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Tokyo Milk Ex Libris
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A Conversation on Arabie

A Package from Christos: Greek Sandals & Oud Cuir d'Arabie

A Package from Ines

A Package from Lavanya

A More Affordable Olfactionary

A Week of Wearing What I Like

Amouage Dia (pour femme)

Amouage Dia (pour homme)

Amouage Epic Woman

Amouage Gold

Amouage Interlude Man

Amouage Jubilation 25 

Amouage Lyric Woman

Amouage Memoir Woman

Amouage Opus I

Amouage Opus III

Amouage Opus IV

Amouage Opus V

Amouage Opus VI

Amouage Tribute

Amouage Ubar

Annick Goutal Ambre Fetiche

Annick Goutal Encens Flamboyant

Annick Goutal Heure Exquise

Annick Goutal Petite Cherie

Annick Goutal Sables

April Aromatics Calling All Angels

April Aromatics Bohemian Spice

April Aromatics Jasmina 

April Aromatics Nectar of Love

April Aromatics Rose L'Orange

Aroma M Geisha Green

Aroma M Geisha Rouge

Arquiste Anima Dulcis

Arquiste Boutonniere no. 7

At the Moment (Chanel 22 & Marshall Crenshaw)

At the Moment (Contemplating Change & Habit Rouge)

At the Moment (Marron Chic & Paris)

At the Moment (More Midsummer Delights/Epic/Geisha Noire)

At the Moment (Saki & Lubin Idole edt)

At the Moment (Secret de Suzanne /D'Orsay L'Intrigante)

At the Moment (Spring Pretties/Un Air de Samsara)

At the Moment (Summery Things...Love Coconut)

At the Moment (Vera Wang & Fireman's Fair novel)

Ava Luxe Café Noir

Beatnik Emptiness Incense

Best of 2009

Bond No. 9 Andy Warhol Silver Factory

Bond No. 9 Brooklyn

Bond No. 9 Little Italy

Bond No. 9 New Haarlem

Bottega Veneta eau de parfum

Breath of God

Byredo Green

By Kilian Amber Oud

By Kilian Forbidden Games and In the City of Sin

Calyx by Prescriptives

Canturi by Stefano Canturi

Capote, Truman & Evening in Paris

Carner Barcelona D600

Caron Aimez-Moi

Caron French Cancan

Caron Parfum Sacre

Caron Tabac Blond

Caron Tubereuse

Caron Yatagan

Cartier II L'Heure Convoitee

Cartier IV L'Heure Fougueuse

Chanel 31 Rue Cambon

Chanel Bel Respiro

Chanel Chance

Chanel Coco

Chanel Coromandel

Chanel Cuir de Russie

Chanel Egoiste

Chanel No. 5 (vintage)

Chanel No. 22

Chantecaille Petales

Chantilly Dusting Powder

Clive Christian C for Women

Comme des Garcons Daphne

Comme des Garcons LUXE Champaca

Comme des Garcons Series 7 Sweet Nomad Tea

Costes by Costes

Coty Ambre Antique

Coty Chypre

Coty Paris

Creature by Kerosene

Creed Acqua Fiorentina

Creed Fleurs de Bulgarie

Creed Virgin Island Water

DSH Perfumes Bancha Extreme

DSH Perfumes Quinacridone Violet 

DSH Perfumes Vert pour Madame

Deneuve

Devilscent Project

Dior Diorissimo (vintage)

Donna Karan Black Cashmere

EnVoyage Vents Ardents

EnVoyage Zelda

Estee Lauder Private Collection

Estee Lauder Private Collection Jasmine White Moss

Etat Libre d'Orange Rien, Rossy de Palma & Noel au Balcon

Faberge Woodhue Cologne

Favorite Fall Fragrances

Fendi Uomo

Fragrances for Sweden

Frapin 1697 Absolu Parfum

Frederic Malle Angeliques Sous La Pluie

Frederic Malle Bigarade Concentrée

Frederic Malle Carnal Flower

Frederic Malle Geranium Pour Monsieur

Frederic Malle Iris Poudre

Frederic Malle Le Parfum de Therese

Frederic Malle Lipstick Rose

Frederic Malle Noir Epices

Frederic Malle Portrait of a Lady

Frederic Malle Une Fleur de Cassie

Frederic Malle Une Rose

Geoffrey Beene Grey Flannel

Ghosts of Perfumes Past, Present & Future

Gone Fishin'

