Perfume Pen Pals: Jardins D’Ecrivains / Junky and George


Have you tried anything from Jardins D’Écrivains? Its perfumes are said to be inspired by great writers and literary movements and based on the two I’ve tried, they seem additionally inspired by soap.

First is Junky, after William Burroughs (you finally made it, Bill), which is not nearly as complex as its long list of notes (hemp, rosewood, iris, violet, gardenia, cedar, Japanese vetiver, cashmeran, moss, etc.) would indicate. Instead it smells like a stale bar of soap left out in the unused room of a dingy old motel near the Oregon coast.

One of these days, some bikers will need a few hours sleep and afterward they’ll go to the bathroom to freshen up and they won’t end up feeling fresh at all. Still, how do you complain about soap in a $39 motel room?

Sparky and Gary feeling not-so-fresh.

You complain because we’re not in a motel room, KP, and the soap is actually perfume and the perfume didn’t come with a room and it didn’t cost $39, it cost a hundred dollars! I paid a hundred dollars to smell like stale soap. Which in itself is sort of fascinating, yes?

Jardins D’Écrivains puts out another perfume, George, named after George Sand, and that one also smells like soap. But good soap, specifically Caswell Massey Number Six, which is the best-smelling warm-citrus soap your father probably never wore but you imagine him wearing every time you smell it.

George is a pleasure to wear and yet I’ve worn Junky more frequently because I just can’t believe how bad it is. George smells good, George wears well, now let’s put George over there and go back to figuring out what the hell the perfumer was thinking with this Junky garbage.

I love the things I hate more than I love the things I love and one of these days I should bring that up in therapy.


Bikers photo: 'Sparky' and Gary Rogues Schererville, by Danny Lyon 1965

Perfume Pen Pals: A Lab on Fire / Made in Heaven


Made in Heaven by A Lab on Fire smells like the classic Kmart smell, which is a warm, sweet, nutty smell.

I always loved that smell, the way it summed up the cheap but comforting claustrophobia of Kmart.

Cadentia Parfums / Jean d’Aigle Rose Eau de Cologne Extra

A couple of weeks ago, I was on the London Underground heading home after a long day. It was around 8 in the evening, and I boarded a car at the end of the train that looked to be completely empty. As I stepped inside, a glorious thing: the entire carriage was fragrant with roses. It was like some kind of olfactory hallucination.

Perfume Pen Pals: Gorilla Perfume / Flower's Barrow


As you already know, my parents were quite old, even when I was a little kid (especially then, it seemed), and Depression-era thrifty, so I grew up with a 1952 black-and-white Zenith console television. Its five or six channels were so grainy, it felt like an uncertain step between radio and TV.

Comme des Garcons / Odeur Du Theatre Du Chatelet Acte 1

Hi. Remember me? I used to do perfume reviews, regular-like. Then I went on a great big goofing-off jag, and in the process misplaced my lust for hunting and gathering smell intel. But once a fumehead, never not a fumehead, because today I tried a brand new perfume and suddenly needed to talk to somebody about it. And who do I know who’s all ears when it comes to matters of the nose? You, dear fumies. And I’m really grateful you’re here.