Strange, but Not Invisible

Do you know what my biggest perfume pet peeve is? –  and I may not have a right to feel peevish about it, and perhaps someone can explain why people do this so I can move on from this fit of miserable irritation –  “Can you recommend a fragrance that smells just like Wi-Wi Perfume?”  whilst Wi-Wi is not discontinued, is easily accessible, probably sells for less than 30 quid at  Why?  Just use Wi-Wi, no need for something that smells like it.  Leap outside the box, try something new.  Am I missing something? 

Gimmicky fragrances tend to turn me off or at least make me suspicious that they are hiding inferior juice behind a clever marketing strategy.  I had seen these a couple of times in Barney’s, but went on by because of that jacked price tage of $185 for 1/4 ounce.  Now they have some of their scents available in edp for $135 for 1.7 ounces or 50 mls.  We are going in the right direction.  I’ve tried these now about four times, and my initial reaction when I first put them on is always … yowsah,  these are just much for me.  Then about an hour later I have this wonderful smell or two wafting around, but I can’t remember where I put them, so I’m not sure if it’s all of the three I’ve got or just one or two of them.  In an effort to give them a good run and find the great smell, I committed myself today to getting past the open and not being impatient with them.  So I spritzed, braced myself…. and waited.

L’Invisible is the signature scent of the line with notes of oak moss, resins, ylang ylang, blood orange, hibiscus, vanilla, rose, and lemon.   This starts sharp and strange and takes about 30 minutes for it to come out – it’s beautiful, rich and lush, with the oakmoss underlying it to give it depth and interest.  This is the one that wafts around beautifully as my arm goes traveling by.

Black Rosette has notes of black tea, rose, leather, and spearmint.  This is like Annick Goutal Eau du Fier/CdG Tea with some Wrigley’s Spearmint gum wrapped around it on the open — weird and sharp and pretty wonderful.  The rose peeps out…  of the mouth of a dragon, all fire and smoky blackness, with that same stick of Wrigley’s tucked behind its green scaley ear.    Strangely perfect.

Moon Garden (edp) has notes of tuberose, jasmine, pikake and African resins.  Tuberose hits the gates of this as soon as you spray in on, with an underlying darkness that I’m going to assume is the resins. If you like your tuberose dark, a little feral, definitely not green, Moon Garden should be a perfect fit. 

 Still don’t get the name – these perfumes are anything but invisible.  Strange?  Absolutely.  This is not mainstream stuff, so if you’re new to fragrance, you’ve been warned.

I shared my favorite perfume pet peeve.  What’s yours?

  • Molly says:

    Hi Catherine,
    I really like your outlook on art and life! I’ve been wanting (needing, really) to find a way somehow to artistically express my emotions…but I’m really not very talented at anything art or craft-wise. But I know that’s not really the point! I’m trying to find someone/place in my area that offers art therapy. I think that would be really good for me. I need to just try *something* and just jump in without worrying if I’ll “fail” or not. (this is a major problem for me–a fear of failure–and it holds me back in many areas of my life)
    You’ve really inspired me and made me think; thank you so much!
    PS: I’ve never tried Carnal Flower but I just know I’d love it! Tuberose is just heavenly…
    And anything by Ormonde Jayne is beautiful and can’t help but lift your mood! I like all of them but especially Frangipani, Ormonde Woman, and Ormonde Man. Orris Noir is growing on me too…
    Molly 🙂

    • erin k. says:

      molly, clearly you ARE talented and creative – you’re writing! many influential people used to be known as a woman/man “of letters” – writers, artists, philosophers, etc. who developed their thoughts and expressed feelings through letters to their friends, lovers, and sometimes even enemies. that’s pretty much what we’re all doing now, using perfume as the touchstone.

      p.s. – i’m a visual artist myself, and i highly recommend printmaking for anyone interested in art and/or therapy. it’s great, and you can try anything from more involved methods like woodcut (many use linoleum instead of wood) or silkscreen to simple at-home stamps made from styrofoam meat trays. it doesn’t necessarily require a teacher or lots of materials, and something about the process is very satisfying and cathartic. it’s a criminally overlooked art form!

  • Molly says:

    Hi Catherine,
    Isn’t it fascinating the part that the sense of smell plays in depression,and happiness (and everything in between)?
    I’ve never experienced that–about smelling dirt and decay and such–but somehow it makes sense. If you feel like that on the inside, it’s no wonder that it would manifest itself outward and back through our senses.
    I’m so glad that perfume helped you find your way out of that dark place. I’m so glad I developed this new passion for perfume, and found a place to talk to interesting people too!
    Just curious–what scents do you reach for when you need that cocoon? (I really like that metaphor by the way)
    For me lately it’s been Delrae Amoureuse, Nicolai Sacrebleu, and PG Corps et Ames. For some reason, they each have just the right of amount of beauty mixed with strangeness to be comforting.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi, Molly,

      I will say… making art has been the best avenue to combat depression, engaging with the world via the camera, developing photographs, hand-making books. In such a state, it is important to recreate the world, to rebirth one’s place in it. I truly find perfume an everyday opportunity for that rebirthing of self. And then it follows me wherever I go in the day.

      I am not surprised in your choices of cocoons (yes, I love that word)…they envelop like sparkling filaments. Mine have to be Mona di Orio’s Nuit Noire, OJ Ta’if, and FM Carnal Flower. Vero’s Rubj is starting to become another. I thought it was my least favorite of the three, and yet I reach and reach and reach for the sample. I am a flower-girl completely! I used to say, the body is a garden–cultivate it, prune it, water it.

  • Molly says:

    Thanks Minette 🙂

  • Louise says:

    Just needling yourself 😉

  • Molly says:


  • Molly says:

    Gotta love that Fracas!
    One of my favorites…

  • Molly says:

    So true Louise!
    And I know all-too-well about co-existing conditions–alcoholism, depression, and my basically self-induced hypoglycemia. Who knows which of these caused what for me, but according to the research and my doctors, they’re all interconnected somehow.
    Now for another blissful whiff of Corps et Ames….. 🙂

  • Molly says:

    Hi Louise,
    Good point. It’s important to give people the benefit of the doubt, because we never can know who *is* or isn’t suffering from some ailment–and who are we to say anyway? And I would bet that in general, people are usually genuine.
    That’s too bad that acupuncture is so expensive; I think prices must vary widely because I was pretty surprised at how affordable my sessions were. Of course, I went for about 2-3 times per week for 6 weeks which definitely adds up!
    I wonder, is there such thing as self-acupuncture?

