Yesterday Haze, Imaginary Authors

Every time I write a perfume review, it feels like the first time, no matter how long it’s actually been since I wrote that first review. Filled with emotion inspired by the sensory experience of the fragrance, I’m at a loss for words. What can I say?

It’s beautiful?

A great fragrance isn’t just beautiful, as perfumistas across the globe will let you know. In fact, some would even argue that the “beautiful” fragrance can’t be truly great. It’s got to be interesting, or challenging, or whatever.

Josh Meyer has an incredible talent for inspiring fragrance reviews. I was surprised to receive a package including samples of the two newest fragrances in the IA lineup: Mosaic, and Yesterday Haze. Mosaic is beautiful, and I recommend that you try it– it’s the perfect summer cologne, and lasts like an EDT or EDP; however, it’s Yesterday Haze that’s captivated my attention.

Perfume land has become a big place; we all talk about the flood of new releases every year from the big houses, and indie/artisan perfumers are popping up all over the world. It’s hard to keep up, and quite frankly, it’s easy to feel indifferent once the first few years of wild, passionate exploration and acquisition have faded into a more contemplative approach. I don’t add new bottles to my collection often (just three this year; one was a restock of L’Heure Bleue), and I can’t remember the last time I felt compelled to sit down long enough to write a review.


There are a couple indie perfume lines that I find impossible to ignore, and Imaginary Authors tops that list. The consistency and quality of each fragrance, the unidentifiable, yet utterly distinct IA signature, the innovation coupled with a clear respect for classical perfume– it’s all there in this latest fig-centric release, romantically titled, “Yesterday Haze.” Yet to say YH smells like anything else would be untrue. It doesn’t smell like anything else– kind of a big deal at this point in perfume-land.

Fig fragrances, while not exactly the bread-and-butter of perfume houses, have a dedicated audience. They exist on a scale, from woody green realism (Sonoma Scent Studio’s Fig Tree, or Robin’s acknowledged favorite, Diptyque Philosykos) to milky-sweet (such as the iconic L’Artisan Premier Figuier). While Yesterday Haze is creamy, and sweet, fig has not been downplayed. It’s truly fig, especially if you know what you’re sniffing for, but it’s approachable in a way that some of the photorealistic figs simply are not.

While I don’t imagine Robin will trade in her Phylosykos, I do see a bottle of YH in my future (update: I did buy it). It’ll be a nice juxtaposition for Laurie Erickson’s Fig Tree in my collection, as I am a fig-lover who would, occasionally, like to wear less tree and more Perfume. Yesterday Haze is beautiful; it’s also an interesting and sophisticated fig perfume.

Yesterday Haze is available from Imaginary Authors, 60mL, $85.

Dark Obsession (for men), Calvin Klein


On the airplane back from Vegas, The Guy tore open a scent strip from the  GQ in his lap. Without asking, he raised it to my nose, nodding his head as he watched my intake of breath, my first impression. He said, “Smells the same.”

It’s true. Dark Obsession reminds me, too, of the original.

This late-in-the-apparently-still-active-game flanker is a little too sweet. But it’s also got a raspy edge that peeks out after the top-notes burn off to reveal smoldering… vetiver? If you called it a fruitchouli for guys,  I wouldn’t argue. But I’d also say that it’s a remixed distillation of a bunch of good bits and pieces. Is that the pepper from Carbone de Balmain?

I like this new incarnation, but it feels a little bit dated– weirdly, as the original still sparkles…

In the apartment, able to relax after finally getting home, I opened up GQ again. Finding the page with the perfume ad,  I did something wild: I ordered a tester-bottle off the eBay app from my phone.

I confess, I prefer this on The Guy’s neck.

Fall: Sniff List

Ruben Ireland

My Fall sniff-list is only belated if you don’t live in the southern portion of the United States. Down here, it’s still premature: yesterday it was 90, and today it’s 85 degrees in Austin– still warm to be thinking about Fall fragrances, but since I’ve exchanged my short pants for long pants, I figure it’s time to put away the Coup de Foudre ’til Spring.

This is what I’m loving in my Texan pseudo-fall…

Imaginary Authors, Cape Heartache. With notes of Hemlock and Fir, it’s witchy-vibe is getting me in the mood for upcoming All Souls Day a little less than a month away.

Puredistance, Black. The new offering from ultra-luxury Austrian perfume house extraordinaire, Black is exactly what we’ve come to expect from the niche house: excellence. Witchy in a completely different way from Cape Heartache, Black is a dusty oriental with luscious flourishes. If Chanel Antaeus had an affair with PG14 Iris Taizo, their sexy love child would put on a purple velvet robe, and call itself Black.

L’Artisan, Traversée du Bosphore. I can’t believe it’s been three years since I fell in love with this perfume. It absolutely stands the test of time, and has become a staple in my annual fall line-up. Iris, leather, saffron? Yes, yes, yes.

I’ve been wearing Jacomo Silences PDT, CDG Avignon, and Parfums MDCI Chypre Palatin in heavy rotation for a few months now, and it’s finally okay to admit it. Powerfully sexy, each of these, and appropriate for most any venue. Silences is one of those rare fragrances in my collection that gets drained, and I really ought to buy in bulk. Time to head over to evilBay…

print by Ruben Ireland.

Fall: Look Now

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For most of you, Fall has been well underway for at least a month. We do things different down here in Texas. Here’s the look I’m sporting as I transition through the Texas still-hot-fall, into Texas somewhat-cooler-fall (ACL here I come!).


Cleanse: I’ve returned once again to an old favorite, Burt’s Bees Orange Essence Facial Cleanser for general cleansing. I’m also using the MAC Makeup Remover Wipes, useful for getting rid of that awesomely stubborn water-proof mascara.

Treat: Retinol, by prescription, 3x per week (as always). What’s new: Skinmedica TNS Recovery Complex.

Moisture: MAC Mineralize Charged Water Face and Body Lotion


Face: My Lowbrow-Lust selection, L’Oréal Magic Nude Liquid Powder (#316, Nude Beige). So lightweight I almost can’t tell I’ve got foundation on, Magic Nude looks perfect every time. It boasts broad spectrum SPF 18, which makes me happy. Add a smidgen of MAC Ladyblush blushcreme, and I’m set.

Lips:  I start with Skinmedica TNS LipPlump System (from my PS), followed by Mac Hug Me. Pulls off the “my lips but better” effect, and is by far the best nude I’ve found to date. The Lustre formula is moisturizing and smells like vanilla cake. Yum!

Eyes: BeneFit They’re Real Mascara, L’Oreal Infallible Eyeliner. Sometimes I get wild and break out the Urban Decay Naked2 Palette.


Cleanse: Kerastase, Cristalliste (aka, the Pink bottles). My hair looks and feels better than it has in a long time. Prepare yourself for sticker-shock, and trust me when I say the shampoo and conditioner are solid investments.

Treat: Kerastase, Cristalliste Lumière Liquide. Supposedly inspired by Blake Lively’s hair in Gossip Girl, this stuff is made for long hair. I like it a lot, but haven’t decided yet if it’s worth the hefty price-tag ($59 from my hairdresser).

Style: No bangs, high, messy bun finished with Elnett. Because I’m always ready for horseback-riding, or that new 5-star restaurant downtown. Also, I splurged on a CHI hairdryer.