Neon, by Roads, is meant to be “florescent and alive.” Although the note list consists of nutmeg, cinnamon, heliotrope, wild iris, vanilla, and so-called woody aromatics, to my nose Neon projects as a fruity spicy fragrance. If that sounds off-kilter, then the description is probably about right. It’s an unusual combination, and it doesn’t seem as structurally simple to me as this list suggests.
Wearing Neon, I have been reminded of Jennifer Lawrence’s character in American Hustle, a woman trying desperately to stay afloat by not delving too far below the surface of things.
The brilliance of her character is that she does know exactly what is going on in her marriage, and she has carefully honed the persona she uses to deal with the realities of her life. There is a scene early in the movie where she talks about how much she loves the smell of a certain nail polish that smells like “flowers and garbage.” It might be a little bit of an obvious metaphor, but it works, as a representation of this woman who understands a certain kind of relationship between innocence and worldliness, and knows exactly which one she wants to cultivate.
That is the relationship I see reflected in Neon. Innocence in the fruity notes, and worldliness in the spicy notes. It is vivid and compelling, but not exuberant—and it may be the more interesting for that.
For another take on Neon by Roads, consider this review from Fragrantica: “It is an unreal eye-gouger from nearby: spicy cinnamon Big Red gum and dry clove bud for breath, vanilla pudding with powdered sugar, some sweet and bubbly Pear soda, Mommy’s powder and a red-pink boa.” I guess I’m not alone in finding the traces of a world-weary woman beneath the girlish notes.
Sample sent to me gratis, at my request. Reviews are never compensated, and posts are never sponsored. See my Media & Disclosure policy for details.