Mood Scent 4: Weird and Wonderful

Hey there A Bottled Rose, It’s a Mood Scent 4 week. WOO HOO! This month the crew are looking at Weird and Wonderful perfumes. I think we all have a few in our collection. Things we fell in love with because they were utterly outside our realms of previous scent experience. Suddenly our minds are blown by this weird, creepy, strange, intoxicating adventure. I’ll admit my credit card is usually on the counter faster than you can say, “Maybe not everyday wear.” There’s something about the unusual that draws me like a magnet. It was quite hard to narrow today’s selection down to six. I think they are beautiful and inspired but honestly they mostly don’t get as much wear as they deserve around here. Now they’re on the desk I’m hoping they will.

Obviously, these choices are subject to change, daily.

Can’t wait to read about your favourite Weird and Wonderful in the comments too.

So excited to be blogging with these three superstars again: Esperanza L’Esperessence, Megan Megan In Sainte Maxime and Samantha I Scent You A Day. Check theirs out too.

Mood Scent 4: Weird and Wonderful

VII: L’Heure Défendue by Cartier

So most of the notes offered in the list don’t show on my skin or to my nose. What I get is a boozy patchouli rich chocolate coffee that wears down to a dark patchouli/vanilla, made creamy by sandalwood. Sounds quite lovely, and it is, but it is also weird. So foody! Yet crazily, it becomes UNdelicious. Smelling like an adults only, coffee rich, chocolate crackle is a fabulous way to smell. Who’d have thought? Certainly not me.

Memory Motel by Une Nuit à Montauk

Supposed to smell like the motels that had been built in the 1960/70s. Many still chugging along with nary a refurb, sometimes a lick of paint if they’re lucky. The plastic, woods, plush carpet and quilted bed throws. Often decorated in oranges, mustard and greens, which would fit with the 21st century if they were just a slightly different shade. I can definitely smell what they were trying for. The first hour is a very weird ride for me before it settles into a bleak patchouli/tobacco/leather with remnants of hospital grade cleaning products. What’s really astounding is how more-ish Memory Motel is.

M/Mink by Byredo

The first time I smelled M/Mink I gagged. It was so freaky and smelled like rancid animal pelts and dusty toe jam. It was a visceral reaction that left me breathless for a little while. I swore never to sniff at it again. Then, not long after, I smelled it on a friend. It was slightly weird but beautifully warm and cozy. Like waking up in the middle of a frost winter night and smelling your lover’s bed head. Lived in but safe and comfortable. Suddenly M/Mink was a rare beauty. It doesn’t get a lot of wear but I now adore it.

Oriental Mint by Phaedon

Like the idea of Angel and A*Men but think it could be done in a more sophisticated way? Pierre Guillaume has done it here. It’s a 21st century reinvention done right. Wearable and interesting yet definitely weird enough to make this list. The minty opening is sweet like mint chocolate but manages not to seem like a gourmand. Personally I wear Oriental Mint most in the warmer weather, its cooling mint overload makes it refreshing rather than warming.

Rose et Cuir by Frederic Malle

Rose et Cuir had not even registered on my radar when Val the Cookie Queen got in touch telling me she’d found a new MUST HAVE fragrance that had blown her mind but I would probably hate it. Well, colour me intrigued. Sharp and noxious on open like tearing geranium leaves, it settles into a cool breeze, lightly salted and then deepens into a very pretty floral, birch style leather. At no point does it ever smell perfumey, it’s always this weird assed space age otherness. An arctic bloom of rose and a brand new patent leather handbag’s lovechild, created in deep space by people working from almost lost memory.

Tubereuse 3 by Histoires de Parfums

Don’t let the note list fool you. This is a wild and over the top honeyed tobacco and immortelle ride given great gusto by the most thrillingly thick, treacle like tuberose and neroli. Very unkempt and well overdue for a shower, this beast will knock your socks off. Veering between rancid and cuddly but never quite reaching until deep dry down. Suddenly it’s purring like a kitten and the beast has well and truly been tamed. Did I exaggerate in this mini review? Only by a very small fraction.

So what are your favourite Weird and Wonderful fragrances?
Portia xx



Filed under Perfume Reviews

27 responses to “Mood Scent 4: Weird and Wonderful

  1. Tara C

    Oh wow, we snap on the first three! Such great and weird scents! I also love CdG Hinoki for that insane turpentine opening, Tubéreuse Criminelle for it’s bizarre mentholated wintergreen opening, Dzongkha which my brain didn’t even register as a perfume smell, and Montale Mukhallat which smells alarmingly like a strawberry bathroom cleaner.


