The Pink Room



Unfinished business: The winner of the tester of Cabaret Gres, picked by Enigma´s nimble fingers, is … Eileen! And don´t bother hitting Contact Us, because Patty gets those emails and she´s on her trip. I´ll email you. Congrats! Okay, on to today´s post.

I´d heard The Pink Room Parfum No. 1 was a rose fragrance, and I like my roses in a vase and that´s about it. Also, I figured I had about as much chance loving a scent from a place called “The Pink Room” as I had loving one from The Disney Store, although a visit to the website indicates I´m wrong and it´s not ridiculously froufrou – it looks like a nice collection of scarves, bags and interesting shoes, among other things.

In addition to No. 1 there is a new fragrance, The Pink Room Parfum Pour Toi: “acknowledging the great writer Colette, this story is about the Gigi in all of us. She starts naive and becomes the sophisticate, smoking cigars and drinking champagne.” Notes listed are lemon, blackcurrant, grapefruit, rose, fleur de Melati, lily of the valley, sandalwood, vanilla, white musk. The company blurb also references ylang ylang, baking, and the smokiness of a cigar, among other things.

I tried Pour Toi first, as it´s described as smoky and I figured I might like it better than the original. Pour Toi is a relatively linear fragrance, with a mildly tart opening, the grapefruit making its appearance. The next impression is sweet – not gaggingly so, but something both powdery and praline-like. It´s a big fragrance in the sense that it takes up space around you, and (warning) I have the distinct feeling I am anosmic to some of the musk involved – it feels bigger than what I´m smelling. The sweetness is tempered with the green notes of the lily of the valley, and something rich (ylang?). The fragrance reaches its sweetest point about five minutes in, then the woods and musk start to assert themselves and the whole thing shifts in the sexy direction. There is something gourmand about the scent – like a stylized blackberry tart with custard and caramelized sugar – without being edible. After two hours I reapplied to smell the opening notes again, but the drydown was still going strong. And there is something very soft and pillowy and alluring about that drydown.

Pour Toi is the sort of affair that would fit nicely on a list of “man trap” fragrances – sweet, musky things like Narciso Rodriguez that some of you love, and some of you love to hate, but I think there are plenty of men out there who would love to smell this on their ladies. It´s a little much for me in the summer heat, but I found myself really enjoying it. It makes me think of the smell inside a good patisserie. It´s not the most sophisticated thing I´ve ever smelled, but I can definitely see working my way through this sample, in which case I´ll be buying that purse spray from Lucky. Two (lightly sugared) thumbs up.

Emboldened by my success with Pour Toi, I sprayed on No. 1, done by Guy Robert, with notes of lime, bergamot, jasmine, lily of the valley, violet, woods, spices, vanilla, moss, musk, and which was inspired (according to the brief provided) by Proust having afternoon tea in the garden with his aunt.

No. 1 is also sweet – somewhere between the powdery softness of Fracas and the bergamot and jasmine tea of Jo Malone´s White Jasmine & Mint, although it´s certainly more elegant, in a zaftig Marilyn Monroe way, than the Jo Malone. There´s a whiff of face powder about it, rather than patisserie, and fans of Malle Lipstick Rose might like this very much. My favorite part is the middle, when the fragrance is transitioning from the tart bergamot opening to the sweet, powdery base, and it has a languid herbal-tea aspect. I was wrong — it’s not a rose soliflore, although roses are mentioned in the marketing piece and seem to me to be in the background behind the jasmine and violet. It´s not something I´d be likely to wear, but there´s no denying its round shouldered prettiness. Reading the reviews on Lucky were interestingly instructive – this one, surprisingly, seems to be a love-it-or-hate-it, with some people finding it too powdery or “old lady,” and others raving about its lushness and the sparkling, non-indolic jasmine. Again, my guess would be that if grown-woman scents like Lipstick Rose and Fracas appeal to you, you´d like this one.

Of the two I prefer Pour Toi. Its gourmand fruits feel modern, but there´s nothing edgy about it. Parfum No. 1 is more classic in feel but it´s cheerfully tongue in cheek about it – the sort of boudoir fragrance that cries out for application at the dressing table using one of those fabulous, oversized atomizers (if only those things worked better!)

