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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Spring Fling: Smell Bent Limited Edition Leisure Cruise

First things first: The winner of the draw for the Roxana Chocolate solids is varunner. Please click on the "Contact us" button to give us your address.

You might remember last October when I reviewed a bunch of creations of young perfumer Brent Leonesio, the Los Angeles based nose behind one of the funnest (to borrow a Steve Jobs-ism) new lines out there, Smell Bent. His line runs on the ethos that perfumes should be fun and more importantly affordable. They're also really good.

Just in time for the winter blahs to firmly take hold he has released five new limited edition seasonal "smellies" he calls "Leisure Cruise". They are:

St. Tropez Dispenser: Listed notes are jasmine, coconut and musk. At first there's a big wallop of coconut before the jasmine, musk and aloe conspire to make this somewhere between CH I Hate Perfume At the Beach 1966 and Creed Virgin Island Water. Eventually the coconutty suntan lotion portion cedes to the jasmine and it goes more native. Makes me think of Dorothy Lamour. Maybe not the first thing I would reach for (I liked but didn't buy either of the other two), but if you're a fan of either Jasmine or Virgin Island Water you might want to give this a whirl.

Monaco Dependent: Orange blossom and opoponax with "greens" are the notes from the website. There's a lovely grassiness to this that balances the other ingredients. I liked this one immediately and immensely; it's fresh green fields and light springy orange blossom would be more effective against seasonal affective disorder than a light-box and a Xanax. I don't know if it's Monaco, but I do know it's me.

Brussels Sprouted is greener still: listing "sprouted greens, Himalayan cedar and deep, green musk growing fresh, wet earth". The sprouting greens stop just short of being minty; they really do smell almost like sprouts. When the cedar comes in the scent becomes dryer, then moister when the musk and earth notes drop in. Those of you who react to the earth notes in CB I Hate Perfumes as graveyard needn't be frightened; this is the freshest of the bunch, and certainly the most masculine.

Thai'd Down is written of as "sparkling kumquat", mushroom, wood and pepper. I honestly don't get kumquat (although I think I last ate one about 10 years ago..), but there's definitely the blameless scent of fresh button mushrooms with just a hint of citrus. This is perhaps the most challenging of these initially, reminding me of Frederick Malle's Dans Tes Bras, another scent I was not moved enough to buy. But if you sniffed the Malle and lamented that you would have to choose between your phone bill and it this might be right up your cruise ship..

Bollywood or Bust was hands down my favorite. He lists rose, spices and sandalwood in there, but I smell a lot more: I think there's cumin (just a touch, this isn't Serge Noire) and I think a touch of mint or something that balances the darker spices and keeps it more vivacious and less vindaloo. It does get calmer and a little darker as it develops, but leaning in to smell it you'll get that bright opening again. I can see why he called it "Bollywood". It has something of the hyper-stylized feel of a Bollywood Musical; super-saturated with color, full of movement and just a little odd.

These are limited editions and I don't know when they'll be history, so if you're curious, act fast. Samples are available at his website for $3.75 each. I received my samples directly from him. My godchild has already told me that she will absolutely DIE if she doesn't get mine so sorry, no draw.

Available at the Smell Bent Website and at Luckyscent. $20 for 1/4oz.

Image source, Smell Bent.

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15 Comments:

Blogger Flora said...

Great reviews Tom! I love your description: "the blameless scent of fresh button mushrooms." Perfect!

I think I would like all of these, but most especially the Monaco Dependent. It is calling my name....

12:52 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

D-

these are so nice and at that price they're practically free!

1:30 AM EST  
Blogger Tama said...

I've got Monaco Dependent on the way - it just sounded too good. Might have to spring for Bollywood, too. I bought their LE Felix Navidad at Christmas and thought it very well done - I am looking forward to trying more of the line.

2:23 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Tama-

I missed the LE's for the holidays. That's why I'm advising people to move fast on there.

11:51 AM EST  
Anonymous Lavanya said...

Thank for the reviews, Tom! I love the sound of Monaco Dependent and Bollywood or bust. I'm going to have to check them out quickly!!

3:23 PM EST  
Blogger elle said...

Thanks for reviewing these! They all sound intriguing, but Bollywood or Bust really is calling out to me. Loudly. However, I continue to reel at the shockingly decent price point. Essentially in the range of a couple of cups of gourmet coffee (OK, very gourmet, but still...).

7:04 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Lavanya-

Those were definatly my favorites!

10:12 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

elle-

Bollywood or Bust is so nice and yea, it's shocking that he can do it at this price point..

10:13 PM EST  
Anonymous Marian said...

Monaco Dependent sounds just the thing to wear while drooling over my well-thumbed pile of garden catalogues, but how to resist Bollywood or Bust? Your description of it makes is sound right up my own odd little alley. ☺

11:36 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Marian-

They're $20 each, so I say go crazy ang get both!

12:00 PM EST  
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Is this a new kind of spam?

In any case commenters, don't click on the name of these commenters that have these weird "your article is very useful for us"; if you mouse over it you'll see it leads you to perfumesnow.com and I personally don't know anything about them.

I mean if they want to advertise on Marina's site they should be above-board about it.

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