If Pumpkins Had Armpits


Scentzilla describes CB I Hate Perfume Musk Reinvention (which I keep erroneously referring to as Musk Absolute) thusly: “If pumpkin pie had body odor, this is what that pie´s armpits would smell like. I can´t decide if that sounds inviting or appalling, so I´m just gonna leave that mental picture for you to ponder.”  That is freaking brilliant.  Scentzilla, I dedicate today´s post to your verbal awesomeness, and I wish you´d give up some other huge chunk of your life — like eating, or raising kids — and get back to the important work of perfume blogging, because I miss you that much.  No, really.

So — as anyone who´s gone sniffing or hung out with me knows, I have these teeny little notebooks into which I jot my teeny little thoughts.  Here´s a random selection I haven´t been able to work into a larger post.  You´re getting them today because the kids and their slight-fever-cough-colds of two weeks’ endurance suddenly morphing into those deep, chestal deals that require nighttime maintenance and long, tedious trips to the doctor followed by expensive prescription drugs.   Please forgive the lack of cohesiveness and I’m still behind on responding to Monday’s comments, sorry.  Great discussion, though.

1) Scent sleuth.  My friend Sarah came over with a few drops of something in an unmarked vial, dying to know what it might be.  She doesn´t make her own samples at stores, so it probably wasn´t local retail.  It definitely smelled ambery and tobacco – probably unisex.   Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille?  Not sweet enough.   Also the juice was dark, but not vintage-y smelling.  It was strong.   It was with Demeter’s This is Not a Pipe, so maybe Sariah sent it to her?  Eventually we boiled it down to probably Serge Lutens, and she went off to order samps of Fumerie Turque and Chergui.  Then (duh) I found my samples of both, and it was definitely Chergui.  On the one hand – it smelled wildly familiar, and I´m embarrassed I didn´t come up with Chergui once we´d decided on Lutens.  On the other hand – hey, considering how huge the world of perfume is, I thought we did a darn good job narrowing it down so quickly.

2) The New Pink Sugar Luxury Extract, a stronger version of Pink Sugar – wow, how did I miss that?  And thanks Pyramus for making me laugh with your comment on Now Smell This: “Yeah, I think we can all agree that the only thing wrong with Pink Sugar was that it just wasn’t strong or concentrated enough. Girls wearing it had a visible halo of the stuff around them, but it wasn’t visible from outer space. I’m glad to see Aquolina is correcting this oversight.”  Someone try it and tell me what it´s like!  Bringing me to the meat of this mostly meatless post – jokes about things like Pink Sugar are always followed by a couple of comments from people who own and like it and feel like they should apologize for their taste.  Or: I can´t believe I´m wearing this when I could/should be wearing my Serge Lutens!  To which I offer up a wholehearted:  people, wear what you like, with no shame.  I have Light Blue and Betsey Johnson (the SL bottles keep trying to shove Betsey over the edge of my dresser).  I think the most lowbrow thing I own is Ex-clamation! Or however you write it.  In the spray can.  Top (bottom?) that.

3) Speaking of spray cans, in the drugstore I love to stop and drool over their fragrance section.   There´s always a new guy-frag with great marketing along the lines of:  MAN – Because I am MAN ENOUGH to be A MAN.  Or KING – With my woman I AM THE KING.  I want to smell them, but the darned CVS has them taped shut, possibly for my own safety.   They also have those spray cans (!) of dupes like “Fabio – an impression of Giorgio.”   This last time I noted they had (sealed plastic) canisters of a CK ripoffs, called things like UBN2ME.  

4) Speaking of Fabio, I want Sebastian the Airborne guy to do a scent (that´s him pictured at left, wish I could get a better picture, check “Sebastian airborne” on YouTube.)  Also, am I the only one here who giggles with childlike glee at the Swiffer “Baby Come Back” commercials?  Even my children are rolling their eyes at me on that one…

5) Felanilla.  Come on.  If I had to say that to someone who asked me what my perfume was, I´d bust out laughing.  You?  Or just me?

6) Fellow fans of model Natalia Vodianova need to get the November Vogue (with Reese Witherspoon on the cover) to see her frolicking with her husband Justin Portman and her three kids in the woods, looking gorgeous and very, very happy.   Also, is anyone else as thrilled as I am to see Linda Evangelista all over the place? Prada, some makeup line…

7) Nail polish alert from the Sunday NY Times – these look interestingI wish they talked more about the individual colors.  I think you have to buy them as a set, from Bergdorf, anyone see these at the Sniffa?

