Guilty Pleasures

I have my guilty pleasures, fragrance-wise. I own and wear some things I probably shouldn´t admit to publicly. Things like Coty Sand & Sable, yours for only $3.99 on the drugstore desperation display rack before the holidays (and locked behind glass in larger $18 bottles the rest of the year. Don’t over-apply or you’ll be heading for the shower quicker than you can say Walgreens.) It’s like Bobbi Brown Beach, only better — suntan oil, surf, sand, heat, musk and boardwalk in a bottle, without Bobbi’s off-putting hairspray note. I’m also fond of Coty Wild Woods, online for $10 or less, a woody unisex cologne that smells much, much more expensive. Just do what Colombina the Terrible and I do and call it “Bois Sauvage.” I liked some of those Gap scents (yuzu, peony, orange blossom) but I guess nobody else did, because they were discontinued pretty quickly.

doulton.JPGSo today I´m going to fess up about another embarrassing fragrance I´m loving: Doulton by Royal Doulton. Yes, that´s Royal Doulton of the wretched porcelain milkmaids. I hate tchotchkes in general, and the ones from Royal Doulton make Lladro look edgy. I wound up with a bottle of Doulton because I thought I was buying an empty perfume atomizer at a church bazaar for a dollar à¢â‚¬” and come on, it´s a pretty bottle, admit it. I could only see the top part, though, in the box. I didn´t realize it already had a fragrance in it.

Still, I had to spray it on immediately, a potentially dangerous move since I was away from home and any quick fragrance removal products. My money was on something insipid in either a musk variety or possibly a gag-inducing white floral, since the design seemed too dated for the more au courant gag-inducing fruity-florals.

The notes online on this one are (surprise, surprise!) basically non-existent: I came up with “Launched by the design house of Royal Doulton in 1998, DOULTON EDP by Royal Doulton is classified as a flowery fragrance. This feminine scent posesses a blend of: soft spicy notes of orange flowers and sparkling aldehydes. It is recommended for casual wear.” à¢â‚¬”

So. It´s an orange blossom. But what I love about it is à¢â‚¬” whoa ho! à¢â‚¬” it´s pleasantly dirty. I didn’t have a fragrance that really played up the indolic potential of the orange blossom until I found this one. I have some tolerance for the soapy aspect that frequently rears its head in orange fragrances (hello, LT Fiori d´Arancio!) but it´s completely absent here. Instead it´s a straightforward, minimal-development orange blossom with a hint of some other slightly rotten fruit, and a rich, moderately skanky finish. It’s also, interestingly, somehow wearable in this heat, although I wouldn’t describe it as light. Sure, it sounds disgusting. And if you like your summer fragrances clean, skip this one. But if you´re a naughty girl (or boy) this might be just your thing.

Today´s giveaway (did anyone read this far?) is another partial bottle — of Givenchy Ysatis Iris (Mandarin, Jasmine, Rose, Violet, Iris, Tuberose, Patchouli, Vanilla). It´s a beautiful, summery fragrance without any detectable skank. If you win I´ll throw in a sample vile (uh, vial) of Doulton if you´d like. Anyway, if you want the Ysatis, leave a comment below letting me know.

Any guilty perfume pleasures you´re willing to admit to?

  • March says:

    Tracy — and both sell it at reasonable prices. You’d have to find someone who ships to Canada — I hear there are customs issues and they confiscate periodically.

  • tracy macgregor says:

    i’ve been trying to find out which stores sell doulton perfume. can anyone help me? I live in canada. i tried a sample and love it.

  • March says:

    Karen — Yardley Rose I’ll put up with — the Big Lots aspect only makes it better. DOn’t get me started on the Coty’s — When I Am Empress I am going to have them re-release their greats using the original formulas… PS can you help out Patchamour here with an iris question?

  • patchamour says:

    Dear Karen,

    Could you tell me what kind of irises you grow? Are they almost like miniatures or are they full sized? I’d like to plant some and want to be sure to get fragrant ones. Thank you, Patchamour

  • Karen says:

    Please enter me in the drawing. I have a flower garden and grow irises. They smell heavenly, so the Ysatis Iris sounds wonderful.
    I had to laugh at your criticism of knick-nacks. I used to live in Germany and bought several Hummels. And I bought a few Royal Doulton/some other English bone china knick-nacks, or my mom gave me some (purchased at Hecht’s with her employee’s discount — at practically give-away prices.) My daughter has several (I think by Royal Doulton) “Beatrix Potter” china figures — the Peter Rabbit characters. These were given to her as a child. They are still in the family china cabinet. So there’s no lack of “dust collecters” in my house!
    Guilty pleasure: Bought some Yardley Rose cologne at Big Lots recently. And found Emeraude at give away prices. Was shopping with my mom and came across the Emeraude …”Look Mom, Emeraude for $2.00. You always liked that!”

