I forgot I was supposed to write this week. Work getting in the way. Sheesh. Here’s a list that you can respond to if you like – some perfume related thoughts partially organised.

Current comfort scent – I’ve had a bottle of le Labo’s Patchouli 24 for oh, I dunno, a couple of years. I bought it as a signed-up Annick Menardo fanboy. Don’t get me wrong; I loved it. But I never seemed to want to wear it. Other Menardo numbers – Bulgari Black, Lolita Lempicka pour Homme, Bois d’Armenie, even Body Kouros – seemed eminently more wearable. And so my bottle languished a little, hardly shrinking in its volume. When I did wear it, it would be one tentative spray. Now, something’s happened. I can’t get enough. Seven sprays seems too little, and every day seems too infrequent. It’s the oddest comfort scent I wear, but it’s long drydown seems like a haunting from the past and I just want to bring the past back, today. Lucan Turin says it smells like a Russian lab; for me, it’s my childhood chemistry set and the warm blanket that was my life as a child.

Current  ‘eh, when will I ever wear you?’ scent – Although Patch 24 languished a little on my perfume shelves, it never gathered dust. I always wanted to sniff it. However, there are other scents I own that I feel estranged from. And sometimes that’s for a short while. Other times, it lasts and lasts. Currently in that category for me is Comme des Garcons Sequoia. Why did I ever love this vinegary rum and wood concoction? It’s interesting, fer sure, but I’ve begun to feel the acidic quality that others pick up in Bertrand Duchaufour’s scents. It ain’t there (yet? ever?) in Timbuktu, which I continue to love, but it invaded Bois d’Ombrie (a scent that I adored for a while beofre it smothered me in libraries, ash trays and pickles) and seems to be hanging round the edges of the otherwise quietly wonderful Dzongkha. Oh hell. All I know is that Sequoia reminds me more of the employees of a pickling factory having their Christmas party than it does of the majesty of redwood forests.

Current ‘must sniff’ – I’m lemmingless and remain so. I love to hear other folks enthusiasm for new scents, but even when they meet with universal acclaim (the Cartiers, Amaranthine), I tend to think ‘oh, I’ll smell that eventually,’ rather than the: MUST. SNIFF. NOW. OR. I’LL. DIE desperation of two years’ back. It’s a relief I tell you. I get my obsessive kicks elsewhere these days (don’t start me again on plants or garden planning or I’ll show you the blister scars from planting over a thousand bulbs), but Al Oudh is at the top of my ‘get round to sniffing sooner rather than later’ list. It helps that it’s a Duchaufour (pickle issues not withstanding) and follows on from a new direction in his work. I’m not a oudh lover – at least not in its western perfume formulations, but this is supposed to trail cumin and civet and castoreum, and I’m nothing if not a man who loves perfumes with that hint of fleshly corruption – a hint of sweat and butt and ooh, you are naughty!, will always stimulate my fancy. If you’ve smelled this ‘un, let’s hear your thoughts. Denyse enjoyed it a lot.

So, let’s hear your similar list, or even different categories should you so wish.

  • Winifreida says:

    Since my binge started I’ve samples hundreds, going thru whole houses and now seeing the beginnings of – ? – sanity? Wiped Bond, Ormonde, Keiko Mercheiri, Rosine, Killian, Tom Ford, Boadicea, find Tauer beautiful but masculine, ditto Parf d Empire, huge admiration for L’Artisan but only bought Saffran Troublant, struggling with Amouage and Caron and the Chanel Exclusives….so what does that leave…hmmmm, ah yes, the Lutens Exclusives (Ive sent an impassioned google translation asking them to ship to Australia, they offered wax samples whaaaa), the export Lutens, a panicked buy up of old Guerlains on the bay, LUUURVE Parfumerie Generale, Donna Karan, Nicolai, Delrae, The Van Cleefs, Lez Nez, Hermessences, Heeley, Different Co…I won’t go on but what a ride!
    And where am I now? Full circle, waiting for the Goddess of the Universe (Old Mitsouko) to arrive, plotting decants of a couple more Exclusives, S. D. Vanille, a Van Cleef from TPC, and crazily, SAVING my decants of my new loves from Lutens (Criminelle and Myrrhe make me lose my marbles)!

