Ah, the summer fling. I was never very good at short-term romances; I always got too attached. Still, late August seems like the right time to test out a few scented frivolities on a whim. I can love them and leave them, or if I feel a lasting chemistry, I can purchase a full-size bottle for fall. Wiggle Perfume has been one of my recent flirtations. I recently went through a set of samples from this indie perfumer based in Olympia, Washington, and several blends caught my fancy.
Bee (shown above) is "a honey-sweet outdoorsy blend" with additional notes of gardenia, neroli, cut grass, oakmoss, and woodsmoke. On the skin, it's primarily a true-honey fragrance, and I'd recommend it to anyone who's been on the hunt for a honey-based scent. The creamy-woodsy accent of the other notes keeps Bee from straying too far into Pooh-Bear territory, so it ends up being a rich but not candy-like gourmand. It also has amazing endurance: it lasted through a nine-to-five day on my wrist. (For a lighter take on honey, Wiggle offers Honeysuckle Sweet Tea.)
Black Bonni (below left) is "a blend of absinthe, talcum powder, lily of the valley, violet, and luminous white musk" that cultivates a naughty-Victorian mood. It's a charming oddball that I wanted to try more than once. It has a piercing, minty-green opening, followed by a violet heart that seems to vary from dewy to dusty in different wearings. It dries down into a light skin scent, thanks to the white musk note. Black Bonni reminds me somewhat of Jean-Charles Brosseau's Fleurs d'Ombre Violette-Menthe. I haven't smelled Violette-Menthe in a while, but I remember it as having that same quirky (but appealing) juxtaposition of sharpness and softness.
Wiggle describes Buxom (above right) as a mix of "buttery rich bourbon vanilla and redolent English rose" that "smells like a posh patisserie and florist smooshed together." Personally, I'd have to disagree with this description. It's far more reminiscent of dusky, musky rose potpourri than fresh-picked flowers, and it's powdery-sweet rather than dessert-sweet. It brings to mind other dark-toned vanilla-rose blends like Dawn Spencer Hurwitz's Antique Rose or Neil Morris' Vanille Rosé. It's the most traditionally perfume-like of the Wiggle oils that I tried, and it's another fragrance with above-average staying power. I can imagine myself wearing this one in colder weather and later noticing its lingering traces on my scarf. (I definitely preferred it to Annabelle, a rose-moss-musk blend that felt a bit blunt and messy to me.)
Wiggle Perfume sells its oils in two sizes, and each scent is stylishly labeled with its own color scheme and typeface. The Wiggle site presents its merchandise in cleverly photographed displays, in order to give an idea of each fragrance's "personality," and these visuals are hard to resist. Fortunately, Wiggle offers such an array of blends at such a reasonable price point that this can be a fling you won't later regret.
Bee, Black Bonni, and Buxom perfume oils are sold through Wiggle Perfume's Etsy shop, in 5 ml ($11) and 10 ml ($30) sizes. Individual samples are also available ($1.50 each).