About Me

Patty White launched Perfume Posse in 2005, and we've been yapping on and on about perfume endlessly since.

Multilingual Website

EnglishFrenchGermanItalianPortugueseRussianSpanish
Nov 132008
 
 November 13, 2008  Posted by on November 13, 2008
perfume posse - perfume reviews, perfume blog

By Musette

Please welcome frequent commenter, motorcycle queen, Chicago Scent-sation goddess and today’s guest blogger — Musette!

Jane Russell.  Voluptuous, earthy beauty.  She was never the delicate princess, never the waif, never rescued by the prince.  Jane wasn´t flitting across the moors like a woodsprite, she was rolling around in the hay or punching a guy in the mouth.

I didn´t want to be Jane Russell.  I wanted to be Twiggy.  Never mind that I´m 5´9″, with a rack you could set a coffee cup on (and put a tea service on the back´) and at the height of my powers could bench 200 lbs without breaking a sweat. 

I wanted to be Twiggy, dammit.  Or Jane Asher, Paul McCartney´s Beatle-love.  Or…well, you get the idea.  Winsome, heathery/feathery, all smudged eyeliner, flat chest and bony knees and windswept love on the moors…

and so it was with perfume. As a young teen I saturated myself in Heaven Sent and Love´s Baby Soft.  As a young adult I had a thing for citrus – the more linear, the better (and the quest for citrus continues to this day).  Though they are delightful in the scorching heat of summer they tend to sit uncomfortably on my large, formal frame, like a wreath of rosebuds on a robust matron in a tweed suit and sensible shoes.

I kept trying, as my delicate, gauzy friends took to florals and citrus like little fairy-sprites, the b*tches.   And even as I honed my warrior prowess I still longed to be the waif, the delicate princess. 

But through all the absurd eyeliner, straightened hair and gauzy fantasies and the grapefruit scrubs… there was a dark, weird corner of my perfume psyche that never went away…  I didn´t know why I loved these perfumes.  I just knew I was never without them (even if I had to resort to petty theft of my mother´s dressing table):  Jicky.  Mitsouko.  Bal a Versailles (parfum).  Schiaparelli Shocking.

Can you say it with me?  SKANK.

As a little girl I used to sneak into my Tia Cornelia´s elegant dressing room and dab on a bit of Shocking.  It would surround me like a warm, flowery, slightly doughy cloud, like wrapping yourself in your mother´s dressing gown right after she disrobed to get into the bath, reveling in the smell of perfume, sweat, powder… the essence of her.    My own mother wore Shalimar and cigarettes, which I disliked, but one Christmas my father, who never paid attention to details, got her Mitsouko.  That was it for me…….I was in my mid-teens, too young to wear it, but I would pop in and just spray and sniff it, not understanding why I loved it so much.

But now we know:  SKANK.

Bal was a happy accident.  Remember when Joy was “the costliest perfume in the world?” I loved Joy (still do) but I wanted to be different, so I grabbed Bal, thinking it was 1000 (don´t ask).  I was 20, still too young, with no understanding, but somehow the love was mutual.    I have never been without Bal since and I´m thinking I would like to be pickled in a jar of it when I shuffle off my mortal coil.

Of course, it wasn´t until I fell in with the Posse that I could even put a name to this weird, dark corner of my perfume life.  I mean, it wasn´t lemons!  It wasn´t fresh and powdery and waiflike!  It wasn´t pretty and floral! It was old´ and funky and weird!  I always thought jasmine was merely a pretty, delicate, sweet-smelling flower!  Who knew???!  But these these mainstays stuck around, bringing me an almost visceral pleasure, even when I didn´t wear them.  To use an old-fashioned word, they suited´ me.

Still… something was missing – somewhere there was a scent that would tie it all together and Make Me Understand why these perfumes had such power over me.  Then La Belle Enabler March, taking pity on a po´ thang, sent me a little box.  And in that box was a sample of Rochas Femme EdP.

And in an instant my heart was yanked out of my chest and I understood.

SKANK.  Femme, like Bal, Mitsy and Jicky, contains an almost indecent indolic jasmine along with that faint sweaty-cumin note.  It´s the jasmine that truly captures my heart, though the cumin is necessary, in my opinion, to keep it slightly wet and grounded, keeping it from skittering off the planet.  But you gotta be in the right frame of mind for Femme.  When it´s right it´s like reveling in a sun-drenched, flower-filled bedroom, after a hot and heavy night – your lover has just left the bed and is in the shower, while you laze about, the bed-scents testament to the night´s passions.  When it´s wrong it´s like the same wakeup, except it´s 8:50am and you realize you have a 9:30 job interview and said lover is hogging the shower!

Mitsouko.  Perfection.  I liken it to silken body armor.  I wear Mitsouko when I want to take no prisoners.  And she gives me props, every time.

I once broke the arm of a man who was misbehaving.  I was wearing Jicky at the time. 

Now, La Belle Enabler is the Originator of the term “skank” on this blog (the Skankinator, if you will) where she states that indolic/animalic defines skank´ to her.  We definitely agree that the indolic jasmine (the poopy parts), along with civet, is most definitely skankalicious.  And all of these have that (Shocking doesn´t list jasmine or civet in the notes I have but I´m willing to go to the mat that they are in there).   I´m more in La Belle E´s camp, thinking the indolic outweighs the sweaty in skank.  Feel free to disagree – and tell me why.   But now my shameful secret is out; I´ll never be a gauzy princess and my heart soars at the poopy parts of a finicky flower and cat-butt juice.  Me and Jane strap em into our 18-Hours, there´s no rescuing prince, my jasmines smell like effluvia ….and if I´m on a moor nowadays I´m probably in sensible shoes and a warm jacket – and SKANK.

And that´s just fine by me.

What are your scents?  The ones that you return to time and again, through all the samples and decants and FB flirtations?  Floral/citrus/incense/dirt/whatever…what ties it all together for you?

ps.  Any skank recommendations?  I´d love to hear them!

 

 

 

  136 Responses to “Friday Guest Post: Skank!”

Comments (136)
  1. Brava! That was a wonderful read. The gay boys call it “raunch,” and those of us who secretly long to snurfle our faces in the perfume of a sweaty crevice (or a sweaty crevice of a perfume) are “raunch pigs.” Good on you for proudly claiming your skanky nature!

  2. Musette, you’re a naughty girl, and I love you for it :”>

    I was always an oriental girl, and remain so at heart, with incense a close follow-up, but exposure to PP has lead me down the skank path, and lord knows, there’s no looking back. Like you, I simply adore Femme, especially in the vintage, with its genuine cat-butt extract. Vintage Joy is skank o’plenty with the indolic jasmin hit, and Bal is a cherished classic, but really only in the parfum, which meets my desire for skanky oriental perfectly. Mitsouko defies definition; though I don’t really smell skank in it, there’s an earthiness that adds up to The Best Perfume Ever.

