I never thought I would review Salt & Straw without my mouth – but here we are! 2020, right? Smell is a very important aspect of what I do, and for today it is THE most important, and only, resource when picking apart the new holiday collab from Salt & Straw and Imaginary Authors. Imaginary Authors is a unique “unisex perfume” company that specialize in telling stories with their fragrances. They come in at a solid Eau de Parfum concentration of 12-20%, matching the high quality density of their collaborator Salt & Straw, known and loved for their high butterfat and richly innovative ice cream.
Walking into Salt & Straw is one of the best smell-gasms in town. Warm caramelized vanilla meets your nose nearly a block away, and it makes standing in those typically long lines a bit more exciting (and tolerable). “Whiff of Waffle Cone” aims to emulate that experience, which honestly is something I’ve joked and dreamed about for years. It’s no tall task to capture that magical essence in sprayable form, so I had to find out if it it was possible.
Let’s cut to the chase – does this smell like walking into a Salt & Straw shop? No. Does this smell like a nice caramel-forward perfume? Absolutely. I’m surprised by how sharply caramel this sniff-sperience is, rounded out by a little cinnamon, sweet (heavy) creaminess, and some more traditionally perfume-y aromas. The major component missing here is vanilla, which is the most dominant scent when going into Salt & Straw for a perfectly scooped cone or pre-packed pint. That’s not to say there’s zero vanilla, it’s just much more caramel-y and musky than it is vanilla-y; and those scents easily overpower the more gentle vanilla. A whiff of waffle cone, in my book, should be a caramelized vanilla rounded out by sweet cinnamon, and this is more of a caramelized caramel, think, slightly burnt caramel, rounded out by what I would consider more traditional “cologne” notes.
This is a unisex perfume, but despite its sweet intentions, this smells more traditionally masculine than feminine. It has a much more aggressive “manly” vibe than I expected. Maybe I just love my Bath & Body Works Vanilla Bean Noel Body Spray too much, but this has a pretty heavy and lasting musk that stands tall above the more gentle and subtle aromas. It’s absolutely nostalgic and inviting, if not even a bit mysterious, and very wearable. But to me, it doesn’t quite nail the magical wall of smell that welcomes me when I make my bi-monthly trips to my favorite scoop shop. Like most perfumes it’s not cheap, but I’m really happy to have this in my cologne collection, as it will always remind me of going to one of my happiest places with my favorite people.
Found at: Salt & Straw ($28.00)