When Pigs Fly

I sat on the wooden steps of the back porch this morning, watching the squirrels chase each other through the fallen leaves as I contemplated the crop of black walnuts dangling perilously in the stand of trees across the back of our property.  Black walnuts  — delicious treats coveted by man and beast alike that will stain everything, including your childrens’ curious hands, a deep dark brown — hurtled randomly toward the turf from 60 feet up, each tangerine-sized nut hitting the damp earth with an audible thwump like an unexploded grenade.  Perhaps I should get the children to wear helmets out there for the time being.   My Darlow’s Enigma roses, eternal optimists from April to November, are still sending up tendrils that end in a snowburst of fragrant white flowers.  One of these mornings we will have frost, but not yet.  I watch the steam rise from my coffee mug and smile.  Why does this time of year, when everything is fading, always feel so full of promise to me?

* * *

14-year-old Diva broke my reverie by sticking a scented arm under my nose.  She had found a perfume she really, really loved.  It’s a new release from an old, established house that would shame no one, it’s not terribly expensive or difficult to find, her friend has it, it’s perfect.  She wants me to get her some.   I took one deep inhale, recognized the scent immediately and my mind uttered the three words that now title today’s post.  One thing is for sure: that child will not be wearing that scent in this house.

There are certain smells — smells free of any recollectible association of torture or abuse — that I cannot abide.  Diva’s fragrance is one of them.  I have had, I guess, my share of perfume turnarounds over the last few years, but there are some notes, and some fragrances, that I cannot fathom ever changing my opinion on.

One notable, categorical reversal was on gourmand vanillic fragrances.  I can blame one too many inhales of some particularly noxious Comptoir Sud Pacifique at Sephora for my initial loathing.  But somewhere awhile back, the vanilla wall started to crumble.  I found myself powerfully, strangely, heretically attracted to Guerlain’s Spiritueuse Double Vanille, the fragrance to which I owe eternal love for introducing me to the concept of the Smoky Vanilla, which is one of the universe’s finest fragrance combinations.  Of course, making your own is better.  I recommend Diptyque’s Essense of John Galliano or CB I Hate Perfume’s Burning Leaves (on the fancy niche end) or Demeter Bonfire on the cheap end, layered with whatever vanilla most tickles your fancy.  (My choice for vanillas to layer with smoke: Givenchy Organza Indecence or the dirt-cheap Demeter Egg Nog, and no, I am not funning you.)   From there it was a short, slippery slope to my newfound devotion for vanillic Godzilla fragrances like Dior Addict and Hypnotic Poison.

On a completely different scent angle, my changing feelings about Robert Piguet Bandit charted my course away from beginning perfumista, still clinging to conventional ideas of fragrances as smelling “pretty.”  Bandit horrified me.  I think I must have smelled Bandit ten times over the next two years, and slowly it began to lie, cheat and steal its way into my heart.  Who can resist its bravado, its galbanum-leather like a slap across the face with a wet glove?    I think most of us, as our tastes evolve and our experiences widen, have a Bandit Fragrance — a perfume that disgusts before those very same notes are transformed over time and experience into something delightful, something to be treasured.

But there are still fragrances I cannot imagine loving.  There are fragrances I find so repellent that, while I have learned never to say never when it comes to perfume, it will take a shift of opinion so profound and enormous I have difficulty picturing it.  The moldering mouse corpse smell of Serge Lutens’ Borneo 1834 is one such fragrance.  I’d blame it on the mildew, but I enjoy Etro’s crypt-ic Messe de Minuit, so who knows what the problem is, precisely?   Mugler’s Angel is another must-avoid fragrance, although I admit to having retried it several times, thinking reasonably enough that anything that popular on the mass market can’t be devoid of charm.  Angel makes me gag.  It is like inviting RuPaul to shriek Donna Summer’s greatest hits at top volume directly into one ear for fifteen hours — too much, too long, and waaaaaay too loud.   I think I must have some aversion to chocolate in fragrance, particularly a chocolate/patchouli combo.  Even a hugely popular, gentle choco-patch comfort scent, Yves Rocher’s Cocoon, make my stomach lurch.  The chocolate-rotting fruit horror of Missoni is the scent I’d imagine being used in one of the many unbearable scenes in A Clockwork Orange.

