“Love won’t take no reservations…”

I can still remember times when the Perfumeland would buzz with an anticipation of the next release from a handful of niche brands everybody knew and loved. First there would be an announcement. Then discussions/speculations about what it was expected or hoped to be would follow. And then – the first reviews from lucky bloggers who managed to get a sample would create hordes of lemmings for anyone reading them.

After niche field has exploded, our collections saturated, and we spent small fortune on trying the latest new brand or new perfume from a favorite brand or perfumer, we barely register some of new releases, skim through articles and wait for the trip to a store … at some point in the next 12 months to maybe sniff a nozzle of the bottle while deciding if we even want to waste a paper strip.

In the last several years the only reviews for perfumes I read were predominantly those written by bloggers whom I consider friends: not because I am looking for more perfumes to introduce into my life, but mostly because from those people I’d read anything including a holiday menu or even a shopping list. (If you think about it, something like that coming from Vanessa (Bonkers about Perfume) or Portia (ex APJ) would be hilarious – maybe I should invite them to my blog with a guest post on the topic? But I digress).

Last December I chanced upon Angela’s (NST) review of the new Masque Milano fragrance Love Kills. I planned to quickly go through it, read a list of notes and be done: even though at the time I liked, owned and wore two perfumes from the brand, since none of the stores here carried it, a chance of trying their new perfume any time soon was seriously underfed. And then something unexpected happened: I got enchanted with… no, not with perfume – with Angela’s review:

What I do understand is this: Love Kills is a Birgit Nilsson of a rose soliflore. It’s a rich scarlet rose — maybe an old rose that clings to stone walls and blooms only once a summer. When it flowers, it’s like a full moon. Bees become town drunks, and afternoons in the garden should carry warnings against operating heavy machinery. Girls shut themselves in their rooms and cry, and grown women eye the pool boy with startling interest. Cakes won’t rise. Sinners repair to the confessional, but the priest is unexpectedly away.

Are you familiar with that desire to capture something beautiful with a photo? You see a magnificent rose or a spectacular sunset, and you take a dozen of pictures, even though you have no idea what you’d do with those. But you want to “own” it. I felt something similar when I read that passage. I decided that I needed to buy a sample – if for nothing else, to write about it on my blog and cite Angela’s review on my blog, a sort of “taking a picture” of a beautiful thing to make it mine.

I didn’t expect to love Love Kills. It was going to be a Second Sunday Sample feature (if I ever decide to revive the series) or, maybe, a part in my Single Note Exploration for the rose note. But the first time I put on Love Kills, I knew that it was love (despite of the name that I can tolerate only by reminding myself about the theatrical theme chosen by the brand as their inspiration). Read the rest of Angela’s review if you haven’t tried this perfume yet. But be warned: it’s very convincing. As a proof of that: a beautiful bottle has just recently joined my collection, and I’m amazed how much I enjoy it, even though I already have many exquisite roses in my perfume wardrobe.

 

Masque Milano Love Kills

Image: my own (one of the dozen taken)

57 thoughts on ““Love won’t take no reservations…”

  1. Whooo, that was a helluva review by Angela. Would definitely make me sit up and take notice. I’m with you on reading certain writers/bloggers’ reviews. Or shopping lists, whatever😏 I really don’t follow new releases anymore because who can keep up? If something interesting happens to pop up in the blogs I follow then I’ll check it out further to see if it’s my thing. If I think it might then I’ll look for a sample or decant. So last year I discovered three out of the few thousand new releases. I’m happy enough with that. And they are big loves.
    That review resonated with you big-time. You never can tell when something is hiding in the tall grass just waiting to jump up and bite you. It is a beautiful bottle, too, so a win win.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I think, we’re not meant to follow new releases any longer: brands want to razzle-dazzle consumers with the newest and shiniest new things long enough for them to get out their wallets. For that you do not people to read (or even watch) reviews, compare, think. The easiest way of achieving it is to saturate market with more and more new offerings.
      I don’t want to play that game: I’m going with my own speed listening to friends.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh I’m so with you Undina. I don’t want to play that game either, where they throw dozens of things against a wall and see what sticks. That’s what’s so wonderful about spending time in a perfume community, eventually you know people’s tastes well and their opinions have context.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, I think my lemming machine has not quite run out of steam after reading this! Angela’s review is as lyrical as it is hilarious – love the bit about eyeing the pool boy, bees becoming town drunks and operating heavy machinery (most timely in the hayfever season!). So glad you got a sample and brought it to my attention. Frankly, you, Val and Tara are the main way I try new things these days. You are a reliable ‘filter’ for all the noise and nonsense out in the marketplace. Weirdly, I have been very drawn to rose perfumes lately – probably a comfort thing in my case – and have been rotating Lustre and Myrrhe Eglantine quite a lot, so this one sounds very much like something I would like. Hopefully Love doesn’t really Kill, though it can cause heartbreak, no question.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I really dislike the name: it seems too… juvenile (?). Though, if you were to listen to classic opera (I did some with the free streaming from MET), you’d say it was true… or was it consumption? Anyway… :)

