Smells Like Friendship

In perfume blogging, as in perfume, or even life, sometimes I FAIL.  I spent hours on and off for three days trying to come up with a post for today.  The new Cartiers?  Haven’t sorted them out yet.  The Van Cleefs?  I love that Cheesedenia, but that’s not much of a review, is it?   The Acqua di Parma Magnolia … dude, is that pear in there?  Say it ain’t so.  My swag wank post is just too screedy to stick on here.   I accidentally bought a bottle from Latvia (oops!  Read those seller locations on eBay!) so that’s not here.  Another purchase was a bust, still working on sorting that.   Wah wah wah.

I can feel it, that wet, gray blanket trying to rise up and throw itself over my head.  Ain’t happening, gray blanket.  Get on out of here.  Go on, take that small black cloud with you.   I will ward you off with my magic potion.  Maybe some Theorema, although right now it’s all about Serge Lutens’ Fleurs d’Oranger.  I wonder if I put on every single orange fragrance I own simultaneously, will I die of happiness?  Or just kill everyone around me?

Tonight I finally gave up on several things, including writing a decent perfume post, and the small black cloud over my head and I went to a double-date at the movies.  I saw Paris, which is playing in our local art-house, here’s a link.  Going down the elevator to the theater I saw Louise and Nancy coming up.  (Do not ask them about what I was wearing, you will not like the answer.  It was not chic, let’s leave it at that, my recent clothing upgrade efforts notwithstanding.)

So that’s my perfume insight for today – are you ready?  Perfume people are wonderful. I can stand there in the lobby of a movie theater getting some hugs and love and hot perfume tips and in about five minutes I notice the black cloud is smaller (Paris helped too.  Paris always does, doesn’t it?)  Perfume people pat me on the arm and crack jokes and commiserate, and when I get home from the movie there’s a warm email waiting, right there, in my inbox, that says hang in there as the subject line.  You show me better friends than perfume people.

So fear not.  It’s a seasonal thing, a chronic pain that I know how to treat.  I’m ramping up the exercise and etc.   It’s all good, but in the meantime I might as well try to make your visit useful – did you all know that RIGHT THIS SECOND, LuckyScent has those you-can’t-have-any Le Labo City exclusives? Oh yeah they do.   Here’s a link. I am wondering how you feel about that?  I mean, if you had someone mule a precious bottle back from Tokyo, are you pissed that you can now order this baby up online?  (I heard this was a limited number of bottles, comment if you know the deets.)  On the other hand, that city exclusive thing bugs me, I am a perfume egalitarian.   So if you’ve been dreaming, here’s your chance.  I personally wish Santa would bring me a bottle of Poivre even though I have not been terribly good this year.

So today’s question, and I am pretty sure I got to thinking about this after reading the comments on this post on Grain de Musc – do you select your fragrance to match your mood (or the task at hand, or whatever?)  Or do you use fragrance to try to change something – feel sexier, feel happier, whatever.  Hey, you probably do both, but one more than the other?   My honest answer would be that more often than not I use it to self-medicate, often as a soother, or a cheer-me-up.  Mitsouko or vintage Femme is my don’t-mess-with-me suit of armor.  I’d say I wear fragrance far more often to effect a change than to maintain the status quo.

And that’s … it.  Not even a decent, pithy closing paragraph.  Sorry.  I’m going to put my pajamas on and go make myself a big bowl of Cream of Wheat with maple syrup and brown sugar.  There’s some comfort for you.

  • mi-cuit says:

    March! No people like perfume people! Who else takes the time to discuss perfume without excessive eye-rolling and muttering obsessive freak under their breath? :d

    The weekend started out pretty fun until Sunday. That’s when the storm hit and it lasted until yesterday, and I HATE RAIN AND WINTER GLOOM! Today’s sunshine has repaired my mood. For the weekend however, I drenched myself in vintage Parfum Sacre in EDP. By some miracle, I had scored myself a bottle of EDP and one of Parfum on Friday, and it turned out to be a wonderful, rich, but subdued (contradictory, but it really is both rich and subdued) rose. It was the perfect fix against the rain. Oh, and btw, the parfum cost me $50. How’s that for Le Labo prices? 😉