    Lately I’m enjoying Jubilation 25, and Party in Manhattan, a delightful riff on the classic skank theme. I may have gone around the bend now, but orderd Theo Fennell unsniffed. It is currently known as the skank queen of all skanks, and sounds right up my stinky alley :o

    • Louise,

      You are a Bad Girl;), hiding your skank-light under the Oriental bushel! I can’t wait to try Theo Fennell – I’m hoping it’s more indolic jasmine and less sweaty cumin. I amp that cumin a bit too much sometimes and it stops being sort of flirty and gets downright “go take a shower, already!”

      xo>-)

  3. Musette!

    First off, welcome! Nice to read the person behind the comments! :x

    Second, you know I loves me some skank but can neuter a scent more effectively than a Vet with an electric probe on Red Bull. I make MKK cuddly. I have actual testimonials to that. But still, I love that there are people out there that still love the skank!

    Lastly, I feel you on the Twiggy thing. I think we all kind of want what we aren’t: I always secretly wanted to be one of those cave-chested, slope-shouldered little slips of a man who looked good in Alexander McQueen. I am not. I’m built like a Martini glass and that’s that.

    But I can tell you that most men really prefer Jane Russell to Twiggy. I didn’t understand what he meant at the time but I do remember my father looking at one of her ilk in one of my Mom’s Vogues and saying “It’d be like rolling ’round in the cutlery drawer!”

    • Hmmmm, I think I could fall in love with a man who’s shaped like a martini glass.

      And LOL on your dad’s comment about the cutlery drawer.=))

    • Hey, whatever the shape, you can look good in liquid McQueen…which, of course, fits the skank theme…

    • martini glass:x

      ummm….come sit by me! when I get back out your way we’ll have to do a Scent Bar Day, see what we can slay with your skank-neutering self, hmmmm?

      I second Shelley’s recommendation – I’ll bet you would knock Kingdom OUT!!! (in a good way)

      xo>-)

    • hey, T –

      Quick Update:

      Are you okay? Some of my peeps just got thrown out of their homes in Sylmar – that thing’s moving FAST!!!! It’s not quite at your zipcode but ….well just be careful (that’s for ALL you Posseites in that neck of the woods). Tried to check in via your blog but can’t comment for some reason.

      xo

      >-)

    • hey tmp – i’m shaped like a martini glass too, but i’m a girl!

      ~:>

      c’est la vie….

  4. What a fabulous post and photo to wake up to! I’m an oriental/incense/woods person, with some crunchy chypre thrown in. Bought myself a small bottle of Norell with my allowance money when I was 8, and that’s one you should definitely try – vintage if possible. I share your love of Femme and Bal, and indolic jasmine and sweaty cumin. You broke a guy’s arm when *no* wasn’t enough? My admiration grows ever stronger!
    :x

    • Rosarita,

      I was in the midst of a reply when the site went down….

      My mom wore Norell at one time – I tried it and got SMACKED! because she thought I’d gotten into the liquor cabinet. Something in Norell, on me, replicates all my tias who were heavy drinkers (and that would be ALL of them;). They were always slightly pickled: Marcella was vodka, Estella(gin), Doro(heavy scotch). all wore seriously posh frags that mingled with the boozy/cigarette smell and the violet-scented fur stoles (what is it with violets and furs?)

      Something about that Norman and his fragrance just didn’t quite work for me….:-? but it was lovely!

      xo>-)

  5. I am speechless. You are priceless. Amen to SKANK!

  6. Hooray for nasty girls and boys!! Lord knows I love the skank–all the usual suspects-MKK, CB, EdH, Bal, Jicky. Must try this Party in Manhattan stuff everyone’s carrying on about.

    I thought of you Sunday; I wore Fracas and it is great on men. I had the best day wearing and speaking of skank, I thought it had a hint of freshly washed @$$hole that I wasn’t expecting and made it even more delightful!

    Wonderful post! Three cheers for skank!

    • Of course, here is Eau d’Hermes !

    • Toldja!;)

      I’ll bet you blew that Fracas OUT, didn’t you? Did women swarm around you? I have to say, Fracas (or Malle’s Une Rose) on a guy…..day-am! I dunno about guys but I have seen more than one woman’s nose go up in the air like a retriever….. I really have to hand it to Neil Morris – he called that one!

      I want to smell Fracas on you!

      xo>-)

    • btw, MattS –

      I have been laughing all day at ‘a hint of freshly-washed a$$hole’ – Lord, I won’t ever be able to look at Fracas the same way again!!!LOL!

  7. Superb post :x
    A heavy skanker that I don’t think has been mentioned yet is Eau d’Hermes. Theo Fennel Scent is full throttle too. And when I put on L’Arte di Gucci I am always suprised by how animalic it is.
    So much wish I had been able to meeet you all at the Chicocoa Scentsation !

    • We’ll do it again! Hopefully with a bit better weather and better-behaved SAs at Hermes (although I won’t be spending any more Birkin Bag money there – EVER!)[-(

    • What kind of skank is Eau D’Hermes? I don’t see civet listed, only musk and cumin. Is it poo skank or sweat skank? (I LOVE the heavy sweat and panty vintage skank of PIM but am not appreciating the jasmine poo or cat butt of Musette and March’s faves, yet).

  8. Great post!

    I’m too recent a perfume fan to say I have favorites I return to time and time again–every day it’s something new. Though perhaps when I expect a trying day at work I’ll run to Promesse de l’aube, and all’s right with the world.

    I was one of those wispy longhaired girls you mention, and today, to look at me, I’m the anti-Jane Russell. Think Mrs Danvers in a fairly good mood. But I am developing a love for skank. Years ago I used to wear Bal à Versailles and then went on to other things. Recently, I purchased a decant and nearly slapped my forehead for ever thinking I could do without it. Jicky was also a favorite in my 20’s; I stopped wearing it, tried again, didn’t like because the formula had changed. But now, after trying it again, I realize it’s something I want back in my life.

    During my earlier Jicky period, I tried all the Guerlains, but the only other one liked and wore was Vol de Nuit. So I must have tried Mitsouko and not cared for it. Maybe I was just too young to appreciate it. But prompted by The Guide, I purchased a decant of the parfum. Have been saving it for…what? So last night, after reading Musette’s post, I sprayed a bit on my wrist before going to bed. Well, it’s just heaven (the sexy part of heaven) and certainly stays in the act.

    Party in Manhattan. An apricot silk teddy worn to a pre-air-conditioning Park Avenue soiree and then slept in by a perfumed and powdered girl who is no better than she should be. I’m crazy about it, though I was in the minority of everyone whose opinion I sought. Only one (male) frag-fan friend liked it. Other opinions ranged from “nice on you, definitely not for me” (young women) “not my fave” (my husband) to hand-fanning and an order to stand on the other side of his office (I had one teeny spritz on my wrist) from my perfume guru.

    Now I have to try Femme….Thanks, Musette!

