Top 12 Best Perfumes to Take to Mars

Awhile ago, Luca Turin did this great post on which 10 fragrances he´d grab to take with him on the rescue spaceship (or whatever) right before the Earth was destroyed by a giant meteor. Maybe there´ll be a swap program on the planet you´re going to, but the idea was these were the scents you couldn´t live without, knowing that they might have to tide you over for the rest of your life.

I nosed around in my closet recently and came up with my list, which, okay, you´ll notice contains 12 scents. You’ll also be shocked, shocked to see that it contains several Guerlains. Oh, well. There were fragrances I’m still debating — 100% Love, Ormonde Jayne Sampaquita, and Musc Ravageur spring to mind immediately — but at some point I needed to quit fiddling and pack my bags.

  1. Guerlain Mitsouko – my first weird love. My first Guerlain. My introduction into the whole wide world of fragrance addiction.
  2. Guerlain Jicky – weirder, in my opinion, than Mitsouko. Citrus and civet. Love it or hate it. When I wear the parfum, I Am The Queen.
  3. L´Artisan Tea for Two – my ultimate winter comfort scent when it´s rainy and crappy and I need that leather armchair, lapsang tea smell. Heaven.
  4. Annick Goutal Petite Cherie – yeah, it turns rancid. It smells like pears on me. It´s perfect. As far as I´m concerned, she made this one for me.
  5. Annick Goutal Mandragore – grapefruit and bergamot. What is not to love?
  6. Guerlain Philtre d´Amour – I paid some stupid money for the 1999 version. I don´t care. One of the very few fragrances I said: cost be damned, you´re mine.
  7. Desprez Bal a Versailles – go ahead, I dare you. Buy one of those dinky bottles on eBay for eight bucks (make sure it´s at least the EDP). Pour some on. Oh, how sweet! Sort of a Necco-candy smell and – and – what in the HELL is THAT?!?! An incense base so dark, dirty and delicious it should be illegal. I laugh out loud in pure pleasure every single time. This stuff is insane.
  8. Guerlain Apres L´Ondee – I wept with joy the first time I smelled it. I´ll let you in on a little secret – I like the EDT better than the parfum. Yes, it´s gone in 30 minutes but, oh! that dazzle, like a sparkler on a summer night.
  9. L´Artisan Tilleuls au Vent – linden, tea, liquid sunshine. This one should be called à¢â‚¬Å“Joy.à¢â‚¬? If it doesn´t brighten your day, nothing will.
  10. L´Artisan Passage d´Enfer – to layer with other stuff. To wear on its own. To freshen a room. To wear when nothing else will do.
  11. Armani Prive Bois d´Encens – I took awhile to appreciate this one. It is a stark, cold, uncompromising incense. It … frightened me. I love incense probably more than any other single note in winter, and this one is magnificent.
  12. Malle En Passant – yeah, yeah, I know – the lilac, the bread, the cucumber, the rain- if you are tired of reading about it but still haven´t smelled it, buy a decant already. Make sure it´s an atomizer. Spray it on. Walk the walk. I have smelled this a hundred times or more and, like my four-year-olds, I never, ever get tired of the story.

What would your list be of Top 12 Best Perfumes to Take to Mars?

The winner of last week’s Oilily Papillon drawing was… Karen! Email me your address via the Contact Us button at left.

image of meteor strike:

  • Shari Stack says:

    Although I am joining a bit late, here is my list:

    1. Hermes – Caleche
    2. Annick Goutal – Eau d’Hadrien
    3. L’Air du temps
    4. Sugar (the lemon scented one)
    5. Annick Goutal – Heure Exquise
    6. Banana Republic – W for Women
    7. Guerlain – Jardins de Bagatelle
    7. Jean Patou- Joy
    8. Rive Gauche – YSL
    9. L’Artisan – Vanille
    10. Annick Goutal- Eau de Ciel
    11. L’Artisan – Jour de Fete (the old one that has been discontinued, smells like oranges at Christmas time)

    Honorable Mention
    1. Chanel- Chance
    2. Marc Jacobs – Blush
    3. Bulgari – Extreme
    4. L’Artisan – La Chasse Aux Papillion

    And becasue I have determined that I get to decide for him, my boyfriend gets to take:

    1. Acca Kappa – Cedro
    2. Burberry – Touch for Men
    3. Roger et Gallet – Vieille Cologne (one in the red bottle)
    4. Guerlain – Vetiver (the one for men)

  • March says:

    BBliss — I have a set of the Divine samples, I really need to get busy and focus on them…

    Flora — you’re right. I Am An Idiot about the Gold.

