Thursday, January 15, 2015

CB I Hate Perfume - 406, Do Not Ask Me Why (perfume review)

Do Not Ask Me Why, #406 in the Metamorphosis series (hereafter referred to as 406) is meant to evoke the perfumer Christopher Brosius' idea of 0pium smoke, inspired by the writings of poet Charles Baudelaire. Unfortunately (fortunately?) I've never smelled the smoke of opium, so I cannot attest to the realism of this scent. What I can say, however, is that I am truly curious now about the deliriously narcotic smell of opium smoke...

Speaking figuratively, 406 feels a bit hazy, dry and white - I would liken it to the muted light grey sky of a cold midwinter day. 

Photo of Baltimore city, taken in February 2010.
Speaking more literally, the opening of 406 is a light and pretty floral (indeterminate florals to me) - it's delicately sweet, wispy and airy, and smells like it is grounded by just the tiniest touch of tea. It feels surprisingly dry for a floral and in that way it's a good emulation of smoke. At this point it feels like a floral version of Atelier Cologne's Oolang Infini.

About 20 minutes into the wear, 406 starts to feel noticeably fuller and heavier, and the scent grows stronger on my skin. On top of the florals a strangely clean but thick smoke facet emerges, intertwined with the gentlest tobacco note. It smells of incense, the plumes of smoke rising up off of my wrist.

But really to be perfectly honest, at this point 406 smells unmistakably like Pond's Cold Cream on my skin. It's a pleasant smell that evokes distant memories of my mother and her nightly face ritual, which I would watch as a young child. 406 stays like this on my skin for several hours, probably 5 or 6.

Beyond 6 or 7 hours into the wear, the very last lingering note of 406 is the subtle tobacco - the delicate sweetness of freshly packed cigarettes. I love this smell and only wish that it was stronger throughout the rest of the wear.

Perhaps because of the association with Cold Cream, 406 never feels particularly warm to me, though for all intents and purposes it really *should*.  It's a lightly smoky, floral incense with the cushy thickness of a scarf you would wrap yourself in. In this way, it's a perfect winter scent.


Clint's 3: 
Sharp, Chalk, Light

I think the initial florals were what registered as sharp to Clint - the opening was so singularly floral I can understand where he's coming from.  Chalk was also really interesting, I think Clint was honing in on the texture/dryness of chalk more than the actual smell, but I could be wrong.


My rating of Do Not Ask Me Why: 3.5

1  -  - -  -  2  -  -  -  -  3  -  - X -  -  4  -  -  -  -  5
   Nausea/Gagging         Meh        Decent          Great         Olfactory Elation    


Do Not Ask Me Why as described by the CB I Hate Perfume website:

"An interpretation of the smell of opium smoke. heady and hypnotic with a distinctive floral note wafting seductively over a deep dry slightly spicy smoke."

Notes: None are listed, though Surrender to Chance lists: vanilla, smoke, floral

Perfumer: Christopher Brosius


Have you tried Do Not Ask Me Why? If so, what were your thoughts on it? Do you have a favorite CB I Hate Perfume scent?

*sample purchased by me.


  1. You make a lovely description of 406 even if it's not an olfactory elation to you :-) You managed to make me curious about it, but the CB's are perhaps a bit too novelty fixated for me to actively seek it out, especially since they are not readily available here. I do remember smelling 'Dirt' though, to smell of garbage? I think not ;-)

    1. Hi Asali! Thanks for commenting - it's so exciting to know that my blog post has elicited at least a little curiosity out there :) I actually just looked at my other 3's and bumped this up to a 3.5 - which says a lot considering how little I actually like of the things I try! It is a lovely scent - but if you can get your hands on some Pond's, it's much cheaper and I hear it's great for removing make-up. :) I hadn't heard of Dirt (I'm really not that familiar with the line), but really that sounds horrible. Remind me *not* to try that one!


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