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a giveaway.  I’ll round up a box of various odds and ends, some of which I hate, and mail them to the first person who can guess correctly what scent Diva’s asking for.  In the meantime, what perfumes or themes demonstrate your changing tastes, or increasing tolerances, in fragrance?  What fragrance (or type of fragrance) can you not imagine making peace with?

image of black walnuts: about.com – black walnuts smell pretty terrific, a strange leathery astringent smell; bandit image, collectorsquest.com

  • Linda B says:

    Oh geez, I’m so with ya on the chocolate. Love me the real stuff, but please stay out of my perfume. Really, gagging territory. I’ve tried to even just tolerate Angel from the first week it came out, but even now when I smell it on someone in passing, I have to hide my nose in my shirt. I just can’t deal with it.

    • March says:

      With you all the way. I LOVE chocolate. And I like certain gourmand-foody scents too. But chocolate in fragrance? That’s disgusting. Have no idea why it should be that way for me, but clearly I am not alone.

  • tia kake says:

    Diva…while normal teen girls wish for “tickle” she as a sophisticated nose, with a bar-set-high type situation…have you even tried Coco Madomoiselle? start right and start early…4711? or…(no kidding) Caswell Massey Cucumber Cologne. Of course Annick’s Air is lovely… Emeraude by Cody, this is a joke as you know. Buy that girl anything that pleases her! Damn your eyes and XOXO from the tia-lurker

  • BBJ says:

    Aaaaah, get the kid some Mousson! Just make her spritz right before she leaves for school.

  • sylvia says:

    mousson, eh? maybe you could steer her in the direction of melony aquatics that arent so offensive to your nose. this is the style my mom likes too. a couple of her faves: l’eau d’issey, l’eau par kenzo, and ellen tracy inspire. as for me, if my mom had a perfume collection like yours, i’d abscond with my favorites and never tell her where they went!

    i can’t think of anything i used to hate and now love… i guess im slightly starting to warm up to patchouli if its used with a light hand and not in a headshop way, but i certainly wouldnt say i love it!

    • March says:

      I don’t know what any of those smell like. :”> And I should. You’re right. And who knows, maybe it will ease me into melony aquatics and next summer I’ll be raving over Mousson?!? 😮

  • sybil says:

    I’m a philistine, and the scents I can’t stand, and don’t think I’ll ever develop a taste for are legion…Messe de Minuit immediately springs to mind as one. I get less church and more mildew. Angel & Chinatown made me want to sandpaper my arm. I’m working on developing a taste for Habanita, w/ great difficulty. My daughters are expressly forbidden to even pick up Pink Sugar and look at the bottle on a Sephora jaunt.
    And, walnut-wise? I think your kids would probably be ok, but w/ a bump. My ballistics-minded brother did the math (since I have 9 or so trees in the back lot, and similar kid concerns).
    Apparently they don’t fall far enough to develop enough speed to really damage you. And, when one actually did clip one of my house painters the other day (first time anyone’s actually been hit), he was startled, but undamaged.

    • March says:

      This is what I love about this blog. I can write something about walnuts and my kids, and then someone can comment intelligently on the trajectory. :d/

      Less church and more mildew is not a slogan that is likely to entice anyone. Oddly, MdeM smells like a lovely soft rose on a good friend of mine, who was so delighted she bought a bottle. Go figure.

  • Robin says:

    Mousson, the horror!!!!

    What do you do with your black walnuts, anyway? The squirrels eat all of ours, because we’re LAZY.

    • March says:

      I’m telling you. She couldn’t pick one of the other 600 new perfumes out there? [-(

      What do we do with them? Well, we ignore them. My husband curses at them because he doesn’t want to hit them with his mower. Then when he’s sick of that we round up our child labor and we all go out there for 20 minutes of Little-House-style family bonding, gathering nuts. Into our giant brown leaf bags. Which then get toted to the curb in a wheelbarrow. I feel bad about that, but what else is there?

  • Lee says:

    What a scent for a child of yours to love! Is this karma for perfume sluts like us?

    I MUCH prefer Borneo to the hideous MdM, though I sniffed it immediately after reading Debbie’s post and was, erm, temporarily put off. And given that I’m an emetophobe (seriously), that temporary was pretty impressive.


