Sometimes, in life, there are things you want but maybe you shouldn’t have because you know that you might regret t later on. When I was in New York City, I wanted to make ti a point to visit my favorite perfume place there, Aedes des Venustas. I knew them when they were at their old location in Christopher Street in the West Village, but they have now moved to the Lower East Side by Chinatown. The place is just as marvelous – once you step in, you will feel like you wandered into a store in the Left Bank of Paris – all opulence, all ornate antique, there is a giant peacock figure in the middle of the store. While it felt completely in place with the Bohemian lavishness of the Village, now its richness feels even more pronounced, and in a way heightened. Right at the corner you have a fish market, and six stores down you have this store, all chi chi, selling the bells jars of Serge Lutens. I don’t know if I can love it even more. I was speaking to Karl Bradl and he said that when they first opened the store in the Village in 1995 it wasn’t as populated as it is now, and he feels quite at home in the quaintness of the LES. I agree.
I wanted to sample scents that are exclusively theirs, and while I think a lot of the new releases they have there are interesting, I was drawn to this new line called Blackbird. They have very interesting aesthetic. They are based in Seattle and is very progressive, emphasizing earth and nature and climate change, among other things. They also like to push the envelope, and you can see that from the first scent I tried from their line, called Pipe Bomb. loom at its description: the scent of lightning as it pummels the earth, the scent of metal heated and electrified, the scent of water as it sparks and bubbles its energy. And the notes: saltwater smoke, amber, and oud.
It’s all a bit much and intricate and complex, and you can smell that from the first spray. For a while, it felt like there was too much going on. There is that gunmetal note that I normally dislike, there is a lot of woodsy incense, and it is very rich, and this is definitely on the smoky side. It was a warmish high 70s day, and it felt…hot. But as it settled down, the dry down was a rich incense-y oud, and it is glorious. It was on the strong side, but it felt and smelled good on me. For the rest of the day, I found myself wanting to smell it over and over again. I decided it was going to be a keeper.
But then I woke up, as if from a dream? Will this work for me in Los Angeles,where it is nice and airy and spacious? In the confines of the grit of new York City, it felt at home, but probably not as I walk through gardens as I walk to work. And that is when I realized it may be fine there, but it doesn’t fit my life anymore.
Or should just rebel and follow my heart anyway?