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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Letting my freak flag fly: Dinner by Bobo

By Linda

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.


Blogger Kelley said...

Linda, you make this sound fantastic and now I can't wait to try it. One mention of skank and I am right there with you! In fact, I think I need a cigarette!

11:03 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hoo boy, this sounds amazing! I am a confirmed cumin fan, and it likes my skin a lot, so I would not be afraid to try this "beast!"

1:32 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've never smelled this, but have always wondered how comfortably the cumin sits with the cherry coke quality of the scent - see, I've read about it.

I'm more intrigued now after your review.bnys

5:30 AM EST  
Blogger elle said...

*Adore* Bobo. Pure deliciousness. A happy scent. Can't believe I've neglected him recently. Must remedy this today. Also love that dropper bottle and the purple juice. I rarely like colored juice, but this just is so nicely in sync w/ the fun quality of Bobo.

6:04 AM EST  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

Dear me !
Vapors again- or maybe a hot flash...?

I'm eager to try it !
Love your description !

[Happy Thanksgiving, dear]

6:11 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh this sounds something I must go and smell a.s.a.p., in my current thirst for Dirt & Skank. Thanks !

8:01 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I smelled it once and loved it, was never able to find in to buy. Would you know where it can be found?

10:02 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your description of the last stage of Dinner. I have to admit I'm usually reluctant to let my freak flag fly- I hang it up at home when I'm by myself (a la "Perfumes for the Privacy of Your Own Home" on NST)
But reading reviews like this makes me think, to heck with it- I'm putting on some skank today!

10:36 AM EST  
Blogger Divina said...

Amazing review!!! I do not love Dinner - I like it, but not love it enough to want a bottle or feel the need to have a decant. My sample will last me a long time. However, your fabulous description is spot on!!

11:21 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bravo! I applaud you as you Stand by Your Scent!

The spice and fruit sounds delicious, but I am still warming up to skank...

12:32 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

P.S. What a hilarious name! Any idea what the history behind it is?

12:33 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

well, now I want to smell this really badly..

12:40 PM EST  
Blogger Ducks said...

I'm glad I've intrigued you: it is so one of my favorites.

I do have a word of caution about the skank factor, though... every time I wear this, my mom tells me my deodorant has failed.

Kelley - that's the way I feel about this one. That, alternated with gusts of hilarity. I don't know why it makes me giggle, but it does.

Flora - me too. And have you tried Crazylibellule and the Poppies' Ginger Coconut? It's swimming in wonderful cumin and it's pure love.

Leopoldo - I get cola (in waves) but no cherry coke -- but yes, the cumin really sparkles against the fruity/boozy/cola elements, in my opinion.

Elle - oh good! I'm so glad you love him too. Isn't it fun?

Chayaruchama - happy Thanksgiving to you, too! This is the first one I get to spend with family in ages and ages.

Silvia - try it, try it! It's so wonderfully skanky. =)

Veronica - I found it on The Perfumed Court website. I have a little decant... also, there's the Bobo website. I will google both and get the addresses on here.

Denise - it's a good Privacy of My Own Home scent, for sure. I'm pretty sure my mom hates it, anyway. :)

Divina - thank you! It's wonderful to get confirmation even from a non-fanatic. Even for me it's by no means an everyday indulgence.

Sweetlife - the company is Bobo, and Dinner is the fragrance name... it just adds up to hilarity. That silliness does "up" the giggle factor, though.

Tom - smell it! Either we will love it together, or you won't and you'll have to curse my name. I think you might like it though... you and I have so many tastes in common.

2:02 PM EST  
Blogger Ducks said...

Bobo's site:

The Perfumed Court:

2:03 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To me, this sounds like something a member of one of the more decadent imperial families of ancient Rome would have worn.


2:56 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah! Thanks, Ducks! So a "Bobo" is "bourgoise bohemian" and they imagine the scent as "drinks, dinner and dessert."

Still had me thinking about roasted Dodo bird...

I think this is an even funnier translation name than "Chocolate Greedy" (which is a great name, actually).

3:06 PM EST  
Blogger Ducks said...

Existentialist - oh my! I don't know that it's quite THAT sinful... but it's pretty sinful.

Sweetlife - what a hoot! I didn't know that it was an abbreviation. I have to confess that "Chocolate Greedy" makes me laugh, too. I haven't tried it, and I am tempted!

5:55 PM EST  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

Wow....This sounds wonderful, I am goign to have to try it. Your review IS delicious and I adore cumin so this will be a must try very soon. I love the whole skank really well on my skin.

11:37 PM EST  

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