  • Molly says:

    Hi Elyse,
    I’ve also found perfume to be helpful. Maybe not permanently, but sometimes, that drug-free escape with a lovely scent is all I can ask for! Really, what other substance can give such a lovely, immediate escape, that isn’t a drug? 🙂

  • Erin/Tigs says:

    Uh, sorry, that was for Lee!

  • Erin/Tigs says:

    And debilitating, I should add!

  • Erin/ Tigs says:

    Donna, that’s my precisely my point. Some people have terrifying, potentially fatal allergies and asthma, and these people deserve all our sympathy and respect. The people who do not have these conditions, but say they do, do not deserve our silence on the issue. My feelings on this have probably been stregthened by living with my husband, who suffers from asthma, a bum thyroid and a chronic problem with telling the uncomfortable truth to stangers:p

    • Louise says:

      Erin-the tough part here is in any of us deciding who has what conditions. Many illnesses, such as psychic and physical pain (and cognitive issues, heart disease, and endocrine problems, etc, etc, etc.)are not outwardly visible, and thus I believe we can only go by what people say, and show them caring and respect.

      I am very sorry for your husband’s difficulties.

      • Erin/ Tigs says:

        Well, Louise, I certainly did not mean to offend you personally and thank you for your measured response. It is very true that not all illness is obviously visible – even Stage 4 cancer does not necessarily manifest itself outwardly sometimes. About the respect, we will have to agree to disagree, I guess. I think people who fake conditions – and there are plenty of them – do not respect the experience of those who actually suffer from those conditions, and, as such, don’t deserve me being careful about their feelings.

        • Louise says:

          But…how can you distinguish yourself who is actually sick, and who is faking, and who is using their illness? Doctors have a hard enough time…

          I think I’ve said enough, and thank you for an interesting debate.

          • Tigs / Erin says:

            Well, it’s usually a tip-off when they say they are deathly allergic to perfume, pet hair, etc. and yet you are absolutely covered in Arabie or sheltie hair and they don’t notice. Also, as I’ve pointed out, many people only seem to “suffer” at work and not during social events. I’m afraid there are just people who fake it, no matter how ignorant their doctor may be. And thank *you*, I don’t usually debate with somebody so informed.

  • Elyse says:

    I suffer from depression and serious social anxiety, but, actually, my new passion for perfume makes me feel a little better. I love to be comforted or uplifted by a scent, and I love the online perfume community. After 8 months of wanting to go to The Perfume House, I finally did, and you know what? I met a couple of sweet ladies who were absolutely great.
    I’m sure I will develop a pet peeve eventually.
    Sorry for being so off topic but I always feel I should tell you all how happy you all make me!

    • Catherine says:

      😡 I know this place where you’ve been. Last year, I felt I could smell decay, mold, dirt. I was depressed, not in a sudden way, just more intensely–usually, I handle it well. Delving into beautiful scents gave me something that cocooned me. I was holding myself. It brought me out of a shell.

      I love this place too…another cocoon.

  • Molly says:

    Hi Minette,
    I agree about better quality. Which is why I can’t stand it when really interesting, high-quality perfumes get axed because they don’t fit the current fads.
    To clarify: I wasn’t meaning that we should lower our standards when it comes to expecting and demanding high-quality perfumes! Rather I was meaning that just people in general (myself included of course) should not belittle the *wearer* of those scents that we can’t stand or think are of lower quality. I’m all for criticizing the producers of cheap low-quality perfumes that smell like everything else on the market!
    But anyway, Nobody’s done that here–I wasn’t referring to anything anyone said on this forum! Please don’t take my general pet peeve personally, because it was not meant as a personal critique at anyone here. You all are great, and I enjoy this forum very much!
    I defintely didn’t mean to step on anyone’s toes.

    • minette says:

      hi, molly – i just wanted to be clear about my stance on those types of fragrances. i know they’re popular – i smell them at work all the time. but that’s cool. to each his own.

      you didn’t step on any toes. we all have vibrant opinions, and this is a wonderful place to share them. i love the way the reviews and stories here prompt so much reflection and storytelling.

  • minette says:

    oh, and sorry if i’m seen as belittling certain scents (b&bw and others like them) – someone else’s pet peeve. i believe everyone has a right to choose their own scents – and i wouldn’t belittle anyone for his or her choice. i just believe we all deserve better quality.

  • minette says:

    one of my pet peeves is the number of releases; i’d rather companies spent time developing better and fewer juices. it’s fun to have new things to try, but there are just too many.

    uneducated SAs also wear on me. some of their assertions are just ridiculous. but i know it’s not always their fault, because i when i probe, i hear what the lines tell them to say, and i realize the misinformation often comes from the manufacturers.

    and of course, the reformulation of tried-and-true perfumes, to account for “modern” tastes just ticks me off. they seem to think modern women are boring, insipid, vapid, and desiring of neutered perfumes with no personality.

    if i never smelled another bath and body works scent, it would be okay with me. i think they and others like them have dumbed down the fragrance world and made a lot of people not like “perfume.” to me they are the new lowest-common-denominator in the scent realm. i think what we now call drugstore scents from the past were better.

    and, if they would stop making detergents and other household products smell so much like men’s cologne, that would be fine with me. they could also lower the volume on them.

  • Joan says:

    Thank you Louise and Molly. I couldn’t have expressed it better than you guys. Depression does hurt. Even worse, is being embarrassed to ask for help or talk about it because of the social stigma.

