Category Archives: Fruity Floral











Miller Harris describes its new floral fruitstravaganza as ‘a delicious and wistful flirtation in a fabulously cinematic perfume of rose swirling with strawberry liqueur.’ I would describe it as more like drinking cassis liqueur neat through a silver straw while doing the rodeo on a gigantesque disco peach melba.




Whichever way you look at it, this is a busy perfume.




From Fragrantica:


Head Notes: Pink Pepper CO2, Coriander seed, Davana, Cinnamon, Green Mandarin

Heart Notes: Iris Concrete, Violet, Rose absolute Morocco, Rose oil Turkey, Carnation, Hawthorn, Strawberry Liqueur

Lasting Impressions: Tonka Bean, Sandalwood, Oakmoss, Vanilla

If I was taken a little aback by this perfume for its in-your-faceness, I also thought it was quite unobvious with its sweet frictions of unexpected ingredients (oil of davana segueing into hawthorn and strawberries etc ); fun and out there; a  bit different. I can imagine a dressed up young diva of various persuasions rocking it quite happily until the early hours.
I often wear perfume in the dark watching cinema. And last night while we indulged in the grotesque decadence of Federico Fellini’s colourful Casanova (1976) I randomly reached out for the the bottle of Violet Ida I was given last year.
(It was also strange, in the opening scene of the film, seeing Dr Whom and Burning Bush in the crowd at the Venice carnival  – I had no idea that we were so old)
While the name of this scent might evoke a scene from the Bloomsbury set, rather Virginia Woolf writes a postcard to her second cousin on the coast of Hove, and the ‘iris beurre’ melts like suede into a vanilla ambered cushion on skin with a delicate carrot’s breath at the gentle opening, on me at least, this perfume, though pleasing (and very wearable: I will certainly get through the whole bottle ; the orris note has a pleasantly grey mauve temperate fullness, the end note very me in its ambered, hot simplicity) somehow it still doesn’t quite capture my image of what the Miller Harris brand used to embody: a subtle Englishness  – pared down, clear; nature-inspired; a tad severe – that has ceded to a more technicolour frivolity. Yes, there were Noix Tubereuse and Figue Amere in the original MH range, which embraced the nightlife and the occasional feather boa, but since the perfumer and founder Lyn Harris left the perfumery in different hands, the company seems to have veered in an entirely different direction – which can be enjoyable ( I know that brands under different artistic direction must evolve with the times ): but also a little jarring.


Filed under cinema + perfume, Flowers, Fruity Floral, Iris







Continuing with our ‘Wind Series’- we last looked at Balmain’s exquisite Vent Vert – which, translated into English, we find to mean ‘Green Wind’ – a name that might be construed as a colicky baby burped on her mother’s shoulder, the uncomfortable result of too much Vietnamese, or even strong gales recorded around derelict and mouldering building sites in Chernobyl, but which any case, loses all the poetry of the original French when the English speaker comes to understand the proper definition; equally, Ma Robe Sous Le Vent – ‘My Dress In The Wind ‘ sounds, and is, stupid. Is this a humdrum polyester casual maxi just blowin’ on the line, in the breeze, after it comes out from the washing machine? Or could it be that this wan and worthless concoction is designed to be an evocation of Marilyn Monroe’s immortalized sewer moment, as gusts of underground gases come billowing up in and around her underpants?

Whatever Thierry Wasser’s intentions, I am in all honesty quite DELIGHTED that this crap little perfume exists. According to Monsieur Guerlain, a website I very much enjoy for its exhaustive Guerlainophile attention to the tiniest detail, a bottle of the most venerable French house’s most successful contemporary perfume, La Petite Robe Noire, is sold somewhere in the world every three seconds, and this recently rejigged version, a supposed eau de parfum intense, was created by Guerlain’s in-house perfumer to be sweeter for the American market, for those who found the original incredibly uninspiring French version too unsugared. SWEETER? What, the faux-black cherry caramel of the original synthetic dessert just wasn’t quite enough?

Apparently not! So, as a result, this more recent edition of the neverending fruitchouli bandwagon, allowing Guerlain to compete for market share with Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle, Mugler’s Angel, and Lancôme’s abominable La Vie Est Belle, has notes (allegedly: they elude me) of blueberry, Bulgarian rose, candyfloss, patchouli, white musk and vanilla that smell even cheaper, and tackier, than any other perfume I have possibly ever smelled.


Still, if this new version, of what is already a global success for Guerlain, makes major inroads into the North American market ( you can imagine some lady living in the back of beyond, when asked what perfume she is wearing, and answering in full, in god knows what pronunciation, “Oh, it’s just a spritz or two of GUERLAIN LA PETITE ROBE NOIRE MA ROBE SOUS LE VENT EAU DE PARFUM INTENSE ( and someone gunning her down in response ) – becomes a mega-hit, then I am glad.

YES. Keep my beloved perfume house afloat financially. Let the spondoolas from the trash that sells wildly flood the Champs Elysees so that the precious vaults of beauteous perfumes can be properly archived and maintained. If people have no taste, that is FINE. Let Guerlain rake in the coffers from their cheap-as-chips concoctions with disproportionately high prices, so that all the perfumes that we DO love by this house, and there are so many, can be kept alive, nurtured, and preserved; and that new ones, perfumes with imagination, creativity and fine ingredients, are still to be created.


