vass: Jon Stewart reading a dictionary (books)
Vass ([personal profile] vass) wrote2014-02-07 23:40
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Perfume reviews: Dzing! and Bandit

Today I got a little package in the mail from Surrender To Chance, which is an online company that sells perfume decants. The package smells of perfume. When I touch it, my fingers smell of perfume. This is going to be interesting.

[Worst perfume fail this year to date: spilling a WHOLE LOT of BPAL's Strangler Fig down my BRA. I meant to put one drop there. The bra is no longer fit for purpose. I've washed it twice and air dried it both times (unfortunately not outside, since hanging underwear outside is not something I'm willing to do. Anyone have any tips for removing perfume oil from boob scaffolding? Oddly, it doesn't smell anything like Strangler Fig as I knew it before. I can't detect the delicious fig notes at all, just sharp citrus.]

Inside the package is a little roll of bubble wrap with a paper printout wrapped around it, and a foil-wrapped espresso candy. The candy smells like perfume.

Inside the bubble wrap, I find an eeny little blue gift bag containing five little vials (I ordered six: the printout says the sixth's coming separately. It is Serge Lutens Gris Clair.) I open the bag and get a burst of perfume in the face. I didn't even have my face close to it.

Four of the vials inside the gift bag are in a tiny ziplock bag, but the fifth (Caron Pour un Homme) wouldn't fit, so it wasn't in a plastic bag. I tentatively conclude that it was the main source of scent. I open the ziplock bag and get a sharper burst of scent.

I decide to start with either Piguet Bandit or Artisan Dzing!. I flip a coin (surrender to chance, get it?) and call heads for Bandit and tails for Dzing. Tails wins.

I put the others back in the ziplock bag, gift bag, and bubble wrap. My fingers smell of lavender and what I think is tonka bean. I gingerly open the vial and smear a bit of the contents on my left forearm.


Artisan's Dzing!

First note: something very sharp and fruity/floral. Not unpleasant. Second note: something also sharp and high, but dryer. Sort of like... mothballs? I've always kind of liked the smell of mothballs. This is all before actually sniffing my arm. I wait a few seconds before trying that.

Actually sniffing my arm, I get My Little Pony plastic. Sweet My Little Pony plastic, like someone put a little sugar on it and then warmed it in the back of a car on a hot summer day.

It's starting to dry down. I smell powder, but not horrible powder - just sort of polite? Then suddenly, just for a moment, cumin. Then a very muted reprise of that fruit/floral note before. Then more sugar, but again not offensively sweet.

And then at last, very very faintly: [personal profile] rydra_wong was right, that's cat! Except wait, really? Couldn't it be that I haven't had a shower and was cuddling Beatrice before? I sniff my other arm very closely to compare. That was the perfume. I sniff it again and can still smell one of the notes that says Beatrice to me, but also coconut.

The My Little Pony plastic comes back. I guess I should just say 'vinyl', but it's such a specific association for me that I'll stick to the pony. Or rather, the pony is sticking to me. The combination of cat fur and MLP is making me think of MLP manes and tails.

I'm also getting salt, but it was a hot day today and I haven't showered this evening, so that might just be my arm. But it helps with the narrative of coconut and My Little Pony in a hot car: I'm thinking of childhood trips to the beach and my mother's suntan oil.

I'm told this perfume has no staying power. For me that's a selling point: I prefer a controlled dose. I've had this on for maybe half an hour, and I think it's finished its performance, but I put on a really tiny amount, so it'd probably be longer lived with more of it.

I sniff my arm once again: vanilla/cinnamon.

Overall: it's not my One True Perfume, and it doesn't smell like 'me', but it's an interesting and pleasant place to visit.


Okay, who's next?


Bandit, by Robert Piguet
This perfume has been described to me as "smells like a butch lesbian." Clearly this is Relevant To My Interests.

First note is GREEN GREEN GREEN. Shortly followed by "don't I know that brand of dishwashing detergent?" And then by hyacinths.

