Excess (Tokyo Milk)

Excess need not be voluptuous to ensnare you in its web. The pious as well as the dissipated have their prisons of overindulgence. Take the malady known as scruples, whereby terror of committing fault tips the afflicted into an orgy of preemptive penitence. It's a common-enough entanglement in the lives of the saints-- differing only from sybarites in that the holy trinity of wine, women, and song is replaced with novenas, tears, and kitchen floors thrice-scrubbed at midnight.

But there are as many paths to damnation as to the divine... and some use the exact same shortcuts.

Tokyo Milk's Excess is a prim incense fragrance cast in the minimalist Comme des Garçons mold-- with one thrilling deviation. For a single instant, a heart-stopping note of blood-orange nectar flowers like a crimson stigmata before vanishing entirely back into the cathedral shadows. From there, Excess quickly refolds its hands, lowers its eyes, and assumes once more a look of innocence and piety.

Miserere mei, Deus!

The first time it happened, I thought I dreamt it. So I tried again... and again. But there was no mistaking it: first the clouds of purifying smoke, then the brief outrageous explosion of tart, sensuous fruit, then the smoke again. What sly sacrilege! But it wasn't until I'd depleted nearly the entire sample in only one day that I realized I'd been tricked into exactly what the perfume promises: Excess. It seems I had let a demon in angel's clothing through my front door. No wonder all the saints wear this maddening little smile in their official mass-card portraits-- they must all be in on Excess' cosmic joke!

What was left? The penance, of course. Excess closes with a note of botanic oak bark tincture that, while both novel and legible, is vastly less appealing than what precedes it-- largely because it comes across as boozy wet wood. Still, it succinctly drives home the point that beauty is fleeting, and the things of this world must pass away. All that's left is to say the Confiteor, bow your head... and take the medicine that's coming to you.

Scent Elements: Amber resin, oak bark, blood orange, patchouli