Gucci Eau de Parfum

Gucci L'Arte di Gucci

Gucci Pour Homme

Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Lys Soleia

Guerlain Aroma Allegoria Exaltant

Guerlain Attrape Coeur

Guerlain Chamade

Guerlain Jicky

Guerlain Mayotte

Guerlain Parure

Guerlain Samsara Parfum

Guerlain Un Air de Samsara

Guerlain Vega

Guerlain Vetiver (vintage)

Guy Laroche J'ai Ose (vintage)

Happy Solstice

Hermes 24, Faubourg

Hermes Caleche (vintage)

Hermes Eau des Merveilles

Hermes Hiris

Hermes Iris Ukiyoe

Hermes L'Ambre des Merveilles

Histoires de Parfums 1740

Histoires de Parfums 1828

Histoires de Parfums Blanc Violette

Histoires de Parfums Vert Pivoine

Hometown Portrait, State College, PA

Honore des Pres Vamp a NY

House of Matriarch Carmine

How I Store Decants

Il Profumo Cannabis

In Memory (w/mention of Lanvin Arpege)

Jacomo #02

Jacomo #09 (Link to my review in Sniffapalooza Magazine)

Jean Desprez Bal a Versailles

Jean Patou Joy

Jean Patou 1000

Jo Malone Saffron Cologne Intense

Jo Malone Sweet Milk Cologne 

Juliet by Juliet Stewart

Kai Eau de Parfum

Kenzo Jungle l’Elephant

Kenzo Summer

Lancome Magie Noire (vintage) 

Lanvin Via Lanvin (vintage) 

L'Artisan Parfumeur Nuit de Tubereuse

L'Artisan Parfumeur Orchidee Blanche 

L’Artisan Parfumeur Passage d’Enfer

L'Artisan Parfumeur Seville a l'Aube

L’Artisan Parfumeur Tea for Two

La Via del Profumo Balsamo Della Mecca

La Via del Profumo Hindu Kush

La Via del Profumo Milano Caffe

La Via del Profumo Oud Caravan Project

La Via del Profumo Sharif

La Via del Profumo Tawaf

Le Labo Gaiac 10

Le Labo Iris 39

Le Labo Patchouli 24

Le Labo Poivre 23

Little Lists

Lorenzo Villoresi Yerbamate

M. Micallef Vanille Orient

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Absolue Pour le Soir

Maison Martin Margiela (untitled) eau de parfum

Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Eau des Iles

Message In A Bottle 

Michael Storer Winter Star

Miller Harris L'Air de Rien

Miscellany

Missoni (original) by Missoni

Molinard Habanita

Mona Di Orio Nuit Noire

Mona Di Orio Oud

Mona Di Orio Vanille

Montale Black Aoud

Montale Boise Vanille

Montale Intense Tiare

Montale Patchouli Leaves

Montale Red Aoud

More Roses (rose cookie recipe)

My Heart Has Skipped a Beat (summer smells)

My Perfumes Have Theme Songs

Nasomatto China White

Neila Vermeire Creations Bombay Bling

Nina Ricci L'Air du Temps

Nez a Nez Ambre a Sade

Northern Exposure "A Dash of Chanel No. 5"

Odin 04 Petrana (Link to my review in Sniffapalooza Magazine)

Olivier Durbano Black Tourmaline

Omar Sharif Pour Femme

Oriscent Pure Oud Oils

Ormonde Jayne Frangipani

Ormonde Jayne Ormonde Woman

Oscar de la Renta Oscar for Men

O Tannenbaum Joint Blog Project

Parfum d'Empire Azemour

Parfum d'Empire Cuir Ottoman

Parfum d'Empire Equistrius

Parfum d'Empire 3 Fleurs

Parfumerie Generale Bois de Copaiba

Parfumerie Generale Indochine

Parfumerie Generale Un Crime Exotique

Parfums de Nicolai Sacrebleu

Parfums DelRae Amoureuse

Parfums Karl Lagerfeld Sun Moon Stars

Parfums MDCI Chypre Palatin

Parfums Retro Grand Cuir

Paris, je t'aime

Pascal Morabito Or Black 

Perfume Quotes - The English Patient

Prada Infusion d'Iris Absolue

Pretty Perfume Bottles 

Prince Matchabelli Aviance Cologne (vintage) 

