Narciso Rodriguez for Her – The Wallpaper Scent

Nariciso Rodriguez for Her EDT

Narciso Rodriguez for Her – Hiding in Plain Sight?

 Like the rest of you h-core perfume fans, I have my share of over-the-top fragrances.  I have my dirt, my filth, my muck… my Mitsouko… my daft dank church incense, my violets, my leafy greens, fruits, veggies, solar musks, wallflowers, coneflowers, everlasting flowers, power flowers, my other nineteen incenses, my armpit fragrances…

What I don´t have, and have been longing for, is the no-brainer plain-white-tee fragrance, although I hate calling it that.  For one thing, I don´t actually own (or want) any plain white tees. 

It´s not a “comfort” scent I´m craving, either – not one of those warm cuddly chai-vanilla deals.  It´s more a cross between perfect wallpaper and your favorite jacket — a scent that isn´t insipid or boring but reads as background noise in the best possible way.

I am not alone in my quest; let me quote Melissa who describes the problem in a recent comment.  “I have the same problem with florals, citrus fragrances and lighter fragrances in general. Too sweet, too lemony, too young, too boring, too flowery etc, etc.”   Finding that one good, all-purpose, always-reliable background fragrance turns out to be really hard — much harder than I thought.  After all, we live in a vast sea of mass-market fragrances that aren’t designed to provoke or command too much attention.

In the summer, because I live in a humid climate, my selections skew to the light – cologne, herbs, tea.   I´ve got probably a dozen things sitting right here I could throw on, all the way down to the ridiculously cheap and cheerful 4711, and be perfectly happy.  They all work as wallpaper scents.

The other three seasons are trickier.  When the seasons are actually changing I am excited – break out the leathers!  Or the violets!   Woo-hoo!   There´s a long stretch from January to April, though, when I find myself wishing for … something low maintenance in a fragrance, but one that isn´t dull.  Maybe it´s an occupational hazard of sniffing oddball scents all the time, but my desire for something nice and normal but still good began to turn into an obsession.

I thought for awhile that D&G The One might be … well, the One.  I kept trying it, but … eh.  There´s something in there that´s not quite right on me, and it´s too edible.  Ditto Coach.  Ditto YSL Cinema, which is back in my purgatory bowl for the third time due to vague sourpuss notes.  Betsey Johnson was gonna be my BFF but she´s too sweet to be The One.  Hil Duff With Love is too woody.   My beloved Worth Courtesan has just enough character on my skin (I know, some of y´all are going, what character?!?) some days I just don´t want to deal with that cuminy note.  Serge Lutens Clair de Musc wasn´t quite right as the One (too … fleshy or something) but it got me thinking musk might be my answer.  Kiehls I quite like but it´s oddly vegetal on me.   Ditto SIP Musc Botanique.  The closest I come to The One is Barbara Bui.  It´s the perfect wallpaper fragrance. I like to layer the perfume with the BB Huile Blanche.  But some days BB does that thing where it´s just the teensiest bit doughy, and besides … can´t there be two of The One?

Then Helg at Perfume Shrine did a post on the many iterations of Narciso Rodriguez for Her, and I’d not paid enough attention to realize we were talking about four scent variations.  Regular blog readers know I have a running joke about NR: I can´t smell it at all.  At all.  Might as well be water in those bottles.  The additional irritating/baffling fact is, I´ve stopped two different women asking them what lovely scent they were wearing, and both said Narciso Rodriguez for Her, so what exactly is my problem?  How can I smell it on others and not on me?

I got to wondering whether I´d even tried the original EDT – the bottles look alike, maybe I reach for the musk version since I´m such a skank queen?  Anyway, I went commando (perfume-wise) for two entire days and then ventured forth to smell the Narciso Rodriguez for Her EDT, which sounded the most promising, both in terms of attractiveness and non-anosmia.

To quote Luca Turin without actually checking my copy of The Guide, which has gone missing (probably taken by one of you folks tired of me quoting from it)… if I recall correctly, his review of NR begins with something like: to review perfume as an art form is to be in danger sometimes of missing the point.  He goes on to acknowledge that while NR isn´t breaking boundaries in perfumery, it smells great. 

