The Commercial and Non-Commercial

dangerous-high-school-girls-in-trouble-art

Update on the VI Peel:  I’m much, much, much happier today!!!  Most of the peeling is done or winding up, and my face has emerged out from under all this mess, and it looks amazing.  There’s still some peeling, just a little redness, but the skin is so fresh and glowing as it starts peeping through. It was completely worth it. Pictures will be up next week, just want to make sure the rest of the redness and peeling is done.  I assume everyone’s heal time is different. I tend to heal pretty quickly. I don’t smoke, I exercise, I’m in great health, my skin turns over pretty fast, and it took a week before I was willing to go out in public without a veil or dark glasses and a hat on.  So plan on that, if you do this.  If your heal time is less, great!  I get to go back to yoga tomorrow, yeah!!!!

Well, that is if my back cooperates. Somehow I pulled a stupid, hard to get to muscle right between my spine and my shoulder blade.  Ow.  Sometimes it feels fine, then I move in a certain way or overuse my mouse hand, which seems to irritate it unbelievably.  I finally gave in today and quit trying to do stuff, put on Ben-Gay, heat, etc., and it seems to be better. I had no idea such a small area that I can’t even reach could hurt so much.  When it was spasming, it hurts to breathe, to bend, to stretch.  Okay, I’ll stop whining.

Shall we start with the commercial? Sure. Jo Malone’s newest release, Vanilla & Anise, was one I had smelled in London as a preview, liked it well enough, but I never can remember enough detail to write about things if I don’t do it as I put it on and keep sniffing and writing about it through the drydown.  So now I have enough to try and think about.  Notes of bergamot, neroli, wild fennel flower, star anise, oleander, tuberose, frangipani, purple vanilla orchid, clove, white amber, vetiver, vanilla bourbon absolute and tonka bean make this up.  It’s only mildly vanilla, not the heavy sugary variety, more the vanilla pod variety.  On the initial spray, I got some melony aquaticky thing that blew off in a few minutes. I really didn’t want to have to report this to y’all because I knew that would be a deal-breaker (looking at you, March!). Is that the orchid that causes that?  I’ve noted that burst of aquatics in most of the perfumes that list vanilla orchid in the notes. The anise note is there, but also not loud or busy.   It has a nice floral base, and it’s not really emphasizing any one note over another, which makes it well-blended, but not quirky or unusual. Pretty definitely, and I’d happily wear this – it’s great for the office or any event where you don’t want your perfume to announce you, but you want to smell good to yourself and those near you. As a Jo Malone scent, it fits their brand, which is light, easy to wear fragrances that tend to not offend anyone or hang around too long so you get tired of it, but are very likable. Jo Malone fragrances are that one girl in high school that everyone liked. She wasn’t too popular, and the boys weren’t panting after her, but you liked hanging out with her because she was uncomplicated, not moody or difficult and shared her makeup.  She never overstayed her welcome.

When I first smelled Aftelier Cepes & Tuberose a couple of years ago, I about lost it. I thought it was horrible, who would wear something that smelled of dirt, mushrooms and tuberose?  I re-tried my sample this week. Okay, I get it. I’m not sure I want to smell like this, especially on the open, but I really like smelling it.  Who am I kidding?  I do want to smell like this, I’m just not sure I want to be around other people when I smell like this because they may look at me funny.  The blending of the carnality of tuberose with the mushrooms is perfect, which is amazing when you think that those two things should never go together.  I don’t get the animalics that other people describe. Yeah, it’s earthy, but not raunchy. The longer it’s on, the more shrill aspects of the perfume are minimized, and it just flows into an incredibly lovely drydown, and, hey, I think I can wear this in public after an hour!  C & T is that other girl you knew in high school.  She wasn’t as easy to like, but she was a lot more interesting.