I am as much of a freak-frag fragrance lover as most of the rest of you, and neither of these is going in a bold new direction. At the same time, it´s always nice to run across fragrances that are obviously designed to be unapologetically pretty, and every bit as enjoyable as a high-end box of chocolates for your sweetheart.

Both No. 1 and Pour Toi are available at LuckyScent.

Giant red shoe at Centre Pompidou, Paris:; pink room bottles from LuckyScent.

  • Teri says:

    Grrrr..I’m technologically hopeless. The post above was in response to Musette. Sowwy. :((

    • Shelley says:

      Aw, Terri, don’t fret about the technology stuff. I think I tried three times last week, and STILL didn’t get my comment married to the right post…I can run old fashioned and new fangled film editing machines, but my keystroking apparently leaves a lot to be desired. :-w

      Hey, what are these Coty scents you guys are talking about? Musette knows them (via her mom); March knows rose & powder in L’Aimant…I’m just going to spend the first few days of summer vacation on some wild cheap weekend bender, spritzing scents from Walgreen’s to TJMaxx to K-Mart. Just WAIT to see what I find… 😉

      And I’ve got to say, I think Musette is right, and you’re both on to something that comes up in drama or fiction writing all the time: whether obvious or not, any interesting character is going to have some surprising contradiction. As an actor, you find it. As a writer, you create it.

      As a perfumista, you wear it… Hey, there’s an interesting question: For those seeking signature scent/holy grail, would that scent reflect an essential part of you that is clearly knowable, or hint at something not obvious? Maybe y’all have discussed this before? Wait, that brings up the librarian/academic wearing Animale someone [MattS?] was just saying is a known “type.” Hmm.

      • Musette says:


        If you find L’A or L’o in the stores, let me know, okay? I. Want. It. :d You often can find it during holidaytime but then it disappears. It’s available from the basic online places. If I get some I’ll give you a samp. They’re very much of their time but the vintage, which I remember only vaguely (and am scared to order via TPC)is completely incredible and transcends all the datedness. Even though they don’t have a ‘modern’ feel to them I must say that walking around in L’Aimant is a very cheering experience….and everyone else seems to agree!

        • Shelley says:

          You’re on! I love having hunt missions; helps excuse my frequent [parlays? field expeditions], and gives me more opportunity to “score.” Gonna put my far-reaches-relatives on it, too…interesting things to be found in the northern woods.

          BTW, March, I actually have a dressing table. Me no wantee. My mom was right; I love fun old things. But not this. Even as my tastes change, and I sometimes wear pink, I’ll never be a dressing table gal. Shall we dress the room at ChiCocoa with it?

  • Teri says:

    I don’t think there’s anything more fascinating than a person who’s chock full of interesting contradictions and clearly you are one. 🙂 Can’t wait to meet you at the Chicago event.

    Don’t you miss the good old days when truly quality fragrances were available at the local drug store? Those old Coty standards were great. There wasn’t a bad one in the bunch.

    • Musette says:


      I think we all are, don’t you? I mean, imagine my total stunnedness (now there’s a word I don’t think exists) when I realized that Shelley RUNS an orchestra – I thought she was (just) a teacher who played the flute – and that was intimidating enough! I can’t wait to meet you and everyone else at the EVENT – you are all so fascinating!

      To my mind, L’O and L’A smell similar, in that I think they have a Cotyaude base (somehow that doesn’t work as well as it does for Guerlain:-? I don’t know the notes but to my nose, L’O is the spicier carnation, as you said – I suspect L’O must’ve been designed for evening. L’A is a combo of rose, Carnation and powder (among other things) – it’s way softer. I miss that quality, too! I’m frankly just a little bit scared to try vintage L’O….what if I love it?:o The current incarnations are similar enough to what I remember my mother wearing in the 60s – I really only wear it for nostalgia and to freak out my friends who fall in love with it and are aghast! that they love a $20 drugstore scent!;)

    • March says:

      Okay, so based on Musette’s description, it must be L’Aimant that you are thinking of — rose and powder.

      And on another topic — did you ride the Animale today? ;))

  • Teri says:

    I got PR as a sample-with-purchase from Luckyscent about a year ago. I don’t remember wearing it at the time but I came across it a couple weeks ago and decided to wear it to an afternoon wedding. I thought it worked very well in that context. Quite distinctly feminine, but not ultra-girly. I know this sounds silly, but it seems to call for being worn with a hat.