And guess what?  You, and every other person who has commented on the Posse how great Narciso Rodriguez for Her smells, are right.  It smells wonderful.  It smells smooth and creamy and good, like perfume on good clean skin.  Bloglifting from Helg´s Narciso Rodriguez for Her review (regarding the EDT version): It is soft, “clean” in the most sensuous sense of skin that has been bathed but is living its day along nevertheless; musky in the sense that it beckons you closer radiating harmonious warmth; and feminine all at once.  The EDP is more floral (and simultaneously less interesting), and the Musc for Her is … well, muskier.  I guess.  Because I pretty much can’t smell it.

And thus Narciso Rodriguez for Her EDT, bane of my existence, turns out to be… The One.  Along with Barbara Bui.  It´s true, folks — the only bottle of perfume I bought in LA for myself was from Sephora, and it was Narciso Rodriguez for Her EDT.  (I bought something else for the Cheese at LuckyScent.)  Sephora had a great little deal with a purse spray atomizer included.  Yep, I paid full retail!  Go ahead, laugh. 

I´m thinking the new Apothia Pearl Nava just reviewed is another contender for this category, as Nava and some of the commenters suggested on Friday.  It seemed awfully nice on my brief sniff in LA, without being either too much or too little.  DSH Perfumes’ Special Formula X also falls partly into this category, although it’s such a skin scent on me I think it might be undetectable to anyone around me, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

Are there any other perfumes you love that are excellent no-statement scents?   Not just Safe for Work, or Comfort, but your ideal wallpaper scent? (Shout-out to the five of you who can smell L´Antimatiere or Molecule!  Is this why you wear it?) Or does that style of perfumery not interest you, and why not?

FragrantMoments April 11, 2009

What a great post. Every day I approach my dresser looking for the scent of the day and sometimes I do wish when I can't figure it out, there was a "go to" scent. For a while I was wearing D&G daily, then I graduated to Michael Kors but even that is only good winter, at least to me. I really enjoyed this post and will now go out and try to find my own WallPaper scent.

jen March 28, 2009

I recently discovered a great "t-shirt and jeans" scents. It's Lacoste Inspiration. "This scent possesses a blend of Mirabelle Plum, Pink Pepper, Pomegranate, Mandarin Orange, Tuberose, Peony, Jasmine, Lily-of-the-Valley, Iris, Musks, Vanilla, Sandalwood." Overall it's a simple nice little scent.

Debby March 25, 2009

And must add, my HG, Bois Blond - since I don't really think of it as a white t-shirt scent, I forgot to include it, yet I feel it's always right, so fits in well here!

Debby March 25, 2009

Is it too late to post now that it's the 25th? We were gone on a ski weekend and I just read this whole string now. I don't post often, but this is one of my favorite topics - I think of it more as a go-to scent category, but white t-shirt totally works for me as I really *am* a white t-shirt gal (preferably nice quality fabric with a V-neck, thanks). My suggestions - Eau de Cartier, Le Labo Labdanum, Heeley Iris de Nuit, Frapin Terre de Sarment, DSH Gelsomino. I find each of these to have a subtlety and a bit of earthiness that appeals to me, yet to be light, subtle, sophisticated and interesting in such a way that any of them could carry me from morning to evening through any situation. Oddly enough, I can't stand Barbara Bui tho it sounded right up my alley. Okay - my 2 cents, so now, off to garden in my Iris de Nuit.

Joe March 24, 2009

Hmm: low maintenance, but one that isn’t dull...? Something nice and normal but still good... ? I know these will probably border on duller than dull for some people, but to me, a few things that really fit the bill in this "wallpaper" category this year were Lancome Magnifique, EL Amber Ylang Ylang, and Kenzo Winter Flowers. Amour, as mentioned by someone else, is also good. All very much background noise, but still smell NICE.

Bev March 23, 2009

My go-to scents recently are Prada Iris Infusion, Kelly Caleche and Eau Premiere.