These two perfumes are at opposite ends of the today’s perfume market.  The Jo Malone will likely be a big best-seller for them.  Aftelier’s Cepes & Tuberose probably sells a small fraction of the units Jo Malone sells.  I’d almost guess they don’t sell in a year what JM sells in a day.  The commercial and the noncommercial.  It’s often tough writing these reviews because I know the commercial perfumes aren’t always that interesting to smell, and they’re often not very interesting to write about, but lots of people want to try them and find out what they are like.  Many people  will ultimately buy it and probably love it and wear it happily.  If I put my full snark on for the commercial, mainstream perfumes, I’d wind up saying very little nice at all about most of the releases.  It’s not that I don’t like them or think they are poorly done, I just understand the market they’re going for, and the perfumes they produce can’t be shocking, interesting perfumes that we’d like to see more of because those perfumes do not have broad appeal and sell a lot less.  So they wind up a little blander, more likable, less interesting, and they make a ton of money.  Do I slam them because they’re commercial?  I don’t because I think most of them, knowing the market they are going for, are well done for that market.  I can’t say they are bad because they are good for what they were designed to do. I tend to use catch-all phrases for most of these more commercial perfumes, like they aren’t groundbreaking or they didn’t take a risk, which is my clue that it’s nice, it’s commercial, you won’t hate it, but the hard-core perfumista probably won’t find anything new in the scent.

It is a conundrum.  One that I turn over in my head a lot. Most of you probably notice that I tend not to write negative reviews anymore.  I almost wrote about Marc Jacobs new Lola – the only thing I liked about it was the bottle, but only because that flower thing is ridiculously over the top risky – but I didn’t because they didn’t make that perfume for me or most of you.  There was a time when I was being much harder on those perfumes, but then I found myself feeling really jaded about perfume,and I didn’t like that at all..  It still takes a lot for a perfume to just blow me away.  A couple have recently, but they get fewer and farther between.  Not because they aren’t still making good perfumes, but so many of them are like something else, and it’s really hard to smell something that is really new and really great.  I can’t/won’t gush about a commercial perfume unless it is really great, but I do try to find what is nice in it, what works, if it is well made, even if a little dull or been done before.

For those of you that have been huffing scent for a long time, how do you deal with making sure you don’t become jaded?  Is it just recognizing that you’ve been around the perfume block a lot of times, and it’s not the perfume’s fault you’ve hit that before  – more than a few times?  For those of you that are new to perfume, I make some assumptions about you – that it is all new, that you have a lot of things to try, and you aren’t really caring that much about how unique/weird/freaky it is, you want to find some stuff that you think smells great, right?

For me, the new Jo Malone smells great, but it is most definitely not unique/weird/freaky.  Cepes & Tuberose actually doesn’t smell that freaky or weird to me anymore, just really gorgeous.  Yeah, it’s like that now.

39 Comments

  1. Can’t wait to see pictures of your glowing new skin.

    La la la, lucky me, I’m too new to perfume-love to be jaded. Too many good things still unsniffed!

    Your back business sounds exactly like what happened to me, same spot and all–a spasming muscle (yes, on my mousing side) literally pulled one of my ribs right out of its socket. It took two chiropractic treatments to relax the muscle enough to pop the thing back in its place. Hope yours is better soon.

    • Oh, yikes! I hope it’s not as bad as that, but it’s been going on a week. I’m thinking about calling my rolfer and moving my appointment up cuz I know she can fix this!!!!

      • If you have the same thing, I bet your Rolfer can pop it right back in.

  2. First up: I’m just dying to see the new skin pictures….I hadn’t been around in a while and missed everything about the peel until you were already barricaded at home and going incognito…I don’t personally think I could deal with surgery but my mid 40’s skin is extremely intrigued by the rejuvenating possibilities of this…so of course I need to know exactly what it’s called and where you went…please tell me it did not cost a kidney (I’d hate for better looking skin to interfere with my perfume budget!) so thank you for allowing us all to participate in this small way.

    Second: perfumes….I’m with Francesca, new enough to find so many perfumes interesting. And your assumptions are pretty much right on the dot…I want to find things that smell really great…to wear…..but I’ve been around just long enough to appreciate sniffing the unusual and weird, even if I do occasionally make a face or in some cases (I’m looking at you Secretions Magnifique) hold back my gorge. Did I say ‘hold back’? I meant ‘fight back’…make that “struggle to fight back’ oh, you get the idea! But I have to say, I’m having a wonderful time sniffing them all.

