My perfumer friend Dominique Dubrana, whose judgment I trust, recently suggested I smell the all-natural, all-organic creations of Perfumera Curandera (perfumer-healer in the feminine) which he likes very much. I received four of them out of a total lineup of 10. The one that stood out for me is Choyita (named after a cactus flower) which apparently contains Madagascar vanilla. Up top it smells powerfully of guaiacol, a parent molecule of vanillin with the aldehyde group removed. I’ve been fond of guaiacol since childhood, when I used to drink the stuff, mixed with a judicious amount of tooth-stripping phosphoric acid, as Pulmosérum, an old-fashioned cough mixture that does little good but tastes great. Choyita is not at all vanillic in the conventional sense, and more along the lines of Gorilla Perfumes’ Smugglers Soul, with a wonderful heart note of burnt fireworks that spreads a festive, piratical air all around. The drydown is a soft woody note that smells like wet wicker and old books. Very nice.