  • Tara C says:

    I think the prices on the Le Labo city exclusives are about right – I’m sure I paid at least $400 for the Vanille 44 100ml bottle I bought in Paris. The Poivre might have been a little less. With the vagaries of the (very bad) exchange rate, I’m not too surprised at the prices. It’s what, about $1.50 per euro right now? And I find the exclusive availability mildly annoying, but not enough to put me off purchasing a scent if I really like it. Where there’s a will there’s a way, and I like the thrill of the chase. I have ordered the Gaiac and I’m happy to hear I’ll be able to get a refill later. I guess I’m not feeling too crabby. 🙂

  • Over the years, I have discovered that as I run away from pain and sadness, it is stronger and faster and catches up with me. So now I sit with it, entertain it, offer to feed it. I hate that part. The more I do not give in to avoiding it, hiding from it, the smaller it becomes. Not quickly, I might add. Sometimes it vanishes, sometimes it shrinks, sometimes I get used to it. In any case, I no longer find it unbearable, because I have born it. The only way around is through, Robert Frost said. As to perfume, as I sit with pain, my sense of smell changes. Some days I can not abide to mix pain with florals. I do not demand that of myself. I explore and wear what I delight in, and that changes every day.

  • ScentRed says:

    I tend to use scents to amplify good moods (fun, lighthearted or sexy, temper bad moods or buffer my sensibilities from the world. AG Eau de Sud or Chevrefeuille are examples for the former, Bois des Iles, Theorema or DK Gold for the latter two situations. I’ve recently extended the reach of the healing properties of scent. On Saturday I purposely wore Theorema because my husband was having a stressful, depressing, exhausting day. I hoped that Theorema (one of his favorites) would act like extra arms to wrap him in, since I have only two.

  • Lee says:

    Hugs. I’m a sad sack like you. Been crazy busy gardening this year (i.e. spending every possible moment outdoors) to try and ward off the invasion of Mr Bleak and Madame Ennui. Mixed results, but more chipper than normal


    • March says:

      MR. Bleak and Madame Ennui… if they got hitched, they’d be the Bleak-Ennuis, wouldn’t they? Let’s try to keep them apart. 😡

  • Kathryn says:

    Thank you for reminding me of why I like AG Sables. It conjures oatmeal mush with maple syrup. Sorry you’re sorting fragrance issues. Which fragrance was it and maybe we (I) will have some to offer up in homage (femmage?) for your crisp and hilarious writing.

    • March says:

      The scent FAIL- it’s a small perfumer, and in my opinion the scent didn’t smell right, which was an interesting position to find myself in. I wrote a letter, we will see. No big deal, though, in a way this is more interesting. Thanks for offering, though!

  • Norjunma1 says:

    March, it sounds like, in true creative fashion, the gray cloud cover and writing frustrations are two sides of the same coin. Kudos then, on managing to write a post that is as clever and charming as always!

    As for perfume selection: it’s mood MSG. I wear it when I want to enhance my feelings, even the funky, not-so-great feelings. Why? It makes the great moods feel even greater (as we all know), and acts as an accelerent for the blues (i.e., it amps up the gloomy fog and burns it off faster).

  • mariekel says:

    Quite honestly, I am annoyed at Luckyscent’s prices for these bottles. Most of them are cheaper to order directly from their stores, even with long-distance shipping. Of course, if you have a friend in the relvant city, that helps, too. I priced the 50ml Poivre 23 at around $200. Friend picks it up and sends it to me for about another 10.00. LS would have charged me $50 more.

  • Disteza says:

    So sorry to hear of the icky weekend! WE had mucho fun Saturday, despite the dinstinct lack of trick’r treaters and the rain. Turns out the Alliance Francaise throws a heckuva party, AND there were people there who knew stuff about perfume, AND a champagne bar. Of course, Sunday was all about doing penance for Saturday night’s excesses b-( .

