Can your skin stop a perfume?

I stop watches. Always have.  They are on me for sometimes a week, sometimes a year, but they will stop.  I can leave them sit for a while and shake them, then put them back on, but they will stop within a day after that. Once the watch is given to someone else, they will run for years on them.  I’ve heard it is because I am magnetic, too much iron, something. My brother stops watches too.  Neither of us can wear those little magnet things that are supposed to help with your joints and arthritis. I put those on and just turn hot and burn up.  I wear this great big kinetic men’s watch now — it is heavy and clunky, but it runs like a champ.  I like the pretty little women’s watches, but I can’t wear them.  This is how I feel about Guerlain. I love them all, but I can’t wear them, and it makes me sad because I think they are so beautiful, but once they get on my skin, they are just too potent and overpowering, like the magnets or iron I have has turned them harsh and not elegant, just too strong and powdery, like my skin just stops it. But I will always love them.

L’Artisan Tout Simplement —  I’m kinda surprised no one is loving this so much. It goes on tart and green and not at all sweet on me.  Now it’s true that it disappears fairly quickly, but it’s
a great summer scent and it does come in the great big bottle, so spritzing with abandon in your hair and all over is a great thing to do and should help keep the scent alive! It is a little linear and not complex for as long as it does last, but crisp and refreshing nevertheless. I normally get along with almost all of the L’Artisans pretty nicely, so I was pretty sure I would at least like this one if not love it. Given that I don’t want my perfumes hanging around in summer, this seems pretty perfect to me, the way Osmanthe Yunnan is perfect for summer.  Notes of green mandarin, ginger, yellow mandarin, frangipani, red mandarin, and white cedar. I get all the goody of this on my skin, it smells like the best of an orange peel with a little zest thrown in and just a dash of wood to make it interesting.

Trapp candles —  It seems I am always hunting for the perfect candle. I used to have all Trapp candles, but they only had a handful of scents back 10 years ago or so, and I grew bored and got lost in Yankee Candles for years, which I don’t like as well as far as smells and throw, but my tries of some of the really high-end candles at $50 a pop made my wallet cry, so the price point of the Yankees made it a better choice. I love the Votivo too, though it must be that soy base in it, they just don’t have the smell that I want all the way through, except the Tomato Leaf Votivo, which is just excellent.  So I ran across the Trapps again, and my goodness, they’ve expanded the line!  My favorite right now is the Rhubarb, but I found some great wood scents for my darling husband.  Why does Rhubarb smell so good?  Trapp makes their rhubarb a little sweet for my taste, but it’s still tart enough that I get to meander through the memories in my head of fresh rhubarb picking and the smell all over our hands, and then the smell of rhubarb pie baking and how tart it tasted.  I used to laugh when old people told me that it was easier to remember 30 years ago than it was to remember yesterday, but now I understand. It’s like the memories, whether scented or not, have a potency when they were made in your youth, they made treads that were so much deeper and more accessible, and they are well worn because they have been there so long, and scent deepens the memory and makes it emotionive. The smell of Rhubarb makes me think of my mom, as does fresh baked bread and Palmolive soap.  I’ve never told her that.

Pumping Perfume onto the Dance Floor — Apparently once they banned smoking in some nightclubs in Scotland, patrons began to complain about the body odor that was no longer covered up by cigarette smoke. Now they are pumping perfume onto the dance floor, they said it was strawberry and cream. I’m thinking that’s probably just going to smell like B.O. that’s been dipped in strawberries and sour milk.  All in all, I’d far rather smell smoke than body odor. [source]

My new cute haircut —  It’s all about the summer now!  Short-ish, but long enough that I can flip it out, heavy on the light part of the highlights, it’s just a shaggy, short mess, and I mean that in a good way.  So now that I’m all ready for summer or at least spring, we are having a cold, awful, horrible day? #&%*$ Colorado weather. It will probably snow a foot tonight just to chap me.  Snow in April, I never seem to get used to it.
The nicest thing about Colorado is that I can grow Daphnes here.  If you haven’t smelled a Daphne in bloom, you have missed the best smell in the world.  Whenever I smell them, I think of my boys who are mostly grown now, and I feel like a young mom again. I had three huge Daphnes growing in front of my old house that I rent to my nephew now, and that was the smell of my boys, of spring, of them out front playing in the evening as soon as it got nice, and the daphne smell just assaulting my nose in some ephemeral way. Every time I would try and get close to it to whiff, it would go away. You had to just breathe the perfumed air in the evening and not try too hard to find where it was coming from. While it had blooms, you couldn’t pick the blooms to capture the scent, you just had to enjoy it while it was there and wait another year for it to come back.