  • Meliscents says:

    I agree with your feelings about Fall. Down here in “Alabamy” we don’t really get a Spring so Fall is our comparable season. I’ve finally been able to dig out the sweaters & that nip in the air is like sucking pure oxygen. After 98 degree weather with 100% humidity, it’s funny how refreshing a high of 80 can be.

    As far as fragrances & learning to live with them, I was the same with Bandit. It really made me lurch when I first smelled it but now when I dare to wear it, I can’t stop sniffing. I compare it to a “dirty, forbidden” love. Another is the original Dior Poison. I tried a dab this weekend & I thought it was beautiful, rich, spicy berries. All jam & currents. YUMMO! The secret with Poison like so many is learning restraint. Others I’ll never learn to love and that’s too many to list. Thank goodness I have more I love/like/tolerate than hate.

    • March says:

      Same here — it’s funny how a small shift in the temp can feel so big. I think part of it is the decreased humidity.

      Poison… you know what? This is going to be the year I get a bottle. I wore it Back in the Day, and you are correct, with scents like Addict and Poison, the key is applying with a light hand. Poison is a swoon.

  • Elle says:

    Hadn’t thought about the implications of someone else in my house wearing a scent I can’t stand. Once again, thank heavens DH doesn’t wear scent and canine child only wears what rubs off of me onto him. That Hermes would definitely scare me.
    We have hickory nuts raining down on our house like missiles – the squirrels delight in shaking them off of the highest branches and scaring the heck out of me when they crash onto our roof. I’m afraid that one day they’ll break the skylights above our bed. 🙁 I *love* the taste of black walnut flavoring. Often mix it into my yogurt.
    It took me *centuries* to appreciate white flower scents other than jasmine and I felt a great sense of triumph when I could finally enjoy tuberose scents (started out w/ trainer wheels w/ MH NdT). I am not sure I will ever be able to truly appreciate aquatic scents. But I never say never w/ perfume.
    I see another Elle is posting! 🙂

    • March says:

      An Elle imposter!!! I thought that was you!! I will have to pay more attention to that going forward. :”>

      I grew up in a house with a hickory tree next to the front walk, and I *swear* the squirrels would deliberately rain nuts down on us when we walked underneath. Those things hurt! Who says squirrels are stupid?

      I am still not.quite.there on the white flower scents, excepting jasmine. And Carnal Flower. 😡

  • Dusan says:

    And no, can’t say that I’ve ever experienced a dramatic about-face. No wait, I’m lying! I actually retched at my first sniff of A*Men. But, what was then chocovomit + a heavy dose of sweat and metal has since become a milky/doughy/dry coffee malt goodness 🙂 Lately though, I just can’t bring myself to wear it.
    Loved the ‘moldering mouse corpse’ description of Bornéo, btw!

  • Dusan says:

    Have to agree with Denyse’s guess that Klara got it with Miss Dior Chérie, although another one comes to mind – Pink Sugar?
    Outside of the gourmand musk category, and in the (for you) dangerously gag-inducing melon category, could it be that Diva wants L’Eau d’Issey? Just a wild guess…

    • March says:

      Dude. Pink Sugar is not even on my radar. no no no no no pink sugar. You got the melon-gag category right though! 😉

      That is interesting what you say about A*Men. I keep sampling it, and I can see how it would be too much on the wrong day. I am still kicking myself that I didn’t buy the LE Pure Coffee when it was available, I love my samp of that thing. But I can’t find it anywhere any moooore… 🙁

  • hvs says:

    Hmm. I was going to guess Insolence, but I think I’ll say Elle by Givenchy.

    • March says:

      Snerk. I *like* Elle. (Do you mean YSL)? Patty loathes it, but I’d wear it if you gave it to me. Too cheap to buy it tho.

  • carmencanada says:

    I was kind of with Klara above me on Miss Dior Chérie, ’cause I know you don’t loathe Insolence. But I give my tongue to the cat, as the French say when they can’t guess something…

    I’ve done a recent turnaround on sweet and gourmand as well (Hypnotic Poison comes to mind). I didn’t buy the Guerlain SDV — I balked at the price for a soli-smell, though it’s the best vanilla on the market. I like By Killian Love (the meringue one) but price kept me away from it too. I’m a little miffed: gourmand seemed so… easy, somehow, you know? Thought I was above it all. But there you go, one changes.

