If the hat fits…

One of my very true best friends lives a long way away from me: she’s a hop, skip and a jump from Stanford University, whereas I’m in the rural heart of Suffolk, England (unfortunately now more known for its serial killer and bird flu than anything else). I see her much less often than I’d like and this sometimes gives me that melancholy longing for when we so much younger and she lived just round the corner. Those were the days when we’d just hang out, unthinking of the future that would place us an ocean and a continent apart…

One way we’re currently communicating is through smell – I sent J a collection of forty or so mini-atomisers just after Christmas, and she’s been wearing one a day since then. Just one a day. Seriously. Now, I’m not sure I need to point this out but I will do anyway: this marks a massive difference between our personality types. If I were her, I’d have torn open that package and every inch of exposed flesh would have been sprayed – a mélange of stinkitude would emanate from me and I’d no longer be able to tell where one ended and another begun. Even if one was Arabie and another Baby Phat DibDab. No doubt I’d expose some additional body parts just for good measure. I’d be in trouble both for indecent exposure and environmental pollution.

I don’t doubt that J’s strategy is more adept at helping her know the smells than my “spray them all and see what happens” technique. Well, technique is not really the right word… Each of her atomisers is receiving the time it deserves and being lived with rather than frenzy sniffed. I admire her for it, truly I do, cos it’s something I find next to impossible. I’m impressed by those people who are able to say, “I’ll try this one today,” as though the rest of the bottled buggers aren’t screaming loudly, “pick me! pick me!”. It’s so very rare for me to wear just one scent at any one time, even if I know and feel I should.

J, however, doesn’t stop there. My decants are stored in a number of shoddy and shabby containers (most noticeably old shoe boxes – you can see that I aim for style icon status), in a state of disarray and mumblejumblement. I occasionally attempt to stand them up to “make them look neat”, but they readily do that domino topple trick to tell me that I should end the pretending. J’s are placed in a beautiful wooden box, untested separated from tested. Not satisfied with that organisational feat, the tested scents are placed in rank order from most to least liked. My jaw hangs loose in wonder.

I’m never going to be like J on the organisational front; she’s never going to be like me. I don’t know whether you’ve ever taken a Myers-Briggs personality test, either for work or fun, but if you have, you’ll know that J shows classic judging qualities, and I exhibit hard and fast perceiving ones. If you don’t know what I’m on about, you can track down a test online and find out. Really. I sometimes think it’s as accurate a match of who you are as a horoscope, but on the odd occasion it somehow seems uncannily right. And this is one example of that rightness in action. Or oddness in action. You decide.

Now, I doubt very much whether our scent tastes correspond with our personality types directly, and certainly not our Myers-Briggs profiles, but there are undoubtedly certain scents that I can admire, even love, but can’t wear because of who I am. Or perhaps more accurately, who I’m not. Rather like my wonder at J’s organisational powers, these fragrances fill me with slack jawed astonishment at their beauty – I can sneak them onto my skin in private moments but could never been seen in them in public. They’re just not me. Just as organisatonal prowess never will be.

Top of the list of JNMs is Un Lys. Now, it could be because it’s too feminine that I can’t wear this, but in my head I have it down as too pure, too precise for me to manage. I adore it, in spite of my terror of white florals, and would willingly scent the world in its sparkling beauty, but I might just as well dress in a frilly French maid outfit and crotchless knickers (please, don’t imagine) as get away with this on my skin.

Next up is Angelique Encens. You see how tough this JNM category is? I love love love AE from that honey powder candy opening, to its incense rich heart notes, yet I’m never dapper or louche enough to fit it. And I know this is subjective and that some readers will be screaming that I should just wear what I love, but the point is what I love is not always what I am.

Finally I thought I best throw in something a little more butch, for in spite of the previous two scents and the look of this blog, I’m damn manly, me (I mean – check out my pic)! Fahrenheit is one of my true loves from long ago (well, the 80s anyway), and a scent I wore out and wore out in my teens and twenties. It’s JNM now because it was exactly me back then, and I’ve changed. Attempting to recapture the past seems like a trap to me, and I’d rather enjoy the nostalgia than pretend I’m still the person I once was. So I’ll sniff it, experience the pleasant melancholia that comes with that peculiar personal engagement with the passing of time, but not try to be it ever again.