  • March says:

    Bbliss — MdeM is worth trying, if for no other reason than to say you’ve smelled it.

    Kuri — you’re in! Enjoy your guilty pleasures.

    Patch — that Crushed Peony was nice, you’re right, uncomplicated. You’re in for the drawing. PS Ysatis is not Me but I still think it’s a nice fragrance. I like the Iris version better.

    Emote — FCUK is definitely a guilty pleasure! I have to re-sniff it. No Ysatis for you…

    Cheez — another Gap fan — hmmmmmm…. I love those Pacifica soaps, I have lemongrass and frankincense. Great idea about leaving them in your lingerie drawer, I need to try that.

  • Cheezwiz says:

    My guilty pleasures:

    GAP scents: My favorite is Peony, and I also have the Cassis. I’d like to get the Orange Blossom, which smells surprisingly close to Jo Malone’s version! The Jasmine and Moss scents smelled nice as well.

    Benefit: Maybe Baby – a fluffy girly scent, cute bottle!

    Fresh Index: Pink Jasmine – I tried this on once and have been drooling for it ever since. Ridiculously expensive but so soft and pretty.

    Pacifica Soaps: They smell so heavenly, and one packaged bar will scent my entire lingerie drawer. Unwrapped and used, a bar scents my entire bathroom! I’ve tried French Lilac which is very true smelling, and hope to buy the Neroli Blossom. Really pleasant natural scent rather than artificial mmmm…’ Sniff 🙂

  • Emotenote says:

    I think my most guilty pleasure is a bottle of FCUK, which just does the trick in a hurry. Never offensive, cheery and funny. When my life gets too complex, I get FCUKed. BTW, just in case, no thanks on the sample, Ysatis queaves me out!

  • patchamour says:

    Oops! I may be too late to register for the Ysatis Iris drawing/ and the vile vial of Doulton — LOL. The power went out with a crash last night but luckily the computer lives as of this morning. Love it that you mentioned the Gap scents. Gap Crushed Peony is great for times when you feel too ucky to enjoy complicated perfume. What do ya’ll think of Ysatis? Patch

  • kuri says:

    Please enter me in the giveaway.
    I like Eclat d’Arpege too, but don’t know enough to be guilty about it 😕 And my friends seemed to like it too, so I think I’m spreading the madness a little. :d I kinda like Ashlee Simpson’s Boyfriend song…Oh I know, I like the Pussycat Dolls’ “Buttons” remix! That’s definitely a guilty pleasure.

  • BBliss says:

    March – Sorry for the double-post that’s annoying! I guess it did reappear afterall!

    PMS – Ha, ha, ha – perfect product line extension!

    And yes, you’re right it’s THEM. It’s actually making me try a whole bunch of stuff others hate, because I’m thinking I have a special capacity for appreciation :d

    And that MdeM keeps popping up, so I will definitely add to the list just for the experience!

  • March says:

    Hey, everyone — my apologies for those of you whose attempted comments were eaten by trolls. We have this problem occasionally (sometimes I can’t post a comment either) but not regularly enough to be diagnosable. Again, I am sorry.

    Pam — do I have your address? Email it to me under comments and I’ll send you some vintage L’Origan, it is amazing. And what’s not to like about Eclat? Everything doesn’t have to be an olfactory challenge. Even White Shoulders I’ll enjoy lightly applied on someone else!

    Lisa — well, there you go. I love a lot of vintage things, I collect vintage Red Cross shoes (to wear, okay, that’s weird.) Everything doesn’t have to be $$$$.

    Sybil and BBliss — Precious moments?!?!?
    :-& Wait, I’ve got it! The line would be called Precious Moments Scensational. So we could abbreviate it PMS. Only it would actually BE bottled dessert, so you could eat it in front of the TV in a bad mood. Like chocolate spray mousse or Three Musketeers. Bliss- ignore bad reviews (said the woman who thinks Etro MdeM smells like heaven.) It’s not you. It’s THEM.

    Flora — I KNEW there had to be someone else out there who appreciated S&S’s fine bo-kay. Iwill have to try Jungle Gardenia… Babe I can’t remember. I re-smelled Charlie recently, though, and gad, it was awful.

    PS Everyone who said so, you’re in for the Ysatis! Yes, MARINA, you too, if only because this seems so NOT YOU to me!

  • Flora says:

    LOL – I like Sand & Sable too! I also still harbor a soft spot for Faberge’ Babe, which was my “signature” in my teen years. Dear God I am glad I grew up….still, it has peach in it!

    OK, another ‘fess – I like the cheap ‘n skanky drugstore Jungle Gardenia. So sue me.

    Non-perfume guilty pleasures? Many, and often, and not so guilty.:d

  • BBliss says:

    Mine went poof, too! /:) But please do enter me.