    Oh, and last night I had a dream about the Posse. (Maybe it was the Mitsy?) Patty wrote a post about Carmen Miranda (with of course a great picture of CM in a fruit hat) to which there were 96 responses.

    • Isn’t the Party just amazing…

    • LOL @ “Mrs Danvers in a fairly good mood”!!!=)) I always hated Constant Bennett’s character in that film (book, too) and sided with Rebecca and Mrs D! That orta tell you something about me. Rebecca wore Mitsouko, I’m sure of it!

      Mitsouko: ha! another one bites the dust~ she is such a GAL! You either love or hate her – I worship the very ground she spritzes upon (umm, that sounds sort of ………well, never mind:”>

      I can’t wait to try PIM.

      xo>-)

      • :”> I meant Constance, not Constant! and now I’m so kerfluffed that I can’t remember if she plays the Second Mrs de Winter….

        I’m so confused…

  9. OK, baby.
    Post the banns…I think we’re in love.
    Scent twins from another life.

    Yeah, I wanted to need braces, be blonde and freckled..HAH !
    Tant pis- the emphasis being on the ‘pis’, ma fee.

    Viva SKANK !

    Don’t forget the men’s, LOL..
    Troisieme Homme, Mouchoir de Monsieur, Yatagan.
    All the ‘male’ Amouages that sear your nostrils [ Lyric, Jubilation XXV, I’m lookin’ at YOU !]

    One recent adoration, is Bois 1920’s Real Patchouly-
    So gorgeous, you weep.
    Or SMN’s Peau D’Espagne- all stables and horsesweat.

    MWAH !:x

    • Banns are up! That Peau d’Espagna sounds…….hmmm…..I think that’s now on my list.

      Yatagan. Dangit, Chaya, I just can’t go there. I tried. Lord knows, I tried. But where it smells funky/interesting/weird/cool on others, on me it smells like I had night sweats, wet the bed, maybe threw up and then got dressed without taking a shower.

      That might be taking ‘skank’ just a leetle too far.

      xo>-)

  10. You all may think I am nuts but here goes – I get jasmine skank from Chanel No 5, parfum strength. I just don’t get the powdery notes that others talk about – and that indolic jasmine note is why I have always loved No 5.

    Since I discovered Perfume Posse and thus Guerlain, you all have turned me into a hard core fan of L’Heure Bleue/ Shalimar/ Mitsouko /Jicky. On my skin, the parfum strength of both L’Heure Bleue and Shalimar have a fecal/skank undercurrent, the grounding under all that other goodness. On my skin, it is the same skank note that is more dominant in Jicky and Mitsouko, just enough to remind you that they are relatives. I often respray Shalimar after a few hours in order to get that initial blast of citrus/vanilla/skank.

    And just so you can all write me off as certifiable, L’Huere Bleue in the heat and humidity – anise/skank heaven!! :x

    • Wow! Must check out No. 5 again – it’s been 320,000 years since I sniffed it…who knows?

      Will keep you posted~

      xo>-)

  11. My Parisian grandmother wore Femme. She was born in 1905 and passed away in 1995, just before her 90th birthday. I see Femme was created in 1944, so I have no idea what she wore before it, but it was her signature scent from then on. I think she would be shocked, however, to hear this classic scent referred to as “skank!” My grandmother was the most sophisticated, impeccably dressed woman I’ve ever known. Her hair was always dyed chestnut and groomed perfectly. Her stunning manicured nails were always red, as were her lips–one time when she must have been in her 70’s, I asked her, “Susie (soft second s, not a z-sound), are those your real nails?” She slapped my hand in horror, “Oh, Karreeeeeen!” as if I had gravely offended her. She dressed in black and cream and taupe, mostly pants, silk blouses, and cashmere cardigans. She wore fashionable dark sunglasses, hose, and heels. She did not want to be called by her first name – no grandmere for her. She was tall and lithe. Always drank her red wine with dinner, and always smoked a few cigarettes. She was wonderful. I have not smelled Femme since I last saw her years ago. When I smell it again, it will remind me of her, and I would guess I most certainly won’t identify it as “skank.” But you never know. Perhaps there’s a side to Susie that I’ll never know.

    • Oops! Mistake! She WANTED to be called by her first name! Even when we were kids…

    • Karin, Femme was my mother’s signature scent as well, until it was reformulated, a sad day for her. Since I fell for perfume I’ve been collecting vintage bottles, hoping to find one that smells right to her…

      And I must say, your grandmere sounds sexy as hell, and fully in control of her own look, life, and pleasures. I’m sure she knew *exactly* how sexy Femme was…

      • What sweetlife said! March and Patty often talk about older (now OLD) ladies in prim and proper outfits, choosing fragrances like Bal and Femme, knowing;) EXACTLY what they were getting.

        In a way I envy those days (just a little). It’s nice not to let it ALL hang out….

        Your grandmere sounds too fabulous for words! And your mom, too, Sweetlife!!!

        xo>-)

  12. Hello & welcome –

    I can relate to your post a bit, I came to the SKANK game a little late, but I have found two that I can wear and love immensely.

    The first is Amourage Jubilation 25, which I consider my diva-invincible-rock your world-scent. It has skank, no doubt, but it comes across as regal, elegant, and totally empowering on my skin. It’s the scent I wear when having a nice dinner with hubby. He’s crazy about it. I never get enough sleep on the nights that I wear this….. ( guess why?)

    My second skanker is Serge Lutens Serge Noire. This one was a total shocker to me, cause there’s nothing in there that normally appeals to me. But I like it. If you are familiar with makeupalley, you’ll find that it has few fans there, which surprised me, really. I thought it would be the runaway hit over there. In addition to the definite skank, this one also has a hot whiff of cinnamon and lovely dry slightly sweet incense. Really worth a sniff.

    Although not really a “skank” scent, Mugler’s Angel is another fave of mine – so much so that I have the extrait in that fancy-smanchy bottle. Utterly beautiful.

    I totally get the skank thing, though. It’s just a matter of what works with one’s chemistry.

  13. I want to shout out to my skanky friends, tell them how much I love them, enjoy their embraces, think they smell fabulous…and quietly affirm that yes, they still not worry that little ol’ me is going to snip a decant from their favorite bottles. :x

    Of course, I may have a background identity crisis…every now and then, something like Jub 25 (Hi, Louise!), Norell, or Fem du Bois comes up, and they fall in my “like” column…with 25 and FdB, it might be love…so that leaves me with…what?…latent minor skankiness???

    Especially when Kim up there is telling me she gets skank out of L’Heure Bleu, which I apply & sniff for comfort… :-?

  14. Oooh, I’m there. Jane Russell got a lot of p.r. on her rise because Howard Hughes designed a specially engineered brassiere for her. I think it was the one with the smaller and smaller concentric circles of stitching.

    Well I love Bal of course, although I haven’t tried Femme and can’t imagine why not. Jicky isn’t that skanky on me but, for some reason, Angelique Encens is; does anybody else get that?