  • Molly says:

    Hi Patty,
    I’m so sorry about your dad.
    My husband is in the same kind of position as you–he offers his support, but doesn’t know quite *what* to do. Of course, neither do I! Treating depression is such a trial-and-error and ongoing process anyway.
    Really the best thing he can do is listen and offer support, and for me to explain where I’m at. I know one thing, I’m *glad* he doesn’t really understand; I never want him to have depression!
    He’s a good guy. 🙂

  • Molly says:

    Hi Louise,
    Yeah, I was fairly certain that fibromyalgia is a medically and scientifically documented condition. I understand how you feel: I have depression, and those who don’t understand it think it’s “all in my head” and that I should just “snap out of it” don’t take it seriously as the all-encompassing, full mind-and-body condition that it really is.
    I’m sorry you have to deal with chronic pain. My mom does too, and I hate to see how it affects her life.
    Just curious, have you ever tried acupuncture? I’ve did it for a different condition and I was pleasantly surprised at its effects. It’s an amazing science…
    (btw: sorry to others that this is off-topic)

    • Louise says:

      Molly-thanks for your kindness. Yes-I love getting acupuncture-it is helpful-it’s just expensive in this area, and my insurance doesn’t cover it. Why a single session costs enough for a FB of some niche perfumes 🙂

  • Molly says:

    Hi Patty–
    LOL Fair enough. 🙂
    And I definitely do NOT want to start an argument!
    Perfumeland is too beautiful a place to argue in. 🙂
    Right now I’m basking in Corps et Ames and it’s just heavenly! Sigh…..utopia.

  • Molly says:

    Devil’s advocate here 🙂
    My pet peeves:
    –Judgement, and intolerance. For example: It grates on my last nerve when I hear someone say, “I hate such-and-such perfume, it’s the worst scent in the world, therefore nobody should wear it and it should be banned.” I understand having different tastes than other people in perfumes and in all areas of life, but come on, how rude and self-centered. Belittling someone because they wear a perfume you don’t like?? I know sometimes people are merely joking, but other times they are most certainly not. (By the way, this hasn’t happened to me, lol).

    About allergies, migraines, etc. Allergies to perfumes are real and can be very common. Consider this: you’ve got grass oils, wood components, flower components, etc etc etc. Grasses, trees and flowers are some of the most common and pervasive allergies. Someone may not be allergic to the actual perfume, but most definitely can be allergic to what the perfume’s made up of.
    Migraines: for some people, anything, so much as a sound, food, scent, or movement of light can trigger a debilitating migraine. Not everything people claim is bulls*it.

    Fibromyalgia (sp?). Whether this is simply depression or an actual medical condition, I don’t know. But I do know that depression has chronic and debilitating physical manifestations. Your body can actually hurt, a dull pain, but pain nonetheless, day in and day out. This is real. You always feel physically under-the-weather. It’s not just a psychological thing, it’s also a physiological thing.
    So, in perfume and in all areas of life, I think we should be a little more understanding and tolerant of people–what (perfume) they wear, how they wear it. And let’s give people the benefit of the doubt, and not just dismiss them because we think they’re embellishing their conditions. Maybe they are, but undoubtedly many aren’t. Of course, I’m not suggesting we shouldn’t wear a certain perfume because someone says they’re allergic to it, etc, just that we keep in mind that maybe, just maybe, they’re telling the truth.
    Sorry, I just had to get that off my chest!
    PS: I hate it when interesting perfumes get discontinued!! Like Theorema. Why, or why??

    • Lee says:

      I wasn’t going to comment, but I’ll chime in and agree with Molly. After having mono last year, I can testify to peculiar conditions that seem to arrive from nowhere…:(

      • Erin / Tigs says:

        Lee, you lovely, silly man, I wasn’t talking about mono! I’ve had mono, but I know where my personal bout came from: sharing a drink with a boy named Andrew at a charity 30 hour “famine” in high school. Was nasty!

        • Lee says:

          But I mean the mono tail of exhaustion – fatigue, muscle spasms, all that crap. It’s a long freakin tail!

          • Tigs / Erin says:

            Well, I was lucky(?!?), I had the kamikaze version where I vomited, hallucinated and needed IV for two weeks and then it was done. But the girl across the road (who was dating Andrew) looked perfectly fine and then her brother picked her up and ruptured her mono-enlarged spleen. I’ve never met anyone who thought mono was anything other than extremely unpleasant.

    • Patty says:

      This is my limited participation in what will surely be a lively discussion.

      I think, with all things, it is very difficult for anyone to understand what pain/agony/depression feels like unless they have experienced it. Until my dad died, I really had no comprehension of what that kind of grief was. Now I know.

      I’ve been fortunate not to have migraines or other chronic ills, but I absolutely believe that they are real to the person experiencing them, no matter the cause. And I think there are a lot of unexplained pain in the world that one day will have a reasonable, scientific explanation, and one that may surprise us all.

      I’m blessed with an eternally optmistic and never even remotely depressed disposition (though cranky at times), my husband suffers from depression, and it took me many years, and him as well, to fully understand all the things it affects in his life and me. I get how he explains to me it feels, but I’ll never really know – can only offer my support.

      • Erin / Tigs says:

        Patty, I should clarify that I of course believe depression is a real, physical illness. I just don’t believe that it helps to have it go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed/mislabelled. I’m sorry about your husband, and I’m glad he has you to support him.