  • Flora says:

    Oh, and I forgot one!! Caron Parfum Sacre. Even on Mars there must a man willing to open doors for a lady, and then allow her to wrap him around her little finger. :d

    That makes a dozen, so I am no worse than anyone else….

  • BBliss says:

    Incredible lists – what fun to read!
    Loved this game on Turin’s blog too – and glad you said it March…that Beyond Paradise was really yeck on me and basically in general. I mean putrid – my (younger sister) made me wash it off before we got in the car together. Smart gal.

    Just curious – are these 12 your 10%?

    Here are mine this month:
    1. Rose d’Amour
    2. O de Lancome
    3. Divine – am in love with all of them, but maybe L’Infante
    4. Ormonde – Woman and Osmanthus
    5. Eau de Merveilles
    6. Attrape-Coeur
    7. Safari
    8. Ivoire by Balmain
    9. Diorella
    10. Lou Lou (old EDP in glass bottle)
    11. L’Air du Temps (smells like my young mother and my childhood)

    And I’d sniff Victoria’s Paloma to remind me of my young aunts…

    12. Still hunting for my FM to adore and wear forever – I am so fickle…that test kit of theirs was genius – but not sure if it’s sold anymore…

  • March says:

    Ayala — oooooooooooooohhhh. Your list is tasty. We will definitely have to start that swap program on Mars.

    Veronica — love the “Vetiver 7” — yeah, a duty-free airport (spaceport?) would be lovely.

    Victoria — a wonderful list. I feel like L’Heure Bleue is underappreciated, although I don’t have the vintage. What WAS Luca Turin thinking with Beyond Paradise?!?

    Kris — thanks for stopping by!

    Flora — P is sending me some Gold so I can make a public repentance of my idiocy. Your list is delectable, by the way.

  • Flora says:

    This is TOO hard but I will try:

    Amouage Gold
    Amouage Ubar
    FM Carnal Flower
    FM En Passant
    Goutal Gardenia Passion
    Hermes Un Jardin Sur Le Nil ( for those rare HOT days on Mars…)
    Patou Joy
    Patou Vacances
    SL Un Lys
    SL A La Nuit
    Tauer Perfumes L’Air du Desert Marocain – what is Mars but one big, red desert anyway?

    OK that’s 11 – I was going to cheat even more and make one of them the Patou Ma Collection, so I was not totally evil. (Mmmmwahhahhaha!)


  • Ooh la love. Just discovered your blog… And just blogged about you:

  • Victoria says:

    Great list!
    I would be torn between my loves and my precious vintage gems. Well, here is what I would take if the call came right now:
    1.Chanel No 19
    2.Guerlain Mitsouko parfum
    3.Guerlain L’Heure Bleue vintage
    4.L’Artisan Fleur d’Oranger
    5.Caron Nuit de Noel
    6.Jean Patou Joy
    7.Frederic Malle Carnal Flower
    8.Serge Lutens Bois de Violette
    9.Paloma Picasso Mon Parfum
    10.Hermessence Vetiver Tonka

  • Veronica says:

    A field trip to Mars? Kind of wish we were going to an uninhibited island (Tahiti?) so I’d know what outfits to bring…… Here’s my checklist:

     Guerlain Vetiver in the economical 55-gallon drum. And for layering with Vetiver:

     2. Aqua Allegoria Grosselina
     3. Aqua Allegoria Herba-Fresca
     4. Aqua Allegoria Lavande Velours
     5. Aqua Allegoria Lemon-Fresca
     6. Aqua Allegoria Rosa Magnifica

    For sultry, summer Martian nights or romantic evenings aboard the ‘Vetiver 7’:

     7. Mitsouko
     8. Habit Rouge
     9. Vetiver Pour Elle*
    10. Coriolan

    * Hopefully, there will be a French duty-free airport shop on Mars.