  • sherobin says:

    Oops, I guess it’s actually La Trezieme that I lem…

  • sherobin says:

    Current comfort scent, oddly enough, is Kelly Caleche. How does that make sense? I guess in the same way that wearing all black is comforting when one is out of sorts.

    Current “when will I ever wear you” is Chanel Sycomore. One of my favorite fall fragrances that just isn’t calling to me on any given day.

    Current must sniff is Cartier, the eleventh hour. Need some smoky, mysterious stuff for winter’s beginning.

  • Sharon2 says:

    Current comfort scent would be PG Cadjmere. It always makes me feel better. I don’t wear it very often because I don’t want it to lose its comforting quality.
    Why do I have this scent would be AG Passion. It’s just not me. I have Fracas which I also rarely wear but I like to keep around in case I ever get into a negligee kind of mood *snort*.
    Lemmings would be the Cartier collection and the ones from MFK.

  • Millicent says:

    Comfort scents and two of my favorites in any category: Tam Dao and Le Labo Gaiac 10. Last weekend I was visiting friends and had a 48 hour migraine — using a whole sample of Angelique Noir kept me going somehow.

    I get tired of scents, so I try to rotate a lot. There’s a pretty big “When will I ever want to wear you *again*” section, currently living in the guest bathroom. Prominently at the front are decants of two scents that everyone else seems to love, but do nothing for me: Chergui and Vetiver Tonka.

    I wish they’d both go away, but so far, none of my friends have taken the bait.

    Does anyone else get sick of certain scents, and is there a way to rekindle the affection?

    • Yep, I do get sick of scents. Sometimes hours after I love them. I love FM L’eau d’Hiver but after 6 hours and no change at all, I hate it. I bought Bond’s Bowery and love it for one hour, then it just shrieks. Jo Malone Grapefruit is all fruit going on and then some ugly white flowers all night long. Ways I re-kindle affection: don’t wear something at all until the season changes. Or spray it on tissue instead of your skin.

      • Musette says:

        JM Grapefruit was my first JM purchase, back when you could only get it in London and her husband was the one answering the phone!LOL!

        Loved it – for about a month. Then it started chewing a hole in my sinuses. Dang. I still have a little bottle, which I spritz now and again, esp apres-bath on really hot days. But it ain’t the same as when it was my First Love.


        xo >-)

        • Erin T says:

          Hey, that was my first “niche” fragrance purchase, too! Or actually… I think B bought it for me. But then it got broken in one of our moves. No urge to replace it, other than for sentimental reasons.

  • Jemi says:

    It seems odd to say that my current comfort scent is one entitled “Marquis de Sade,” but there you have it. It’s lovely, and just the thing on a trying day.

    Sadly, I have so many perfumes in the “when will I ever wear you?” category! Mostly things that I buy after one sniff, on impulse, and then seem too sharp, or too sweet, or too much afterwards.

    I also have a lot of lemmings. I’ve been wanting to sniff more of the CdG fragrances, especially the Synthetic series, which sounds weird and so interesting.

  • Musette says:

    Well, now that I have a minute I will lay out a quick list because Who Doesn’t Love a LIST!;)

    Comfort (which, for me, translates to strapping on a titanium breastplate and firing up the hellfire sword): Mitsouko parfum/edp Jolie Madame.

    Snuggly scents: don’t have any (see above). In fact, I cannot even contemplate a ….hey, waitaminit! I DO have one: Lelong pour Femme. That’s a very comforting/comfortable scent and I am unlikely to eviscerate anyone whilst wearing it!

    Melancholic: vintage L’Origan

    When will I wear you/Why did I buy you: FM Bigarade Concentree. After all that whining and moaning about it, I finally plumped for a bottle…and guess what? meh. But! I think I can layer this under my summer smoochy, Agraria Bitter Orange. It will cool down the clove on those really scorching days! But who’dathunka Malle would’ve become something to layer?