    thirdly: oh your poor back! I feel your pain…sheesh, I’m squinting and clenching my teeth just thinking about it!!!
    I tend to get a nice big knot in that very same spot…I find that a pain reliever like advil that reduces muscle swelling and lying flat on a heating pad will help to relieve the pain and it’ll gradually feel better eventually. I’ve found that (at least for me) it is related to posture at my dear computer…I put my right hand on the mouse and before you know it the right shoulder has dropped and my spine begins to make a nice s-type curve then that lovely muscle starts with some burning and then a few nice spasms…it’s either the trapezius or rhomboideus muscle group….next time you are at the computer and your hand is on the mouse—FREEZE–and examine your body alignment. Roll forward on your pelvis so your lumbar back is slightly curved in toward the desk,not out toward the chair back…. straighten your shoulders (do that whole ‘good posture’ thing our moms nagged about…turns out they were onto something…darn it) shoulders drop back, level…head up, chin slightly down. Not trying to nag you or anything, just trying to prevent this from happening next time. … I’ll be quiet now…

    • NOpe, nope, not a fortune!! I went to La Fontaine in Cherry Creek, the peel was $250, which isn’t that bad as these things go.

      Now, a lot of people say retin-A will give you the same results, but my skin tends to the ruddy all the time anyway, I just worry about treating it daily with retin-A. But I am going to ask about it when I’m in next.

      Also going to try the Obagi skin products, which are supposed to do a constant sloughing process of the skin. It’s the crap on the surface that makes your skin look its worst.

      Plus I’m a big believer in the laser. That thing is skin magic. I wish it lasted longer, but I can go about 3-6 months between them. I’ve gone longer, as I did this time, but it shows too.

      I know it is my mousing that’s problematic, and I’ve been really careless with it, but now I’m being super-careful and practicing good posture and keeping my mouse in front of me instead of over on the table to the side of me, which is just horrible!!!

      • OK, I’m a little embarrassed to ask this question about face peels, Retin-A, scrubbers et.al. But you know, there are no dumb questions, just inquisitive idiots, so I’ll ask. There are spots on my fingers and elbow where the skin gets rubbed frequently. Those spots first sloughed off skin, then they did what all over-rubbed spots do–they formed a heavier skin called a callus. So if I keep working off that top layer, am I in danger of my face producing a heavier, rougher skin? Because that sure looks like what it’s doing. Maybe just age, but still. . .

        • Not a dermatologist here, but I don’t believe you’d have to worry about callusing from getting a peel or exfoliating frequently. The construction of the skin on your fingers and elbows is different from that on your face. Plus you’re not putting nearly the constant pressure and friction on a small, specific area like when you are writing, or holding down strings like on a guitar or violin. The chemical peel is really just burning the top layers (no pressure, no friction) and exfoliating is more like a gentle sanding. so some friction but little pressure and the amount of time involved should be pretty miniscule. I’m a big believer in using gentle scrubs (J&J baby wash and granulated sugar is cheap and pretty effective—works GREAT on hands especially) But I’m wondering if a chem. peel would do something about the discoloration I’m picking up along my jawline (more sunscreen would help but it makes me itchy). sigh

          • Thanks, Daisy, that makes sense. Thanks for explaining it to me. I have to wear sunscreen all the time, and I found two that work very well for my super-sensitive skin. One is a Lubriderm handcream plus sunscreen that I use on my hands. Aveeno makes the same thing. Nothing ages faster than hands. The other is by DHC and is a sunscreen and moisturizer that I use on my face and neck

          • thanks for the sunscreen tip Quinn, Most sunscreens burn or itch or both or my personal favorite patches of red bumps…that itch…….I’ve become a creature of the night! or at least a creature of “after 4PM” . I will give the DHC a try. 🙂

  3. I’m still a relative newbie, having fallen seriously into scent 3 years ago this fall, and I find myself somewhat bewildered with how quickly I progressed from excitement at everything to much more limiting standards. I’m really at the point where I’ve got two threads going – the quest to smell everything there is to smell, and the fulfillment of certain emotional and/or atmospheric needs through the identification of the HGs in each important (to me) category. These impulses conflict much more for me nowadays, because I’m starting to feel sorely let down when I smell something that is only marginally different, marginally better, or just plain worse than some scent that really impressed me. I’m beginning to tire of the need for endless permutations, and beginning to trust my nose. Here’s a weird thing – the frags that took my breath away at any given point still do. Is there another level of ennui where that falls away too?

