Every now and again a group of crazy folks get together for a perfume party. Here’s a peek at the ‘do I threw at my house last Saturday night for various DC-area perfumistas, I’ve misplaced the list but I think there were 12 of us.
In addition to my homemade vegetarian lasagna and my beef stew (the secret’s in the two bottles of wine, laydeez!) we had a fabulous drinks menu courtesy of Nancy; let me quote you a few samples – “Lipstick Rose – sparkling wine + rose and violet liqueurs,” “Yuzu Rouge – tea liqueur + ginger liqueur + yuzu syrup,” “8:00 Gingembre – ginger ale + ginger liqueur.” Yep, inspired by perfumes, and full of scented, flavored goodness, how cool is that?!?
People brought stuff to sample, share, swap and sell, and the party forced me to dust my various perfume areas upstairs, which – well, you know how that is. I brought anything that might be more unusual or interesting down, plus some classics and anything I might have that was fairly newish – the OJ Tiare, the Van Cleefs, the Cartiers, etc.
There was a lot going on at the same time, so I’m going to invite anyone who was there who reads this post to chime in with personal highlights. I’m so sad not to be able to post my favorite photo, which was a bottle of Regina Harris perfume oil nestled in the cleavage of one of our bosomy members who shall remain anonymous. I tell you, I have never seen a bottle of Regina Harris displayed more beautifully. There was a lot of spraying and sniffing and silliness, and I am thinking I am possibly not the only person who woke up the next day with a headache. My sister-in-law, the famous Kate, came in from the Eastern Shore for the event and was (unsurprisingly) welcomed warmly, because who’s nicer than a bunch of perfume nuts? By the way, Kate called me tonight to report in a worried voice that she had either 11 or 17 bottles, I forget, but this is up from – oh, I don’t know, zero? She’s afraid they’re reproducing on her dresser. Hehe. I told her to be careful, next thing you know you’ve got a hundred of them.
Perfume highlights that I can recall are: having some of the gals experience the green-gardenia joy that is Strange Invisible Perfumes’ Lady Day; all the feedback on the Cartiers, particularly XIII, the leathery one that some people love and others hated; getting to inflict my beloved monster Worth Courtesan on those who hadn’t tried it, one of whom (Nancy) loved it and one of whom (Kristy) was still bitching the next day about how craptastic it was and how it wouldn’t leave, which is the sign of a true scrubber. I was blown away by the Penhaligon Amaranthine that Melissa brought – what a weird, interesting, twisty perfume ride that was — it’s Bertrand Duchaufour and it didn’t throw up on me! I love their bottles but their scents don’t do a ton for me – kind of prim and staid – but that thing was gorgeous. The new Daphne Guinness was a big ol’ riot, and that is definitely a love it or hate it – that thing is a monster. Huge. Melissa tortured us with that one, I believe.
I snagged a bottle of Dioressence, which made me happy … oh! I almost forgot! Here’s another highlight! I have this bottle of perfume I’ve never opened, marked Chypre (by Carnay) I’m guessing from the 30s? I’m not sure. I couldn’t get the stopper out and that was … two years ago, I think. Anyhoo, the evening’s event was I handed it to Louise and Melissa, who buy a lot of vintage, and asked if they’d take a stab at it. It took them, I think, five minutes? Ten if you factor in their cocktail preparation. It was lovely – rich and sweet, rather than the caramel swill you get sometimes with those old bottles. I’m looking forward to playing with it some more. Also, Michele was loving the Poison extrait which I’d left upstairs out of pity for the other attendees, it smelled great on her – what is up with the Poison hate?!? Just because you sat next to someone who bathed in it in 1987 doesn’t mean it’s not a great scent. Also, I think people liked my Dior Jules, judging by the number of racks bodies it wound up sprayed on. Some decanting went on in the back rooms… Le Labo Gaiac was passed around … I’m sure I’ve missed something, chime in here.
Non-perfume highlights include Kristy showing us the gorgeous ombre dress she got for her big dress-up boyfriend’s-office-party holiday bash, an important first in any gal’s life. And I busted out my naughty boots for inspection and try-ons, where …. it was discovered that I had two different sizes! Naughty Nordstrom! So you will all be relieved to hear, if it is keeping you up at night, that I took them back and exchanged them for the correct (matching) size, and while I was there sold a $275 pair of red satin pumps to a lady who was waffling because they weren’t more practical blah blah blah. I told her they looked fabulous on her, which they did – she smiled every time she looked down at her feet. They were for a party. Sometimes, practical is over-rated.
Photos, top to bottom: the spread on the table (giveaways at one end, sniffage in the middle, sales at the other end); the exotic drinks bar with Michele and Kathy — btw I’m sorry, I don’t know everyone’s MUA names!; two of our resident beauties you may recognize (Melissa and Louise); a couple more shots of the goods and the goody bags, Michele brought two shopping bags of samples; my bottle of Carnay Chypre; that’s me in that black-and-white optical print shirt.