zara March 23, 2009

i've just bought azzaro orange tonic, because it's an easy citrusy scent, very linear and refresing and am eyeing eau d'hadrien...among those inoffensive 'always-right' scents of mine are ferre GFF for her and trussardi skin (but i ditched that one lately, the violets in it started to protrude too much for my taste and i don't like violets, what a shame) and tann roka kisu (clean soapy) hm, and calypso st. barths lea would be perfect for days when you want quiet perfume comfort i think, maybe a tad too sweet but still, very nice and the new balmain, ambergris seems nice to me as well! speaking of NR, what a shame, i've never tried it :"> i will tomorrow! ps. and i can smell antimariere heh

karin March 23, 2009

My go-to scents for fall/winter were KenzoAmour and (believe it or not) Ralph Lauren's Notorious! I received a bottle of Notorious through NST - a giveaway directly from RL. At first, I didn't really care for the scent. But then I kept reaching for it whenever I had to go into the office. I usually work from home so typically wear whatever I feel like without fear of offending anyone (except perhaps my husband, who sometimes asks, "did you just spray on perfume and walk around the house?" :d Fortunately for him, he's usually gone in the morning when I spray, and if he comes home for lunch, most of the wafting has subsided by then). Anyway, back to Notorious. It strikes me as an unobtrusive, unoffensive scent that is easy to wear. I'd much prefer to wear something else when I'm at home, or when I really want to make a statement, but for those "I don't want to overwhelm anyone or draw attention to myself" scent days, it's perfect. Same goes for KenzoAmour. I just moved both of them to my fall/winter drawer, though, and now need to figure out the perfect go-to scents for spring/summer! Last year, Juicy Couture was the frontrunner. I'm guessing this year it will be Premier Figuier, along with the JC. I recently purchased No 5 Eau Premiere. Seems somewhat overpowering to me, so not sure I'll use it as a white T-shirt scent. Pure White Linen is a contender, though I don't love it. Hmmm...methinks perhaps I need to buy something else. ;-)

Flora March 23, 2009

March, I have no idea why Apercu is not both more popular and better distributed. Houbigant seems to be determined to bury it. I really hope it stays in production, I have come to rely on it more than most others as a go-to.

perfumeshrine March 23, 2009

Awwww...I converted you!:)>- And you can smell it too!! #:-s The white T-shirt and wallpaper analogy are *perfect*! Let's see, B.Bui is another one I consider in that genre and as I see you like that one, I have another perfect suggestion for you (if you haven't tried it)>> pay attention, you will thank me later! >:) ......drumroll...... Sonia Rykiel Woman-not for men! (the EDP, *NOT* the pink edt though!!) Amazing stuff! And I hear it's cheap in the US as it has ended at the discounters. ( Other no-brainers: Tocadilly by Rochas, Helmut Lang, the very "round" Gady Musk and the comparable Gosh Musk, the new Fleurs Blanches by Kristen Michele (this smells clean but not lathery, quite nice!), Extrait de Songe/L'ete en douce, L'antimatiere (yeah, yeah...I KNOW!), Angeliques sous la pluie. I plan to devote some space to those I haven't yet. And Roma IS very nice! A warm, ambery but not too sweet skin-scent. I find many coumarin-centered scents evoke that white-tee feel for me usually. Contrary to Bradamante I find Chant d'Aromes so tender, so cuddly, so perfect and so understated too, it's anything but professional to me (then again my profession is different). It's the scent of a mother. A very loving one.

Kim March 23, 2009

I'm with Musette - another vote for Chanel No 5 here. In all its iterations it has been my go to scent for decades. Somehow going out for the day doesn't seem right without my Chanel No 5 - it's like I can't think straight! Always parfum strength, lately layered with Eau Premiere, sometimes EDP instead. The only exceptions are when it is really hot outside and I switch to L'Heure Bleue for daytime - somehow the heat brings out the anise on my skin and it is perfect for hot, hot summer weather - and when it is really cold outside and somehow Cuir de Russie is really nice on my skin then. Otherwise, I save everything else for when I get home - and then spray with abandon!! :o

Bradamante March 23, 2009

Hi - newbie here. I happened on your blog as a result of the g/f buying me 'The Guide' for Christmas, I think to shut me up rambling about perfume with no real knowledge. Ha! all that has happened is that I'm trying things like crazy and our credit cards are burning... However, I have realised that I'm a total Guerlain girl - my all-the-timer is Jicky, my 'Need to be super professional' tends to be Chants d'arome and for evenings it's either Shalimar or Mitsouko depending on destination. I'd appreciate any suggestions for things I might like as well. Oh yes, I wore Prada IdI all last year (to great acclaim!) and then suddenly - phhttt, it started to smell like sewage on me. Who knew that could happen? Anyway, thanks for the amazing blog if not my credit balance...