Filed under Antiperfume, Floriental, Fruity Floral







Filed under Bitch, Fruity Floral, groping motherfuckers, Prune, religious hatred and death, Republican, Urine, Voyeur

I FELL IN LOVE WITH A MANGO…..BOMBAY BLING by Neela Vermeire Creations (2011) + MANGO MANGA by Montale (2005)





A mango in Japan will cost you around 4000 yen. That’s fifty US dollars, or about 32 pounds Sterling at today’s exchange rate, and even then it will often be somewhat tarnished in its journey from Narita airport; small, sometimes stringy, a bit unfulfilling. While it’s true that these days, now the Japanese economy is supposedly in a state of permanent stagnation, and deflation the norm, mangoes do pop up more cheaply at certain fruit and vegetable shops, sometimes as ‘little’ as 700 yen,  the fruit, over here, remains a rarified exotic animal: clothed in a dainty little polystyrene protective hair net to lessen bruising, looking out in cold solitary confinement from the shelves of the fancier supermarkets.















I had never even eaten a mango until I came here, as the fruit just did not feature in my childhood nutrition – though I have to say that I was always drawn to papaya and mango Safeway yoghurts, a potently creamy tartness that was often given a perfumey rasp by the addition of passionfruit and flavour enhancers.




The first time I had a true, unadulterated mangorgasm, though, was in Taiwan, where mangoes come cheap and are delicious. I could hardly believe the difference, or what I was tasting when I got back to my friend’s Taipei apartment: these giant mangoes felt almost sinful in their overrunnings of sweet,tart juice; their shining, tropical flesh: I had two in a row and was in some kind of mango-trance, greedily devouring the fruit with a relish of infatuation.





It was at this moment that I really got the mango (or it got me).













Two perfumes that base their main structures round the fruit are Bombay Bling, by Indian designer Neera Vermeire, and Montale’s Mango Manga, a Tokyo exclusive (until recently) that ties in with the ‘mango boom’ of recent years (Japan has these ludicrous media-drive fads: we are currently in the middle of a ‘lemon boom’). Both mango perfumes make me smile and dissolve coldness; both are completly OTT.













Bombay Bling is described by Ms Vermeire as a ‘joyful creation’ that embodies every aspect of the ‘very modern, colourful, eclectic, esoteric, ecstatic, liberal happy side of buzzing India’. For me it is a trifle, but a dazzling one, beginning with one of the most delectable opening salvos I’ve come across in a very long time:  a thirst-quenching mango lassi like a cool glass of yoghurt draped in tropical leis and beads – a myriad of bright rainbow colours conjuring up the scintillating promise of Bollywood effervescence: a  ffffffffrrrrrrruuuuitty, and I mean FRUITY opening of mango, blackcurrant and lychee, as bright as sparkling pop dust on the tongue; a mango seen through a jewel-encrusted kaleidoscope.












It is very difficult to dislike a smell as optimistic as this, even if you might not want to smell of it personally (I quite happily would), although I have to say that the miracle doesn’t quite go on forever – the base, flatter as the celestial fruit notes fade, is a bit standard poptastic-vanillic-floriental – but really, how can you complain when the top notes give you such a thrill.





Notes:  a fresh, modern, fruit cocktail of mango, lychee, blackcurrant and cardamom.

An opulent heart note garden of plumeria, ylang ylang, tuberose, cistus and cumin.

And a soft, oriental base of vanilla, patchouli, cedar, sandalwood and tobacco.













Montale’s perturbingly fecund rendition of the mango actually made Duncan and I laugh (which is surely a recommendation in itself – not many perfumes rise/descend to the level of comedy). In the presence of Mango Manga, Bombay Bling seems suddenly artificial  – shatters into thousands of shards of GM coloured glass : adorable, wearable, but most definitely a laboratory creation. Mango Manga, which I was expecting to be cute and fresh – a childish little thing to fit in with the idea of comics and Japanese kawaii – is a slippery, slimy, real mango, full of overripened juice dribbling embarrassingly down the chin; a cascade of discarded mango skins on a Kuala Lumpur street,  rotting and waning by the dustbins as the avid South Asian sun begins to set.




It even feels oleaginous, thick, on the skin……. Oh this is a mango in all its earthy glory alright: foul, almost; gorgeous. Rotten, or starting to: alive. And very, very funny.





When I tried this (on the other hand was Montale’s Chocolate Greedy, which smells EXACTLY like a jar of stale chocolate Mcvities – I was really going for bulimia overdrive that day), it was a sweltering afternoon in Tokyo and the mango on my hand seemed fruity and fitting. I was intrigued: where could it possibly go from here?  Putrefactive heart notes of fruit fly enfleurage, laced generously with tones of headspace, gellied, maggot?




As we settled down in an over air-conditioned restaurant called Istanbul, and a delicious bottle of Turkish red, the mystery was answered wonderfully as the listless mangoes of the beginning began to dissipate, and, to our amazement, a warm, gorgeous, real perfume emerged – rich, sensuous, of obviously good construction and materials that reminded me a lot of vintage Miss Balmain perfume extract – that sultry, 50’s strawberry leather that I adore.



So it wasn’t a joke after all! At this point, the scent was really rather suggestive, going perfectly with the belly-dancing vibe of the place we were eating in, as we tried to envision who it would work on best. But this didn’t take long – it could only be a full-figured, Mediterranean or Middle-Eastern woman of confident bearing who could pull off this scent with the right passion: invisible swirls of Arabian, saffron-dusted flowers drift about her person, exuding humour, fun, sex, and love of life.

Mango skin: mango bosom.




Mango Manga notes: mango, sweet orange, jasmine sambac, ylang ylang, neroli, Moroccan oud, oakmoss, cedar, vetiver.














Filed under Chypre, Fruit, Fruity Floral, Mango