    As for picking perfume, there’s no discernible method to my madness. Some days I’m matching my mood, others I’m matching my outfit. There are science experiment/layering days, new stuff days, back shelf cobweb clearing days, blindly groping for something in the dark days…I’m sure if I collected the data and charted it the next big stock market predictor alogorithm would be hiding in there somewhere.

  • violetnoir says:

    Yeah, I knew about the exclusives at Luckyscent, too. I do love the Poivre, but I’m not biting, either. Too exclusive…too expensive…too whatever!

    I definitely use perfume to self-medicate! 😉 Better than taking to the bottle…

    Let the sun shine in, babe, ’cause I love all of your posts!

    Hugs and love!

  • karin says:

    I’ll gladly jump onto the crabby bandwagon. Went to a house warming party this weekend only cause I had to. Not that I didn’t want to see my friend, but all those other people – do I really have to talk to them? Ugh!!! After about 2 minutes, I asked my husband if he was ready to leave yet. He just laughed at me. I slipped outside onto the deck, thinking I’d escape unnoticed. Didn’t work.

    And to admit a general everyday crabbiness – I dread having to go through the daily hygiene and getting cute ritual – shower, shave (ugh), moisturize, blow dry, make up, something decent to wear. It’s all so time consuming and boring! And as I get older, the more time consuming it becomes, and the more bored I get with it. There are so many better things I could be doing with my time. Though I’m sure most of you don’t care to listen to my whining, I do have a point. 😉 Perfume is my motivator. If it weren’t for the joy and excitement of being able to select a perfume to wear each day, I’d probably forego all of that other stuff (well, I WISH). So, perfume motivates me to get cute. It lifts my spirits and gives me something to look forward to. BTW, scented shower gels help somewhat, too. (And, no, I’m not clinically depressed, not wanting to shower, never getting out of bed…I’m just tired of repeating the same ol’ same ol’ routine day after day for the past 40+ years!!!). Ha ha.

  • Nava says:

    I must admit, that e-mail from LuckyScent did piss me off a bit. I’ve been jonesing Poivre and Vanille from Le Labo for ages, but right now, the cost is way too prohibitive. Figures…

    I know you’ll come out of your funk, March. I’m sending warm x’s and o’s from the northern climes for you. 😡

  • Nancy says:

    I’m glad you’re feeling better today, March. I think we should all get out our gray blankets and have a group sewing bee. We’ll embroider those drab blankets with beads and ribbons, transforming something unpleasant into joyous riots of color.

    I always felt that the “city exclusives” concept was manipulative – to the point of irrationality. However, I’m not experiencing the decision to make them more available as further manipulation. I’m guessing that Le Labo needs a quick infusion of cash. Their bottom line may have suffered from the decision to create scents and then wall them off.

    • carter says:

      Yes, but if that’s the case then why the “Only available for a month” crap? I would be perfectly content to forgive and forget if they were trying to mend their ways, but this just reeks of late-night infommercial :*

      • Nancy says:

        I’m guessing that they’re trying to have it both ways: expand availability to generate sales, but limit quantities to retain a patina of exclusivity. If I were a betting gal, I’d lay heavy odds on the one month stretching out to forever.

        • carter says:

          Yes, I think you’re right. Which is why they’re pissing me off. Just sell me the damn perfume and cut the crap. Or, better yet, cut the prices.

      • March says:

        I think things have changed in this economy. Why wall them off, as Nancy says, having gone to the expense of creating them?

    • March says:

      I think that’s as good a guess as any, they need the cash. And I think it’s on here elsewhere? What you said? Carter, I wouldn’t be surprised if they either stick around quasi-permanently or reappear.

      • carter says:

        Yes, and the manipulation lies in the fact that they don’t simply admit it. At this point I’d rather buy a shamwow. Sure they need money, who doesn’t? But there are too many other incredible perfumes that I’d like to buy, both vintage and new, that don’t require me to hold my nose while forking over my cash. I mean, it kinda defeats the point of perfume in the first place.

        • carter says:

          Plus, I hate those stupid, pretentious bottles. Reverse pretension…or something.

          Hey, who’s crabby NOWWWWW??? :-l

  • mals86 says:

    For an “I got nothin’ for ya” post, this is chock-full o’stuff, you know. Thankyouthankyou.

