Monday, October 10, 2011
I can’t help but brag, but I have a pretty sweet boyfriend. Ilusionisto came to stay with me this weekend and in between all of the gigglefests, mass consumption of bacon and Ben & Jerry’s, and South Park marathons, he found the time to be an uncomplaining test subject for some masculine fragrances I wanted to review.
See, I love masculine fragrances on me, but sometimes I just really want to see what they smell like on...well, their target audience. Since I lack a Y chromosome, and Ilusionisto does not, he was dabbed and spritzed on all weekend. I am lucky he understands my perfume addiction. His favorite movie is “Perfume: Story of a Murderer” - I bought him the book and he’s loving it - and he is a composer and artist, so the amount of creativity and skill it takes to make a fragrance is of real interest to him.
(Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a brother, but I’ll work on cloning him.)
Today’s review is of Yiska by Tallulah Jane. Yiska is the line’s one masculine - although I think a male could pull off any of the line’s other fragrances - and it improves on the basic cologne structure (hesperidic notes + lavender, sage, etc.) by adding a woody note and a vegetal leather accord (done by using styrax, vetiver, and black tea). All in all, it’s a recipe for a lovely standard masculine, and I had to try it.
(picture from the Bigelow Chemists website)
On me, Yiska is a very wearable masculine, chypre-influenced for sure, and not so bracingly hesperidic that it reminded me of after shave. I usually have an issue with heavily citrusy fragrances: I don’t want to smell like my breakfast beverages, or like a Bath and Body Works store. However, since exploring natural perfumery, I have come to enjoy citrus notes. A natural citrus note is just wonderfully refreshing and crisp. The initial spritz was a cooling burst of mint and lime. I did find that the top notes were quite fleeting, and gave way for a lovely warmed lavender. This was powdery, a bit dry, but not stuffy. The heart of Yiska is reminiscent of scented tobacco, although as far as I know, there is no tobacco in the fragrance. The dry down was impressively long-lasting for a natural fragrance: all worn leather and soft tonka.
This how a man should smell, I think, which is why I sprayed dear Illusionisto with it before our Saturday brunch.
On him, Yiska was completely different. The top notes really shined on his skin: all delicious grapefruit and bergamot, refreshing and bright. He noted that he really enjoyed this, as he thinks that he does best in citrus-based colognes (I’m not quite sure about this, but I’ll leave the boy to his opinions). What I found interesting was that the top notes never really faded from Ilusionisto’s skin. Instead, they lingered through the progression of the heart and base notes, lending a juicy hint of zest. There was a lovely green aspect to Yiska as it wore on, and the black tea note made for a lovely base. My boy smelled of a delicious herbal tea! I know Yiska is a winner because he didn’t complain a bit about the smell; rather, he complimented it and noted quite a few times that he’d wear it. Usually, Ilusionisto doesn’t wear any sort of fragrance, so this is huge!
Bottom line? I do think that Yiska smelled better on my boyfriend, but since I quite enjoy how it smells on me, he’ll have to get his own bottle - or borrow spritzes of mine whenever he’s visiting.