Disteza March 23, 2009

I call these my 'whatever' scents; if I truly don't care what perfume I'm wearing, these three are the ones I usually reach for: Tea For Two, Let Me Play the Lion, and, prepare yourselves, MKK. My SO puts on MKK, and the musk rears its head in all its skanky glory. I put it on, and there's some vinyl-esque funk that quickly burns off and leaves behind a powdery musk with a hint of the animalic. My second string would be 5 o' Gingembre, Dzing, and Equistrius.

Jarvis March 23, 2009

Hi, March. My current favourite in this category would be Chanel's Eau de Cologne. Perfectly proportioned, clean, quiet. It doesn't shout at all, and yet, at least on me, is quite tenacious. While it has the requisite hespiridic notes of an eau de cologne, what really makes it for me are big hits of indolic jasmine, raspy vetiver, and a luxurious (and quiet) musk in the drydown. I think as we head into warmer weather, Angeliques Sous La Pluie will also play this quiet, understated role for me.

MarkDavid March 23, 2009

Like Nava, you'll be hard pressed to find me wearing a white t-shirt - I opt for the black v-neck, instead. This is actually a tough one. If the idea is a scent that I feel comfortable in no matter what I'm wearing, anytime of the year at anytime of the day, then I suppose it would have to be Chanel 28 La Pausa. Runners up include Guerlain Shalimar Light and ETRO Vicolo Fiori. -MD

Olfacta March 23, 2009

Wow. I don't really know! The etheral scents, like Osmanthe Yunan, White Tea and au The Vert tend to last about 5 minutes on me, so sad. Eau Premiere would be a candidate, if I could find it at less than full retail. I'll see if I can find some NR -- don't know if I've ever smelled it. Jean-Louis Scherrer is one I've used in this way. Eau de Cartier (and lately I've been swiping the Declaration I bought for the DH) in warm months. In winter, Tocade. But I guess I just love the "statement" scents. I'll have to hit the samples bucket again and see...btw, can anybody recommend a citrus with some staying power?

Sweet Sue March 23, 2009

I've only smelled it on a strip but I'm thinking that the new Perry Ellis might be an easy go to for me. I'll have to try it at Saks or Nordstroms. And I'll definitely give the Rodriguez another shot. Someone above mentioned that she couldn't smell Lovely. Neither can I; it's like air without the ozone. I can smell Be Delicious for about ten seconds and poof it's gone. Unfortunately, I bought that one and it's gathering dust on the dresser. Yvresse is a great everyday one for me, but I'm trying to hoard it a little.:(

memechose March 23, 2009

I have two : Dawn Spencer Hurwitz Giardini Secretti. Top notes: Bergamot, Bitter Orange, Honeysuckle, Italian Neroli Middle notes: Egyptian Rose Geranium, Gardenia, Grandiflorum Jasmine, Mimosa, Orris, Tuberose Absolute Base notes: Amber, Ambergris, Galbanum, Musk and M. Miccallef Gaiac Both thse are skin scents on me with a bit of presence.

Natalie March 23, 2009

My perfect scent for any time of day, any occasion, and any companions is CdG 2. I find it totally impossible to pigeonhole, and it's both inoffensive and yet weird enough to suit my own off-kilter personality. I've only ever tried the pink NR, and only on paper, since I suspect it would give me a raging headache on skin. Will try the EDT, but I think I'm the opposite of anosmic -- hyperosmic, maybe? I smell all kinds of nasty things that no one else does, and occasionally I have "phantom smell" episodes. Hmm, "phantosmic" has a nice ring to it...

Juno March 23, 2009

Vivienne Westwood Libertine. Fruity but not sweet, musky but not in your face, persistent but not aggressive. I just plain LIKE it and feel like I could wear it anywhere and be comfortable, but not bored.