    Bandit I took a few tries to love but now I do: I’m perverse that way. And while Angel makes me retch too, I adore Bornéo (that’s where we part ways).

    Another turnaround was aldehydes, which I wore as a teen (go figure), then went off of, before rediscovering them last year.

    But an actual fragrance I hated and completely changed my mind about? Not yet…

    • March says:

      Oh, I want to give my tongue to the cat. (Le Chat?) I wish I could be French. At least for a day. No… a month. In Paris. 😡

      Yes, the SDV is very nice, but not worth the price, frankly (I have a decant.) I can get more or less the same effect with other things that are much cheaper. The Meringue I can’t decide on. First it’s fun, then too much … I probably overapply. And you and I were both surprised by our affection for Hypnotic.

      Honestly? I can’t remember what Miss Dior Cherie smells like. Since it made several people’s guesses, I will have to resmell it. 🙂

  • Shelley says:

    It’s kind of hard for me to respond without my own mother’s voice in my head, saying something like “Over my dead body” and pulling out a words like “tart” and I do believe “tramp” when she tried to (ahem) rationally explain why I would never, ever own or apply Jovan Musk to my person for as long as I lived under her roof.

    So I am of course rifling through new releases in my head, trying to see if there’s a contemporary musk out. Oooh, a gourmand musk…now wouldn’t that just be the cat dragged it in?? >-) >:p

    You are quite fortunate to have those projectiles in your backyard; send me a bushelful, I’ve got a couple of recipes I’ve been wanting to try for years, but couldn’t for lack of black walnuts.

    This time of year is full of promise. It’s like shedding a skin. Nature and you are doing all this cleaning up, offering a big display before hunkering in, and you know there’s potential for many happy times in cozy hibernation, all is right with the world, it will all start over again in the spring, but now is exploding with exhibtis of current potential and hurrahs. I don’t think of it fading, so much, as a big burst of life before pulling back in order to do it all again–albeit never quite the same.

    Hmm, I seem to @};-

    • Shelley says:

      Well, that was a twist. Supposed to say that I am :-@

      The @};- is for you.

    • March says:

      Seriously. Picking those things out of the shell? Soooooooooo not worth it. The average online black walnut removal formula begins with something like: lay black walnuts in your driveway and run them over with a tractor. Then eventually they turn to black, tarry mush in the lawn, but I am assuming at that point the contents are no longer at their peak.

      I would have totally let you wear Jovan Musk.

      And excellent use of the chatty emoticon! 🙂

      • Shelley says:

        And you are not my mother, and hence I am the late in life semi-out perfumista that I am. 😉

        Yup, that’s what a friend from southeastern Ohio told me I’d have to do; dump ’em all in the driveway, a drive the Peek-Cup back and forth over ’em a few times. This year’s marketing slogan: Black Walnuts–Worth The Gas.

        • March says:

          Maybe I’m just a bad mother! Although “slut” is one of those descriptors I try to steer clear of with the girls.

          See, it’s just the city girl in me, but if I have to run my food over first I ain’t eatin’ it, whether it’s walnuts or possum.

  • Klara says:

    Bvlgari Jasmin Noir? Or perhaps Guerlain Insolence? Or maybe Dior Miss Dior Cherie?

    For me the perfume I cannot wear a all is Frederic Malle Lipstick Rose (sorry ladies:).

    • March says:

      The Lipstick Rose is that interesting foray into makeup smell fragrances — there are a couple others that are like face powder — and while they are curious I don’t want to wear them. At all. Lipstick Rose is not my favorite either, although I imagine it smells very nice on some people.

  • Louise says:

    Wow, I gotta text Diva and find out which scent it is she’s wanting sooooo much-what a nice Christmas gift that would be >:)

    I’ve always had a (tiny) soft spot for vanillics, and there are days when I must wear LMDV Noire Mexique. I do like the ideas of adding some smoke to it and its cousins, and recommend CBs Bonfire Accord for a great, reasonable alternative to Burning Leaves-it lasts forever, unlike the Demeter. In fact, I recommend a number of his accords-great prices, with Smoky Tobacco leading the pack.

