Thursday, September 27, 2012

Epic Fail of Perfume Layering

Remember me blathering on about how any Montale perfume can be layered in every which way...because they're all Montale and they have certain similarities like aoud...oh yes, it's just magical.

That could be the biggest lie I've ever told.

 DO NOT EVER layer Aoud Damascus and White Aoud.  Just don't.  I mean it.  Say no.  Or you could have a conversation like the one at our house.

B-man: Wow, what's that perfume?

Me (proudly):  That's a new combo I'm calling White Damascus (I am so, so clever)

B-man:  Uh-huh, well that's some monster sillage you got there.

Me: Yeah, but it will calm down soon.

B-man: It's not calming down.

Me: God, I reek, don't I?

B-man:  It's, really, um, strong.

I was on my way out the door and didn't have time to do anything about it.  But I can tell you this.  On the elevator, I reeked (pay back for the BO reekers).  In my office, I reeked.  It wasn't until about 11:00 that I felt comfortable no one would pass out in my company.  Lightheaded, perhaps, but not hit-the-floor faint.

Aoud Damascus and White Aoud are in completely different gangs. 

I hate learning things the hard way - and I suck at gang slang.

images from 99 and

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

When Does Curvy Stop Being Cool?

The other day, I saw this picture of Lady Gaga 'revealing her new curvy figure.'  According to her, she's gained 25 pounds. How did she get such good press?  Usually, when a famous person gains weight, the headlines read something like, 'So and So Packs On the Pounds,' or 'So and So Caught Hogging Out at Burger King.'

Here's the random question that popped into my mind when I read the headline: how much weight would Gaga have to gain before she would no longer be viewed as just 'curvy?'  Another twenty five pounds?   Fifty pounds?  One hundred pounds?  At some point would her fans stop seeing her as a role model? 

How fat can Gaga get and still be cool?

image from

Monday, September 24, 2012

Hanging Out With Perfumes That Smoke

Last week, I received my birthday perfume, the lovely Aoud Damascus.  And I do love it, although I'm slightly miffed that the staying power doesn't rival that of White or Black Aoud.  Inner Critic just interrupted to ask, 'can't you ever be content?'

I have my moments.

Yesterday, as the obsession continued, I revisited some of my favorite fall perfumes from the 1980's and 1990's that I had boxed up and put out of sight.  I'm in the mood for heavier perfumes right now that speak of gathering in and preparing for the winter.  Perfumes that are always ready for a party and aren't afraid to misbehave. 

Perfumes that smoke.

Rumba:  You know I love Jean Claude Ellena, who made this creation way back in 1989, long before he became Mr. Understated.  Mr. Hot and Understated.  Rumba is a masterpiece in my opinion, but I have a hard time wearing it because I detect cinnamon through the drydown, even though it is not listed in the notes.  Dude, cinnamon hurts my nose.  Maybe its the combination of tuberose and carnation in the heart notes, or it could just be how everything from oakmoss, tonka bean and cedarwood comes together at the end.  Regardless, I love the dusty, burning, incense vibe that lets me know Rumba has drawn a Marlboro Red from the pack and just put a match to its tip.

Jivago 24K:  Floral and vibrant, 24K was released in 1994 and starts off with a minty note (Daphne often interprets florals this way).  I pick up rose and jasmine, which dries to an amber, musky base.  Certainly, there are other notes, too, like blah, blah, blah. The base notes remind me of Fragonard Eclat in that they're marshmallowy and chemical in a pleasant, drying paint sort of way.  But the secret of 24K is the hint of tobacco in the drydown that keeps popping up to say, 'didnt' see that coming, did you?'  Elegant and smooth on the outside, Jivago 24K still knows how to party.  She just insists on a cigarette holder to protect her opera gloves.

Sonia Rykiel Le Parfum:  Always in my memory, this perfume is a sillage monster, but in reality, as I wear it on my skin today, I realize that's not exactly true.  In fact, aside these other perfumes, Le Parfum, released in 1993, is kinda subdued.  Le Parfum is tricky in the fact that it only truly works - to my nose, anyway - in the fall.  Even then, there's a little too much apricot all the way through, although that's what makes it reflect the notes of autumn so well.  And Le Parfum smokes, alright, but you never see her with a cigarette.  You only know it because of the oakmoss/civet sillage that follows her everywhere from her last cigarette in the car.

