Fragrance-wise, what would a pink perfume be? I don’t mean the color of the bottle or the liquid inside so much as the vibe – sweet, charming, insouciant, cheerful? Not difficult or edgy or gloomy or strange. Here are the first fragrances that popped into my head that make me “think pink.” These ended up leaning mass-market, which given the genre doesn’t surprise me.
Barbara Bui Le Parfum – I can’t believe it’s still available online, and for as cheap as $25 NIB on various sites. One of my OG perfumista comfort buys, it is a pale, petal-pink cashmere sweater of a scent. Launched in 2004, nose is Ann Flipo, notes are amber, musk, woody notes, and incense. Cloud-soft woods and amber, not overly sweet, with surprising staying power, at least on me.
Narciso Poudree in the pale pink cube bottle, not to be confused with the white cube (which I also like) or any of the eleventy-seven tall bottles in pink, white, pink-white, cream, ecru, etc. Jasmine, orange blossom and a dab of rose, a whisper of musk and tonka bean. The nose is Aurelien Guichard, it’s from 2016, the kind of fragrance that gets called “unabashedly pretty;” I find it milky rather than powdery, and smooth as a pink sky at dawn.
Gucci Bloom — released a couple years ago to a yawn and shrug among perfumistas, it’s every suburban Sephora VIB customer’s mass-market dream; an inoffensive mélange of jasmine, tuberose, honeysuckle and musky whatnot. It’s also as velvety-textured as the old-fashioned wallpaper-print design on the packaging; I understood my fondness for it when I realized Alberto Morillas was the nose. If you’re looking for a hot pink, on the other hand, then look no further than Gucci Rush, a perfumista fan-fave with a lactonic peachy sweetness that takes trashy to the next level.
YSL Paris, because what’s pinker than a bed of roses? I’m old enough I wore it back in the day; it’s the only rose fragrance I truly love and actually wear, generally on rainy spring days and not to the office, because nobody wants to be stuck in a poorly ventilated office space with YSL Paris. Since I’ve been quarantined at home for what feels like forever, it’s getting a good workout.
L’Artisan Mure et Musc – okay, this one’s a cheat because it feels more like pale mauve, but it’s the L’Artisan that started it all, way back in 1978. I have a vintage bottle I’m wearing on cool, windy days while I wait for summer. Zesty citrus topnotes, blackberries and musk.
Isabey Tendre Nuit — a last-minute addition to this list; how charming is that little travel bottle in the slide-out box?! I bought it after reading Portia’s post and it’s a confection of almond and musk with a dusting of powder, delicate as a macaron.
Now, on to some makeup, also in the “think pink” vein, feel free to skip this bit if you’re not interested.
Pink eyeshadow – Pink is having a moment in the eyeshadow world; while I love it in theory, in practice it looks dreadful on me, like I’ve got an eye infection I should probably see a doctor about. I’m too pale and pink myself for pink eyeshadow.
Pink blush – I’m loving the cream blush from Undone Beauty, which I used to order from Amazon but are now available at Target. If you’re wanting to splash out, the powder blush palette from makeup artist Scott Barnes is phenomenal – I have nothing else like it; don’t let the colors scare you, they’re designed to be mixed and layered, and they blend like a dream.
Lips– I now own three tubes of Laura Geller’s Iconic Baked Sculpting Lipstick in Brooklyn Beige, which is not beige but rather a perfect nude-pink. I keep one at work, one at home, and one in my purse, that’s how much I like it. I also have the slightly pinker Prince Street Pink; and the slightly-paler Bowery Ballerina, which is my go-to base for a gloss. (All the pink shades are slightly more muted than this image, and yes, I also have Broadway Glitz, because how could I not order it?) The Iconic Baked formula is awesome— it’s emollient but not sticky, satin finish, lasts well, feels weightless on the lips and doesn’t smell or taste. It pops up super cheap at places like TJ Maxx and Nordstrom Rack, which is how I ended up trying it in the first place, and it goes on sale as much as 50% off regularly at Kohls and the Laura Geller website. And I can’t skip my favorite glosses, the Milani Keep It Full Nourishing Lip Plumpers, because they are a) easy to find and b) not at all sticky, which is rare, and c) available in a really flattering array of shimmery as well as creamy shades.
Nails — Pale pink is such a three-bears shade of nail varnish – too light, too bright, too streaky, too cool, too tan, too flat-looking, too much like Pepto-Bismol. I have a drawerful of disappointing pinks. A couple of months ago I picked up OPI Princesses Rule at CVS because it caught my eye, so dang pretty and sparkly pink in the bottle, knowing full well it might be yet another fail. The shimmer effect is delicate-looking on the nail, not intense like a frost, and maybe it’s the pale champagne tint of the microglitter that makes it work? I dunno, but it doesn’t give me lobster hands, it’s charming but not too jeune fille, and it wears pretty darn well too. When Scrangie reviewed the collection in 2009 it had already been around for awhile—and check out those other shades…
Okay, your turn! What scents make you think pink? What makeup are you playing with? What’s your favorite lip balm and/or hydrating hand cream?