    I’m still waiting for my nose to grow up enough to appreciate Bandit.

    I enjoy wee doses of Angel, especially in the body cream. Whether anyone around me is tolerating it when I wear it, I’m not so sure :-j

    I must be mold-resistant, because I only smell slightly vanillic rich incense in MdM, and a delightful camphor/bitter choco/smooth patch blend in Borneo =:) I don’t love chocolate in scent in general, but dab Missoni on at times, though I’d never subject you to it. But oddly, Cocoon simply makes me retch, not to put too fine a point on it :-&

    Wonder what scents Enigma is drawn to lately 😕 Bwah-ha ha…

    • March says:

      You buy Diva that Mousson and we will have a throwdown, missy. [-x

      I know, I wish I’d bought summa those Lavanilias when they were getting rid of them! Can’t believe I just typed that. Every time I think of my morphing relationship with vanilla I feel like an >-)

      Really, Cocoon makes you b-( ? Huh. I thought everyone but me loved it.

      • Louise says:

        And I have such high hopes for that girl :d/ Gad, no Mousson coming from me 🙂 But I will indeed find her something nice for the holidays, sweet thing.

        • March says:

          She’s a funny thing. She either likes gaggingly sweet, too-old-for-her scents like Addict (which she can’t have only because she’d kill me with it, overapplying) or interestingly tart-neutral things. Like, Prada Infusion smells amazing on her, and she likes it.

  • pyramus says:

    I’m not going to guess what Diva wants (and will not get), but I have to agree with you that Demeter Egg Nog is ridiculously enjoyable for the price. It’s an improved version of Comptoir Sud Pacifique’s failed (though not terrible) Vanille Cannelle, and though simple, it doesn’t smell cheap (unless of course you hate vanilla scents, in which case all bets are off).

    Have you tried Sticky Toffee Pudding? Oh so so so good.

    • March says:

      Seriously?!? Sticky Toffee Pudding??!? There’s another one I haven’t tried because it sounds so gross. And I almost threw Egg Nog in the trash without opening it until Now Smell This wrote a favorable review. I sleep in Egg Nog all the time. I’ll have to try Pudding. Any other recommendations? I want to try their new Hay.

      • pyramus says:

        I have something like 60 Demeters (and yes, I know this is insane, so you don’t need to point that out), and I have reviewed most of them on my blog, so I do actually have a few more recommendations.

        Sticky Toffee Pudding smells date bread with brown-sugar caramel glaze. It’s ravishing. Other glorious bakery smells include Tiramisu (coffee/ladyfingers/pastry cream) and Brownie (thick, rich and fudgy). Steer clear of Scottish Shortbread, which smells weirdly petrochemical.

        If you like licorice, both Licorice (smells like those licorice pipes/cigars, not like Twizzlers) and Sambucca (aka anisette/ouzo) are terrific. If you like candy, you should try Junior Mints (bright mint and dark chocolate), but I’d avoid Marshmallow (unconvincing and slightly burnt) and Cotton Candy (super-sweet and more like Pink Sugar than actual cotton candy): Tootsie Roll smells less like the candy than like chocolate frosting, but still, very nice.

        Baby Powder smells a fair bit like FlowerByKenzo. Bulgarian Rose smells like rose-tinted bath soap, Lavender is a great basic lavender, and Iris is heinous. Vetiver is bright and earthy at the same time. Fiery Curry is unexpectedly and appealingly soft, neither hot nor spicy. Raspberry Jam smells just like raspberry jam and is a delight. Of all the leathers (there are four), Russian Leather is my favourite, with an almost floral quality: Leather smells like a black leather jacket. Black Pepper plus Caramel makes a fascinatingly complex and nearly unplaceable combination.

        The best Demeter of all, ever, is Gingerale, which smells carbonated. I don’t know how they do it. It’s fantastically, perfectly accurate.

        There. That ought to keep you going for a bit.

        • March says:

          Oooooh, I can see an order in my future! After all it’s the right time of year … I LOVE Fiery Curry, although you’re right — it’s soft and lovely, not fiery at all. I keep trying to find the right thing to layer with it. I will definitely be ordering some of these… btw I totally agree on Tootsie Roll, smells like Frosting! In fact, I wrote that somewhere on the blog.

