base notes – Zachary Hourihane


  • Celebrate femininity with a warm, powdery fragrance centered on vanilla, surrounded by cedar wood on a background of musk and dry wood.
  • Top notes: vanilla, middle notes: cedar, base notes: agarwood.

Second semester, broken heart – healing slowly, force it together, make all the pieces fit, pretend some are not more shattered than others. Use force if you have to. Beat it into submission. Lower your head when you walk so no one can see your hurting heart or the marks that linger on your neck.

He left but they won’t.

– – –

Your first winter – bitter and lonely, first time seeing bare trees, your life no longer an endless summer. You forget what it feels like to be warm, how it feels to have a cold droplet of sweat roll down your side from your armpit. What it’s like to only own shorts & t-shirts, or how excited you were when the temperature dropped by two degrees after it rained. So much colder now than before.

– – –

Going to meatpacking, spending money you have just learned how to earn. Conning your way inside places you have no right to be in. Drinking to warm yourself up from the inside, not working, vomiting between Jane & Horatio. Looking up at the homeless man in his cardboard castle and realizing he pities you. Choke on the suffocating smell of your perfume – let the deep musk and nauseously sweet vanilla infiltrate and retch more onto the sidewalk. Tomorrow will be kinder if you get it all out.

– – –

He keeps your underwear. It reminds him of YOU.
are special enough to warrant his attention even if it’s only because he thinks your boxers are hot and he has ugly straight boy boxers that make his ass look smaller and don’t hug him in any of his ‘right’ places.

He doesn’t have any ‘right’ places that make themselves obvious to you.

– – –

Le Bain. There’s a pool inside the club. Four edibles later and the colored lights reflecting off of the disco ball bring you to your knees. You’re not alone – there are other gay man in latex costumes lying on the floor, gyrating hips upwards to the Lord. God smells like the woods you trekked through that ruined your timberlands with snow on the ground. The body of christ, the body of christ, the body of christ tastes like vodka redbull coming up your throat last week and later tonight. Fear him, ravish him, respect him.

V E L V E T  O R C H I D

  • A bold and glamorous floral signature that promises a unique character, atmosphere and experience of the scent.
  • Top notes: bergamot, mandarin, honey, middle notes: Turkish rose oil, jasmine, base notes: orange blossom, sandalwood, suede.

Phantasmagorical freedom. Overwhelming, intangible, terrifying. Racing through subway stations in Tokyo with pocket wifi that doesn’t function – no English, lost in translation, beautiful people. Find yourself in crowds: give up to hoards of humans, surrender, scream and shout at karaoke until 5am. Learn how to drink for fun and not in excess. Don’t throw up; pleasedontthrowup

– – –

Dress for work: blue linen button down, black and blue plaid pants,
black dress shoes. Feet ripping open, gushing blood, crying “HELP!”
Realize your personal style has changed – play with the fucking boundaries, make people uncomfortable, sashay in those white platforms from Harajuku.
Live alone, be lonely, buy food without knowing what’s in it (even thought you’re allergic to shellfish), live largely, dangerously – crash hard when your platforms earn you a cry of “FAGGOT” from an American in Shinjuku.

– – –

The man comes towards you, you’ve been avoiding him all night he is rowdy he is scary he is NOT safe. He says he is Irish – your friend forces you to talk to him because of that – he lunges, calls you FAG, shoves your drink in your face

Get on the floor. Stay down cover your head find shelter with the broken glass-

Where is the fucking exit?

– – –

You might wake up with bruises but goddamnit you’re putting on bronzer and highlight, wearing your velvet pants and just doing the fuck out of you today. Caress your vials of things that will make you look hotter, smell better, feel softer. Grab the iridescent purple bottle with the gold chains and spritz, spritz, spritz. Your neck your hair your chest your wrists will smell like defiance and sultry summer sunsets; watched from The Westin, Tokyo with your Dad.

– – –

Oh and then,
When you are 8 hours from home in a foreign place
beautiful, sweet, 17 year old, blind/deaf/incontinent Sammy will die
you won’t make it back in time you will mourn him
from your tiny Gakugeidaigaku shoebox apartment
Where the washer sits next to the stove
and you will literally feel your –
– heart break again and you will
hurt harder – and longer – because this one is forever
Not another birthday or Christmas with your sweet, sweet baby
Who never did anything wrong
& gave you kisses & showed you how to Love right.
You will never get to pick him up from his chest and his middle the way he likes
You wont get to trail your fingers through his
Angora soft ears
/….and, So,
Feel it.
Miss him.

– – –

L I G H T  B L U E

  • A tribute to the sea and the sensuality of the Mediterranean, a destination that is the perfect playground for seduction.
  • Top notes: juniper, grapefruit, middle notes: rosemary, pepper, base notes: oakmoss, incense

Stirring of visceral desire – unquenchable, confusing, shameful. Noticing veins that strain as if they will burst from hands of other boys, the ripple of shoulder blades through uniform, shapely legs bronzed from football practice on Wednesday afternoon. Get rid of that! Heathen desire, sinner! Sinning! You love Laura she is a girl and she is pretty and you don’t understand her so you love her. Tell everyone, tell anyone that will listen, trick yourself into being hurt when she doesn’t love you back.


Fall in lust over the football player –
The one who has kissed girls and talks about his ‘needs’
You want to be needed.
Act like you HATE! him to throw him off track
He will come to your house one time,
Before a party he will shower and you will
see his body glistening like a wet penny in lazy sunshine
Towel around his waist you want it gone so you can
See everything see it all, admire – NO, – worship,
Taste & smell god,
feel and fear him
Reach out with your hand to rip the lid offofpandorasbox
then STOP


He doesn’t want you.



Go to the party with him, get stuck in traffic. He’ll keep his hand on the seat between the two of you and you will think he put it there because he wants you.

He doesn’t.

You show up at the party and hope that everyone will see you arriving with him and know that you came together.

They won’t.

Remember that before you left the house he put his nose to your neck and inhaled in ecstasy, asking if he could have “some of that.” Spritz him. Watch a girl he is slow dancing with at the party put her nose to his neck and inhale, watch her whisper in his ear, watch them kiss, disintegrate.

She smells you.




  • …Mostly it smells like you: that familiar human-y note that makes up the body of what you’re smelling. Creamy, sparkling, clean, warm. That’s You.
  • Top notes: iris root, middle notes: pink pepper, base notes: ambrette

Gashes of your past will hurt less, like fading bruises that thump only when pressed. You will press them when you need to remind yourself that you can feel. Remind yourself often and give your soul, gasping in shock like a preemie fresh out of the womb, willingly to healthy people.

(Healthy people have soil for growing and sunlight for thriving.)

Buy the perfume that promises to smell like you – so that you can be creamy, sparkling, clean and warm. You will feel all of those things in the arms of Taylor Swift who will touch your cheeks and fix you. You can see god in her starry almond eyes.

But people will still let you down even when the sky is clear and it’s your 21st birthday. Friends that you’ve known since you had crooked teeth and a perpetually runny nose, will make you feel like the closeted kid with a dark secret even when you are light years away from that version of yourself. Camilla will call you and you will try to express that there are oceans and continents between you and her and she will say: “That’s fine.”
So, wilt.
Deflate, combust, rebuild and regroup without losing yourself.



Zachary Hourihane is a queer 21-year-old sinning and writing in New York City.


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