’t know if I ever need to smell this  or smell like this again. All I did after spraying it on was go home, fold some stained tattered kitchen towels, mourn the end of a relationship, and watch the devastating Whitney Houston documentary Can I be Me?  Why didn’t anyone ever let her be her?

Fifteenth Sample Breakdown

Terms or concepts learned: Orris Root!  According to this GQ article it is one of the most expensive materials to produce.  So, naturally, it is found in Coty’s $24 Ex’cla -ma’tion.

Things to work on:  Getting a real ruby and following the advice; “Never waste your time trying to explain who you are to people who are committed to misunderstanding you.”  If I can’t follow that advice I think I might just put that on one of those text-stagram posts so someone else can be inspired by it.

Magic, luck, or compliments this fragrance brought me:
I was at Macy’s to return an item I purchased online. It went so quickly I’m sure it is because the clerk wanted me to get my Sexy Ruby out of her face.

Websites discovered:
I found a very comprehensive blog post about Jasmine.

Can You Stand The Rain? Burberry Black

I’m finally writing up a little something about my favorite scent yet that I tested out during probably my worst week in a few months. Will I give you details? Only about the perfume. You’ll have to read between the lines. This is called vagueposting.

Right on the heels of My Burberry White, I selected Burberry Black. I wanted to see what all the hubbub was about. I wondered: does it matter if it’s black or white?


I believe all the burberry scents have a rose base and essence of overpriced trenchcoat. I loved My Burberry and this version is even better. A warmer floral that would be perf for hmmm… maybe a corn maze?  A witches ball? I’ll figure it out. I know it’s sexier because it’s muskier, right? Let’s turn to the professional description:

My Burberry Black fuses the scent of sun-drenched jasmine flower and peach nectar with a sensual touch of rose. The iconic rose note at the heart of My Burberry fragrances is given a sweet and inviting candied twist, while rich amber patchouli rounds out the scent for a deep and captivating finish.

A new fragrance joining the My Burberry collection, My Burberry Black follows the same codes of craftsmanship, innovation, and appreciation of the iconic Heritage Trench Coat. My Burberry Black travels back to a London garden amidst a gathering storm, heavy rain contrasting with the warm and captivating floral notes.


Sun-drenched Jasmine, Peach Nectar, Candied Rose, Amber Patchouli.


Floral. Sexy. Intimate.

Gathering storm, heavy rain.   Can you stand it?

Candied rose (as opposed to Burberry White’ rain-tipped rose) doesn’t scream gathering storm to me but I’ll go with it because what do I know? I’ve never been in an English garden right before a gathering storm. Yet. As soon as I get a trench coat I’m so there.

Fourteenth Sample Breakdown

Terms or concepts learned:  Floral. Sexy. Intimate. Nope. Nothing new here.

Things to work on:  Craftsmanship, discipline, taking compliments, giving compliments, taking allergy medicine, making life decisions.

Magic, luck, or compliments this fragrance brought me:   I got tons of compliments wearing this. Although, I think the fact that one of the compliments came from the clerk at my neighborhood liquor store tells a little story about how my week has been.  It’s been rough.  Work, life, and love – they never stop trying to kill you so you might as well spray a forcefield of jasmine and amber patchouli musk over your soul.

Websites discovered:     A site that tells you about top London Gardens (they take that business very seriously).

Effortless Trenchcoat Floral: My Burberry

Broke out a classic today.  I’m not exactly sure it’s a classic but this sample of My Burberry looks classy because they put the tiny spritzer in a precious box made of textured paper.  Like most florals that have a bit of spice or patchouli in them, the initial scent is a little grandmas vanity but this settles into a really pretty scent. 


It’s pretty great (yeah I just used all of my best describing words there). Apparently it is one of Allure’s top picks – which is kind of like the Nobel Prize of beauty.

Sephora’s description:

Inspired by the trench coat and its heritage of British design and craftsmanship, My Burberry captures the fragrance of a London garden after the rain. The scent is a contemporary British grand floral and features a delicate heart of rose woven with an unexpected touch of geranium leaf.

Notes:  Sweet Pea, Bergamot, Geranium, Golden Quince, Freesia, Patchouli, Rain-Tipped Damask and Centifolia Roses.

Style:  Effortless. Personal. Timeless.

Effortless, personal, timeless.   I get the effortless and timeless – that’s kind of how one would describe a trenchcoat. Personal though? I can get with that. I haven’t seen that term used in a perfume description yet.

I’d say – I’d also say this is a year round floral. It’s slightly sweet but has rain-tipped Damask. Nothing sets off the scent of a rose like rain on the tips!