So, over to you. Tell me about your organisational derring-do, alongside any JNMs you might have.

Photo from the Sydney Morning Herald. Hat designed by Antonio Alvarado.

  • Flora says:

    Lee, that is a very thought-provoking post. I am trying to think of a JNM that is something I really love and I just don’t know….so many things were once JNM that I have rediscovered and decided that I could indeed wear. I guess the one I really regret is Paloma Picasso. I always wanted to BE that sort of diva/femme fatale who could pull that huge fragrance off well. Alas, even many years after its release, and my entrance into the realm of “a certain age”, it is still too big for me. I can do big chypres – Jolie Madame likes me, A LOT – but not Paloma. Sigh.

    Also, re: SL Un Lys – I don’t think it’s too pure and perfect by any means – was it not Luca Turin who referred to its “venomous purity?” That was before I ever smelled it, and it’s the thing that made me realize I had to have it. It only SEEMS innocent, it’s really an ice queen with hidden passions. Like me, you know. 😉

    • Lee says:

      Flora – I’m figuring now that perhaps it’s more to do with my corruption and depravity then. Perhaps I can wear AE after all…

  • Amerie says:

    I have kept my samples in a variety of boxes-ones decorated by my kids to old cigar boxes.However at Christmas I ordered a huge lot of samples for my partner to give me. Imagine my surprise when I opened the (large) box to find them all presented sitting upright in beautiful tiered wooden carousels he had specially made from local Tasmanian woods. I dont know if it is easier to choose or harder as they are all so easy to see!

  • pitbull friend (Ellen) says:

    Oh, dear hearts! Is there any way that we’re all going to meet up someday? Or most of us? Or any of us? It would be just so very funny to meet a crowd of people and guess who they are without ever having heard or seen them — just from what we know here. I see on Basenotes there’s a London get-together coming up, but that’s a bit beyond me right now…. sigh…

    Lee can have Weltanschauung & Maria can have Gestalt & March can have verklempt (Yiddish, but close enough to German?) if I can have Schadenfreude. I’m afraid that Schadenfreude is one of my personal 7 deadliest sins. (Yes, you know — Schadenfreude perfume by Gendarme! Sold at Sephora! Maybe it would be better than the other ones.)

    • Maria B. says:

      Just look for the tall, pencil-thin Scandinavian dressed to the teeth in designer clotes. 😉 Notice that I didn’t say that would be me. :d

  • tmp00 says:

    I fall somewhere in the middle, organisationwise: I have a dish on the dresser with new samples untried and small decants for everyday wear, an old shoebox with samples sampled and bottles currently out of favor (who the heck thought I’d like Azaaro?). The bottles are in a cabinet in the hall, in their boxes, with the door firmly locked. This is more protection against an earthquake than anything else.

    I took one of those tests and it read “Mastermind Rational (iNTj)”. That makes me sound like Dr. Evil!?!

    • Lee says:

      Nothing wrong with falling in the middle…

      Dr Evil, pleased to meet you. I’m Che Guevara (Champion Idealist). I might seem way cooler than you, but I don’t achieve anything… You cut to the chase, buddy boy. I’m just a sentimental old soak who’s easily bored.

      • Dusan says:

        The test says I’m ESFP, though I’m definitely borderline introvert. Performer Artisan it said – wonder how that hat of yours would fit me 🙂
        Anyways, would you be a dear and provide the link to your fetching pics for this fatassed slob. Cheers, mate 🙂

    • Patty says:

      Tom, I’m a Mastermind Rational too, INTJ.

      Hmmmmm…… I was borderline E, but only when I want to be. I’m far more comfy curled up with a book and my dog.