  • Malena says:

    hm…i´m too tired to write about my peeves, if i start i´d write kind of a novel i guess…

    i agree with anybody who complained about SAs, perhaps i should add i don´t like those either that actually have some knowledge about perfumes, but speak about them in such an exaggerated way like “oh yes, perfume can change you life, perfume is so precious…” bla bla bla
    once i had to wait for my favourite SA & listened to another one who spoke with a young couple in such a way that i almost stopped loving perfume – it was so HILARIOUS 8-|

    SIPs black rosette is…nasty! i wanted to like it (strange notes don´t scare me) but this one *ugh* it gave me a headache because all i could smell was a spearmint scented ashtray & it didn´t want to change or fade :((

    i hope i´ll have more luck with the others /:)

    • Patty says:

      LOL! Change your life? Well, up my enjoyment factor. Sheesh. That kind of pretension just makes me shudder. :0

      Black Rosette really grew on me, and I’m still a little baffled about where I might wear it, but I sure am glad you asked me to get it or I would have never found that little beauty. I can absolutely see how it could go completely wrong on someone. 🙂

  • Linda says:

    I have a fondness for perfumes with citrus notes because it smells and feels fresh. My pet peeve is any fragrance that smell overly sugary – which brings to mind Paris Hilton’s Can Can that smells like pink cotton candy overloaded with sugar. Then again, I’m not a big fan of celebrity endorsed perfumes, and I can’t understand why they make millions of sales. I suppose that’s another pet peeve. :d

    • Patty says:

      You know, I always allow a lot for tastes, but I don’t get the overly sugary perfumes either, once you’re past the age of 25 or so, but I think that’s just a taste thing. I also don’t get the inclination towards clean scents, which is slowly destroying anything really unique in mainstream perfume as they all try and make every scent smell lily pure.

      I think there’s room for both in the marketplace, but when they start edging out all the interesting things, then I get testy. 🙂

  • March says:

    I already shared my pet peeve, not just a question —

    Didn’t SIP make Lady Day? That gardenia scent I keep pretending doesn’t exist because I am pretty sure they don’t make it any more?

    OTOH I could let my digits do the drifting over to TPC to see if y’all sell it…

    • Malena says:

      just email them & ask – i found lauren to be very helpful & nice.
      actually, i think i read somewhere (but no idea where 😕 ) that there was a problem with the name “lady day” & they couldn´t use it any longer.
      maybe they still carry it, but just sell it when someone directly asks for it?

    • Patty says:

      I’ve never seen the Lady Day on their site and have looked for it. heroine isn’t there either, and I wonder if that was the new name for Lady Day for a while? Now I would really like to find that!

  • Catherine says:

    SIP is the next line I’m wanting to investigate, oils or edp–but first I want to take a couple of months and just enjoy the scents filling my shelf. I’ve stopped asking myself, “How much perfume do you need?” Instead, I ask, “Can you enjoy this–really breathe it in and feel it?” Sampling and swapping decants has become discombobulating–I think there really can be too much of a good thing! 😮 But Strange Invisible Perfumes come next…come spring…

    I have a number of pet peeves. I’ll echo someone above–living in the frozen mess of nearly rural America makes it impossible to sniff most of what is mentioned without expending a lot of cash or a lot of energy (swapping). That does have an upside, of course: I’m finally becoming more relaxed about the whole thing. It’s okay–I’ll get to a big city someday. That said, I wish that the big guns (SL, FM, Mona–well, big guns to me–Aftelier, Miller Harris….etc., etc., etc.,) could establish little stands even the rural boondocks of the world. It would so elevate the general understanding of perfume! That would make me so happy!

    Second, I wish companies put the extra few dollars toward good boxes. I hate SL’s flimsy pieces of paper. I actually think twice about buying a scent that doesn’t come in a sturdy box–now, that doesn’t ultimately make a difference in my decision (I think), but I appreciate a well-constructed home for this expensive object that needs to be kept out of light. (And yes, those Kilian boxes make me salivate…)

    Thanks, Patty, for talking about this line, SIP–I’ve been eagerly hunting down reviews, but there aren’t that many. Take care.

    • Patty says:

      See, that is really sensible, and more people should do that. YOu don’t need to smell everything at once, and if you go on a sniffing binge, you may pass over a beauty in a hurry. It’s far better to take your time, enjoy the journey, make lists of stuff you want to sniff so you don’t forget, but I suspect much of the stuff on the list will drop off here and there — a natural pruning without spending a dime. 🙂

  • tmp00 says:

    I am giving the benefit of the doubt to 99% of people who go in someplace asking for something that smells like “Nuit de Whatever” because I’d venture a guess that they don’t know how to name what it is in the stuff that they like. We in a way are breathing rare air up here; we can usually tell someone that we want Whatevers wonderful vetiver and tuberose but can live without it’s litchi and frozen sheets accord. Which probably makes us annoying to SA’s on a completely different level.

    K, my big pet peeve? I am in line behind someone at the fragrance counter (or for that matter, the post office or the coffee shop) who doesn’t have the vaguest idea what they want but have to try everything in the store, smelling the test strip this way and that, cocking their head, making that “me no like” face babies get when fed pureed brussels sprouts and asking for something else. Invariably this is when I have three minites left on the meter, have to go to the bathroom bad, or can see that there is only one bottle left of what I want. The SA is sweating for exertion, there is a pile of test strips large enough to ensure that a Brazilian rain forest will have to be clearcut and I am thisclose to having a stroke. And you know what tops it off? Invariably the person NEVER BUYS! :((

    • erin k. says:

      LOL “litchi and frozen sheets accord!”

    • Patty says:

      So where would one go to get some of that frozen sheets accord? Is that like a frozen aquatic, just to classify it properly?

      I always get in the wrong line, and if there is one annoying customer in the store, I will be behind them, too.

  • Theresa says:

    Have to agree about annoying SAs–either ones who threaten to spray you when you’d rather they didn’t or the ones who try to instruct you about how to spray/wear perfume and come off as patronizing. And a personal pet peeve is when perfumes are placed on high shelves so that I(at 5’2″) always have to ask a SA to reach it for me…which usually leads to the hard sell or the spray threat.

    • Patty says:

      Better! The ones that suggest that the fragrance must be accompanied by the lotion, the oil, the gel, the moistened towlettes or you’re a piker. I mean, I do dig some of the lotions for when I want a lighter scent, but… yowsah!

  • BBliss says:

    OK – I’ve been a skeptic about these because of the $$ and the marketing hooey – but thank you sweetlife, for the Shakespeare/Cleopatra – I do feel like I’m expanding my mind while I procrastinate at work! And Patty, just to clarify you tried the spray edp, not the oils? I think I need to read more carefully…

    Pet Peeve #1 – Ugly Bottles – esp if the scent is exquisite why go to so much trouble to create a masterpiece and wrap it in trash?
    Pet Peeve #2 – Vice verse – beautiful bottles with stink inside.
    Pet Peeve #3 – An echo of above, helicopter SAs – who expect you to spritz and by on the spot. C’mon I at least need to let the alcohol burn off!8-|

    • Patty says:

      I used the edp on the Moon Garden and L’Invisible. oil on the Black Rosette, there is no edp for that one.