    Honestly, I’m a bit jealous. If *I* got nothin’, I post nothin’, which is just lazy blogging, or I go off on tangents. And it’s hard to write from the seasonal fog… I wrote zero all summer, which is the time for my own seasonal fog. (I tend to bounce between irritation and lethargy in the summer. Fall is Happy Time for me, but I know that’s not the case for many people.)

    On the subject of high-end perfume house exclusivity: it must work. Le Labo, ELd’O, By Kilian, MDCI… they’ve all just snobbed themselves right off my list. Even Uncle Serge is pushing his luck (I settle for decants).

    On the subject of scent choice: I typically match a good mood, and make attempts to reverse a bad one. I have a few comfort scents, a few No-Fail Good Mood scents, and a few Don’t Make Me Get Out the Flying Monkeys scents, and those will usually grab my attention on down days.

    I raise my flacon of No-Fail Good Mood scent in a toast to you, March.

    • carter says:

      Hear, hear=d>

    • Gretchen says:

      Mals, so with you on the dislike of summer. If only it would end here! I’m still wearing my warm-weather scents, but they can’t prop my spirits much longer. I need clouds and cool weather and the autumn-appropriate scents to cheer me.
      “Don’t make me get out the flying monkeys”. . . heh heh. Now there’s a thought to boost my mood!

    • mals86 says:

      (Little does March know that one of those No-Fail Happies is Vanille Tonka…:-\” so I suppose that if I’m toasting her, I’ll pick something else, like Le Temps d’une Fete.)

    • daseined says:

      ditto on most of that, especially the summer part–i get through, but it’s not my preferred season. i like the transitions and uncertainty of spring and fall.

      i’m afraid i *did* get out the flying monkeys this morning :”> before self-medicating with Tiger Balm (for my very stiff neck) and Shiseido Femininite du Bois (for my stiff soul, plus what goes well with Tiger Balm?). Bryan is right; i do feel less alone in my funk this morning. Thanks all!

  • Janet in CA says:

    Perfume people are wonderful. And you March and your blog are a big reason I am a perfume person. Thank you!

    Perfume and my mood go hand and hand. I decide what perfume I want to wear before I decide what clothes to wear.

    Have you tried a light box? People I know with SAD swear by them.

  • MJ says:

    I hear you. It is a Monday, in grey/rainy November, and I had to go for a biannual doctor’s visit and blood test(no problem, but not my favorite thing to do) so I am marinated in Liz Zorn’s Grand Canyon extrait. And you know what? I think it helped a lot – some part of me deep inside is off in the SW smelling the warm, herbal air and getting ready to find some of that hot chili hot chocolate.

    I medicate with fragrance all the time. Last week’s major job related burnout/burndown (the thing that happens after nailing 8 major deadlines in 10 days)? Friday marinated in Shalimar extrait. It helped too.

  • Shelley says:

    Mood-enhancer. Mood-redirector. Mood-soother. Mood-suppressor. Yup, mood affects my choice of perfume…sometimes to alter, sometimes to reflect, sometimes to amp it up or encourage it in a direction it seems to be going but is too shy to get there all on its own.

    And, occasionally, even to help the mood of a friend I am getting ready to meet. For you, last night I would have grabbed the Bois Farine and the steel cut oats and run over. This morning, it’s all about how to attack/ride out today. Usually I would figure out mental strategy for tackling the day first, but sometimes a particular scent insists upon being chosen before I know where my head is at. So I roll with that.

    And there are the times when there is too much noise, and the scent choice just has to wait.

    I can’t show you better people than perfume people. I can show you equivalently awesome, but not better. Such a collection of creativity, intelligence, empathy, barrel headedness, opinions, experiences–an incredible assortment that has individual and collective heart. Who knew? Not me. But I sure am glad I know now.

  • DinaC says:

    Perfume people are wonderful!

    My weekend wasn’t bad, just extremely busy. Now I need a weekend, from my weekend. Whew. To make matters worse, my kids have the day off from school and have started the day off fighting.

