This week, we’re going to take a look at Sticky Fingers from Francesca Bianchi! This house, based in the Netherlands launched its first fragrance in 2016, and its founder and nose also serves as the house’s namesake.
Bianchi, who discovered her love of perfumery after graduating in History of Art, released Sticky Fingers in 2020. Let’s take a look at the notes before I launch into a long-winded talk on texture in fragrance.
Sticky Fingers Notes
Tobacco, patchouli, orris, tonka bean, castoreum, sandalwood, leather, cinnamon, heliotrope, musk, coriander
If you’ve been following along on note profiles, you can probably tell that this is definitely going to be a heavier scent.
Let’s talk texture. Back when I wrote about Stephane Humbert Lucas’ Isra & Miraj, I said that the fragrance felt very creamy. But how does a scent have texture when you can’t feel it? Spoiler: This is has nothing to do with how the perfume feels when it’s applied to your skin. (Though, if your skin starts to burn or itch if it comes in contact with a new substance, you’re probably having an allergic reaction or it’s caustic, so go wash that off and don’t do it again. Also, you might want to see a doctor.)
It all has to do with associations. I might describe something with bergamot or ambroxan as “sparkling”, because mentally it gives me the same vibes as say, carbonation bubbles in a drink. Those notes stand out either from their sharpness, or their vibrancy in a way that I find similar to those fizzy bubbles in my favorite beverages.
Likewise, Isra & Miraj felt very “smooth” to me. All of the notes were blending so well that there wasn’t any one note fighting for a type of dominance, so it had the olfactory equivalent of sinking a knife all the way down a brand new jar of creamy peanut butter or a warmer knife through a new crock of butter.
So in this vein, Sticky Fingers is incredibly sticky-tacky. Part of this comes from the notes. I’d describe Sticky Fingers as a gourmand/animalic scent which means it’s heavy and sweet right out of the gate. But for me, I typically shy away from most gourmands because I don’t like how heavy they feel when I wear them, in a way that normally veers into cloying.
Picture a child who ate pancakes and syrup for breakfast and then ran away before you could wash their hands. Then when you approach them 5 minutes later and they grab your arm, you’re left with that sweet, sticky, gummy, feels like it’s never going to wash off residue.
For me, Sticky Fingers is that olfactory equivalent, which is to say, hard pass. The blending in and off itself on paper is pleasant, but once it gets on my skin and reacts to my body chemistry, it’s like I’m constantly getting a whiff of that tacky syrup residue.
Now, obviously, this fragrance has quite a lot of love in fragcomm circles and if you’re looking for a dense gourmand, this might be right up your alley. That said, just because something is hyped on the internet doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you, which is why it’s so important to SAMPLE first. What I love about Isra & Miraj might be overwhelming to another person, and what I dislike about Sticky Fingers could be a complete non-factor to someone else.
So. If you would like to try out Sticky Fingers, you can grab a sample over on LuckyScent for $7. Those of you who read “smell like syrup all day” and immediately thought “sign me the f*** up!” and also have some extra money laying around can purchase a 30 mL bottle for $135 from the same link.
Just, maybe watch out that you don’t have a trail of ants in your wake.
The Fandomentals “Fragdomentals” team base our reviews off of fragrances that we have personally, independently sourced. Any reviews based off of house-provided materials will be explicitly stated.
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