      Those parts of review you mentioned were my favoriteS as well. Just brilliant.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. PS Appreciate the mention, and I’m game! (Though I am not sure my actual shopping lists are all that riveting. Here’s the present one: “Freezer bags / Kefir / blancmange / Oust (descaler) / Krave (cat kibble) / easy rice! / 100th birthday card / cooking chocolate.”

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Angela has spawned so many lemmings for me with her wonderful writing. This review was a corker. No wonder you were driven to obtain a sample. Good to hear it wasn’t a waste of time and money either. I will have to see if I still have my sample of this as I suddenly feel I missed something..

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This is why I prefer to read blog reviews over the increasingly more prevalent YouTube and Instagram video noise. There is no way Angela’s review could be expressed in a video. I enjoy reading all kinds of reviews, even from my “evil scent twins” (know what to avoid!!) it’s special when you find someone who seems to be your twin – saves a lot of $ on sampling!

    Liked by 3 people

    • I agree, and not just because I write my own fragrance-focused blog. I have watched very few video reviews; I think I can count them on one hand. They just feel loud and intrusive to this introvert. I prefer the carefully chosen words of a good writer, followed by the fun and insightful written comments of readers, many of whom are also good writers. I’m just a word person at heart, I guess.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I can’t do video reviews.. just watching people sniffing and staring into the distance while free associating, please no. There being no way to skim them and see if you want to read the whole thing, or to get a gist of it is also problematic for me. I very much enjoy facebook groups, you get to know people’s preferences. I was a forum person for years but those are not that active these days.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Me either! Video reviews are downright painful. The worst ones are where the person opens the dang box onscreen. Hilarious and ridiculous… And they keep sniffing their arm or the nozzle like they’ve forgotten what it smells like. ROTFL I watch them when I need a good laugh and that’s it…

        Liked by 1 person

    • Well… Theoretically, if someone were to write a great review first and then read it well – you know, the way authors do readings of a chapter from their new book… But mostly I feel embarrassed when I hear amateurs doing video recordings.

      Like

    • Thank you! I tried my best! Roses are from my friends’ bush. Actually, those were your posts and pictures that gave me an idea to ask them for a rose for my photo shoot – and I got a bunch on one stem.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh yes, that review by Angela was very convincing and it drew a very positive picture.
    When Love Kills was introduced last year at Esxence I barely had a chance to smell it and Masque only had samples of Kintsugi available at that time but if you love it so much, chances are high that I would enjoy it too.

    Congrats on your new bottle. Hope it makes your days spent at home much brighter!

    Liked by 4 people

    • I think this perfume is slightly more feminine than you prefer to wear, but, most likely, you’ll appreciate perfume itself.
      Partially, this bottle was my shopping therapy, and it definitely brightened my shelter-in-place routine.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I tried Love Kills, but it really didn’t work for me. Same as the new Diptyque La Capitale. They were sharp and screechy on my skin, not sure why. But I’m enjoying Lustre (despite the tea rose opening).

    Liked by 1 person

    • You and I are counterphase on these two: for me Lustre doesn’t work. I’m not sure about Eau Capitale though… Each time I try it, it smells different. I don’t think I’ll want to wear it, but once every three tests it smells kind of interesting :)

      Like

  8. That’s an exceptional beautiful review by angela. I haven’t seen those old fashioned ( non- formulaic) reviews by someone outside of my blogger friends circle in a long long while.
    A good thing roses and I are not the best of friends, or even I might have lemminged this one, too. And how happy I get when amongst all the new stuff, that we no longer rush to discuss or try, someone manages to still find true loves and lemmings. Oh wonder!
    Although with the picture of Birgit Nilsson, i am reminded of something steely, cryptnitesque :)

    Liked by 2 people

    • I miss those “simpler” times. I want my hobby back in its original form when discovering a new brand was something novel and a new release from Amouage was a big deal.
      Last 6 months were strangely successful for me in terms of liking what I tried (not necessarily new perfumes but new for me). But in general – yawn.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes me too. But great that you found a lot that you like. I think I often end up liking something, but also thinking that I own or know something similar or better, or it’s so expensive I feel I can’t justify a bottle when I already have so much good stuff. But funnily Masque Milano has been tempting me, the Russian Tea I think it was, and another one, maybe a smoky one, not sure…

