Perfumes that pinch

So.. I went shoe shopping yesterday.  I don’t know about y’all but I am past – WAY past – the point where I will buy a pair of shoes that hurt just because they look good.  But I will allow for that break-in period for a decent pair of boots or shoes that just need a couple of wearings before they are that perfect fit.  You know the ones…they basically feel fine – and look wonderful  – but they might rub the heel a touch (a bit of moleskin will fix that right up) or that tiny little rub right up against the ganglia below your big toe (if it hits the nerve right between there, though, fuggedaboutit.  It will send a shiver of pain through to the top of your head and you’ll never break them in.}  I bought a pair of Reikers in Berkeley, eons ago.  Cute little orthopedic flats (yes! Cute!) with little stars cut out of the leather.  They pinched a bit and I despaired – but they were sooo cute, they were German orthopedics and it was Berkeley.  So I caved.  And I bit my lip and broke them in and about 12 years later I finally wore them to the point that even my genius shoe-guy said ‘hon.  Really?  Give. Them. Up.’  It took forever for those little sun-tats to fade away.

But you know….in between the time you slip them on your cranky, tender feet and the time they become your BFFFE…there is that skritchy, pinchy time.  The time where you’ll decide to blow off stopping at the grocery store.  You say it’s because you really don’t need that orange juice.  But in your stones you know it’s because the shoes are pinching just a tad and you’d rather just go home so you can take the damn things off.


Same with some perfumes.  Have you ever put on a perfume and realized that it’s going to pinch you all day long?   For me, it’s contemporary Femme.  I love it.  It’s gorgeous.  But worn in the daytime it has a certain…I dunno…there’s just something ‘off’ about it.  Ages ago I wrote about wearing it, with a cardigan, to a meeting held by a consortium of academics.  I felt like a B-movie starlet, caught in the Walk of Shame.  Don’t faint but another one that can swing into Pinchville is my beloved Mitsouko.  On the wrong day, in the wrong outfit Miss Mitsy turns into Miss Thang and suddenly you are back in church, in the second-to-front row – and your underwear has just lost its elastic.  You’re wearing pants but your drawers iz hanging down in the crotch and it just feels ..skritchy.  No 22?  The right day it feels like an elegant cloud.  The wrong day?  Tossed in a vat of talcum powder then thrown in an ice-cold lake.  In January.  In Buffalo.


All of these happen to be perfumes I adore.  But, unlike a lot of others (No5, Gold, Carnal Flower) these perfumes require some thought – right time, right place.  No Splash ‘n Dash with those beauties.  Else Ice Cold Lake.  or Shame.


What perfumes do you love – but have to watch out for?  Please.  Just ONE of you list Drama Nuui.  Please!

Writing this pre-Portia because I don’t see her until too late to post and once we get together it’ll be Portia!  Portia! Portia!!!  Can’t wait to tell you ALL about i!


  • Eloquaint says:

    Is no one going to mention Angel?

    For me it’s Fracas that can easily turn traitor. Usually she gives me a gentle little chuck under the chin, reminds me to hold my head up high and mind my posture, but every now and then I think the lady gets bored, and suddenly she is wearing me.

    • Darryl says:

      This post has Angel written all over it! I love it, except for those days when I spray it on and immediately regret it. Too much, too sweet, too “there”. But under the right conditions, it’s great.
      I also have this problem with most amber scents. Prada’s Amber pour Homme Intense is a thing of sleek, sensuous beauty on a crisp fall or winter day (or more appropriately, night), but every once in a while it morphs into a loud, powdery blanket trying to suffocate me. I feel about ambers much the way I feel about whiskey – when I want it, nothing else will satisfy, but the circumstances (and my mood) have to be perfect.

  • AnnieA says:

    ELO’s Rien is more of a shouter than a pincher, but it does need the right day to be worn, or it really wears me.

  • mikasminion says:

    Hah! Mitsy was my first thought too, and I love her so under the right conditions. Also, Hedonist. Sooo beautiful but occasionally the peachy honey turns on me and I get straight up urine and the jasmine goes all sharp and stabby. Now that I think about it, I have to be really careful to be in the mood for jasmine in general.
    PS. You have reminded me again that the goregous Prada heels that have been sitting unworn in my closet for years need to be rehomed. Sigh. The soles aren’t even slightly scuffed.