    PR puts me in mind of one of the Coty fragrances of the ’60s — either L’Aimant or L’Origan, I can’t recall which. Anyone else get that?

    • Musette says:

      Ooh, Teri! Really? My mother wore L’O and L’A and I adore both. I really have this odd juxtaposition in my life where as, MattS (I believe) suggested to someone to wear Yatagan and carry a shiv (I just LOVED THAT!) I wear fragrances like Fracas and Joy and Bal while I’m riding my big ol’ Road King, armed with a SWAT knife that my ex-hub gave me for an anniversary present.

      I haven’t given PR much thought, as I’m pretty well stocked with those kinds of whammo! florals and am lovin’ leather these days…but it’s summertime,summertime…and I wear dresses in the summer…and hats! Hmmmm…..:-?

      • March says:

        Got to love a man who arms you! You could work a big, powdery scent for sure.

      • MattS says:

        One–I love it that you have an inner Liz Taylor (‘cept maybe fragrance-wise, but surely she doesn’t wear her own stuff??) Two-I love the idea of a woman wearing Fracas, armed to the hilt. You might even need a pistol with Fracas.

        • Musette says:

          Fracas does conjure up a pistol but I learned, years ago, that the blade was my Only Friend. When you have a hair-trigger temper a pistol is a Very Bad Idea.

          I am willing to bet that Liz would wear her own fragrances. When I am channeling Liz I am channeling the Whole Diva – the dressing table, the emeralds, the rubies in the pool…..not the turbans or the wildly fluctuating weight or the LarryMarryThingy…but all the cool stuff.

          Of course, I would rip off all my skin before I would channel her right down to her frags. I’m her, clad in Mike Todd’s ruby parure, in the swimming pool, awash in Joy (or Bal or Fracas, take your pick).

          btw – I will love you forever! for the Yatagan/shiv suggestion. I laughed so hard I gave myself a backache!^:)^ I think you and I just may be soulmates (I was at a blacktie affair once and my BFF opened my vintage evening bag, looking for the extra hankie I stashed there. Came upon this little mother of pearl stiletto: ‘what the hell is this?” she asked. Without batting an eye, I replied “it’s my Dress Knife”. She still giggles about that one!

          • MattS says:

            Omigod. You have a Dress Knife?! That is perfection.:x^:)^@};-<:-p I love Burton Era Liz-a little more meat on her bones, hair a little toussled, her scent layered with bourbon and Seconal.:d

          • Musette says:

            You’re right. You know, it’s the Burton jewels (except for the Tood tiara which was pretty nice) that firmly established La Liz as a Diamond Diva. And she and Burton were a hot mess, weren’t they? I do love her so. Love her Bulgari emerald and diamond zigzag bracelet even more!

            will you marry me?? 😡 we seem to be made for each other in SO many ways!^:)^

          • Disteza says:

            Glad to see there’s at least one other soul who’s into both perfume AND weapons! I was giving sword, knife, stick, and hatchet fighting demos for a local colonial-era settlement two weeks ago, and had to try to pick a period perfume to go with both the men’s period clothes (it being hard to fight well in stays and a long skirt)and the general level of activity. I settled on Parfumerie Generale’s Cologne Grand Siecle for the first day, but it was not, ahem, up to the task of cutting through the sweat, woodsmoke, and general muck. So the next day I went whole hog and doused both myself and my clothes in the Société Beauté Sillage de la Reine. I figured since I was the most heavily armed person there, I might as well smell like a queen. I must say, it performed marvelously.

          • Musette says:

            okay – polygamy it is! Disteza, will YOU marry me? You, me and Matt, smelling fabulous and packin’!!!b-)

    • March says:

      I haven’t smelled L’Aimant… L’Origan, maybe? I have a vintage L’Origan and it smells amazing. What a gorgeous thing. I’ll have to dig it up, it seems to me it was spicier than this one. And I think you are absolutely right — a perfect scent for a wedding!

