Sniffing Liberty, by Lee

So, I was in London on Monday and stopped by my favourite department store. I was daft enough to forget to smell the new l’Artisan vetiver, but I managed to get my schnozz to hover over much of the new stuff I’d been missing out on.

And… you know… I’ve nothing to report. My occasional Fridays are so low on actual perfume commentary I’m surprised Patty and March haven’t given me the heave-ho. Most of the new left me unengaged or non-plussed. The Costume National Homme was… nice. I’ll try a bit harder. It’s a Ropion creation that charts a journey through the spice route to a sweet amber drydown. It’s truly very pleasant. Though the drydown lacks interest and it’s a little too insistently sweet ‘n’ spicy for me.

So, I got home and looked at my shelves of perfumes and divided them into those that are worn with frequency, those that are in the ‘have to keep’ camp, and those that are surplus to requirements. And the news is, I’m heading to around 30. I feel like I’ve experienced some kind of trascendentally scented colonic treatment.

Meanwhile, the spectacle obsession continues to grow, but that’s altogether another story.

As I’m rambling, I might as well tell you about the scents of my holiday – umbrella pines, iodine, chlorine, mint and lime, dog crap, dried male urine, wafts of restaurant garbage, various eaux de cologne and lemon refreshers, sun tan cream, stale drains, hot concrete, rosemary, lavender, oleander (I didn’t know this had perfume), datura, sweat, cool nights, bright light, hot skin, tuna, olive oil (grass-like), coffee, coconut pastries.

And here’s Portugal’s recessionary evidence. Even in the country’s equivalent of Orange County, $10 million homes half-built and abandoned to graffiti, largely of the misshapen penis variety. The graffiti, not the homes. Though there was a heartfelt message to a missing lover. Perhaps those misshapen penises were saying something profound that I didn’t quite follow.

  • jen says:

    That’s not typing, that’s writing! I picked up minis of Balmain, chanel and eccusson today for $2.00 each. I am so happty.

  • Louise says:

    Just flying through to throw some kisses your way ; )

    The L’A Vet was pleasant but not earthmoving for me. In fact, the earth has not been moved by a new perfume in a long while. I’m mostly recycling some established beauties, expecially the vintage ones. Hello, Lanvin Scandal, Chamade, Dioressense.

    Hugs all around!

    • Tamara*J says:

      True dat Louise!

      Chamade and Dioressence rock my perfume world!!!

      31 Rue Cambon made a late entrance in there too but still rocked it.




    • carter says:

      I’m with you, Louise.

      • Musette says:

        What Carter, Tamara J and Louise Said.

        I stumbled upon a vintage Mitsouko parfum yestiddy (tucked in a sample ammo box in the back of my perfume closet). Spritzed a bit on ……..and the first thing that came to mind, once I regained consciousness was:

        “why, oh WHY have I been wasting my time with this new stuff?”

        xoxo >-)

        • Tamara*J says:


          Exactly mama! What the hell are we doing??????????? ;))

          I’m into Guerlain Mahora big time , along with L’arte di Gucci.

          I have the exact same revelation when I smell these as well.^:)^

      • Louise says:

        Carter, you’re always with me, though I’ve not yet pinched your cheeks….

  • Kate says:

    Mention of fragrance or no, any post containing the word ‘penis’ is a must-read in my book. Chortle.

  • Bev says:

    A “transcendentally scented colonic.”
    Love it!!!

  • Just keep writing, I love to read even desultory notes of yours. I like it when I make a mistake reading, I thought you’d written “datura sweat” and I thought, “Wow, I didn’t know those big white flowers sweat.” Of course, the commas were there, I just didn’t see it.

  • Tamara*J says:

    Don’t fret, summer is pretty much over, perhaps you’ll get your second wind so to speak and love perfume again and want to write about it. It was pretty much monsooning last night and COLD.
    I busted out the PdN Sacrebleu and snuggled in my bed listening to the rain pelt my tiny 110 yr. old house.
    I’m excited about the L’A CdVS , hope it’s delicous!
    I love your rambles, I go on and on about ‘nothing’ too.

