Odds and Ends

My friends!  I am so excited!  This weekend is the Chi-Cocoa Scentsation!!!  Yay!!!! Patty and I arrive on Friday (along with 85,000+ other people — I hear this is a big convention weekend in Chi-town!) and we do the big ol’ perfume and chocolate binge on Saturday!  I’ve selected my outfit (shoes with orthotics!  elastic-waist pants!) and bought a brand new Timex for $14.99, tres elegant, for the occasion… you know what chafes me?  I am so bummed our message board imploded.  Who’s going to this thing?  Any of you guys?  Tigs, I know you are.  Bryan, I think.  Who else?  Hello, hello?  (knocks on glass)  Anyway, we are really excited for the event.  I’ll be back Sunday night, and we’ll take things from there.  One more special shout-out to Musette for going to extraordinary lengths to make this happen, and to Shelley for lending a helping hand!

So today I have … no perfume post!  Okay, I sniffed some things… that new Lolita Lempicka Fleur de Corail (in the lil’ mermaid bottle) smells very light to me, just sweet, creamy floral (notes are grapefruit, bergamot, frangipani blossom, orchid, vanilla, amber, musk, driftwood) and the blue bottle pictured there to the left is not as cute in person as the original.  The Black Amethyst at BBW — their sexxx-ay new scent — gah, okay, I am delighted that it’s not some lollipop floral, but that walk-of-shame sour woods (like a downmarket Euphoria) is starting to wear a bit thin.  Can we have something else, please?  How about … leather?  That’s sexy.  (The day BBW comes out with Russian Leather I will eat my tube of BBW Brown Sugar and Fig.)

Also, the new Coach Legacy.  I don’t ever think I ever blogged-in-hindsight about how nicely done the first Coach fragrance was.  I don’t have a bottle of the original and it’s not me, but I thought it was a terrific example of on-target design, from the gorgeous, heavy, monogrammed square bottle (shown at right) to the pretty fragrance inside to the ancillary products (like the cute solid perfume keychain in the Coach tag shape, etc.)  It fits in perfectly with the revived brand’s new image of youthful sophistication, and while I miss their dowdy old original bags, of which I have several because I am that old, I’m happy to see the company doing well.

I’m a little less thrilled with Legacy, at left in the round bottle.  The online description is: “A unique blend of soft florals combined with amber, vanilla and precious woods.”  So, one might guess it would be a slightly heavier, fall fragrance?  And one would be wrong.  This falls squarely into dull flanker territory for me — Coach Eau Legere, so to speak.  It may be my old nemesis, musk anosmia, rearing its pointy head, but I can barely smell this thing — it’s wan and watery compared to the first Coach.  Has anyone else tried this?  Maybe it’s fabulous and I just can’t smell it, like I clearly can’t smell 50% of Estee Lauder Sensuous’ molten river of woods. There’s a whole line of fashion items (scarves, totes, etc.) with that Legacy color scheme, though, and they are pretty darn cute.  Maybe it’ll grow on me.

Finally —  a little perfume discovery that gave me pleasure last week.  I sprayed some Balenciaga Rumba in the air in the guest bedroom (thanks, Angela!), one spritz, and the scent has lived on — and on, and on…. glad I didn’t do two spritzes.  I walk past the guest bedroom all the time, and I get the funniest sensation, like I am smelling a room in someone else’s house, because I haven’t worn Rumba enough to associate it with myself.  Now I go in my guest room to read, while pretending that I’m actually in a lovely, quiet B&B as opposed to my house, and nutty as it may sound, the smell of that “stranger’s perfume” completes the illusion. There’s something perversely pleasurable, as we know, about being in someone else’s bedroom — at a hotel, an inn or another person’s home.  (I’ve never been able to decide whether it’s the vague sense of impropriety or just the thrill of knowing that you don’t have to wash the sheets and vacuum under the bed.)  Discovering how I can be a guest in my own home for a few stolen moments of slothful reading while the family is otherwise occupied has been quite a treat.  Although now the bed’s full of cookie crumbs, so I suppose I’ll have to change the sheets after all.

  • King Princess says:

    Hi, everyone! I’m going to be there with bells on, and I’m dragging my poor boyfriend along with me. Sunday is football, though, so it totes evens out. And he’s pretty excited to finally experience firsthand what I’ve been yammering on about. ;;)

    I’ve been a hardcore lurker on this and other perfume sites for a while now, so this is my official hello – can’t wait to meet you all! <:-p

  • Vidalicious says:

    Yahoo! I’m going! Looking forward to meeting everyone else who is going, and to buying lots of LOOT! Ok, I need to try Black Amethyst, I think one of my male nurses was wearing it and he smelled HOT! I mean, I broke out in a sweat and needed to be RESTRAINED!!! My nose kept finding its way to his neck…really, how unbecoming in the professional setting…!