    I can still recall the way I felt about it all in the beginning. It was only partly about smelling good even then. It was, I think, primarily about seeking that emotional and imaginative thrill that only certain scents evoke. The uniqueness of the scent actually matters in that game.

    • That sounds about right. I know early on I wanted to smell lots and lots of lines/types, and it helped me narrow down what I really liked/didn’t like, what I wanted to wear, what I appreciated, but didn’t want to wear.

      No,that doesn’t go away. There are still fragrances that take my breath away, and I found some of them early on and still feel the same about them. Apres L’Ondee, En Passant, Dzing, Passage d’Enfer, Iris Silver Mist, and on and on. Those have long been staples for me that I never tire of smelling.

  4. I thought maybe I was starting to get a little immune to the endless throngs of new “niche” releases (especially since the new D&G line, it was just so nondescript and uninteresting)

    and then… it just hit me one day: I wanted a Chypre. Those scents that I never “got” before, just hit me over the head with a rock and dragged me off. I really appreciate something more than pleasant for pleasant’s sake. Also I feel like my nose is “growing up” – not that I was ever a big fruity person, but I was really enamored with vetivers and incense and florals mostly.

    • Kristy, do you have any favorites yet? I love me some great big Chypres, and it’s so cool that they are made for women who really know what they want out of life – grown-ups! I just couldn’t get enough of them once I figured out that’s what they were. My philosophy is that you just can’t have too much Oakmoss. 😀

    • Isn’t that cool? I’ve gone through a lot of phases with perfumes, some I think I don’t like, then all of a sudden, they fascinate me. Your nose does grow up and does tolerate more smells that are outside of normal.

      Really indolic jasmine used to repulse me. Now? Love it. 🙂

      • I’m new to perfume and I’m definitely at the really-replused-by-indolic-jasmine stage. I got a sample of Le Parfum de Thérèse to see what all the fuss was about. One evening I squirted a bit on my arm while noodling around on my computer and I almost yorked. For real. First time that’s happened. Sacrilege, I know but right now I feel if I ever smell it again it’ll be too soon.

        • Oh, listen, I still can’t do Therese. Not sure why. I admire the creation, but it is just so foul and overbearing. So is Noir Epices.

          There, I’m a cretin too. 🙂

          • The Cretin Trio! While it doesn’t make me york (I love that term, btw) I fail to see what the fuss is about. Not quite ‘foul’ to me but certainly overbearing.

            Patty, I meant to yammer sooner, sorry – LONG day, sick dog (bad reaction to heart meds – he’s fine now but lots and lots of rug shampooing – talk about FOUL)

            Anyway, La Belle Enabler and I were having this discussion re some of TDC offerings – I’m loving Charmes et Feuillettes, as I have mentioned not a few times on here, but I think I love it precisely because it isn’t trying to be much more than ‘pretty’. It’s certainly more complex than any of the Malones but not by much – I certainly wouldn’t call it challenging or even “Interesting’ – and as La Belle E and I agreed, sometimes that’s exactly what you want!

            glad your skin is healing so beautifully, with such beautiful results! That kind of serious peel is a bit riskier for more pigmented skin – the risk of color-patching is great – but a gentle exfoliation never hurt anybody! I’m all for those! Glad your more intense peel gave such wonderful results!

            xoxoxo >-)

    • Ha ha ha! Chypre the Caveman conked you over the head and dragged you off to the mossy cave to have his way with you… I love that image!

      I still can’t handle the bitter green chypres – it’s gotta have a ton o’ florals for me to deal, but I have recently discovered a love for floral chypres like L’arte di Gucci and Ungaro Diva.

  5. Poor dear, as a veteran of many back problems, I know how obnoxious it is – you just can’t do ANYTHING that doesn’t hurt.

    I am not jaded when it comes to the good perfumes, I hope I never get there, and I smell my favorites over and over again when I go into a shop – but going to Macy’s or Sephora can either bore or depress me because it’s all the SAME after a few minutes, they all turn to sweet gooey plastic after an initial burst of anonymous citrus or other “fresh” note, after which things devolve. The ones that are not too sweet are so ozonic and harsh that they are like fingernails on a blackboard – D & G Light Blue, I am looking at you. So when I do find something I love in a place like that, I get really excited. It happens very rarely, but it happens.

    • It is obnoxious!!! I want to do stuff, but I just can’t. Most vexing. Then it goes through periods where it feels okay, then just starts spasming again.

