Spicebomb

Tonight’s fragrance is Spicebomb.

But before that, a bit of an explanation.

I think it’s clear that I disappeared from fragrance for a while. I think I’m still gone from it, in some respects. But despite that, I felt a need to do something with fragrance tonight. So here I am.

I started wearing fragrance again some time after I recovered (as much as that can happen) from COVID-19. Returning to daily fragrance wear happened rather slowly. I had to learn to wear fragrance again – to tolerate it – just like I had to learn to breathe again.

I was going to tell you about that part, but I found that I could not do it without a lot of bitterness and anger, so please forgive me if I just skip it for now.

Fragrance is part of returning to normal for me. And that’s something I want to do. So I’m just going to do that.


I think this is the first time I’ve worn Spicebomb this year – definitely recently. I think about the smell of Spicebomb all the time, and sometimes it’s confusing whether I’m remembering the fragrance, or remembering remembering the fragrance.

That’s a sign of familiarity. I’m familiar with Spicebomb. It’s like an old friend. And wearing Spicebomb is, for me, like saying very loudly “FALL IS HERE!”

I’m not sure if I originally got a gift set and deo, or a gift set and aftershave, but I now have four items – fragrance, shampoo/body wash, aftershave balm, and deo stick. I usually try to wear them all, when I’m “up for Spicebomb“.

The deo is reliable, strong, consistent with the EDT, and lasts. The shampoo is good and THICK, and the fragrance lingers. The aftershave balm is too thin and watery for me – it smells great and lasts, but the runny white milk of it doesn’t seem very “Spicebomb“, so it’s a bit of a tactile fail. Stiffen that shit up, amigos!

The EDT, of course, is brilliant as far as I’m concerned.

One of the things I absolutely love about Spicebomb is a note, or maybe a set of notes, that many people don’t smell. I would describe them as “girly, candy, and plastic”, and in many ways they are essential homage to Flowerbomb. Yes, the spicy and typically masculine parts of Spicebomb are very enjoyable, but the synthetic candy-cane swipe from the modern fruity floral feminines that Basenoters love to hate – THAT is what gives Spicebomb a kind of modern attitude that never gets old.

Some of my urge to wear Spicebomb recently was likely the result of this unlikely fragrance.

I am not kidding you – the “Bag-a-Bug 2” reformulation of Spectracide’s Japanese beetle lure is one of the best unisex clove rose perfumes out there. It’s abstract, niche, serious, and surprisingly addictive.

Once you read the list of ingredients – which is a lot more revealing than most fragrances on the market – it’s clear WHY this stuff is so good. In addition to a tiny amount of surprisingly recognizable beetle pheromone, which adds a very discernible and cigar-like touch of “bag full of Japanese beetles having bug sex” skank to the lure, the remaining ingredients are essentially cloves and roses.

Eugenol21.98%
Geraniol9.43%
Phenethyl propionate9.43%
Japanese Beetle Pheromone0.02%
Other59.14%
Total100.00%

The rose is coming in here as a fruity ester of 2-phenylethanol, which alcohol is, for me, the most typifying component of rose. Throw in the ever-so-essential funky citric floral of geraniol, and the uber-clove of eugenol, and this very fake flower isn’t just attractive to little metallic green beetles – it’s enjoyable to picky perfumistos who have a deep desire to get back into fragrance.

I have tried some of my stronger rose fragrances post-COVID, and they’ve been a bit of a turn-off. But this wear of Spicebomb has been inspiring. It’s not exactly rose, and it’s not exactly cloves, and it’s not exactly what I was smelling, coming from the Japanese beetle trap.

But it’s exactly what I needed.

Have a great week, people. This one is looking up already!

Rose & Clove Potpourri: http://driedflowercraft.co.uk/2012/10/winter-potpourri-recipe-dried-rose-petals-cloves/

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