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh dear, this has revived my lemming instincts. LOL I must sample this! Masque Milano does wonderful quality perfumes. Many have not been to my taste, so I’ll definitely sample this one first, but that review is so intriguing! This reminds me of my impression of Andy Tauer’s Rose Vermeille, another lush, ‘blow you away’ velvety rose.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Oh my Undina. I feel like you’ve taken my own feelings and thoughts about not even trying to keep up with all the vast perfume releases and following a few well know writers for more their essence and not just their opinions on perfumes, and written them all down for me. Most eloquently too.
    I love hearing about perfumes for sure, but I really enjoy getting a glimpse into the lives of these people too. Maybe it makes everyone seem so relatable and friendly, not sure. But following others adventures in perfume land, and travel etc is a pleasure for me. I love reading about perfume descriptions but particularly enjoy reading about perfumes that really had an effect positive or negative actually. Reading about scrubber adventures can be quite hilarious.
    But reading about falling in love with a perfume is as captivating as hearing about falling in love with a partner. It’s such a relatable human emotion. Honestly, so many of the perfumes I hear about may as well be on Mars in terms of the efforts I would have to go to tracking them down and trying to sample them. No, not impossible but definitely effort and expense. So it usually takes something particularly personal to motivate me nowadays.
    Reading about your road to falling in love with this one, and how it came from someone else’s, perfect storm for me. I’ll definitely put it on a list of things to seek out some day.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, SonomaVelvet.

      I’m the same as you: I prefer stories to standard reviews – though, I understand that it is not always possible: if everybody wrote only about perfumes that had stories, we wouldn’t have heard about hundreds of perfumes. I think, I haven’t written about half of perfumes that I tried and liked – just because they didn’t connect in my mind to anything.

      Like

  11. Aaah, now you created a longing in me for the good old Perfumeland days. :) Sometimes I feel old because I look back on my life and days past and think how wonderful they were and what the hell has happened that they are no longer such. :D Ok, it’s not that bad, but still, I miss the day perfume days you talk about when I virtually met (and some in person) so many wonderful people. And yes, I still read what they (and you) write but just don’t comment much.
    Speaking of perfumes, I can’t remember the last time I tried a new niche perfume.
    But I would love to go to Paris again and feast my nose in the niche shops there. Those were some amazing times. :)
    Spent with Asali and Suzanne and Mark. 🧡🧡🧡

    Liked by 1 person

    • I miss those “good ol’ days” too. Niche perfume World and our Perfumeland were so innocent… But it’s great to see you around on those rare occasions when you do comment :) It let’s me know that at least you’re alright and still somewhere around.
      I would love to go to Paris as well. Or, even better, to London. Or any other place where I previously met with other people who share my love to perfume.

      Like

    • How happy I am at least to have experienced those exciting times. Somebody recently called me a perfume hipster, I think it might sum it up well. Now that niche is no longer a niche at all, we no longer find the idea as attractive although we still love perfume of course :)

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I vividly remember Angela’s review, it made me gasp and smile with pleasure the way a new perfume can sometimes do. Thank you for the reminder, I will read it all again. I too would adore reading a menu or even a weather report written by you, Portia, Vanessa, or Tara, or how about Olfactoria’s Travels’ Birgit? Perfume people make magic with words.

    I love roses and their scent, but I rarely wear rose-centric perfumes. I don’t know why, other than rose is often paired with patchouli. Though I like the combination, that particular aromachemical blend sometimes triggers my migraine. Voleur de Roses is one such scent I love but cannot wear. I shall keep smelling rose perfumes even so.

    Congratulations on finding a new perfume to love. Your bottle of LK is so beautiful. Masque Milano scents are marvelous.

    For the past few years my perfume sampling has slowed. Life gets in the way. Limits on time, money, and storage space, along with working among children and living with someone with lungs sensitive to airborne particles, all these have constrained my choices. But I still wear scent every day, and I love sniffing new things.

    A few years ago I was gifted a sampler from Masque Milano. I was overwhelmed with gratitude and excitement. I entered a giveaway for two samples, but the company graciously surprised me with a sample of each of their scents. And each one was remarkably beautiful. I enjoyed them all, liked three very much, and fell in love with one – Luci ed Ombre.

    Tuberose is for me as deeply satisfying as a long drink of cool water when I am deeply thirsty. I feel the scent of tuberose intensely. It has brought tears to my eyes.

    The memory of that tuberose perfume stayed with me long after the sample was finished. The sample still sits on my desk here at home. I pried the cap off the spray vial so I could inhale the ghost of Luci ed Ombre and remember.

