Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Two Oakmosses: Ladyboy And Black Violet

Two seemingly different perfumes in my collection that have something in common: Oakmoss and violet. 
Lush Ladyboy
chamomile, labdanum, violet leaf, oakmoss, seaweed

This is my attempt to leave my prejudices of Lush behind and actually experiment with an open mind.

Ladyboy begins with a bubble gum note. Oh wait, it is banana flavoured bubblegum! Sweet, intense but inedible due it trademark 'Lush smell' which I find a bit overwhelming. It completely changes its direction into the oakmoss territory with only a trace of the banana bubblegum. Oakmoss shines and dominates the drydown. The violet leaf is ozonic and powdery at the same time and blends very well with oakmoss. I am impressed with the oakmoss experience. It dries down to a dark, musty, sweet, powdery, earthy smell. It is a rather enjoyable 'smell', a perfume that I could almost wear. Almost. It is a bit too stuffy for me.

Tom Ford Private Blend Black Violet
Top: bergamot, citruses and fruity notes
middle: violet
base notes oak moss and woodsy notes.

This is one of those fragrances that takes its own sweet time to develop, revealing itself, layer after layer. It is begins with a lemon balm note. It is not quite astringent but a gentle, warm lemon note with hints of sweetness from dry fruit. It stays this way for a long time, say about half an hour before it starts to morph into a lovely oakmoss perfume. It is powdery, musty, old smelling but also very airy, the factor that stuffy Ladyboy is missing. I think it is bright because of the violet, a slightly powdery floral. The woodyness is a nice surprise. Oakmoss and violet with woody ascents makes it is a beautiful floral chypre. It finally dries down into a woody floral with the characteristic oakmoss.

The name Black is well justified. It is a lovely dark perfume. It is a darker version of Violet Blonde due to the lack of the powdery iris/violet factor but the presence oakmoss which gives a different kind of powdery-ness. And it smells nothing like Black Orchid. I am happy I forked out well deserved cash to blind buy a full bottle of this hard to find, discontinued beauty.

Of the two, Black Violet is more polished, well made and truly a pleasure to wear. Ladyboy on the other hand is nice but somewhat sticky and harder to wear. I love the oakmoss in both: musty, earthy, old, powdery, dry and deeply sensuous.