If I Could Have Only 10 Perfumes…

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My collection has never been very large (at least by the standards of most perfume lovers) but I still have a lot of trouble playing the ‘pick only ten perfumes’ game- a favorite masochistic mental exercise of the fragrance community.
The game is presented in different forms- 10 perfumes for a deserted island, 10 perfumes to save from your burning house, 10 perfumes to wear exclusively for the rest of your life.

Anyone who collects has an idea why this is so difficult- and it’s really tempting to turn to logical shortcuts to make the list-making easier.  Which of my perfumes are the most expensive? The most irreplaceable? Which ones do I own in rare vintages? Which are discontinued and gone?

I went through my collection a few days ago with the goal of culling the perfumes that no longer *sparked joy* when I held them (Thanks Marie Kondo). And I came out with only a 5 mL decant of Montale’s Patchouli Leaves ready to be let go of (it’s a cruder, more brutish version of Chanel’s Coromandel, which I prefer- but both are excellent chocolate patchoulis, with the Montale feeling more resinous).  Even if I didn’t make significant inroads into diminishing my perfume collection, I reconfirmed for myself my love of and attachment to what I do have. Continue reading “If I Could Have Only 10 Perfumes…”

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To Smell Like Chanel

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When I was a wee lass I counted various iterations of Chanel’s Chance to be my signature fragrance.  I don’t know that I ever wore the original Chanel Chance, but I’m pretty sure I wore a bottle of the Eau Fraiche before switching to Eau Tendre when it was released and sticking with it for another bottle or two.
And by wee lass I mean middle school me: me pre-perfume obsession.  At some point, I don’t remember exactly how it happened, I lost interest in the Chances, which felt too easy, too impersonal a choice, and just not reflective of who I was any longer.  And so one by one I started bringing other perfumes into my life, ones that resonated more deeply with me and that I appreciated almost artistically. And some of those were also made by Chanel. 🙂

Fast forward a couple of years: Today I decided I wanted to wear Chanel’s 31 Rue Cambon, so I fished out my little sample vial (I consider myself to ‘own’ a lot of scents I only have samples of, simply because when you reach a certain number of fragrances you don’t need a large volume of any one to keep you satisfied.)  Anyway. Imagine my dismay when I pulled it out and saw that it was very much on the edge of empty.  Well, another perfume to go on my small sample/decant wish list.  But for now I’m wearing Guerlain’s Shalimar, which isn’t at all similar but has a nice anti-rain warm and toasty vibration.  Like I have a cozy vanilla-civet aura that evaporates the cold drizzle.

 

But I want to talk about my favorite fragrances from the Chanel line- now that I’m thinking about them and the notes, rather than sniffing an ad that smells as much of magazine paper and scent sample. 😉 Continue reading “To Smell Like Chanel”

Perfume: Five Favorites

Woooo, I’m behind!
With good reason- it’s midterm season at Yale and I had two this morning- the past few days have been 24/7 studying and existential crises.

My list for today is pretty simple, only an adapted answer to one of Now Smell This’s fun weekend polls.  Now Smell This is maybe the best perfume blog, I highly recommend it.
Here’s the prompt and my answers: Continue reading “Perfume: Five Favorites”