Tommasina March 23, 2009

Oh hey, Louise - I wrote my post then saw that you had a couple of mine in there, too. I adore Cadj., but it is sometimes a tad too woody, innit? March - argh! Have likewise believed myself NR-anosmic so maybe I, too, should try the EdT (again, again~). You and Helg sure make it sound tempting... My non-white-t-shirt-white-t-shirt scents (I don't wear 'em, either): well, funnily enough, The One *was* one, about a year ago. However, Sonia Rykiel Woman (a Barbara-Bui-alike, so I hear) superseded it; then the pepper / /leather / soap (?!) began to annoy me every so often; so I switched to Bulgari Omnia, which was terribly soothing right when I needed it. I wore it as my 'no-brainer' for a good couple of months (oh, gimme a break: you don't expect these phases to last *much* longer, do you? Anyway, it was a rather specific period of my life, so I need time to get over my association of it with Omnia, and vice-versa). Currently - and for the past 2 months or possibly more (shock! horror!), it's Kenzo Amour EdP, Prada Infusion d'Iris, and Eau Première. All 3 currently seem to be non-offensive (except for my mother, who has a v poor sense of smell but wrinkled her nose when I shoved my KenzoAmour-schmeared wrist under it), appropriate for multiple occasions as for no occasion whatsoever, and not causing nausea / headache / sneezing fits in me or my beloved. All v important things. Oh - No. 5 Elixir Sensuel** was also in the line-up; but He to Whom Attention Must be Paid said it was a mixture of soap + baby lotion, so... ** I can only wear this and Eau Prem. in the No. 5 line-up

Nava March 23, 2009

For me, it's the perfect black t-shirt. I tend not to wear a lot of white because I'm so pasty fair, but the other problem is that I always seem to get some kind of schmutz on me whenever I wear anything white; hence the arsenal of stain removers I always have on hand. Philosophy Amazing Grace is total wallpaper for me. Whenever, wherever; it always works. Apothia Pearl definitely falls into that category as well. You definitely need to re-sniff.

Shelley March 23, 2009

Yes, yes!! Perfect! White tee and wallpaper...couldn't that be a title, too? Ooh, and let me toss another random comment in which is connected for me today...I'm *stripping* wallpaper today!! I get your scent idea...I'm in the wallpaper literally & metaphorically!!... Hmm. You'd think I drink coffee, and too much of it. :-? 8-} Now that I'm all settled down, here's a couple for me, both recent additions to this category, and both the sweet tee of summer: Parfums de Nicolai Le Fete d'une Temps, and DKNY Gold edt. I have to echo the comments on Jolie Madame, though my heart yearns to have a bigger supply of the vintage. (Who'm I kidding? A supply, period. I only sampled it once. But I do like my new FB.) Interesting...when I first got heavy into perfume, I don't think this style of perfume would have particularly interested me. I was leery of scent/headaches, and way into having a "something to say" if I was going to bother to wear it. I still enjoyed time away from perfume (I know, gasp), and in fact, do enjoy respites even now. But there is something nice about a no-brainer that's not cr@%, to fill in the space on those days when you want to smell good but can't take the time to think about what you want to say. Maybe it's like just humming a tune (on key), rather than choosing a full performance--be it orchestral, daft punk, jazz combo, what have you?

Leslie F March 23, 2009

I've been on this hunt for a couple of years, but I suspect that my "white t-shirt" may be JM Wild Fig & Cassis. I've had it for a while, it's one I turn to when I don't want to think, and I've successfully used half a bottle without completely losing interest. (I have the NR rollerball; that purchase helpfully identified an allergic skin reaction to some musks. Still sad about that one.) Lately, I'm considering Osmanthe Yunnan; it strikes me as a lovely, unobtrusive scent. Decisions, decisions... I have and enjoy Elizabeth W Sweet Tea, but it's sometimes toooo sweet.

sara March 23, 2009

My go-to scent is one that Louise mentioned--Sonia Rykiel Woman not for Men in EDP. It reminds me of Barbara Bui but is a little more interesting and a LOT more available and affordable. The lotion is also wonderful!

zoe March 23, 2009

My year-round no-brainer wallpaper scent is Jil Sander Sun. Smells like an inoffensive mix of expensive soap and suntan lotion, while still being interesting enough to the wearer. I like how it conjures up a cuddly aura and never ever elicits negative reactions. That post on all the NR iterations definitely has made me decide to go back and test them all. I do smell all versions (I think) but they're such a yawn that I never gave them proper attention. Maybe I need to revisit, but in a "wallpaper" frame of mind. It's frustrating to me that notwithstanding the oodles of musky scents I've tried, I never found The One Musky Love. They're always so "meh", even the ones advertised as dirty. The prospect of a skin-mimicking scent is so attractive, and I never seem to find one. *Pout*

erin March 23, 2009

How about Eau de Ciel? That's all salt and air, with excellent manners. Or maybe BLV Notte? The last may sound like an aggressive choice for a no-brainer, but it seems to dry down quickly and then become quite companionable in a wall-papery way...

