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Thursday, September 28, 2006

More CB I Hate Perfume

Review by Tom

Continuing the double header, I decided to get three more of Brosius' creations, and then one more as a blind buy....

Burning Leaves

Absolutely amazing! I don't know how this man does it- but this is exactly the smell of burning leaf piles, starting with the tiniest whiff of starter fluid, the leaf piles blazing. It dries down to the most amazing simulacrum of leaves that I can only quote March who put it so well:

But here's the kicker for me -- if I wait for hours, until the scent starts to fade, the smoke clears and what I get THEN is just "leaves" -- you know that exact smell of being inside the leaf fort you made as a kid, or jumping in a pile of leaves? Even now, as a boring grownup, walking down the road when the leaves are piled up like snowdrifts and there's that funny, dry, almost-dusty fallen leaf smell... you know? THAT smell. Is there a better smell? It is the smell of being six years old, playing outside at dusk in the fall chill, without a jacket (even though it's just cold enough to need one), looking forward to Halloween, and feeling like everything in the world was created just for my pleasure.

In the Library

This one is also very successful- it really smells like like a book in a slightly dusty library- the smell of paper and leather and dust. I also get something that smells something like glue and oddly, cinnamon. Interesting, but I don't see myself wearing it. But I would love having it around...

Gathering Apples

Another stunner- I don't know how he does it; this smells exactly like a fresh Macintosh apple: roaring fresh from the orchard fresh. It's so evocative that I can almost taste it. The initial burst of apple mellows slightly and becomes more wearable, once again it's not for me, but it's really nice.


I bought this blind at the inferred behest of March and Colombina, who described it as being the stankiest of the stank. Like Colombina, I have graduated to the idea that MKK is something that I can wear to the office, so I was expecting something that would be like "Nuit de la Mineshaft" (and maybe you have to have been a New Yorker of a certain age to get the reference). I was actually surprised: maybe my personal De-Skank-o-tron was in force. I got an
interesting "berry musk", like blackberries gone bad. Not fermented, but blackberries hanging out at a club, smoking Luckies and being of easy virtue. As time passed, it grew more and more, not exactly strong, but disconcerting in a way that I knew that I was completely and hopelessly in thrall over. It's not really fruity, it's not really musk, it's something primeval and fecund, an ancient spirit of Beltane. The best blind buy I ever made, and yes, I will be wearing it alone.

Although, March and Colombina, it is DIVINE layered with Yatagan: the blackberry sweetness of the CB nicely cuts the ashtray accord of Yatagan's opening, while deepening and amping up the leather. It both civilises and makes more dangerous Yatagan: it turns the barbarian into
Jason Stratham, still the kick-ass barbarian, but in an Armani suit

The images of the bottles are from CB I Hate Perfume


Blogger tmp00 said...

and if anyone's interested, I've layered it with MKK and lived to tell the tale. Oh my. The only way that could get better is if Vin Diesel showed up with a box of Tuescher, the deed to Case Study House #22 in my name and the promise that we'll never have to screen any of his movies. It was that good.

11:38 PM EDT  
Blogger katiedid said...

ARGH! I wish I got such nice things out of Burning Leaves that you AND March did. Sigh. It smells like nothing of the sort on my skin at all.

In the Library is one I'm thinking is best appreciated as art. Seriously. It really captures a moment, but not necessarily as a good perfume. Which I do mean complimentary. If it were perfume-y I don't think it would be half so good. I wonder if this is one best enjoyed as a home fragrance?

Also? Crap. Now I have to sample Musk to see if it's "me." I swore off buying new stuff til I'd worked my way through the samples and bottles I already had.

Have you tried Mr. Huilot's Holiday yet? Oooh, or if you like skankiness, I'm curious to see what you think of Pachouli Empire - my husband thought it smelled like Christmas, I thought it smelled like sex, and somewhere between us we were both right.

11:44 PM EDT  
Blogger katiedid said...

Argh - I'm a slow typist. Layering with MKK. Yeah, I'm too much of a wimp, heh. In Vin Diesel's defense, Iron Giant is an excellent movie, though let's face it... it really wasn't his voice work that made the flick.

11:46 PM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

CB's Musk truly is beyong divine. I get the same berries gone bad note you do and then something just fabulously uncivilized. I've worn this to work layered w/ Yatagan and it's delicious. Can't believe I haven't layered it w/ MKK yet since I've been layering it w/ almost everything else.
Adore Buring Leaves and Gathering Apples (only wear this one layered w/ smoke scents). I madly adore libraries, so I feel I *should* have felt the same way about In the Library, but I don't. My skin amplifies the sweet note in it and libraries I've been in just don't have that sweet smell.

7:29 AM EDT  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

Interesting, Tom-

I'd ordered samples of these, AND forced my family to smell them...
They were as entranced as you and I .

I will blend Fir Tree with Burning Leaves for my DH, and Russian Caravan Tea w/BL for me...

8:03 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

If you can do it (layer The Beast Musk with MKK), then I can do it. Competetive, me? I'll do it tonight...*whimpers*

Thank you for the great reviews!

8:35 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Oh, forgot to say...two things smell like CB Musk to my nose...Demeter Rubber. Yes, really, I swear it does! And Donna Karana Labdanum, not the perfume but body lotion, and not quite as, but it does have that dirty thing going on there.

