Amyleigh. Winchester, England.
An archaeologist & RE specialist with an abundance of love for makeup, nature & architecture photography, comics, taxidermy & a good cuppa.
Tokyo Milk / Dark
When it comes to fragrance, I'm a hit or miss girl. I tend to hover around those sickly sweet scents you should only wear in your teen years (I'm looking at you, Britney Spears and Paris Hilton *shakes fist*) or I'm at the other end of the spectrum and soaking up the scents of the borderline masculine fragrances. So with that being said, you can imagine the ordeal I have when wanting to try something new but not having the first clue about where to start.
A brand I've always been intrigued by is Tokyo Milk. The brand specialises in the alternative - the fragrances are made up of curious notes which shouldn't work on their own let alone mixed with others but they're somehow delightful, the stationary boasts vintage prints with sassy slogans, and the range of bath & body products and candles would no doubt help you unwind with ease. The brains behind American-based Tokyo Milk, Margot Elena, is the face behind a few different brands of perfume and beauty so you know it's a rightly-ran ship. I've been desperate to try their weird and wonderful perfumes for years now but could never take the plunge due to limitations of ordering online. As the brand is not stocked anywhere locally for me, I could never settle on what scent to try and didn't want to order something nose-blind for it to turn up and for my nostrils to not like it. But then I discovered an opportunity for this to not be an issue.
Tokyo Milk has its original range of perfumes however they also have a more recently released range called Tokyo Milk Dark. This range has the sleekest design of minimalist bottles with gorgeous slightly Victorian, slightly curiosity shop-style illustrations on them and oh boy, the scents. Reading about all the unique scents just meant I had to try them, whether it was taking a plunge or not. So whilst I was furiously trying to decide which scent to purchase, I realised they had this: a sampler "fragrance wardrobe discovery" set of six of the eight eau de parfums available in the range which retails at $42 dollars - so just over £30 here in the UK for six 7ml bottles.
This sampler set gave me the opportunity to test out six of the eight available fragrances and truly see which one I'd love to buy in full size. The set includes: Tainted Love No.62, Everything and Nothing No.1o, La Vie La Mort No.9o, Bulletproof No.45, Arsenic No.17, and Excess No.28. The scents included are a range of varying fragrances for a range of tastes but guess what? I actually love them all. They're all very different and I can assume that each one won't be for everyone, but I was pleasantly surprised to see I actually liked the whole set (although I do have one or two favourites!) so let me give you some more details about each one:
Tainted Love No.62 - Okay so I have to start will my favourite of them all. I believe this scent is pretty popular as it seems to be an "out of stock" item from various stockists/retailers at times, but I can certainly see why. With a blend of dark vanilla bean, orchid, white tea and sandalwood, Tainted Love creates an almost sickly sweet scent but the sandalwood and white tea give it an almost masculine edge at the same time. I knew I would love this for the sandalwood and vanilla bean elements, but this was also a hit with Matt as it is something that could almost be unisex. I would love to just bathe in it. Sweat it. Just stink to high-heaven of it, it's that good.
Everything & Nothing No.1o - There's something about Everything & Nothing that screams summer. This one is a much more citrusy offering with notes of sweet orange, pressed petals, desert moss and tea leaves. When I first read the notes on the back of the bottle, "pressed petals" filled me with dread as I had flashbacks to making "perfume" as a child in my grandparents garden (anyone else used to throw a shit tonne of rose petals/sunflower petals/whatever else you could find that looked vaguely stinky into a jar of water to make 'perfume' or was it just me?). However this stuff smells lovely. It's a fresh and zingy perfume with a definite girly edge and I find it quite strong and long lasting. I tend to use this one sparingly as I've realised the zestiness and floral notes give me a wee headache if I whack it on like some of the others, but its a sure winner for summer days or holidays to hotter climates.
La Vie La Mort No.9o - La Vie La Mort is another firm favourite and is pretty much all I wore during my recent trip to Rome. With a mix of white tuberose, cardamom, hibiscus leaf and jasmine, there's no denying it is a floral attack on the senses but it's a mighty pleasant one. This one strangely reminds me of old lady perfume (hear me out). We all know what I mean - that scent that your grandma has worn since you were old enough to recall smells or to be honest, I'm pretty sure all grandmas wear the same perfume as they all have that sort of nostalgic floral scent. La Vie La Mort is like that but a modern, younger twist on it. Although I like sickly sweet scents, I'm sometimes put off by floral perfumes but this one is just gorgeous. I realise I totally haven't sold it to you by saying you'd smell like a grandma wearing this but trust me, you'd be the greatest smelling under 60 year old that's out there!
Bulletproof No.45 - Another pleasant surprise was Bulletproof. This blend of smoked tea, coconut milk, crushed cedar and ebony woods gives a mix of a woody yet slightly spicy scent to the skin. This one is definitely a one I would personally reserve for an evening out for a meal etc. as it has that heady mix that I would personally find overpowering throughout day to day wear. Again, it's a lovely unusual scent which whilst sultry, it also has a masculine edge to it like Tainted Love and I would suggest it is a good one for both guys and girls.
Arsenic No.17 - When this wee parcel arrived and I saw the bottles and studied the notes in each perfume, Arsenic was the one I was most curious to try. With notes of vanilla, sea salt, cut greens, crushed fennel and absinthe (?!) I couldn't wait to give it a sniff. This perfume is like nothing else I've used and is by far the most unique one out of the six in this set. The vanilla is barely detectable but still gives a tiny bit of sweetness to an overall clean but spicy scent. It sometimes smells distinctively girly to me yet other times it smells like men's cologne so again, this one could be used by either or. I really like this one because it's so different to anything I've ever tried or owned and it reminds me of exotic market smells you might have experienced on holiday but also those exotic woody/almost spiced plants scents you may have come across. Definitely a one to try if you like your perfume to be stand out and unique.
Excess No.28 - Lastly, Excess strikes a nostalgia cord for me because it smells like something one of my Aunty's used to wear when I was younger. As soon as I opened the bottle, I was transported back to weekends at my grandparents house, sitting beside my Aunty watching her put her makeup and jewellery on for her girls night out and I'd try and copy (and no doubt ruined every product she owned). This smell just smelt like her and her bedroom on those evenings so I instantly liked it just for that reason. However the notes of amber resin, oak bark, blood orange and patchouli helped seal the deal as I'm quite a fan of patchouli notes in perfumes, but the blend is also a pleasant sultry woody effect which is wearable for daytime but can be layered up to create a more intense level for evenings out.
I love this little sample set as it has given me a chance to test (and like!) six new fragrances and it has also been ideal for this summer as I have been/will be travelling quite a lot so they're handy travel-sized bottles which take up next to no space in my travel luggage. These little bottles not only look lovely alone, they're packaged up beautifully too and would make a fantastic gift for any fragrance aficionados you may know whose tastes you can't predict or judge. After trying this set, I can confirm I will be snapping up more Tokyo Milk perfumes as soon as I run low on my current supplies as I imagine I won't be disappointed with any others I try. The "Dark" range of scents also comes in rollerball perfumes for on the go application, lip balms, hand creams and candles which give you the chance to experience the scents in a multitude of ways. I will without a doubt be snapping up a larger bottle of Tainted Love and La Vie La Mort in the near future - which retail at $36/£27 for a just under 50ml bottle - and I'd love to get the candle versions of them too! I also can't wait to get my mitts on some of the original scents (catching my eye in particular is Sugar Sugar, Honey & the Moon, Let Them Eat Cake No.11, and Poe's Tobacco No.1!).
Have you tried any of Tokyo Milk's or Margot Elena's other brands' fragrances?