      I can’t even do reviews on most of the designer things anymore. When they are good, it surprises me!!! There used to be a lot more good designer scents. There’s a fine line between being commercial, but also doing someething at least marginally interesting.

  6. Patty–I hope your muscle situation improves. I think I’ve gotten what you have before and I never know exactly how it happened either. Maybe you could treat yourself to a massage and just make sure they’re aware of the problem and work on the area gently.

    I don’t think I’m enough of a perfume expert to be jaded yet, but I’ve never liked the super sweet scents. However, I still enjoy the easier to love, easygoing florals, even if they don’t surprise and astound me. And yes, I do still want to smell everything, especially the ones that sound weird.

    • I dont’ think I’ve ever had this kind of back problem before. It’s just weird.

      There is a lot to be said for an easy perfume that is also pretty. I still like them, no matter how many I’ve smelled. Some more than others, but there’s a lot of times I want my smell to be effortless and just to be a more bland, but attractive background.

      I think that’s why I like the Jo Malones, they fit that bill perfectly!

  7. Interesting post- it does get me thinking. I’m just over a year into the game, and it’s funny to look at my life before then. It’s so incomprehensible to imagine life pre-perfume…Anyway, I suppose I’m still in that place where I want to smell everything too just to smell it. However, I’ve already progressed to that point where I want things to be unique, different, something “more”. The whole reason I have perfumes around is because I want them to take me somewhere with every sniff. Each is like a gateway into a new world, and I suppose you want to keep seeing places you’ve never been, right? But yes, the familiar neighborhoods are always home (the Shalimars, the No. 5’s, Mitsouko’s, etc.)I have a feeling it’s like this in every artistic category, be it painting, music, or whatever, but I have to wonder if it is a certain type of person who generally gravitates to the outside of a given genre where things play outside of the box and push the boundaries. I even have this war within myself where I like the conventionally beautiful (again, paintings, music, etc) but yet also need those areas that are shocking, new, expansive, dangerous. Do we have this dynamic interplay going on in all of us?

    • I think that’s a really good place to be at. Some things need to be familiar and/or comforting, and then you can go chasing off after the stuff that smells like things you had no idea you wanted to smell. 🙂

  8. I try to keep myself a little bit ignorant. Not hard to do, especially in a town without a decent perfume store (or any possibility of trying niche scents without swapping or buying). I think that if I haven’t smelled Absolutely Everything, then the experience of testing is somehow fresher, more likely to elicit memory or other thought. This applies to all of the arts, at least for me.

  9. Glad to hear your face is back and you’re no longer resembling one of these slightly disturbing United Way ads we have going on up here where people peel off their skins. (Semi-related aside: I saw a poster ad yesterday for promoting school integration for kids with disabilities. It had a picture of a cute down syndrome child and it said: “Chances are he won’t cure cancer, walk on the moon or become Prime Minister. And neither will you.” It went on to say that such children have other things to give, just like all children. Great!)

    I go through periods of jadedness, like many people, but I’ve become okay with them. I know now that my interest in perfume will always return, and the periods of ennui just end up saving me money. Usually, I go through my perfume cupboard and sample bags if I’m feeling particularly down. Stuff you never appreciated before and that now seems *fantastic* always seems to end up in there, and that gets me started on the hunt again. I have noted that you generally write positive reviews and I think it’s refreshing. I often don’t mind some snark, but it’s nice to know I can come here on Tuesdays and Thursdays and find something worth checking out.

  10. I don’t go through periods of jadedness exactly, but there are times when none of the new releases interest me. I wish I could say that I save money during these “dry” periods. I usually just wind up on ebay, hunting down bottles of my tried and true vintage favorites.

    As for the commercial vs the non, the easy to wear vs the classic and challenging (civet anybody?) or the weird and wonderful? I will wear just about anything that is well-composed and suits my tastes. The worst of the commercials smell hastily thrown-together and synthetic. The best of them are perfectly fine. I might not buy a full bottle, but I admire them for what they are.

    I hope that you are back in yoga classes and/or climbing mountains asap! And I can’t wait to see pictures of your transformed skin.

