Look, let´s talk. You know I love a niche perfume as much more than the next person – maybe a scent you can only get from a little shop on the outskirts of Ulan Bator with no phone or website. I´m a perfume snob, in that perfume represents a significant interest in my life. If I were dating, which thank heavens I am not, and my hot, cute guy said, baby, I love the natural-smelling you so much I want to buy you large diamonds, and by the way I wish you´d skip the perfume … well, that guy´d be kicked to the curb faster than you can say Caron.

But part of my snobbery is this – I´m a perfume omnivore, and I refuse to dismiss something as, you know, some sucky mall-dreck juice just because I hear it´s the number one seller at Sephora. I mostly try (even if I fail) to smell things and be open to them, because if I don´t then I´m just as much of an ignorant asshat as a chick who´ll only buy a scent made by Paris Hilton, or from Victoria´s Secret.

Which is my longwinded introduction to the fact that I finally took Calvin Klein Euphoria for a test drive. If I had a dollar for every time I´ve been told by a Macy´s SA that Euphoria is their store´s number one best seller, I could buy a bottle of Guerlain parfum. I don´t know if it´s true, and I´m too lazy to find out, but I´ll concede it must be wildly successful. When I was working on my penance post recently, it occurred to me: I had no idea at all what Euphoria smelled like.

Which is how I got busted by the SA in Macy´s last week as I hiked my jeans up and methodically drenched one (unshaved) leg in Euphoria and other in Euphoria Blossom, which was sitting right there, so why not try it too? She looked at me so weird. Like those women have never seen legs before.

Euphoria´s blurb on Sephora is blowing the Sex Trumpet (the strumpet?) – the words sexy, sensual, and seductive are used several times. The notes listed are pomegranate, persimmon, green notes, black orchid, lotus blossom, champaca flower, amber, mahogany wood, violet, cream accord.

Given that list, I was expecting something warm – young, fairly sweet, a little fruity, really amber-heavy for the sexy bit. Instead, it opens on a heavy, rich note that bears some resemblance to that patchouli blast from Prada femme. I can´t quite work out how you get there from the notes listed, but if you compressed the fruits into their unsweetened essences and amped up the amber and woods hugely, I guess that might do it. As it settles, there is a creamy, slightly floral sweetness – the hallmark (in some way I´m still working out in my mind) of a modern, mainstream “young” perfume. There is almost never any specific old fashioned flower reference (gardenia, rose, etc.) Rather there´s a generic floral-notation sweetness, like all the fruits and flowers in the world friended each other on Facebook.

In any case, Euphoria is surprisingly low-sugar, and more about the fruits than the florals, and not in the generic, sticky-sweet cocktail-drink way I´m always whining about. Instead it´s a little sour, and more than a little musky. It´s one of those fragrances you´d pick to hide the fact that you´re smoking cigarettes from your parents, because it has its own musky, woody density that makes me think of cigarettes without smelling like smoke. Alternately, it´s a scent you´d pick because you wanted your boyfriend to think you smelled sexy. And it is a sexy, musky smell – again, it´s much less sweet than I would have guessed, and it is both more fully adult and more sophisticated than I´d bargained for. It is also strong – so girls, do me a favor and don´t spray your entire leg with it like I did.

Euphoria Blossom´s notes are pomegranate, dewy green accord, zesty kumquat, orchid, pink peony, blond wood, amber, sheer musks. I found it both inoffensive and less interesting (if possibly more wearable) than the original. As you might guess it is a lighter, cleaner version. While it bears a certain similarity to the original, it is sweeter, although it´s still not some sugar monster. Its appeal grew over time. The buzzwords on this one are dewy, lush and fresh, but it´s not the Fresh Accord from Hell – it wears a little greener and a little more innocently than its knowing older sister.

Do I like Euphoria? No. It’s bitter and strange and the longer I had in on the more aggressive it seemed; I ended up laundering those jeans just to get rid of the smell. Blossom I like, sort of. I wouldn´t buy it, but if you gave it to me I´d probably surprise myself by reaching for it in the middle of summer when I wanted something light and sparkling and pretty that wasn´t a huge stretch – and yes, I definitely have those days. I think one side effect of all the weird stuff I sniff is there is definitely a place in my perfume life for fragrances that are the equivalent of Doritos and Coke on the challenge index.

The bottles are IMHO ugly, weird metallic things that look like they ought to hold something called Salvador Dali´s Nose Perfume. I have never understood the appeal, and there must be one, because all those gazillion people who buy it can´t think it´s as ugly as I do. What´s your opinion?

