I won’t lie to you: There’s something about Dark Season’s opening that I find deeply perturbing. There’s this almost fluid bitter core, surrounded by strange sweetness. There’s something almost medicinal and a strange body scent, I can’t ignore. There’s this mustiness that makes me feel as though I am all alone in a dark old house, rummaging around for some unfathomable reason... And then I open a drawer that creaks with resistance. It is wooden and empty, but it contains all the mustiness of an unaired tiny space and scent-memories of the various objects held in the past. My heart beats faster, anxiously. I need to get past it, for underneath I smell beautiful sweet spice and I so want to reach it... Patience. Patience for five or ten minutes, no more. And then comfort. The sweet, soothing scent of cinnamon washes it all away.
Candles are lit all at once and the old house is bathed in warm light. I’m glad I waited, every single time. Dark Season transforms into a beautiful oriental scent, perfect for keeping you warm in cold weather. Dark Season whispers of winter holidays, crisp cold air that makes the cheeks go red, happy smiles and joyful hearts as friends get ready to come together under one roof, in a house glowingly inviting. A house which smells sweetly of cinnamon and vanilla. Balancing the light, spicy sweetness, there are decorations of pine needless, smelling fresh, green and pure. Their branches are oozing sticky resin: a strong note with a sticky feel that lances through the composition from beginning to end and makes it positively addictive. But what I admire most about Dark Season, and what keeps me returning to my little sample is the cinnamon. As with clove and carnation, it is a note that can quickly become too thick and overbearing. Too obtrusive, if you will. But Dark Season’s cinnamon is simply perfect. Sweet, light, magical and sheer. It feels like it’s almost sparkling. The overall feeling of this perfume is warming, and as is the case with most of the Neil Morris scents I’ve so far tried, comforting. It has this beautiful ability to form an aura around the wearer, sweet and spicy smelling, rounded and deep, that can be gently smelled from a few feet away, inviting others to come ever closer to find the source. If I’m honest, I’ll admit that this fragrance has made me once again long for cold weather, and believe me, that’s quite a feat. I am SO ready for summer!
I’ve saved the best for last. From all the Neil Morris perfumes I’ve so far smelled, this is my absolute favorite. Every time I wear Gotham, I have the pleasure to see a different side of it, a different manifestation of its beauty. At times it’s all about the flowers, at times it’s all about its animalic base, at times it’s all about the leather. This is not only absolutely gorgeous, it is absolutely timeless. This is exactly the type of fragrance I favor: a “yes Mistress” perfume. Don’t laugh! This is all polished hair, immaculate attire, impossible yet utterly chic heels and... a whip. Cruel seduction, where the coolness of ice meets the heat of the flame. If I could choose only one word to describe this fragrance, it would be ‘magnificent’. The opening is an assault of the senses with a blast of seductive pepper and sparkling citrus. A period of reasonable, deceptive calm follows: a beautiful accord of narcissi and hyacinths that starts out smooth but soon intensifies in the most hypnotic manner. From incredibly floral and ladylike, Gotham soon goes dark and mysterious: A thorny rose scent, whose aroma is accentuated and deepened by the green scent of galbanum. And soon, our diva readies for the kill: the animalic base becomes all the more apparent with notes of musks and leather and even though I’ve never seen a mention of civet in the official notes, I swear I smell its warm pungency rising from my skin. Instant glamour. Instant Sex. Just add red lipstick. Diamonds are optional.
Images: www.imageafter.com and Flickr, originally uploaded by “Lady K!!”