Niki de Saint Phalle:  Listed as a green chypre, I'm not sure how I would classify this perfume, released in 1982.  Oddly powerful but also innocent, Niki has spice involved, but avoids the whole 'who put cinnamon in the perfume?' thing.  Niki is also green...not exactly piney, but definitely strolling through the forest. Wearing this perfume, I want to dress like Stevie Nicks in Fleetwood Mac with her black, witchy clothes and lace up boots.  Niki may have stopped smoking cigarettes years ago, but I swear someone just sparked up a doobie. 

What fall perfumes make you want to misbehave a little?

image from

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Montale Aoud Damascus...Oh My God

Aoud Damascus gave me the moment I've been waiting for - the OMG moment.  I knew it might be the one just by smelling the closed sample.  Montale perfumes are like that, you know.  You can get the essence of them before the container is even opened. On my skin, Aoud Damascus is amazing.

This didn't happen with my other Montale samples, even though I appreciated many of them.  Especially Roses Musk.  When B-man first smelled Roses Musk, he said, 'it's really nice, and it has a hint of what you call vajayjay.'  Huh, all this time, I thought it was a fruity, raspberry rose.  I'll consider Roses Musk again in the spring because it's peppy that way, and because it gives me a perverse buzz to think of showing up at the office smelling like rose and...well, hmm-hmm. 

I wanted my birthday perfume to be a sophisticated rose that doesn't move into spicy or powdery territory.  Aoud Damascus is exactly that with leather, incense and the perfect amount of aoud. Something about it reminds me of riding the ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge Island.

Doesn't get much better than that.

Aoud Damascus is as perfect on my skin as anything I have smelled since Borneo 1834 in the winter of 2009.  And now, it is mine.

Happy Birthday, Daphne.

image from

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

To William and Kate: There Is Another Option

Sure, we should all be able to sunbathe topless if we want to.  It's a basic human right, like scratching one's ass or getting one's toes sucked.  I could do all these things - and maybe I do, for all you know - without the fear of paparazzi. 

However, I'm not a duchess...well, I don't have a title.  I'm sorry that Kate's privacy has been invaded, but, hello, does she really think there is anywhere on earth she could go topless outdoors and not be photographed?  This could not have been a devastating shock.  And comparing it to the paparazzi tracking down Diana and causing her death is a little, ah, weird, if you ask me.

Gee, have you considered keeping your tits covered when you're outside? 

Crazy, I know, but I had to ask.

image from

Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Glimpse Inside My Perfume Obsessed Morning

A clip from this morning's conversation over coffee:

Me:  Wow, the 20% off coupon I got for my birthday from one of my perfume sites still works!

B-man: Good, are you going to order something?

Me: I'm thinking of ordering L'Agent perfume while I'm still testing my Montale samples, but I have a dilemma.

B-man lowers the newspaper and turns toward me.

Me: If I spend just another $16.36, I get free shipping.

B-man: How much is shipping?

Me:  I don't to ten bucks, I guess.  Maybe I'll look through the clearance section for something else to order around $20.

B-man:  You're not going to find anything decent for $20. Why don't you order a second perfume that you actually like and will wear, even if it's a replacement perfume?

Me: But then I'll spend as much as a full bottle of Montale and will have blown my birthday perfume allowance.

B-man:  Says who?

Me:  Who do you think?  Inner Farm Girl.

B-man: Look, I'd much rather you spend more money on really good perfumes than end up with a bunch of cheap stuff you don't wear and then give away.

Me:  But how can I justify buying a Montale if I end up loving one of the samples I'm testing in the meantime?

B-man: decided not to go to Sniffapalooza this year, which would have cost a lot more than a few nice perfumes, right?

Me:  Hmmm, true.  Plus, I decided to stay home and cook today instead of going shopping and spending money on frivolous stuff.