Elle March 23, 2009

Am definitely going to have to try this NR! Am thinking I might have missed it as I have that anosmic thing going on w/ whatever version of it I have tried. My wallpaper scents include BB (love it!), Jalaine Ocean (nothing at all to do w/ the ocean - it's a very soft, light floral), L'Antimatiere, San in the red bottle (desperately miss this one and can't believe I didn't stockpile it), Prada Benjoin or Opoponax and maybe Etro Relent.

Melissa March 23, 2009

As you probably guessed, my current wallpaper fragrance is Apothia Pearl. Bright, crisp, soft, warm, simple and elegant all at once, but never overbearing. Others that I like for this category include Eau Premiere and Arpege. Thanks for reminding me of Clair de Musc. I spritzed on the last of a sample recently and loved it. Louise, who said she is anosmic to it, was able to smell it (on me anyway) at Art with Flowers last weekend. This could be a contender for "best wallpaper musk" along with the hard-to-find Jean Louis Gady Musk Oil. The latter is a very pretty, slightly floral musk with a deceptive name. It's really an edt, not an oil. Ask Louise about our rather amusing attempt to procure a few bottles of it from a vendor in Italy. The translations between our two languages were priceless. =))

Anne March 23, 2009

OK, coming clean here. Through the title and first paragraph of this post I thought you were going to talk about wallpaper scents. Does wallpaper have a smell I thought, maybe the glue, maybe as it ages and peels.... What? No, come on, stranger scent discussions have happened here!

dinazad March 23, 2009

Chopard Madness, of course. Spicy, delicious second skin, no-brainer, always smells good, can be worn anywhere, anytime. I second the gorgeous Biagiotti Roma for summer, and Thierry Mugler Cologne is the perfect "don't have to think about it" scent for travelling (supremely inoffensive, and it smells as if you'd just emerged from the shower, even when you're grubby after seven hours on a hot train). I actually like "Five 0'clock au gingembre" as an office background scent. I'm wearing it today - it goes well with Monday morning, black pants and linen jacket. Have a great week, everybody!

Frenchie March 23, 2009

I've been looking for my wallpaper scent for ages now. NR edt was kind of it but I'm also partly anosmic to it :d I can only smell it for the first half hour or so. I used up the bottle fairly quickly because I would constantly re-apply. (I'm sure my office mates did not mind at all, hmmmm) So, despite the lovely half hour I can actually smell, I will not repurchase this one. Iris is the closest I have come to a wallpaper note. Lovely, elegant, doesn't scream its presence, never causes a headache, etc. My fave at the moment is Ferre, by P. Bourdon. (I find it similar to Iris Poudre but less sparkling and fizzy)

elizablue March 23, 2009

My no-brainer "easy" fragrances are Dolce Vita, Je Reviens by Worth, Eau Fraiche de Rochas is awesome for hot tropical weather, Tova, Samsara,Champs-Elysees, and Allure which changes nicely on me...Youth Dew amber nude is great for cooler weather.Winter I will do one spritz of YDAN and one spritz of classic Youth Dew--they combine beautifully--then I wait a while (coffee, makeup etc.) before going out in public--so the stronger ones I just spritz on early on so they fade nicely.Not a floral gal as you can tell!

Louise March 23, 2009

Great post, Marchele :x I too have been confoozled about the NRs but sprayed the "black bottle" one a while back and remember wondering what smelled so nice. Time for a Sephora run after work? I am still seeking that go-to scent; like CC, I have been using Eau Premiere to fulfill this category-and lately, #5 lotion-perfection, long-lasting, delicious. Since I have difficulty smelling BB, I also think that Rykiel for woman is truly an easy, throw-on scent-I wear it to meetings when I know I'll be seated near my boss, who has bad allergies. Now, what to wear for today...I need easy now, too. I think Cadjmere will be perfect, if a tad woody ;)

