Slumberhouse New Sibet

Opulent iris butter as thick as cream turned ashen from cinders dropped by smoked woods; grey floral suede and leather wrapped up in vapours of pink and red, first from carnation, and later from roses; the flanks of an animal heated from an afternoon ride, its golden muskiness pulsating softly through its heartbeat to cling to your cool hands as you stroke fur that is as smooth as satin and infinitely creamy — these are parts of the tableau painted by New Sibet, the latest fragrance from Slumberhouse and it’s quite a departure from the brand’s usual style. Gone is the rugged aesthetic of old created from dense, forceful, practically opaque bases imbued with sweetness, spices, or brooding darkness.

Instead of nature-based landscapes slashed with colour and loaded with weight, this is a coolly elegant, sophisticated scent, soft and vaporous, worn with sleek city suits, furs, or cashmere, and constructed in a fashion that is often as much about tactile texture as it is about scent. Often, even more so, because it’s frequently an impressionistic scent where its elements are sensed almost on a subconscious, intuitive, and subliminal level rather than an actual one, its notes a suggestion that pass on the breeze — there and, yet, not there at the same time. It is scent that is often rendered through a filter, notes tinted in sepia hues like an old photograph, and it’s all done in a way that is extremely artistic and sensory.

New Sibet. Photo: my own.

New Sibet. Photo: my own.

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Les Liquides Imaginaires Peau de Bete: Sex & The Beast

Photo: Mert & Marcus from their video for Madonna, "Girl gone wild." Source:

Photo: Mert & Marcus from their video for Madonna, “Girl gone wild.” Source:

Sex, heated skin, animalic musk, wild horses sweaty after their ride through forests, sweaty balls, and even S&M leather — they’re all things that come to mind with the very evocative and aptly named Peau de Bete (or “Skin of the Beast”) from Les Liquides Imaginaires. An immensely animalic fragrance, it is bold in aroma, but skin-like in both its feel and soft reach. Above all else, though, its animalic muskiness is redolent of human sexuality.

While other fragrances have trodden this path before, most recently Papillon‘s fantastic Salome, few of them have done so with quite as much singularity as Peau de Bete. It strips everything away but its sexualized animalics; there are no extraneous elements like chyprish bergamot top accords or middle-layer florals to adulterate the purity of vision. It’s as though the composition were merely one, single (albeit multi-faceted) base accord. Depending on your tastes and on your experience levels with raunchy, sexual, and dirty animalic musk fragrances, that’s either a good thing or something that will make you scrub right away. I happened to think Peau de Bete was damn sexy, but it is certainly not a scent for everyone.

Peau de Bete. Source:

Peau de Bete. Source:

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LM Parfums Army of Lovers

Opulent roses and animalic leather lie at the heart of Army of Lovers, the latest release from LM Parfums. Although it is ostensibly a chypre, Army of Lovers often feels more like a leather fragrance than one redolent of oakmoss. The greenness shimmers like a distant mirage, whilst all before you is musky leather that has been smeared with honey, sprinkled with spices, then nestled amongst some jammy roses in a stable. There is no getting around that last part, as this is one very dirty, raunchy leather that has a definite equine vibe for a good portion of its lifespan on my skin.

Source:  Photo lightly cropped by me horizontally.)

Jessica Chastain in Vanity Fair. Source: (Photo lightly cropped by me horizontally.)

In fact, Army of Lovers often reminded me of the old story about Camilla Parker-Bowles, now Duchess of Cornwall, who would allegedly go straight from riding her horse after a long day at the hunt to slipping on an expensive evening gown and attending a party, without a shower in-between. Yet, something about that shimmering oakmoss mirage in the background makes Army of Lovers more than dirty, horse-y leather wrapped up with rubied roses. LM Parfums’ founder, Laurent Mazzone, once told me that he loves the great vintage legends like Mitsouko, and that he seeks to bring the same sort of vibe to his fragrances, only in a more modern way.

Movie poster for Lady Chatterley's Lover (1981 version) with Sylvia Krystel. Source:

Movie poster for Lady Chatterley’s Lover (1981 version) with Sylvia Krystel. Source:

That sort of old-school sophistication hovers around Army of Lovers in a way that makes the Camilla Parker-Bowles story seem more apt for the characters of Downton Abbey, or some mash-up of a Ralph Lauren ad involving British aristocrats, riding, and evening gowns. There is a twist, though: these aristocrats are plucked from D.H. Lawrence‘s Lady Chatterley’s Lover and end up having a rather raunchy frolic with a musky, dirty gamekeeper in the stables.

Let’s start at the beginning. Army of Lovers is part of LM ParfumsIntimacy Collection, a stronger, more expensive range which is centered around pure parfums made from more luxurious ingredients. Hard Leather was the first in the collection, and Army of Lovers joined it on October 15th, with an official launch date of November 1st.

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