  • bella says:

    Have a great time in Chicago. I wish I was going.
    I really don’t like Sensuous at all, but Aliage –brings back old memories and I used to love it! Sensuous does smell like old rubber.
    Really awful. The only EL that I have recently like was the Bronze Goddess oil by Tom Ford. I wish I had bought that one as I really didn’t care for the new one.

  • Liz says:

    Hello Perfume People,
    Sounds like everyone is excited about Saturday. We will surely be there. I look forward to meeting everyone.
    Anita has been wonderful about the planning and has kept me on point. The gal deserves a toast.
    Until Saturday, Best To You All,
    Liz Zorn

  • Robin says:

    I’m pouting too, but I do hope you guys have a fabulous time!

  • gina says:

    I wish I could say I’ll be in Chicago this weekend, but I won’t. :((

    I bought a bottle of Rumba after reading Angela’s review at NST. The funny thing about Rumba is that when I wear it, which is rarely – I smell like someone else. It is very much a “stranger’s perfume” on me, which I kind of dig. It inspires me to go out wearing dark lipstick, clothes, and shoes I don’t normally wear. I become someone else, it’s kind of a thrill. I’ve sprayed it on my sheets too, and made the mistake of spritzing more than once…man…it was kind of overwhelming for a few days. When it died down a little, it really is quite lovely and strange.

    • March says:

      It is a stranger’s perfume, isn’t it? Yes, very much not “me” — wonder if it is anyone? And I know exactly what you mean about becoming someone else. And beautifully put — I am fascinated by the fact that you used it kind of the same way I did (as a room scent) given that nothing about it says “room spray” to me. But it is lovely and strange. There’s that aspect of it Angela touched on, the part that smells like radiators and dust, that makes it peculiarly well suited for room application. Although as you pointed out, a little goes a looooooong way. I was somewhat shocked at how powerful that one little spritz was. You can still smell it quite clearly in the room, two weeks later.

      • gina says:

        It really isn’t me, and you’re right, I really don’t know if it’s anyone – that’s sort of what I love about it. It is so funny we used it as room spray…it was the radiator and dust part of Angela’s review that inspired me to do that, too. The other fascinating thing about when I wear it out and become that “other” person – a whole different type of man is attracted to me.

        On an aside, a scent that drives men crazy across the board – Andy Tauer’s Incense Rose. Seriously, it’s “man come hither” spray.

  • tmp00 says:

    I won’t be there (It’s my best friend’s 50th and I was told in no uncertain terms that my a$$ better be in Old Black Point for it or I won’t reach 50 myself), but all of you spritz and snarf with abandon for me k? :d :((

    And have a slice of deep-dish for me too! Yummm..

    • March says:

      Hey, sooner or later we will come out to El Lay and you can show us the ropes. I have never been there. In the meantime, have fun at the party! Get drunk and do something silly. 8-|

  • violetnoir says:

    You guys will have a blast, March! Chicago is one magnificent town and nothing but big, big fun.

    If it’s not on the schedule and you have the time, check out the wine/chocolate/cheese bar at the Inter-Continental Hotel on Michigan. It is open after 4PM and wonderfully dark, cozy, and delicious!


  • moongrrl says:

    I’m going to be there! :d

    • March says:

      Yay!!! Don’t forget your snowsuit and your bathing suit — it will either be 30 or 95! Or, given that it’s Chicago, both in the same day. :d

  • Lindsey9107 says:

    Hey March! I’ll be there. It’ll be the first time I’ve met other perfumistas in person! I too am a little bummed about the message board. I keep clicking it hoping it’s back up.

    • March says:

      Yay! I look forward to meeting you!

      I know, Patty bugged them and bugged them about the msg board. I am sure we’ll get another one up there (hopefully one that doesn’t implode) — it’s tuff on the internets with the free stuff, sometimes things go wrong and not much we can do. But it’s a nice reference to have. I miss it. 🙁

  • Anthony says:

    March, what a great little treat of an article! I remember leaving my house to go to college and missing the smells of my family getting ready in the morning, but I always ended up having girls as roommates so I never left TOO far behind the smell of perfume, clean showers, blown-dry hair, products, etc (but mostly florals, the one element most notably missing in my apartment). The first time I lived alone I remember actually telling my friends “I miss living with someone who creates their own little ‘getting ready in the morning'” fragrance in the air. I have often thought of purchasing bottles of Quelques Fleurs, Ysatis and Kouros to recreate the smell of my parents getting ready to go out when I was little. 🙂

    • March says:

      Anthony, what a lovely comment. I know exactly what you are talking about. My father had a very small wardrobe of scent (Old Spice, Grey Flannel, and some Mennen thing) and I loved the smell of him in the house. I think your combination of scents does make a great memory.