    I have a very old bottle of Arpege parfum (from 1960)which was my
    mother’s. It is full of all that stuff, all real, and it’s held up pretty well. When I wear it, I can really tell the difference between the real perfume bases of the time and the modern ones. Talk about a “dirty floral.” It really is.

    • Where was Howard when I needed him?:-w

      You have to try Femme (EdP – not the EdT, which just feels harsh) and let me know what you think!

      xo>-)

  15. That was… brilliant reading!! HAHAHA! I like weird things but I don’t know how skanky they are. I mean, I think skanky for boys is Kouros and that is really not something I’m interested in. I do LOVE Declaration (with a certain nod to sweaty cedar notes), LeLabo Patchouli 24, Montale Patchouli Leaves, Bois 1920 Real Patchouly, CdG Luxe Patchouli, EVERY PATCHOULI YOU CAN IMAGINE, I LOVE IT… but that’s not really skank is it? That’s leaning more towards dirty… What are some skanky boy colognes? Would that be delving into Quorum territory? I have tried Jicky, and yes… oh my.. that is skannky! On me, at least. Any suggestions welcome! I wanna be dirty too hehe ;)

    • Anthony –

      Throw yourself out on a limb and try Mitsouko EdP. Really.

      Try it.

      Let me know what you think (I sprayed it on El O and wow – it really is different on a guy. That’s #2 to spritz on the Rock; all we have to do is figure out where…there’s so much glistening acreage there (okay – must breathe)

      xo>-)

  16. My first blog here so forgive me if I seem naive. Your blog was realllllly interesting. But Femme and Mitsouko are Guerlain?? Guerlain seems like something I wore eons ago. I’m drawn toward sampling all kinds of scent lately; always interested in aromas but on warp speed with it lately. I kinda like Hermessence’s Ambre Narguile and also Profumo’s Onda. Leather-y or peppery. Funny how tastes change. I used to be a flowery sort or an orange/cinnamon type but now not.

    • Karen, welcome!

      No apologies necessary!

      Mitsouko is Guerlain and Femme is Rochas. Hey Patty and March!!! Karen likes your friend the Nazgul!!!

      Karen, you just keep hanging out here with us – we’ll have you sniffing for sweat and freshly-washed ;) in no time!

      xo>-)

  17. Great post! I can’t help but notice how we all come flocking out to reply when the topic is skank. And it’s only 8:30 am!! :)

    I don’t fit either the Jane Russell or the Twiggy body type. 5′ tall, petite with chestage….. hmmm. An aged-out gymnast with boobs? But I like me some skank! All of the above mentioned and probably a few more. Along with incense, orientals etc. Seems like we have a theme going.

  18. The skank monsters you and others talk about just end up wearing me. Maybe I’m just too small (without being Twiggy-esque, mind you!), too pale. And big “baby” cheeks don’t work very well with the sirens called Mitsouko, Femme, and Bal. I’ll need to develop some exoticism before I could pull them off. The one skank scent that I return to over and over and over and over is Mona di Orio Nuit Noire. After a harried day, I douse myself in it, pull on ugly comfort clothes, and feel like a Queen. The other skank scents that I enjoy when the snow of winter turns into the mud of spring (spring is the skankiest season to me-all that sweet decay revealed by the vanishing snow and ice): Onda, Une Fleur de Cassie, and Le Parfum de Therese. I also find Guerlain’s Plus Que Jamais quite a skanky scent, although more delicately so. Love it.

    • Catherine, you are not alone…(see my comment above)…not only can I not generally do skank, but then I find some surprises. I loved Parfum de Therese from the get-go, but Fleur de Cassie, however, took a few approaches before revealing its happy side to me. :>

      • Yeah! Another who has succumbed to Fleur de Cassie. It’s certainly not “easy,” is it? There are these strange days, however, when it just seems *pretty* in a dark way when I sniff the bottle. That’s when I wear it. Mind you, the house needs to be open with a breeze or I need to be walking around outside, because it works best on me when mingling with the world about. And Parfum de Therese…I think it’s the vetiver that does it for me, that creates that earthy skank. But it makes sense that PdT is so skanky, born from Roudnitska’s hands when the pedigree of Diorama behind it. I truly admire FM for keeping that history in it, yet creating something more modern (and wearable, alas for me) than the vintage.

    • Is this my neighbor from across the Big Muddy? You like Nuit Noire? So do I? Freaks March out,:o, which freaks ME out because I can’t imagine what on earth she is smelling in there!

      I’m in flannel pjs and Liz Zorn Ankhara tonight (with a side of Ava Luxe Film Noir). Temps are dropping like a rock and the wind is picking up – both of those just seemed cozy for a blustery evening.

      xo>-)

      • “The big muddie”!!!! You crack me up. And you are so, so, so right. What an ugly river, although I’ve loved driving alongside it. Great towns and fun eateries.

        Yes! I wonder what others like March smell in Nuit Noire. The first time I put it on, I was overwhelmed. So old-school French, in my opinion. It turned me back on to perfume (this and Lux were the first perfumes I bought in many years). It was strange. So sweet, yet dark, like the sweetness that erupts from flowers as they begin to die. That sounds awful, but it’s wonderful. So DH and I refer to it as the “dying flowers” perfume. He looks over and grins, “You’ve got on dying flowers again, don’t you?” “Yep.” “You smell good.”

        There is nothing better than wearing great perfume and ratty, soft, warm clothes. It may be the only great thing about winter. Keep warm! We’re getting flurries again this evening.

  19. Warrior women rule! I’m one too. Or I used to be. Now, only in my mind. :(( However, attitude goes a long way too. I want to know exactly how you broke the guy’s arm. Was it the joint or what? I don’t think that’s an easy thing to do unless you know locks.

    I love skank. I’d like to put in honorable mention of NM Midnight Tryst and VW Boudoir. I could roll around in them.

    As for long-lasting loves, Bal is the only one. I tried it three decades ago, and I still adore it. I am out of it now, however, and I hope someone gets a bottle of it for me this Christmas. It’s on my wishlist. :)

    • My ultra-strong days are way behind me – too many bike and life-injuries now, not that I ever was a fighter, per se, I just have a really terrifying, trigger-happy temper.

      The only times I’ve ever gotten into altercations I was (are you ready for this?) in a suit, with high heels and pearls!!! Weird, huh? The first time I was taking my mother to the theatre (Dracula with Raul Julia) and a confluence of events caused me to snap! and pull a cabbie through the (open) window of his cab – I was going to punch him in the larynx but my dad, who was dropping us off, pulled me off the guy. I really was in a suit – pale lilac – with 3-inch stiletto pumps. My mother was mortified, though it’s not like I didn’t get my temper DIRECTLY from her, the hypocrite!

      The arm-break happened on a renovation site. He and I were arguing over a plumbing issue – I refused to pay him until he fixed it, he grabbed my arm. Bad idea. I picked up a piece of 2×4 and before I knew it I’d broken his arm. Police sided with me. I was in a dress with pearls that time. And I really was wearing Jicky. And I had to get a new contractor.