Profumum Roma Acqua Viva

Profumum Roma D'Ambrosia

Puredistance I

Puredistance Antonia

Puredistance BLACK

Puredistance M

Puredistance Opardu

Ramon Monegal Cherry Musk

Recipe for Socca

Regina Harris Amber Vanilla Perfume Oil

Regina Harris Frankincense-Myrrh-Rose Maroc Perfume Oil

Robert Piguet Fracas

Robert Piguet Visa

Rochas Mystere 

Rome Vacation Photos

San Francisco Holiday

Sarah Horowitz Parfums' Joy Comes From Within & Beauty Comes From Within

Scented Reading

Scents of the Mediterranean

Scentuous Reading: One Hundred Years of Solitude

Serge Lutens Arabie

Serge Lutens Borneo 1834

Serge Lutens Boxeuses

Serge Lutens Chêne

Serge Lutens Chergui

Serge Lutens Fille en Aiguilles

Serge Lutens Five O’Clock Au Gingembre

Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque

Serge Lutens Miel de Bois

Serge Lutens Muscs Koublai Khan

Serge Lutens Tubereuse Criminelle

Serge Lutens Un Lys

Serge Lutens Vetiver Oriental

Slumberhouse Rume

Snow Days

Sonoma Scent Studio Incense Pure

Sonoma Scent Studio Jour Ensoleille

Sonoma Scent Studio Voile de Violette

Sonoma Scent Studio Winter Woods (brief mention)

SoOud Ouris Parfum Nectar

S-Perfume 100% Love {More}

Stone Harbor, NJ Vacaton pix (non-perfume related)

Strange Invisible Perfumes Lyric Rain

Sweden Is For Lovers

T is for Taxes

Tauer Perfumes: Incense Extrême, Incense Rosé, Lonestar Memories, & Reverie au Jardin

Tauer Perfumes Vetiver Dance

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

The Diary of a Nose, Book Review

The Different Company Jasmin de Nuit

The Intimacy of Scent

Thoughts of a Perfume Collector

Tightly

Tokyo Milk Ex Libris

Unlocking an Unknown: Webber Parfum 6T

Velvet & Sweet Pea's Purrfumery Bed of Roses

Venimus Vidimus Vicimus, or How 3 Perfume Bloggers and a Husband Took Rome

Vero Profumo Kiki, Onda, and Rubj

Vero Profumo Mito

Viktoria Minya Hedonist

Viktor & Rolfe Flowerbomb

What I’m Lovin’ Now

Xerjoff Mamluk

YOSH Perfumes Ginger Ciao

Yves Saint Laurent Nu

From the Library of You Know Who:

Tokyo Milk Ex Libris Parfum and A Sport and a Pastime

Tokyo Milk is a line of inexpensive fragrances of which I’m totally unfamiliar save for one—Ex Libris, a decant of which was sent to me by a reader (thank you, Karen). I was hesitant to review it at first, mainly because I can’t tell whether it’s a discontinued fragrance or not—the Tokyo Milk website lists it as “out of stock,” and though a cursory search seems to show it as being for sale at Amazon and another perfume discounting site, when I actually clicked on those sites it doesn’t appear to be available.

But if you can find Ex Libris, and if you happen to love cedar perfumes, then this is quite the steal: $28 for a one-ounce bottle of parfum concentration fragrance—which is primarily the reason I’m reviewing it. Tokyo Milk Ex Libris isn’t complex—or even unusual—and the brief list of notes that the perfume company advertises for this scent makes me want to heave a grumpy sigh (because they don’t list cedar, and this is predominantly a cedar scent with a bit of fig). But what I like about it is the fact that it basically upholds its creative premise while offering a pretty decent sillage and surprisingly good longevity for a very affordable price. If Ex Libris is representative of the Tokyo Milk line, then it seems to me that it’s a line worth checking out.