  • Elle says:

    Wow, what a great idea for the guest room! Must try that.
    I *love* the original Coach bottle. Haven’t sniffed the latest scent yet. It’s not high on my “must sniff” list and your post is not making me think I need to bump it up any.
    SO wish I could get to Chicago – sounds like it will be such a blast! Look forward to hearing your reports.

  • Sara says:

    Have a GREAT time in Chicago! I look forward to reading about your adventures! I was there over Labor Day weekend–I saw a cute cafe that would be a great stop for the group–it’s called Pastoral and only serves wine, cheese, and chocolate!

    I LOVED the old Coach bags–the leather was wonderful–I still have my black bucket bag ’round here somewhere….

    • March says:

      Hey, thanks for the recommendation! And I still have MY black bucket bag around here somewhere too, I used to carry my stuff to work in it a million years ago…

  • Louise says:

    Oh, I am so =:) of you all. I just couldn’t swing it financially-I am stuck with $$$ of dental bills, just as Olfacta above :(( I know you’ll have a super time, and come home with great tales of perfume, chocolate, drinks, and especially of wonderful friends.

    I admire your brave spirit March, sniffing so many of the more mainstream scents. I am running scared from most, though I did give Black Amethyst a try yesterday (was it the announced sex-pot thing that grabbed me???). And it was pretty pleasant, til the explosion of fruit singed my hair o-> I am afraid the only BBW I can still enjoy is the Fig/Brown sugar number.

    I don’t have phantom guest room scents, lacking any guest room, but at times I pull out a cardigan, and after a bit wonder who smells nice…and it’s likely some residue of a now-unidentifiable samp I tested. And it’s always one I can’t track down again >:p

    • March says:

      Ew, you got a fruit explosion?!? Admittedly, I tried it on the paper, not my skin. I hate it when the fruit explodes like that.

      The scented cardigan, I love that. Sometimes it is instantly recognizable (like Chaos.) But often it is, I think, some sort of wonderful combination of scents left over from some random sniffage.

  • Olfacta says:

    I wish I could come to Chicago, I’d love to meet you all! But it seems that I need 5K worth of dental work next week…life can be unfair.

    Coach bags — I have the old “Soho” bag, it’s at least 10 years old. I keep fixing it up and carrying it in the winter. The leather was of such good quality that it has lasted that long! It reminds me of a really fine English saddle. I hate 99.99% of handbags and have never found a winter one to replace it, although someday I guess I’ll have to.

    At least the handbags with buckles hanging all over them appear to be fading, and the Queen Elizabeth “structured” purses, so my Soho is right back in fashion.

    • March says:

      5K in dental work — augh. That’s terrible. I feel like dental work is such a waste of money, when you think how much perfume or cute shoes that would buy. 🙂

      Those old Coach bags hold up beautifully. Even being weathered is part of their charm. My only (general) complaint is that now that I’ve gotten used to a more structured bag with pockets and dividers, their black-hole interiors can be frustrating. I have a really hard time with bags, mostly because they’re too blinged up and too BIG — I look like I am carrying mommy’s purse.

  • Nava says:

    I won’t be making it to Chicago this weekend either, but I hope you guys have a blast. And thanks, March for perking me up to Fleur de Corail. I love L, so now I’m thinking that I gotta sniff this one, too! 🙂

    • March says:

      Yes, please sniff the Corail and let me know what it smells like! I think I singed my nose hairs smelling Obsession immediately beforehand.

  • Francesca says:

    Have a wonderful time in Chicago, to all who are going! I’m looking forward to reading all about it.

  • MattS says:

    Damn. Damn. Damn. Pout. Sulk. Grumble. Guess who won’t be in Chicago this weekend and I was really looking forward to meeting all of you, even more than the actual sniffing. But the house hunt continues and I have to prepare myself for the imminent poverty to follow. But maybe I should treat myself to something…as a sort of consolation prize. I really, really shouldn’t but a full bottle may have to be ordered to soothe my pain. Ya’ll have fun and take lots of pictures, eat lots of chocolate, sniff beautiful scents, and lift a glass for me.:)

    • Nava says:

      I think a treat is definitely in order, Matt. I’m on the move myself and feeling the pinch just as you are. More about that later… 😡

    • March says:

      I know, I was really looking forward to meeting you. 🙁 But there are several people house hunting right now — transitions afoot! Moving your fragrance will be no fun. But worth it in the end.

      I hope to have a full report of the event on Monday, depending on how late I get home.