Finally, the Nail du Jour — OPI You Don’t Know Jacques; fragrance I wore to vote — Serge Lutens’ delightfully odd Santal Blanc, a perfect rainy day scent — pencil?  milk?  weird?  yes.

top illustration — The Little Fur Family, in its small-book fur-covered format, still available on Amazon.  I can’t believe I left Garth Williams off my list of favorite childhood illustrators.  image from mulibraries.missouri.edu

  • sylvia says:

    i totally laugh at the swiffer commercials. my favorite is the mariachi one, where the feather duster peeks out from behind the guys leg. hehe.

    thanks for mentioning chergui. it will be the perfect addition to the almost gone organza indecence that was my SOTD.

    and yes, UBN2ME is friggin’ hilarious. maybe it says something about the target consumer…

    • March says:

      Baby come back!!!!

      My favorite is the rose petal/hot tub, followed by the mariachi.

      Hey, regarding really crap fragrance, I don’t judge. I smell too funny. :”> (I too smell funny?)

  • MJ says:

    UBN2ME? OMG, best thing I’ve seen all week. Hilarious.

    • March the Silly says:

      What? UNOBIN2ME?

      It sounds sort of LOLCAT — how do they do that … OVR HERE STINKIN UP YR SHELF

  • Robin says:

    Do my Harajuku Lovers doll head solids trump your Exclamation? Maybe, maybe not.

  • sweetlife says:

    Denyse seems to share your thoughts about the name of Felanilla, March. And she’s not afraid of, um, illustrating exactly how it goes for her.


  • Elle says:

    A very good friend just found the fur covered edition for me over at Powell’s for only $12! YAY!!! 🙂 I simply don’t take time to look around enough.
    The Swiffers do work on things like chandeliers, but you have to be careful not to let them get caught in little bits of wire. We don’t have a chandelier any longer, but we did in our last home and I’m afraid I just let it go. I liked to imagine that the dust gave it a lovely, soft aged patina. More mysterious, more intriguing. 🙂

    • March says:

      Oh, I just went and got one too, thanks! And thanks for the chandelier info. I was up there recently changing bulbs and I think we’ve moved beyond the mysterious stage… 😉

  • Elle says:

    That book! Too cute for this universe. Just raced over to Amazon to see if I could order a copy, but they are going for $200. SOB! I shall continue to look and hope one shows up for less.
    Love the Swiffer commercials! And love the product. Am truly addicted to my Swiffers.
    OK, have to admit I’m not sure I’ve ever smelled Pink Sugar, so this is not a slam on the scent, but the concept of Pink Sugar Luxury Extract cracks me up. It seems like some sort of oxymoron. Pink Sugar sounds light and fun. PSLE makes me think of cotton candy being on the dessert menu at Jean Georges for $200.
    And it is indeed great to see Linda Evangelista everywhere. I remember reading somewhere that she plays the accordion and have always liked her that much more since then. 🙂

    • March says:

      $200!!!! (hides face in shame) I was image-grabbing, did not even notice the price. My apologies. I am pretty sure it’s available in the non-fur version but will not attest after my other error. :”>

      Do you have that Swiffer duster? I have to do something about the chandeliers. Too lazy to wash them, too cheap to hire someone else to do it. They’re not grease-sticky, just dusty. Thought the swiffer duster looked like a great idea. Having watched the dining room chandelier hung and the crystals installed (they had a map and a legend!) I have no desire to repeat that ever again.

  • Flor says:

    Pyramus’ comment was fantastic. I laughed so hard when I read it. Scentizilla’s was great too, but the sound of it was appaling, not inviting, however, I’ll keep an open mind. I saw the Swiffer commercials when I was visiting and they cracked me up. I found them on Youtube and showed them to my kids when I got back. They loved it. 🙂

    • March says:

      They’re genius. Seriously, great creative work. I mean, look at the advertising challenge — the product is so BORING. And you want to make it stick in people’s minds but actually remember the product and not just the great ad. I’m probably going to try that duster thing on my chandelier.

    • March says:

      Oh, and on the Musk. I loved her comment because it’s the part that to me captures what’s so unusual about the scent. To my nose it is sweet and vegetal and comforting, not something you’d think came out of a civet or musk deer (which it wouldn’t have anyway, but you see my point.) Pumpkin pie musk isn’t quite the smell but represents the concept wonderfully.

  • Shelley says:

    Cue music: “Felanilla, he’s so illa, he’s a heckuva guy…” (We used to sing “Cinderella, he’s a fella, he’s a wonderful guy” to the same tune.) Yup, it’s weird. I still want me a samp of that. Louise, is it in at Luckyscent?

    Sebastian? Not under the sea, or playing the manservant to a motherless family in NYC? Who is this guy? (And would Felanilla have been the right scent for Sebastian Cabot/Mister French?) You’ve got me all confused…I’m picturing some Fabio-like guy who’ll come Swiffer my floors while wearing scent from a can…methinks I was up too late watching election coverage.

    One other thing — I kept on staring at the armpits of the tree in your illustration. The power of a headline. Let’s see, what perfume is the perfect “armpit of a mossy tree in fall” scent….?

    • March says:

      They don’t run the Airborne commercial often enough [-( 😉 it’s usually on the Soap Network, and do not ask me how I know that.