  • Ayala says:

    So, if I had room and time to pack 12 scents to Mars, and if I was promised they will not evaporate or burn in flames as soon as I get there, I would take with me:

    1) Mitsouko
    2) Shalimar
    3) Vol de Nuit
    4) Parfum Sacre
    5) Agent Provocateur
    6) Narciso Rodriguez EDT
    7) Spring Flower
    8) Philosykos
    9) Opium Fleur de Shanghai
    10) Fleurs d’Oranger (Serge Lutens)
    11) Espionage
    12) l’Herbe Rouge, to remind me of my boyfriend, in case I left him behind 😉
    (In case you don’t know, I am just kidding, I would pick my boyfriend and my daughter any time over any perfume in the world without hesitation; it’s easy to make a new perfume, it’s impossible to create my loved ones again, my priorities are pretty straight there)

    And as soon as I get there I will start collecting specimens to make a Marsian perfume!

  • March says:

    Christina — thank goodness — Opium!! Maybe I can swap you a squidge of something when I start to miss it after 6 months onboard… but our fellow travelers may not allow us to wear it in their part of the ship.

    Cait — wow, interesting list. I need to revisit the Delraes — they are NOT getting the attention they deserve, except for Paradis, and even that one not really.

    Cheez — if I can pretend a meteor strike, you can pretend to own things — I’ll share my Mandragore. Yeah, we NEED 24, Faubourg — it’s not on any one else’s list, right? So don’t forget to pack it!:)

  • Cheezwiz says:

    Hmmm…:-? A tough one for me. Some of these are actually perfumes that I don’t own yet, but let’s pretend I do!

    Annick Goutal Petite Cherie
    Annick Goutal Eau d’Hadrien
    Chanel – Allure
    Chanel #19
    L’Artisan Fleur d’Oranger (ltd. edition!)
    L’Artisan La Chasse Aux Papillion
    Guerlain – Apres L’Ondee
    Guerlain – Chamade
    Banana Republic – W for Women (yeah it’s cheap & lowbrow, but I can’t get enough of it!)

    * I would also try to sneak Annick Goutal’s Mandragore on with me somehow. Also Jean Patou 1000! Maybe 24 Faubourg as well?

  • cait says:

    I have been missing the fun of this post. So glad I stopped by now!
    I would like to state the disclaimer that I am impetuous and passionate and thus can’t be trusted not to change my mind about these later before I list my perfumes for Mars, where I hope to join you ladies:

    1. Joy by Jean Patou
    2. Vent Vert by Balmain
    3. Sous le Vent by Guerlain
    4. L’Homme de Coeur by Divine
    5. Le Parfum de Therese
    6. Dzing! by L’Artisan
    7. Plus que Jamais by Guerlain (yes, I have fallen!)
    8. Amoureuse by Parfums Delrae
    9. Narciso Rodriguez edt
    10. Carnal Flower

  • Christina H. says:

    Hi March!
    I think I’d have to bring these:
    1.Caron Or et Noir
    2.Caron Farnesiana
    3.Musc Ravageur
    4.Ambre Narguile
    5.Isabey Gardenia
    6.Chanel #5
    7.L’Artisan Fleur d’Oranger
    9.S.Lutens Iris Silver Mist
    10.S.Lutens Cuir Mauresque

  • Sariah says:

    thanks Pam and March

  • March says:

    Judith — I haven’t smelled the Cancan or the Farnesiana. In my Caron belief system (based clearly on nothing in reality) Cancan is the one perfect Caron for me, which is I guess why I continue to fail to get a decant and smell it. I’m holding onto my hope as long as possible./:)

  • March says:

    Robin — well, at this point, we have the bases covered. I bet we could all take turns spraying you…

  • March says:

    Sariah – check Pam’s msg above for the list and link. OMG THAT’S where I remember Beyond Paradise from. I have never been able to wrap my mind around that choice.:-?

  • Judith says:

    Also March–I thought you didn’t like the(feminine) Carons; what’s with the Can Can? An exception?

