Heya Posse, I just happened to notice that this will be my 600th post for Perfume Posse! That’s a big deal for me. From may 2012 with Aleksandr by Arquiste. It wasn’t long till we decided to do the ScentSation Bus Tour of 2013. In 2014 we did ScentBar LA, Barney’s Chicago and OSSWALD NYC. You’ve come to Europe with us in 2017, 2018, and our Honeymoon 2019. I took you all to India in 2017. There was a run of Wednesdays with the American Perfumer series. Also a run of Fridays with the SOTD thread. In between there have been reviews, bits of news, some glam ads, perfume, fun and most of all there’s been you! The POSSE! Thinking about all that I’d like to do a Top 10. The perfumes that I feel define my love of perfume (right now obviously). These are the ten perfumes that make me love myself sick for being a mad keen perfumista.
Portia’s 600 Defining Top 10
OK, so while these are my most defining, proud to have, make me feel like a 100% platinum perfumista, they may not be my most worn. Just having them, loving them and being able to enjoy their perfect, rare or crazy beauty is a thrill of its own enjoyment. I’m surprised, now that I’ve picked these ten that they are the ones I decided for todays adventure. Only three designer perfumes, it was a tight race, many I thought would make it in are conspicuous by their absence. One has joined the collection this year and only one is a decant rather than bottle. Two have been in my collection longer than 10 years, one going back to my mother.
Shalimar by Guerlain
Yes, my Mum and some of her girlfriends wore Shalimar. It was the smell of daytime hugs for a long while. Shalimar was the perfume that sent me scrambling down the vintage perfume mineshaft. I wanted it to smell JUST like I remembered. Hilariously, it is the modern EdC in the slightly old fashioned bottle that you can buy for nothing at the discounters that smells most like my memory. The collection has so many Shalimar iterations but the ones I wear most are the Sha-Lemur and vintage dab parfum, usually together.
Mohur by Neela Vermeire Creations
One rose to rule them all. This magical concoction of roses, spice, resins, woods, bloody everything and the kitchen sink is a flawless jewel of perfumery to me. Because of Mohur I sought Neela out because I figured anyone who could creative direct something so engaging, nuanced, tapestried and beautiful is someone I want in my life. Fortunately she is all those things in person plus a whole lot more. These days I wear Rahele much more than Mohur but whenever the mood strikes I fall madly and deeply back in love with it and wonder why I don’t wear it every day.
Saskia by Grandiflora
This was a gift from my dear friend Kerri who had bought Saskia for herself but didn’t love it as expected. WOW! There is something about this aquatic, spicy, floral extravaganza that completely blows my mind every time I spritz. Breathy, languorous, sensual white flowers draped in ylang and washed cool by rain. Woven through is the treacle thick whisper of immortelle. Nothing I’ve ever smelled prepared me for its beauty. Swoon worthy, every spritz. This will be my SS21/22 fragrance, if my 50ml lasts that long.
Lightscape by Ulrich Lang New York
Galbanum and violet open in a serene rush of greenery. It keeps the woody floral heart as reflective as a pane of freshly cleaned glass. Perfectly named for the idea of floating high above the world on a balcony overlooking a warm evening city across some parkland. Green scented, fresh air, the warmth of inside lights behind you and you look out across a sea of stars that shift and flicker as people change rooms in their homes and apartments. But you, high above it all, happily alone, drink it in and feel peace. Lightscape has always smelled to me so niche, exactly the sort of thing that would appeal to a fragment of the fragrance community. I love it so much.
Equistrius by Parfum d’Empire
Iris is the heart of Equistrius. You could wear it for a long time and never make the connection. The note list here is rendered almost useless by the way everything is blended in such harmony and perfect alignment that what you, or rather what I, smell is Equistrius. Personally I find the whole perfume and its trajectory are themselves and no other. Not a big perfume, no world domination or beast mode bro juice here. Quiet and perfectly created perfume. Surprisingly, for something so determinedly introverted, it often gets compliments.
Vintage Miss Dior
There was a short while in my perfume buying history where Asian countries were selling off their perfumes. Japan and Hong Kong mainly. I think a whole generation of affluent parents must have been headed for relocation to retirement villages or the grounds cold embrace. The kids didn’t want these daggy, old fashioned, often unopened status symbols of time long gone. Send them out to goodwill with the rest of their junk.
There was an eBay bonanza for a few years, it seems to have slowed to a trickle. I bought a kings ransom worth of vintage Miss Dior. It is the chypre that speaks to me, like it knows the darkest and lightest places of my soul and burnishes them both up to a stellar shine for inspection. Vintage Miss Dior is living proof that you may not be able to put lipstick on a turd but you can roll it in glitter.
Aesthete by Le Galion
I’m flabbergasted that most of the perfumista community doesn’t wax lyrical about Le Galion, specifically Aesthete. No matter what it smells like (bloody ripper, just so you know) the name alone should make everyone buy at least a lifetime supply for ourselves and those we love. “What is that fabulous perfume?” “Aesthete”. Why is this conversation not happening everywhere? Crazy. This brand creates fragrant perfection. Another crew whose product blew me away so hard that I had to get to know the creative director Nicolas Chabot and partner Enno Ebels.
A funky, woody leather fragrance with a very deliberate nod to those incredible Bernard Chant beauties, done with a 21st century style and refinement. That slightly bitter green opening, dark but smooth leather heart and vanilla/amber/sandalwood base. Exquisite stuff for guys and gals and everything in between.
Amor Amor by Cacharel
This fun, fizzy fruitchouli is my fragrant hug from one of my besties and travel buddies Anna Maria. A surprise gift many years ago I think this is my third bottle. No serious, groundbreaking, weird or incredible masterpiece but a frivolous spritz that brings me so much joy every time. It’s basically as beautiful, silly and fabulous company as Anna Maria herself. Hard to feel anything but joyful when I’m doused in Amor Amor.
Gardelia by Bogue
OK, this is the only decant in my Top Ten 600th Post. The full shebang was way out of my spending reach at the time of release and it was a very limited number in those fabulous bottles. Fabulous Armadillo Cookie Queen, Val, introduced me to Antonio Gardoni at lunch in London back in 2014. In Milan for Esxence a year or two later he had a double ended decant for me with Aeon 001 on the other side (I did buy a bottle of Aeon). The most fabulously feral flower on earth. THIS is what a Triffids knickers smell like after a week of partying and backpacking across Europe in a bus.
Boucheron femme EdT
This 1980s powerhouse big white floral is like a blast of juicy white flowers with a delightfully screechy back bite of bitter greenery, so bitter it’s sweet. Once upon a time it contained real civet and had a much more funky flavour but even the modern offering (while being a LOT more treble) manages a fair skank imitation. Of all the 1980s super huge statement frags this is my favourite by far. This is the other perfume that’s been in my collection for over a decade, probably nearing two decades.
So crew? 600 posts! Any of these float your boat?
I’d love to hear a few frags that you feel define your perfumista-hood too.
See you next week for 601 eh?