      Airborne is that homeopathic/herbal (?) thing you take that’s supposed to help ward off colds. So, yes, Sebastian is this Fabio-like guy, in my tiny photo he actually goes through a sprinkler and flings droplets of water off his hair in slow-mo, it’s hilarious. He’s running around the suburbs in breeches and no shirt, popping up and offering people Airborne. Makes no sense but I find it very funny. I’d love it if he came and Swiffered my floors. 🙂

      Armpit of a mossy tree in fall? Neil Morris’ Dark Earth.

      • Musette says:

        Agree on Dark Earth. Agree on Swiffer (those just lay me OUT, especially the hot-tub one =))

        Felanilla. I’m hearing Vanilla for Fellas. Am I close?

        I’m dog-tired and my lungs hurt from screaming! Off to the foundry and other dusty destinations. Bois des Iles is my constant friend on this journey today – I’ve been exhausting Mitsouko with my constant demands for attention and today BdI leapt up to give Mitsy a break (I wore Mitsy to vote, though I was an early voter).


        • March says:

          I LOVE the hot tub one! That’s my favorite, although they play the others a lot more regularly.

          Felanilla. I believe it’s a “feline” (animalic/sexy?) vanilla? What it conjures for me is the word that starts with “fella.” :”>

    • Louise says:

      Hi Shelley-Felanilla is due to arrive at LS any time now-I have a bottle of somethin’ yummy on back order, and have been reassured that the samp will come with the order. Soon :d/

    • Disteza says:

      Armpit of a mossy tree in fall? I was playing around on Halloween with Chene layered with CB IHP Wild Hunt AND Burning Leaves. I was scared of standing still for too long for fear I would grow roots, the stuff was so, um, potent. Not overwhelming, just very, VERY woodsy. It’s what an Ent would smell like.

      • March says:

        Yum, I think that sounds like a wonderful combination!!! I am going to try that myself. Will keep feet moving. Am tempted to alter slightly with CB Revelation as well.

  • Melissa says:

    Trying to get the name Felanilla out of my brain. Afraid it will turn into an earworm (eotd=earworm of the day). Still a little giddy from staying up too late last night, I suppose.

    I wore SL Douce Amere to vote, thinking it was a comfort scent with a bit of an edge. Then I went to work and two people reacted quite (positively) to it. When I got home, I read the description on Lucky Scent, which states in the last sentence “edgy and fiendishly attractive, this is the perfect scent to wear when you are looking for trouble. Actually, if you wear it, trouble will probably find you first” Hmmm, good for voting, not so good for the office?

  • Nancy says:

    As soon as I saw the name “Felanilla” I thought, never to ask for, never to wear, it truly belongs on the first list of Freudian slips.

  • Louise says:

    Hmmm, not getting the punkin armpit. Armpit, yes, pie-makings, no :-& Oddly enough, the CB is not that pungent on me, and like MKK, goes almost kitten-gentle on drydown. I’m alway seeking a Skankier musk. But, yes, most excellent writing!

    No thanks on the P. Sugar…though I do like me some sugar once and awhile :d/ Why, March, you have a nasty mind, I like that in a girl…I had only thought of Felanilla as Feline Vanilla-and have a samp on the way.

    No way, girl…you didn’t wear Santal Blanc o:-)to vote. Well, guess what, doll? After hours of dilly-dallying before voting (just generally frozen with anxiety) I reached into a sample bag and blindly pulled out Santal Blanc :d/ and sprayed! It was perfect for the day, and I am comtemplating a FB purchase 😉

    • March says:

      Hehe — great minds thinking alike. Santal Blanc is an excellent voting fragrance. I’d sort of forgotten about it.

      But that’s the thing I loved about Scentzilla’s take on CB Musk — I find it warm and comforting and not skanky. That Arabian Oud thing, now that was skank. Or PIM, which was lovely on you.

    • March says:

      Fine. I am not the only one with an issue then. 8-|

  • divinemama says:

    ~~You’re getting them today because the kids and their slight-fever-cough-colds of two weeks’ endurance suddenly morphing into those deep, chestal deals that require nighttime maintenance and long, tedious trips to the doctor followed by expensive prescription drugs.~~

    I know this cycle all too well! (((March))) >:d<

    • March says:

      Sigh. They have to get better eventually, right? Like a lot of Americans we don’t have prescription drug coverage. I’m going to smack the next person I hear complaining about a $20 copay at the pharmacy. x(

  • divinemama says:

    My favorite quote from NST regarding the Pink Sugar Extrait was from Joe805…”And it’s the “pure essential oil” squeeeeeeeeezed drop by drop from a mountain of genuine pink sugar — takes one ton to produce a half-ounce of the precious oil, right?”:d

  • helenviolette says:

    March- you are not the only one who loves the swiffer commercial-I found my 5 year old son laughing hysterically recently whilst rewinding that commercial and playing it over and over. It was very funny (but not quite as funny as watching my 5 yr old entertaining himself)