So I don’t have Daphnes at my new house, but I will this year!  I’ve ordered tons from Wayside, plus some roses from Heirloom, and I’m so ready for spring gardening. How many of you are gardeners, and do perfume people also love flower gardens too, and is that a necessary thing?  And if so, what are your favorite flowers as far as smell?  I need more gardening ideas because I plant for smell. Do all perfume lovers plant for smell? I used to plant for show, for beautiful blooms, but I’m happier now having an ugly old plant that smells like heaven than a great-looking tarted-up bloom that smells like nothing.

  • Kevin says:


    I couldn’t help but be intrigued by your comments about Trapp Candles. If you haven’t already, I invite you to checkout My wife and I have created a very large collection of wonderful candles, starting with the Trapp candle line.

    We would love to talk with you more about candles. You’re obviously a true candle lover at heart. 🙂


  • Pam says:


    Yes, (**giggles**) tomatoes and cucs are good fer eatin’, most definitely. Truthfully, I’d rather eat them than smell them. Ever eaten an orange or yellow tomato? They’re something to behold. Oh, yeah; taste good, too. :d

  • marbledog says:

    Hyacinths. I plant them all around my front door so when I come or go I get hit with this wonderful smell. But I’m not a perfume person. I suppose if they made a perfume that smelled exactly like hyacinths I might wear it.

  • March says:

    Sybil — sorry if I conveyed the wrong impression. For the record, I really like Piper Nigrum, I am very fond of those herby-incense fragrances. I used it in the blind three-way swap we did recently. The reason I was teasing Patty is that I found it to be quite strong (in a good way) and Patty finds it quite strong (in, um, a not so good way), so we were both impressed that it just sort of disappeared on you. But I have the sweet-eating skin that can stop some fairly overwhelming candy juice in its tracks, so I just think it’s individual skin.@};-

  • cheezwiz says:

    This is a nice question – what are people’s favorite garden flowers? Unfortunately I have no talent for plants, but I adore blooming flowers whether in garden or fresh cut.

    Daphne are such pretty little flowers and they do indeed have a beautiful scent. I think I would love any fragrance that had this as a prominent note.

    Growing up we had both lilacs & nicotiana in our yard. At twighlight the intoxicating scent would waft in through the window. Heavenly.

    I also have some memories of citrus blossoms that stick out in my mind: driving through California in springtime as a kid, we passed lemon groves in full blossom. I can’t recreate the exact scent in my mind – I just remember it as absolutely breathtaking.

    In one of my previous office jobs, someone brought in a tiny indoor orange tree. The tree must have been happy in its little pot, because it was constantly blossoming then bearing wee oranges. Even on such a small knee-high tree the blossoms were intoxicating!

    Other blooms I love:
    FREEEESIA!!! one of my all-time favorites!
    Sweet Pea
    Hyacinth (even though they always seem to flop over)
    I like roses when I’m sniffing the real thing, but I’d probably take any of the above blooms over them.;)

  • Patty says:

    For me, and I think March, PN was potent juice. I almost had to cut my arm off to get rid of it, just strong. So if you killed that, we’re just impressed. I didn’t know it could be killed. 🙂

    I found it meh too, but just a really strong, overpowering meh.

  • sybil says:

    Patty? A novice question…why is it impressive to kill Piper Negrum? It was just meh on me, so I didn’t sniff it off my wrist, like I have been in danger of doing with some…
    As for Nicotiana, they are sort of like what you described daphne…hard to smell directly, but you go out at night or early and smell and think “what smells so good?” and realize it’s the nics.

  • Patty says:

    Cait, you would love the daphs. I start out with little springlings, and they will just take over over time, not in a really invasive way, they just start spreading and have such nice greenery all year long. Everyone I have talked into daphnes loves them once they have them.