Finally, an aside about the Euphoria model (and frequent Calvin Klein clothing model), Natalia Vodianova. I am old enough to remember the 90´s supermodels – Naomi, Christy, Linda, etc. – and the current crop of anonymous blandes with anonymous faces does nothing for me. Natalia has stood out from the first as an exception — her face is so freakishly, childishly beautiful it is almost too much to bear, like Brooke Shields in her heyday. I like her better now that she looks, say, 17 instead of 12 (and what is it with Calvin Klein and the jailbait ads?) although I think in real life she´s 22 or 23 and seems perfectly happy, having gone from rags to riches and marrying English real estate magnate/minor royalty (brother of a viscount?) Justin Portman. Now that she´s had three (!) kids with Portman her body seems softer and riper and even more lovely – not lush by any normal standards, I grant you, but there´s something in-full-bloom about it.

Her face plays young, and so that´s how she often looks in her photos (I´ve plucked some favorites and dropped them in here.) I think her Vogue shoot as Alice in Wonderland a couple years ago was one of the best fashion spreads I´ve ever seen. But my favorite look for her recently is when (usually) Vogue takes that so-young face and makes her up and dresses her in very adult clothing, like the poodle photo here.

Okay, assuming anyone´s still reading this – I promise to be back on Thursday with the usual niche-snob lineup. In the meantime – if you´ve smelled this I´d love your feedback. It was so much stronger and darker than I was expecting, I am really surprised; what do you think the appeal is? For what it’s worth, Diva (who at 13 has smelled a lot of weird product and is a little young for the target market) thought it was appalling — nasty was her word, and when pressed for more she just thought it smelled dirty — dirty like feet and unwashed bodies, not in a sexy way. Or, have you sniffed something recently expecting one thing and discovered something completely different?


    • I second that one sistah!

      Besides, most of the guys I’ve run into I could convince that yes indeedy from day to day my scent could change that much- after all my eyes can be green, grey, blue or violet depending upon what color sweater I’m wearing. I ate basil yesterday so of course I smell different than today when I ate sashimi.

      I don’t care for diamonds. I do enjoy real estate… :d

      • Real estate is good, too. I am giggling at imagining the dialogue that would accompany some of my favorite scents, trying to explain that the smell was naturally me. Hey, that’ll cover all the BO ones…

    • So … you think I should get the diamonds *first* and then kick him to the curb?

      Big diamonds. Tacky, honking obscene blingy rocks.

      • Think of how much nicheboutique only sold in outer Mongolia for $monthsrentinParis per bottle perfume you could get for a really big bit of nouveau riche bling!

        • But I want it all!!! People always say, you can’t have it all. I am still wondering why. :d :”>

  1. They’re announcing Best Picture right now, and I’m responding to this post–just shows how much I adore Natalia as well. She does stand out, and if you saw the editorial she did for January’s American Vogue, you know that she can make anything look divine. I hope the rumor that she has retired from the runway after doing Valentino’s farewell show is just that. She walks beautifully, especially for old-fashioned glamorous designers (Chanel, Oscar, etc.)

    I’ve never smelled Euphoria (men’s or women’s) and I have no real desire to do so. Agreed on the bottle–stupid looking.

    • January Vogue! Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about. And she did a summer spread for them last year wearing some pretty great things, too.

      Gah, they make a Men’s Euphoria? Of course they do … sigh, I guess I should have smelled that too.

  2. My boyfriend got me Euphoria for Valentine’s day, he rather loves this on me, which shocks me because I always think he is anti-heavy scents (he wears Aqua di Gio), but he loves this on me.

    As for Natalia, well I have never quite understood it, I one bizarre minority.

    • Well, as I’m always saying on here, I think skin chemistry is huge. Louise (a regular poster on here) tends to pull off really, really strong scents with aplomb, because she sort of absorbs their weaker brethren. And I have smelled enough product on enough different people to know that the same fragrance can be lovely on one person and terrible on someone else.

    • Oh, I was looking for those photos! I mean, look at her. Is she not stunning?!?! Of course, I love those clothes to begin with, the structure and the retro vibe, but on her they’re even more wonderful. Of course you could probably jam her into a Hefty bag and she’d work it.

    • Aha! I am pretty sure a number of (unnamed) readers on here like Obsession. I admire CKOne more than like it, but it’s hard for kids these days (heh) to realize how OUTRAGEOUS it was at the time. Remember their ads? I think you do. The whole thing was so cool.

      • Hey, you can name me, I love the Obsession.

