Sunday, August 8, 2010


So what would the ladies of Inception wear? What perfume was Mal wearing in her hotel room? Or what did Ariadne dash on before class?


Oh, also. If you could make (my tv boyfriend) Joe-Gordon Levitt wear anything, what would it be?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

new favorite

I am loving Regina Harris's Frankincense, Myrrh, Rose oil. But it's just too expensive for me. In the heat, it blooms into this softly-sweet, fruity rose with a kind of medicinal greenery underneath. I layer it with Lutens MKK sometimes for something truly medieval.

I am milking my sample. If anyone knows of a good dupe, I'd love to hear about it!

Also, what uncommon, non-cologne scents do you wear in the summer??

Saturday, May 15, 2010


I keep walking into my bedroom and smelling something particularly civet-ty.

There's something leaking somewhere, but what is it??

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Ohh, sigh

If I could only wear one line for the rest of my life, and it was Sonoma Scent Studio, I'd be perfectly content. Forever.

I have never felt this fannish about a perfume house. I am looking forward to seasonal releases like a baseball fanatic waiting for spring training. If I had to have a signature scent, it would be Wood Violet. I'm a little scared that I can't wear Wood Violet into my twilight years. What if it's discontinued? What kind of old grandma will I be if I can't smell like a suffocating blanket of over-sprayed Wood Violet everywhere I go??

If you haven't tried Erickson's line, shame on you. Shame!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Perfume: texture

Perfume texture. I'm not sure how to talk about this, but to me, texture is a huge part of why or how a perfume is successful (or not). Instead of trying to explain how perfume can have texture (because I have no idea how to do that), I'll just write up some textural impressions I've had while wearing certain scents.

Wazamba: By all accounts, Wazamba by Parfum d'Empire should work for me. I should love the resiny-sweetness of the apple/frankincense mix. But there's something off about this perfume, something that makes it less successful than it should be.

The texture of Wazamba is chewy, caramelly but not in smell, in feel. And it's like when you heat up sugar for candy. Its texture is similar to the feel of heated sugar coating the back of a spoon. It's an odd texture, because in my experience, incense in real life is dry or only slightly resiny, smoking and/or burning. Giving an incense scent a chewy quality creates a cognitive dissonance. They don't completely go together. The way it feels affects my enjoyment of the smell. It seems too cloying, too chewy.

Le Baiser du Dragon: by Cartier is very feline. It wears like a sleek, living fur coat. It's totally smothering to me sometimes, and other times it's gorgeous.

Shaal Nur: I gravitate towards Etro perfumes, but I wonder if it's an aesthetic thing (do I like their perfumes?) or a generational thing (does the house just speak to my age group?). I don't wear Shaal Nur often, but I think what Shaal Nur does with vetiver is genuinely unique and refreshing. Vetiver can be dark, medicinal, sour, minerally, dirty. Shaal Nur's vetiver is light, airy. It's like vetiver that's been aerated into bright, sunny light. I don't think anyone would ever have described vetiver as sunny before Shaal Nur.

Le Temps d'une Fete: by Parfums de Nicolai. I love so many from this house. It took me a day to really get Le Temps. Probably because I'm not a galbanum fan (unless it's paired hand-in-hand with labdanum). Galbanum's sappy, bitter quality isn't my favorite thing ever. But balanced with a round, warming narcissus and drying down to a milky sandalwood, Le Temps reminds me of dandelion milk. Dandelion milk is sticky-viscous like green sap but still milky. This is exactly how Le Temps feels on my skin, in my nose.

What are some of your impressions of perfume texture?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Purge

This is a stage we all go through, right?

For two years, I've been amassing a ridiculous collection. Not over 70 but. There was a time when I was close. I owned things I'd never wear, for comparison's sake only (like the modern Mitsouko, Opium, vintage Poison, etc). I bought impulsively from TJ Maxx, Marshalls, the perfume discounters, ebay (shudder). I had bags and bags of samples I'd barely tested, just collected and brought out to sniff once in a while, pleased with owning even these little treasures of scent in such mass quantities.