          Offhand, some of my other fave Demeters besides Egg Nog — Holy Smoke, an incense and candle-smoke smell, with some damp church; Coriander Tea; Incense, which is sweet and resiny rather than smoky; Beetroot; and Honey, which has a hair of that funky furry waxy smell I love.

          • pyramus says:

            Oh yes–Honey, which I think is like a stripped-down, nice-ified version of SL Miel de Bois (which I love, by the way). Holy Smoke does not sit well on me AT ALL, but Incense is gorgeous, go figure. (I gave away my Holy Smoke, and also Myrrh, to a friend who just worships these burny/earthy smells and wears them a lot better than I do; I gave her the dregs of my sample of Andy Tauer Incense Rose and she was so intoxicated that she ordered a bottle.)

            You did mention that Tootsie Roll smells like frosting, come to think of it, which relieved me because it meant it wasn’t just me and my whacked-out nose that thought so.

            Haven’t tried Coriander Tea or Beetroot, or lots of other Demeters, and they keep launching new ones–I’m dying to try Beeswax. Someday, maybe.

  • Kim says:

    for me, the oppostie! Borneo 1834 😡 and Messe de Minuit b-(
    scent twins we are not!!

    my recent reversal was L’Heure Bleue – hated it the first time (edt and dry winter conditions), now it’s in my top 5. The switch for me was wearing it in parfum strength and in hot, humid conditions – it just bloomed and was amazing on my skin. I am definitely convinced that climate (maybe mostly humidity?) can affect the perfume on my skin.

    Was Diva asking for the new Chanel No. 5 Eau Premiere? I seem to remember there is no love lost between you and No. 5?

    • March says:

      Now, there’s a good example of what is clearly a solid perfume principle — buried on here somewhere is a post about heavyhanded things that are actually worth wearing in the heat, where you get a whole different dimension and/or the fragrance blooms as you mentioned. Bal a Versailles is surprisingly lovely in the heat. You’d think you would die, but you don’t. :”>

      • Musette says:

        It sure is!!! You know I’m a Bal Gal from way back and I love wearing it in heat and humidity (sparingly, of course). It blooms quite nicely and all the skanky bits sort of smooth out into something quite delish.


        ps. my former neighbor has a black walnut tree and a few years past we decided to get all Martha and harvest them….that lasted about 3 days. They are brutal to get out of those shells.

        and if you think getting hit with a walnut hurts, try getting beaned by a horse chestnut!

        • March says:

          Ow! Where’s my ow emoticon. How about … @-)

          Not seeing an obvious choice with the emoticons… if I need some black walnuts I’m gonna get ’em the old fashioned way. I’m gonna find an online seller! ;))

  • Catherine says:

    How about Givenchy Absolutely Irresistible? Only because a friend heroically wafted Very Irresistible under my nose recently, and I politely resisted hurling. Oh–and doesn’t it have some fruit in it?

    Now that I’ve somehow fallen under the spell of Guerlain vanillin, my hatred of vanilla has passed–although I doubt I will try SDV anytime soon. (It made me think I touched something bad at BBW.) And I’ve found myself coming under the sway of FM Une Rose *finally* (although wearing a cardigan wafting 3-day drydown was a bit much tonight–I think I only like “fresh” wine dregs under my nose). Still, even given those turnarounds, I’m unsure I will ever understand Andy Tauer’s scents, for instance–they fall apart badly under my nose, so I must not be able to smell something important. In truth, I think that’s the issue most of the time–I’m simply incapable of smelling certain things.

    • March says:

      Hah — it’s TOTALLY resistable, isn’t it? They’ve been flogging it pretty heavily in the stores lately, I have to sprint in the opposite direction.

      I love the idea of having touched something bad at BBW, that has certainly happened to me! My kids love that stuff. I find their Cherry Blossom to be particularly …. persistent. Cannot wait for Enigma’s lotion to run out, which I am hoping is soon at the rate she applies it.

  • Elle says:

    Just another guess: Oilily Blue Sparkle? Sounds a little too fruity for my tastes, but it is geared at younger teens.

    • March says:

      I think those Oilily scents are cute as a button, but in a sign of the times, even my tween deems herself too old for their stuff. [-( We have an Oilily store… I think their clothes are cute too, if a little spendy.

