Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Sixteen92: Summer 2018 Banned Books

I joined the Sixteen92 Circle and it is pretty sweet. The summer collection debuted a little bit ago but as a Circle member I get a sneak peek and sniff of these beforehand. There are two collections this summer, a gelato based fragrance release and this collection of scents inspired by banned books. Which is really cool because Jay and I have a banned book on our reading challenge this year. Can I tell you how much I love the styling of this? The library card? The "restricted" stamp on the check out list? Utterly besotted.

I love that the card included the perfumes and notes. This makes for a nice reference tool, but also just plain looks cool.

Only Children Weep (To Kill A Mockingbird)- Notes: Sweet tea, azaleas, red clay, rhubarb, dry wood, cement.
Ripe strawberry hearts bob in a tall glass of sweet tea, ice cubes and berries clink and swirl and chime against the glass as the porch swing sways back and forth. The scents of the south echo in the still air, damp sandy clay and crickets, flowers filled with nectar and oaks filled with cicadas. The tea mellows as the fragrance settles and the rhubarb and woods flesh out into a tender accord. There is a pure innocence to this scent, a poignant melancholy that captures the essence of Scout. Wonderfully done.

The Bottling Room (Brave New World)- Notes: Sterile glass, electricity, copper, hot light bulbs, lab-grown flowers, synthetic greenery.
This is a beautiful ethereal fragrance. Soft white lilies and cotton blossoms, freesia and hyacinth, bleached white and without blemish. Genetics perhaps? Mild hot house grown irises beaded with distilled water and arranged into a simple glass vase on a stainless steel table. The musk of the flowers swell in the summer warmed room and brush up against the humid skin and heightened senses. I am enamored of this airy silvery white floral. It is breezy yet polished. Spare and yet nuanced. Perfect for summer.

It's History. It's Poetry. (The Catcher in the Rye)- Notes: Tobacco, whiskey, polished wood, typewriter ink, city sidewalks, carousel lights in the rain. 
When Claire released the emoji teasers for this scent and I saw whiskey, a cigarette and a carousel pony. I was rooting for this to be about The Outsiders. All drinking, smoking, gang life and "stay golden pony boy." But it was The Catcher in the Rye, one of the few books I have read that I have a visceral abhorrence of. And it is not necessarily the book, though it did spur on some depression, but also the fact that I was drinking heavily while reading it and hit the pinnacle of my alcohol abuse. It has some strong negative connotations to say the least. So you know what I am going to do? Pretend this perfume is about The Outsiders. On the skin the concrete is stony and steamy but soon a whiff of cotton candy sweetness and a thread of caramel drizzle enters the perfume. Caramelized tobacco. It is delicious. A rebellious childhood. A carnival for the devious. The drydown hints at oaken whiskey barrels and the tire smoke of street races bygone. It is sexy and warm.

Every Frozen Heart (Tropic of Cancer)- Notes: Skin musk, faded perfume, citrus blossom, wormwood, empty streets.
A stunning wistful fragrance of musky citrus and woody orange blossoms. The wormwood pulls through in the heart with a plush aromatic tang of bitter herbs. It always feels approachable and effortlessly blended, like a classic vintage fragrance that has had time to mellow. The cashmere musk on the tail end still holds a breath of the orange blossom. I keep pressing my wrist against my nose on this one.

Four Fifty-One (Fahrenheit 451)- Notes: Paper, kerosene, ash, night sky, burned flowers. 
A concise rendition of paper burning. Tarry creosote with a butane edge, but filtered through the powdery ash of the ghosts of leather bound books, floats about the skin. The metallic scent of a silver Zippo lighter resides in the heart for a brief flash and then papery vellum reveals itself. The base is a warm amber ember that glows with charred wood and smoked patchouli musk. I love this one to the tips of my toes. Evocative but wearable.

