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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Pre-Perfumista Fragrances

(Don’t Laught at Me)

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you’ll know that one of my passions is for perfume.  To the extent that I hope to follow a career in flavor and fragrance chemistry.  This really got triggered sometime around 8th or 9th grade, when I bought what I think of as my first ‘perfumista’ fragrance- L’Air de Rien, by Miller Harris.  L’Air de Rien isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, as it combines musk, patchouli, vanilla, oaks, and orange blossom to get a scent that ultimately feels very sexy and ‘lived in’ (or like a cupcake in a stable, if you’re my mum).
Apparently in 2006, Jane Birkin commissioned Miller Harris to create a perfume smelling “a little of my brother’s hair, my father’s pipe, floor polish, empty chest of drawers, old forgotten houses.”
I’ve never smelled Jane Birkin’s brother’s hair, but I think MH was pretty much on target.
And then my interest in perfume really kicked into high gear in 10th grade, when I started swapping samples.

So that’s the not very necessary backstory, which was really more just an excuse to reminisce over the start of my long-enduring marriage to L’Air de Rien (sorry!).  But even if that’s really what I think of as the event that initiated me into perfumista-hood, that doesn’t mean I never wore perfume before hand. Because I did. And I’m not too proud to remember. Continue reading “Pre-Perfumista Fragrances”

NST’s Lazy Weekend Poll: Easter

I’m back at Yale, thanks to Megabus.  The air here is hot but we just had one of those fat-dropped summer rains.  This is definitely one of my favorite times of year- if not my favorite holiday (we’re not religious).

But I think the goddess Ostara sounds cool. It amuses me how Christian holidays are always placed over preexisting pagan ones.

I considered not doing a post today at all, because I’m tired and I’m mentally prepping myself for the school week and for lots of ballroom practice ahead of our Spring Show on Friday. And also because my easy option- answering the NST weekend poll– is perfume-based, and I feel guilty writing about perfume two days in a row. Because it’s very much a niche interest of mine. But I at last have decided that a post is better than no post, and if I want to write it I should, rather than worrying about imaginary anonymous displeased people. Continue reading “NST’s Lazy Weekend Poll: Easter”

It’s Lit

Candles. Let’s talk about them.  Right now Lily and I have some Bath and Body Works Pumpkin Waffle something or other in our common room because it helps counter the cat smell of tuna feast in gravy. There are many benefits to having a cat in the suite- the lowtide aroma is not one of them).

I had the candle in my closet going on four years and I’ve finally given in to seeming *basic* (the combination of Bath and Body Works and pumpkin waffle- just buy me a pair of UGGs now and put me out of my misery) in the interest of avoiding having to throw open the windows in the raw New England winter to clear the air so often.
And truth be told, it’s not a bad smell by any means. Gourmand aromas are popular for candles and it’s easy to understand why- they’re delicious, homey, and comforting.

I also have my Christmas gift Thymes Frasier Fir candle in my desk and every time I open the drawer I’m deluged by the scent of pine. Continue reading “It’s Lit”

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”

FBW

Or my full bottles, and why I cherish them like a dragon cherishes gold. A generous dragon.

For people in and outside the perfume community, the following is a list of the full perfume bottles I own and the feelings they inspire in me.  In perfume community parlance, FBW is an abbreviation for ‘full bottle-worthy’- a perfume that you love enough to invest in 50 mL of at least. No mean feat when you’ve established a healthy collection of beloved scents.  I don’t know that that much of anything is FBW to me anymore- few things are even worthy of 5 mL decants.  Usually I work through my samples and those that I grow attached to become wish list items for future sample or decant purchase. I just don’t see myself needing (or finishing) full bottles now that my collection is so well-rounded and satisfying.  As such, most of the perfumes I have in full bottles are ones that I bought earlier in my perfume career, when the urge to amass was still strong (now I prefer to just rest upon my laurels and an avalanching mountain of samples and decants).  But my bottles and I have long histories (and tender feelings), let me introduce them.

Continue reading “FBW”