Naughty needs to be extremely naughty, or at least, that’s where my mind has wandered this year. And of all the things I smelled this year, when I say "Naughty…" like an arrow hitting a bullseye, my nose falls squarely on Zoologist’s Hyrax. I first smelled this on my colleague Miguel Matos' skin when we were at an event this spring and it was unbelievably strong, animalic, harsh. I had no idea what to make of it – did I like it? As I smelled it a few more times over the next few days, I was fascinated by the outright weirdness of this deeply dank perfume. So, what draws the nose back to Hyrax? Somehow it comes at you in jagged waves of wood notes, saffron, booze, animal musk, and finally (and I mean after DAYS of projection) it settles into something soft, leathery, sweet with coumarin and a touch of old fashioned flowers, almost a shade powdery. Whatever the final warmth of the closing notes, Hyrax is a crazy, raucous little beast of a perfume that’s sensuously naughty – one that you don’t want to deny yourself.
In a similar vein, my nice side is something extremely nice, and one that's been a frequent companion this year, especially in late summer well into these beginning winter days. That smooth, rich, but sublimely elegant little number, Christian Dior’s Cuir Cannage. If leather can possibly be naughty (and indeed it can) Cuir Cannage is not. Rather it's an iris-leather of luxurious smoothness, and indeed very, very nice. The soft burr of suede becomes a gentle humming of middle-note floral accords (rose, jasmine, orange flower), all of which create a classically sharp and sweet bouquet, but in the sublime balance of round and angled, slightly indolic jasmine, petal-soft violet, warmer but icy-edged juniper (adding a sweet and woodsy component to the existing suede accord.) I'm not the biggest fan of leather perfumes but this is just about the most skin-friendly leather I've come across, so of course it's going to be "nice." Wear this when you want to cozy up to Santa to insure you’re getting the best gifts possible this holiday.