    Deep Inner Reflection: Lord, I don’t know. I try not to have too many of those but if I did I would prolly look to vintage L’Aimant or my gal-pal Shocking.

    I’m too

    xo >-)l-) for this!

  • Tara C says:

    I didn’t like Havana Vanille, Al Oudh, the Cartiers, the Kurkdjians, the VC&As OR Amaranthine. So there.

    Comfort scents: Back to Black, Cuir Beluga, Spiritueuse Double Vanille. Melancholy scents: Iris Silver Mist, Dans Tes Bras, Dzongkha. When will I wear you: Divine… used to love it, I’m off florals right now though.

    I’d like to sniff UFO but don’t want to spend big $$ on a sample at TPC for something that’s a LE in a 40ml bottle. If I loved it, I’d eventually run out and be disappointed, so I don’t want to even go there. Nothing else really on the horizon.

  • carter says:

    I’m not really a comfort scent type, more of a “what is the least skanky” girl when things get challenging. The closest I come in this category is probably Costes room spray, which is basically Costes without the vermouth and olives. I spritz in on over the body cream. Bois de Paradis on occasion, but it’s a bit cloying if I’m not totally in the mood. I find Ta’if roses to be a note that mellows me out and calms me down, but I think that’s an association I must have established in my formative years which hasn’t much to do with the actual scent, but it is what it is and so Homage Attar will fix me right up if I’m in a state. Well, that is if anything will. And Ormonde Woman, because of that forest floor thing it has going on. And finally, Penhaligon’s Bluebell bath oil. Not the frag, the bath oil. Hey, that’s a lot, ain’t it?

    When will I ever wear the vintage Arpege 😕 The not-so-vintage Black. And (here’s hoping March, Francesca, Louise and Anita are sitting down at the moment) Mitsouko.

    I must sniff Tribute Attar (Patty, have I mentioned that I worship you?
    ^:)^ ) and Al Shomoukh Attar (Marina got me obsessing over that one) as well as the latest two killer-diller Killians $-). Oh, and Fille en Aiguilles from Monsieur Lutens 😡

  • mariekel says:

    Comfort scents definitely depend on the comfort sought. For those I hate my life days, I find myself reaching for Canovas Route Mandarine or something undemanding, green and crisp like Cristalle Eau Vert. On days when I feel a bit under the weather, it is nearly always Miller Harris Tangerine Vert or IPdF Agreumi di Sicilia. For I just want to stay in bed all day days, it is usually Laura Tonatto Safram.

    When will I wear you…I am looking at you, LV Garofano. I adore carnations and loved this lemon-carnation bouquet at first sniff, but now it feels like it belongs to someone else, a busty blonde European mantrap, to be exact, and that ain’t me.

    On the must sniff front, I am definitely looking forward to that L’Artisan Oudh (though I am not a fan of the line generally), the 3 Cartiers I have not yet sampled and I am STILL waiting for my sample of JHAG Midnight Oud to get here. Also got just the barest whiff of the CSP ouds (normally, this is probably my least favourite line but I will sample anything with oud in it) and the 2 perfume from the second Six Scents series — the one with leather, ginger and lots of other naughty goodies.

  • Robin R. says:

    Hi, Lee and everyone. Gotta sunny day here in Vancouver: wheeeee!!!!!! Crisp, cold, unusual and most welcome. Great column and great comments just add to the lovely morning. Thanks!

    Current comfort scent: Schiaparelli Success Fou. It’s an elderly bottle, fifties or sixties, and the top notes are gone, but what’s left is this rich, mellow, ambery-woody old stuff with all the rough edges smoothed out with time: the quintessential “brown scent.” Feels like going back to a kinder, gentler, simpler and slower time.

    For a completely different kind of comfort: VC&A Bois d’Iris and DelRae Mythique. These two are on opposite ends of the iris spectrum, and both are gorgeous. BdI is iris and rich, enveloping incense; Mythique is the freshest, most expensive orris butter body cream in the universe, completely huffable.