    I don’t know how well they would grow up there, what is your zone? Do they let Alaska have a zone? A couple of them are incredibly hardy, so I bet you could find one that would do fine. They like dry air and sun.

    It’s really the snows in May and June that bother me most. April is pretty normal, but irritating. I know you know about those too. 🙂

  • Patty says:

    Victoria, gardening is hard work, for sure, and I really didn’t get interested in it again until I got into my late 30s. I used to hate it when I was little, but love it now. Weird. but I’ve got farmer genes just shot through, much to my horror sometimes. 🙂

  • Patty says:

    Pam, I know they have some milder climate daphnes, but I don’t know if they do as well in more humad climate. The combination of all the sun we get in Denver and the dry weather is perfection for daphnes, but some of the really long bloomers aren’t hardy enough for here, so we stick with the burkwoods, carol mackie, etc. But there are lots that may work.

    Tomantoes and cucumbers, mmmm, love them on my hands, but have you ever diced them up together and thrown a little dressing on top? Just light. Perfection.

  • Patty says:

    Robin, if you’re into the tart fruity things, I think you’ll like it well enough. I don’t know that you’ll like it well enough to get a bottle, though. I like it, but if I had to pick between it and Osmanthe Yunnan, OY would absolutely be the winner without any question.

  • Patty says:

    R, I don’t know of any perfumes that list daphne as a note. I have a hunch it is a hard one to capture, like the Russian Olive bloom is as well, but I wish someone would try, and it won’t be me. i tried my hand at some rudimentary scent building, then gave up and have a serious admiration for those that do it. It’s hard, hard work.

    The new L’Artisan has no staying power on the skin. I got some mileage out of it if I did a full body spritz, just a light scent for the evening, but that was the hair, clothes, wip-wops, everything.

    Brown thumb? *tsk 🙂

    Love ya back!

  • Patty says:

    Sybil, you killed Piper Negrum? Wow, color me seriously impressed!!!

    Yup, I have stuff coming from White Flower Farms. I’ve not had Nicotania in the past, I guess because I sniff it and don’t get anything, but I know it comes out at night and perfumes the air. i think I need a bunch of it this year. Thank you!

  • Cait says:

    Dear Patty,
    What an interesting idea that your skin can stop a perfume.

    I desperately want to grow and smell daphnes now. Wonder if they’d grow in Alaska?

    I love to stop in and hear about your haircut and snow in April (I know from what you speak) and everything else. Just delightful.:d

  • Victoria says:

    I love the smell of soil and leaves, even though I am not much of a gardner. I used to enjoy it more when I was little, helping my grandmother.

    If you like simple and refreshing citrus fragrances, Mandarine is a nice discovery.

  • Pam says:

    I’m a confirmed Guerlain and Caron crone, but even at that, there are a couple-three Guerlains that my skin puts the meps on. One is Nahema. It’s supposed to smell like roses. On me, it smells like pink vomit. Vulgar, I know. But that’s what it smells like. >:p

    I don’t garden specifically for the smells, though I enjoy the smells associated with gardening. I love the way tomato leaves smell, for instance; cucumber seeds smell just like cucumbers; freshly picked bell peppers always smell so crisp. I’m always sniffing things. Standing under the citrus trees when they’re in bloom is such a joy. I have two heirloom roses which somehow survived pine trees falling on them during K; they’re a lot smaller now but they’re alive and in bloom as I write this. Mostly I plant flowers with bees and hummers in mind. Have never smelled a daphne. They sound wonderful, though. Will check to see if they grow this far south.

    Snow in April. I can hardly fathom that. Our tomato vines are loaded, and the cucumbers, bells and zucchini are a couple weeks away from the first pick. We’ve been near 90 for the past few days.

    Glad your haircut turned out so well, Patty. Am getting a long overdue cut this week myself.