    I’ve been having migraines every day lately, yuck, so I’ve been wearing my soothing scents. Things that are the equivalent of fuzzy pink blankie to me. Today’s choice is Bulgari Omnia Green Jade, which to my nose smells like a high-end dryer sheet. (It’s the white musk.)

    I tend to wear scents that match my mood. Just sniffing something good can be a real comfort when other things in my life are draining, painful or irritating. Hope your week is a good one.

  • I definitely do both: if I’m in a good mood I’ll pick something to match, but if I’m anxious or upset my first response is WHAT CAN I SMELL TO EASE MY PAIN.

    I totally agree about the perfume friends, I suffer from the seasonal depression too and I’m hoping the Nov. 14th weekend will do me a world of good.

    It just so happens that I need to go out and get a formal dress so I’m thinking I might enlist some of you fabulous smelling ladies to help me with this if possible. You all know how to look nice and grown and up and classy 🙂

  • aubrey says:

    I agree! Perfume people ROCK! Even the ones that I don’t know personally (like you, March) bring me great ideas and expand my world– and not only about perfume.

    Perfume choice: I have a few favorite comfort perfumes (Tea for Two and Ta’if), a few that I find really joyous/uplifting/clean/easygoing/pretty (Escale a Portofino and MPeG Bahiana). I have a few perfumes that remind me that even when life is sucky, beauty exists (Ta’if, PdN Week-end A Deauville). This last idea seems really important, because sometimes when life is hard, it seems to make no sense. And the goal of experiencing beauty, if nothing else, makes sense. Perfume reminds me of that.

    And you know what’s funny? I don’t have bottles of any of those! As I type this, I’m realizing that I need to get bottles (or at least big decants!), because these perfumes really *bolster* me.

    Though I often use perfume to create a mood, I find that if I am in a really bad mood, a happy perfume feels empty and hollow.

    • sweetlife says:

      “the goal of experiencing beauty”

      I love that, thank you.

    • carter says:

      Interesting final paragraph! I envy March the ability to armor herself with scent. Most of the time I feel like a big fat liar when I wear something that doesn’t work with my mood, which only compounds the problem. I have the same issue with clothing: I can gird my loins with a power suit and fool most of the people most of the time, but I can never manage to convince myself, and the glaring contrast between whatever image I am trying project and the true nature of how I’m feeling just makes things worse. For me it’s better to coax the demons out into the light of day, and attempt to use whatever I have at my disposal, including fragrance, to make nice with them or, at the very least, to keep them quiet and less inclined to bite.

  • Silviafunkly says:

    This is a hug from the person who spent all of yesterday curled up in bed, reading Sarah Walters, and could not even get up to put some fragrance on. My DH calls them my “cocoon” days, doesn’t happen often but when it does, there is precious little I can do. I kept thinkining I would feel better and get up and have a shower and put a perfume on, but may be I should have accepted my condition and gone for some scented self medication.

    Today, still feeling a bit out of it, I went for Bois d’Armenie which is a little bit of a treat for me as I am fast approaching the last quarter of my bottle and have no back up.

    I don’t know what it is about perfume friends, may be the scent bond is so defining and unconditional that there are no other expectations, allowing pure goodness to come across. But I agree, a special breed.

    Btw, Le Labo counter at Liberty also has (or had as I fear it may have run only till the end of October) the city exclusives for sampling and ordering.

  • Kacy says:

    Barneys has them as well. You have to call in to purchase one. In the catalog, it said a limit of 25 bottles per perfume. Hopefully, that was per store as well?

  • Fernando says:

    That was actually very well done, March! Thanks! Interesting and well written.

    The Le Labo thing has me puzzled, because I haven’t really heard many good things about those “city exclusive” perfumes. And they’re not just only-in-Tokyo, the prices are ridiculous. I suspect that paying Amouage prices for Le Labo is a bad idea…

    As to how I chose, I really can’t articulate it. It seems like “well, I don’t want to do the same one as yesterday” and then the hand just reaches out for something. It’s rarely just a reflection of my mood, but it isn’t a rational deliberation.

  • Olfacta says:

    Self-medicating. Yep.

