You can just picture it.

“Wow, you smell divine.

What is that?”


“It’s called ‘Death and decay”.







Simon Constantine’s floral provocation for the always intriguing Gorilla Perfumes is a glowing, creamy white hypnosis of soap and mothball lilies, not quite as indolic as I anticipated, given the scent’s premise of purposefully stretching the funeral palls’s cusp of rot and fullness to breaking point (though in truth I didn’t quite dare to spray it on the skin to find out) : effulgent, floating, and  luminous.

Death And Decay smells like a woman in Pure Distance’s Opardu crying  tears at a funeral parlour; a spray of convalescent lilies, an air-conditioned ambience, and freshly scrubbed undertaker’s hands. Beguiling if a touch creepy, this is a blend that draws me in ( up to a certain point), with its cool, pungent allure – if ultimately, in truth, I prefer warmer, more spiced lilies with an edge of pink and ylang such as Penhaligon’s delightful Lily & Spice, or for the seamless demure, Cartier’s Baiser Volé.

With a swift inhale of Dear John we are suddenly back to life, love, and a welcome dose of virility: a woody, coffee-laced vetivert and cedarwood that I immediately took to as I like all the notes : ( also clove and coriander) – a rugged, warm, garden shed salvation that I will probably go up to Tokyo again and buy next week.

To sum up :  the conceptual is great – it brings forth images and words. It stimulates, makes me laugh. The wearable, though – a scent that flows naturally from the body, smells good, just simply makes me happy. .



Filed under Flowers

15 responses to “DEATH AND DECAY (20I4) + DEAR JOHN (20I3 ) by GORILLA PERFUMES

  1. Death And Decay reminds me of Morticia Addams, the TV series version. Just a whiff short of Sudden Death, maybe a suggestion for another perfume. I will look it up, always a fan of fun.
    As to Dear John : Men’s scents are an intriguing Path as yet to follow for me. What do you suggest to start with? I love spicy, also fruity, not too sweet or too sour, love bitter (oh, my campari and fresh blood orange cocktail, drunk to summer oblivion). Not too keen on toffee, vanille is an acquired, still hesitant taste (like the pods with the real black gooey ? stuff inside). Yes, tobaco, If not stale. Coffee delicious, especially the strong variety in beans …
    Please help me to fill the second shelf in my cabinet. As always a pleasure to meet you in my early morning mail!

    • One of my absolute favourite ‘men’s’ perfumes is the exquisite L’Eau De Navigateur by L’Artisan (just heavenly and dreamy with a beautifully sublimated note of coffee – see my review), and the only truly macho scent I still wear to this day, the divine Givenchy Gentleman, which I still wear to this day. Have you read my Babe Magnets piece? There are some classic masculine numbers there, and some of them, such as Fahrenheit, can smell really quite interesting on a woman.

      Also Guerlain Vetiver, which is fine now, but REALLY lovely in vintage, all smokey and mysterious and perfect for green velvet.

      Or else Racine, which I am just putting up now. I can imagine it being divine on a woman.

      Oh yes, and Hermes Equipage, another very refined, comforting, Sunday afternoon with a cigar and thick knit sweater type scent. I can imagine it being gorgeous on you.

  2. Have been quite curious about Gorilla perfumes. You have, once again, intrigued me enough that I will need to seek them out.
    The Death and Decay sounds quite interesting; if for no other reason than the name, which catches my fancy.
    I will let you know what I think, once I encounter these scents.

    • They are genuinely interesting, if often utterly unwearable.

      Imogen Rose and Lust (a furious jasmine) are incredibly strong and erotic; Breath Of God is fascinating (but to me truly repellent), and some, such as The Bug, The Smell Of The Weather Turning, and The Devil’s Nightcap, are just plain bizarre. I was quite attracted to Sikkim Girls (a kind of natural Opium), and like the sound of the new Stayin’ Alive (vetiver and vanilla – could it be like the divine Molinard Habanita?)