      I think these may fall on the weird scale. For those people who are drawn to the unusal, they will likely play better for them. Those that like traditional things may not find them so cool. 🙂

      • BBliss says:

        Thanks for the weird scale warning – some days I’m into that, and some days you just need an old reliable! Happy Weekend!

  • Erin / Tigs says:

    I always get worried about the “overspraying” peeve, because I’m sure I wear too much sometimes. I certainly did when I started wearing perfume, but as my obsession really starting rolling, I found myself wearing less as I wore scent for *myself*. My father-in-law, a wonderful man, recently engaged me in a discussion on overspraying, and just as I was getting defensive, he said: “I brought this up because your perfume never bothers me – I very rarely notice it. Those people who drown in the stuff must bother you, too.” I was so relieved.

    Had he not said that, I would have gone into my speech: my own pet peeve is people who say that they’re “allergic” to ANY scent. It has become quite fashionable to claim excrutiating sensitivity to normal everyday living: debilitating migraines or vague attacks of one of those non-existent diseases like Multisymptom distress disorder or fibromyalgia (ie. un-diagnosed depression). I do feel terrible for those with very severe asthma, but – and I realize this is a serious accusation, but it’s true – people are always claiming “life-threatening” asthma for themselves or their relatives when they have no such thing. I have done my speech in at least 25 groups of 4 people or more, detailing the extensive medical evidence that these sorts of “allergies” are very rare (or unconfirmed, in the case of MSDS and the like), and even *after* the speech, EVERY TIME, at least two people in the group claim that they are nevertheless in the tiny minority that suffers unbearably from migraines or allergic reactions to perfume. I think it is no coincidence that these “attacks” often strike at work, and require the victim to go home. I also think, sadly, that it is no coincidence that every victim, ABSOLUTELY WITHOUT FAIL, has been a woman. My mother-in-law, married to my lovely, but workaholic and introverted father-in-law, is a good example. A stay-at-home-mom/wife, she gets quietly drunk every night, and then the next day blames her hangover headaches on perfume, or somebody across the road mowing the lawn, or the barometric pressure, or her “allergy to peeling unripe bananas”. (Don’t laugh – I’ve heard stupider “allergies” from plenty of people…) I love the woman, but comon now…

    What I want to know is when having an allergy made you feel special? People with real allergies know that they are serious business, not some kind of lifestyle accessory, and they are usually quiet about them. Ok, sorry, End of Rant! :d

    • pitbull friend says:

      Hey, Erin: You hit the nail on the head on a lot of things. I used to be a claims adjuster in workers’ compensation & so ran into a lot of this. It seemed that a lot of women in their 40s & 50s had “fibromyalgia,” (which, literally translated, only means “muscle pain”), either self-diagnosed or diagnosed by practitioners I wouldn’t take entirely seriously. The common link in virtually all of them is being an “empty-nester.” I have no doubt the pain was real, but it seemed to be the somatic translation of loneliness & loss of purpose. I think it’s a reminder to all of us to do the best we can to have a balanced life — start forming other interests before the kids move away, etc. –Ellen

      • erin k. says:

        here’s a similar effect i have noticed:
        i have migraines (purely hormonal, btw, not caused by perfumes or food or whatever). i notice that after people around me hear that i have migraines, they “develop” migraines, too. and i know by how they describe it that they’re not actual migraines, just bad headaches. migraine is a neurological disorder. i think there’s an element of hypochondria here.

        i also believe that some of the increase in cases of environmental allergies is caused by a detatchment from nature – seeing our environment as threatening or harmful rather than as an extension of ourselves.

        i think there’s a very vocal group of hypochondriac types who make the people with real health problems look bad. if someone tells you perfume makes them ill, but they managed to sit next to you all day at work, then chances are, it doesn’t make them ILL, it just annoys them.

    • pitbull friend says:

      Oh, and, Erin — sounds like classic alcoholic denial with the in-law. An alcoholic close to me is constantly complaining about his arthritis — which oddly seems to happen in the mornings, after drinking. –Ellen

    • Patty says:

      I’m going to go stand in the corner during the allergy argument. 🙂 I think I posted on that a few years back and was lucky to come out of it alive. I just don’t know the science on it, but do read what it is, so I’ve been skeptical of perfume allergies.

      Though I’m sure the person who believes they have them does suffer from a physical ailment which may or may not be caused by perfume.

      How’s that!?!?

    • Louise says:

      Sorry, but have to comment here. I have fibromyalgia (and migraines), have had it for 10 years after a bout of severe thryroid disease. I acquired it while my nest was still full, and don’t beleive I’m out of touch with my emotions, depressed or otherwise. I am not lonely or feel at all purposeless. My life is full of loving friends and amazing family-and I feel a strong sense of direction in my life, in particular a duty to service of others. I work with disabled teenagers. And I also live with a lot of pain.

      Fibromyalgia is recognized by the CDC, and has defined diagnostic criteria. My diagnosis was by a highly respected NIH researcher/practitioner. Interesting part about the tendency toward prevalence in women-it is also true that women are much more prone to immune system disorders; fibromyalgia is linked to immune system dysfunction markers. And I agree-any disease may have a psychosomatic element-secondary gain from illness is always something to be aware of.

      I have no idea whether there are environmental contributors to my pain-I just try to live a balanced, healthy life as suggested here. And to carry on everyday with as much pleasure and joy as I might. It is hurtful to hear judgements and dismissal of a disease (and others, such as allergies and sensitivities whose presense I have no data by which to affirm or negate) that I and others struggle with daily.

