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 


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