Growing up in New Jersey does things to you. One of them is becoming acclimatized to peculiar smells. (The word peculiar these days has a negative connotation, but I mean it in its original sense, which is unusual, strange, unconventional or unique.)
When I was a little girl, a ride on the New Jersey Turnpike at night was something I looked forward to. It meant my grandparents were taking us somewhere exciting, with rides and ice cream, but I also loved it for itself, loved the eerily glowing black, grey and red industrial landscape with smoke billowing on the horizon. It looked like Mars, or like the earth after the robots won the war, which was something I was entirely in favor of. And if I was too tired on the ride home to keep my eyes open, the odor of the oil refineries around exit 13A would wake me up so I wouldn’t miss a glimpse of the alien landscape so close to my home.
When I tried Jeke by Slumberhouse (from a sample I purchased), I was expecting another sweetish tobacco fragrance. What I found instead made me gasp.
Jeke. I keep wanting to call you Jake, as if you’re an actual man, the man of my fantasies who looks something like Vin Diesel and walks around in sunglasses and never says anything, but hits people when they stand too close to me. You smell like burning rubber, in the most alluring way. You are the antithesis of everything anyone thinks of when they hear the word perfume, and you are stunning and mysterious and intense and silent and forbidding. Most of all, you are dangerous.
You do not fit into my life. I’m a suburban mom and you’re out of place at the office, the soccer game or the mall. I try to think where you might be appropriate on me and come up with nothing, and then realize that this is a large part of your appeal. I don’t know what to do with you, but I must have you.
After a few hours, you mellow a tiny bit. The sunglasses come off and you grunt a word or two. In dry down you might even be mistaken for tame, but should someone come an inch too close to me, your muscles are tensed, ready to spring into action.
Jeke is available for purchase from Indie Scents or directly from Slumberhouse for $125 for 30 ml of extrait de parfum. You can also purchase a sample pack of 4 fragrances directly from Slumberhouse for $20, which is what I did. They generously threw in two additional samples, which did not affect this review but is great customer service. Fragrantica lists the notes as cade, tobacco, patchouli, benzoin, and labdanum. I list them as muscle, desire, awe, intoxication, and fire.