One a Day

I´ve been conducting an experiment wherein I wear one – and only one – fragrance for an entire day, to see 1) if I notice anything new in the drydown and 2) what it´s like for the other 99% of folks who aren´t running around wearing six (eight?) different scents at the end of the average day. I had originally planned for this experiment to last a solid week; I lasted three days before falling off the wagon, but the experiment was sound enough that it continues on an occasional basis. This experiment also coincided with that peculiar time of year here, weather-wise, where it feels like fall but is not quite cool enough to be fall (or dig out my heavier fragrances), so I struggle to find scents that please me. But there does seem to be a trend in the type of smell I´m drawn to…

Hermes Hiris – When I was a nascent scent slut, this one shocked me – there is nothing particularly perfume-y about it. I love its chilly metallic élan. An entire day allowed me to enjoy the drydown, which is almost vegetal, a fact I´d not noticed before.

Andy Tauer Orris
– I did a full review of this. A powerful, all-day iris, slightly medicinal, on a sandalwood-frankincense base that stuns me with its beauty. The drydown is spectacular, woodsy/incense and still quite present the following morning. I am still thanking the perfume gods that Andy decided to release this for purchase later on this year.

L´Artisan Orchidee Blanche
– actually a very iris smell on me (are you noticing the trend here?) But there is something both sharp and sweet that begins to smell annoying after a couple of hours. I cheated on this one and buried it under some Passage d´Enfer.

Parfumerie Generale Iris Taizo
– Well… I dumped on the whole vial, and I have to say I was less in love this time, it was very powdery on me except when I really dug my nose in and looked for the orris. I´m fond of the woody base, though. Still a strong “like.”

Acqua di Parma Iris Nobile EDT – Okay, I like it a lot, the opening is sharp and green-ish, but it´s only “iris” on me for maybe the first 20 minutes. After that it´s pretty much all neroli. It turns powdery and then is gone in less than an hour, so lots of re-application. Once my decant is gone, I probably won´t buy more – I want more lasting power.

Dior Homme – the iris part is lovely. If I could just beat the homme part down with a stick, it´d be FBW.

Lancome Cuir – I only had a tiny sample of this, not really enough to do it justice, and I can´t find anything about it, with the exception of Colombina´s review. I´m fascinated by the way it morphs from a rich, ladylike vintage floral into an almost shockingly butch leather. You leather fans should definitely check this one out, if you´re lucky enough to find some… my guess is eBay is your only source.

Miller Harris L´Air de Rien — I just had to stick this one in. Wow. Their website says it is “an exquisite oriental fragrance of amber, vanilla, neroli, oak moss and musks.” I say it is somewhere between a horse stable and the elephant house at the zoo. Strongly reminiscent of the barnyard JAR, Ferme Tes Yeux, that Patty and I smelled – only more so. Ina at Aromascope got some different angles, but at the end of the day it was manure to me. Lasting power is excellent. Unfortunately. I´m not sorry to have smelled it – it was interesting, and there are certainly worse smells than dung – but I cannot imagine wanting to wear this.

Well, that´s it – I´m off to Vienna and Budapest for the next two weeks, for some fun, some food and (I hope) some sniffage. Patty’s driving the perfume bus until then. If you can’t be good while I’m gone, for God’s sake, be smelly.

  • March says:

    Cheez — I am getting excited! Taking a lot of elastic-waist pants:-” a friend who lived in Vienna for a year says they have unbelieveable gelato. Who knew?

    Pastries and goulash… I am already getting hungry.

  • March says:

    Lisa — I’m an unreliable judge of sillage. I remember when I was slaying everyone around me with the Armani Amethyste, and I kept going, hey, can you smell anything?:-j

  • March says:

    Amy — I hope I run across something wonderful. The Knize store should be a treat, even without any other finds.

  • March says:

    Nina — Andy added heroin to his Orris.:d That’s all I can figure. I’m hoping to stumble across some long-discontinued stuff, available for a song… I’ll settle for getting drunk and eating a lot, though.

  • Cheezwiz says:

    Oh have a wonderful time March!

    Eat lots of pastries, goulash, chicken paprika, and smell some wonderful exotic fragrances. I am so envious (Prague & Budapest are 2 Eastern European cities I’d love to explore).;)

    You must post some photos for us when you return!