  • Ina says:

    I’m an organization freak! Everything must have its own spot or I go bonkers (and everyone else around me). :d With perfumes, most bottles are stored away in the drawers. There’s a decant drawer, sort of organized but not meticulously. I keep samples in a few cardboard decoration boxes. One box for bagged samples, one for unbagged, one for department store scents, and one for vintage stuff. But I do like to keep the top of my dresser tastefully chaotic, usually with all the most recently received samples/decants. I really need a better system, I think. 😕

  • Robin says:

    JNM: Chanel no. 5, Joy, Mitsouko, all the really great old classics 🙂

    • Lee says:

      The classics are funny that way I guess, though with men’s stuff it’s much easier. I mean, can’t anyone wear Eau Sauvage?

  • Justine Tamaro says:

    I am fairly unorganized, with samples in every room, sort of squashed in amoungst other stuff. My decants/bottles, now those I can organize, but all those little tiny vials hardly seem worth the effort.

    White florals are JNM. Frankly, I am almost always a little loud and sassy. You notice when I’m not around. White florals are the same way, just girlier and when combined with my own presence the package is too much. Musk I can do, but it always quiets down on my skin while those white florals morph from smells good to nauseous in no time.

  • Teri says:

    I’m so organized I’m positively anal. My spices are alphabetized, as are my cans of veggies. My socks and lingerie are placed in drawers in colorwheel order. It’s awful, I know, but it quiets some deep-seated need in my Germanic soul.

    I found the perfect repository for my ever-growing collection of miscellaneous samples. It’s a small set of porcelain ‘drawers’ in a porcelain ‘dresser’ that at one point served someone as a sewing notions container (I found it in an antique store). It has nine drawers total, each of which I’ve labeled with a category, and the little drawers are just exactly deep enough to stand a sample vial up in them. Purrrrrrrfect!

    My full bottles are arranged on a mirrored tray on my vanity, in no particular order except for their aesthetic value (prettier bottles in front, more pedestrian ones in back).

    I have one ginormous JNM — Shalimar. I love the fragrance, it just doesn’t love me back. So I content myself with stalking women wearing it…lol I make a point of riding up and down in the elevator at work each morning with a lovely older lady for whom this is a signature fragrance.

    And by the way….who needs a word-a-day calender when we have this blog?

    >:d<

  • pitbull friend (Ellen) says:

    Hmmm. I’ve taken the test a couple of times, with different results (not much science to the fact that we answer some questions differently on different days). I believe ESTJ was the predominating one. That may be why: 1) I have an approx. 85 page doc listing my dated opinions of two tries per scent plus all the notes in the scent, perfumer, and year released; and 2) my decants are in alphabetical order by perfume house and samples in bags grouped by house if it’s one I have a lot of or dominant note if it’s one I just have a couple of. And the “E” part is why I felt compelled to mention it? (Is this why people hate lawyers???)

    • Lee says:

      ^:)^

      =d>

      @-)

      (words didn’t seem appropriate)

    • Maria B. says:

      I too am speechless with awe. ^:)^

    • pitbull friend (Ellen) says:

      But, you know, the weird thing is that I never set out to do it — it just happened. And my house is often a mess. I have order where it matters to me. Alas, I sent my sister a package of decants with an edited version of my 85 page report as it related to each of the ones I sent her. And I think I terrified her, because she doesn’t want to discuss perfume with me any more.

  • IrisLA says:

    All my samples get thrown willy nilly into a drawer. I keep telling myself I’ll organize them someday. :d I do keep notes on all the ones I’ve tested.