        I also like the Euphoria, enough to have sprayed it on 2 or 3 times while hurrying through a department store, but didn’t need to have it. Am I the only one that loves the bottle? Love the industrial look, and it’s very unusual.

      • Oh yeah I remember- I was just the demo they were marketing to (well, i was convincing myself I was..) It was a very clever campaign, and I bought the stuff knowing that it was clever marketing. But I also liked the juice.

        The kids these days!?! Was that really 15 years ago?

        • I know, where did the time go?!? I was *not* the cool-kid demographic, but I so very much wanted to be. I wanted to be any of those cool people in that ad. :”>

    • Once the creepy factor dissipates, the shots were quite beautiful. In a creepy way 😉

    • Hey, I have *never* been under the impression being a model was easy. If nothing else, the schedule would kill me (so it’s a good thing I’m so short and un-model-ish…) ;))

      I think they should do something really radical on those shows. Like pose them … eating. How kinky would that be?

  3. Natalia creeps me out…way too much Lolita going on there. As for CK’s ads, I’m placing my bet on his being a pedophile…either that or someone with influence in his organization.

    I recently tried a sample from NM named Autumn Fire. I expected it to be smoky or hot smelling. Instead, it reminded me of this wonderful apple and caramel dessert I made once. Delicious! But definitely not what I expected.

    I haven’t tried Euphoria. Maybe people are drawn to it because it’s finally something different from the normal dept store stuff.

    • I can’t decide. I mean, Tom Ford does all that porny, G-spot, man-about-town stuff, and I’m pretty sure he’s playing for the other team, so that’s either denial or marketing. Hard to judge whether the CK vibe is *genuine* pervert (wasn’t it CK with those creepy TV ads years ago with boys in their undies, show me a little skin?) or another marketing ploy.

      Excellent point about CK Euphoria’s difference. I am always on here complaining about how similar all that stuff smells. Well, not Euphoria.

      • I thought it was CK with those ads…I think I remember seeing some others with boys and girls… But then again, I may be wrong and would have to retract my pedophilia statement. I’m sure you’re correct about it being a marketing ploy.

        BTW, I had to laugh at your “Like they haven’t seen legs” comment. Loved it.

        The bottle inspires nothing for me, whereas some are so beautiful, I want one regardless of the jus–if I had more $$ anyway.

      • okay, I’m dating myself here, but doesn’t the Calvin Klein marketing approach go back a long way – isn’t that the brand Brooke Shields wore in those racy ads in the 80’s? “only me and my Calvin’s” ?

        • I have a story relating to the exclusive to Collette Paris release thing, that also ties in with March’s question regarding expecting one thing and discovering another. Although I was warned that Vanille 44 doesn’t necessarily smell vanillery, the notes -Natural Bergamot, incense, manderine, gaiac, vanilla bourbon, muscenone, pipol, hedine, sounded like something I would like very much. To my surprise, to me it smelled like total AJAX. I could not get past the household cleaner aspect. (I love Opium also).

        • I just can’t remember. The only thing I’ve got store up there is “CK = nasty pedophilia-type ads for a long time.” Pretty specific, huh? 8-|

  4. i never got past the test strip onto skin with Euphoria – i remember that it had some strange smell that i really didn’t like on top of the fruity-floralness, and so i didn’t try it on. i can’t recall specifics, though.

    at least i came out with something good from that mall trip – i tried Aromatics Elixir (parfum version) for the first time, and loved it.


    • oh yeah, and i’m with you on those stupid bottles. they’re difficult to spray, in addition to being rather ugly.


      • so far as I can tell, they generally don’t think about the spraying part. Seriously, how many stupid designs have you seen? Lots, right?

        • yeah, you’re right … some are so wide or stumpy i had to just sit it on the counter and mash down the spray thing, because i couldn’t hold it properly. stupid.


          • I wonder if they’re designed by men (with bigger hands) who don’t see the spraying issue? I mean, I don’t consider myself to have freakishly small hands. It amazes me how many bottles you have to brace the way you describe.

    • I love Aromatics Elixir and was just thinking of it the other day. A group of mature women come into my work and sometimes I can smell it on a certain lady who always instantly seems in a class above her friends when I get a whiff of her. She gives me hugs; I love her.

    • Aromatics Elixir is a GREAT scent. I am also fond of Wrappings and Simply. And now I am going quietly nuts because I am trying to remember another dept store makeup counter frag I ran across recently and was reminded how much I like — green (LOTV?) been around forever, not O de Lancome … argh…

      • Aromatics is great, and I like the old O de L, are you thinking of Clarins’ Eau Dynamisante? Love that one too!