  • Debbie says:

    I can tell you the problem with Borneo. It smells exactly like some vomit I encountered at some point in my life; maybe you’ve had the same unpleasant experience but didn’t file it under “V” like I did.

    Bad, bad stuff. I can’t imagine making peace with that one.

    Things that reflect changing tastes? I haven’t been doing this long enough….

    • March says:

      The ol’ V for vomit. One of the JLos smelled like that. Shudder.

    • Vasily says:

      Oh great: just ordered a sample of Borneo! Nothing like a little spew with your perfume …

      Perfumes I absolutely hate: Art of Perfumery @2, starts out inoffensive citrus then the bad breath and rancid butter kick in. Art of Perfumery #6, smoke and burning tea leaves but not in a good way, cough cough. Creed Green Irish Tweed, cloying to the point of nausea; been a long time since I tried that one, so I can’t remember the details but I do know it seemed ordinary and unimaginative and I was perplexed that so many young people seem to like it. Same with Creed Silver Mountain Water; if I want a cup of black currant tea, I’ll brew one but keep it off my skin. What’s with the cassis fetish in “contemporary” frags anyway?

      Regarding black walnuts, the pix brought back memories of childhood autumns: there was a black walnut tree next to my house and I remember the wonderful and strange smell of the husks, removing the husks after they’d dried and being grossed out by the maggots that infested them, and cracking them with a sledgehammer to get out the meat, at once rich, oily, and so pungent that the fragrance is a little repulsive. One of the best flavors to go with chocolate, a perfect marriage. Only combination I like as well is chocolate and bourbon … also a wonderful combination.

      Another smoky perfume that’s a favorite of mine is Ava Luxe Feu de Bois. Not sure how it would work with vanilla, though, since it’s rather piney.

      • March says:

        Hey, the blogs are lousy 😉 with people who LOVE Borneo, so what do I know? You should try it one way or another, right? If you hate it, come sit by me.

        The fun thing about Green Irish Tweed is you can call it GIT, and “git” means something like “idiot” in Britspeak. Which seems perfect to me. Those art of perfumery things I vaguely recall hating, and I think perhaps I will not revisit.

        Black walnuts really do have an amazing smell, although your additional info regarding maggot encounters is, I think, just the incentive I need to never try to open one of those things up. Speaking of vomit.

        I think Cassis is the new Lychee? Or maybe it’s the old Lychee. 😕

    • Vasily says:

      Oh great: just ordered a sample of Borneo! Nothing like a little spew with your perfume …

      Perfumes I absolutely hate: Art of Perfumery @2, starts out inoffensive citrus then the bad breath and rancid butter kick in. Art of Perfumery #6, smoke and burning tea leaves but not in a good way, cough cough. Creed Green Irish Tweed, cloying to the point of nausea; been a long time since I tried that one, so I can’t remember the details but I do know it seemed ordinary and unimaginative and I was perplexed that so many young people seem to like it. Same with Creed Silver Mountain Water; if I want a cup of black currant tea, I’ll brew one but keep it off my skin. What’s with the cassis fetish in “contemporary” frags anyway?

      Regarding black walnuts, the pix brought back memories of childhood autumns: there was a black walnut tree next to my house and I remember the wonderful and strange smell of the husks, removing the husks after they’d dried and being grossed out by the maggots that infested them, and cracking them with a sledgehammer to get out the meat, at once rich, oily, and so pungent that the fragrance is a little repulsive. Black walnut is one of the best flavors to combine with chocolate, a perfect marriage. Only combination I like as well is chocolate and bourbon … also a wonderful combination.

      Another smoky perfume that’s a favorite of mine is Ava Luxe Feu de Bois. Not sure how it would work with vanilla, though, since it’s rather piney.

  • Flora says:

    Ok, I was going to say Guerlain Insolence or its latest flanker, or Lancome Magnifique, but they have been “taken” so: maybe Miss Boucheron? Or Chanel Chance? But you have probably tried all of those already, I would think….I can’t keep up with all the flankers and newbies from all the older houses that are trying to capture the youth market!

    • March says:

      I kind of like Miss B and Chance — or wait, I don’t like Chance, but Chance Eau Fraiche is innocuous enough. I know, I am losing all my street cred on here, with this game. Kathleen correctly guessed Mousson…

  • tmp00 says:

    Lancome Magnifique?