    Have a good day, all.@};-

  • Robin says:

    This might one of the first really nice reviews of Mandarine I’ve seen. Perhaps I’ll like it yet…

  • violetnoir says:

    Oh darling, I have to confess that I have a totally brown thumb! My dear dh is the gardener in our house. I do pets quite well..but I kill all plants. I guess that makes sense because flowers and plants often spell disaster to precious pets, so no wonder I have no talent (or empathy) for the former. And, I don’t particularly enjoy receiving flowers anymore; they just end up dead, right?

    However, I would love to smell those daphnes. I wonder if there are any perfumes out there made of daphnes? You should create one! *-:)

    I am so sorry about the Guerlains…I had no idea. If it is any consolation, the Carons tend to “hate” me. The only one that I can wear successfully is the beautiful Bellodgia. The Mousse de Saxe, or whatever the base is, just stinks on me!

    I would consider the new L’Artisan, but it’s got to have staying power. I love orange and adore frangipani, but can’t stomach a passing vapor, know what I mean? And on me, Osmanthe Yunnan lasts all day.

    Love ya!

  • March says:

    Wow, P — Sybil’s skin eats Piper Nigrum!


    Sybil, I am impressed. That is some serious juice for skin to overcome. Not for amateurs.

  • sybil says:

    I absolutely believe skin can stop a perfume. (if it can stop a solid thing like a watch, why not a bunch of airy molecules?) Right now, Sage Machado Turquoise is becoming Bounce’s latest fresh-smelling dryer sheet on my left arm, and the Lorenzo Villoresi Piper Nigrum on my right arm, applied less than 2 hours ago, has given up the ghost.
    As a beginning perfume person, I’m not sure loving scented flowers helps me. Florals (at least so far) never smell as good on me as they do in nature.

    As for scented things to grow–I love alyssum (the white kind!) heliotrope, stock, and nicotiana. These are all annuals (cuz I can’t commit), and none will win any contests for flower size. Stock and nicotiana both smell particularly wonderful at night.
    For shrubs, I like calycanthus, fothergilla and some of the vibernums.
    I live in the soggy nor’east, so I’m not sure how they’d tolerate CO weather. Have you tried White Flower Farms? They’re a good source of well-grown stuff.
    Have fun in the garden!

  • Patty says:

    I have to take it back, M, Apres L’Ondee and Meteorites get along fine with me, though Apres took longer to suck up enough that I wound up loving it. Mitsouko doesn’t hate me, but it wind up being one I just don’t reach for, I get too distracted by it to wear it.

  • Christina H. says:

    Hey, I order from Wayside too!Now, I feel prompted to get their catalog and see if I’m in the right zone to grow them.(Zone 7).I remember my P.E. teacher in 7th grade saying that when she lived in Colorado that it would snow in spring and we all just were sorta in disbelief!

  • March says:

    Aw, P, you covered a lot of ground here! Well, 1) those swoony Carons smell so wrong on me, all boozy. 2) I bet I end up loving the Mandarine, I don’t even care if if lasts 2 minutes. How would you compare it to Oranger? 3) That crazy weather! April in NM was the most depressing thing, we’d always have some terrible snow, and the wind was bad. April flowers here are gorgeous — Daphnes, I have a white forsythia that smells gorgeous! And those witchhazels, which you can smell down the street. I love the way hyacinths smell, but I think they look a little funny… and this was a great year for the lilac. 4) Rhubarb makes me think of PIE. 5) That strawberry/cream bar scent is just wrong. My vote: Cumming or Terre d’Hermes. 6) Put a photo of your new haircut up!

  • Flora says:

    You sound like my kind of gardener! I get my roses from Heirloom too – I collect Austin roses – if they don’t smell, I am not interested. Also LOVE Daphne, and I am trying to collect more types. My other big fave is Lilies, the more the better. The trumpets and Orientals smell just stupefying on summer evenings and attract hummingbirds during the day. I am also enchanted by all the swoony night-blooming flowers like nicotiana, night-flowering stock and moonflower vine.

    Can you grow Daphne odora in Colorado or is it too cold? It is just about the best of all scents, and carries far on a breezy day.

  • Marina says:

    Aww! I always knew you were magnetic, Patty 😡

    If it’s any consolation to you, many of Guerlain’s Classics (I am talking Shalimar and Mitsouko here) don’t work for me too. My mind admires them, but my body rebels when I try to wear them.