      Obviously I need to either watch the temper or watch the pearls!

      xo>-)

  20. I love some animalic numbers, like Nuit Noire, though I can never pull them off as well as I would hope. Bal, MKK have a similar effect on me – though go very perfumey.

    The ones that work are quieter numbers – Orio’s Carnation, Jicky (in my top 10 of all time), and so on.

    To be honest with you, I’m naturally quite a smelly person. I don’t need to amp the skank, as I have plenty of my own to go around, even after showering. Oh yes. I’m a stinkmachine.

    Love to read your voluptuous words, hot stuff.

    (just got back from London after scented exploration…Interesting….)
    xxx

    • Darling, your Nuits Noires are enchanting, especially blended with your natural raunch :x

    • Darlingest!

      You and Jicky? Gracie, MOVE OVAH! I love the Girl Guerlains on men. I was surprised to find out just how flat-out sexy Mitsouko and Jicky are on a guy.

      what did you sniff in London? will we hear anon?

      xoxoxo>-)

  21. Thanks for the magnificent Skanifesto read! I’m not a waif or a bombshell but my tent’s been firmly in Camp Skank since I was old enough to spritz. I don’t get any skank from Mitsouko but I’ve been wearing it for nearly 35 years! Here are a couple of skank recs: La Nuit by Paco Rabanne and Rumba by Balenciaga. Happy Spritzing!

  22. Oh lah lah Musette! That was fun. I have become quite the fan of skank myself. Shalimar, Vol de Nuit, Bal, Femme, Jubilation 25… I received a few drops of Party in Manhattan and it seemed tame to me? Gorgeous for sure, but not as naughty as I expected. I am afraid I will have to send off for some of this Theo Fennell. Oh and BTW, I would rather roll around with Jane over Twiggy any day…:>

    • Oh and for a skanky rec: Sonoma Scent Studio Vintage Rose (the hub calls it skanky kitty)…:)>-

    • Except for la Shalimar, I think you may be my Scent Twin!!!

      And Jane does look like fun, doesn’t she?

      xo>-)

  23. Aaaaah, my dear, I feel your pain. At 5’11” in size 11 bare feet, with an oversized Teutonic head designed to wear a horned hat and a chest designed to uphold an Amazon’s breastplate, I’m the Valkyrie sasquatch. Nothing about me is the least bit romantic in the classic sense. Wispy? Waiflike? Shy English rose? Not bloody hardly!

    I realized early on that I had two choices: I could do my best (not easy at 5’11″!) to fade into the woodwork, or I could embrace what the Lord gave me and run with it. I suppose my role models were Marlene Dietrich and Mae West, if that tells you anything. lol

    I’m a skank fan, too. I do love me some indolic jasmines and big blowsy tuberroses and gardenias. But what defines me are the chypres. If it’s got oak moss, amber and civet, bring it on! Diorella, Chanel #19, Ungaro’s Diva, Giorgio’s Red, Madame Rochas and even that ravening beast Animale suit me just fine.

    • Teri,

      You sound MAGNIFICENT!!!!!!!!!! A gorgeous, fearsome Valkyrie. I imagine you laying waste to hordes of invaders, as the rest of your village cowers in terror. Let’s go beat up some freshly-washed asshats! I’ll wear Mitsouko and you wear Animale . Don’t forget the pearls – for some reason they really amp up the testosterone (though who knows- maybe it’s the estrogen running amok).

      I ^:)^ you!!!

      I’ll bet you and Diorella are a fearsome, fabulous combo. I love Diorella but don’t feel I’m quite up to the mark. Now I know why!

    • oooh! chypres!! be still my beating heart! Especially Paloma Picasso and Le Must de Cartier. Also, my new love, Corps et Ames by Parfumerie Generale. But I think the best of the chypres all have an undercurrent of skank in there, including Mitsouko

  24. Wow, Musette, what a great post. More please!

    I wrote to Karin above about Femme being my mother’s scent. Like Louise, the Orientals are my true home, but apparently I like skank, too, if I’m judging by the lists above — I recently fell hard for Vol de Nuit and Mitsouko in parfum, and I love the indolic jasmine in A La Nuit and Sarrasin (I get a lot of leather and horse sweat in that one even though all the reviews said it was softer) and I recently got to try some vintage Scandal extrait — holy mother, that is HOT stuff!

    Still, I wouldn’t say I pursue skank, exactly. Its more like I fall for something because it feels right (as you say) and then it turns out to have a little something dirty at the bottom. So to speak. :”>

  25. Oh my gosh, I can SO relate. The more time I spend on perfumes the weirder they seem to be getting. It’s like pretty isn’t enough any more. Lately I’m like an addict looking for the next “skank” score. I tripped up on an almost full bottle of vintage Bandit perfume in a thrift store in Ohio & I thought I would cry! Now that stuff is “skank” to the next level but I couldn’t keep my nose away. And yes, I agree with Femme, Mitsouko & Bal. Cabochard & Miss Dior (the old stuff) also keep with the dirty girl theme.

    Also, I’m still Twiggy and at 40 am STILL waiting for my bust to develop. Funny how most of us are never really happy with the bods we got. I was always waiting to become Jane or Marilyn but it never happened. Oh well, at least I can smell like a vamp.

    • As another fully-grown Twig-ette, I am pretty happy with my still-teenage-shaped body. Works for cheaper clothes (I can fill out H&M’s smallest garb), reduced sag /:), and with a Flappers-are Hot mindset, a lean stretch of skin for all kinds of womanly/skanky scents ;)

      • Certainly you leaner gals can hold a shape better as we twinkle into the twilight….just imagine where a 38D is headed after you pass the 5-0!:o

        And voluptuous is a state of mind as much as anything, in my opinion. Think scent: there is nothing ‘lush’, in my opinion, in Mitsouko – but it’s as voluptuous as all get-out!

        work that H&M, girl. I envy you that. Alas, when you’re built like me and Miss Russell and the rest of us 18Hour gals, you’re stuck with Big Girl (read: grownup/expensive) clothes. And …….well, just imagine that cute little shirts are OUT!

        xo>-)

  26. Another vote here for the awesome VP Onda, my skankiest scent. Also Party in Manhattan, of which I only have a few drops, but is delightfully skanky on me. And last but not least, Miller Harris L’Air de Rien.