      What I like about them is unlike a lot of annoyingly pretentious niche perfume which just smells thin and boring to me despite the blurb, Gorilla really puts its money where its mouth is (and they are really cheap to boot). Mainly natural perfumes, but strong, funny and intellectually engaging works that have real clout. You should definitely head to a Lush store and check them out. It is this British eccentricity that I like best about my home country, that slightly mad quality.

      • Now I am really intrigued. I will most definitely make my way to a Lush, boutique to try them. Sikkim Girls sounds interesting. I also adore British eccentricity, it is so refreshing. Makes me wonder how Americans became such prudes, oh yes, it has to do with those pilgrims who came over and decided most of life’s joys were the devils work.

  3. My friend loved The Cat and loved your words. And I love your words and your Nose. I got the Racine on Ebay , hope it is still smelling good as it is of this era! Will smell!
    From Dutch Marktplaats I bought an Equipage coffret in a small vintage version, along with 2 little soaps. And some miniatures, Fahrenheit, Ungaro, Cerruti Homme, Pour un homme de Caron, Or Black de Morabito, Lagerfeld ( my 1st And sofar only gent’s scent in my 30ies), and some old loves.
    I totally agree with you on the gender point.
    It is always Nice to cross boundaries and then play along with the guys or the dolls, and more seriously to have scent and perfume have their way with you, a heady (strange adjective!) experience.

    • I can’t wait to hear what you think of them. I bet the Morabito will smell fabulously hard (but soft). What did you think of the Equipage?

      And thank you so much for the compliments.

  4. AND l’eau de navigateur! Having myself a MAsc Splash! Givenchy next! Any other suggestions? Read your Babes piece, laughed, inhaled, wrinkled or plugged my nose, ???ed, !!!ed. My second shelf is waiting for iTS New inhabitants. The only male in the lot So far is a very Tiny Givenchy III, sheltering in the shade of Ysatis. Will migrate him, or not, according to his And my wishes. Maybe they want their scent family close to them instead of the next male on the rack. And maybe I agree. Have you ordered your perfumes to scent, name, family? All the Guerlains together or with ones of the same bouquet? I’m going on And on … But it’s so comforting, intriguing, exciting, a whole brave New world. Hope I’m not turning your digital ears purple

  5. “It is this British eccentricity that I like best about my home country, that slightly mad quality.” Me, too. A boyfriend’s English gran used to take her ancient rusted-out Morris Minor convertible out and put pedal to metal, taking the corners on two wheels, mauve-rinsed-hair whipping in the wind. She was in her late eighties. All she ate was sweets. I wish I’d met her. She was legendary.

    I remember Lush Karma from years and years ago. It has changed drastically. It used to be pretty much pure orange oil laced with head-shop patch, and a little went a helluva long way. It’s pretty much toothless now. I do like Imogen Rose, but haven’t smelled the others and now reading this will seek them out, including Dear John, next time I’m in the big smoke (Vancouver).

    “Death And Decay smells like a woman in Pure Distance’s Opardu crying tears at a funeral parlour . . .” Very nice. Haven’t smelled it but sounds worth a sniff. I love Opardu to distraction.

  6. Iuno Feronia

    I have some of the Gorilla perfumes, I have the solid ones, so I can take them with me in summer. here are some of my thoughts about a few of the:
    Lust – pure Jasmine, it reminds me of driving in a Thai taxi with all the flowers around the driving mirror
    A breath of God – strange
    The smell of weather turning – stranger
    Dirty – somehow too masculine
    The smell of freedom – the perfect beach scent, like a day on the beach when I was a child with all the perfumed sun creams
    Vanillary – a very nice and not too sweet vanilla perfume
    Ladyboy – I love the smell of bananas and melon

    the new ones I don’t know, I think I have to stroll to a Lush storne theses days.

  7. MrsDalloway

    When I win the lottery, practically the first thing I do will be go to Fortnums and buy a big bottle of Opardu and one of Antonia. Happy to give the funeral parlour a miss. Tried a couple of the Lush ones – Kerbside Violet and I think Smugglers Soul? They were pretty good but I have violets and vetivers I like better. Must try Dear John though.

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