Sunday, March 1, 2009

A half-angel, half-tart.

You shoot me glances and they're so hard to read.
I misconstrue what you mean.

I spent Saturday night at home with friends, coercing them into watching the excellence that is the 1992 Cameron Crowe film, “Singles,” and, as always, thinking about perfume.

The film came out just as I was starting high school, and I'd say was fairly influential on what I expected my twenties to be like. ("Reality Bites" was probably the other hugely influential film.) I try, now, to remember what I wore back then, in high school. I think I mostly smelled like Bath & Body Works Sun-Ripened Raspberry. Occasionally I think there was some Pearberry, Sweet Pea, and Country Apple thrown in there (I bought nothing but pink and red colored body products, apparently), but by and large it was Sun-Ripened Raspberry, day in, day out.

Then in college I swapped over to The Body Shop Vanilla. Vanilla everything. Vanilla, vanilla, vanilla. A friend actually teased me about how boring I smelled, to which I retorted at the time that my now-husband had commented that he liked it.

Between college and law school, it was the now defunct Origins Ginger with a Twist. I picked it out for my wedding because ginger is my husband’s favorite things in the world. (The man can eat a *pound* of crystallized ginger in one sitting!) After I discovered Origins canceled it, I bought two bottles in the hopes that it will last me for years now. I wore it the day I got married, so it’s emotionally significant to me.

In fact, as I trip back through memory lane, I remember distinctly wearing three things as a young girl: Revlon’s Charlie, Revlon owned Natural Wonder’s Electric Youth, a fragrance inspired by the Debbie Gibson hit of the same name, and Coty’s Exclamation. You can actually still buy all three, though Electric Youth goes for a pretty penny on Ebay. All I remember about Electric Youth is that it was cloyingly sweet; my father hated it and reworked the lyrics to the eponymous song to indicate as such.

Charlie I remember as being less sweet, but I haven’t sniffed it since I was about twelve. I should really correct that by hitting up the local Walgreens. And Exclamation! I can’t believe it’s still being made. I’ll have to try to catch a whiff of that, too. It will be so strange to smell it all now that I actually know how to smell things.

And speaking of smelling things: Today I’m wearing Juliette Has a Gun Citizen Queen. The actual ad copy is pretty hilarious.
She is not only this edgy lady, or the most glamorous, or the most intimidating, she’s just all that at the same time, a Beauty on her own, impossible to describe… and that’s exactly why she’s so fascinating. Her perfume, first lead to solve the mystery, is an old fashioned leathery Chypre, at the crossroads of modern an classic perfumery. warned! Juliette is back, more uncatchable than ever…
This copy tells you less than nothing about the scent, of course. Luckyscent more helpfully provides the following:
The third weapon in this hip series of rose fragrances is the most powerful one yet: a striking chypre with aldehydic and animalic undertones, a scent at once belonging to an earlier era of classic perfumery and absolutely contemporary. Blended with amber and patchouli, the dark, leathery rose at the center of the composition takes no prisoners. Violet and iris soften the striking mix, adding a charming retro quality to the perfume. Veiled by this delicately powdery accord, the rose is mysterious, elusive, endlessly intriguing.

Notes: Leather, Bulgarian Rose, Iris, Amber, Immortal flowers, Labdanum
Citizen Queen on immediate application is very powdery and flowery on me, kind of like baby powder. Within a few minutes the overly sweet edge comes off, though, which is a good thing. The iris isn’t very obvious on me in application. This chypre obviously contains sandalwood, which is strong on me, and the amber is also strong, with the rose peaking through at the very bottom, giving it a bit of depth. In the middle, the leather note gets stronger on me, and it smells warm and a little spicy, again vastly improving on the initial application. Again, this lessening of the sweetness and warming up on the animalic notes really improves Citizen Queen. Like nineties riot grrrl fashion, which paired flower dresses with combat boots and thermal shirts under t-shirts scrawled with “This is what a feminist looks like!,” Citizen Queen is both traditionally feminine and boldly rejecting the trappings of traditional femininity. Much like its predecessor, Lady Vengeance, what seems pretty and traditionally feminine at the start turns out to be more assertive, independent, and, let’s be honest, a little dirty. And the little dirty bit, as we all know, is what I like best about it.

I know a lot of people have been swapping Citizen Queen away, but I really like it. Not as much as I love Lady Vengeance, but I like it very much. You can buy it from Beautyhabit and Luckyscent, but I got my 100ml bottle, sprayed once, at about two thirds the price!
Do I read you correctly? Lead me directly.
Help me with this part.
Do I hate you? Do I date you?
Do I got a dyslexic heart?
~ Paul Westerberg, "Dyslexic Heart"

Want more reviews of Citizen Queen?
~ Try the Scented Salamander’s review here.
~ A review from I Smell Therefore I Am here.
~Fragrance Bouquet’s review is here.


angel_phoenix said...

Charlie and Exclamation are scents of my youth as well. My grandmother liked Charlie and I remember going with my grandpa to Thrifty's every Christmas to buy her a bottle.

double.bound said...

Hey Tiff! Nice to see you.

I think I might run over to Walgreens to get a whiff of Charlie this weekend. It's been too long.