I had been digging around at stuff in my room one day in an attempt to clean and found a couple perfume samples stashed away in an envelope along with a pay stub, pen, and the iron reminder pills I didn’t bother taking. Why? I don’t know, but the two samples were Billionaire Boyfriend by Kate Walsh and Tokyo Milk Dark La Vie La Mort by Margot Elena.
I wonder if I didn’t know what cardamom was when I first got these samples, because I’d somehow forgotten all about them, despite La Vie La Mort’s notes: White Tuberose, Cardamom, Hibiscus Leaf, and Jasmine. Ever since having this amazing beef brisket noodle soup in cardamom broth from the wildly popular Mission Chinese Food, as well as kheer (rice pudding) from equally popular Naan ‘n Curry, I have had this… gnawing hunger, this flickering quasi-obsession with the pricey spice. So I tried out the sample of La Vie La Mort. It smelled… familiar, warm, and sweet. I wasn’t sure if I could detect and separate the cardamom from the rest, but it smelled good. Even M said he liked it.
I’d dabbed it on my hand before going to bed and it was gone in the morning. But I put some on my wrist while I was at work and it lasted into the evening. I don’t have a very sophisticated nose, having not learned each individual note that goes into perfumes (though I’d like to!), so unfortunately, I can’t speak to the strength of each of the four in La Vie La Mort.
Like I said, though, it was somehow familiar. I searched “cardamom” on Sephora, and I was surprised to find that a lot of fragrances have it as a note – including Aromachology’s Clean & Fresh. “Clean & Fresh? Wait! I have that!” I thought. I’d bought the dual-ended rollerball (Totally Edible / Clean & Fresh Rollerball Duo) on a whim for $12 earlier this year. According to AROMACHOLOGY’s website, the notes are White Tea, Bergamot, Green Tea, Cardamom, Lemon Balm, Precious Woods.
That must be it, I thought, this is why they smell familiar, cardamom and sweet stuff and tea or something. I’m going to find wherever I put that rollerball and try it again. But nope, I was a little off!
Basic impression is that Clean & Fresh smells like laundry, freshly laundered clothes/towels or laundry detergent. It’s sweet, fresh, clean, and fluffy, but not citrus-y to me.
So how was this such a departure from my ideas of overlap with La Vie La Mort? And I realized it was probably that I’d been wearing the two rollerball scents together: Clean & Fresh AND Totally Edible. It’s Totally Edible that is the bizarro warm and sweet smell! It’s borderline cloying, but I kind of like it. It’s not candied like syrup or sugar crystals, but it is vanilla-y and gooey. Notes: Sicilian Orange, Lemon Drop, Vanilla, Apple, Sugar Cane, Chocolate. The combination of Clean & Fresh with Totally Edible and La Vie La Mort smell very similar, but the AROMACHOLOGY scents individually differ.
To my nose, each one of these is medium to heavy weight for fragrance without being overwhelmingly strong in just-a-dab usage. I have to say there’s something strange and slightly chemical/artificial about Clean & Fresh that makes it not-for-me, but my affection for La Vie La Mort, and as a consequence, Totally Edible, has been growing. Despite adoring a handful of perfumes, I guess I’m a bit of a fragrance-slut because I can’t commit to one or even two as my signature scents. Hanae Mori No. 1 has been the closest thing to that yet. I first smelled it when I was in Portland, Maine, and fell in love with the dream of blackberry pies and cream that it evoked.
Anyway, that was a total segue. Basically, I like La Vie La Mort, check it out. Sure, check out the AROMACHOLOGY fragrances too, if you want. I want to say try Hanae Mori No. 1 if you can find it… but I don’t want everyone to know about it either because then I’d be losing my almost-signature-scent to somebody else!
What are your favorite fragrances? Do you have a signature scent, or do they vary by season/mood/moon phase/etc.?