        • they had what the sales ladies described as a limited edition bottle for the AE (retro-looking, with flowers in the frosted glass front and an atomizer), parfum only, that was put out for the holidays. i got my mom to get it for me. 🙂


        • I love, love, love Dynamisante! I had a friend who wore it for years, and every time I smell it I smile. It reminds me of her.

          No. Frosted bottle with green juice? Or green smelling juice? But not O de Lancome. On the tip of my tongue. Driving me nuts.

            • I wear Calyx very often in the spring, have for many years. It was the first foray for me into fresh scents that had a musky base. Beautiful!

              • i used to wear Calyx, too, and you’re right, it was great for springtime.


            • Oh thank you for reminding me – I *loved* CALYX, and yes, it did get a little pungent – I used up the whole bottle anyway and kept it around inside a drawer – it just smelled like happiness – I need to find some again…

              • It smells pretty much the same to me as it did years ago. I don’t recall seeing it on display on the counter, but I think they have it.

  5. Hey March-I can do mall fragrance with the best of them. Though you did gasp when I made you smell Guess Gold…and I still love it for fill-the-room days. I think Natalia is lovely, and does look of legal age.

    • Well, there you have it. Finding the gems. And of course you know firsthand of my partiality to Donatella Versace’s dark little number.

  6. You know, friends and family often accuse me of being a scent snob and I always try to explain to them that the opposite is true. I don’t care how much a scent costs or where it comes from, I just want it to be well made and smell interesting/good/unique. I always point out that I’d rather have my fifteen dollar bottle of Grey Flannel from Walgreens than something designer from the mall. It’s like being a perfume slut rather than a perfume whore. I’ll wear whatever I want because I want to rather than because I have to. :d

    That being said, I don’t think I’ve yet to smell a Calvin Klein scent that worked for me, especially Obsession or Eternity both of which seemed to work for Everyone for a period of time. And speaking of Eternity, I miss the days of Christy, Naomi, and Linda myself. Especially Linda. Those girls took no prisoners. Ah, the late 80’s and early 90’s…what a heady blur.

    • Well, you and I have discussed our love of Grey Flannel before. And now that you’ve correctly identified Linda as the be all/end all of supermodeling, let’s go ahead and get married!

      I saw her in something recently, and she is still amazing looking.

      • She was in Vogue a year or so back, modeling coats and we’re still not worthy to kiss her boots. She should run for Emperess of the World.

    • i LOVE your perfume slut vs. perfume whore definition! :d
      — from a fellow perfume slut


  7. You have inspired me….. a true American Idol (Perfume Version). I have to go to Nordie’s after work so I will sashay myself to the perfume wall and pick something I would never even think of wearing. Something I have turned my nose up at forever and actually spritz. No tester, just gonna go for it. Eeeek! What fun! :)>-

    • Hey, go try Obsession. I know there are a bunch of Obsession lovers on here, and I can’t remember what THAT smells like either.

      Uh, if you’re going to do the soaking thing? Do your coworkers a favor and skip Organza. Or — hey — try the new Tommy Girl whatsit with the Marilyn Monroe ad, I want to know what that smells like too! Probably really fresh 🙁

      • I always thought the more modern version of Obsession was the Fifi Chachnil (sp?) EDP – verrrry similar I thought…/:)

        • really?
          i like Fifi, and though i never wore Obsession, i had good friends who wore it, and my memory of it is nothing like that. now i want to know just how bad my memory is, so i guess i’ll be spritzing some Obsession next time i go to the mall. maybe i’ll love it this time!

          (when they came out, i didn’t like any of the CK fragrances on me – but i was the odd teenager who only wanted to wear Chanel, so maybe i was just being a snotty teenager.)


          • My best friend in high school wore Cristalle (to distinguish herself from all the Lauren-wearing girls) … um, am I dating myself here? :d

          • Oh yes, go smell and report back…you are much more reliable at this! I never did a side-by-side test, I’ve enjoyed both, but they were never really me – and ultimately they wore on my nerves…Fifi isn’t the same, just reminds me of the big O.
            There’s definitely a link there, though – I might have to dig out notes or something.

  8. Haven’t smelled it, but will definitely do so next time I’m at the mall. Must say that I appreciate the fact that, even if it’s not pleasant, it’s darker and lower sugar than the rest of the crowd out there now. Dark is good imo…well, at least a good direction for mainstream scents to be moving in. In the interest of being fair to it, may wait until the temps start to be appropriately comfortable to give the Blossom version a try.
    Recently was surprised by how utterly generic CdG’s 888 was on my skin. Why, Rei, why? 🙁 Am trying hard to remain hopeful about Hinoki.

