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Friday, October 09, 2009

Get Bent Part 2: smell bent Little Miss Panda, Commando, Mama Cassis and Blimey, Limey... and a Draw

By Tom

As I wrote earlier, I had the chance to sit down with the young founder and nose of the house smell bent, which launched last month here in Los Angeles. The brainchild of Sarah Lawrence graduate and self-described "scent obsessed" Brent Leonesio, smell bent was created with the idea that "perfume should be fun and shouldn't cost an arm and a leg".

Amen, sistah..

I met Brent at The Abbey in West Hollywood, where he showed me his line. I usually try not to try scents in front of the person responsible for them, in case I hate them. Luckily there was nothing to hate here: even the ones that had names that gave me pause were completely different than what my preconceived notions made me think: Frosting Monster for instance is grassy rather than sweet, Lemon Cowboy is almost equally focused on the saddle as on the citrus, Hungry Hungry Hippies manages to have both a giggle-inducing pot-brownie opening with a surprisingly urbane finish while Lucy Fur (limited, and shouldn't be) has a creamy muskiness to it that delightful.

Blimey, Limey starts off, well limey. Limey and sweet, a literal lime-ade. The lime becomes truer as it develops, becoming more peel-like becoming finally tinged with musk. It's very youthful and very fresh. I'm neither of course but I do like that it becomes more suave and less literal as it dries to it's lovely skin musk conclusion. It's not me, but then I opened..

Commando is a handsome blend of tonka and musks that he writes of as being "as close as it gets to wearing nothing at all". Actually, it's as close as it gets to wearing the impeccably clean skin of a child without skinning one to do so. Needless to say I could bathe in this.

Mamma Cassis actually made me say "wow" out loud. I was expecting a load of cassis but the initial impression is of fresh chopped mint. Black currants join in but never get too thick, being cut by the mint. A bit of Lemon Cowboy's lemongrass boots seem to stomp in near the end and that's a good thing, taking this from "whoo hoo" to immensely wearable.

Little Miss Panda is listed as pikake flower and fresh soil. Pikake is a type of jasmine grown for leis and I have to admit I have no idea what it smells like. I love a good soil smell in perfumes, and this is a good one. Panda is lightly earthy and very green: it gives the impression of bamboo without being too literal.

I'm enjoying this line a lot. The price point ($20 for 1/4 oz) is these days the new free and there are quite a few I can see myself wearing a lot of. There's certainly a lot of thought, taste and a fair bit of wit here. For all his youth (and he made me feel about 136 years old, damn him) Mr. Leonesio has a line that's wearable and fun, but not frivolous or over-the-top. One of the things he mentioned he was working on is a cumin scent; I am very much looking forward to seeing what he'll do with that note, and to see what else he has up his sleeve.

I will be giving away samples of the four scents in the title of this review; if you wish to be included in the draw, please say so in the comments. Telling me how youthful I am in real life will have no bearing on the choice of the winner.

But it can't hurt.

Image source,

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Blogger Datura5750 said...

They sound very cool, and the site is charming...

1:53 AM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

I demand from the gods to let me have a sniff of that minty cassis...prego, molto, madonna mia! Sounds......electric

5:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

Am I not clearly begging to be in the draw? I mean, you teeny, is it not clear that I'd love to be in the draw?

5:03 AM EDT  
Blogger queen_cupcake said...

Please enter me in the drawing. Brent Leonesio sounds so like a much needed fresh breeze through the industry. I wish him good fortune in his work. And I love your youthful attitude--actual youth, as we know, is wasted on the young. ;-)

5:43 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd love to try these! Please enter me in the draw :)


5:55 AM EDT  
Blogger Jarvis said...

Hi, Tom. It's nice to hear your favourable impressions of these fragrances. I'd love to try them, so please enter me in the drawing. I wasn't sure at first what to make of the names and drawings -- one doesn't often find perfumes marketed with this degree of sassiness and irreverence. :-)

7:42 AM EDT  
Anonymous dissed said...

You are a prodigy with the brain of da Vinci and the talent of Michelangelo in the body of David. There. Will that work for you? I like this concept and would love to try these.

7:51 AM EDT  
Anonymous RM said...

I've been curious about this line and would like to be included in the draw please!
Oh and did I mention that you sound REALLY youthful? Yep, real young and I've even heard some people say you very much resemble Brad Pitt. And smart! Really smart. A GENIUS! LOL ok hopefully that's enough sucking up.

7:56 AM EDT  
Anonymous Fernando said...

Hey, I'm quite sure you're much younger than I am, so to me you're still a young buck. Please enter me in the drawing!

8:26 AM EDT  
Anonymous sybil said...

Mm..Take pity on an old crone, and please put me in the drawing. These sound really fun. And, I know you're just as young and juicy as can be. You live in California, right? And don't they kick you out for being old and/or flabby?

9:34 AM EDT  
Blogger Debby H said...

Please add me to the drawing - I love the way these sound. Can't comment on your youthfulness as I haven't met you, but I'm not very youthful myself - however, I can say that I really enjoy your writing - thanks!

10:02 AM EDT  
Blogger ScentScelf said...

I have not met you in the flesh, as it were, but clearly the talent and seeming experience behind your succulent prose belies the youth that creates it.

Sumptin' like that. Hat me?