  • Judith says:

    March–you can smell, but DON’T touch!!!! No carry-ons–DAMN! Not even if I pay extra?
    Oh, Ok then, I must have my own Rose de Nuit, so I will dump Musc Ravageur and smell Marina’s. And I need Encens et lavande, so I will replace Ambre Narguile with that. Then, I will plan to spend a lot of time near Elle, so I can smell her FT, Montale CdA, and probably the Jalaine (which I still haven’t smelled yet:) You OK with that, March? 🙂

  • Pam says:

    The ten Luca would have put in his gamma-ray shielded glove box back on Aug 6, ’05: Angel,
    Beyond Paradise, Black, Bois de Violette, Cuir de Russie, Habit Rouge, Joy, Mitsouko,
    Shalimar. He later realized he needed #10 and added Farnesiana.

    Here is the link if you want to read or download the entire blog:

    Where it says “available here,” click “here” to open and then download. HTH.

  • Robin says:

    And I am the one that would die trying to decide what to take, LOL…

  • March says:

    Sariah — would you STOP that!?!? You practically gave me a heart attack. You bring that NN, but you show up with any of that Escada crap and the ark is leaving without it. No Rockin’ Hippie Paradise Kiss on the mothership. I have to draw the line somewhere. PS It was up in HTML for a long time on his defunct site, but maybe it’s gone now. I’ll poke around.

  • March says:

    Jeez, look at all these comments!:o You guys really need to get a life.

    Yeah, right. Me too.

    PAm, I’ll swap with ya! Going to try that Old Spice on at Dad’s.

    Judith — can I sniff your CanCan and Djedi occasionally? You don’t even have to let me touch them. I just want to smell them. Hahahaha — no carry-on bags!

    Elle — dang, I have to sniff some of that Goldmund stuff. Pops up almost as much as Knize Ten. You’re gonna get busted with 70 bottles!

    Carmen, hon, you don’t need to bring TC, you can smell Patty’s (all over the freaking mothership). I’ll give you any/all of my kids if you let me sniff your Coty Chypre. You don’t even have to give me a drop, I just want a whiff. And some of that Diorling, just a sniff… nope, no shortage of Mitsouko, it looks like.

    Patch — your list is hilarious. I’ll let you borrow some of my Bal. Yeah …. I’m supposed to be working too. A LIGHT HAND with that Angel, woman. One spritz. Re: En Passant: it’s sort of a sequential, repeating fragrance, Olivia Giacobetti created it to reflect a memory of a walk (this is off the top of my head.) There are lilacs you pass by, a hint of bread from the bakery down the road, rain, a cucumber from the garden. I also get wet fence. It’s … I’ve LISTED these notes, but it’s indescribable. My first Virtual Reality Frag. The notes keep popping in and out. I adore it. Even if you hate it (Marina does) it’s worth trying once. PS Thanks for the tip about the Djedi — I bet that’s what it was. I do get a hint of the same thing in Sous le Vent.

    Ina — noooo, you have to share the marzipan with ME!!! We will be the only two people on the ship who eat it, probably. Please bring some more Sarah’s cupcakes and those Royaltines. Oh, and some of those eclairs … can you tell I have a vicious sweet tooth?!? No dried fish for me!!!! OMG, what about the COFFEE!?!? How will we ever bring enough?

    Carmen (again) — vintage My Sin, mmmmmmmmm! Can I smell it on YOU?!? I need someone to bring out the Full Flower of Its Skank.

  • Ina says:

    Marina, scribbling this on my Shopping List of Mars… salami, dried fish, prawns, candy, chocolate, marzipan (that’s for me), M&M’s (for me as well), Sara’s cupcakes (to entice March), more candy, to be cont.

  • Sariah says:

    fun! What was on Luca Turin’s list? I can’t find it on the Net, only found 2 posts of his, one about translations of his perfume guide (he hasn’t done one) and one about discontinuing his blog. Bummer – anyone know if an archive is posted anywhere?

    My top 10 includes Escada Rockin Rio and Narcisse Noir. Just kidding, March would kick me off the ship into outter space.