    • March says:

      Nah, Kathleen already guessed Mousson up there, which is the correct and nauseating answer. b-( I don’t like Magnifique particularly, but if she wanted some I’d probably get it, after a successful test run. ~:>

  • Bryan says:

    I have to agree. I hate something one day, tolerate it the next, then find I can’t live without it. However, there are some that just will never end up in my collection, or on my neck unless something profound happens…What? I have no idea. I would also guess Guerlain Insolence, but I thought you liked it…hmmmm…..something like Dior Midnight Poison (because it will never be one of the other flankers you (and I) love? Or Lancome Magnifique (boring not horrid). Estee Sensuous…I gotta say, I’m stumped.

    • March says:

      Estee Sensuous I can barely smell, so that is the way I am baffled, but I’m clearly anosmic, so maybe it’s great for a mainstream scent. Midnight Poison I could definitely live without.

  • divinemama says:

    Hermes Jardin Apres la Mousson was my guess also. ‘~)

    We had black walnuts in my backyard when I was growing up also. Yep, lethal weapons.

    • divinemama says:

      Darn! I forgot to use the emoticon! 😉

    • divinemama says:

      Patchouli has to be done just right for me to enjoy it. I put on some Midnight Poison before bed one night and had the worst dreams. Got up in the middle of the night to scrub it off. Perhaps it wasn’t the best time to try it, but I really have no desire to try my sample again, at least not anytime soon. Who knows maybe someday I will love it?

    • March says:

      And you were right! 🙂 But Kathleen beat you to it. 🙁

      Do you think one of those walnuts would kill a kid? btw we tried to get the nut meats out one year and to hell with that, I wouldn’t do that again unless I was prying out gold nuggets.

      • divinemama says:

        Double Darn!:((

        Oh well, maybe next time. 😉

        Black walnuts are probably not deadly, but possibly capable of a good bump on the head…about the size of a black walnut. :d

  • kathleen says:

    Might her fragrant choice be Hermes Jardin Apres la Mousson?

    For me I’m enjoying vanillas. In the past I couldn’t scrub them off quick enough. Then there is Chinatown. I spritzed and scrubbed. I hated it. But I kept hearing how people loved it, so I spritzed, and scrubbed once again. Sometime later I thought, what are they smelling? So I spritzed, then went out and bought a bottle.

    • March says:

      DING DING DING DING DING!!!!! And we have a WINNER!!!!!!

      I’m surprised that you guessed this so fast!

      Seriously, of all the ships in all the ports etc. Why the heck does that kid have to come home with MOUSSON? Bleh. I mean, I can see why she likes it — melony aquatic. It’s not like a leathery chypre or something.

      That’s so funny about Chinatown! It is a great fragrance, although I sort of worked my way in the opposite direction 🙂 and went from really liking it to giving my decant away. There’s a little something raspy in there that gives me a faint headache.

    • Olfacta says:

      I hope to have the same experience someday with Chinatown. Right now it smells like I stuck my entire head into one of those machines that spins out cotton candy, and left it there for a month.

    • mollypenny says:

      Funny how we change the way we feel about a certain scent over time. I started out really digging Chinatown. I couldn’t wait for people to react positively to me wearing it. But here’s what I got from friends (who do not have the same, uh, depth and appreciation as I do about scents) laundry detergent, bad incense, soapy. And unfortunately, they’ve made me feel ashamed of and wrong regarding my love for it. I can’t smell it’s warm spicy goodness that I once did:( Bastards.

  • violetnoir says:

    Just a guess, but is it Guerlain Insolence, March?


    • March says:

      Heh heh. I LIKE Insolence. I just ignore it for the first 5 – 10 minutes. Then it’s very much in the style of L’Heure Bleue. Which I think I just spelled wrong? Aigh, French confounds me. The flanker I can live without.

  • Elle says:

    Perhaps it is Fresh’s Strawberry Flowers? Marc Jacob’s Fig Splash? Yves Rocher Tendre Jasmin?

    • March says:

      Oh my god. Fresh strawberry flowers? Sounds like a douche. No, fortunately we’ve not tried that one. That fig was just …. weird. I couldn’t work up the enthusiasm to rag it though.