    When the world shifted and everything fell sideways a few months ago, I found myself with more time at home, and in turn time to enjoy more than one perfume a day. A bit of perfume mania gripped my heart once again. When a favorite online apothecary happened to have a small bottle of Luci ed Ombre, I could not resist. After several years of observing a pledge of no new bottles, today I am watching for the delivery truck.

    Such a long comment, I feel silly, but also feel comfort in knowing I am among like-minded noses and hearts here. Thank you for making me smile. And please pat Rusty for me, he is such a beautiful boy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • tiffanie, thank you for the wonderful comment: as I said many times before, I enjoy reading stories about perfumes. I haven’t tried Luci ed Ombre yet (to tell you the truth, I haven’t heard this name before), but now of course I’m curious.

      I also keep empty vials of some perfumes I tried and liked but didn’t get (yet?) and sniff the traces of perfume until it’s completely gone (or even after that :) ).

      Liked by 1 person

  13. O M G! What a fabulous post, the review, the excitement, the perfume ennui and EVEN my name pop there.
    ANOTHER rose? You know I adore them Undina. LOVE those little bottles too. So cool.
    I’m coming around to the idea of some guest posts. Percolating away in the background.
    Portia xx

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Why do I think this was the fastest first sniff to bottle bottle you got? 🤔. Angela is an incredible writer / reviewer and her style and choice of words elevate the perfumes she really likes.

    On vlogs…I can probably count on one hand how many times I’ve looked at video reviews. Not for me.

    Like

    • If not to count a couple of “souvenirs” from my trips abroad, you’re probably right. But I must say that the size of the bottle, a good deal on eBay and no perfume shopping (OK, sniffling) in real stores for a couple of months – all contributed to the speed of me taking a plunge.
      I tried watching some videos when bloggers I knew tried doing them. I wouldn’t mind watching people I know (personally or virtually) from time to time, but I wouldn’t be doing it to get any information on perfumes, but rather to see them.

      Like

  15. This post has stimulated so many thoughts for me. First, so glad you found a perfume to love, Undina, and the photos are beautiful. And now that I’ve read Angela’s review, I too am dying to try it. Each word is perfect. Adding it to my sample list, for when I’m eventually back in the the States.

    Secondly, validation! Once about a year and a half ago I used the term “lemming”, meaning something I really wanted to try but was hard to obtain, in a review. Someone queried me, “Why are you mis-using this word? What do you think it means? I don’t understand what you’re trying to say.” I looked it up, and sure enough there was no definition (at that time) that matched my usage. Chastened, I declared mea culpa, apologized, and removed it from my lexicon. Now in this thread here are at least three people using it as I always did: Bonkersvanessa, Tara, and Old Herbaceous! I knew I had heard the term bandied about on the fragrance discussion forums, but as is life, once I started looking for it, I couldn’t find it anywhere. Now here it is is! It feels like a gift! I’m not senile!

    Lastly, about video reviewers, Narthscent stated for me what is the biggest hang up, that you can’t skim. I know when I write I can get very caught up in side topics that may interest no one but me, but a reader is free to skip all that and go straight to the review. It’s easy. On videos they seem to talk ForEver, and not say a whole lot. There are exceptions, and some are quite entertaining and/or creative. But in general I just don’t have the patience to listen for 10 minutes (and frequently an amazing 30 minutes–even today, who has time?). But then, no surprise, I guess I’m old fashioned in most aspects of life. Have had to make up excuses lately to not join into Zoom online weekly game with some younger friends playing Cards Against Humanity. What is the challenge? Saying naughty words may be worth a chuckle for a time or two, but week after week? I don’t get it. I am no longer amused, if I ever was.

    Thanks for a nice discussion!

    Like

    • Starting 8 years ago and for a while I had a series of posts “Loves, Lemmings, Laughs,” in which I did weekly round-ups on other bloggers’ posts that either covered perfumes I loved already, or made me covet a new for me perfume, or were witty and funny. Even in this thread you can find 3 more people using it (so, 6 in total!). So, it’s a completely recognizable and acceptable in the Perfumeland argot.

      I also thought that the explanation Narth offered was a good one. And yes, I’m too conservative as well for vlogs ;)

      Cards against Humanity require alcohol and no “social distancing”: I don’t see how it can be fun in the “remote” setting.

      Like

  16. I had to put on my glasses to check when I thought i was reading the “‘Brigitte Nielsen” of a rose soliflore’. That distraction aside, this sounds like such a special rose scent. Thanks for sharing it, Undina. Beautiful shot too.

    Like

    • Not I had to look it up to see who you were referring to :)
      Getting a compliment from you, a master of photography, is especially gratifying. Thank you.

      It is a great scent worth trying if you can get to this brand where you live.

      Liked by 1 person

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