I like just about anything with roses in it. Roses are the best. When I smell something rosey one or more of the following things come to mind: 

  • The Rose (movie with Bette Midler inspired by the life of Janis Joplin)
  • 1980s and 90s Senior Portraits
  • Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford attacking roses bushes in Mommy Dearest
  • Corsages and baby’s breath
  • Dusting powder
  • Grandmotherly hand lotion
  • Something too expensive
  • Something hard to grow  
  • Something to stop and smell
  • Valentines Day XOXOXOXO
  • My favorite song:
  • Guns n Roses
  • The Exorcism of Emily Rose



What do roses remind you of?

Thirteenth  Sample Breakdown

Terms or concepts learned:  Rain-tipped roses.  Golden Quince –  the sacred fruit of Aphrodite for the Greeks.

Things to work on:  Being more effortless. Getting to London to see if their gardens really smell this good.

Magic, luck, or compliments this fragrance brought me:   No compliments but My Burberry already told me this fragrance is personal so it’s really more about me and how much I like it, so I’ve been complimenting myself all day long. I’ve also been watching and rewatching Mel Robbins’ Ted Talk and researching trench coats (but in bright colors).

Websites discovered:   Movies with Rose in the title. 

Hanging on to Summer Vibes: Folle de Joie

As soon as I spritzed this on my flesh I had a flash of a massive POSTlabor day parade with gigantic floats made of real flowers and shaped like ballet slippers and kittens and gazebos – all being towed by 1,000 people wearing patent leather white shoes and seersucker suits in a late September fashion rebellion.


Why hadn’t I tried this scent in the summer?  This smells like all my favorite flowers and none of them have any place in fall. In the fall I like to wear scents that smell like the outside of a burnt hotdog tossed in a broken dryer with an acrylic sweater fresh from basement storage.

I’m kidding. But, this scent brought to mind a particular top I’ve been trying to wear on repeat before I have to change into corn-maze gear. It’s a Zara floral.  And it says summertime pretty hard but it’s hot in Memphis so I thought I’d try to make it work for as long as I can even though we are staring at the end of September.  Sooner or later though, people start to notice that all the candy is coming in Halloween editions and it’s far past back to school.   Eventually you have to let go of summer and all the flowers and freedom it entails.  I guess.

So, anyway,  if I had to describe this scent I would say it smells like this:


If you need words – here is the description of Folle de Joie from the Joie site:

Derived from the ease of California’s sea scented beaches and romanticized by Parisian charm, Folle de Joie captures the carefree yet sophisticated JOIE lifestyle. The scent opens with a burst of freshness from an intimate blend of calming sweet citrus mixed and a light woodsy floral, giving way to playful hints of rich cognac. Folle De Joie’s mid notes of jasmine and rose add a feeling of Summer’s carefree essence while exotic warm base notes of spicy and rich wood and leather nuances broaden the seductive scent. Presented in a bottle reminiscent of a treasured vintage find, the delicate gold accents and textured linen paper add to the overall affect creating the perfect package.

And from Birchbox (where I think I got this sample):

There are two spots that feature prominently in our wanderlust-fueled daydreams: SoCal beaches and Parisian sidewalk cafés. Luckily, we can live vicariously through this refreshing fragrance. Folle de Joie, which translates to crazy with joy, evokes both the relaxed and playful vibe of California and the seductiveness and refinement of the City of Light. The perfume opens with a burst of freshness from a blend of citrus and a light woodsy floral, giving way to hints of cognac. Its middle notes—jasmine and Damascenia rose—give the scent a carefree, summery vibe. Warm base notes of spicy woods and rich leather add a seductive finish.

Citrus and a woodsy floral. My favorite.  If they come out with a burnt-leaves-wanderlust edition this will be my go-to fragrance for fall!

Twelfth Sample Breakdown

Terms or concepts learned:  

Damascenia rose – has ancient pharmacological uses – it’s a holy herb. It also smells really good.

Things to work on:  

No being hung up on timing for things like tops or fragrances or success or relationships or snacks.

Magic, luck, or compliments this fragrance brought me:

Got a couple compliments and got to take a trip to Canada. Lucky scents lately!

Websites discovered:

Wanderlust magazine (UK)

BLACKOUT: A Dangerous Tea

Not much on the sample packaging for this one.  Very minimalist black and white: Derek Lam 10 Crosby: BLACKOUT Eau De Parfum.   That’s it. High style if you ask me.  

