Letting my freak flag fly: Dinner by Bobo
Sometimes we have to admit to loving something that many others don’t. For me, one of those choices is Dinner by Bobo.
It makes me giggle, it’s simultaneously intimate and elegant, and I find it endlessly interesting—I cannot stop sniffing it. It’s not for everyone, but I have a crush on it that won’t quit. It is kind of a significant other of a fragrance; I don’t necessarily want to share, but I like spending quality time with it and I think it’s worth showing off.
Although the top notes are all supposed to be citrus, it opens for me with a blast of cumin and a whisper of patchouli, boozy with an almost cognac scent that I think has something to do with peach. This is the phase that most people seem to find scrub-worthy: it is unabashedly sweaty and discordant. If you hate it in this clean-gym-sweat first blush, I understand (my partner says it should be called “Dinner with Hobo” in the initial blast), but there’s something raw and sexual and exotic here, like the thrill of wandering an open-air marketplace in a hot climate.
Rich, exotically spiced plum and peach rise up and strengthen the phantom cognac note. Cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, candied fruit, and licks of vanilla soothe away the pungency of the cumin, but never entirely lay it to rest. It is sweet, but not too sweet, as the subtle citrus, the cumin, and the tartness of the plum keep it from turning into dessert during its foody heart.
As it mellows, it loses some of the sweetness of the heart. One finds oneself scented by the memory of the cumin and spiced fruit, drunk on the booziness that carries it from beginning to end, and surrounded by voluptuous incense, musky vanilla, tartly resinous woods, and subtle flowers – creamy, powdery, and downright naughty ylang with a whisper of jasmine and violets. It takes a while to reach this stage, which lasts forever, but it is dreamy. Fragrances do not always conjure images for me, but I do get one from this last stage of Dinner: reclining on a heavy, wooden four-poster bed with incense smoldering on the nightstand, after indulging in a lavish and exotic feast, with the breeze carrying in the scent of flowers from the balcony. It smells a little tipsy, totally relaxed, sated but wide awake—and willing to try anything.
Dinner isn’t a bad name for it, but it recalls the pleasure of attending a dinner companion, not the meal itself. It’s lovable, attractive, and I love to listen to it tell its jokes and raucous stories about its exotic travels. The edible fragrances of spices and fruit are just a lush setting for all this intimate sociability.
Does it have “skank appeal?” Oh yes, in buckets. It’s a dirty, dirty beast. This is a dinner companion you want to take home and wrap in your cool clean sheets, once it’s done amusing the other guests.
It’s a hard one to characterize. It is pretty, but not conventionally so; fruity, but not innocent; it is disturbing, mellow, playful, unpredictable, and politically incorrect. The first time I wore it, my partner declared that it was very feminine. The second time, he told me that he is too hetero to be into it. It’s an enigma wrapped in a mystery, I guess.
So who can wear it? I think it would be heavenly on a man unafraid to wear all that glaceed fruit. I know that I find it yummy on a woman confident enough to weather the cumin and all that booze. I know a lot of people hate it, but I love it passionately.