  • rosarita says:

    Dearest March, Musette, et al, family obligations will prevent me from attending the Chi Cocoa Scentsation, which totally stinks >:p because I’d love to meet you all IRL. Now I have a stress fracture in my foot and can’t walk anyway. 8-| The universe’s way of telling me to stick to mail order perfume sniffing, perhaps? At any rate, have a fabulous time and let us in on all the details! BTW, has anyone smelled Maubbousin for women, in the muli colored pyramid bottle? I just got a mini for the bottle, and I think I might love it. It smells similar to PdN’s Vanille Tonka.

    • March says:

      Oh, your poor foot! I am so sorry. That’s terrible. I hope it gets better soon. Yes, some mail order perfume is just the ticket. @};-

  • Bryan says:

    I love your idea…so I’m stealing it. I am going to find something I don’t associate with myself or close family member and spritz the guest bedroom. What a perfect idea, March, to hide away in one’s own home…as a guest. Simply brilliant.
    I am almost certain to be in Chicago, but alas there is a small chance I won’t be able to go, but let’s keep our fingers crossed….I really really want to be there.


    • March says:

      I hope you can make it! But I understand if you can’t. Sometimes perfume needs to take a back seat to other obligations, unfair as it seems.

      Enjoy your new at-home guest room. :)>-

  • mollypenny says:

    Estee Lauder Sensuous smelled decent enough on the tester strip. Tried it on my skin and smelled like rank rubber. That rubber smell never went away. Truly awful. But I had fun smelling the oldies at the counter- Cinnabar, Youth Dew…
    Love your writing. You’re a hoot!

    • March says:

      The oldies are amazing. Besides Cinnabar and Youth Dew, the original Azuree is pretty spectacular. Rank rubber wouldn’t be my first choice in a fragrance.

      • Gretchen says:

        Another good EL oldie is Aliage. I was reminded of this when a PST post in June asked commenters to suggest preppy scents. Hadn’t sniffed it for years, but got some and found it the perfect scent for 100-plus weather. (Well, 100plus dry air at least; I don’t live in a humid climate so can’t say how it works there).

  • Catherine says:

    I’m coming, dear March, dear Patty, dear Musette and Shelley! I’m very psyched. I’m so psyched that even my Type-A organizational skills are in overload.

    This is going to be a great weekend, and I thank you all so much!

    • March says:

      Yay!! I think we wound up with somewhere around 35 people. Should be a big blast.

      I’m not kidding about the 85K people, by the way. Some sort of manufacturing or equipment convention?

      • Musette says:

        If it’s a total disaster, you won’t all hate me, right? I just got p-p-p-p-p-perFORmance anxiety!:o what if I forget something? What if the crazy folks at Barneys throw a pie in my face? What if? What if? What if the >-) pick this weekend to show up from outer space????? It could happen!

        Oh, well – we will have a good time no matter what! Just remember, all your Eventites! The weather is VERY mercurial right now – bring at least one thing for extreme heat and something to keep you from the current chill. Our tour starts 2 blocks from the lake so anything goes, weatherwise.


        • March says:

          Girl, I would pay serious money for some pie-in-the-face action at Barneys, just for the amusement. In fact you can throw it in MY face if it’s from Sarah’s!

          It will be wonderful! Who are you kidding?!?! A bunch of great gals, fragrance, chocolate, and random retail opportunities — what is not to love?

          • Shelley says:

            (knocking about in the kitchen…)

            Don’t mind me…I’m just working with this whipped cream and pie crust for, erm, a special party I’m going to….

      • Musette says:

        ps. yes, it’s IMTS – it’s the largest manufacturing/technology convention in the country. The Holy Grail of my Industry. But they aren’t much into perfume so we won’t have to fight for counter space. And they’ll all be stomping through McCormick Place, staying well out of our fragrant way. Now, if we were sampling CNC machines….


        • Helen says:

          Hi Musette!

          I am enviously missing your fun weekend, but I will be in Chicago next Thursd-Sun for a wedding and wondered if you have any tips on what to check out sniff-wise? I have some time to troll on Thursday and thought you might have a few suggestions….

          • Musette says:


            Send me an emailaddress and I will forward you our itinerary from the upcoming Event. It has pretty much everything you need to know about the general perfume avails, from niche to mainstream.

            I’m sorry you’re going to miss our Event but glad you’re going to have a chance to come to Chicago. Make sure you bring ‘variable’ clothing – it’s been way up and down lately, weatherwise.


          • Helen says:

            Many many thanks, you are too kind! ( )

            Cold weather will be great, and I bet even hot weather can’t compare to my hot city (San Antonio)- so the weather will be a treat no matter what…

            Y’all have a great time Chicoco-ing!

        • March says:

          Yeah, I was worried until I looked up the type of convention and thought, I probably won’t be shoving THOSE people out of the way at Nordstrom.

          Dang, where is my whistling emoticon when I need him/her?