  27. Oh how I can relate. I feel into lust with skank by accident. I started reading the posse about a year ago, and have just filled my TPC carts with samples and decants since. Based on a PP recommendation, I tried Jicky and Mitsouko, and loved them, but didn’t know why. Then one day I tried FM’s Musc Ravaguer. I was in love. I immediately bought a 10oz “tester” on e-bay, and the day after it came, I was drenched in it. Ironically, that evening, I read a basenotes article on skank (http://community.basenotes.net/showthread.php?t=211778)
    (found, I think, while I was looking for more info on my new love)and realized what all these new favorites had in common: SKANK! And suddenly I was worried: what if I couldn’t smell in my loves what everyone else did, and I in fact smelled like some sort of wet rutting deer?? After a brief discussion with my DH (who said I smelled sexy and yummy at the same time, and who finds it humorous that scents can be “skanky”) I decided that I didn’t care what everyone else might think! However, I am conscious of my application if I wear one of my loves to work. :”>

  28. I, too, am 5’9″ with a coffee-cup-ready bust, but I can’t do skank. It makes me ill. “My” scents are dreamy, nostalgic florals, like L’Artisan La Haie Fleurie, Caron N’Aimez que Moi, and Apres l’Ondee. Though I do keep some Shalimar and Tabac Blond on hand for occasions that require them. :)

    The funny thing is that I wore Opium as a signature scent for seven years, starting in high school, mostly because every woman in my family wore it. Now they’ve all switched to Thierry Mugler Alien. At family gatherings, the collective sillage smothers to death any poor perfume I happen to be wearing! :(

    • Us 18-hr gals can also work dreamy, romantic florals. I fell in love with Liz Zorn’s Violets and Rainwater, which isn’t as ‘twee’ as the name implies – there’s a ‘whump!’ of fresh, loamy dirt in there that keeps it from skittering off into the brooding clouds – but it’s got that dreamy quality to it that I adore as well (Apres l’O is worshipful! I’ll bet it smells wonderful on you)

      xo>-)

  29. Since I’ve met you IRL, Musette, I can’t *imagine* you as wanting to be so, well, meek. You struck me as someone who was a Force to Be Reckoned With straight outta the womb!

    What ties it all together for me in the fragrances that I consider my true go-tos are an undercurrent of what I call (to myself) “womanliness”. A lot older chypres have it, what LT/TS called the sense that you are smelling subsequent applications of the same fragrance over unwashed skin. Off the top of my head, I think of Miss Dior, Diorella, Givenchy III, YSL Y . . . even O de Lancome has a hint of it. I also like the real love-or-hate scents for the same reason (think Angel). They’re sometimes safe-ish, but not completely. They don’t smell mumsy. It comes from the emancipated women in my young life always wearing these kinds of fragrances. When you grow up in a rural area, there aren’t too many women who step outside the norm, and I idolized all the ones I met who did. Oftentimes they were teachers, who, being unmarried at 30-some, were considered “old maids”, but it was obvious that they really didn’t give a sh*t. My mother and her mother were the kind of married women who would risk their reputations (or lack there of) to be friends with these rural feminists. They all taught me to speak my mind, not to be ashamed of being smart, and never to dumb myself down for a man’s affections.

    Even on days that I don’t feel confident, I can spray on some fragrance and smell like a warrior!

    • moongrrl — I just love this comment. I grew up in Idaho and know exactly what you’re talking about. Three cheers for your matriarchal line!

    • You strike me as extremely confident!

      I always was a Force, even when I was a skinny, knock-kneed, braces-wearing, zitfaced kid. But I didn’t want to be. I have some feathery/dithery friends (or at least they portray themselves thusly) and I so want to figure out HOW THEY DO THAT!

  30. Oh my goodness… I love you all!! :x Musette, reading your post and all of these glorious skank-worshipping comments has warmed my heart today!

    Three cheers for skank!

  31. Heh. Some real skank lovers on here!

    I can’t believe I didn’t ship you some Eau d’Hermes, although it may be over your line. It’s more pure sweat than sweet cumin. Although I’m still mad at Hermes for being such asshats in Chicago. [-(

    • I’m finally getting a samp of Jube25 (I’m a bit slow:”>….I think that’s the one NST touts as a more elegant version of Femme…..I cannot wait to test it against my vaunted Lady. Femme is a mindblower. I threw some on this afternoon – I had to go drop off a load of steel; the construction site is a muddy mess, my face is broken out and I am wearing what looks like pajamas (it’s been a LONG week) – but Femme smoothed it all out!

      xo>-)

    • That’s ‘freshly-washed asshats’ to you, li’l missy!;)

      I can try Ed’H when I go see Rosie @ Saks. I’ll let you know how it rolls. No Hermes for me, unless I’m totin’ a machete! Did I tell you I thought about selling my bags? I’m not….but I did think about it….but I won’t buy another, that’s for sure!

      …and how did my reply to Trinity end up here?

      xo>-)

  32. What a fantastic post! I’m a fellow skankaholic, but I have to admit that I was defeated by Theo Fennell – which I had ordered unsniffed, assuming that if I could happily wear CB’s Musk, there was *no* skank which could possibly be too much for me. I still hope that some day I will be able to wear Theo Fennell. Today I’ve been basking in the glory of Bal parfum. Never ceases to make me happy. :-)
    And I am simply in awe of the fact that you broke a man’s arm! Wow! A Jicky wafting force of nature! :-)

    • Well, it involved a piece of 2×4 and a First Strike (his) – oddly enough, this was a BUSINESS DISCUSSION between me and a contractor!

      How bizarre is that? Who breaks their contractor’s arm?

      xo>-)

  33. I think the most pungent of fragrances have been covered here — I personally find vintage Visa (full of the Animalis base — civet land) and vintage Shocking (unwashed knickers splashed with rose) to be the most suggestive that way.
    Now, everybody talks about indolic jasmine. Not everyone has smelled pure indoles. I was with Patty at the Patou shop when we discovered it straight from the bottle. It actually doesn’t smell like excrement at all, more like mothballs.

    Then one day I caught an indiluted indole smell coming from my toilet. I was in the shower. My flatmate had just… used. She’d sprayed Parfums de Nicolaï’s Eau de Lude, a jasmine fragrance, as an air freshener (I got it dirt-cheap and was out of room sprays, so that was what was in the toilet).
    Somehow the jasmine and the poop combined, filtered through the steam of the shower (in France, most toilets and bathrooms are separate, just to reassure you: people don’t go potty in front of each other in my house).
    Pure indole. Really weird. Which means that now, I can actually “decompose” — as it were — the smell of jasmine to get the indole.
    How’s that for skank?

    Oh: and when I was a little girl, I wanted to be Emma Peel when I grew up. Somehow, I turned out more like Tara King…

    • D,

      You must not be married (depending upon the day that can be a Very Good Thing =)) Or else you’re married to someone who is way more sophisticated than El O. We nearly came to blows over the whole ‘pooping in public’ (in my world, if you are not in the bathroom BY YOURSELF you are IN PUB-LIC!). Alas, in most US homes, everything is in the same room and some guys…….well, you know b-(

      sorry for the liberal use of emoticons but bathroom privacy is a touchy subject in this house.