  2. Lady Jane Grey

    Hi dear Portia, greeting to you at the far away shores !
    A confession : I‘m not brave enough for weird – my strange is other people‘s normal… : Dzongkha by L‘Artisan P., my first ever niche buy (incense, iris, leather – to me though rather earth, stone, wood, smoke…). Or darling Frederic Malle‘s Une Fleur de Cassie, Serge Lutens’ Vetiver Oriental (very green, very bitter, very rootey…, very).
    A very tame Lady Jane…


    • Hi there Lady Jane Grey,
      So good to see you.
      Interesting that you mention Serge Lutens’ Vetiver Oriental. It has been on my list for years but I never seem to pull the trigger. That you love it is high praise and my memory of it is that I liked it a lot too. Maybe I’ll hunt down a sample again.
      I think you’re three choices are definitely a little weird. Hardly spritz and go department store designer fare.
      Portia xx


  3. Really enjoyable post Portia.
    L’heure Defendue is my ideal chocolate perfume but I couldn’t bring myself to pay the eye watering price.
    Loved the final line of your Rose et Cuir summary 🙂 it is my favourite weird and wonderful fragrance.


    • Hey there Tara,
      YAY! Glad you enjoyed it.
      Yeah, it is a lot more expensive to buy those Cartiers than it was originally. You know who else did that? Armani Prive, they doubled in price and more overnight.
      Rose et Cuir is so good. JCE has a way with fragrance like no other.
      Portia xx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The Cartier is one I will search out. Not least of all for the stunning bottle. “…people working from almost lost memory.” That is why to me the R&C smells like a stunning vintage, but made now. So we can skip the mostly ghastly vinegary rusty old stuff – I have zero love for it. I want the vintagey feel, but created now. 😀


  5. Love your line up, Portia, especially Mathilde Laurent Le Heure Defendue. Coming from her it doesn’t surprise me it is featured as a Weird and Wonderful fragrance. Must have a sample somewhere. Must try Oriental Mint, sounds intriguing.



    • Hey there Esperanza!
      It’s so interesting the work Mathilde Laurent has done at Cartier, some is very pretty and others are weird assed shit. I love how she manages to cross the line and jump back again. Her fragrances are often very cerebral.
      Oriental Mint is a gem.
      Portia xx


  6. cassieflower

    The only one I’m familiar with from your list is Rose & Cuir, though I wouldn’t call it weird, but it’s definitely wonderful. Do you ever get a metallic tang from it?
    Sticking with FM, Superstitious is unusual with its aldehydic blast, not so common in modern perfumery. And my third mention of FM brings the weirdly awful Dans tes Bras, not one of the listed notes revealed itself to me. Instead, my nostrils were assaulted by full on tomcat pi$$, and not a house tomcat, but one of those middle-aged lotharios who puts it about a bit. And carries a knife and isn’t afraid to use it. It was a new manufacturers sample so it hadn’t turned. But it sure turned my stomach. Ick.
    Truth or Dare, a tuberose that isn’t so much a queen of the night but more of a fairy princess. Chock full of marshmallowy fluffiness.


  7. Darling Portia, you had me at “unkempt” I love a badly behaved tuberose that breaks the rules and burns the school down after the disco. As for Rose and Cuir, I just didn’t think it would be very interesting. I thought “rose and leather? meh!” but if you and Val think it’s worthy of love, then it’s worthy of love. Two great noses behind it so it’s never going to be a flop. Love working with you! Always a joy. xxx


    • Heya Sam,
      I really like that word, it has been causing minor hysteria around here lately. A couple of my friends have decided I’m a matronly housewife now and are laughing. It might even be true.
      Rose et Cuir is not what you’d expect at all. JCE had done the combo before but never in such a way. I can’t wait to hear what you think about it.
      Yes, doing this Mood Scent 4 adventure with you three wonderful women is so good. I’m so grateful to have been invited.
      Portia xx


  8. Hi Portia – great choices as per usual. Amazing description of Rose et Cuir. I haven’t tried it yet which I know is very bad of me. I’m sure it’s good though and I know the Cookie Queen is a huge fan The Cartier sounds right up my alley too. xxx


  9. Even more curious about Rose et Cuir now! I wore Guerlain 180 ans de Creation (name is approximate) the other day, and it made me realise how much I like Shalimar. That I have never owned. Not that it is weird of course.

    I mostly don’t care for weird scents, though I also like Tuberose Crim. And AG Chevrefeuille might qualify, as it has a tomato leaf facet.


  10. The only perfume from your list that I tried was Rose et Cuir, and I didn’t find it either of those “W”s, but reading how much Val enjoys it, I plan to try it again when I come across it.

    I don’t think I do “weird” in perfumes – though, I’m sure that my “normal” might be someone else’s “weird.” I’ll check lists on other blogs to see what is qualifies as “w&w” by others.


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