      • Teri says:

        I think you answered my question…it must be L’Aimant that PR reminds me of if L’Origan was the spicy carnation scent. Now, of course, I’ll be on a quest to find some vintage L’Aimant. lol

  • Kim says:

    Haven’t tried Pink Room but Pour Toi sounds promising.

    On another note, check out this story about frankincense and its benefits
    I knew there was a reason I loved the frankincense/amber/smokey genre! And maybe it helps explain why we all find sniffing our scented arm to be grounding and calming? I think someone here call it the ‘perfumista salute’! :d

  • Erin T says:

    Totally off-topic, dropping in to say that I am glad your foot is okay, and to recommend an improbable shoe brand. I am totally dependent on my two new pairs of John Fluevogs. I bought a pair of his clunky, Doc-Martin-like Angels when I was a teen – I think they might have been my first $150+ adult/fashion-type purchase – and they are so comfy and have lasted for *twelve years* without upkeep. When I needed comfy dressy shoes for work in April, I went back to his Toronto store for the first time in those twelve years and fell in love. I bought a cute pair of little-girlie Mary Janes with a very low, fat heel and they worked out so well, I went back on sale day and got the Malibrans (Operettas) in pearl grey (colour very important): I should say I’m the least graceful person you can imagine – I *never* wear heels, despite my height, because I bite it regularly even in flats – and yet these are very feet-friendly, comfy and no falls yet. I’m so proud to see his shoes occasionally on TV shows, in movies etc. – I think: “Oh, our weird little Canadian boy is famous!”

    • March says:

      Aauuugh — SHOE PORN!!! You wicked, wicked woman!!! Of course I want all the wildly inappropriate ones. The 4″ platform with the stacked heel. All the ones that look like they belong in a Tim Burton movie … the Operettas are great, I want the orange ones!


      • Musette says:


        I was gonna have to wrestle you to the ground for those….till I saw the other Operettas with the double straps! I dunno what it is with me and these straps but I do love them so.

        And these are way less $$$ than those $925 Manolos that would’ve choked me back when I HAD money$-) and a Manolo Lifestyle, let alone now, when I buy my work clothes at Wal Mart! Can you just see me tiptoeing through the foundry sand in those turquoise snakeskins?

    • MattS says:

      Man, I was lusting bad for a pair of John Fluevog shoes a few months back, but I didn’t feel like Small Town USA was ready to see me rockin’ those. They were very Modern Rockabilly and completely bad a$$.

      • Erin T says:

        Awww, Matt we are so going to be friends! You’re coming to Chi-ca-go, right?

  • Robin says:

    I really like the first Pink Room scent, it just “isn’t me”.

    Do you think I’d like Pour Toi?

    • March says:

      Hard to say … it would depend, I think, on how sweet you found it, and how much of the berries/citrus you got to balance things out. I think I have a higher tolerance for sweet than you do? But the sparkling top and the tobacco note in the base are really nice and keep it from being vanilla-gourmand-hell. I do agree with the ad blurb that it is more complex than you’d think. I would say it’s worth sampling? It’s too sophisticated to be horrifyingly candied-sugar young if that makes any sense.

  • Eileen says:

    Woohoo! And THANKS! A tester of Cabaret Gres is the kind of day-brightener I can use today. After a morning spent weeding and moving a big ol’ pile of mulch around, I need a little feminine indulgence. The only thing that kept me vaguely happy was wondering if the smell of cypress mulch was anything like CDG Hinoki (sample on the way!) – well, that and the thought of a hot bath. 🙂

    Not sure I can handle a perfume line called “The Pink Room”, no matter how nice it smells. At least the bottles have a nice, clean design; if they were in the Betsy Johnson line of design, I’d just have to put them out of my mind entirely. 😮

    Hope your foot continues to mend, and the shoe situation works out stylishly. b-)

    • March says:

      Definitely take the hot bath, I get all itchy just thinking about you and your mulch moving. 😮 And I’ve emailed you!

      Gosh, I love me some tacky bottles. I thought the Betsey Johnson was great. It makes me think of Little Kiddles (Liddle Kiddles?) Those teeny dolls from the 60s.

      • MattS says:

        Aww man…Little Kiddles…I totally remember those; that’s what I call all the kids at work and they look at me like I’m insane.

  • violetnoir says:

    Hey there! I agree with Musette. It sounds like your feet are doing much better. The new Easy Spirit sandals sound so cute!

