My “Dirty” series is about taking classic, beautiful ingredients and putting a new spin on them - letting their hair down, smudging their lipstick and exploring new territory. I wanted to build a fragrance around the spontaneous and energetic aspects of lemons but wanted to bring something new and even a little naughty to lemons' squeaky clean nature. — Douglas Little, Heretic Parfums.
Dirty Lemon (listed notes include lemon, bergamot, petitgrain, juniper, lime, sandalwood, pink and black pepper, ylang-ylang and patchouli)
Dirty Lemon opens with the aromas of bergamot oil and sliced lemons (heavily peppered), but its head notes are more dense than sprightly or fizzy. Briefly, Dirty Lemon smells like an aperitivo made with lemons instead of oranges. There's a pleasant "green" scent in mid-development when petitgrain and juniper berry (and perhaps some lime) form an outdoorsy accord. Vague florals (pale white flowers mixing with ylang-ylang) appear as Dirty Lemon heads to its base where bleached, woody notes banish all memories of citrus or flowers and create a slightly musky, muted ending. Dirty Lemon is a contemporary take on 'dirty' (unlike Heretic's Hippie-Punk, earthy Dirty Ginger). If you're looking to Dirty Lemon for an overdose of bright lemons or citrus in general...look elsewhere — the lemon element is fleeting.
Dirty Mango (listed notes include mandarin, lemon, geranium, mango, sandalwood, cedar, agarwood, ambrette, Palo Santo, fir, vanilla, vetiver)
Dirty Mango's ad clip (you can watch it on Heretic's site) shows a juicy mango being spanked, whipped and fingered (that poor, abused mango). But if you think Dirty Mango will be a musky, sweaty, overripe mango scent for a dominatrix, you'd be wrong. WRONG!-BAD!-ON YOUR KNEES wrong (you IDIOT!) Dirty Mango is a baby-food gourmand-meets-chemical accident perfume.
Dirty Mango starts with a quickly disappearing mix of notes: something tangy/sappy (pine?) and peach-apricot scents mixing with citrus peel aromas. It's as if elements of mango are swirling in the air before they coalesce and attempt a mango landing. For a minute, I hoped Dirty Mango might be a Calyx for the 21st century. But, no. The discombobulated mango that emerges in mid-development is canned and full of preservatives — with Chernobyl on the side. Apart from the jarring mango monster, I smell notes that remind me of coconut milk, cheap floral candles, stale vanilla cookies, phony pineapple and $1 shampoo. Dirty Mango is a mess: unstable and jarring. Crazy Mango would have been a better name.
I waited a few days after wearing Dirty Mango and ate a delicious fresh mango, hoping to banish the memory of this fragrance. At least I know real mangoes weren't harmed in Dirty Mango's making, excepting the ones bruised in the video!
Dirty Lemon fades fast and, you guessed it, Dirty Mango never gives up. Each scent wears close to the body.
Heretic Parfums Dirty Lemon and Dirty Mango Eaux de Parfum are available in 15 ml ($65) and 50 ml ($165).