B-man:  That's right.

Me:  So really, I'll be dollars ahead if I simply buy perfumes online today.

B-man:  My thoughts exactly.

Me:  But what the hell is going to be my second perfume to get the free shipping?

B-man: Now, you're on your own.

Me: At least I know how I'll be spending my day.

Just one more reason I love the B-man.

image from

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Bertrand Duchaufour Is Bugging Me

Bertrand Duchaufour is popping up everywhere.  Now, according to Lucky Scent, he's the perfumer behind Ann Gerard perfumes.


Enough, already.

I'll openly admit to being pissed that Frapin 1697 - what I perceived as a great Duchaufour masterpiece before I put it on my skin - fizzled out like a firecracker that never ignites.  Dud City.

Perfume should never be better on paper than on skin.

Note to BD:  Just because you can, doesn't always mean you should.  Stop whoring yourself  and churning out one just-above-average perfume after another for every perfume house or designer that will contract with you.  Take a tip from Jean Claude Ellena, arguably the greatest perfumer of all time, and show a little restraint.  Maybe the quality of your perfumes will improve. 

Wow, little miss cranky pants feels better now.

image from

Monday, September 10, 2012

Divine and Odd, Montale Is The One

Still no birthday perfume - I'm enjoying obsessing a little too much.  I mean I'm really into it, researching perfumes, reading reviews and ordering samples until I have to stop and drink wine just to remember the rest of the world.

But one decision has been made: My birthday perfume will be a Montale.

One of the things I love most about Montale perfumes is that they seem to be dearly loved or seriously despised.  I happen to love them dearly, as they represent everything French and multi-cultural and over the top bold.  I haven't been to France, but my sister has, so I'm only one degree removed.  Plus, my heritage is French, and I speak a little French.  Like, eight words, but still. 

No one can deny that Pierre Montale has done something extraordinary by capturing a theme and perfuming the hell out of it.  In my world, aoud belongs to Montale.

Yesterday, I ordered eleven Montale samples.  You know, the good ones, in the black Montale cardboard thingies.  I feel the need to explore the line more deeply before choosing my perfume and telling Inner Farm Girl to kiss it.  B-man said, 'by the time you're done buying samples, you certainly could have bought a bottle of Montale.'  In my defense, one order was a 'seven samples for $10' deal, where I get a certificate for $10 off a Montale perfume whenever I end up buying it.  Just as soon as I'm done obsessing. 

Black Aoud and White Aoud already live with me, and honestly, I like them best worn together, forming my own special concoction, which I call Grey Goose.  No, wait, that's vodka.  Whatever.  Montale perfumes can be layered all over the place to amp up or tone down certain notes, or to add a completely new element.  In terms of quality, sillage and lasting power, few others compare.

And in the category of 'divine oddness?'  Montale stands alone. 

What perfume house speaks to you? 

image from

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Rant: Don't People With BO Know They Stink?

Bad body odor is everywhere.  I'm talking really strong, revolting, couldn't-eat-food-around-it body odor.  Elevators are the worst.  Musty unwashed hair, sour backs of necks and smelly feet trapped in a metal cage leave me gasping for air.  Which, of course, only gives me more of the same.  During these painfully long elevator rides, I ponder (it's good to keep one's mind busy to avoid passing out):

Do you know you stink?

Followed by:

When was the last time it occurred to you to f-ing shower? 

Then come the theories:

You have no idea that you stink.
You lost your sense of smell years ago.
You know that you stink but hope no one notices.
You know that you stink, but you don't care.
You fear you might stink, but no one has said anything, so you're in denial.
You've been surrounded by your own stink for so long that you no longer notice.
Your whole family stinks so you think it's genetic.
You love your own stink.
You were raised by wolves.

Last week, I stepped into a new Aveda boutique downtown just to wander and play with new smells.  A well-dressed woman came over to help me and I was nearly knocked over by her body odor.  I'm sure I visibly flinched.  And she wouldn't go away.  The stinky ones never do.  I began smelling the body sprays that mirror each chakra, but in the small space of the store, they all had a base note guessed it...BO.