  • Marina says:

    if you want to entice me to swap ‘fume for food, you have to do better than candies. I don’t have a sweet tooth. Bring salami and dried fish :d

  • patchamour says:

    Just read your review of Djedi. Wonder if that pot-roast note could be Vanuatu sandalwood? I got a little sample of three different types of sandalwood from Eden Botanicals, and the Vanuatu was strikingly different from the other two and smelled just like smoky, roasted meat, with a drydown of church incense. It’s in Mitsouko.

  • Ina says:

    OK, since you all will smell terrific on Mars, I figured I won’t bother to bring anything, except for a few bags of candy and other treats, so when you all get sick of smelling your fumes, and starvation will come upon you, I’ll start trading my treats for your perfumes. I’ll come to planet Earth with a whole new collection. Yeah. 8-|(that’s me looking up on Mars in great expectations).

  • Pam says:

    MUA Moves to Mars. Me likey. That may be what it takes to get away from the trolls. >-)

    I forgot to add Mitsouko and Chamade to my lists. And Chant d’Aromes, and . . . oh, well. I’d end up smuggling all kinds of over-the-limit things. I’d also bring my big honkin’ bottle of Evening in Paris EdC in the original formula. When we run through all the Apres L’Ondee, we can start spritzing that.@};-

  • patchamour says:

    Oops. Forgot to ask. March, what is the story about En Passant, the bread, etc.?

  • carmencanada says:

    So we were at twelve, were we?
    Good thing, ’cause I can add:
    11) My Sin
    12) Mitsouko

  • patchamour says:

    Great list, March. This is so much fun! I should be working!!!

    1. Vintage Arpege (so Mr. Patch can remember his mom going out in the evenings)

    2. Patchouli Leaves (so Mr. Patch can forget about his mom going out in the evenings and think about something else :))

    3. Feminite du Bois

    4. Mitsouko — Hey, March. This was my first weird love also.

    5. Shalimar

    6. Youth Dew

    7. White Linen

    8. Angel

    9. Antonia’s Flowers — I don’t “like” it, but it makes me feel like working, and I bet we’ll have a lot of work to do on Mars.

    10. Tiempe Passat

    On no! Only two left! I see why Patty’s crying, now.
    11. Cabochard
    12. (Leaving room for some of the delishes Patty is sending from Fragrant Fripperies.)Or maybe Chanel #5. Or Bulgari Rose. A gal’s gotta have her roses. No, Bal a Versailles.

    Elle, what is your number one? I can’t tell whether it’s PQI or PGJ.

    Patty, you’re right. Twelve just won’t do it.

  • carmencanada says:

    I think I played that Mars game on LC’s blog, I’m sure my list has changed. It now includes:
    1) Jicky (évidemment)
    2) Quadrille
    3) SL Fleurs d’Oranger
    4) Tubéreuse Criminelle
    5) Chypre Coty (I shall guard it with my life)
    6) Femme (the vintage stash)
    7) Ormonde Woman
    8) Derby
    9) Diorling
    10) Bandit (in the parfum)

    Okay, so it’s a lot of leather. And a lot of chypre. I’m leaving behind Diorissimo, Carnal Flower, Jolie Madame, le Parfum de Thérèse, Miss Dior, Le Dix, whaaaaaaaah! As for Mitsouko, I’ll just stand next to whoever’s wearing it and inhale, it seems there won’t be a shortage.

  • Patty says:

    TC will clear your passages, you goose! It can take the place of Mentholatum and Vick’s Vaporub.

    Um, yeah, we can swap. You have like seven things on your list that I *NEED* and didn’t bring with me.

    Too hard, I can’t live on ten perfumes, honest, I just can’t.

  • March says:

    Yo — P — you are NOT bringing TC on that spaceship! What if you drop it or something?!? I have to BREATHE on that spaceship …. OMG, Marina wants to bring MKKK!!!!! Aaaaaaiiiiiiiiyyyyiii!

    Um, when we’re onboard can I swap something for the wenge?

  • Marina says:

    Funny how everybody taks about swapping…MUA moves to Mars :d Judith, I’ll be happy to do #12, here or on Mars!