    Kind of says it all, doesn’t it? And there are so many worse ways to do that.

    My Dh never wore any sort of cologne or scent until I got into this. Now he wears it every day. “Aromatherapy,” he says.

    With me the weather has much to do with mood. I don’t know what yours has been like this fall March but if it’s been anything like ours — dark, gloomy, rainy/wet, damp — it’s no wonder. I’ve had some weeks this fall where I just wanted to get under the bed and stay there, with my gourd full of samples, of course.

    Perfume people ARE wonderful. Cultured, witty, generous.

    • janh says:

      my husband didnt wear any scent until he smelled my sample of incense rose. now he’s got it and I have to steal it back when I want to smell it!

  • Rappleyea says:

    “My swag wank post is just too screedy to stick on here.” – is there an English translation for that?!? LOL!

    There was a whole comment section this weekend on Now Smell This filled with people saying how grumpy they are. Weather, time of year, full moon (squared by Mars and Jupiter!), etc.

    I recommend going to Whole Foods (or your local version of it) and buying some Vietnamese cinnamon for your oatmeal. It’s the JAR/Fath/Amouage of cinnamon! Take two shakes and call me in the morning.


    • March says:

      Swag Wank = pointless discussion regarding perfume gifts from manufactuers. There are new FCC regulations for all bloggers about disclosing whether you were given the product for review by the manufacturer, etc. We probably need a disclosure page. But the conversation detoured into the old are perfume bloggers being bought thing, which vexes me. I’d written a Q&A but it’s not right yet.

      The cinnamon sounds delicious, and all sorts of folks are crabby right now, apparently.

      • carter says:

        Should be cool, just so long as you’re not wanking the swag <:-p and I can personally vouch for the cinnamon <):)

    • Occhineri says:

      Vietnamese cinnamon? Why do I instantly want that? I do have a Whole Foods nearby…

      I’ve been feeling down (for very specific reasons), & my instinct has been to wallow a bit with some Douce Amere. Maybe I should move on to the aspirationals.

      Oh, and Le Labo irritates me with their exclusives. A fabulous perfume person did send me a decant of Musc 25, which I like in very small doses, but I don’t think I’ll even bother trying to sample the others.

  • Louise says:

    Babe-if was wonderful running into you, and getting a chance to smooch you 😡 The season is shifting, and clocks, moods, too…always gots love for you, you know.

    Paris the Movie was good-ish, no? Even when a french flick isn’t terribly coherent, the moments are lovely-and the love bits were sweet, non?

    I am in on a split of Guaic, but otherwise am resisting LL marketing ploys…oh, then, there is the Aldehyde 44 (am I the only fan out here of that one b-) ? I’ma sucka :-$

    I have a short-term for the blues….~o)


  • mahanta says:

    😕 Well..and what’s wrong with the seller from Latvia?? (I’m from Latvia, btw) If you mean shipping time, then I can just say that I’ve done tens of decant swaps with USA and Canada swappers – guess which package comes first and which I have to wait at least one week longer? :p
    Anyway I wanted to say that I read Perfume Posse and I’m very impressed with what you ladies do to bring our common “fragrant world” closer to us – perfume lovers – in different parts of the world… Thank you!@};-

    • March says:

      Nothing, nothing! I mean shipping time. There was a US seller for $7 more, I just didn’t notice Latvia, and I was laughing because that’s the sort of newbie mistake I don’t make too much any more.

      I am thrilled with how many overseas readers we have, we’ve had some very interesting discussions.

  • Fiordiligi says:

    March, I am so sorry to hear that you have been suffering from the Mean Reds, but like everyone else, I marvel at the regularity which you and Patty and the other bloggers come up with entertaining and informative pieces for our delight. You are most certainly entitled to a day of “I don’t know what to write about” – and even that is entertaining anyway.

    Liberty’s in London currently has ALL the Le Labo exclusives from around the world, by the way.

    My weekend was fine, but last week was horrible so I am hoping for better things this week. We also have ongoing postal strikes; I can’t begin to tell you how much perfume is caught in limbo and has been for many weeks, including some Very Precious Drops.

