Tokyo Milk Arsenic (date of release unknown)

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(image Cary Grant in Arsenic and Old Lace)

Perfumer Margot Elena.

I’ve been trying a few of the Tokyo Milk Dark collections, and while they’re deft and smell nice, I can’t shake the feeling that they lack dimension. Arsenic is a case in point. It is an interesting and successful culmination of disparate notes that really does mimic the medicinal/poisonous scent of absinthe, one of its listed notes. It moves from an effervescent top notes that suggests aldehydes, to a grainy, woody heart dusted with powdered cardamom.

Although it shows evolution over a wearing, Arsenic feels two-dimensional from top to base. It suggests that it’s built for a generally non-perfume-wearing Anthropologie customer who finds in it a scent that doesn’t smell like her notion of “perfume” and likes it. If introducing fragrance to someone who doesn’t otherwise wear it smells this good, I’m all for it.


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