When I first caught a whiff (side note – Whiff would be a great name for a This Stinks-related postcast)  I was like OH NO – it’s like rotted Shalimar!   But after one minute the Shalimar took a back seat and sexy woods lady came out. It was like a sassier Little Red Riding Hood picking forbidden forest flowers while eating peppered snacks.


Fragrance info from Sephora:


Fragrance Family:

Earthy & Woody

Scent Type:

Fresh Woods

Key Notes:

Osmanthus, Chai Tea Essence

This comes from Derek Lam’s 10 Crosby fragrance line (which happens to have a lot of really interesting sounding fragrance combinations).  What’s the big whoop about 10 Crosby? Well it’s a street in NYC:

“There are so many great moments when I see a girl walking down the street and she’s super stylish and very inspiring. Crosby Street is so unique—it’s one of my favorite in New York City.“—Derek Lam

If you don’t know, Derek Lam is like a big deal:

“Leading New York–based American fashion designer Derek Lam is known for his modern approach of blending minimal designs with feminine sensuality. His acclaimed collections are defined by his distinctive take on luxury.”    

LUXURY! There it is. No mention of femininity. He chooses to tell us a story about the fashionable woman and what she is doing when she smells like this:

Fragrance description: A blackout on Crosby Street. Downtown has gone dark. Tonight, all bets are off. A deeply romantic pairing: complex osmanthus and chai tea essence…the sweetness of the flower with the passion and danger of the spicy chai tea.

The danger of spicy chai tea? Talk about an opportunity to reframe a memory.  When I think of chai tea I think of working at Starbucks many years ago, back when baristas used to pull espresso shots by hand. You know, the good old days.   I think about those certain women that would come in wearing thick tan cable knit cardigans and how I knew that, before they even opened their mouths, they wanted a Chai Tea Latte.  If a particular coworkers was there I would have to hear yet again how the term chai tea is redundant all while I pulled out the yellow box containing our proprietary concentrated chai tea mix. I’d pour some out, add water and steamed milk and hand it over.  The woman would either give a “mmmmmmm” shrug while smelling it or she’d whip off the top and tell me she ordered no foam. This all sounds pretty straightforward but trust me. It’s a depressing drink. I would have never thought of it as dangerous.

Things can change though.

Eleventh Sample Breakdown

Terms or concepts learned:  

How spicy chai tea can be dangerous.

That Crosby Street in NYC is very short but very famous. 

Things to work on:  

Reframing scent memories and being open to new possibilities, my comedic delivery

Magic, luck, or compliments this fragrance brought me:

I got a straight up unsolicited “you smell great” from a friend. That is the first time in ThisStinks sample history.  I did open mic stand up for the first time. I won a live storytelling contest. My personal relationship got eclipsed, un-eclipsed, and then eclipsed again. Confused? Don’t be. Blackout is the scent of intrigue and complexity.  I think it is powerful.

Websites discovered:

Untapped Cities 

The Eclipsed Scent: Exotic Coconut

I’m back!  You’re eyes are not deceiving you – this blog experienced an eclipse the past few months. It can happen to even the best blogs and sometimes it is a sign that they should be permanently retired but I dig this concept and I still have a crapload of perfume samples so I’ll be here until the last tuberose has been sniffed.  

I was really getting into learning all about scents and was so inspired to branch out into all other kinds of writing and then – then I got busy with producing an art show and then I got a job, job.  It all happened so fast that I lost sight of what got me through the hard times: teeny perfume samples!

I’m back now with a less aggressive posting schedule.   In honor of eclipse season, specifically the recent lunar eclipse that asked us all to shed what is not serving us. (Or something like that).  I’ve decided to take it way back, to dig into a vintage scent. The discontinued “Exotic Coconut” from Bath & Body Works.   

I know Bath & Body Works scents are known for subtly, freshness, or delicacy but every once in a while they have one that hits.  And I’m not the only person who is into this scent. Look how much just a bottle of some crappy lotion is selling for on the internet:

Screen Shot 2017-08-11 at 10.13.30 AM

You’re seeing that correctly – one bottle can sell for up to $230! And it’s just a bunch of parabens and mineral oils and coconuts.

There’s been a cloudy bottle of Exotic Coconut lotion with about about .5 OZ left, just hanging out on my vanity for a couple years. Yes.  I was saving it for some reason. A special date? A beach trip? Just to have and smell when I want to feel nostalgic? The smell reminds me of a trip to Maui with friends, the outlet store near my parents house in southern Michigan, and the summers of the 00s.   Maybe it wasn’t about saving it for some day, but not wanting to say goodbye to outlet malls and low-rise jeans?