  • Lisa S says:


    Fortunately my office is old skool enough and so completely not politically correct that my perfume fixation is quite a-ok with everyone. Well…that and I follow the “two foot rule”. I waft more than the most subtle hint of fragrance further than 24 inches from my person and it is too much perfume. I leave big sillage for the weekends.

  • Amy K. says:

    Have a great trip, and please bring back many previously unheard of fragrances to review!

  • Nina says:

    Have a wonderful trip, March, and hope you find at least a few small, dark shops selling bottles of fabulous, unheard-of scents. Failing that, please get drunk and eat a lot. I’m with you on the iris love; but the way iris plays out depends so much on what they add to it, don’t you think? Don’t know what Andy added to his Orris, but…wow! Am waiting with baited breath for the release.

  • March says:

    V — we are apparently ideally situated at the base of the bridge, near the funicular… none of which means jack to me. There is an excellent Belgian/Hungarian (Belgarian?) restaurant nearby, and we are planning to take the waters.

    I am stunned by your facts. How is it that this terrible oversight has occurred? Are the Gabor Sisters not infinitely more deserving of a celebrity scent than, say, Shania? Plus their NAMES are fabulous!!!! I think “Zsa Zsa” and “Eva” should be complementary scents, and they should smell sort of cheap and expensive at the same time, and flashy… and you could LAYER them. Like mink over diamonds. Dahlingk.

  • March says:

    Judith — wow. And I bet it’s a fortune, too. BTW I scoured the three local Marshalls/Maxx today and no Chaos — it was just the usual sad bottles of Shalimar and FCUK. Sigh. A girl can dream, though…

  • March says:

    Vi — hey, Big Ferris Wheel is on my tourist list already, assuming I don’t chicken out when I see it. My German is crap, but my intentions are good./:)

  • March says:

    Jennifer — orris fragrances are interesting, and distinctive enough to be worth exploring. The good part of trying several is you get a sense of how different notes play up different aspects of the orris.

  • March says:

    Lisa — I am lucky enough to work out of my house, which makes it easy to enable my addiction.:d However, generally I have enough sample vials in my purse (I believe I have at least 4 right now) that I could randomly apply all day. But you know what? I wouldn’t. In the U.S., fragrance is considered assault in the workplace.

  • March says:

    Leo — I had NO idea. Hmmmm. I will promise to try it, but I am not a big fan of dessert wines. The rest of the package sounds excellent, though.

  • Veronica says:

    Buda (or Pest, they are actually two cities – kind of like Minneapolis – St Paul, The Minnesotan Twin Cities)- birthplace of the late EVA GABOR, glamorous star of TV sitcom “Green Acres” and little sister of convicted serial nuptialist ZSA ZSA.

    Oddly enough, neither GABOR SISTER has a celebrity scent currently on the market.

    Well, it’s almost Trashy Friday.

  • Judith says:

    Have a wonderful trip! I have to admit, I really like the MH (although I haven’t decided whether I need a bottle yet), as well as the Cuir, the Orris, and many of the others. Ebay is certainly the only option for Cuir: it was discontinued in 1947.

    Enjoy yourself.

  • violetnoir says:

    March–Vienna and Budapest? Both are fascinating cities. Don’t forget to take a ride on the big ferris wheel in Vienna for me, okay?

    Be safe, have tons of fun, and let us know what you discover in your travels, fragrance- and otherwise.

    Big hugs, darling!

  • Jennifer says:

    Drink some Tokai for me in Budapest and have a wonderful trip and yes I am utter jealous. This list really just reminds me that I need to get to know Iris scents.

  • Leopoldo says:

    …oh, and it’s sweet, a dessert wine I think. Made from I think rotting grapes. Enjoy the putrefaction. Might go well with the new Miller Harris.

  • Lisa S says:

    Interesting. I am quite the opposite for me a good frangrnace must almost always be on that holds up as “all day” scent – but for a couple bottles that are real evening fragrances. because, well…I leave the house at 0730 or so and don’t get back until 1730 at the absolute earliest. So aside from maybe packing a purse size spray or decant of the frag du jour, that’s all there is until I get home from the office.

    Hiris is one of those absolutely perfect all-day-long fragrances. Must also recommend Philosykos, Un Lys, and Passage d’Enfer in this category. Just a little touchup at about 5 hours and it’s good for all day long.