Claire crafts some truly gorgeous, unique and evocative fragrances. Out of this collection I am drawn to Four Fifty-One, The Bottling Room, It's History-It's Poetry, but Every Frozen Heart is probably the prettiest of the set and I don't have many pretty scents. I am enjoying being a member of The Circle. It is a great way to sample perfumes from Sixteen92. 

Which banned book would you like to wear?

Happy 4th of July! Any plans for today? Fireworks and food over here.


  1. Wow, the design is wonderful! They all sound really intriguing, but I think I'd enjoy Four Fifty-One the most once the metallic note wears off because wood + patch = bliss :D

    1. Isn't it? I love when a maker puts extra effort into details like packaging and presentation. Yes. Four Fifty-One is smoldering. I would even go as far as to say it is.. smouldering, British style. Hope you have been doing well! How have you been?

  2. Oh no, my heart. Not the perfume, you know my feelings on this concept <3<3<3 and The Outsiders has it's own well-deserved magic. But the abhorrence of Catcher. It's only because I value your opinion highly that it hurts me so. Your reasons are compelling and you need make no further statements about it. Yet my heart sinks as it seems I just defended another beloved book to Sandra, but this is ten times more important to me than F451. So here goes (disregard this completely at your leisure):

    I always wonder when I hear ppl claim their hate/dislike of CitR, not those who cite shallow reasons and can't get over Holden's "insufferable annoying behavior", John Green has a great response to that. But I wonder who can read it and hate this very sad story of a lost soul searching for connection and answers? In some sense I get it, it is depressing in it's way but it's too essential to life for me to have anything but admiration. Maybe it doesn't deserve all the accolades it receives, I don't know but I know what it means to me,
    1st read:age 13-14, my sister's friend recommended it and I didn't get it. Ok,all Holden wants is to catch these kids in the rye before they fall off the edge and wash away the Fucks written on their school walls, that's cool, more than I cared about at his age. But the ducks, why does he keep asking about them? They're ducks dude, they go south! And why doesn't he just go home?

    2nd reading: substitute teaching in my early 2os, some empathy seeps in, man I wish this kid would catch a break, he could use one. Not to mention he's wandering around the city randomly and I want him find some direction, for the narrative's sake at least, and reign in those contradictory tangents, but he's starting to grow on me. Kind of a hilarious way of talking about things. Again with the ducks though?
    3rd reading: late 3os: Jesus, can't anyone see this kid is in distress calling for help? He needs understanding and empathy and someone to tell him Yes, death is shitty, but I think life will be okay and maybe, certainly, at this point as I was dealing with unresolved anger over the inexplicable loss of my own brother, I wanted to provide that comfort but I know that sometimes life isn't okay, and you just need to know that, which helps. And he knows you have to let kids grow up, you will never be able to protect them forever, from everything...And oh my god, the ducks. He's not asking about where the ducks go.
    It's not my favorite book, but I don't think there's one that's more impactful to me, a few other reasons I admire it: first book to be told in the way an actual teenager thinks/feels/speaks now known as the powerful YA genre. J.D. Salinger carried the first 6 chapters with him when he landed on D-Day, crap (tears welling now) and my favorite reason; the big F.U. he gave to commercial use of art-the rights were never sold, it will never be made a play, a movie or a t.v. series until it ages out of copyright and becomes public domain. It will only be a story, a pretty perfect, heartbreaking, depressing and life-affirming story.
    Also, I'm sorry about this rant, but you know I <3 you and if I can't rant on your blog, where it's safe, then what's the point?

    1. Rant away, my friend. I appreciate that it was a deeply moving book for you. Thank you for sharing your evolution with the story. I was proud of the fact I even finished the book. I couldn't even finish Catch-22. Always feel safe posting your opinions here. <3

    2. Thank you, I appreciate you! I wasn't going to comment about it, knew I'd get emotional, but then thought the character of Holden says what ppl are thinking but don't say, so I did <3
      P.S. (I think my Eng teacher husband gave up on Catch-22)