Saturday, August 25, 2012

Obsessing Over My Birthday Perfume...Again

I do this every year.  Feeling the self-imposed pressure to choose the perfect birthday perfume, I go into full blown obsession mode.  This includes spending hours researching perfumes online and reading reviews and revisiting samples and ordering more samples.  This is followed by bouts of real live shopping to spray and sniff until I make myself crazy.

Even Daphne, my nose, is begging for mercy.  And Daphne never begs.

This might sound like I'm complaining, but you have to know I'm jazzed to have a legitimate excuse to indulge my inner perfume-hoarding-nut-job self.  Because birthdays are a big deal, right?  And it's not just any old birthday, it's my 53rd birthday, which is really special...because five and three are two of my favorite numbers.


Just for the record, B-man encourages this behavior (I try to make all of my bad stuff his fault), saying he loves to see me 'getting into perfume again,'  like it ever really stops.  Even when I say, 'I'm not that into perfume right now,'  I know deep down it's a lie, and that my obsessive pursuit of the perfect perfume is simply napping.  Probably faking it.

While I'm deciding what perfume I really want, I keep ordering other, non-birthday perfumes as a warm up for my big purchase.  For example, I just bought my third - third - bottle of Hermes Un Jardin en Mediterrannee, which is a perfume staple.  I must have it in the house, like cheese, if I am expected to function.  Then I had to have Eclat, the perfume that is so not me because I was going to lose my mind otherwise.  Of course, I was right - it's not me, but it is nice enough and now I can stop dreaming about it every night.

Yesterday, I returned from a business trip to Minneapolis, and I have new knowledge about many current release perfumes to feed my birthday search.  Most of them suck.  At least the sales associates at Neiman Marcus left me alone after the first time I asked to sniff and make notes on my own. I even scored a couple of samples, but not without a passive aggressive lecture on the inconvenience of this customer service.

Me:  Do you happen to have samples of these two perfumes?

SA:  Oh, sorry, we ran out of samples.

Me:  Are you able to make them?

SA:  (Sigh)  We don't usually make samples, but I suppose we could do one or two at the very most.

Me:  Two would be perfect.

SA:  (Sigh)  I'll have to look for the spray containers.

Me:  Okay.

SA:  I'm not even sure where we keep them (fumbling around, sighing continues).

Me:  Silence

SA:  These mini spray bottles sometimes leak, so make sure they are upright.

Me:  Thanks for letting me know.

SA:  I can't get the top on this one - it won't click.

Me:  Silence

SA:  Okay - finally - here you go.

Me:  Thank you so much.

Dude, I'm sorry you don't know what you're doing, but I'll wait as long as it takes, then thank you kindly and walk away with my samples feeling no guilt whatsoever for your reluctant service to me, your customer. 

My samples were Cartier's Basier Vole and Eli Saab Le Parfum.  Basier Vole smelled herbal and minty on the paper strip, then revealed itself as powdery and beyond boring on my skin.  Eli Saab is simply a stronger version of Rumeur by Lanvin.  And as it turns out, they are both made by the same perfumer.  Coincidence?  Hmm.

Armed with this knowledge, I just placed an order for six other samples, one of which may become a contender for this year's birthday perfume. 

Le Labo Iris 39
Le Labo Vetiver 46
Montale Roses Musk
L'Artisan Voleur de Roses
The Different Company Rose Poivree
Frapin 1697

I'm ready for the challenge.  SMFAO

Image from


  1. Happy upcoming birthday!

    I have a little decant of Rose Poivree. Unfortunately it's the new version which is too clean for me -- I loved the super-skanky old version. If you like it, let me know and I'll be happy to send you what's left of my decant!

  2. Hi Elisa - they killed the super skanky version? Bastards. Thanks for the offer of your decant...I'll wait to get my on-the-way sample and see what I think. Why do they keep changing the good, dirty stuff? That's just messed up.

  3. Happy, happy birthday
    it's a joy to know you still search for the perfect one...

  4. Hi Irina - thanks fo the birthday wishes. I am - still - searching for the perfect perfume, even though I have many perfumes that were perfect at a given time. The ongoing pursuit is part of the fun, don't you think? Thanks for your comment!

  5. Oooh, good choices. :) I love Le Labo's Vetiver and everything I smelled by TDC I liked.

  6. Ines, I'm excited to smell LL's Vetiver, too - we'll see what happens! Good to see you.



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