    I don’t think I choose my perfume for the day based on anything other than “ooh what shall I wear today?” but there are some days when only a vintage Guerlain will do it. And of course Perfume People are the best – generous, thoughtful, sharing – and they smell so divine, too!

  • Flora says:

    Dear March,

    Echoing the sentiments already expressed, you already put put more writing in a week than I usually manage in a month, and and it’s all good – even the so-called “Fail.” 😡

    I am feeling that same thing right now – the clocks are turned back so I get to go to work and come home in the dark; it’s colder, and being cold makes me lose my will to live at least until the days lengthen again; and the list of things I need to do before real winter hits seems to stretch into infinity.

    Most of the time I use perfume to match my mood, or just to try something new and fresh, but when the cold wind blows, out come the amber and vanilla to get me through on those days when I just want to put the covers back over my head.

  • Trina says:

    I agree: perfume people are THE BEST!!! Even though I rarely frequent Ye Olde Frag Board anymore, I am still in touch with many of the lovely friends I made there (thank you, Facebook!) on a very regular basis. And although there are a number of those who I have never met in person, I count them as true friends – heck, many of them know me better than “real life” friends and acquaintances!

    As for the question, a lot of my decision is based on mood. But honestly, usually I’ll wake up with – or develop in the first few hours of my day – a specific craving for a scent or family I NEED to wear. It will be an Eau de Reglisse day, or I’ll just need a green incense or an amber or a patchouli fragrance. If the mood/craving is generalized, I have some room to play, but for the most part I want to smell like X, and in very short order it becomes apparent that only Y will fit the bill.

    I’m still on the fence about the “city exclusives”. Poivre is gorgeous. Several of Le Labo’s other frags are stunning. They VERY quickly responded to the pressure regarding use of animal ingredients (castoreum and civet) in their perfumery. All of these things make me willing to spring for these juices while I can. but I hate falling in love with things I can’t quickly/easily replace. The “city” idea is cute, but why not have frags based on a city *theme* that are available everywhere anytime? We can’t all be jet-setters.

  • hongkongmom says:

    great post march!!! i use scent for everything…modyfying, enhancing.altering and just sometimetime simply for enjoying…rarely for aestheitcs!!!
    luckily at his point…i don’t know le labo’s…so marriage is not even close on the agenda#:-s

  • bryan says:

    Sorry the clouds are picking on you. I think your attitude ROCKS! I will remember it when they start hovering in my neck of the woods, which is unfortunately often if I don’t arm myself. And arm myself I do…with Carnal Flower and L’heure Bleue and Chamade…I could go on. The new VC%A Gardenia is lighting things up around here too, not to mention the new Penhaligon’s.

    I suppose the answer to all the questions about why I choose a perfume is well, a collective YES. To all of them…I choose one to feel less anxious (something that I deal with too often, chronically), to feel more “alive”, to feel….anything. There is a comfort in this blog tonight/today: none of us are alone. That’s comforting.

  • dea says:

    I wanted to marry Le Labo’s poivre, but I don’t like people/things that play *that* hard to get as a way to imply they’re worth more than other beautiful things(people) that are more accessible.
    It just takes the shine off for me.

    I use fragrance as a salve, a shield, and all of the other emotional and practical reasons mentioned.

    man, did everyone in our continental perfumeland have a bad weekend? i had a bad one, too. bleh.

  • carter says:

    I deeply resent being manipulated, at least as blatantly as Le Labo aims to do with it’s marketing stunts, so the truth is that this most recent ploy is having the exact opposite effect than intended [-(. Perhaps this is a pathetic example of cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face :^o, but there you have it.

    As for perfume as a pick a scent (as Denyse so perfectly put it) “as a *modifier* of (my) day rather than in adequation with it” Like Sweetlife, I tend to go with the flow, choosing a ‘fume to enhance my mood, rather than change it. I guess I’m more of a “method” pefumista ;))

    • carter says:

      Okay, make that “its” not “it’s” (I can’t believe I keep doing this) and the first sentence in the second paragraph should read: “As for picking a scent…” and not “As for perfume as a pick,” which makes even less sense than my usual drivel.