  11. I have been seriously involved in perfumes for 3-4 years. I am eager to sample anything interesting: I want to know what it smells like. That being said, I am very picky about full bottles; I generally plan a purchase for at least a year before actually springing for one. The goal for me is to find a fragrance that I will want to wear many times. That does not have to be “interesting” from the perfumista standpoint. My last purchase was Hypnotic Poison because I had read on POL that the Diors had been reformulated but the person who posted helpfully described the difference between the boxes and bottles, so I found one of the old formula ones and snapped it up. Now, if only I knew what the older style box of Addict looked like.

  12. I consider myself a newbie to perfume appreciation. And as much as I love things that smell great, I find that I’m already finding myself drawn to things that are weird and/or complex.

    Last night I went out for beer with a few friends. I’m not a fan of that hoppy, bitter taste that builds up on my tongue about halfway through my first pint. I’ve had a lot of wheat beers, which are not bitter, but which seem to taste alike to me lately. Nice, but boring. I asked for recommendations, and the server brought me a couple of samples. One was perfectly pleasant and a bit sweet. No bitterness at all. But “linear”, I guess, if one were to think of it as a perfume. The second was…interesting. A bit more challenging to my developing beer palate. I had to have the second one.

    This is the beeer, btw, in case you are curious. http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/259/1708/

    I find it interesting, but not surprising, that my recently increased interest in perfume roughly coincides with my recently increased interest in wine, beer, coffee, gardening. It’s all about the smell. And the taste, but mostly the smell.

  13. The big question. Could be presented as commercial v complex, easily comprehended v difficult, familiar v exotic. (But not quality vs cheap…that’s a materials, not a price point, issue. Though, hold the phone, of course there are some creative and pleasant results in the cheap materials arena…but not many.)

    I find myself nodding with a number of comments already made–I am also still too early in the curve to be jaded, and I also rather cultivate/protect the “I don’t know yet” areas of my knowledge. In addition, I find myself with another “versus”: the issue of taking time to develop a relationship with a perfume vs. madcap accumulation of various scent experiences. Sometimes I envy people who have the time and resources to sample multiple perfumes in a day, sometimes I wonder how in the world that practice can ever lead to a meaningful pronouncement on a scent’s importance/impact on you. After all, my goal is to decide which perfume(s) I can live with, and how. It’s one area of my life where Big Love just might work…but I can’t juggle hundreds of meaningful relationships. And I don’t think I want to.

    A few dozen might be the ultimate result, though. With some meaningful friendships beyond that. I have, after all, accepted that I am a “wardrobe” and not signature scent kind of person. Though I think I might have signature scents emerge out of eras in my life…time will tell….

    The other thing is, I would worry about it becoming too much about slapping me with something new, something beyond my pale. I do believe there is a serious challenge in doing everything well (the old saw about the perfect vanilla ice cream, for example)…as well as much to be gained from deeply appreciating the common/easily obtained/seemingly obvious.

    If I’m lucky, I’ll have a long life, and play with these questions for a long time. 🙂

    • BTW, welcome back to full frontal public life. 🙂 We need you charging about to yoga class, climbing mountains…discovering cool little nicelies…

  14. I’m only about a year-and-a-half into the perfume obsession, so I’m still about trying to smell everything – to an extent. I’ve been trying to expand the niche fragrances that I’ve tried and try some of the higher end dept. frag and well-reviewed cheap thrills.

    The latest Paris/Britney/J.Lo flankers, on the other hand, hold no interest for me. In fact, I listlessly made my way through Sephora last week, sniffing way (on paper mostly) and was bored, bored, bored. The only things that I really liked were things that I already owned or had tried (Shalimar, Gucci Envy). The highlight of my trip was freaking out the SA by comparing Guerlain AA Pampelune to cat pee. I did discover that I still don’t get Fracas – still too *something* for me. And I forgot to resniff Bvlgari Black to see if I could get past the burnt rubber smell yet.

    I guess I’m still in the looking for something (new or old) exciting, fresh, and different. Although I do like to just smell good sometimes – so those are Tuberose Gardenia or Pure White Linen Breeze or Fleur d’Oranger 27 days.