    I adore Caron Tabac Blond but it’s JNM. It suits a tall woman with a commanding voice and an imposing personality. I am petite with a soft voice. Even when I wear my leather get-up, it’s still not me! 😡

  • Solander says:

    Ah yes, there is a huge difference. I guess I just assumed I had loads of JNMs and then… I couldn’t think of any. Perhaps the florals I actually love? They’re still not quite “me”. Perhaps the cool and strict scents I do love, like vetiver, but don’t feel quite comfortable in? Or.. now I got it! Profumum’s Dulces in fundo. That’s the last JNM I tried. It’s lovely but I don’t want to smell like a cosy cookie-baking housewife. I kept it but I know I’ll never reach for it. “Me” is more eccentric than that, I wish.
    But I do wear anything I like, just like I wear high heels and lipstick and ties and cufflinks and biker jackets and fake moustaches (well… maybe not to class) and whatever strikes my fancy, “me” or not. I guess doing that is “me”. 😉

    As for the organization of samples and decants, I think I got it: boxes for fishing gear. Either that or some kind of inventory locker with lots of little drawers.

    • Lee says:

      I wanna wear a fake moustache.

      • Solander says:

        Well, go ahead! 😉
        (Look, I learned how to do this)

        If we’re talking organization in a more abstract sense than storing, I keep Word documents (no Excel in this house) with all the scents I tried divided after house, and then after “yum!” “meh” or “yuck!” in three columns. I list only name and notes, I want to know if there emerges a pattern among the notes I like and don’t.

        • Solander says:

          Oh and then I have another Word document with all the scents I actually kept in my collection of samples (about 350 to date) listed after scent type, so I can open it and go “hmm, I want to wear something floral/leathery/woody today, what have I got?” Not that I ever do. I’m too busy eagerly throwing myself over all my new samples.

          I guess, uh, sometimes I ought to be studying and don’t…

  • Tigs says:

    Great post, suspenders and hat pic. I have been “professionally” tested at school and am an ENTP – not too far off you, which is clearly why we both love “The Women in White” and the city of Istanbul. Actually, I have an ENTP’s religious faith in abstract systems (if you think Myer-Briggs is silly, you should check out my blog today…) And I use plastic baggies for my samples and can usually find anything I want, provided I have two hours to search beneath the piles of laundry, crusty bowls of what used to be oatmeal, plastic zoo animals and mounds of books “for important research”. Am I a “P”? – you bet your life, Mister.

    • Lee says:

      Oh yes pretty similar (of course, that has to explain Woman in White and Istanbul 8-} ), though I’m probably more ridiculously touchy-feely than you! I should invest in some plastic baggies…

  • BitterGrace says:

    My organizational skills are about par with yours, Lee, but it’s important to keep trying–any futile effort at housekeeping is a morally pure strategy for avoiding real work. My main JNM=Joy, the most beautiful, heartless dominatrix in the history of perfume. I still try her out occasionally, but I know she’s just going to humiliate me.

    • Lee says:

      M, you’ve justified it for me at least.

      *has quick sweep round with ineffectual duster*

      Yes, Joy – I think people have to be designed for her, rather than the other way around…

  • Judith (lilybp) says:

    Wonderful post! I have tried for organization (I always try at some point), having acquired a curio cabinet for bottles, lipstick holders for decants, and (theoretically) alphabetized drawers for samples, but I have outgrown all of these (and grown weary of trying to keep the last two ordered), so I have decants and samples all over my desk, in various boxes in my study, etc. In short–a mess!

    Just Not Me (although I appreciate them. . . ). Hmmmm. Well, I’ll go with Un Lys, too (getting a lot of play here). And most of the Rosines and other “pretty, fresh” roses (e.g., Creed FdTRB). As for Myers-Briggs, we are similar. I am I/ENFP (the first seems to depend on mood, the rest are very strong). And I also look great in hats!:)

    • Lee says:

      Judith

      Like you, I attempt organisation but know, even as I start it, that I’m doomed to failure. I get the pleasure from setting up the system, never using it. I guess I need a lackey to whom I can hand over samples, decants and ideally washing.

      I love smelling fresh rose perfumes. My lord though, I could never wear them unless I was wearing Victorian drag (not something I do on a regular basis).

      Nice to have a personality buddy here – we do sound very similar – except I look daft in hats!

      • Judith says:

        Well, your avatar looks fab in his hat! Am I to take it that this is not an accurate representation? I also love the picture, though I thought that probably wasn’t you. I don’t usually wear Victorian drag, either, but I do have a red, floor-length corset dress that I occasionally squeeze into (and that I would be glad to lend out). It would go better with Rose de Nuit or the Montales than with fresh roses, though. . . .