      But I can certainly imagine how you got to deconstruct jasmine from that experience – decay has a very ‘interactive’ element to it, in my opinion. Like when you walk past a dead animal (except skunk) and that slightly sweet smell wafts up – for a hot second it’s almost alluring….then you realize what it is you’re smelling and societal mores take over…

      …but that could just be me..

      xo >-)

      • nope, me too! that’s why I love L’Heure Bleue in the heat – combines with the all too common dead animal smells out in the street – not sure if that is quite skank but still…
        Clearly, I don’t get the melancholy of L’Heure Bleue!!

      • No, Musette, I’m not married… anymore. I rent out a room to my friend Catherine. But I think the separate loo and bathroom is ever so much more civilised…
        You can get indoles from dead things, of course: they are a by-product of the corruption of certain amino-acids. Strange to think that the sweetest-smelling white flowers have a common point with carrion.
        Another weird thing: I sometimes get a whiff of indoles from real live humans. Must be some metabolic quirk. It’s not actually repulsive, just uncanny.

        • And then, like a bolt of lightning, the seemingly diverse converged into one sensical group…think about certain flies, attracted to indolic flowers, piles of poo, and even certain peeps. Whaddayaknow???

        • D,

          We won’t get into the possibility of just a leeetle envy (mine). There are days…:-< But back to perfume and indoles. I do get the sweat from cumin - at least I think I do. I get it in Fem du Bois and I definitely get it in Femme which is why I have to be careful where (and when) I wear it. It's not a warrior scent and I think it's the cumin that makes it not so. If Mitsouko, my silken armor, has it then I'm anosmic to that note in that particular composition. I only get the minor dirty jasmine and the chypre and the jade sword. And that's good - Femme notwithstanding, that sweat note is actually not my favorite - I accept it because done judiciously it does round out a lot of interesting fragrances and pushes them beyond 'average'

          But that dirty jasmine.....whoo,baby! That stuff just jazzes my liver! That, to me, is what skank is, more than the sweat.

          I'm stumbling all over this, I know - I wish I could write about this with some authority.....

          xo>-)

          • Is that the current Femme or the vintage? The cumin in the vintage is much less pronounced in the spice mix. I prefer the vintage formula and have stocks of it. If you smell carefully you’ll find the formula for Eau d’Hermès tucked away in the original Femme.

            • you have STOCKS of it? I’ve never smelled it. Would it kill me stone-dead with love? Probably. I am completely floored by the current incarnation and everybody ‘in the know’ is always going on about the vintage…. I’d probably spritz it, then roll around like a cat in catnip!!!
              :((

              btw – I can’t believe you’re even talking to me, I know so little and my poor nez is so physically limited, with a septum that looks like an Escher staircase…

              Between you and March you just sealed the deal on the Eau d’H, though I won’t get it at Hermes. They have worked my absolute last nerve – I’ll just get it from my beloved Rosie @ Saks.

              • Musette, ask March or Patty for my email, or write me at graindemusc at gmail.com and I’ll send you a samp of vintage Femme, if you can stand the wait (I’m French post-office phobic).

                • OMG! Will do, thank you and^:)^ (you do realize that I’m simply terrified, don’t you? If I fall in love I’ll have to figure out how to go back in time and score a case of the stuff!)

                  btw – that’s one of the few things that’s really great about living in a town the size of a Birkin bag – our little Post Office is the stuff of dreams. I once had to wait FOUR WHOLE MINUTES!

                  xo >-)

  34. ~~Obviously I need to either watch the temper or watch the pearls!~~

    Giggles…wildly entertaining article and comments. Thanks for the laughs, Musette and Posse.

    I loves me some skank too! I too get a little skank from Chanel No 5 extrait. I scored some vintage Femme on the bay, and am on the prowl for more vintage skank now. Definitely want to try Bal and Jicky. Joy, Mitsouko…LOVE!

    I even have some Eau de Hermes. I saw a bottle at Sephora and knew it was a classic by Edmond Roudnitska… bought it, got scared reading reviews :o , took it back, then went back again and found it hiding in the drawer underneath the men’s Hermes and bought it again. Have yet to open and try it. :-?

    • If you are scared of it, go back to Sephora and have them make you a decent sample of it (I’m a huge fan of sampling til you’re either sure or Really Sick of It – scents are just too expensive these days) – if they don’t have a tester, go over to Saks or Neiman’s etc (I don’t know where you are but if you’re anywhere near Chicago you can go to Saks – they have testers galore – see Rosie or Andy)

      Everybody suggests I give this one a whirl – and I’m a-gonna, though it chaps my cheese to buy ANYthing Hermes these days – now watch, I’m going to fall for it HARD!
      xo>-)

      • No tester at Sephora, Musette, it was the only one they had. I looked at Nordies, but haven’t tried my local Neiman’s. May just order a ml from TPC. Yes, it was expensive, which is my reasoning for my first return. Perhaps the historical significance is not enough to buy unsniffed. ;)

        Totally understand your hesitancy to purchase any more Hermes after your horrid experience. I experienced a snooty SA at Jo Malone’s that may keep me away from JMs forever, but must admit it is easier to not buy JM than to never buy another Hermes.

        • Tell me about it! I’d much rather just go back there and throw that young woman through the plate-glass window, then I could go back to shopping there with a clear conscience (sociopath that I am)….but that would be BAD! I don’t think they let you keep vials of perfume at Stateville ;)

          Nordie’s usually always has Hermes testers and their SAs (at least my SAs) are wonderfully gracious about making samps.

          Good luck on that – definitely test before you crack open that FB. You wanna luuuurve it, not regret that you spent your centimes on a ‘meh’.

          xo>-)

    • thank you! Nice to know I’m not totally nuts re:skank and No 5!!

  35. Ah, what a great post!
    I was/am one of those Twiggies, and specifically one who looked at exotic, voluptuous /women/ -not girls/sprites- who could pull off the big orientals with jealousy. See, we all have our complexes. :-w
    On to the skank. I have a problem with it: I can’t smell it. Or my skin eats it, whichever it is. Sweaty skank, that is, indolic skank from jasmine and orange blossom I /can/ smell (I think) and run away from. But spray Musc Ravageur, Kouros or Musc Koublaï Khan on me, and those allegedly lion cage-ish raunchy numbers turn into purring kitties on me. Even Bal à Versailles and some of those other skank-heavy scents you mentioned are very decent to me.
    I want me some skank! So where do I turn? Any recs? I’ve already heard I ought to try Kingdom for some real essence of dirty knickers – agree, disagree?

    • Zoe,

      I can’t speak to Musc R or MKK because I tend to shy away from what I call ‘Musk Direct’ but I always thought Bal, vintage Joy, Shocking, etc are actually just very solid scents that I’ve worn since the Flood. It wasn’t til I was captured by the Posse that I even knew what was in ‘em!

      My take on indolic jasmine is that it’s more beefy/rotty than sweaty – the cumin is what sweats stuff up for me (again, this is just me talking here, possibly out of my hat. I’m still pretty clueless about ‘why’ stuff is skank – for example, Femme and Jicky are miles apart, in my opinion, yet both contain some pretty ;) undertones.

