Earlier in the afternoon, the storm blew the last of leaves off the liquid amber in front of the store. Though damp, they are still scuttling about in the wind. The world seems damper and chillier in the twilight.
You, however, are warm inside the store, serving at the counter and watching passing pedestrians.
As she leaves for the day, the boss drops a box of newly arrived vintage clothes in front of you. You open it and pull out the garment on top, a chocolate corduroy jacket with little daisies embroidered above the breast pocket. Perfume drifts up at you, the one you wore in high school. For a moment, you are lost in memory, gazing into the distance…then you realise you are staring your high school boyfriend. He is looking in the store window, arm is round a blonde woman. She is pointing at something in the window display. He kisses the top of her head and they walk on. The evening light becomes bluer.
Many years ago, when the Moth Woman was a much poorer insect, she loved the Body Shops oils but couldn’t afford them. She did visit the testers whenever she was in a capital city. Al Rehab Elena (ARE) has a reputation for being a solid dupe of Body Shop Ananya. One whiff and the Moth Woman was transported to the 1990s. ARE lives up to its reputation.
On first application, there is a hit of synthetic banana and musk. As it settles a little, fruit soda, hints of incense and an haunting musk. Truly massive on application.
Despite this description, this is NOT a cheery perfume. Most fruit scents have an upbeat, sparky mood. ARE is low key and hints at sombre things.
After five minutes ARE is largely composed of fruit incense, grape musk and something dirty/indolic. There is a sharp drop off in intensity.
Ten minutes and it has changed again, now grape musk, fruit incense and a tiny hint of bitter crushed petals. By this point, the volume and projection have halved.
Around the half-an-hour mark, it is incense, musk and something slightly nutty. Medium strength. This overlays a light soapy notes. The musk is dominates the fruity incense and the crushed petal note is stronger. There is a hint of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow plant (brunfelsia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brunfelsia?wprov=sfla1) that appears quite unexpectedly and seemscat odds with the other notes. It is fleeting though. A suggestion of bubblegum tuberose drifts through too.
An hour after application, ARE is a more melancholy thing, cooler in temperature. The grape musk is dominating. There are new hints of strawberry and a sense of dryness.
By the two hour mark, ARE is a quiet, dry, dusty grape musk.
It remains unchanged for the next two hours then morphs into delightfully skanky honey. This explains the dustiness earlier as honey notes can have a dusty/powdery aspect.
By the seven hour mark, ARE has become a lingering skin scent of fruit musk and honey
At around eleven hours, it rallies, nearly doubling in strength again and is a honey-grape musk.
Total lifespan is around fifteen hours.
ARE came and went throughout this test entirely disappearing and reappeared twice in the first hour. By the four hour mark, it had vanished and reappeared half a dozen times. The Moth Woman actually thought she had a perished bottle but it appears to be a feature.
The Moth Woman would recommend Elena for those who loved The Body Shop circa 1990s or younger folks who are seeking a unique fruity scent. You cannot go wrong at the price.
Available on Ebay.