        • Lee says:

          J

          If you replaced the hat with a mop of thinning almost black hair, blue eyes with dark brown, changed the jaw shape, shrunk the head, changed the outfit entirely (see my answer to Colombina for my current pret a porter kit), you’d have me almost down pat. There’s a photo or two loose on the web of me at perfumeoflife in the talk about life section, should you dare to stare…

          • Judith says:

            AH–you are ador-able! I like you much better with a normal-sized chin!:) And hat or no–definitely a style icon!

      • Lee says:

        Forever kisses winging your way!

  • Dennis says:

    Lee,
    It would be very kind of you to send a sample of ISM. I was in Paris before Christmas and had about, oh, TWENTY minutes at Serge Lutens. I tried Cuir Mauresque right out of the gate and got stuck there. I ended up with a bottle of CM. I have a sample of L’Homme de Coeur which I wanted to love. It was nice but not quite enough…does that make any sense?

    Dennis

  • Lee says:

    We all have those JNMs I reckon, and pretend they somehow are us! Most of mine are now in decant form rather than full bottles…

    I’m with you on the yoga for ankle sniffing – the only real reason I do it too, I guess, though I’ve lapsed in recent weeks.

    My Pud Etats are sitting right next to me in a state of ready-to-sniffage. Unfortunately, my sense of smell has sailed up the Swanee today. At least it’ll be warm down there…

  • Elle says:

    Is it possible to be a lapsed organizer? I’m an INFT, so possibly I never was. However, the woman who feng shuied our house (and checks up on us) is very insistent that we remain organized. I love the concept of being very organized and loathe visual clutter, so I do try to be. I am determined to get multiple hanging jewelry or shoe organizers and put all my samples in their pockets w/ nice labels on each of them in my perfume closet. Currently they’re all in drawers and boxes around the house, making guests raise their eyebrows when they open a drawer in the kitchen in which they assume they’ll find cutlery and find it packed full of perfume samples. I was also going to say that I wear perfumes just because I love them and am oblivious to the JNM consideration. However, after approximately two and a half seconds thought, I realized that although I tend to purchase and love many scents that are JNM, those actually are the ones that end up languishing in my perfume harem, essentially in what Marina would say was a near permanent quarantine state. Un Lys is one of those – definitely not me, but I *have* to have it each spring to wear a few times to somehow express solidarity w/ the season and the joy of winter being over (despite my deep love of wintery scents). Oh, and when I got my ELdO samples from FF, I’m afraid I immediately found space on ankles, knees, wrists, etc. to sample all of them (yes, I was working at home and didn’t plan on going out). My main reason for doing yoga is to remain flexible enough to keep my ankles and feet as key sampling territory. I will try samples again, giving each one individual time, but I really can’t imagine wearing only one scent every day. Life is short. I’ve got to switch out in the afternoon and, if possible, in the evening again. And I frequently wear two harmonious scents simultaneously, one on each wrist.

  • Marina says:

    You *are* a style icon, L. Love the picture 🙂 I can never remember what letters I am in that test, nor do I know what they mean, but I keep my decants in a drawer that I personally partitioned into cubicles of sorts, so that the little bottle don’t fall, when I open the drawer. Samples are kept in three “colonial style” chests, 1 chest holds samples to try and write about, 2- I tried and not sure what to do with and 3- samples I tried and have to get rid of. There is also a drawer full of carded samples…:d

    • Lee says:

      Well, you’re definitely a J…

      Yes, a style icon. Today, I am in stripy Spanish pyjamas, and old fluffy french connection hoodie worn on top, with my pj trousers tucked into socks. Quite alluring, I think.

  • Gail S says:

    Wow, I wish there was something, anything, that was JNM! Of course, there are perfumes that I absolutely hate, but that’s not what you’re talking about. At some point, anything that I appreciate the smell of gets worn. It may not be me every day, but there’s a day in there somewhere where it is me. Perhaps I have a personality disorder?