    • Hey, did you see the NYT fashion supplement yesterday? Chandler Burr gives TF Purple Patch four stars and Jasmine et Cigarette five stars, I think, and then gives Malle Outrageous FIVE STARS? Because Sophia Grojsman is so genius she can perfectly mimic the really crap, artificial smell of Tang? With a note of kerosene? You know how that makes me feel? It makes me feel like when I am staring at some installation of lightbulbs, or kitchen chairs, at the National Gallery of Art, thinking, they probably paid $20 million for that.

      Okay, screed over. He does a nice writeup of the Osmotheque in there too.

      • tang? :-

        it reminds me of an “absolutely fabulous” episode where patsy and edina were looking at an art exhibit made entirely of wire coat hangers, and edina was saying, “it’s hangahs, dahling, hangahs! it’s ART!” and then drunk patsy stumbled into the hangers and got tangled up in them, pulling part of the “artwork” down. good stuff. :d


        • hahahhahahaha!!!!1 Babe, guess what I was looking at yesterday at the Hirshhorn, down on the mall? A hanging artwork installation thingie made out of — you guessed it – hangars. The drycleaner kind, wire with white paper over it.

            • that’s crazy!
              i mean, i’m an artist, and studied art history in college, but some stuff is just crap that the artists and gallery owners have been able to sell to rich people with no taste by telling them how edgy it is.

              my favorite example of crap posing as art is jeff koons’ michael jackson and bubbles:
              (i hope that works as a link)

              you should go back and “accidentally” stumble into the hangers and pull them down. >:)


              • Lord, don’t get me started. We’ll end up getting flamed.

                One of my favorite times was an installation of fluorescent lighting fixtures my dad and I saw at the National Gallery of Art east wing. Just sort of randomly bolted to the wall. Famous guy, I guess. Some of them were lit, some weren’t. So we kept wondering: is that part of the art? Or were the bulbs burnt out, signifying lack of connection, or emptiness or something? My normally staid, extremely courteous dad and I tittered so much we ended up getting some dirty looks from the more educated patrons. I can make myself giggle just conjuring up them, staring at the lightbulbs…

  9. I thorougly enjoyed this post (and especially loved the gorgeous pictures of Natalia. She has a potent combination of old-world, old-money elegance coupled with an unaffected innocence. I think she’s stunning).

    Though I’ve not tried Euphoria, I’m on the same wavelength with you and others. It’s not the cost of the perfume that dictates my likes and my choices. Like MattS, I have an inexpensive bottle of Grey Flannel that I enjoy (in tiny spritzes, as its overwhelming otherwise, perhaps because it is a men’s scent from the 70s). The fact that its an inexpensive pleasure and a scent that few people wear (even if they are old enough to remember the 70s), makes it all the more wonderful.

    I would probably try a lot more department store fragrances, too, if there were a better department store experience. I don’t like having an SA leaning over me while I try things on.

    • Another Grey Flannel fan! I had no idea there were so many of us/you out there. And I AM noting with some amusement that many of today’s posters have not, in fact, tried Euphoria either — indicating that being chased by an SA through the fragrance department, while they yell It’s Very Popular! — is the kiss of death for us all. :d

        • But why? WHY? Do other people think that nasty “pom” note smells good? Clearly. I guess. It doesn’t smell like pomegranate to me, though.

          They do less chasing/spraying though, at least around here, over the past year. Wonder if they’ve been sued or something? It can’t have stopped just because it’s obnoxious.

          • just do what i do and get your best “bitch face” going, look really determined, and don’t give them any eye contact. works with most of them! :d


  10. Ok, I’ve outed myself before on this blog and others of my love of Obsession (for the record, I did NOT wear this *back in the day*, it’s a love within the last decade). And, if you’d smell it on me on a cold day in January, you’d love it too.#:-s[-(
    BUT, it’s the only CK I like, including *shudder* Euphoria, which helped me to pinpoint the fact that pomengranate despises me. It’s really awful, and now I can spot it instantly. OTOH, I think the streamlined bottle is kinda cool.
    Natasha is drop dead gorgeous, and I totally get your Brooke Shields reference.

    • *sigh* Can you tell I’m using my husband’s laptop, without a mouse? I’m such a klutz. Couldn’t scroll up to doublecheck the model’s name – sorry, Natalia – and only wanted the self righteous folded arms emoticon, not the scared forehead wiping dude. I need more coffee.