Once these calm down enough that I can put my face closer, I get "bravery". I don't know how that's a smell, but it is. Like an impeccably civilly phrased "fuck you". I can picture Rachel Maddow wearing this during an interview with condescending, shouty male Republicans. I can also smell a bit of tobacco and a bit of diesel oil. As always I wonder if I'm really smelling these things or just confabulating because I've read the spoilers other people's reviews and know those scents are in there.

It's a very clean scent. I wasn't expecting that. I think the note I'm identifying as 'clean' is tea, but that's not what tea smells like to me. It's cold, not warm. Invigorating. Maybe more woodsmoke than tobacco?

I'm not sure I can carry this scent off, but I'd like to try. It'd take some living up to.

The GREEN GREEN GREEN is still going.

I notice that while it still smells like a perfume made by a perfumier (as opposed to a one-note essential oil or BPAL or something,) whatever note or combination of notes it is that makes mainstream perfumes feel actively hostile, inimical, to me is not present in this perfume. It smells strange but welcoming.

I'm glad. It's not me, but it's someone I'd like to know better.

At this point I turn back to my left arm and check out how Dzing! is doing. Very faint powdery musk. Now back to Bandit. It's 'cold' where Dzing! is 'warm'. I like both qualities, but most of the time I'd rather be cold. (Especially in weather like we're having now, ugh.)

I get a note of plastic, but it's not My Little Pony this time. It's a different type of plastic (not vinyl anymore.)

And as it's drying down a bit more I'm getting some more floral notes. I'm not usually a big fan of florals, but at least with this I don't feel scared that it's suddenly going to dump me in a vat of lilies and cover me with ribbons.

Then I smell... pepper?

Then I go away and do other things for a while before coming back to this point. I sniff the Dzing! skin and get powder and 'perfume'. I sniff the Bandit skin and get an accusing whisper of greens. Hey, at least it hasn't turned to powder.


I'll try the other three little vials another time, I don't want to overwhelm myself.
cyprinella: a red octopus on a white background with a red star above it (Default)

[personal profile] cyprinella 2014-02-07 16:00 (UTC)(link)
For your bra, have you tried baking soda? I'm not sure if the best method would be to sprinkle it on wet or dry but it might do some odor absorbing. Also, it turns out that Febreeze is actually pretty good at smell removal from fabric (I've a bunch of jeans that smell like gasoline after an attempt at using vinegar to get the dye to stop running) so if that's available in your neck of the woods, perhaps that?
cyprinella: a red octopus on a white background with a red star above it (Default)

[personal profile] cyprinella 2014-02-08 16:31 (UTC)(link)
Yeah, usually I avoid Febreeze for the same reason but the hardware store had some "clean linen" that was pretty inoffensive to me so I gave it a go. Not sure if that's a new one or what and it was still better than gasoline jeans. Ugh!

Apparently when the stuff was first invented, it had no fragrance at all. Marketing found that people didn't use it because things didn't smell after but they also didn't smell "clean". thus the added fragrance.
rydra_wong: Lee Miller photo showing two women wearing metal fire masks in England during WWII. (Default)

[personal profile] rydra_wong 2014-02-07 21:35 (UTC)(link)
You have no idea how excited I was when I saw the title of your post! Thank you so much for writing these up; it's completely fascinating for me to read your first impressions, and you write wonderfully and hilariously about them.
rydra_wong: Lee Miller photo showing two women wearing metal fire masks in England during WWII. (Default)

[personal profile] rydra_wong 2014-02-08 17:27 (UTC)(link)
I am delighted that you're finding them interesting so far!

Forgot to say:

I can picture Rachel Maddow wearing this during an interview with condescending, shouty male Republicans.

This image makes me happy.

The GREEN GREEN GREEN is galbanum, btw.

I notice that while it still smells like a perfume made by a perfumier (as opposed to a one-note essential oil or BPAL or something,) whatever note or combination of notes it is that makes mainstream perfumes feel actively hostile, inimical, to me is not present in this perfume. It smells strange but welcoming.

This makes me very glad.
minim_calibre: (Default)

[personal profile] minim_calibre 2014-02-08 19:47 (UTC)(link)
I'm now inspired to get off my rear and order some Bandit. Which I've been meaning to do for a while now. (And done, at least for the vintage juice. Been watching an eBay auction of sealed samples of the modern version, which I should also grab.)