  • Lee says:

    Sorry Solander, I’ve brought us into acronym hell. In my mind there’s a big difference between not for mes or NFMs (I’m with you on the fruity florals) and just not mes (JNM), which you kind of wish you could wear. I’ll shut up now.

    And can I say, I marvel and wonder at your organisational prowess. Why oh why can’t I be like you? If I had systems, and kept to them, surely life would be less messy…

  • Solander says:

    I have a lot of perfume oil samples I keep in a couple of cute boxes in reasonable order. My fine perfume samples I keep in a photo album, just because I happened to have one I didn’t use. I tuck them in where the photos are supposed to sit, in alphabetical order after the perfume house. It’s a very bad idea because obviously I can’t close the album, it’s so full of samples. It has to stand open and they keep falling out, but at least i know where to look. I really need something more convenient though, I keep thinking of maybe some kind of fabric to hang on the wall, with pockets to tuck the samples in, so i can easily view and reach them. I want to separate them in neat rows though, not throw them all together in a large pocket or pouch or box.
    The ones I haven’t tried yet lie on my desk or in my bookshelf. I first try them all in a row – not at once all over myself but in quick succession on my wrists. Then I wear them one by one for a day before deciding whether it goes in my photo album or in my swap pile.
    What’s JNM is contemporary feminine florals, fruity/florals and florientals, with few exceptions. Especially white florals and light florals and cool, clean florals. Or perhaps I just don’t fancy them.

  • March says:

    Wow, Lee — that is an amazing hat! I’m jealous about your usage of louche. I call dibs on twee and verklempt.

    I would have been standing right there next to you, naked, with all forty frags on. Or maybe I would have held back and split it into two days.

    JNM? Most of what I think as The Big White Florals, from Lys and Datura Noir to Donna Karan Gold. I feel absurd wearing them, like I’m in someone else’s body. It’s very discomfiting.

    • Lee says:

      Amazing and daft, isn’t it March? I wish I could remember where I found it. I’m not sure I can let you have twee, but verklempt I’m fine with, as long as I get ennui and Weltenschaung.

      We could be naked scent buddies – what fun. I won’t peek if you don’t. Ican see the big white floral thing… It’s a tough category that one.

  • Dusan says:

    I too am sloppy and wouldn’t know orderliness if it clubbed me on the head. The samples I receive from other people usually remain in their original container, but the individual ones are burried somewhere underneath piles of paper, clothes and clutter. I wouldn’t be surprised if a new species of fungi is growing somewhere in my room… nesting in the clumps of Pekinese hair…
    As for JNMs, I can’t seem to pull off really manly scents such as Kouros and its ilk as well as most vetivers – wearing them feels like the days of old when I used to steal my dad’s razor to shave the four odd hairs on my pubescent face 🙂

    • Lee says:

      Being in a long term relationship with Mr Organised, I don’t get the chance for muck, mess or clutter, Dusan. And I’m actually mr. pretty darn clean. I just clam up and feel my toes curl when someone wants to organise me ‘effectively’.

      Love the pubescent pube face image – I remember my moustache bumfluff – I was desperate to remove it, but my folks wouldn’t let me (‘You’ll regret starting too early’). I sneaked it off in my grandparents bathroom…

      Unlike you, I adore vetivers, esp. those with a more contemporary twist. This is where I collide in tast with Patty – Sel de Vetiver and Vetiver Tonka are just awesome. I’ve yet to try Encre Noir though. Kouros is my dad completely however.

      • Dusan says:

        You’re killing me with the bumfluff moustache image! 😀
        But I do love Vetivers, VT is staggeringly beautiful, one that I’d wear all the time, it’s just that I feel they’re JNM. And you’ll definitely love the amazing, dark Encre Noir. See, no matter how much I appreciate EN, it’s not *me*.