      • Tigs / Erin says:

        Louise, I have to say that I knew somebody would be offended, and I’m sorry that it was you. I haven’t read the rest of the comments because I wanted to respond just to yours. I admit that it certainly sounds as if you have an illness, and I acknowledge the CDC and diagnostic criteria would confirm it as what you say. The simple truth is, though, that half of doctors won’t diagnose it, either because they don’t agree it exists, or because they don’t believe it is common or simply because they don’t believe a diagnosis is helpful. All the sufferers I know personally are not officially diagnosed. Most of them suffer from both alcoholism and depression. I have a friend who works for the board of education for a large city, and he says half of their applications for long-term leave (and all of their “problem cases) are for fibromyalgia.

        My peeve is that so many people use well-known conditions for their own ends. You obviously don’t – you battle through pain to go out spraying decants with March at Starbuck’s. My point is that people will jump immediately and say: “There could be people with asthma and allergies in that coffee shop!” and accuse you of sin. What I say is that people should have the courage of their convictions: if you don’t like what people are doing (or spraying! or wearing! or how much they are wearing!) go up and tell them so. It bothers me that so many people clothe their complaint in illness.

        • Louise says:

          Just an historical note here. Many currently accepted diseases/disorders were not once believed to be “true” illnesses. A strong example is MS-for years it was thought to be “hysterical” in nature, until hard neurological evidence was found. The same holds now for CFIDS, fibromyalgia, and I think still for mood disorders in the minds of the uninformed.

          Not so oddly, many of the less-beleived disorders occur in women, landing some credence to a perspective that there’s a good bit of sexism at work in our and the standard medical view of what constitutes a real disease.

          One reason that many doctors won’t diagnose fibromyalgia is that they are simply ignorant, and that lab tests are just now under development. They also don’t want to be involved in potentially contentious disability claims…they’re too involved in the daily crap sucks the life out of American medical services these days (political note here). My doctor friends and collegues will also readily admit that it’s hard to treat chronic conditions. As for the folks you know that have alcoholism and depression, there may be a chicken-or-egg issue-people self-medicate a lot. Also, from a neurotransmitter standpoint, low serotonin can lead to co-existing disabilities.

    • Donna says:

      I think you raise some valid points.

      I would like to illustrate a point. I had an anaphalactic reaction once and nearly died from it. I could feel my airway swelling and closing off by the minute. I was very scared. Because I was able to call paramedics and receive immediate treatment I survived. Allergic reactions should be taken seriously. I understand the fear that some people have. I really didn’t want to feel “special” in that manner.

    • tmp00 says:

      I have a dear friend who has debilitating migraines, asthma and has been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.

      She wears Fracas. Doesn’t bother her a whit.

      You just never know. 🙂

      • Tigs / Erin says:

        That’s exactly it, Tom! The people who tell me they can’t bear any scent are always sitting close to me, and I’m wafting Angel, and nobody has fainted yet.

    • benvenuta says:

      *scratches head*
      I too dislike people who claim to have allergies and disoders they don`t have just to make their lives easier. I think they are doing very bad service to people who really suffer from allergies, fibromyalgia, migraines etc…and there are many. (I have read that in restaurants many people claim to have allergies to thing they just don`t like. Waiters and cooks hate it, of course. The Waiter at has many such stories of such people who admitted they were lying in the end.)

  • rosarita says:

    Here in the frozen midwest US, hours away from a half-decent mall, my peeves are a bit different. I truly don’t get out much. Getting together with friends is generally done at someone’s home, and I work in an kitchen enviroment where my personal scent is crushed by other smells within minutes. Therefore, almost all of my scent information comes from the online perfume community. It’s very frustrating when a blog rhapsodizes on about a scent that sounds fabulous, only to mention in the last sentence that said scent is discontinued, or that the post was about the inaccessible vintage formulation and the new reformulation is awful, or that the scent can only be sampled if one lives in a certain country and shops at a particular store that’s only open one morning a month, etc. Please understand that I’m speaking in the most general terms here, and this peeve is a small one when compared to the comprehensive education I’ve otherwise received from all of you! Have a great weekend, Posse. 🙂

    • Patty says:

      That is a great suggestion. We can all get carried away with something beautiful, but we should always start out explaining the difficulty in getting it.

  • Billy D says:

    I’m gonna agree with Lee and say overspraying–this girl that sits next to me at work wears Michael by Michael Kors, and I am convinced I wouldn’t hate it if it did not seem like she bathes in it every morning.

    I also hate the fact that sales associates feel the need to hover and suggest. Just let me play and sniff for a little while!! That’s why I was driven online in the first place. I can order samples and test them on my own time without dealing with everything being “lovely.”

    My last fragrance pet peeve is that men’s fragrances are so boring. All of the things that excite me are either incredibly expensive or impossible to get in the US. I have Terre d’Hermes, and I guess Fleur du Male is pretty different, and you can get that at Sephora. It also gives me a raging headache though.

    • Patty says:

      Oh, yeah! I’m okay with a helpful SA, but I just could do without their running unhelpful commentary about, ‘this is new, this is great, this is beautiful.” But WHY is it great or beautiful. No answer. Very frustrating.

      Men’s scents are slowly turning around, but the mainstream ones do tend to smell alike — same problem as women’s scents, just different, overused notes.

  • sweetlife says:

    No peeves here, just some geeky literary information about the names of the line, which you may already know. It’s taken from Act II Scene 2 of Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra. It’s a description of Cleopatra’s grand, seductive entrance, floating down the Nile on her barge:

    I will tell you.
    The barge she sat in, like a burnish’d throne,
    Burn’d on the water: the poop was beaten gold;
    Purple the sails, and so perfumed that
    The winds were love-sick with them…

    And a few lines later we hear a little more about the perfumed sails, and how the sillage fairly knocked over anyone hanging out along the shore:

    Her gentlewomen, like the Nereides,
    So many mermaids, tended her i’ the eyes,
    And made their bends adornings: at the helm
    A seeming mermaid steers: the silken tackle
    Swell with the touches of those flower-soft hands,
    That yarely frame the office. From the barge
    A strange invisible perfume hits the sense
    Of the adjacent wharfs.