  15. Patty, I am of the Ruddy Type. In pictures, while everyone else looks skin-coloured, I am the rosy-pink one. That’s why I shied away from the retinoids before. But this Tazorac stuff (I should own stock!) actually makes my skin look LESS red. Go figger. Anyway, because I’m pretty careful about money and down-time, I’d say that Tazorac is cheaper than a peel, has no real down-time (you might peel a little at first, but you can just use it every few days until your skin adjusts), and your skin will look at least as good, consistently. What have you got to lose? A visit to the doc, $60 for six months supply (Canadian funds, so yours should be closer to $50), and you’re off to the races.

    Great topic today. I could write volumes, since I’ve been kicking around the classics since the early seventies, experienced the big-shouldered scents of the eighties, the fruity-floral-gourmands of the nineties and got all niche-crazy in the last three or so years. Currently I’m on a vintage kick, and that’s keeping the jadedness at bay. What I love about old stuff is that it’s helping me put the new stuff in context. Now that I know the iconic old leathers pretty well, for example, I can place the hyper-modern Kelly Caleche edp in the grand scheme of things; now that I’m familiar with the classic chypres, I can understand where the oakmoss-free 31 Rue Cambon is coming from. It really deepens my understanding — and appreciation — of everything I get to sniff these days. From a practical standpoint, I can get a bigger bang for my buck (sensational vintage Bal a Versailles for $20 versus $200 for high-end niche) and there’s something so indescribably nifty about owning an old rarity that’s in dwindling supply, made from materials that we may never experience again: real civet, un-treated oakmoss. Anyone can fork over the big money for a bottle of Roja Dove, but how easy is it to track down a bottle of Schiaparelli’s Succes Fou (one of the most beautiful sandalwoods I’ve ever, every encountered)? To me, that’s priceless.

  16. Congratulations on emerging from the peel, and on discovering your love for Cepes! I love Cepes & Tuberoselike nobody’s business–it’s all giant, slinky panther on me, and is definitely more squeee-worthy than anything by Jo Malone, IMHO. It’s one of the few ‘fumes that I actually had to have a backup bottle, which I almost never do.

    With my scent-devouring skin, I probably got more jaded, faster than most; if after 20 minutes all that remains is ‘odeur du generic base’, you end up being a lot more stingy with what truly deserves your praise and $$$. I just accept my jadedness, and put the onus onto the perfumers of the world to amaze me. I hear there are still a few interested in making truly great/interesting perfumes. 😉
    I’ll save my money and time for them, and let the fluff settle on down the market of its own accord.

  17. I’ve been into the perfume obsession now for about 5-6 years, and although I still seek out everything to sniff (commercial and niche alike) I almost never buy a commercial bottle any more because I know I won’t reach for it, even if it smells nice. Smelling nice just isn’t good enough any more – if I’m going to commit 8+ hours to a scent, I want it to be WOW, fantastic. I have so many gorgeous niche scents now that I can smell amazing every day of the week, so I’m getting rid of all my “nice” commercial scents that just don’t do it for me any more.

  18. Truly appreciate your sharing about the peel and other treatments! Definitely is helping me decide what to do and when. And hope your back is feeling better. Heaven knows I relate.
    Don’t think I’m jaded, but there are only so many variations I am interested in having on particular notes or types of scents. For something to make me want to own it these days, it has to be genuinely unique or connect in an extremely powerful way to some personal memory or association. I also find I care more and more that only the highest quality ingredients have been used and I prefer parfum to other concentrations because I like the fact that they have less sillage and often (but not always, of course) there will be greater development of the base notes, which are my faves. I am into *serious* stockpiling these days of my favorite scents. This is partly due to my concerns about incessant reformulations, the fact that discontinuations are a constant reality and worries that a lot of my favorite small perfumers may not always remain in business (Yosh and Jalaine are at the top of this list). I think there are only six or seven new perfumes so far this year I’ve felt were essential to my life. But do I continue to be hopeful? Oh, yeah! Am super psyched about the new OJ and am tapping my fingers waiting for the new Ineke, VC&As and SLs. Sadly, just tried the new Kilian, which I’d been waiting for so impatiently and it was a total bust. I know I should be relieved, but I’m not. I still live for the thrill of the hunt and love falling in love w/ new scents. 🙂

  19. This was a great topic. I like how you compared the two fragrances … I smelled the Anise and thing is, I can’t think of anything to say about it! Pleasant enough…. I totally get Cepes, although I wouldn’t personally wear it. Cool, cool scent though.

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