  • teri says:

    Happy belated birthday! Sorry I missed posting yesterday, but hope your day was as special as you are.

    When it comes to ‘pinchers’, for me it’s anything Guerlain. Guerlainade rarely likes me and boy does it make me pay. It turns to rancid cat pee on me. Yeah, really. That bad. On rare occasions, if I’m not going to be wearing it too long, I can get away with a dab of Shalimar, but only rarely.

    I adore Drama Nuui. It’s as much a lamb for me as all those Guerlains are lions. Sorry.

  • Debbie R. says:

    LOL! The ice cold lake of shame. How do you come UP with this stuff? Anyway, yes, I know what you mean. Amouage Dia EDT is that way for me. Okay in private or when dressed up, but going out in sweats? ER…….maybe not. So it requires thought as to the day’s activites. Same with PdR Amoureuse and Neil Morris’ Midnight Tryst. I love all of these intensely, but they’re not really for grocery shopping, IYKWIM.

  • Dina C. says:

    PG Iris Oriental is one that can be way too much for me if the weather isn’t cold enough. I made the mistake of wearing it on a car trip, and in that confined space it was kind of suffocating. So now I’m a bit leery of it.

  • AllGirlMafia says:

    No 5. In all its forms- Eau de parfum, eau premiere…We start of soaring then she decides to take her love away. I think its the jasmine. A generous swapper even sent a decant of vintage edc. For the first 5 hours we were good, we were better than good- it was love! Then…cat pee. I waited, shifted my clothes, sniffed and resniffed…cat pee, For hours! I don’t know how it went so wrong : (

    • Julie L says:

      You know what?…me TOO! #5 was my very first scent memory and I thought I would truly be grown uo when I got my own bottle of it. Well, for the first hour or so it’s just beautiful on me but it DOES have a dirty laundry, stale socks vibe on me during the dry down…I still love it though, and SO wish that beautiful opening would stay there. If you want something verrry interesting to try, a perfume that solely smells like the top note/sparkle effect in Chanel #5, go to Soft Surroundings magazine online, to their outlet website (the perfume is now discontinued! I bought 4 bottle to stash 🙂 and order a bottle of “Enchante”…it is JUST beautiful to me! Right now it’s down to $14.95! It’s a very simple, almost fatty feeling,version of #5 without ANY of the icky stage.

  • poodle says:

    I can’t wait for the post about Portia’s visit. Hope you had a great birthday too!
    I must be one very moody poodle because I have lots of perfumes that pinch. If I’m not in the right mood even my all time favorites grate on my nerves. The biggest offenders are the roses I think. Some days La Fille de Berlin is perfect. Other days it’s a cold metallic mess to my nose and on those days it really is like wearing shoes that hurt. I’m painfully aware of it. Agent Provocateur does that too for me sometimes.

  • Julie L says:

    Well THAT was too funny! Before I read your comment, I thought out loud; “Mitsouko”, I swear I did….honestly though, I haven’t tried even a 16th of the perfumes out there enough to know, but hmmm,,,right now, out of some big samples I have tried it would have to be (insert sad, frowny face here) Cuir de Russe, Chanel-I think I spelled that right-it’s early, 5:dark thirty am, as I write this. Talk about going SOUR! I was SO excited for it, too 🙁 So I tried again another day just positive I ate something bad that, but nope. It aint so pretty on me mostly. I have a couple more but you said only one 🙂

  • Maya says:

    That was a fun read. I’m still laughing. Thank you. Can’t think of any perfumes right now that I have to watch out for. I will mention Drama Nuui. I recently discovered it. It’s my newest *go to* perfume, easy to wear, light and lovely on my skin. Sorry – no problems!

  • Nemo says:

    Cristalle-usually perfect, but occasionally shrill and bothersome, like light glittering off the edges of broken glass.

  • eldarwen22 says:

    Theorema can be all candied orange goodness on the right day but on the wrong day, it’s really sour. But L’Heure Bleue, holy crap, on a bad day, it’s just a powder bomb in a bad day but on the right day, it’s so good.

  • Caroline says:

    On the right crisp, cold winter’s day, I truly enjoy 31 Rue Cambon. Alas, on warmer days, it can loudly scream peppah & patchouli and turn unbearably sour on my skin.

  • Rina says:

    Timbuktu… I loves it the first time I wore it but now I get a weird Kragl smell (that’s crazy glue for those without kids, LOL!)