  • Leopoldo says:

    I hope I can answer for Marina (being a hip to the core Euro type). Tokai is a pretty well reknowned Hungarian wine – rich and red as blood. It gets mentioned at some point in most vampire novels and elsewhere. She’s telling you to get hammered. With all that booze, chocolate, goulasch, sweetmeats, pastry, and assorted cultural delectations, you’ll be more sated than Dracul himself was after supping on three buxom (but virginal) wenches. Have a fabulous time – and i’m hoping you don’t have to change flights too much (which always sucks).

  • March says:

    Christine — thanks! Hey, you could have stuck in this emoticon for green w/envy=:)

    I love those things. They are so silly.

    How about this one?#-o

    Or 8-}

  • March says:

    Sybil — that Rien … I want others’ reactions, I can’t believe my response is going to be the norm. The Orris is a must-try… waiting for his release of the scent:-w

  • March says:

    Dusan — Nah, too lazy. Budapest was all the initiative we could muster.

  • March says:

    Marina — what’s Tokai?:-?

  • March says:

    P — why don’t you convert PP to some sort of shrine to the doings of Kimora Lee Simmons, with a lot of devotional prose? THAT would horrify me. Or maybe K-Fed. Or that Jerusalem cricket post I did awhile back, which horrified everyone else…

    I don’t think “tool” is a very nice thing to call your beloved blogmate. I’m looking forward to your reaction to the MH — it smelled a LOT like the JAR.

  • March says:

    Leo — Hah! As if. I’m planning to gain 10 lbs and smuggle some home in my carry-on. I remember the customs guy having a chuckle once at the sheer volume of (excellent) Belgian chocs I came home with, once. American sweets are long on volume and short on everything else.

  • March says:

    Elle — I know, I know. It was killing me. But I do think there’s some merit to occasionally letting a fragrance play out, you know? There are some cool things there at the end, sometimes. I love neroli, and it would have been a blessing in Rien. It was very funny — nuthin’ but poop. Thanks for the good wishes.

  • March says:

    Chaya — I have not been before. I hear the food in Budapest is wonderful. I hear the food in Vienna is…. generously portioned.:d

  • March says:

    Christina — thanks. Do try Orris, it is spectacular.

  • March says:

    Sariah — well, orris IS a turnip. I mean, it’s a root. That rooty smell, to me, is part of the package. However. I don’t get that from Andy’s orris at all. I don’t know whether it’s a difference in the formulation, or something about the base that’s basically burying the turnip.

  • Christine says:

    Have a great trip! I’m green with envy.

  • sybil says:

    Have an excellent trip! BTW…I tried Miller Harris Coeur d’Ete, amd was underwhelmed. Guess I won’t bother w/ L’Air de Rien. But I want even more to try Andy’s iris.

  • Dusan says:

    OMG, March, you’re going to Budapest — that’s like only 250 miles from Belgrade! If my passport was valid, I’d pop on the first bus and come meet’ya! Shucks!
    Have you thought about visiting Andy in Zurich? Oh, this is soo exciting!!!
    Have a great, great trip!

  • Marina says:

    Have a fabulous time. Have lots of Tokai for me!!

  • Patty says:

    I’m glad you’re done with that crazy idea of one perfume a day, you were worrying me. I’m trying to think of something scandalous to write about here while you’re gone that would horrify you. 🙂

    I love the Iris, tool, and I’m really worried about opening the package that Miller Harris arrives in.

  • Leopoldo says:

    Go easy on the Sachertorte!

    Have a fabulous holiday!

  • Elle says:

    Wow! Three days – I am impressed! So many perfumes, so little time – that’s my motto. Well, at least you didn’t get neroli, which I loathe, from L’Air de Rien. 🙂
    Have a wonderful trip!! I adore Budapest and haven’t been for about 6 years now. Sob! Hope you post about your trip when you get back.

  • chayaruchama says:

    Well, dear one-

    I will miss your ascerbic wit and delightful badness, but I’m glad that you will find respite and hedonistic glee…

    Can you be trusted in the konditorei?
    I highly doubt it.
    Roll in it, baby- roll in it!

    P.S.- My first cookbook ever [age 10] was George Lang’s ‘Cuisines of Hungary’!

    Travel safely, and revel…

  • Christina H. says:

    Have a wonderful trip!I’m so curious now to try Tauer’s Orris and feel relieved to have saved the desire to try the new M.Harris scent!

    Enjoy yourself and stay safe.

  • sariah says:

    Have a great trip! Seems kind of perverse, but my first thought on your post was that I want to smell the manure one. So what’s your #1 iris recommendation for somebody who doesn’t dig turnipy iris scents?