      • Hon, you’re corresponding with the woman who misspelled Euphoria in a variety of ways preparing this post — in fact, I just typed and corrected Euphi –. Most common spelling — euphorbia. Make of it what you will. :d

        PS Hey, the POMEGRANATE! I bet that’s it!!! My idea of hell is Jo Malone Pom Noir, and that’s the same horrible smothering note in there. I like pomegranates (the edible item) and fail to associate That Smell with its perfume stand-in. 😮

  11. I’m not a niche snob, I’m just drawn that way (apologies to Jessica Rabbit for co-opting her line 😉 ) I’d be very happy to love more mall stuff but as it happens, the base in most dept store stuff seems to make me sneeze. And even in the better lines, the things that work on me are all the one hard to get, stupidly expensive, niche thing in any given line. My only Dior? Bois D’Argent. My only AG? Ambre Fetiche. I don’t mean to be this way, I try to like other things & don’t always even know something is only sold once a year on alt Tuesdays in Paris when I swoon for it. Like the Micallef Note Vanillee I got from someone generous last week. It just …. happens.

    What I sniffed recently … last night I sampled MKK. I was shocked at how much like a perfumed sweaty horse it really was, lol.

    • Dang, people keep bringing up that Micallef. Now that I’ve learned to love vanilla, it sounds like a must-try.

      I like the way you’re drawn. 🙂 And come on, MKK is, like, the Greatest Show on Earth. I don’t even think it’s that dirty. I love it shamelessly and senselessly the way some people love Borneo and Tubey Criminal. I almost want to apologize for my taste. Almost.

  12. I got a sample of Parfumerie Generale’s Cuir Venenum expecting some modern version of Cuir de Russie. What I got what some revolting syrup I just had to throw away. Luckily I didn’t buy a whole bottle!8-|

    • I have a sample of that I haven’t even tried, mostly because the name makes me think of Venom, and I figure that can’t be good. Sounds like I was right. OTOH of course your pan is now driving me, oddly, to want to try it, because it sounds so awful. /:)

    • I had the same disappointing experience with CV. To use March’s term about the pomegranate, I felt as though CV smothered me in cherry cough syrup. Yuck. :((

  13. I have sniffed Sephora, but I can’t remember either men’s or women’s very well.

    I’m typing this in a carp park, between meetings. Weird. Someone’s looking at me peculiarly…

    I might pop to a department store after my next meeting to resniff the Euphoria…

    Sorry for the randomness.

    And the spacing.

    • Sorry, too busy giggling over carp park like Divalino to be distracted by Sephor(i)a. Where’s my fish emoticon?

      You brits are so odd, having a place to park your decorative fish. Next thing you’ll be telling me you serve fish with “chips.” ;))

      • That fish was puckering up at me… And some of em were enormous. Safely home now.

        I had a very late night and a very early morning…|-)

    • Adorable – though the tail end of that had me imagining the little thing was going to be gobbled up in a tragic feeding frenzy disaster.

      At Kentwell Hall, this big Tudor mansion around the corner from me (google it!), there are thousands upon thousands of grey carp in the moat, scarfing down whatever tidbits tourists throw at them. it’s truly revolting. Fascinating, but revolting nonetheless – a writhing lake of half-visible forms and pouting mouths. Blech.

      • Okay, congratulations, you are on your game, because that whole descriptive bit with the carp completely freaks me out. ^:)^

      • wow! kentwell hall is gorgeous! tudor is one of my favorite architectural periods. oddly enough, there’s a huge tudor mansion in virginia that they took apart brick by brick in england and reassembled here. it’s so dark and winding inside – i love it!


        • I can walk to this place in five minutes. They do these reconstructions – I love to laugh at the costumes, the use of ‘mayhap’ and the woman with the measuring stick (she measures trouser carps, if you get me – though I’m sure she only ‘role plays it – I didn’t offer my todger for a trial) when I’m in the mood.

          • LOLOL “trouser carps”! =))

            “trouser carps, know what i mean? wink, wink, nudge nudge. a nod’s as good as a wink to a blind bat, eh?” (sorry, monty python moment.)


  14. I too think Natalia stands out in the fashion land of humdrum waifs…great photos you chose! I like the fact that they didn’t airbrush out her “girls” in the 3rd photo – that always freaks me out a little about American advertising!
    I remember Euphoria smelling *dirty* to me, too – so I think Diva is totally on to something there. Never gave it another chance after that.