        • Lee says:

          See, here I am muddling up NFMs and JNMs. I’m hopeless. I’ll spray myself in vetiver with abandonment to make up for you (though I’m yet to pay out for full bottles of those two I mention…)

  • Patty says:

    JNM… JNM? I’ve re-read your post five times, and I can’t figure out what that means. Am I just addled this morning? That’s likely. Oh, JUST NOT ME, right?!?!?! Lord, I’m slow.

    I’m not horribly organized mostly. I think I’m an INT or INJ on the Myers-Briggs? I never can remember. I wish they had an initial for that! But perfumes are organized in my head and then boxes, they have to be or I would never find them! This actually goes a lot against my natural inclination of a mash. So the full bottles are organized by house, but my sample drawer, the stuff just for me, is a flippin mess. Once every three months, I clean it out, and I mean clean, tossing unlabeled ones, duplicates, ones I can’t figure out why I have them. The trash gets quite a workout!

    • Lee says:

      Maybe INTJ Patty? (see what I did there?). According to that, we haven’t got much in common – I’m down as an extreme version of ENFP (except for the extrovert bit, which is borderline)…

      Sounds like you’re one step ahead of me – I’m crowned King Defer when it comes to anything organisational. I’d rather knit water.

  • donanicola says:

    Well as soon as I saw your picture I thought Brokeback Mountain goes Monty Python! Interesting post. My perfume collection doesn’t look in the slightest bit organised (except for big bottles at the back) but so far I’m finding that I’m quite organised in my head – ie I have a good memory for the ones I love/like/get but don’t want to wear/really don’t get. My JNM is Obsession. And Happy Birthday Maria – respect for getting what sounds like a dog in need of a home rather than cute puppy.

    • Lee says:

      I’m quite head organised too, D. And I’d be quite happy being thought of as a cross between Brokeback and Monty Python – the reality is just a little different…

  • Dennis says:

    Hello,
    Great Post! We just returned from a lonf weekend in Aldeburgh. I definitely need to figure a way out of London and into Suffolk!

    I have a JNM category, one that I want to wear and love on others:
    the Iris Family. I have tried all of them except Iris Silver Mist and no-go. Maybe ISM is the one for me? Maybe I need a day trip to Paris?

    I love the new look PP!

    Kind regards,
    Dennis

    • Lee says:

      Oh, I love Aldeburgh. It’s like being back in the 1950s (if you ignore the chichi homeware stores and that coffee shop etc.) Dennis, I could send you a sample of ISM if you want to try it, though it’s really king or queen of the irises. You’ve tried l’Homme de Coeur and no go? Y’know, if one scent always fits me, it’s that one.

  • chayaruchama says:

    Well done ! Bravo !
    [Like Maria, I’d love to see you ‘louche’]
    Please confess, WHO is that, in the hat ? An escapee from Bill Cosby’s cartoon show, perhaps ?

    Certain scents certainly reveal to us the nature of our perceived identity…
    Who we are, who we were, who we hope to be [and that which we will never be !]

    • Lee says:

      Play your cards right, honey, and you never know…

      I guess we’re all just multiple versions of ourselves in that case eh, I?

      • Maria B. says:

        The question of identity and perfume is a fascinating one. I suspect that the perfumes we love and feel comfortable wearing actually express something about us. The JNMs may tend to express facets of what we would like to be like but simply aren’t. Or maybe they just smell good to us. 🙂

  • Maria B. says:

    Lee, you are so manly in your picture that I expect you cut down trees just for the fun of it. I am so impressed with your use of “louche.” I don’t ever remember seeing it in a perfume blog.

    I have separate bags for samples I like exceedingly, those that I think are just okay, and those that have been unfortunate experiments. I only try on one fragrance at a time. However, because frags can be quite short-lived on me, I manage to sneak a new one on when the first has faded.

    Caron’s En Avion is a JNM for me. I admire it, but if I put it on, I keep thinking someone else near me is wearing it.