      • sweetlife says:

        Carter that it’s/its thing is a kind of pathology with me. I know the rule. Hell, I’ve *taught* the rule. It doesn’t matter. Something just won’t mesh in my brain and unless I’m really paying attention, I screw it up all the time.

        • carter says:

          Yes, same here, but mostly I’m just sloppy and don’t bother to check what I write until after I’ve already gone ahead and inflicted it on the public. Plus I type a zillion words per minute with roughly 20% accuracy and dubious punctuation. What is it they say about giving a monkey a typewriter and eventually he’ll write Shakespeare? I’d say he has the edge :(|)

  • Natalie says:

    I’ve heard of drug mules, but perfume mules? Oh right, perfume IS our drug! Just so long as transporting it doesn’t involve balloons, condoms, or other inflatable/stuffable devices, it’s all good.

    I’d love to smell the Le Labo Poivre, but yup, the whole exclusive business bugs me. Between Le Labo and their cities and Kilian the no-tickie-no-refill Nazi, puh-leeze… I don’t mind a perfume being available only in one particular store — JAR at Bergdorf’s, for instance — but the artificial limitations are just ridiculous.

    As for how I select my perfume each morning (or afternoon, or night), I generally choose according to what I think I’ll NEED that day: f-you stilletos with which to bludgeon someone (Bandit), combination security blanket + magic carpet (L’Air du Desert Marocain), aura of false competence (CdG2 Woman), etc. Speaking of which, I’ve got a job interview tomorrow… off to bed!

  • tmp00 says:

    Perfume people are the best. I wish that I could be like Endora and just pop up where you all live once in a while and back in your friendship.

    I went to Le Labo on 3rd and tried the ones I hadn’t before and won’t be able to get otherwise. I loved the Gaiac but it lasted 4 seconds on me. The Poive is nice but not THAT nice. The Musc I love and is available to me all the time, sooo. Frankly the new rules about these make even less sense to me: buy it now in LA and you can get it refilled in LA, but only in LA, not NY or Tokyo and vice versa. Only available for a month as a “thank you” but available for refill forever? I like them, but spare me.

    I do dose myself in liquid happiness. I’m dosing myself in Le Labo Musc right now hoping that its sweater-girl loveliness will ameliorate a truly gawd-awful weekend..

  • sweetlife says:

    Patty, I had no idea there was a movie called Paris out either.

    March, I am AMAZED how many really top notch essays you and the rest of my favorite perfume writers manage to crank out every week. I’m lucky if I can get, oh, three or four done *a year.* I just don’t have it, whatever it is you’ve got. And I’m sure everyone else will chime in and say this after I do, but even when you say you’re complaining and you’ve got nothing you do so with so much wit, charm, and warmth (and with great illustrative details) that we don’t feel a bit cheated of our March fix. At least I don’t.

    So put on the orange blossom with the naughty, naughty bits peeking out, slurp up your Cream of Wheat and feel good–your work here is done. And then some.

    And oh yes, you asked a question, didn’t you? I almost always put perfume on to support my current mood or the task, mental, physical or emotional, at hand. Much less often, I use it to modify. If I am feeling vulnerable and tender, there’s just no way I can “buck up” with a big scent like Femme or Mitsouko. The armor thing doesn’t work for me. (Unless it’s a kind of “dress up” for meeting anxiety, then it’s Chanel–No. 19 or Bois des Iles–all the way baby.) But I can put on something like Paestum Rose, or occasionally Black Cashmere to clarify and strengthen. To create some clear space. My true love for Paestum Rose dates to a very specific moment, actually, of unbearable anxiety, when it did just that for me–cleared the air and let me breathe.

  • Patty says:

    xo, my friend.

    Though you’ve now stolen my “I got nothing” post for the week. 🙂

    How was Paris? How lame am I that I didn’t even know that was a movie that was out. Do I need to see it?

    • March says:

      Heh, well, you could build on my theme. You could do your own version of I Got Nothing, for comparison purposes, just like we do with fragrance. 😉

      Paris was a sweet art house film, a series of vignettes, I stuck a link in the post.