carter March 23, 2009

Okay A) you really wrote this one GOOD, March (*)and B) I know I just posted this, so at the risk of being even more boring than usual |-)but I've gotta go with Jolie Madame. It has to be the vintage one, though, and the only reason I'm volunteering this information is because I've stockpiled enough of it to last me the rest of my life so go ahead and knock yourselves out on Ebay 'cause I'm good to go. I first started wearing Jolie Madame when I was in high school way-way-way back in the '70s. My brother-in-law had been in Paris and brought a bottle home for my mother, who didn't much like it and I stole it from her bathroom drawer. What I loved about it then was that it was pretty like I thought a fragrance should be, but it had this other, semi-ugly thing going on -- just enough to get on my teen-aged nerves and keep me from boring myself to death. I realize now that it was the leather mixed in there with the violets, but in those days and at that age I didn't know from leather and thought that only sweet and pretty little flowers were what perfume was supposed to smell of. We're talking White Shoulders sweet, Anais, Anais sweet. I do happen to have my ragged and dirty copy of The Guide handy (okay, I sleep with it) so I'm going to let Luca 'splain how I feel about JM, because his description of it is dead-on and because he is God ^:)^ "...Jolie Madame was unusual in avoiding both plush and butch via a big fruity violet note that made what could have been a harsh, bitter leather in the style of Bandit instead the easiest to wear of the classic leathers, simultaneously girlish and tough, like a patent-leather Mary Jane. It was pretty but with plenty of spine: just about pefect. In fact, when I was asked by friends which perfume I'd choose if I were condemned by a heartless judge to marry one fragrance and stick to it, I said I'd take Jolie Madame, because it always seemed to hit the spot..."

fountaingirl March 23, 2009

I love NR, but I have a bottle of Lovely and to me they smell so similar that I can't bring myself to do more than a decant of NR. Lovely was my go-to forever though. Lately, I am all about Kielh's (but the oil roller ball, it doesn't get weirdly vegetal), Eau de Merveills, and Magie Noir EDT.

carmencanada March 23, 2009

Count me in the Narciso anosmics... All I get, honestly, is the orange blossom. I know what you mean about the white tee scent for women who don't wear white tees... Mine is, more or less, Chanel N°5 Eau Première. Or their Exclusives in the Eau de Cologne, though that never hangs on for long. They're my "can't go wrong with these" scents.

Nancy March 23, 2009

Such good timing for this post! I have recently been mulling over the same idea, as I really only have two perfumes that I can turn to, regardless of the season, location or mood. The first is Kiehl's Musk, a fairly recent acquisition, but my absolute reliable is Tocade. What I find amusing is that I'm a fan of neither dominant rose nor vanilla, except for this perfume. Tocade always makes me happy and never makes me sorry I put it on. I'm intrigued by your description of Narciso Rodriguez, and will give it a go.

tmp00 March 23, 2009

L’Antimatiere is one for summer. AG Musk is one for winter. They're white t-shirts, but ones that are hand finished and made of the nicest cotton available. The last one is Eau de Sud, which is most likely a bit redundant with my topsiders-and-lacoste lifestyle. But it's a delight, and that's enough. I always worry that I over apply though. You two were trapped in a car with me twice within about 20 minutes of me spritzing: what did you think?

Flora March 23, 2009

Interesting idea - I generally don't intentionally choose that sort of fragrance, but it's actually necessary sometimes, quite often in fact. When getting through the average workday takes all my focus, I don't want to be thinking about what might be bothering someone else, so I need something that stays close and behaves itself. I can't be the White Floral Queen at the office, nor can I go crazy with untried samples or my preferred bombshell perfumes. My go-to scents for this reason are Houbigant's Apercu, a dry chypre that never loses its manners, and for summer it's the 1999 Ines de la Fressange, a subtly fresh floral with just enough spicy carnation. In fact, I was perusing my fragrance collection recently and I decided that I do need another basic fragrance, indeed a "wallpaper scent", to alternate with those two. especially since Ines is discontinued now. So much of my collection is outside the mainstream that it's hard to grab something "civilized" when I need it. Bal a Versailles? Um, no! Gardenia Passion? Not for work! Something in a men's version? Sends the wrong message, perhaps. Datura Noir? Yeah, right. Max Mara? Close, but a bit sweet and un-serious in some situations, though I adore it. What I really want is something that smells wallpaper-ish without it being too mainstream, so the hunt is on! :-?

Masha March 23, 2009

Great post on a neglected topic! Barbara Bui is my "can wear it anytime" scent, but, though I have a huge bottle, it is discontinued, so I am stingy with it. My other one is LB's Roma, everyone seems to like it, it's very soft, but not invisible. It's also very reasonably priced in Europe, so I can wear it frequently with no worries. I am anosmic to most macrocyclic musks so I have never smelled NR of any kind on anyone, ever, and I probably never will. Everyone says it's nice, though....