    So you can see that feeling overwhelmed by the perfume when you first put it on (“hits the sense”) goes pretty well with the name after all! I don’t know enough about the historical Cleopatra to say for certain (maybe someone else will) but I think this scene is based on fact. She really did signal her entrance, whether on boat or foot, with huge waves of scent, and was also rumored to have covered the floor of her bedroom in rose petals so that her lovers released their perfume with every step they took towards her…

    • Kim says:

      Thank you! That is so interesting. Clearly they put a lot of thought into the name of the line.

    • perfumequeen says:

      I’m with everyone on the SA’s. How many times are you going to try to push Euphoria on me “it’s the number one seller!” ? Just let me play and keep a decent stock of the unusual for heaven’s sake!
      About the allergy thing…GUILTY…I use that excuse to keep the spray-commando’s at the department stores at bay.
      Off to shower and find something pretty to wear.

      PS anyone else with five year old humor who found “the poop was beaten gold” hilarious in a deals with babies sense? I soooo need to get out

      PPS I do seriously study shakespeare. I promise!!!

      • Erin / tigs says:

        PQ: An “allergy” is perfectly acceptable to me when it is used to ward off SAs. And I’m glad you mentioned the poop thing – I’d forgotten the “nautical” poop was spelled that way and it took me a minute…

    • Patty says:

      Okay, that was great information. Now I feel better about their name, and that’s lovely. Goes to show ya… I should have googled the meaning first! 🙂

    • Heather says:

      I have read that Cleopatra perfumed herself with kyphi (mixture of violets, roses, and crocuses) )

      “The most important perfume used by the Egyptians was the kyphi. Scholars claim that when the tomb of Tutankhamen was opened, this was the odor that issued forth” (Perfume, William F. Kaufman, 1974, p. 34).

      I’ve also read that she’s been credited with inventing pomades made of bear grease infused with precius oils and petals and whatnot. Then again, there is a HUGE amount of research available regarding Cleopatra’s use of perfumes, and I suspect that some of it is apocryphal.

      Supposedly, Marc Antony gave Cleopatra an entire perfume factory at En Boquet by the Dead Sea as a gift. ( and An interesting book on the subject is Edwin Morris’ Fragrance: The Story of Perfume from Cleopatra to Chanel. E.T. Morris and Co., New York (1984)

  • chayaruchama says:

    I find them really interesting, but so costly, in the oils, and staining.
    Arunima is the only one I actually bought- but it doesn’t linger !
    Gorgeous beyond belief.
    Black Rosette is a lovely wild thing-me likee.

    I haven’t had the opportunity to test the new EDP’s- but it’s a good idea- at least, they’re more affordable.

    I’m liking your peeves.
    I think that lack of courtesy is my biggest- combined w/ arrogance.
    Ignorance happens, inexperience occurs,; just be pleasant.
    I’ll do the rest.

    • Patty says:

      I wonder how much different the edps are from the oils. They do stain? Wow, hadn’t tried more than the one oil.

      But they are interesting and unsual. Black Rosette I didn’t think I liked the first two times tried it, though I kept sniffing at it, but the third time was the charm. It just needes some room to breathe.

  • Anne says:

    My pet peeve is in honor of my own Trashy Friday. Advertising. Horrible trashy visuals and type that have nothing to do with perfume. This hated hype o’mine includes celebrity perfumes. ‘Nuff said about that. Agree w/several above. Despise, DESPISE overspraying! Who are they trying to impress? I don’t care what perfume it is, they might as well be blowing cigar smoke in my face! BLECHK (sp?)! :)>-

    • Patty says:

      Well, i have to admit to not overspraying, but spraying too many, then forgetting I’ve been testing a lot of things that day and hed for the grocery store. ’tis embarrassing. 🙂

      • Anne says:

        :d I think I might be guilty of that sin myself. In the name of ‘testing’, doesn’t count as overspraying.

  • Elle says:

    My pet peeve comes from MUA and the “man magnet” posts. First, men are more about visuals than anything else, but, most importantly, it seems like a terrible waste of an opportunity for pleasure to wear a scent for someone else and not just yourself. I wouldn’t consider wearing a scent for a man in a million years. Basically, I’ve always been a package deal – like me, like my choice of scents. If a man didn’t, well, there were plenty of other men out there, but give up an amazing chypre or incense? I don’t think so. Blessedly, DH is near anosmic and the other men in my life have enjoyed my perfumes – but I also wear them at extremely low volume, so I think that helped.
    Black Rosette and L’Invisible are staples in my perfume wardrobe. Love them! L’Invisible, Arunima and Heroine are probably my faves from the line. Need to revisit Moon Garden. I find I’m not loving the spray versions as much as the oils, though.

    • Patty says:

      And the BN “What scent do gals find irresistible?” As if. Clearly the only one that is is the one that I’ve been jonesin’ for for the past six months and can’t bring myself to buy, and he purchases it for me as a surprise. Now, that’s irresistible. 🙂

      Never got heroine, and I didn’t see it on their site to order samples. Is it discontinued?

      • Elle says:

        AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank God you said you couldn’t find Heroine. I went to their site and didn’t see it either, so I called them and it *has* been d/ced!! :(( There are a couple of bottles left and I’m thinking I may have to stock up and get another one, even though I just got a bottle from Barney’s about a month ago (the only one they had and the SA didn’t mention it had been d/ced…grrrr). WHY must one that was so delicious get the ax?! Off to gnash teeth and shake fist at the heavens.

  • Louise says:

    Nasty SAs. Overbearing SAs. Insulting SAs. There’s a theme here.

    I really don’t mind too much of the civilian perfume world-the fruity-floralists, one-scent-fits all-ers, even the oversprayers…given that sometimes I’m sure my nose isn’t a reliable gauge of how accurately I’ve gauged my perfume dose. In fact, if a person is interested in at all in perfume, I see them as a potential convert to the niche ways (insert bwahahaha).

    Oh, but the SAs-I’ve met ignorant but friendly ones, and that’s just fine-a nice discussion can ensue. But a particularly bad run-in in Paris last summer really did me in. At the “flagship” Sephora, a very beautiful girl doused me in Rabanne’s XS before I had a chance to duck. I asked her, crisply I’m sure, what it was. She responded “the new one”…I asked again…she repeated…”the new one” with a sneer, and turned to attack another customer. Just ARGH.