    I commented after Sybil, saying she had read my mind because during March’s post I just kept thinking about the only thing worse than Royal Doulton was Precious Moments (those eyes!) PM perfume would be so sweet that my teeth would hurt just smelling it!

    “Guilty pleasures” are perfumes that consistently get wretched reviews like TDC’s Rose Poivree and Dior’s Tendre Poison (what *is* wrong with my nose???) They just mesh with my skin so perfectly, I hope not/but don’t care too much if I offend.

    I also love the Thymes’ Lavender anything. And a Softsoap shower gel called Rose Milk (which has disappeared from the shelves – not too surprising ’cause while lovely, the name is sadly, off-putting I think).

  • BBliss says:

    Sybil – you read my mind, I was thinking during March’s post – that the only thing worse than Royal Doulton was Precious Moments (those eyes!8-|) Anyway, probably the PM perfume would be something so sweet it would hurt my teeth just to smell it!

    Only “guilty” pleasures are some perfumes that consistently get wretched reviews (what *is* wrong with my nose???) – like Dior’s Tendre Poison and TDC’s Rose Poivree. Both mesh with my skin and become something I adore, so I hope not/but frankly don’t care if I offend! :d

    Oh, and Softsoap had a Rose & Milk shower gel that I love, but can’t seem to find anymore. Got it free with a big refill of hand soap – maybe they were testing it, ’cause the name certainly isn’t that appealing.

  • Marina says:

    What on earth?.. I swear I commmented this morning, my comment was there right after Patty’s. How bizarre…:o

    Clearly the universe does not want me to win this draw, but I will be stubborn. Please sign me up, as I’ve been wanting to try Ysatis Iris for ages!

  • sybil says:

    I’m not a knicknack person either, but my sis-in-law is, and she particularly likes Precious Moments. Imagine how precious moments perfume would smell? Just about exactly like Jessica Simpson’s stuff, I’m guessing.

    Oh, and please put me in the drawing for the Ysatis.

  • Lisa S says:

    Je ne regrette rien. I never feel guilt over money saved by purchasing something I truly love at a wonderful price. And I am proud to spend less. I’ve found perfecly good cashmere sweaters and silk scarves at the Salvation Army for $2.00, drugstore brand shower gels that smell just as good as Philosophy, YSL Nu from Marshalls clearance at a screamingly good price.

    My only guilty pleasure is Cheetoes – and my new blog.

    The only question is why so many fragrance fans feel that they SHOULD feel guilty for loving an inexpensive scent.

    Hogs and Quiches

    Bargain Bertha (aka Lisa S)

    p.s. Please enter us in the drawing for the Ysatis, thank you.

  • Monica says:

    Ok.. 3rd time trying to leave a comment… I want that Ysatis Iris =)

    anyway, my guilty pleasure is Coty White Musk.. I like to bathe in it before I go to bed sometimes..

  • Pam says:

    March, no, my L’Origan is some I purchased off the ‘net last year. Still, it smells like what I remember it being back in the early ’70s when my great-grandmother wore it. I’ve never been able to get my mitts on the vintage formula.

    Do you really like Eclat d’Arpege? I wear White Shoulders on rare occasion because it reminds me of my grandmother. It’s not “me” by any stretch, but I like it for its nostalgic quality. HAGE!

  • March says:

    Sariah — you and Patty — the Sisterhood of the Traveling Tutti DEeeeeeeeeeeewwww! But I won’t tell. Trust me.

    I’m feeling all self-righteous and hipster now about my Coty. Maybe I should get myself one of those “hip” trucker hats like Ashton Kutcher (is that his name? Where is he, anyhow? Did Demi bite his head off and eat him?)

    Just don’t tell me you collect Royal Doulton figurines.

  • March says:

    Robin — yeah, well, I have a premonition you’ll be getting to explore the Wonder that is Doulton a little more closely…:p

  • March says:

    Pam — well, I dunno. With the possible exception of White Shoulders, I think your guilty pleasures are kinda lovely. Do you have the vintage L’Origan? I can’t remember. Lord, it’s puh-retty.

  • March says:

    Iris — I’m wearing Bois Sauvage right now:d along with, I don’t know, Derby and four other things.

    You’re in. I’ll keep an eye out for the Miller & Bertaux, have not tried.

  • March says:

    Chloe — hey, I forgot! I have a can of Coty Exclamation!

