I Hate Mondays: A Tale of Air-Conditioning
Review by Tom
Ever have one of those weekends where you feel lazy as all get-out? Where you just don't want to do anything? Well, this past one was like that for me. It was uncommonly hot in Los Angeles for early May, with a high in the low 90's. I did laundry, washed the car, got a haircut, returned books to the library, did everything I could think of to avoid the baleful stare (okay, major hyperbole) of the new Tom Fords. Somehow I could not bring myself to try them in this heat. Joining them in making me feel like six different kinds of lazy putz are some Montales that Kelley kindly sent me that I need to try and a couple of l'Artisans. Somehow the idea of wearing anything heavier than Eau de Sud when the temps are this high and the humidity is less than zero is more than I can stand to think of. So now that it's Monday and I am planted in my office where it's about two degrees above freezing I will review something completely out of character: Sweets. Commes des Garcons Series 7: Sweet.
The (also heavily air-conditioned) MOCA gift shop stocks these, along with LuckyScent, which is good because in being handled (even in a locked case) the admittedly cute bottles had most of the names of the perfumes rubbed off. I was looking at Wo fee and St ake on them.
Opening like a sweeter, watered down Aomassai, with a little hint of Iris Taizo thrown in. Luckyscent writes "Sticky Cake is surprisingly light…don’t think big brown fruitcake of doom..". Oddly for me this is just too light: it's neither sticky or cakey enough for me, and has less of that CdeG weirdness that can be so interesting.
I was afraid that this one, on which the only thing that was legible was Bu r, was going to be ghastly in the dreaded Blue Sugar way, since out of the bottle it was sweet, sweet, sweet. Luckyscent refers to it as "fluffy" and "creamy", but correctly notes that spices keep it from getting into toothache territory and jasmine makes it more creditably less cradle-robber. Not for me, but your mileage may vary.
Wood. Coffee. Vanilla.
Cocoa and spiced ginned up with bergamot. Really should not work but does, and very well. The spices are listed (via Luckyscent) as fennel, coriander, black pepper and "chilli". The initial cocoa-ness burns off quite quickly and I was left with the citrus and the spices, with only a whisper of the chocolate. By far the lightest of these on me.
Green tea scents are of course a dime a dozen and were quite the fad for a while, starting with Barneys Route du The in the 80's. I happen to like the note, especially when well played as it is here. Joined with just the perfect amount of mint and hay, this is not sweet at all on me. It has some of the bite of PG Querelle: as a matter of fact, all of these have a PG feel to them, as if they were cousins. If I was going to buy any of these five, this would be the one, hands down.
All of these are available at MOCA, where the very disinterested staff in the gift shop will unlock the case to let you smell them and then vaporise when you want to ask anything about them, like the price. No doubt to create performance art or streak their hair in new and interesting shades not usually found on mammals. Since the website for the MOCA gift shop does not have these online, I have to write that they are available at LuckyScent, where they are $90 each, as they would be happy to tell you if you stopped in.
Note: I am a longstanding member of MOCA, and they continually have wonderful shows in all three locations: Grand Avenue, Pacific Design Center and Little Tokyo. If you are in Los Angeles, they are well worth the visit. Both Gift Shops (Santa Monica and Grand Avenue) have a nice collection of fun stuff that is quite frankly available at a lot of other places, so the somewhat surly-to-non-existent customer service is fairly self defeating.
Image source, Alamy.com.