    • mimmimmim says:

      Heh, I was going to say sales assistants too. I’ve reached the point where I’m buying almost everything online, partly to avoid them. Buying in Boots is okay; the staff are busy, many aren’t linked to any one brand and they leave people to browse. Department store staff drive me nuts, though. And they *lie*. They lie outright. I’m never sure if it’s ignorance on their part or an assumption that the customer knows nothing, but I get sooooo wound up by it.

      Hmm. This ARGH is contagious!

      • Debbie says:

        What lies have you heard?

        I am only buying online also. For one thing, most of the things I like aren’t in the stores. However, the other thing is definitely the SA’s attitudes. Too often too snobbish. And ignorant.

        • mimmimmim says:

          My favourites are “Mitsouko hasn’t been reformulated at all” and “Joy is still the world’s most expensive perfume.”

          In the latter case I suggested some pricier ‘fumes and was told the cost was for the bottle. I’m pretty sure there have to be some nowadays whose raw ingredients are as expensive to produce as Joy.

          Then there’s the classic “[name perfume here] is completely natural.”

          I’d love to get into a discussion with a SA about notes, similarities to other scents and so on, but when you ask one what fragrance family the stuff they’re threatening to blast you with fits into and they reply ‘Calvin Klein’ there’s really no hope of that.

          • erin k. says:

            i recently heard from an SA that older perfumes are the best because they use all-natural ingredients rather than chemicals. i started to inform her about, for example, chanel no. 5, but i decided i didn’t want to get into it.

          • March says:

            Yep, there’s my pet peeve — it’s “all natural”!!!!

            And look how many times it appears on here, so it doesn’t just happen to me, which is useful information.

      • Lisa D says:

        They do indeed lie outright! I was recently in a L’Occitane shop, and I asked the assistant if they carried an unscented, olive oil soap that I could use on my face. She selected one for me, which was sealed in plastic and boxed. I asked, “Are you sure this is unscented?” and she replied, “Only with the natural scent of the olive oil.” Right. The soap has now taken the place of the candle in my bathroom, since it throws its very strong fragrance throughout the bath and into the adjoining hallway……:(

    • Patty says:

      SAs should definitely have to go through sensitivity training. No nonpermission spraying! If you don’t know, say you don’t know. Don’t just make crap up figuring nobody will know the difference.

  • Lee says:

    Oversprayers. Subtlety is so darn important. Especially cos oversprayers normally fall into the Lynx/Axe category of life, rather than the Narcisse Noir / Chanel pour monsieur one.

    I’ve never tried a SIP, being over here rather than there. Don’t know if I’m intrigued or not…:-?

    • Patty says:

      You know, the Black Rosette may do it for you. It’s much more about the black smoke than the rose. But I need to try more in the line. I think they have a more decidedly feminine slant. 🙂

    • erin k. says:

      i found myself sitting in a cloud of axe one day at work, so i asked my co-worker, “how much did you put on, anyway?” and he said, “8 sprays” and sort of demonstrated, and i realized he meant 8 times over his whole body, not just 8 sprays! death by axe – isn’t that how lizzie borden’s family died? 8-x

      i’ve had black rosette on my “to try” list for a while, it sounds so goth. and i’m so goth. how could it go wrong?

      • March the Maleficent says:

        Eight coats of his ENTIRE BODY?

        I mean, why isn’t he dead yet? You wouldn’t even have to embalm him. :-w

  • erin k. says:

    confession time: i started off my perfumemania by getting obsessed over finding another scent that smelled “just like coco.” coco was the first (and only, up until recently) perfume to rock my world. i had used it since the age of about 15, and most others i had spritzed on in the mall or whatever had smelled like bug spray, or i just hadn’t liked.

    so all i had to go on was this vague, undefined longing for some special scent. i figured i’d go online and find out what was actually in coco, and therefore be able to identify more perfumes that i’d also like. which is how i stumbled into a full-blown perfume obsession.

    now i realize that it was pretty stupid to want something just like coco – but i also see that’s not what i really wanted at all. something about the art of perfumery was calling to me, even if i didn’t understand the specifics at the time.

    i also think that there wouldn’t be so much of that happening if perfume were actually considered AN ART instead of a commodity. for example, let’s say you see an art print you really love, and you find out it’s a german expressionist piece. you’d easily be able to say, “i want to research everything i can about expressionism, find out other artists from the movement, and then track down expressionist works and go see them in museums.” then you get interested in painting or woodcuts as a medium, etc, etc.

    but if you tell someone you’re really into perfume, they act like it’s something dumb or frivolous. if it were considered an art, newbies would have more of an idea what kind of depth you can dive into with perfumery.

    sorry such a long response, but i’m an artist and a perfume lover, so i love talking about both!


    • Patty says:

      Okay, that makes some sense to me — it’s a starting point when you can’t really express what it is you’re looking for.

      I think the time is coming when perfumers will be seen as artists by more of the rest of the world, but as long as the perfume industry keeps churning out their version of Elvis on velvet, it takes a little longer. 🙂

  • ANNIE says:

    :-?Patty,my sweetie pumkin….My pet peeves are twofold.First,someone my age,who is still wearing what they did in high school(a la Charlie..GAKGAKGAG!!)…also,if you notice THIER DANG HAIRDO IS THE SAME…these things tell me immediately,the person is stubborn,uptight,and unwilling to take a wild stab at making ANY changes in thier life…(boring)The second is anyone,man or woman,who douses themselves in any fragrance…I always agree,as I’ve seen you mention,that you like to ‘float’ around a room…and gently ‘waft’ any interesting scent….how romatic,and tittalating(sp?)…how I yearn for those long glass daubbers in perfumes of old… enjoy all of you…at least I only had one glass of wine,as opposed to the last time I was’talking’ with March!…luv ya:x

    • Patty says:

      I do wonder what gets some people stuck in the past? I know people that do have the exact same hairstyle they had in high school, and it kinda freaks me out.