Recently, I've started to feel overwhelmed by my collection. I'm never going to wear Paloma Picasso. Why was it taking up space in my room? So I started sending my friends and family stuff. The wonderful daughter of a friend of mine got my early Tocca purchases. Another friend got the Opium. Another, the 24, Faubourg and more.

And when the culling began, I couldn't stop. Was I ever going to finish a 100 ml bottle of Narciso Rodriguez for Her? I like it, I really like it? Well, I always have Lovely, if I need some white musk. Do I need Shaal Nur? It's a little too vetiver-sour on me. What about the Mitsouko? Will I ever wear it just because I feel guilty that I don't adore it? What about the vintage L'Air du Temps parfum? Just because it was such a fantastic find, does that mean I should horde it away when I don't enjoy the deep, milky woodiness of it on my skin?

So I've begun. Just giving/selling/trading it all away. My cupboard is startlingly bare now. And what's left isn't much of a fragrance wardrobe. I'm keeping the slew of Shalimars: old, new, Eau de, Light, cologne, parfum, etc etc. And the tiny vials of vintage Fracas parfum and Bandit parfum, which were hardwon and seem precious now. And the bottle of Sacrebleu, which gives me almost hallucinatory associations of my grandmother's house in the 80s. For some reason I can't pinpoint. And the Nombril Immense, which sometimes gets caught on my sweaters days later and adds so much more charm to whatever else I'm wearing. And then the Jubilation 25, which smells like girl-sex and a light powdering of cinnamon, mmmmm. I only have a 16 ml decant, but someday I'll own a whole bottle. /dreams

It's not a very well-rounded collection now, but it's well-loved. And wearable. I might become one of those signature scent types, but with like, 15 signature scents. Which probably still seems crazy to scent-outsiders, but is, let's face it, pretty chill by our standards.

Segue: Sometimes I like to look at the Rochas Man bottle and laugh. What were they thinking?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I very rarely get a chance to go to my local Nordstrom's perfume counter because I'm usually wrangling a 15-month-old and 7-year-old full time. When I do get a chance, it's with baby in tow or for a few, breathless seconds to myself. I don't often go to buy right away, but to try new releases, smell old favorites, plan my next purchase. I very seldom ask for anything in return. I don't request samples from the SAs, ever. I just like to smell perfume! It's pretty casual.

But the SAs are like sharks there, and that has really turned me off of the whole fragrance counter experience. It's completely awkward and uncomfortable for me to see them power-playing each other for my attention. And when they get it, it's not usually to drop any real knowledge on me about scent, so I end up having to politely wave off whatever they're trying to sell me. (Today was my favorite: "Oh, you like Shalimar? You'd LOVE She-Wood then!" ???)

Anyway, one of the ladies gave me her card a long time ago and I've just happened to purchase things while she was manning the counter. Now, she seems to assume we have some kind of partnership or relationship. And whenever she 'catches' me talking to other SA's in the odd half-hour I get to swing by, she seems frustrated with my disloyalty and gives me this passive-aggressive talking to, about how she was there yesterday, why didn't I come in when she didn't have a meeting? or Jeez, I've been wondering what happened to you. You don't come in here anymore! Or maybe you just come in when I'm not around.

It's completely irritating to me because this is my free time! To do something totally frivolous and fun, when I don't have to be on anyone's schedule. And it's something I can only work in here or there. It's such a cliche, but being a mom is a 24/7 job. I don't get like, a regular break where I can schedule time with this SA. I get stolen hours. I get frantic, last minute rush-throughs. I spend all day considering the every need of two people, I do not feel like being responsible to the woman who sells me perfume. Maybe that's selfish! But that's just it, that's my selfish time. And when someone is trying to mess with it, I get really frustrated and defensive.


This whole rant is totally a oppressed mother rant, isn't it? SIGH. Lame.