    But I can’t write any more about this stuff cuz Patty’ll kick me off the blog before I start reviewing Jessica Simpson’s Dessert line (which will happen right after hell freezes over)

  • March says:

    P — hahahahahahahahahaha okay guess I’m not in a position to giggle about the Tutti Dolce stuff, am I? =))

  • Sariah says:

    I have a weakness for all things Kitsch which I rarely let myself indulge in, and then only in secret or among close friends. My guilty pleasures include:
    Hello kitty, chairman Mao motif paraphernalia, kidney bean shaped anything, sea-foam green eye shadow, I love Genie, Gwen Stefani, Abba, and pink purses. I rarely if ever buy or wear any of these, but yet I love them. I think the perfume epitome of Kitsch, besides celebrity fragrances which I won’t even contemplate, would be Aquolina Pink Sugar. Luckily it smelled horrible on me when I sprayed it on at Sephora. Also the dreaded BBW Tutti Dulci (whispering) I have the sugar wafer lotion.

  • Robin says:

    I had no idea RD did fragrances, but then, doesn’t everybody do fragrances? I should have known 🙂

  • Monica says:

    This is the third time I’m trying to leave a comment… so cutting to the chase… I really really really want the Ysatis Iris because I must try all things with Iris in it =) Please enter me in the drawing, thanks!

  • Monica says:

    morning =) I had trouble leaving a comment this mornig…

    anyway, you are so funny sometimes! I love the GAP scents myself, very affordable and you can get them ALL (key word in ALL)

    Ooh ooh.. I must have/need the Ysatis Iris… because I’ve been dying to try it before I buy the large bottle… so please enter me in the drawing and I suppose if I don’t win I will have to buy myself a decant =P

  • Ina says:

    Guilty pleasures, guilty pleasures… Hmm. I consume obscene quantities of Raffaello candy. I eat my fries dipped in a malt. But that’s not perfume-related. I think I’m guilt-free when it comes to perfume! :d

  • Teri says:

    I have a drugstore favorite that is the guiltiest of guilty pleasures. I live in the SW and play a lot of outdoor tennis. It gets really hot, I get really active, and…well…gasp….I perspire. I’ve found that Coty Vanilla Musk not only blossoms nicely when I perspire (effectively blending with/masking said perspiration), but it does double duty as a bee repellant! lol

  • Pam says:

    March, you lucky girl. Where I live, I’d have to kiss way too many frogs to find a prince like Doulton at a garage sale or church bazaar.

    Yes, I’d love to be put in this week’s drawing, thanks.

    My guilty pleasures: White Shoulders parfum (got it at W-Mart), Eclat d’Arpege and Coty’s L’Origan.

    Non-‘fume g.p.s: 1) a double shot of instant espresso (hey, I’m not a purist)with 2.5 tsp of real sugar plus 2 scant tsps of lemon juice; 2) shoulder pads. 😉

  • IrisLA says:

    I found Coty Wild Woods too sharp and masculine for me. My fave unisex woodsy scent is Miller & Bertaux #1. I don’t understand why this isn’t more popular with the perfumistas.

    Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks!

  • Monica says:

    Lol, you are so funny sometimes =) I like the GAP scent editions myself (just that I have way too much stuff to wear it much) and Jovan White Musk is still one of the best musks out there…

    and oh why do you tempt me so? I want.. need the Ysatis Iris, so please enter me in the drawing! I suppose I will just have to buy that decant off ebay since I must try everything with Iris in it =)

  • Monica says:

    Lol, you are so funny sometimes =) I like the GAP scent editions myself (just that I have way too much stuff to wear it much) and Jovan White Musk is still one of the best musks out there…

    and oh why do you tempt me so? I want.. need the Ysatis Iris, so please enter me in the drawing! I suppose I will just have to buy that decant off ebay since I must try everything with Iris in it =)

  • chloe.f.puff says:

    Okay, I did buy a spray can (oh, elegance in a can) of Coty White Musk at Walmart. However I do have Walmart to thank for my mini of Ysatis, which I bought when I was just entering the world of fragrance. BTW, please enter me in the drawing. Thx!

  • cait says:

    I admit this review makes Royal Doulton sound like risky business. Once at a garage sale a very butch woman sold me a GIANT bottle of Joy for five bucks. That’s my only similar surprise purchase experience. I tried to stop her! I said, “Do you know what riches you are giving away here?” She was nonplussed and said her mom would never seem to learn that she just didn’t wear such stuff. Oh well, I couldn’t prevent her folly, so I reaped the benefit.

  • March,
    “the ones from Royal Doulton make Lladro look edgy”- HA HA HA

    PLEASE enter me into the draw; I wanted to try Ysatis IRIS for ages. Merci!

    A story about Wild Woods. So we were at that corporate BBQ on Sunday. I walk around and smell what I think is Ambre Narguile. The only person around is this man…and, far it be from me to have preconcieved notions, but…he wouldn’t have been wearing Ambre Narguile. So I casually stroll closer to him. And it hits me, the guy is wearing Wild Woods! Awesome scent.

  • Patty says:

    Okay… once in a while I really like those super-sweeet lotions like the Tutti Dolce, usually in the dead of winter or when I’m dieting. Well, that and Days of our LIves.