A fresh yet addictively wearable combination of orange flower, lavender, petitgrain, cashmere woods and white suede.
Rives smells like what everyone says an Italian garden is supposed to smell like, all yellow and white flowers and lemons cut by an undercurrent of sea water, because when we talk about Italy, we talk about the places on the sea where the mangroves produce citrus for the gods and the basin’s salt does some reverse magic and sweetens the earth instead of kills it like it should.
A couple of years ago I wrote 6 Scents 6 Selves after taking the 16 Personalities quiz, which is an illustrated, and more fun version of the Myers-Brigg test. Not only did I, for some reason, only focus on “masculine” and unisex fragrances, I read back my choices and some of them have me scratching my head.
So I’m going to revitalize this idea as a series. You know how YouTube lets you “premiere” videos now (so confusing to the Chromecast user honestly.)? Well this is the premiere. An introduction of sorts.
This stunning peony-patchouli vies for the same complexity of character—the seduction lasts long before the first notes of mandarin and rhubarb, developing into a heady olfactive brew underlined by blond woods and liquid musks.
Both the Myth and Raven note descriptions said that I’m supposed to smell patchouli, and while I got a bit of patchouli in Myth in the base as promised, it is the belle of the ball in Raven. It starts off sweet and creamy, with a sharpness like a tart apple, and then a sort of dogwood kind of woody. All of which play their part in the dry down as well in various strengths.
Then the patchouli has pulled its boots on and really gets everything going.
I think it’s that citrus-y and herbaceous bergamot on top of the cassis that makes this one almost scrumptious, or at least very tangible on the tongue.
Myth is “Bergamot, cassis and jasmine petals makes a first impression before lingering with patchouli, liquid musks and white cedarwood.”
It doesn’t matter that pineapple and mango and melon aren’t listed as notes. Whatever the cassis was supposed to provide turns into a way more tropical fruity note. Like a mango or melon Hi-Chew. Myth smells like a twist on a mimosa with the brunchiest, Instagram-friendly accouterments: sunshine, lily petals strewn around the base of the glass and a few thrown in the glass itself for good measure, served on a coaster because the wood for table that was chosen doesn’t actually hold up to the function it was purchased to serve. Read More
Neroli is the essential oil of the orange blossom drawn using steam distillation from the bitter orange tree. Orange blossom also comes from the bitter orange tree, from the same blossom, but via enfleurage, which is the application of fat solids to pull out fragrance compounds from an item. Petitgrain is from the same tree but is made from steam distillation of the twigs and leaves. (Thanks Jessica Murphy from NST and Perfume Professor for that info. Also shout-out to Brooklyn Brainery because even when I look through the list of classes in their email newsletter like “I am not free for ANY of this” I’m still like “what is shibori even though” and “maybe I should start wool-working and also make a puff representation of my dog.”)
You’re so lame mom, please don’t.
I’m not the biggest fan of neroli. Most of the purer forms of it remind me too much of Froot Loops and I just don’t have any fun memories that would make the smell of neroli as significant to me as it is unique. During sniff-tests I’m usually standing next to neroli lovers, lovers of the Italian coastline, lovers of the Spanish coastline who are smiling and talking about their grandparents and their past trips and trips they want to take and saying absolutely nothing, smiling with them, appreciating the fragrance as objectively as I can, and swallowing down cereal jokes until that part of the conversation is over.
I am a huge sucker for marketing that implies that the buyer is knowledgeable and well-read or appreciates some sort of pseudo-sophisticated humor. Like it makes me actually feel dumb after the fact for falling for it over and over. Whenever I catch myself wanting something because I think it’ll make me look smart I wonder if the thrill of having knowledge others counts as a guilty pleasure. Is it if you feel like a dick doing it? Is it if you don’t feel like a dick doing it?? Is that simply nerdy, or does it cross into being elitist? Am I even snobbier than I thought I was? Will I start interjecting “um, actually” more or less after this revelation??
In my defense though I think it really just boils down to wanting to be in on all the jokes. Nerdy jokes are hands down the best.
After a few months of marinating in Self-Pity and Work and Responsibility, I’m really happy to finally smell something that ruminates in my mind so much that I really wanted to write about it.
Photo from Sephora
I had this one hyped up to the heavens for me on Sniffapalooza Fall Ball Sunday in 2017. (Yeah I actually started this review last year. Whoops.) I usually hate things that are hyped up so pre-sniff. My mind was already countering every single bit of praise being heaped upon this fragrance.
Someone said it was wonderful for coffee lovers? I decided it was probably sickly sweet like a lot of coffee fragrances can be, because for some reason a lot of people really like that.
Someone said the tuberose was super balanced and didn’t take over? I decided that meant that the florals took a back seat after the initial sniff.
Someone said that I’d really like it? Uh, okay you don’t know me like that.
But as it happens they did know me like that. Read More