    • Wait … women have nipples?

      I am always surprised (because I forget) what you can show abroad vs. here. Off the top of my head: abroad you can see (gasp) smoking! And pubic hair!

      • I’ll never forget my first French commercial experience – my whole noisy family stopped and gawked at the man and woman showering completely nude during the morning news hour break…they were advertising…*bar soap*8-|

      • Silly, of course we don’t! I have airbrushing appts every 6 wks!:d

        • We always called them “headlights.” To this day my 16-year-old inner child starts giggling when I hear that word.

  15. My beloved Chanel No 5 is available at the mall, even in EDP, so all is not lost! Too bad No 22 isn’t there anymore. But I wonder if the niche marketing game is any different – witness exclusive releases, only in Paris hype, Le Labo …?
    I just want it to smell gorgeous so I have no shame in admitting to loving Opium or L’Instant de Guerlain 😡

  16. i´m a total snob when it comes to perfumes :d even if i like a “mass market” scent (which very seldom happens) i wouldn´t buy it because i´d be afraid i go somewhere & people would say to me: “oh, you´re wearing XYZ, right?” that´s a HORRIBLE thought, i tell you 😉
    but i wear the classic guerlains with pleasure as well as caron & soem chanels. these aren´t niche either, but people that probably dose themselves in euphoria, the one or whatever think of them as dated, so dated is somehow niche as well, isn´t it 🙂 ?

    euphoria isn´t that bad i think, but to me it´s missing something that could turn it into a good scent, more amber, more patchouli, a riper plum note? not sure, but i see some potential!

    • Well, I did like/admire that it wasn’t super-sweet. Although I think another commenter up there hit the nail on the head — I think I have an aversion to that pomegranate note, which is very syrup-sour-musk.

  17. i didn’t like euphoria at all, but now i can’t recall why, and i’m not sure i care enough to go retest it. she is definitely beautiful – and just the slightest bit cross-eyed, like a good siamese cat. i always think cat when i see her. i think she is 26 now. she is one of the few in her field who seems to look pretty when she is out and about, not just on shoots. they’ve had pics of her and her husband at dinners in vanity fair and she looked fantastic.

    • Well, you made me feel a lot better telling me she’s 26! I was working out the math with those babies and it was freaking me out a little … there are pics on there with her and her kids, and they are beautiful (of course) but she looks so happy with them, too. I hope she’s as happy as she looks. And you’re right, there is something feline about her, and she DOES look good out and about. I wonder if she’s that pretty in person?

      • That’s what I thought too!! Definitely FELINE, Persian catlike features with Siamese color eyes.

      • i would bet she DOES look that good in person. don’t think you can fake that. and i hope she’s as happy as she looks, too. makes you feel good to see her smile.

        • I love those pics of her rolling around on the floor with her kids. She looks absolutely in heaven. It also reminds me how great it must be in some ways to be that young a mom — so much energy!

  18. Euphoria seemed to me to be a kind of cider-like version of Angel. Ehn. Natalia I haven’t noticed noticing before, but she is very distinctive. She seems particuarly so in the first (Brooke-Sheilds/Children-of-the-corn) and last (avec poodle) photos. Veddy interesting.

    • I think the Brooke/Children of the Corn image is an interesting one. :d They’re always posing her looking sulky, which is too bad, because sometimes they let her make these manic faces, or just a big smile, and she has a wonderful smile.

  19. thanks joan! I agree, no matter how niche or exclusive, I just don’t want to smell like cleaner! I just want to be able to buy gorgeous perfume relatively easily, no hype, no hassle.
    Hmmm, and now I am starting to love Guerlain …. may be in trouble if they don’t start carrying more of them this side of the Atlantic!

    • No cleaner for me, either, thanks.

      Bergdorf in NYC has a pretty good Guerlain selection. And Jason in Guerlain there is great.

  20. On my reply about the fragrance I tried that wasn’t what I thought it would be? That’s because it wasn’t the fragrance of the label. Neil Morris kindly called and explained that it was a different one and would be sending the real one.(!) Just in case you’re keeping notes on these fragrances, trying to decide which samples to order. (Although I tell you, it really is probably best to just call him and talk, discuss what you love and hate in fragrance. He is very perceptive and skilled at matching you up with things you’ll love.)

    So I guess I need to go on to a different fragrance that was something different than what I expected. For that, it would have to be DSH Old School Musk. Do you expect anything green or fresh with that? Well, there were those notes in there. I couldn’t believe my nose. I wonder why she went with that name.