And don't even talk to me about perfume being annoying to sensitive noses unless you also address the assault of bad body odor.  Show me signs that say, 'No shower, no service' or 'Must shower before boarding this airplane.'  In fact, why can't airport security include a stink-o-meter that indicates who may or may not get on the plane?  Offensive perfumes and stinky asses would all be excluded. 

Tell me why that wouldn't work.

Look, I don't expect people to be clean freaks, but an occasional shower with deodorant never killed anyone, whereas rotting body odor has almost killed me on more than one occasion.  If you're unwilling to do that, then at least have the decency to take the stairs.

image from

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Why No Birthday Perfume? Meet Inner Farm Girl

I always thought Inner Critic was the biggest pain in the ass I could imagine.  Now, I'm not so sure.

After a long weekend of full-on perfume obsession, my cheap alter ego, Inner Farm Girl, won out.  Again.  Just once, I want to look for a new perfume without the constant fear of cheaping out, the regret of having cheaped out and the pain of telling B-man that yup, I cheaped out when he asks which perfume I chose.  So this year, I went into my annual search telling myself that things were different.  That I was different.

My perfume journey went something like this:

Frapin 1697: I first cheaped out on this perfume in Seattle a couple of months ago even though it made me swoon on the paper strip.  Now, by God, I was going to get a sample, try it on my skin and place the order while I was still twirling.  Except on my skin, 1697 was like, 'pfft.'  WTF?

The Different Company Rose Poivree:  Yeah, fine, whatever.

LeLabo Iris 39:  Elementary school substitute teacher.

Le Labo Vetiver 46: Meh, I've sniffed better.  And why do so many Le Labo perfumes smell like some variation of their only masterpiece, Rose 31?  So why don't I just get Rose 31?!  Inner Farm Girl, that's why.

L'artisan Voleur De Rose: Boring and vanishes in under 10 minutes.

Montale Roses Musk: Now there's a sneaky little beauty that is subtle but has amazing lasting power.  However, it has almost no sillage.  That, or I had burned Daphne out by the time I tested this one, which is entirely possible.

Montale Amber & Spices: Cumin monster.

Bottega Veneta: Like Bandit, it just made me feel pissed off.

Ineke Field Notes From Paris:  Love, love, loved it for the first hour.  Then the spicy factor started hurting my nose. 

Keihl's Musk:  We got a new Keihl's boutique in our city and yesterday, when I happened on it, I thought, 'it's a sign from God!'  B-man said, 'smells like burnt wood.'  It started bugging me.

L'Eau de Chloe: There's like...nothing there.

L'Agent by Agent Provocateur: I've never actually sniffed this, but want to order it anyway.  Besides, it's cheaper than the others.  See?  I'm doing it again.

Yesterday, B-man and I stopped in Park City and I went to my favorite perfume store where I bought a small bottle of...Calyx.  I had to buy something or I was not going to be able to sleep.  Inner Farm Girl didn't exactly approve, but at 42 bucks, she simply shrugged and walked away.  I don't consider Calyx my birthday perfume, but it will get me through the obsession withdrawal until I regroup, give Daphne a rest and revisit the topic.

This is so not over.

Image from

Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy Birthday To Me On My 53rd

At the park with B-man today
My reaction to B-man being a smart ass
At home tonight drinking martinis on the deck
Pictures taken by B-man

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Lady Gaga: Is Fame Really That Stinky?

I just have to ask a question.  Well, a couple of questions.

Has it occurred to any celebrities who are considering going into the perfume business to smell the other celebrity perfumes on the market before releasing their own?  Seems logical, right?  But instead of doing a little research, it's like Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, Nicole Richie and Lady Gaga all went to dinner to see how similar they could make their perfumes and still put different names on them.

Lady Gaga insisted on the doing the black bottle and juice.  Because, hello, she's different.  She's unique.  More unique than any of us will ever be, that's for damn sure.

Terminally unique, really.

So how did Lady Gaga's perfume end up smelling like all the others...fruity, floral, synthetic woody/musky crap?  Is fame really that stinky?

Image from


Related Posts with Thumbnails