Rose 31 (Le Labo)

We were waiting for the matinée to start when the stench overtook me. I couldn't be sure what it was -- dirty theater-seat upholstery? Aged Cheez Whiz? My own feet, shod in admittedly weathered hippie sandals? I furtively sniffed the air, my collar, my underarms, my wrists. And then I sank down low in my chair, appalled at the realization that that smell was my perfume.

In Rose 31, Le Labo reaches for an ideal of "voluptuous and qualified femininity... disturbing ambiguity... a disconcerting sense of mystery." I am not in any position to evaluate whether the end product accurately mirrors its creator's hopes and dreams. All I can tell you is what I myself perceive, to wit: A) a blunt Piper nigrum accord clearly meant to suggest a peppery rose in that flower's actual absence; B) cumin at its sweatiest, C) a fetid, goat-cheesy, toe-jammy musk encountered before in Soivohle Alpha Musc, which I wore once disastrously and never wore again. I assure you that Rose 31 will meet the same fate.

Now, how about a brand new pair of Birkenstocks?

Scent Elements: Rose, cumin, frankincense, cedar, amber, guaiac, labdanum, musk