      I love Kingdom – love it – but I don’t get any sweat from it! Shelley intro’d me to that and….well, again, it just smells like most everything else that appeals to me – a very nice, well-constructed fragrance, with a bit of heft. So I’m of no use to you at all – sounds like we’re mostly in the same boat!

      I’m hopeless:(( Patty? March? Tom? Anybody?

      • Musette, you might not “read” cumin as sweat. I have an Indian perfumista friend, for instance, who links it to food rather than to B.O. (and can’t wear it for that reason).

        • I don’t like immortelle as a note, because it reminds me of breakfast … pancakes with maple syrup. Most likely, this is a stronger association for most of us here in the USA than it would be for someone in Europe.

      • Akshully, that does make sense. I mean, I might not be isolating certain skanky elements in a fragrance, but that doesn’t mean they’re not /there/ – it means there’s hope for me, after all. ;) It’s all about the perceptions, I suppose, and maybe I just don’t perceive animalic notes as being “dirty”; maybe I just perceive them as “warm” or “well-rounded” elements in a frag. Who knows.

        Beefy/rotty is spot on for indolics! It smells dense, like a compost heap. I flee before it.

        Anyway, I’ll keep sniffing. You never know what I’ll run in to, and maybe one day I’ll find that scent that makes me blush. Or break a man’s arm. :o

  36. Thanks for the tip! I’ll look for some vintage, too.

  37. Musette, You GODDESS you! Big love and skanky kisses in Baghari! MWAH!

    • VidatheGorgeous!

      I’m so glad to see you on here! Whenyoucominback? I hope you have extra time, next time – I’ll be sure to schedule time to come up and we can go play with Miss S!

      xo>-)

      ps. how is your gorgeous mother? I hope she’s having fun – give her a :p from me!!!

  38. OK, now, this is just weird. I got my bottle of Theo Fennell today (thanks, sweet relayer)! and I swear it heard me speaking of my oriental love…I get little skank, but rather a glorious womanly floriental :-? Very lovely, stunning even, but where’s my stink-um :> ?

  39. A college beau once described me as “vavoomy,” which I have used as self-description ever since (he wasn’t useful for much else, but this alone earned him a happy place in my memories). Vavoomy girls don’t smell clean and powdery, I’ve decided.

    I’m new to this perfume thing, but I’ve signed on with TDC’s Rose Poivree and I’m looking to get some Theo Fennell and something else I can’t remember at the moment. I’m trying some darker roses, too – like Lyric for Men – trying to take good advantage of my nonwaifiness.

  40. Recently, I purchased an oud sampler pack from Oriscent. One of them, Assam Organic, is the skankiest thing I’ve ever put on my body. At least, in the top & midnotes. It smells like a barnyard, or the south end of a zoo animal going north. When I first received the package, I was appalled: how could anyone wear this stuff? Oriscent says somewhere on their site that the more animalic ouds are difficult for westerners. Funny, as I’ve worn them, I find that my opinions have changed. An oud named Archipelago, which I initially found overpoweringly medicinal, is at present my favorite. And even the Assam once you get past the initial fecal rush. Strange, that vegetable matter should smell so animalic …

  41. Musette, I love it! You are a woman after my own heart. I will never be wispy either! (But I did try, and sometimes I still do.)

    My go-to scents tend to be complex classic florals, white florals, both skank and non, and green florals/floral chypres. AG Gardenia Passion and Henri Dunay Sabi are two white florals that never fail me. Serge Lutens Datura Noir is one of a kind if you want a really dangerous white floral with more than a hint of swamp in it. Balmain Jolie Madame is a leathery chypre with a lot of green in it (narcissus!) and I love it. My all-time favorite perfume is the sadly discontinued Jean Patou Vacances, a green floral grounded by a wallop of hyacinth. And of course, who can live without the fabulous Bal a Versailles!

    You want skank? I will see you Bal a Versailles and raise you Lelong pour Femme by Lucien Lelong – it was released in 1999 but you would swear it’s vintage. It has a gut-punch of lilac in it that I personally adore, though others may disagree. Add jasmine, tuberose, orchid and Kadota fig and swirl with magnolia. It’s for us grown-up ladies only! :d

    • Okay – I’m now Officially ‘Intrigued’ – am going to go TPC the Lelong…if I get hooked I know whom to blame:-w

      xo>-)

      • I didn’t see the pour Femme on TPC but did you notice the Elle Elle? Says it’s very animalic. I’m scared, you go first! Ikes!-just noticed the price tag. I dare you!

    • I meant to reply earlier that we may at least be Scent Cousins! I absolutely LOVED Vacances – remember the beautiful little green stopper? That perfume was the essence of a grownup summer, in my youthful opinion.

      Flora, you might talk to Liz Zorn about her historical Jasmine….something tells me you just might fall in love!

      • Yes, Vacances was and is simply divine, and the bottles were so lovely, and I shall never forgive the House of Patou for discontinuing Ma Collection AND for selling themselves to Procter & Gamble. The horror! :((

        Historical Jasmine, eh? Right up my alley, I would say….

  42. I don’t know much about perfume (and will read up on it when I get a chance) but I can’t help but think that skank was orginally an accident. What I mean is ambergris and civet and other animalics where used to fix the perfume, right? Use too much and you get the skank scent. Same with the indolics, skankier with more concentration of that flower, no? I just find it interesting that even if it was and accident to have a perfume smell animalic back when, that we ended up finding these smells intriguing and like them even though they “stink”. It is actually in us, as animals ourselves, to like these smells. Or am I saying something that is well known?

    • It may be all the reasons you mention…but I think the skankier notes are there as attractants, too. In societies less obsessed with cleanliness than American, “bodyish” odors are certainly considered appealing. Grain de Musc had a wonderful series on the pleasantly nastier fragrances a short while back /:)

  43. Like some of the posters above, I was going to recommend Nuit Noire. Mitsouko’s been my real love since university, but I’ve branched out and it seems to be the mucky perfumes and jasmine heavy florals that grab my attention – Shocking, A La Nuit, Habanita…

  44. There is one perfume that wasn’t mentioned that I think of as undercover skank. It happens to be my signature.

    Dior Addict.

    Oh. What with it’s slightly woody/amber/jasmine/orange blossom indolic goodness…whenever I’m out on a date, it’s what I wear and it does the trick every time!

    Not everyone can wear it – it’s a tricky one. If your body chemistry isn’t right (and I mean to bring out the rich powdery base note) it can smell like bug spray. Unfortunately. But when someone whose body tends to accept the rich, sweatiness of heavier scents wears it, ooh la la!

  45. A little late getting here, but wanted to say that was a fantastic essay.

    And you might want to add Rose Poivree to your skankfest.

  46. Ha! I never get it when I hear these Yatagan horror stories. To me, it’s like being in a deliciously dark, dank (but not too dank) pine forest.

%d bloggers like this: