How Sweet!

Today I was all set to do a biased, judgmental screed on Elternhaus’ InsertAllReligionsHere (MoslBuddJewChristetc.), having prayed to all the appropriate deities that I would hate it. Because if I loved it, I’d have to throw myself in front of a bus. That’s how I feel about their blather. Instead, the combination of two different allergy medications seems to have done something to my sniffer, adding a bitter, old-vase-water note to everything I smell, including my morning coffee. While we experience technical difficulties and adjust the rabbit ears, here’s an aside, prompted by my visit with hausvonstone to Sephora, where we stared in awe at the ever-increasing “Gourmand” section. Really, a wall of shrunken heads could not have provoked more violent feeling. After some deliberation, we selected CSP Banane Vanille as the single most revolting sounding fragrance (although it was a tough choice). Hausvonstone observed, correctly, that it smells like circus peanuts. The Caramel Sunset or whatever was pretty bad. My fingers refused to pick up the CSP pineapple.

Meditating on my perfume collection (okay, right after I meditated on world peace): do I own and love any fragrances that most people might describe casually as sweet?

Sweet is my nemesis. It is the bane of my fragrance existence. I have a wicked sweet tooth, but generally not in fragrances. Too much candied fruit, or vanilla, or chocolate, or what have you, and I gag. But there are exceptions to my rule. Browsing my fragrances, I came up with a short list of things I wear to satisfy my sweet tooth:

1. Poison and Hypnotic Poison (the one with the almond. Yeah, I know. Kill. You. Now.)

2. Serge Lutens Fleurs d´Oranger (although this is mitigated both by the indoles in the orange and the cumin. But still.)

3. Berdoues Violettes de Toulouse. Go ahead, laugh. I don´t care. I wear it to bed. It´s like my summer granny gown – wildly unsexy but comforting.

4. L by Lolita de Lempicka. The sweetness of the base is offset by the immortelle, but – hey – who´s kidding whom? It´s sweet.

And that´s … about it. Now it´s your turn for your dirty little confessions. Molinard Tendre Friandise? Serge Lutens Rahat Loukoum? (Kill me now.) Your wall of Comptoir Sud Pacifiques? You can tell me. What satisfies your sweet tooth, or are you untainted?

OF NOTE: PERFUME ARTICLES/VIDEO IN SEPTEMBER ALLURE. I believe it was cheesy Allure magazine awhile back that did a big spread on the new Chanel Exclusifs line, and we all scratched our heads. Allure? So far as I know, their demographic is my 13-year-old. When the September issue arrived in the mail on Saturday, with a brunette Britney Spears on the cover (“Britney: Do the Drapes Now Match The Carpet?”), I leafed through it. There are two interesting articles on fragrance, Message in a Bottle (“an unprecedented number of fashion houses are inventing new perfumes…”) and Scents of Self, written by English novelist Kate Atkinson (“from Arpege to patchouli, one woman’s sense of smell transports her to many places”), the latter article starting off with Je Reviens and touching on scent memories. In addition, flipping through the magazine I glimpsed bottles of Le Labo, Malle and Memoire Liquide, connected to other blurbs. On their website at the link above there’s also a video (scroll down the page) of random people sampling the new Tom Fords. I have no idea what’s going on with Allure and their fragrance coverage, but I’m all for it.

105 Comments

  1. I truly love Guerlain’s Angelique Noir when I’m in the mood for something by way of sticky-sweet vanilla. I know some people turn up their noses at it, because it’s more gourmand than most Guerlain, but it just strikes the right note for me.

    And I’ve been digging Allure in a major way the past year or so. The articles are a lot more interesting than of late, and although I’m snickering over their choice of covergirl, I generally look forward to new issues. Come on! Frederick Malle is a contributer!

    • Oddly, I always seem to read comments the way people meant them rather than the way they’re typed pre-coffee. So don’t worry.

      Allure IS better, isn’t it? The equivalent for me used to be Marie Claire, but the writing got worse and more Cosmo-ish and I d/c’d my subscription, not info I wanted 11YO kid reading.:”>

      • Macrh-its bcuz wi kn du sple tchk ursflz. We curict thnsg ezly wth errrz, caz we reed fr meenng.

        • God, it’s scary how easily I read that. You have an excuse — you work with high school students. What’s MY excuse?!?

          Oh, wait — I have kids!

          • The theory is (if you’re interested in this nerdy stuff) that after we become competent readers, we use first and last letters, shape and length of word, and context to decode written words. Similar mechanism for grammatical structure. It all allows for speed of processing. So, we are verrrry able to overlook both spelling and grammatical errors.

            • Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy,
              it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod
              are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht frist and lsat
              ltteer is at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl
              mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs
              is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by it slef but
              the wrod as a wlohe. ceehiro.

              –don’t know the real research source, but I thought it
              fit here.–Q

              • Hey … look at everything I learn on here, who says perfume blogging is a complete waste of time?!?;)

                (well, the Cheese does. he wouldn’t complain, though, if I could figure out a way to get rich doing it.)

  2. Cafe Noir by Ava Luxe and Musk Maori by PG, that’s about as sweet as it gets for me! There’s a gorgeous new one from Liz Zorn called Chrysalis that’s pretty sweet but it has a lot of spice to redeem it for me, I’m getting a bottle of that as soon as the cold weather hits.

    • Ack!!! Musc Maori!! My stomach did that little flippy-flop thing. That base almost killed me, but it has a lot of fans among the perfumistas.

      When you say “sweet with spice” you make me want to try Chrysalis. Spice notes will redeem almost anything for me.

  3. Hermes Elixir des Merveilles totally satisfies
    my sweet tooth–and when I layer it with
    Parfum des Merveilles it satisfies my soul.
    In fact, I love it so much I’ve almost
    abandoned my all-time favorite–Mitsouko.

    • No, no, no — you must never abandon Mitsouko!! She’ll give you what you need when all others have forsaken you!:x

      Elixir was all chocolate-orange on me. I liked it better than the Missoni, that’s for sure.

      • I have an odd suspicion that you’re right!
        When I try to get away from Mitsouko (all the
        reformulation rumors)I end up returning. Do
        you like the Parfum des Merveilles?

        • I do like the PdM very much — if I were scrupulously honest, I guess I’d admit it’s a superior fragrance in some ways. It’s got more ooomph, that’s for sure, and I think it’s a huge hit with those who never really got much love from the Eau.

          But I’m an Eau gal, and that’s that. Eau is one of the very, very fragrances I actually “wear,” as opposed to sample periodically. Eau smells both odd and entrancing to/on me, and it was never too light.

  4. letsannoyannoyallthereligions was okaym but I felt I was paying for a hunk of concrete.

    I LOVE Rahat Loukoum. I even love Louve. Both are saved for me by skank.

    Oh, and Aoumassai. Yum.

    • You were paying for a hunk of something, that’s for sure. Or a load.

      OMG. AOMASSAI. Or however you spell it (I just typed “smell it.”) I’d deleted that one from my memory. Laughing now. Aigh. I wanted to cut my own arm off. I think I called it ASSOMASSAI in the review. It was like a buttcrack vanilla sundae. And those PGs last forever on my skin.

      • well, luckily I opted out of that load.

        You called Aomassai something like that, I know it made me laugh out loud. Didn’t keep me from buying the juice, but gave me a chuckle.

        Miel de Bois is a fave as well. :d

  5. Well, the sweetest perfume I’ve ever loved was a dc’d L’Artisan whose name completely escapes me at the moment (something like dans le grand sierre?). It was almost a crystalline sweetness, really bright and if I could find it again, I’d still wear it! Defiantly :d

    And I will also admit to kind of liking Allure, because they have always had more beauty coverage than any other “women’s” magazine and perfume and makeup always fit! But I’m not about to buy any magazine with Britney Spears on the front so I will have to forgo this month’s issue.

    • Gail, my antennae always go up when people talk about old L’ARtisans. I’m guessing you’re referring to La Haie Fleurie du Hameau? (I may have spelled that wrong.) It was very intense — sort of death by flowers on me, but I still thought it was beautiful. I think it’s got honeysuckle, tuberose and jasmine in it.

      Tell you the truth, I didn’t even recognize Britney in her dark wig. She looks a little Priscilla Presley-ish.

      • Hah! Found my empty bottle! It’s Les Hesperides de la Grande Serre. What a mouthful! And I have to fess up that I forgot about one really sweet one, Indult’s Manakara. Apparently, on most people, this is cotton candy. On me, it’s slightly sweet and rosy cedar.

        • No?!?! It sound amazing!!! What a name!!! I want to go into L’Artisan’s vault and smell everything they ever made.

  6. For my sweet tooth? Any cheap vanilla. In a brown paper bag, of course.

    High-brow sweet—Arabie.

    OK, I admit to liking Hypnotic Poison. Not much on me, but there’s a Nordies SA who smells really yummy wearing it.

    Hey-and stop bashing my favorite junk-food magazine. I think the demographic for Allure is any female who wants a dose of makeup lite review, with a dash of tongue-in-cheek. Hah!

    • Arabie. nonononononononoooooooooo 😉

      Allure has a lot of good makeup tips without being an entirely sales-oriented thing like Lucky. I could see product junkies loving it. I was impressed by the quality of the writing.

  7. I’m with Tom in that I luurrve Aomassai! On evenings when I’m especially tired, I like to take a hot peppermint bath and then dab a little Aomassai on before I go to bed. It sounds like an odd combo, but it somehow works; the bracing effect of the peppermint is softened by the woody, burnt caramel perfume.
    Other favorite sweets are Ambre Narguile and Chergui, where the sweetness is tempered by smoky tobacco.

    • Okay, that’s weird. I’m combining the two fragrances mentally and that DOES sound nice. I’m thinking of the results as sort of chocolate-peppermint, with some woods thrown in.

      Chergui walks that fine line of too sweet on me. If I get a dreaded too sweet day I quick throw some leather on it. 10CC smells okay on it too.

  8. Being across the pond and totally the wrong demographic anyway (I don’t know the first thing about make-up or shoes), I’ve never seen Allure. I will refrain from commentary.

    Many argue that the SLs are sweet and they’re probably as sweet as I go. Massive Arabie fan here. In fact, I think I often need a bit of sweet in fragrance as my skin eats up the sugar and dries out a scent no end (hence the Acqua di Cuba honey to mildew effect). Dry scents like Gucci pour Homme end up making me feel like I’m dehydrating in the desert. Ooooh, and of course the Nazgul loves me!

    however, I’ve never even sniffed a CSP scent, beyond the ‘safe to try’ range: Governeur, Bois de Filao, Aqua Motu (blech).

    I’m feeling a little end of summery today – I just wish we could all hang out and do the perfume thing irl (savvy, aren’t I?) rather than online…

    Good luck back at work, lovely Louise!

    • I have a personal theory, based on a fairly small sample of men, that the dude skin chemistry (what, is it all that testosterone?) has a positive effect on sweet scents. I think you can spray a man with Arabie, A La Nuit, or freaking Amarige, and you nuzzle your nose in there into their chests and the smell blends with their skin oils and their chest hair and their underarm scent and it just smells amazing.

      Wow. What came over me?:-?

      Filao is okay; I’d wear it if someone gave it to me.

      Yes, I wish we were doing this in person!

      • If that book hasn’t arrived yet, I’m not sure it needs to….\:d/ 😉

        • It got here today!!! You should have seen me sneaking it into the house (everyone’s home.):-”

          Now I have to figure out how/when I’ll read it. I may have to do something about the cover, for instance.

          • Oh, I love sneakage. Makes the heart race and life feel better. Do you have a garden shed? :d

            • Time to start a bookclub? We could just paste Allure mag covers on top for, privacy sake.

            • I think it’ll have to be the after-everyone’s-gone-to-bed book. Which should work out nicely.;)

  9. Hi March – got to agree with the poster above who can’t buy this issue of Allure because Britney is on the cover – may drop by the Barnes and Noble to read these articles though.

    I have a sweet tooth in both food and fragrance – you would probably run away screaming from my collection – but I don’t have anything with Banana or Pineapple in the name. Current sweet faves are Shalimar Light (creamy lemon vanilla), Musc Maouri (chocolaty buttery sweetness), Velvet Rope (vanilla overdose), and my SL’s – Chergui especially. I kindof like the new SJP too – it’s got that creamy sweet thing going on, but it’s not very interesting.

    • Velvet Rope smelled AMAZING on you, though. If it smelled like that on me, I’d buy it. And yeah, I do remember your liking sweeter things. We share an appreciation for Chergui.

      Welcome back, BTW!\:d/

  10. Aomassai. Also, I used to like HP–and I can still wear it if I layer it with 10 CC: Voila! Hypnotic Corso Como. Finally, I admit to reading Allure> :”>

    • Oooh!! HP layered with 10CC!!!! I’m gonna try that as soon as my nose works again. That sounds great. I’ve layered 10CC with various things and it’s surprisingly successful (why don’t I find 10CC more interesting on its own?). Haven’t tried that one though, thanks.

      It looks like everyone knew about Allure but me.:”>

      • Sorry to the 10CC lovers, but to me it’s a slightly less interesting Santal Blanc.

        *runs for cover*

        • 10CC is a little hairy-chested to me sometimes, like a man who laughs too hard at his own jokes.

  11. Poison, the original. Escada Collection. Casmir by Chopard.

    p.s. As I recall, there were no drapes.

    • Carlene!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA — you win the “EXCUSE Me, I don’t REALLY THINK that’s what it says on the COVER” award. Email me your address under Contact Us and I’ll mail you some random samps.

      Okay, they’re artificial drapes.

    • That is probably completely true, and if I googled around on Perez Hilton or something I could probably find a picture of yesterday.

      You know, if you’d told me a year ago that I’d be thinking K-Fed would be the more responsible parent I’d have choked myself laughing.

    • For a moment I thought this was the name of a sweet scent (the yummy Carpet by Nor Perfumes, luscious berries, cherries, chocolate, and other junk):)

      • I had no idea there’s a scent called Carpet! Oy, the things I don’t know…

  12. Ohhh yes sweet = evil. Sweet scents (Chypre Rose, Daim Blond) go right to cough syrup on me. Yet I adore vanillas & ambers, just must choose carefully. Think my sweetest is L’Artisan Premier Figiuer Extreme & I have samples of Jour de Fete, SMN Vaniglia & Un Bois Vanille which I also love.

    Funny you mention Hypnotic. My friend says there’s a note in it that revolts her & gags at the mere whiff of it. Last night I was experimenting w Dior Bois d’Argent (which I think smells like Cuir Ottoman’s twisted, sinister cousin) & she swore it had the same note. I can’t find ANY similarity & there are no shared notes listed. She thinks it’s something about the Dior base. Who has an idea what it could be?

    • Wow. Hypnotic and Bois d’Argent seem so completely different I can’t make my brain register what that note would be. But since it’s a given (to me anyway) that we’re experiencing scent components differently, maybe it’s some similarity between the sweetness of the Hypnotic and I think ARgent has honey in it? Honey makes P retch in perfumes.

      • I have no idea either, they smell utterly different to me too. I will tell her I now have it on good authority that it’s the honey & watch her curl up & whimper since she thinks she’s a honey lover 😉

        • Now, that’s just cruel! We’ve been discussing honey up there, she needs to try Miel de Bois and Santa Maria Novella Acqua di Cuba. Then let’s see how she feels about honey.:d

  13. I think my sweetest scents are Lalique Le Parfum and L de Lempicka. But as I don’t wear them anymore, I don’t think they even count.

    • Well, they SORT of count. Maybe you’ll wake up some frosty day in December and say, I need me some Lalique!!!

      Or not.:-“

  14. The only sweet scents I have are Poison (the original good one), and Samsara, I wear them both happily. I used to wear LouLou in moderation, but I don’t and haven’t for a long time now. I don’t actually like sweet scents anymore, but in the 80’s I used to. The only ones that have stuck with me from that crazy era are the two I still use.

    • Smelling Poison again (interestingly, our Sephora doesn’t even carry it, only the flankers) reminds me of what a completely outrageous thing it was. I think I remember reading in a review on Now Smell This when she did the Poisons where she quotes the perfumer saying they could never get away with a scent like that now, and I think it’s true.

      Samsara I actually like in theory but I think it smells not good on me.

  15. I’ve been lurking for a long time and today has been my day to post, following on from my trip to Les Senteurs, so just wanted to say thank you for all I have learnt from you so far. My bank manager will no doubt not thank you!

    My sweetest fragrance is Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Pampelune. I wanted something light, fresh, summery, and was sure a citrus burst should do the trick. Instead, its like I’ve tangled with the wrong end of a cheap orange ice lolly. I use it as air freshner now, along with a Korres citrus body water, that I bought in a sale, probably with a similar desire to what led me to the Guerlain. And with the same result.

    And probably why I am wearing Musc Ravageur from my Les Senteurs samples today and absolutely loving it. Not a sticky lolly in sight!

    • Helen!! Congratulations on de-lurking!!! I know it can be hard to take that first step. Oh, a trip to Les Senteurs!! What a great way to spend some time and money. I’m thinking I need to get ahold of some Malle French Lover for fall. Glad you’re loving the Musc Rav, one of my absolute favorite scents. If you’re infatuated, do yourself a favor and smell both the fragrance and the oil, they’re different enough to be worth sniffing both.

      Pamplelune .. that’s the grapefruit one, I believe. Which smelled very urine-y on me, and I think a lot of other folks. The AAs are a pretty mixed bag. So don’t take it personally. It’s hard to find summery and/or more subtle scents that don’t disappear in 20 mins.

      • Funnily enough, I tried French Lover after reading about it on here, but it didn’t do anything for me (story of my life with the French, so much promised, so little delivered). I think I’m between Musc R, Chypre Rouge and the Nuit Noire from Mona. I guess I’m just not a summer kind of gal!

        • Okay, given that list you can do no wrong and your taste is impeccable. 😡 Anyone who loves Chypre Rouge is a friend of mine.

            • And although MR is all vanilla on me (though I haven’t tried it for a year or so), I have to admire your excellent taste too!^:)^

              • But Lee, without your post on your last trip to Les Senteurs, I would not have crossed their threshold, as was worried it might be a bit snooty. As a girl from the wrong side of the Watford Gap, was worried might not fit in (you know, like a trip to the wrong branch of House of Fraser). So pleased I did, it couldn’t have been a more enjoyable experience, and to end up with such stunning fragrances, i am definitel a convert, and going to enjoy experiencing more fragrances after a long break.

                So, thanks to you 😡

                • Hey, I’m glad to offer some small service! Thanks for your lovely comment on my previous post too!

  16. I have no business snickering at your Hypnotic Poison, seeing as about third of my collection is going to turn your stomach. At least I’ve never owned any of the CSP line. But what I do have (brace yourself): Luctor et Emergo, both Lei and Lui (Mazzolari), Quel Amour, Dzing, Kenzo Elephant, New Haarlem, Mechant Loup, most of Serge’s sweet ones, Lea Extreme, Andy’s Le Maroc… I probably forgot some. Does my love for incense and all things wood and dry make up for this?

    By the way, I thought you also had a bottle of Elide. That’s quite a candy scent, isn’t it?

    • Oh, I dunno. That’s not so bad. Actually, reading your list, with a couple of exceptions I like all of those — they just aren’t enormously sweet on me. Luctor is straight PlayDoh on me. Quel Amour I own, love and wear, but it’s not overly sweet. Okay, Elephant I’ll acknowledge, but it’s SUCH a great scent! Serge’s sweet ones — um, you’ve got me there, no thanks.

      Elide — see, this is what I’m talking about. I have Elide but it’s very green on me, and not especially sweet. I hardly ever wear it because it’s one of the few that the Cheese has asked never to smell again./:)

  17. hmm the sweetest thing I own is probably L’Artisan Vanilia (which isn’t really that sweet) and Nuits de Noho by Bond no. 9 (slightly mitigated by the patchouli). I find that my skin magnifies sweet notes to a somewhat unbearable level (eg: Tom Ford Black Orchid)….so CSP-ish fragrances are like death by candy on me. The only kind of candy that smells good on me…is the kind thats wrapped in leather w/ some gasoline dribbled over it….like Dzing or dry-sweet frags like L’Artisan Ambre Extreme.

    • I went through a Noho phase… I should dig up my decant.

      See, I’m fascinated that you’re the second person who mentioned Dzing! as a sweet scent. I know it’s supposed to have cotton candy (Circus Peanuts?) in it, but I can never smell that component, even on other people. (It smells nasty, all poo on me, which breaks my heart, I’d love to wear it.)

  18. I cherish a tender passion for Ginestet’s Botrytis (funny name, fine ‘fume to steal from Nancy). It’s just melts into my skin and makes me feel like a golden glowing minor fall goddess of some kind…and it’s one of the only ones I wear that makes my sweetie take notice. I found it very early on in my perfume obsession, in the first collection of samps I ever ordered. It got such dismissive reviews on the blogs that for a long time I assumed I’d grow out of my love. While I waited for my taste to mature, I collected other scents with honey in them–I have a good collection of samples, most with more booze, spice or tobacco (Escada Collection, Frapin 1270, L’Artisan Tea for Two among others) — but I finally had to admit that nothing else produced that glow.

    Then (hold on to your stomach March) I discovered I could layer it with Songes EDP for some serious heady white-flower/raw honey/spicy vanilla romance. It makes me go weak in the knees — in a *good* way (I hear you snickering) and has the same effect on my beloved, and then it quiets and melds and just glows for hours…I’ll be wearing it for my wedding this fall.

    I say all this knowing that a few years from now I might be blushing in shame. :”> But for know, I’m out and proud >:d<

    • Man, I’m going weak at the knees just thinking about those two layered together:-& heh heh

      Personally, I don’t think naming a frag after a grape fungus (?) is the best choice. Having said that, Botrytis was very wine-y on me. It was kind of nice — that’s just a note (like berries) I’m not crazy for.

      You know I’m the Perfume Contrarian, so I say, if it works for you — embrace it.

      Also, have you tried Miel de Bois, honey fan? There are people who swear by it. Also, dang … what’s the name of the Santa Maria Novella one? I’d love your opinion. Lee and I smelled it in London. It went all wrong on me, but I wish I had a sample, it really sticks in my mind. For the first few minutes it was absolutely lovely.

      • Acqua di Cuba. as mentioned above – from delight to spermatazoic mildew in 30 minutes… Mmm… smell the kwalidee.

        • It was just horrible, wasn’t it? Keep reminding me. Because I loved the first bits so much I remember and want to retry it.

          • Haven’t tried Acqua di Cuba–the only SNM that works on me so far is Eva, which I adore. I’ve been a little frightened of Miel de Bois. I gave it a quick sniff at last spring’s sniffa, but it seems to require a full day of solo performance to, um, appreciate its finer qualities. I do love Chergui, which I think of as the honey scent I will wear all the time when I much richer and far more chic.

            I do think my skin eats sweet–the Botrytis is lovely wine and raw honey at its opener and then quiet vanilla and gingerbread–I dabbed on the Songes in the first place because I was trying to extend that raw bit…

            Can’t do Aomassi. Not yet anyway. Doesn’t read as “sweet” on me at all… More “burnt.”

            • Miel de Bois, 10 hours in, was a singularly beautiful performance. It’s just the first 9 hours that are so grueling.[-(

              Where’s MY raw honey in Botrytis?:((

  19. Bianca, that’s really interesting about Black Orchid on you. I love it, but it never goes overly sweet on me, gets rapidly through the top notes and the base goes pretty soft spicy wood on me, with just a hint of vanilla to soften it. If it had gone sweet, it would not be on my shelf.

    Well, it could be on my shelf, but it wouldn’t move onto my skin very much :d

    • Duh! Sorry, first timer, meant to post this as a comment on Bianca’s response, rather than a thing out on its own. Sorry!

      • Helen – don’t worry – some of us continue to do this on a very regular basis anyway…:”>

      • thats so lucky for you Helen, because I actually liked Black Orchid on the tester strip….and after the first minute or so…it turns to frightening Robitussin+vanilla. Even the SA at Saks recoiled in horrow when she smelled my arm. And I don’t think its solely a Tom Ford issue because I tried his Private collection, and Tobacco Vanille and Velvet Gardenia both smell delicious on me.

  20. (Stands up next to sweetlife and declares that she, too, is a Botrytis-ite).

    It’s funny. I don’t ordinarily like oh-so-sweet frags, but the two I DO like, I absolutely adore. Botrytis is one and Ciel Mon Jardin is the other. I know exactly what sweetlife means about ‘the glow’ that Botrytis produces. I feel exactly the same way. And no other scent does the same thing for me. In Ciel, it’s the rhubarb note that drew me in. Who knew I’d want to smell like rhubarb? But I do! I do! I’m almost embarassed to admit it! lol :”>

    • When you guys get all glowy about Botrytis I’ll probably have to dig my sample out again and re-try it. It seems like a fall scent to me.

      Hey, who knew anyone would want to smell like gasoline, auto parts, leather handbags, circus tents, tomato plants, damp cathedrals, or any of the other gazillion things we [email protected]};-

    • Oh, thank you so much for joining me! :x:x

      *breathes a sigh of relief*

      March — it is *definitely* a fall/winter scent — I wouldn’t touch it unless it was mid-60’s or below, preferably with bright October blue sky and rustling leaves everywhere…you know, wine harvest time.

      And I agree with you totally about the name, but, you know, it’s *so* wrong that I sort of like its daftness. I mean, didn’t they talk to anyone in the PR department?

  21. I hate sweet! The only thing that comes close that I feel drawn to is that darn Indult Tihota. Super-sweet Vanilla, but in all the best ways.

    • Some of those PGs were really, really sweet. Ugh.

      That Tihota has more fans….8-x :)>-

  22. Hmmm… sweet ‘fumes that I actually like, own and wear–not too many, as I seem to sweetify perfume. The list of stuff I’ve tried and can’t wear due to excessive sweetness is vast. But Arabie and Chergui I like, most of the time. And Slatkin Black Fig and Absinthe, too. And I just put on some Botrytis, a few minutes ago, because I was hoping against hope my first impression (a few months ago) was uhm, mistaken. It’s so wrong on me! Viola (DD1) said (w/ appropriate teenage grimace) “It smells like plastic and Cheerios!” She’s right, there is a bizarre cereal note in there. It also reminds me a bit of PG’s Coze, which was not fabulous on me, to say the least.

    • That was one of those super-sweet Parfumerie Generales, right? Right? They sort of varied between wonderful and … dang, just tooth-achingly sugary.

      Adding your description of Botrytis to my list of things I never want to smell in a fragrance.;)

      • Yeah…I hope never to smell a perfume like Botrytis again, either. The Cheerio/plastic notes passed into a pretty basic cotton candy-gone-awry note after a while, but it certainly wasn’t worth waiting for.

        And Coze was one of the toothachers from PG (on me, anyway…) It was some redeemed by having smoke in it. Cuir Venenum was the worst PG for me, because it smelled like beer and grape smarties. The Aomassai’s buttcrack accord (which I got very little of, thank heaven) was pretty tolerable next to that.

  23. I have a decent sized stack of unread Allure magazines, and will have to start flipping through them. Unfortunately, September’s issue isn’t here yet.

    And yes to Tendre Friandise!

    • Aha — I got my sample from you!! I put it on periodically, and it just doesn’t work on me. But hausvonstone put it on, and it smelled delicious on her, sort of musky and spicy. Why don’t I get that?:((

      • I think as Marina noted on her blog, Malle actually writes a column about scent for Allure?

        I’m not sure. But I think someone over there in upper mgmt must be into fragrance, their coverage is pretty decent.

        Oh, wait … do I now need to insert a link in here to Marina’s homepage?/:)

        snerk.

        • Yes, and you need to link Tendre Friandise to me, apparently :”>

  24. Ok, fine, I love both Hypnotic Poison AND Allure. There, I said it. I’m even a subscriber, mainly because of some excellent essays and even better photography, and their fragrance coverage gets better every month (an interview with Aerin Lauder, and a column written by Frederic Malle, no less, over the summer.) There is the matter of annoying and whiny celebrity teenagers on the cover, but Malle trumps Britney anyday.

    • Okay, the fact that they’d even pick Britney chafes me, but the reading as you note is often excellent, and their fragrance coverage is pretty good for a mainstream mag like that.

      Also the Britney interview is pretty funny, because she never shows up! It’s all about the blow-offs and the chat not happening.

      • PS VINDICATION for you AND me, babe — at my local snobby Needless Markups? The only Poison they carry is Hypnotic.

        [-(

  25. I do have sweetness amplification powers, so I am quite wary about certain lines. The Art et Matiere, Parfumerie Generale and Givenchy scents have just freaked me out lately. But I like Hypntoic Poison. My husband just bought me Boucheron Jaipur PH, another Annick Menardo, and it’s got this enormous pong of heliotrope. When I first smelled it I thought “What on earth was he thinking?!” but it’s actually really great once it settles a bit. Different for the XY set, anyway. Right at this moment I am wearing Kenzo Jungle Elephant and it is divine and cavity-inducing. Many of the Kenzo scents are sweet actually, as are many of the ones you have introduced to me: Courtesan, L, MoSaso. And, of course, there is Apres L’Ondee, Tocade (you like that one, don’t you?) and just about any Serge. And I like Angel and Sira des Indes. Oh, and Rumba. I think almost all of these balance the sweetness out with: a) a sense of humour (i.e. Angel, which I always think is a very funny perfume); b) exoticism (Jaipur); or c) both (Kenzo Elephant).

    • Oh, that Jaipur PH is a magical thing. I didn’t smell it until last winter, I thought it was lovely. I also think it’s lovely that Mr. Tigs will buy you men’s cologne.=d>

      Do you get the spicy cardamom/clove bits in Jungle Elephant? Wow, that thing is a wild ride.

      • I get a lot of cardamom in the beginning, which I’m ashamed to say I really enjoy, jazz hands and yodelling and all. There is a period in the middle, the heart notes, where it’s a bit powdery for me – I’m going to blame it on the heliotrope and vanilla combo. I have special clove-neutralizing skin, so no love there, but I adore the caraway (in Hypnotic Poison, too). The late dry down is lovely also – the patch, I guess, very dry and dusky. It doesn’t smell like an elephant, though, does it? More tiger-like, feline to me. I’d be interested to try the Tiger one.

        • That’s a really excellent description. I would be very sad if I had the special clove-neutralizing skin. Actually, reading your description is so mouth-watering that if it’s as cold tomorrow as it is right now (honestly, what is UP with the weather around here? it’s absurd) I’m going to ride the Elephant.

          I think all the names are absurd, like King Kong. But I think the fragrances are brilliant.

  26. Ha. I have a subscription to Allure. Why? Because it’s good to keep up with what’s happening in make-up, as that’s what I do. But truly, some of the articles I could give two sh*ts about. They’ve run interesting articles on fragrances from time to time, I will admit.

    Guilty sweet pleasures in perfumes? Well…I used to really like the gourmand, until I discovered the incense, the wood, the smoke. Now they all seem too sickly sweet for me. But, I have a full bottle of Loukoum by Keiko Mecheri. It’s a great comforting winter scent! Then there’s the Borneo 1834, which smells like chocolate patchouli on me, I love it. I also own a full bottle of Serge’s Un Bois Vanille. It doesn’t seem as sweet as some vanillas. I have a friend who LOVES anything vanilla, but it works on her.

    • Gina — glancing through Allure again last night (I admit it, I need to get a life) I was struck by how wide-ranging the product is, and a sense that their fashion world is a little wider. I admit without much shame that fashion trash rags are my guilty pleasure — before-bed “reading” with my Vosges chocolate bar or whatever. But Allure is often more interesting than I’d realized. Diva’s getting a little fed up with me stealing her copy, though.

      The incense, the wood, the smoke — you are singing my song.

  27. Sweets don’t work on me. I fall into a diabetic perfume
    coma. Mix them with musk, and I’ll reach for a plastic
    bag to voluntarily put over my head and tie shut.
    But yet, I am weak. SL Arabie. In winter, I can’t live
    without it. Montale Amandes Oriental. No clue, but it
    takes me somewhere, sits me on its strong lap and com-
    forts me all day long.

    I just sniffed L’Artisan’s Ete en Douce and loved it,so
    I bought it without wearing it. ARGGGGH! Musk and sweet!
    I tried Chergui and couldn’t breathe. There is an Annick
    Goutal, Ciel something, that I also find suffocating.
    Sira des Indes? Leave it in Indes. Patou Sublime? Nein.
    What I really want is the fresh, chilly smell that lives
    in a florist shop. Not flowers (and NEVER,EVER “white
    flowers”), but green stems and buds. Yum.Now if they
    bottled that, I’d stand in line.

    • They have bottled that. They just won’t give it to us any more. That sap one from Gobin Daude… sigh. I think you would have loved it.

      Are you into experiential perfumes? Christopher Brosius is always playing around with green and sap notes, I bet there’s something in there to love. And racking my brain for something else (not him, I don’t think) I smelled recently that was like that.

      None of the Patous work on me. Indes is rank.

      I love the floral-shop chill of Malle’s carnal flower, but I’m thinking the flower part would slay you.

  28. I’m hardly immune to sweet.
    KM Loukhoum
    Ambre Narguile
    SMN Ambra del Nepal
    YR Gardenia
    YR Neonatura Cocoon
    Muscs Maori
    Crime Exotique
    Arabie
    Un Lys
    CSP Vanille Passion, Matin Calin, Vanille Amande, Vanille Abricot, Amour de Cacao
    Habanita
    Fleur Oriental
    Coeur de Fleur
    Gourmandises

    I’m forgetting a LOT.
    Acqua di Cuba, too.

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