Ex Libris is the Latin phrase meaning “from the library (of)”—the phrase one finds on bookplates to indicate the ownership of a book—and this fragrance smells, if not exactly like a book, at least representative of a certain type of library: one that is patrician, that has wood-paneled walls and tomes of hardbound books printed on old paper that is satisfyingly thick and a bit sour when you first open them—and one in which a servant will eventually deliver a tray with fruit (a fig or plums) to snack on.

Fig leaf, magnolia, bronzed musk and cardamom are the notes that Tokyo Milk lists for Ex Libris, and though perfume companies rarely reveal all the notes that go into a fragrance (for good reason), I think they do the consumer a disservice by not mentioning cedar here. Cedar is evident from initial application, although it initially is coupled with a citrus-y top note that brings to mind the musty or slightly vinegary odor that issues forth from very old books. As the citrus note fades, the cedar note strengthens to the point that one really must be in the mood to enjoy it—it can actually smell a bit like hamster-cage cedar for a while—but if the wearer is just a little patient, he or she will soon be rewarded with the sweetness that follows. Certainly the most delightful and surprising element of Ex Libris is the gentle, figgy sweetness that gathers when one least expects it, such that it almost feels like Jeeves has arrived on the scene in that almost-clairvoyant manner he has, bearing a small tray with the fruit. Prior to looking up the notes for Ex Libris, my thought was that this delicate smell was plum, but no, it’s fig, a note with which I’m far less familiar despite having eaten fresh figs. (By the way, fig leaf, which is listed as one of the notes for this scent, is said to smell green but with sweet facets hinting at milk and coconut, according to osMoz.com. And cardamom seems to be a note often paired with fig leaf—judging by other fig fragrances I’ve seen—making me wonder if it helps to create the scent of the fruit. I can often detect cardamom in a scent but am not able to do so here.)

Other than to say that the sillage for Ex Libris is lovely and noticeable, and that the wear time is a good five or six hours, I’ve pretty much summed up the scent.

However, being the kind of person who can’t resist the opportunity to plug a great book, how about I recommend one? One that’s rare in the sense that it has flown under the radar of the reading public.

Most people, when they think of the greatest works of literary erotica, think of the works of Anaïs Nin and Henry Miller (as well they should), but one of the most exquisite erotic novels ever written is James Salter’s A Sport and a Pastime. Published in 1967, A Sport and a Pastime is set in France in the 1960s and its story reveals the quiet beauties of the provincial towns of that country as it follows the almost year-long affair between Phillip Dean—a recent Yale drop-out who follows the beat of his own drum—and a young French girl named Anne-Marie. The writing is spare and carefully measured, the story is as moving a love story as one will ever find, and the myriad ways in which two willing bodies can intersect is explored with a sense of quiet intoxication. Because the story gets told by a third-party, a narrator, this device has the effect of making the reader feel very much like a voyeur—which makes the sexual acts (and the other interactions between this couple) seem quite private and all the more real.

It’s a cult novel, much as Tokyo Milk is a cult perfume company—and at the same time it’s a classic, at least in the eyes of that small segment of the public that has read it (John Irving put it on a pedestal by featuring it in his novel, A Son of the Circus).

By virtue of its undiscovered-gem status, A Sport and a Pastime seems fitting of the Ex Libris Suzanne Keller bookplate I’d slap on it if I was fortunate enough to own it in hardback. As it is, I’m considering spraying the front pages of my paperback edition with some Tokyo Milk Ex Libris parfum and slapping one on anyway.

Or having Jeeves do it—as soon as I can locate him.

 

Tokyo Milk Ex Libris parfum is advertised at the Tokyo Milk website as being “out of stock” as of this writing. It’s normally priced at $28 for 30-ml. /1 fl. oz. My review is based on a sample provided by a very kind reader.

Posted by Suzanne Keller, 5/15/2012.

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