Time to say goodbye. In honor of the last time I (tried to) use it, here is a slo-mo video I now call “Desperation Squeeze”:

Scent info:

Exotic Coconut (retired twice by Bath & Body Works):

  • Top: Papaya, Guava, Pineapple
  • Mid: Toasted Coconut, Milk Accord, Vanilla Bean
  • Dry: Creamy Musk, Warm Sandalwood, Tonka Bean

A tropical getaway to a balmy island escape. (Must be the Tonka Bean)

Let me know what you’ve been holding onto, what scents make you nostalgic, what you are doing for eclipse season.

I’ll be back with a perfume sample review in a few days.

A safe Nest in a storm.

I thought this would be a good scent to wear the day after one of the worst storms in (my personal) Memphis history. Called Hurricane Lawler Hurricane Lisa Marie or Hurricane Jerry Lee depending on who you believe (or prefer).   Winds of nearly 70 mphs hour tore through my neighborhood and left a wake of fallen trees, blocked roads, and 150,000 people without power.   But that doesn’t mean it has to stink!    NEST fragrances are all very botanical, earthy, I had this sample of Indigo so I thought I would use spray it on before taking to the streets on my bike to assess the post storm damage.


Nest: the perfect accompaniment to your post-storm tourist trek.

2017-05-28 16.32.20

I smell bergamont!  Everyone was out and about:

Polaroid CUBE
So many blocked roads!

Trees fallen like wild figs:

2017-05-28 16.15.42-1

In case you can’t gather my interpretation of the essence of the scent from the photos, here’s the official Sephora description:

Moroccan tea, Kashmir wood, and black cardamom are enhanced with hints of wild fig and bergamot. These notes combine to create a captivating fragrance that transitions well from day to evening.

Inspired by the works of 18th Century British artist Mrs. Mary Delany, Laura Slatkin collaborated with master perfumers to translate these works of art into luxurious fragrances that capture the essence of each of the botanicals that adorn the products’ striking packaging.


Moroccan Tea, Kashmir Wood, Cardamom, Wild Fig.


Warm. Aromatic. Mysterious.

You’ll notice there really isn’t much fuss with the fragrance description here. Sephora did try stretch it out as best they could using the old beauty-writing stand by of “day to night”.

The Nest site doesn’t take it any further. It relies on a style I’d callnStoic-Chic. Their only words about Indigo?

Moroccan tea, kashmir wood and black cardamom are enhanced with hints of wild fig and bergamot.

Apparently NEST, doesn’t give any F’s about beauty and fragrance marketing lingo. Just like mother nature doesn’t give any F’s about what you had planned for Memorial Day weekend.   I admit I’m already a fan. One of my regular fragrances is Nest Citrine. And citrine, the stone, also happens to be my favorite power rock and makes a great gift for people.

Nest says they make fragrances that capture the essence of the art of Mary Delany. Mary was a badass maker of paper-mosaicks of flowers.  Meaning she used cut paper to make beautiful flower art. Something we should all aspire to do.  Her biography said she had cutting skills, was known for “lively correspondence”, and hung out with Letitia Bushe, a watercolourist and miniaturist.

I’m officially setting an Indeed job alert for “miniaturist” and meanwhile, I’ll start creating a miniature version of my neighborhood post storm. With giant puddles near my building entry way, power wires strewn about like a drunken spider just came off a weekend tear, and of course little trees fallen everywhere.


Tenth Sample Breakdown

Terms learned:

‘Mosaicks’ – Obsolete form of mosaic.

Cardamom  –  one of the world’s very ancient spices and also the third most expensive one next to saffron and vanilla.   Cardamom has a strong, unique taste, with an intensely aromatic, resinous fragrance.  Cardamom was well known in ancient times and the Egyptians used it in perfumes and incense and chewed it to whiten their teeth, while the Romans used it for their stomachs when they over-indulged. Vikings came upon cardamom about one thousand years ago, in Constantinople, and introduced it into Scandinavia, where it remains popular to this day.

Kashmir wood:  Synthetic material which is also known as Cashmeran, a musky-woody component, popular in many modern compositions.  The diffusive, musky-woody scent is reminiscent of concrete (especially the abstract woody scent that concrete gives when hit upon by rain, a cityscape in the rain), also lightly spicy, lightly powdery.

Things to work on:  

Cutting skills for paper flower Mosaicks

Remembering to bring goggles when running an errand during massive storms

Always remembering: flowers are beautiful and powerful. Allure magazine – recently wrote about how flowers are a symbol of resistance.

Magic, luck, or compliments this fragrance brought me:  While the rest of the city tried to save the contents of their fridges and freezers, and tried to stay cool and connected, I got to watch TV in AC…