    Current Where Did the Love Go? scent: By Kilian Back to Black. In fact, I never was in love; I just got caught up in all the love-bombing. Everyone was going nuts over this one. I got some, and it was total Lunchbag Letdown. Sweet, synthetic, derivative, uninteresting, heavy-handed. What the heck am I not understanding? Am I the only one who thinks this is vastly overrated?

    Current Must-sniffs: UFO, Amaranthine, Ineke Field Notes from Paris. Tried the Cartiers with the biggest buzzes (XII, XIII) — very nice. Tried MFK Lumiere Noire for women and CplS — both very nice. Mixed reviews on the Tiare, so the heat’s off that one. Havana Vanille: tried it and have a half dozen vanillas I like much better.


  • Disteza says:

    I bought a giant bottle of Silver Factory when it came out, intending for it to be *the* going-to-parties-and-clubs scent, but it started to remind me of spice gumdrops, which in turn reminds me of my grandmother, which does not make for a bumpin’ time on the dancefloor. Sooo, I have this big ol’ bottle now, sittin’ under a bunch of other more frequently sprayed friends, silently crying incensy tears ‘cuz I had to break it off. It’s not you Silver Factory, it’s me and my weirdo scent associations; perhaps it’s time we saw somone new?

    • Sharon2 says:

      Are you planning on selling your bottle? Cause I just might know someone that would be interested :-\”

    • Lee says:

      Seeing as I’m nowadays more likely to suck on spice gumdrops than go partying and clubbing, perhaps I should give Silver Factory another go…

    • snowcrocus says:

      good bumpin’ gumdrops! hilarious!

  • Nina Z. says:

    Interesting! I was just telling someone the other day I really wanted to buy a decant of Le Labo Patchouli because I unexpectedly found it very comforting, especially when it’s cold, gray, and damp. It seems to speak to something very primal–perhaps a warm, smoky, and delicious wood fire? (Anyone splitting a bottle?)

  • ScentRed says:

    Current comfort:
    Bois des Iles
    OJ Woman

    When will I wear?:
    * Divine by Divine – somehow the decant doesn’t take my heart like the sample did. Is it because the chase is over? Dab is better than spray?
    * Divine Bergamot – mixed with AG Neroli, I grew to like this, but it likely won’t get any attention until next summer

    Dying to try:
    * OJ Tiare
    * Mona di Orio Jabu
    * AG Ninfeo Mio – the description on 1000 fragrances left me dizzy, perplexed and thoroughly curious

    • Lee says:

      Must try Jabu too, and the Ninfa gardens are exceptional (something about English gardens gone southern European that’s just wondrous – see also Sintra in Portugal)so that’s also a necessity.

    • zeezee says:

      I just got to try Jabu last week and I’m going in for a bottle tomorrow. *Hangs head in shame*
      I really, REALLY like that stuff, even if it’s not all that ground-breaking. Less dirtied up than the other MdO’s, much less likely to be a love-hate affair, and thoroughly enjoyable. A velvety soft orange blossom over lushious resins. Sorta smells like a happy collision between Bal d’Afrique and OJ Tolu, if that makes any sense at all.

  • Francesca says:

    My current comfort scent is Idole (Lubin, not the other one) though today I really went all out and spritzed myself generously with Mitsouko parfum, so much so that I got a stain on my white shirt and had to cover it with a piece of jewelry.

    I don’t think I’ll ever wear Bulgari Black again, it made me so ill the last time I wore it.

    And I’m really curious about the Cartiers, too. I hope they don’t disappoint me as much as Beige did, after all the raves.

    • Lee says:

      Beige disappointed me too. I’ve stopped listening to the raves. And I no longer go to any either.:)>-

  • Dane says:

    Al Oudh is very interesting…at least for L’Artisan. I won’t be buying a bottle though…it’s not *that* interesting.

    I’m excited to try the new Futur…I’m a Guichard fanboy. 😉

    • Erin T says:

      Hey, there’s my other nay-sayer (on the Havana Vanille, and much else…) Hi, Dane!