    Like so many others, I am turned off by the name, too. It sounds like a strip joint! Far be it from me to discount a fragrance just because of that…but…these fragrances do not sound like the makings of modern classics.


    • March says:

      R, I was thinking you might actually like No. 1, if you were in full girly mode. And I am interested to see that many of you, like me, were kind of put off by the name.

  • Musette says:

    I can’t believe I’m admitting this8-| but I just LOVE all that girly stuff…the dressing table, the atomizers (though they’re impractical, I have several and just load ’em up with costume frags)…a fragrance like PR and Fracas brings out my inner Liz Taylor. I’ll have to try this line!

    March, your shoe-thing sounds like it’s moving along nicely;;) I sent you a Nordies link to some cool comfort shoes – some of them are actually quite fab!


    • March says:

      Hey, I love that girly stuff too! Some day I may have my own dressing table. I do everything standing at the sink in front of my magnifying mirror, but I think there would be something luxurious about sitting down to my toilette… 😡

      Take care of your hand!

      PS do you think Diva will be cross when she comes home from school and discovers I’ve stuck my orthotics in her black wedge espadrilles? She owes me, right?

  • Billy D says:

    I have nothing to say about these fragrances–never tried them–but I must say, wouldn’t it be fun to have that shoe in your house?? I would throw some pillows in and lay back with a book. There’s something almost Magrittian about it.

    • March says:

      That shoe is so great, and I love the idea of using it to read in. I wonder if it looks that good in person? Like a giant left her shoe there?

  • Louise says:

    Funny, I’ve avoided this line, too, because of the names. I’m not normally a fan of sweet man-trap scents, but think I oughta give these a whirl.

    My current favorite, non-edgy but modern and very pretty scent is
    L’Ispiratrice-an unexpected love for me. So ya never know-and that’s so much of the fun :)>-

    • March says:

      Oh, wasn’t L’Inspiratrice great?!?! I love that line in theory more than in practice, although one of the men’s scents is pretty fab on me. I think they’re really well done.

  • Mariannetm says:

    I love that picture!!:)

    • March says:

      Me too — I think it’s on permanent display there, I wish I could find some dimensions. I think it is BIG — taller than we are.

  • Anne says:

    I dunno. Scary. I’m with MattS on the name. I don’t do pink in so many ways. I think if I put on a pink dress my head would explode. The feel of the air around strong colors….. just not pink. I suppose I’m being a little paranoid about bringing a bottle into my home with the word “pink” on it. Maybe an unlabeled sample? :)>-

    • March says:

      I don’t own a single pink thing in my wardrobe, so I hear you. Oh, wait, except my ridiculous pink mohair sweater! 🙂

      • Existentialist says:

        I think certain shades of pink, such as a dusty raspberry polo shirt, can work for a man, but these scents are probably going too far. I had a sample of Pour Toi, and it was just as you say – nicely done, sweet but not tooth-decaying, but just too young and femme for me to wear without feeling silly.
        Nice conjoining of themes, btw – your feet & shoe problems, giant pink shoe, The Pink Room. Good luck with your ongoing shoe search.

        • March says:

          I googled “pink room” and that shoe came up and I thought: Destiny. And I appreciate your following along the twisted meanderings of my patterns of thinking!

          I like pink on men. Purple and green too.

  • chayaruchama says:

    Great reviews, Marchie.

    The lady involved here is even nicer than her frags.
    I find them very pretty, but have onlt toyed with them, so far.

    How’s the foot ?
    Has Big Cheese delivered on those busses yet ???

    • March says:

      Foot is okay. I have a new pair of red wedges from Easy Spirit of all places, they go with my red purse (they’re leather with a patent leather band across the upper, pretty cute). I’m working those right now, along w/another pair of low wedges I figured out my orthotics fit into.

      Cheese is still AWOL. :-w He tried to catch an earlier flight but no go, back (I hope) maybe next week. He did have my portrait painted by one of his favorite artists, it’s very interesting, maybe I’ll stick it up here.

  • MattS says:

    Wow. First to comment this morning. What a shame I have nothing erudite to say. I’ve always ignored this line just because of the name. Somehow, a line called The Pink Room just ain’t gonna woo me…