    • The problem I’m having with the NMs is, they all sound so great!

      And that is really funny about Old School Musk. I’d have expected something enjoyably stinky for that perfect name.

      • The problem *I’m* having with the NM fragrances is that they ARE all so wonderful, I could buy new furniture with the number of full bottles I actually want to purchase. I’m not kidding. As for your own purchases, March, have you purchased a bunch of samples yet? Maybe that will help you narrow it down, maybe not…if you want to end up buying all of them.

        Old School Musk is very musky, but you know–call me jaded or whatever–musk just isn’t all that stinky to me. MKK is just, yeah, a nice soft musk on me. Ditto here, although this one is a little stinkier than MKK. But then those wonderful green, fresh, sweet notes are in there too. Go to her site and click on the notes she lists. An interesting read, as is the fragrance.

        • I need to start somewhere, though. Am I a dunce? Where are they listed on the site? You need to call, right?

          • You need to call for the vault fragrances, which are the ones we’ve been discussing. It’s wonderful talking to him. He is very good at determining what you’ll love. Just take the plunge and call. Here you go: 617.267.2315.

            You have a *duty* to get some of these so you can post your reactions. :d

  21. Thanks for naming the model in the pics you posted! I’m not really up current fashion models, but I was quite taken with the photos you posted – Natalia is very striking (reminiscent of Brooke Shields at her dewiest).

    I have tried both Euphoria & Blossom & confess I much prefer the Blossom, and would not be dismayed if someone bought it for me. Something sour creeps out in me with Euphoria.

    I also agree with you that the bottle is tres ugly!

    • I’ll share my Blossom with you, as you and I will never finish off a bottle. :d And it’s nice to hear it wasn’t my imagination about Euphoria.

      Fashion mags are my trash “reading” (to the extent you read anything). I like different mags for different things. The models I am mostly indifferent to now, as I said, except for Natalia and a couple others. There’s a girl named Gemma Ward whose face fascinates me (she’s like an anime cartoon) and a couple others.

  22. funny, when i smelled euphoria i thought it was really sweet, although i do see the prada resemblance. also i think natalia vodianova is around 26 and i remember seeing (and loving) the alice in wonderland spread, esp. the designers as the other characters. galliano as the queen of hearts in particular stands out in my head.

    • All those designers! I had that issue for a long time and now can’t find it. Remember those dresses? And the sets? Lord, it was lovely. I’m pretty sure Karl Lagerfeld was in there, and I think that was Marc Jacobs as the caterpillar with the hookah…

  23. I’ve been reading this blog for a while without commenting, but this post made me come out of the woodwork. Euphoria was the perfume that got me addicted to fragrance, and for that I will be forever grateful, regardless of all the baggage that comes with it being a bestselling mall scent. Even though I have since branched out to more avant gard perfumes, Euphoria is still one of the few that I absolutely love at every stage and that smells like I was born with it coming out of my pores. When it heats up it just smells like heaven, comforting and sexy and a little spicy. I’m 20, so I’m probably in CK’s target demographic for this, but that’s fine with me, as sometimes I don’t want to do the mental work of putting on a more grown-up, aspirational perfume like one of the old classics. Euphoria is very approachable, but also a bit more dramatic than the fruity vanilla crud that my friends wear. As you said, it does last.

    • FLorence, I am totally supportive of the fact that it’s not vanilla crud, a point that I’m not sure came through clearly enough up there. I’m, um, in an older demographic, and I think I have a personal problem with pomegranate (say that five times fast.) But I did admire how different and unsugary it is, and I may well have loved it at your age, which is when I wore some *other* strong fragrances, like Poison. It’s a much more interesting fragrance than I expected, and my guess is it smells amazing on the right skin.

  24. God she is gorgeous. How can she still have that figure after three children?

    • Ya got me. Maybe that’s what happens when you get started at 20ish? I think she was back to modeling weeks after each birth, and she didn’t stay freakishly tiny at the end of her pregnancy either. Great genetic endowment, and they photoshop out the stretchmarks? She is amazing.

  25. Supernova is my favorite model. You have awesome taste. 😉

  26. Euphoria is definately one of those scents that smells amazing once it wear down and sets in. At first i hated it and once it wore down it smelled amazing, my boyfriend and I both loved it. Its a very sexy scent, good for going out. It also lasts a long time.:x

    • I think perhaps it works better on some people than others. I have stopped folks in the street, loving their fragrance, and discovered it is Euphoria. Other times it seems to smell very different. It certainly is long lasting, and given its popularity a lot of folks must enjoy it.

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