    I’m in a perfume quandary. It’s my birthday, and I can’t decide what to wear. I usually don a favorite Very Me fragrance like L’Heure Bleue on my birthday. But this afternoon my DH and I are going to pick up our new little dog at the pound, a darling Italian greyhound mix who is about thirteen years old. It may not actually matter to the pupster old guy. After all, I’m not willing to make myself smell as yummy as garbage, and they’re using strong chemicals at the pound because of a parvo outbreak. Still, I’m flummoxed. (Don’t tell me you don’t admire the skillful way I worked in a repeated mention of my birthday. Lots of experience there, baby.) 😉

    • Lee says:

      Maria, I do. My neighbourhood is bald, I tell you.

      I didn’t mean any disrespect to AE with my use of louche, but it makes me think I’d have to be someone like Lord Henry Wootton (at least I think that’s his name) from ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’, in order to wear it. And I don’t know about you, but I’m not always up to witty bon mots or decadent living…

      Aah, you’re an organised sort. I’ve flushed one out! I imagine Patty must be too to run her mammoth decanting industry… And En Avion captures the nature of JNMs here…

      Happy Birthday to you
      Happy birthday to you,
      Happy birthday dear Maria
      Happy birthday to you!

      (isn’t that an inane song?) Have a fabulous day with your dh and new woofer!

      I’m excited for you and your dog – I’m an exceedingly big dog fan. But as for ‘fume suggestions, I’ll leave it to someone else… something with an animalic undercurrent? Jicky?

    • Patty says:

      Maria, happy birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Good luck with the pupper. I think you should wear something comforting. I’d splash on Vetiver Tonka or Parfum Sacre, but that’s me.

    • Dusan says:

      Maria, happy birthday! Oh, I wish I was there when you pick up the pup 🙂

    • Gail S says:

      Happy birthday and congratulations on the new dog. It may (probably does) sound insane, but my dogs are quite the perfume critics. Both of them absolutely adore anything where musk plays a starring role. And they don’t like sharp florals and citruses. Given the right perfume choice, they will try to lick me clean…or dirty as the case may be:d

    • March says:

      Happy, happy birthday!!! Good luck with your new baby! Wear something comforting that smells like old socks. 😉 L’Artisan Tea for Two?

    • pitbull friend (Ellen) says:

      Oh, Maria, sweetie! Happy, happy birthday! And I adore you even more for getting yourself an elderly canine birthday present! One thing I sometimes do before I go to work is dab my wrists with something and then run my wrist lightly over each dog’s head. Because my dogs tend to the thickly furred (malamute mix, Akita mix, golden mix), the smell stays with them for ages because it’s far away from their actual bodies. Of course, not so for Johnny Cash the Creole Pitbull, not June(bug) Carter Cash the Wild Foster Pitbull. But I figure that this contributes to pack unity — we all smell alike & each of them has been anointed by the Boss Bitch. My dogs generally could not care less about my perfume, though Johnny Cash does feel it is his job to remove these odd secretions from my arms, poor guy.

      Hooray for you and your lucky, lucky Iggie!

    • Consuelo B says:

      A very Happy Birthday to somebody that shares her name with a Maria B of Miami, one of my best friends.
      Be blessed for adopting that “mature” pup.

      • Maria B. says:

        A Maria B. in Miami? I grew up in Miami! There are a LOT of Marias there. :d Is your friend Cuban? I am. I hope you had a wonderful birthday yesterday.

    • Maria says:

      Thank you, everyone!!!!!!!!!! What a heart-warming response!

      I don’t actually deserve the principal credit for the pup, however. My DH caught sight of him with a group from the SPCA in front of a PetSmart and fell in love with him. Of course, when I met the little one, I too couldn’t resist him either–even though he’s old and I know all too well what that means, and so does the DH. Still, we’ll give him a comfy home for the rest of his life.

      Still have not decided on a fragrance but I have a few hours to go. I agree with no sharp florals.

    • Maria B. says:

      Thank you for your suggestions. The gestalt (word not yet claimed :d ) they produced gave me the answer: Fumerie Turque. Of course! It spreads peace and beauty wherever it goes. 😡