    They add up to ‘something’ eventually. ;)


  • March says:

    I know you weren’t wild about Call Me Al Oudh, but … well, we kinda liked it. Although it’s not very oud-ish so that probably settles it. Did you try the new botanical one of those I saw in the duty free? Cap d’Antibes or whatever it’s called? It’s probably not new any more, is it?

    If you went away, who’d I talk smut with? (I mean besides the commenters.) Speaking of which, the highlights of Inception were Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Tom Hardy … I’d have written the script a bit differently for them. If you catch my continental drift. Sigh. Why does no one attend to those needs? Even freaking Tom Ford wimped out on me in his (otherwise gorgeous eye-candy) movie. Can we only have mansexing in the pornos?

    • Mary says:

      “Can we only have mansexing in the pornos?” is my new tee shirt slogan . . . inspired me to dab on some Galanos:x Lee– all us gardeners are worn out this time of year– our foliage is brown and crispy, our fruits are bruised and pecked, our fresh green stuff is tightly curled deep inside the silence of seed or bulb. You get my drift. Time to buy the extra thick fashion mags, pour a glass of wine and get ready for the smells of fall. They’ll be here soon–xxoo

      • March says:

        Lee is ignoring us, he’s looking at seed catalogs and mulching his tubers, fluffing the hedgehogs, getting the garden ready for fall…

  • Musette says:

    Doll, just keep writing whatever. We’ll read it, and happily! There does seem to be a certain ennui settling in amongst perfume bloggers – too much of a muchness, maybe? Maybe it’s my wonky sinuses, allerjeez or whatever but I find myself doing a lot of :-< these days at the counters. My biggest thrill these days are the hummingbirds fighting outside my window. Last evening we were dining on the porch and one came within 8 inches of me, checking out a buttlerfly bush in a pot on the table. I didn’t know I could hold my breath that long!

    xo >-)

  • Tom says:

    I’ll read anything you type, my friend.

    Too bad you didn’t sniff that new vetiver; I’d be interested to read your thoughts.

  • tammy says:

    Well, you said yourself we need more chests, damn it. Just sayin’…..

  • Tara C says:

    Love your posts Lee, no matter the subject! I agree the perfumery news is rather dire, but that’a at least good for my wallet. I’m hoping the L’Artisan Vetiver will be a winner though.

  • Style Spy says:

    Sniff her?? I hardly know her!!!!

    Sorry, sorry, I’ll shut up now…

  • sybil says:

    Your writing is great, perfume commentary or not.

  • Masha says:

    Oh, that photo from Portugal is so sad, Lee. I spent a fair bit of my mis-spent youth backpacking around Portugal, and it sure was more tidy and cheerful then. I was stunned this summer when I went to Miami and saw home after home foreclosed, going to kudzu and mildew and bugs, some falling to pieces. What a change.

    • Lee says:

      Oh, but it was only one house amongst many palatial residences. It was quite lonely in its abandonment. And there were lots still up for sale – check out (looks like a museum of contemporary art to me) or : all round the block from where we were staying.

  • Fiordiligi says:

    I love Liberty’s but I agree that there isn’t anything terribly exciting going on in the perfume department (there or anywhere else, really).

    We could have a discussion about glasses; ordered some new Chanel glasses for my reading prescription this week. The lenses were even more expensive than the frames, which is saying something, and I don’t have strange prescriptions or anything.

    Glad you had such an aromatic holiday and please keep on writing!

    • Lee says:

      Lenses are crazily expensive – I use a variety of places to get them cheaper. A friend recommended ciliary blue to me – they’re supposed to be very good. But the frames, post em off, back in three to four days… And a third of the price.

  • Jarvis says:

    I’m in line behind Carter, ready to read. Now, please tell us what are the 30 perfumes that made your list?

  • carter says:

    I am speechless. I don’t care what you write about, I’ll be the first one in line to read it. I also think you should show everyone your new C&Gs, because they kick ass.