  • Patty says:

    Smuggled on — MOntale Black Aoud, will use this like cigarettes are used in prison.

  • Patty says:

    I got toilet paper to sop up the tears

    1. Vetiver Tonka
    2. Eva
    3. Tubereuse Criminelle
    4. Sur le nil
    5. Ormonde Woman
    6. DK Wenge
    7. Lancome Mille et une roses
    8. Gucci EDP
    9. Guerlain Sous le Vent
    10. Caron Coup de Fouet

    *list specifically geared for maximum swapping potential to those who have put up their lists so far*

  • Judith says:

    Accck–looking at Elle’s list, I realize I forget my SLs and Montales (always forget something on these trips)
    so I am quickly packing a carry-on bag stuffed with
    Rose de Nuit, Fumerie Turque, Encens et lavande, and Montale Aoud Rose Petals (and I will swap for some Cuir d’Arabie:)

  • Elle says:

    Fun! Love your list – Bal a Versailles is so fantastic and often overlooked.
    My official Mars list would be:
    2)PG Harmatan Noir
    3)Montale Cuir d’Arabie (figure no one else will have this to swap)
    4)vintage #19
    5)Fumerie Turque
    6)Bois et Fruits
    7)Dorissima Goldmund
    8)Jalaine Vetiver
    10)Rose de Nuit
    And then I will have my secret stash I smuggle on board w/ at least 70 others, including all the SLs and most of the Caron extraits.:-)

  • Judith says:

    My Martian list starts out like yours (but it changes all the time)
    1. Mitsouko
    2. Jicky
    3. Chanel Cuir de Russie
    4. Angelique Encens
    5. Kolnisch Juchten
    6. Poivre
    7. L’Artisan Fleur d’Oranger
    8. Le Labo Patchouli
    9. French CanCan
    10. Musc Ravageur
    11. (squeezing in) Ambre Narguile
    and 12–some Djedi to share with Marina–I’m assuming she’ll share her Derby with me:)

  • Patty says:

    I really hate this restrictive exercises. How in the world could I really do with ten things on Mars?

    I’m not playing, perfume restrictions are NOT funny. :(( :d

    having said that, I’ll have to work on my list, but I don’t have enough Kleenexes currently to sop up the tears to be able to do it.

    I do like your list, though I would make some adjustments.

  • Pam says:

    Oh, what fun. Great list, March. Mines:

    1. Rive Gauche
    2. Arpege
    3. Chanel No 19
    4. En Avion
    5. Fleurs de Rocaille (parfum version)
    6. Apres L’Ondee
    7. Vol de Nuit
    8. Poivre/Coup de Fouet
    9. Patou’s 1000
    10. Apercu

    And then, when nobody’s looking, I’ll sneak in some QuelquesFleursFrenchCancanNormandieandOldSpice:d

  • March says:

    Marina — see, you’re killin’ me. The Derby and the Bois de Iles — leaving them off my list was like choosing which kids to leave behind.

    Can we swap on Mars? I’ll let you wear my Bal. Hey, my addiction to that thing is totally YOUR fault. What is IN that stuff? The crystal meth of fragrance. I’d wear it more (in the winter only) but The Big Cheese is not wild about it.

    Uh, I won’t need any of that MKK. Thanks.

  • March says:

    Vi — excellent. Maybe I could swap with you on Mars! Since you have such great taste.;)

  • Marina says:

    I am shocked, *shocked*! You know, you call me a “dirty” girl, but look at your list…Jicky…Bal a Versailles…a fan of clean scents you ain’t either :d

    So my Marcian List:
    1. Orchidee Blanche
    2. Attrape-Coeur
    3. Musc Ravageur
    4. Bois des Iles
    5. Feminite du Bois
    6. Muscs Koublai Khan
    7. Parfum des Merveilles
    8. Safran Troublant
    9. Fifi Chachnil
    11.Djedi (well, I’d have to get this at Mars, because it sure isn’t availabe on Earth anymore :(( )
    12. I might just take Caron Eau de Reglisse, because I am mad about it these days.

  • violetnoir says:

    I love your list, babe, and love the fact that you love Guerlain as much as I do.

    And…I also dig your L’Artisan faves, too.