8:39 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

Put on CB Musk and MKK immediately after reading this earlier. Whoa! This is the stuff! *Fantastic*. Yes, would have been more appropriate for night, but I couldn't wait and my boss (only co-worker) is happily oblivious to most of the scents I wear.

9:29 AM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

I am happy happy happy for you! Yes, with Yatagan it is wonderful (anything to cut that obscene sweet a little). I've had great results with Kolnisch Juchten. I think anything smoke or leather would work. P's sending me some MKK to try it with...

Mineshaft! You filthy boy.

Burning Leaves and Gathering Apples make me absurdly happy.

In the Library was the only one that didn't work for me -- weird, I had trouble smelling it. Guess I'll stick to my rank MdeM...

10:42 AM EDT  
Blogger Kelley said...

Dear God, I really don't need another bottle of anything at the moment...but I want one! CB's Musk, you will be mine! Oh, yes, you will be mine.

10:48 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful review Tom. I love the image of "blackberries gone bad." I'll have that in my head the rest of the day. ;-)

11:16 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:21 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Perhaps this should be called TP I Hate Blogger, considering how it's acting today

Katie- in defense of Mr. Diesel, I have enjoyed one or two of his movies. Just not for the reason I was supposed to; "XXX" was just silly and "Fast and the Furious " was giggle inducing because of teh (unintentional) lack of chemistry between Paul Walker and his female co-star that amde me want to yell "get a room" whenever Paul and Vin had a scene together.

11:40 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I'm so glad someone else got the berries- I thought I was going nuts! (tee-hee)

11:41 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Fir Tree and Russian Tea are ones I want to try

12:17 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Columbina- you can do it if I can. Your DH might just love it!

12:18 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Faggot? I read about that one but I thought it was a joke. What does it smell like?

12:19 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Elle- it may be either my personal de-skankotron or my own sense of smell keeping me from over-applying, but my co-workers hardly ever notice what I'm wearing. And never back away warily as I might from CB musk (or move in knowingly, depending...)

12:22 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

March- I have layered it with KJ, and it was wonderful- it made the creamy patchouli drydown a lot more animal on me.

And I only ever heard of the Mineshaft. Oh all right I went there, but they wouldn't let me in. I was wearing chinos and a polo shirt.

12:25 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


It really is worth it, on it's own and as something to layer on other scents (although I think Chris might just be a little appalled at what we're layering it with, and why..)

12:27 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Greeneyes, I aim to please ;-)

12:27 PM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

As someone who works in a library I really do need to get ahold of CB's In The Library, although bizarrely enough someone on MUA reviewed it has a being a vanilla scent to there nose.

1:21 PM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

Tom -- Faggot is CB's (admittedly) jokey and provocative name for a scent I think he did as an LE, and maybe they only have it in the store? CB is very into smoke scents, which he does REALLY well. It is a smoke scent (he has several, with different nuances) and if I am recalling correctly, it is not just the smoke (a faggot is a burning bundle of sticks, right?) but also the wood, maybe a little earth... but mostly smoke. I did smell it when P bought it, but I smelled so many things, honestly I can't remember except that I liked it. If you email them about the notes you'll probably get a response from CB himself. I did.

1:51 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Yes, that is a name for a bunch of sticks, though I can see why he might not put it on the website.

Perhaps I will call in the order for the next 3 samples and get it that way.

2:27 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


You work in a library? Lucky you! I love being books.

2:37 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

I should write "I love being around books"

I hate it when people ask me to actually work when I am trying to type on blogger.....

4:50 PM EDT  
Blogger Solander said...

Burning Leaves is the best. It's actually the only CB I tried that I really liked. The rest seemed a bit weak and dull to my nose, several of them had a similar earth/mushroom note (including In The Library) and Gathering Apples was just horribly plasticky, not anywhere near any apple I've smelled (now, we don't grow Red Mackintosh in Sweden so my references as to what apples really should smell like might be different)
I wanted to try the Musk, but... berries? Not my kind of thing. I already have a berry sweet musk from Nez à Nez.

5:04 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will now have to look for the berries. So far, I've gotten cinnamon, ocean water, and just the slightest hint of what I like to call jus de la femme from CBMusk. It's not that skanky on me, either. Oh, well. - minette

9:53 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


my powers of description are not that great- it's not precisely berries, it's like some forest creature, a berry-based Satyr, sweet juices gone sexually, salty sour.

I've got a pile of Nez a Nez samples that finally arrived- I can't wait to dive in.

12:42 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


It's not that skanky on me either. It's primeval; something before skank. Like Earth musk.. I find it at the same time cleaner and drrrtier than any musk I've ever smelled.

12:47 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My mother is a reprophotographer, I basically grew up with the smell of ink and paper [and photo lab chemicals]. Fresh books always have me think of the busy print houses, while antiquaric books with their smells have me thinking of very old houses and hidden, secret libraries.

1:32 AM EDT  
Blogger Omniryx said...

"Nuit de la Mineshaft" sent me down a long road of memories...most of them good. Musk isn't for me but it smells great on (some) others. I'm a great fan of In the Library. I wore it to the office last week and an old friend said, "What are you wearing? I love it. It smells just like your personality..."

Thanks. I guess.

10:06 AM EDT  
Blogger niina said...

I'm not a regular reader, but I just wanted to say I love love In The Library. It's warm, dusty, and a little sweet on me. It's just lucky that I'm also bookish, I guess. :)

1:15 AM EDT  

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