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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Gourmand Lavender Fragrances

This is an odd little niche but it’s also one that I have a certain overwhelming fondness for so you’re just going to have to listen.  Or not read the post, that is also an option.

So lavender.  It’s a widely identifiable note, both in fragrance and without. So many people (myself included) have lavender plants (five, to be exact) or have smelled the plant’s aroma in sachets or skincare products.  Because of it’s use in barbershop products, manly tweedy fougere fragrances (literally ‘ferny’ scents), and calming bath products, lavender has kind of developed a reputation for being a little dusty, old-fashioned, and stodgy.  Which I won’t argue with. Unadulterated lavender is not my favorite scent (whatever the five plants in my garden might say to the contrary: they’re mostly there to attract pretty winged creatures, and because they like our soil (which is actually just varying sized pieces of New England granite)) but when a new life is breathed into it by novel companion notes, I frequently find myself loving the result.

One of my favorite treatments of lavender is ‘lavender as a yummy delicacy’.  Picture lavender ice cream, lavender macaroons, and lavender honey.  Very different feeling than the old sachet in your underwear drawer.  From staid, lavender can become quirky, sumptuous, even sexy? I think so.  Here are my three favorite exemplars of the gourmand lavender genre, with one more that I haven’t tried (yet) thrown in for good measure. Continue reading “Gourmand Lavender Fragrances”

Decants and Minis (Part Three)

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Part 3/3! The final leg of the journey through my decant collection is dedicated to warmer weather scents.  But because I’m mostly a fan of heavier notes (incense, amber, animal whiffs- I even prefer my flowers robust and rubenesque), this is a grouping sort of patched and cobbled together of warm weather outliers.  I try hard to find a connecting theme and I can’t quite do it, other than that they all feel like me and make me happy.  Which is, I suppose, all that matters. Continue reading “Decants and Minis (Part Three)”