    • Lee says:

      I’m not sure I know anywhere near as much as I should about Guichard, due no doubt to my Bond-phobia. Though Baghari makes me run for the hills…;)

  • March says:

    “libraries, ash trays and pickles” – related to Duchaufour scents? best.description.ever, although I’d have to add something earthy/sour. Bog, maybe.

    • Melissa says:

      Really. After a description like that, I gotta hear what you’d have to say about Amaranthigh. (And no, I didn’t come up with that name. I wish I knew who did).

      • mals86 says:

        I think it might have been me, over on NST, but it’s come into general use over there.

        And I’d love to read a March take on it, too: I’m not getting any weirdness or panties out of the thing at all, and I don’t know if I’m *missing* something, or if I’m Just That Twisted.

    • Lee says:

      A touch of Tollund Man, March?

  • Melissa says:

    Comfort scents? Mostly deep, dark amber scents with a dollop of incense in the drydown. Generally the non-sweet sort. Or ambers that are so dark that they have a briny note. Madini Ambergris oil works, as does Tom Ford Amber Absolute, although the latter is a little bit sweet. Or IPDF Ambra Grisea, which can only be purchased in Italy.

    I tend to swap away or sell the second category. Or they eventually move back into rotation.

    I do have a few must-sniffs, although I don’t hysterically hunt them down. I want to spend some time with the Cartiers. I’ve only had a quick sniff of two of them. Al Oudh sounds tempting. I’m hoping that Amouage Tribute Attar makes it to the East Coast soon. And I would like to experience the entire Kurkdjian line. Luckily, I live close enough to NYC to eventually make this happen.

  • Silviafunkly says:

    For comfort I have several staples 1) work stress: DK Chaos 2) hangovers: Rosine’s Rose Kashmirie / Sonia Rykiel Woman (still searching for perfection under this heading) 3) nurturing my deepest self: MdO Carnation 4) general melancholy: SL El Attarine / FM Eau d’Hiver 5) reward scent: Bois d’Armenie

    When will I ever wear you again: Bond n. 9 Bleecker Street / Montale Aoud Blossom

    Must sniff: finally got to the Cartiers (btw XIII applied heavvy handed shares a lot with Patch24, think you’ll LOVE it), I second Al Oudh.

  • Erin T says:

    Hi Lee! I’ve smelled the Al Oudh and thought it was very nice. I much prefer it to Havana Vanille, which has been the scent lately where I wonder if I’m crazy. (I really dislike it, and can find only one other person who isn’t part of the cheering section.) The Oudh is smooth and soft. I can see how it would be perceived as quite animalic by some, but to me, it has the softness you sometimes catch in very dry, airy incense scents. Texturally, it does remind me a bit of ash and/or smoke, but it still has a lot of presence/sillage. From what I know of your tastes, my guess is that you would like it.

    • Silviafunkly says:

      HV left me unmoved too, although admittedly didn’t try it on skin.:-?

    • Musette says:

      Honey, move OVAH! I’m so far out of the cheering section – in fact, I may be on Pluto, which is where I wish HV were! That stuff smells like – I dunno – a slice of stale, rum-soaked fruitcake, in the middle of which Uncle Irving stubbed out his Cuesta Rey #2. For the record I LOVE Cuesta Rey No 2s. Lovely, smoky-sweet cigars – just not stubbed out in a stale fruitcake.

      When Bradley@Barneys told LydiaOLydia (of L’Artisan fame) he was snagging a sample for me she gave him such a /:)

      “are you SURE? this is SO not a fragrance for her”

      and she wuz right!

      xo >-)

    • Didn’t like HV either. Kept trying it, thinking I’d gotten the wrong sample. Still don’t like it. I was hoping, though.

    • Lee says:

      It sounds delightful, Erin. I still haven’t sniffed HV, so can’t comment. I wasn’t a big fan of the Guerlain SDV, so I’m assuming it won’t toot too many of my horns…

    • zeezee says:

      Ugh, Havana Vanille was this year’s biggest disappointment. Barbie head. Yuckyuckyuck.