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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Perfumes for Grandes Dames

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I’ve been wanting to do a post on my so-conceived ‘parfums des grandes dames’ for a little while now and then I saw this review of Une Fleur de Cassie on Now Smell This and I figured it was time.  Time to create a moment.  The urge may have originally been born out of this post on Perfume Posse, which is frankly from more than a month ago, but it needed time to marinate.

So thinking about fragrances for adult women.  And obviously take this with a grain of salt, given that I’m only recently legally able to drink.    I don’t much think about my preferred fragrances in terms of ages or ‘maturity levels’ so much as feelings and smells that appeal to me. But if I were consciously thinking about it, and what makes a perfume ‘womanly’, well, there are definitely things to be said.

The vast majority of mainstream fragrance releases these days seem to be fruity florals or tooth-achingly sweet gourmands, and those are both genres that I can enjoy, but this obsession with the innocent and saccharine is a bit worrisome.  Perfumes shouldn’t need to be clean or barely there.  And women shouldn’t need to be quiet or youthful to be ‘tolerated’.

In the simplest terms, there is a lot more to the archetypal ‘woman’ than the part of her that is a ‘girl’.  Being a woman is about ambition, power, sex, beauty, motherhood, exploration, and so many more things.
And in that way that people have, that idea also has a scent, in my mind. Or a type of scent with a lot of variation. Because there are many types of women.

The common denominator: All are full, luscious, and complicated.  All of them are somewhat ‘tricky’. They’re dignified even to the point of being standoffish. They’re proud. Just like you should be! 🙂 Continue reading “Perfumes for Grandes Dames”