I've enjoyed the interview very much, and wish this whippersnapper well. The scents themselves are intriguing, and THANK YOU THANK YOU to him for the price point. Thanks to you for the writing!

10:30 AM EDT  
Blogger Tama said...

I have my eye on these for my next paycheck. Some of them sound wonderful.
Would love to be in the draw.

11:52 AM EDT  
Anonymous Nina Z. said...

I've been very curious about this line ever since I looked at the site. Hella cute! I live in the SF Bay Area. Do any stores up here carry the line?

11:53 AM EDT  
Anonymous dleep said...

These sound wonderful! I would love to be included. Thank you.


11:53 AM EDT  
Blogger ahsumaker said...

I'd love to sniff these. I wasn't sure how they'd smell from their names and descriptions, but your reviews make them sound promising! Thanks for the posts, Tom.

12:31 PM EDT  
Blogger Alyssa said...

So, how old, exactly, is Brent? You keep calling him young but unless I missed it don't say his age, and now I'm very curious...

But I'm sure he can't possibly match the combined charm of your youthful looks and sexy, sophistication.

How's that?

12:34 PM EDT  
Anonymous lilacskin said...

well, hell yes...please add me to the drawing, young man!

12:35 PM EDT  
Anonymous Lora said...

How fun these sound! Please enter me in the draw.

12:58 PM EDT  
Anonymous Flora said...

Hi Tom, no need to enter me, I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your take on these, I will be trying them at some point I'm sure, espacially Little Miss Panda, and I wish this feisty entrepreneur all success!

1:16 PM EDT  
Blogger Cynthia said...

Every time I read about these, I keep meaning to order some samples. I think I even had planned out which ones to order at some point and then was distracted by something shiny.

I'd love to be entered in the draw - thanks for the great interview and reviews.

Oh, and you are the perfect combination of wisdom and youth. ;-)

2:05 PM EDT  
Blogger Lucia said...

I will love to try these perfumes, please enter me in the drawing.

2:13 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Put me in the drawing.

2:40 PM EDT  
Blogger Dixie said...

Please include me the draw. On the website, I wasn't sure I wanted to try any of them. Your review has enticed me to want to try (them all really) Commando and Mama Cassis!

7:37 PM EDT  
Blogger Ducks said...

"Actually, it's as close as it gets to wearing the impeccably clean skin of a child without skinning one to do so." Eeeee! Halloween, much?

I would NOT like to be in the draw, as I've already tried about half of these. And loved the ones I tried, too. However, I really enjoyed the fun review, very much in the spirit of the site/product!

7:57 PM EDT  
Anonymous March said...

OOOH I want COMMANDO. That sounds wonderful! I think the name is a riot.

7:58 PM EDT  
Anonymous adriana said...

The name Lucy Fur cracks me up. I'll have to get a bottle. Please add me to the draw.

11:19 PM EDT  
Anonymous Claudia0219 said...

Please enter me in the draw.......funny names for fragrances :)

11:23 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These sound so delightful, just like the website. I'm particularly fascinated by the price points: such consumer-consideration!

Please enter me in the draw.

Thank so much,

8:45 AM EDT  
Blogger steviesplan9 said...

always eager to support creative genius

8:56 AM EDT  
Anonymous maitreyi1978 said...

Please enter me in the drawing.

4:08 PM EDT  
Anonymous Mike Perez said...

I just wanted to say Brent is such a sweetie - I got the opportunity to meet him in LA once before he started Smell Bent and he and I spent some hours together talking and smelling at Scent Bar, Barneys, etc.

Nice to see him doing so well!

No need to enter me in the drawing - I plan on buying my samples soon.

11:58 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

You're all in, please note the drawing is closed.

9:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

Oh the cassis does sound nice. Please enter me in the draw!

11:36 PM EDT  
Blogger thescentmuse said...

Mama Cassis sounds like the bomb!! Love the price point!

Thanks for including me in the draw!

8:51 AM EDT  
Anonymous Brigitte Smith said...

Commando sounds wonderful, like the skin scent I've been dreaming of. Shouldn't Mama Cassis have spices and patchouli? I also really want to try his l.e. violet tendancies. I love the name and could use another earthy violet. I would love to be entered in your draw. Thanks.

11:49 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd love to try these. You are so youthful, Tom, but manage to speak wisely from experience! I am young too—at least in spirit! Now get some clothes on that nekkid cowboy!

Laura M

9:10 PM EDT  
Blogger cbstarker said...

Pick me! Pick me! Brent's scents are not only fun to talk about but a pleasure to wear. It's a pity he's allergic to vetiver, though, because I bet he'd make a fine concoction and something I'd never even dream of. I'm a big fan of LMP and the limited Violet Tendencies. Pick me! Pick me!

9:21 PM EDT  
Anonymous Roberto C. said...

Please enter me in the draw, I'd loke to try these new line.

11:27 AM EDT  
Blogger EileenS said...

Tom, thanks for the reviews! I've been waiting for someone else to try them and report -- yeah, I know I'm chicken! I'm attracted to several, so I see an order in my future. Please enter me in the draw.

12:20 PM EDT  
Anonymous zeram1 said...

Please enter me in the draw, for I like the concept that's involved in this line (less expensive does not equate to worse smelling!).

10:45 PM EDT  
Blogger dana said...

Very interesting! Please enter me in your drawing. Would love to try.

12:30 AM EDT  

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