Sniffing with Shirley, Kelly & Mom

Let’s do something completely different today — well, maybe not completely, but a little.

We’re out in Kansas, and I brought something for my sister Shirley and my friend Kelly to sniff.  Today we get their impressions on a few things.

Santa Maria Novella Nostalgia – Shirley says she loves it about 30 minutes after it goes on, turns into sexy man — she loves it utterly, completely, passionately and without reservation.  Kelly says something smells like chapstick or carnuba wax?!?!?!  Kelly’s arm turns into dirty machinery, but she smells it on Shirley in the drydown and understands why she’s all drooly.

Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist – Kelly says lettuce and dirt and roots.  Shirley says dirt with worm shit at the open and it’s just weird.  Okay, I need to fire these two, how can they dis my beloved ISM?!?

Le Labo Patchouli 24 – Shirley says, “smells like whiskey, like I could just drink it.  Winter wood smoke, little spice, like you were burning a clove tree.  Kelly’s nose is broke, she says betadine and creosote, but the drydown is much better.

Christian Dior Diorissimo parfum –  Kelly says “Tinkerbell perfume she wore when she was 7, then it turns into Tinkerbell’s grinding up on her pole a little too much and then passed out.”  Shirley says, “fresh, clean flower, pure, petal-packed, full of smell flower — no stem, no shit, no bee shit, just pure flower.” (can you tell I’ve been shoving a love of dirt perfumes under her nose for a while?)

Miller Harris Fleurs de Sel – Shirley says earthy, dirty, a flower that should smell pretty, but go in and smell it and it smells like plant instead.  Kelly says B.O covered by sweaty flowers; i.e. sweaty French Whore, and then the hooker eventually disappears to leave a very nice floral.  Why did I agree to let these two do this?

CB I Hate Perfume Tea Rose – Kelly says perfect, all about the tea, almost nothing about the rose, “makes her want to drop and writhe.”  Shirley says this should be a rose with a glass of tea, but it’s all about the rose and nothing about the tea.  I mediated and found only rose on Shirley and only tea on Kelly. I put it on and get both. Mom was all tea with just a skosh of rose, but she adores it (she hates perfume!).  When it warmed up on them, they each got more of the other.  All of us love it.

Shirley wound up with Nostalgia, Patchouli 24 and CB Tea Rose on one arm… she calls that arm the “Highway of Love.”

So, what three perfumes on one arm would make up YOUR Highway of Love?

  • Kyra says:

    IIRC Turin didn’t so much say that skin chemistry didn’t matter but that skin chemistry didn’t interest him. To me that seems to suggest approaching a perfume as a platonic ideal rather than the more complex interaction of particular perfumes on particular skins.

    Anyway, I’m too overwhelmed by choices to pick my arms worth of highway, so I’ll list one for a man that would turn me to jelly ( and yeah, particular not ideal) PG Corps et Ames and Querelle with Divine’s L’Homme Sage

  • Cheezwiz says:

    Gosh, I think my post was eaten by the internet monster earlier and lost in cyberspace! By the way, I think your sister and friend should pop in for more guest reviews – very enjoyable!:)

    Here’s a crazy (and possibly deadly) choice for my highway of love(or lust maybe):
    Agent Provocateur
    Narcisco Rodriguez

    Summer of love:
    Annick Goutal Neroli (it’s back! It’s heaven! I’m purchasing for sure!)
    Apres l’Ondee (My co-worker is going to Paris next month! I’m sending some funds with her so she can pick up this precious cargo for me. FINALLY it will be mine.)
    Annick Goutal Mandragore – lovely any season of the year, no?

    • March says:

      The spam filter caught several people yesterday, not sure what was up. I love both your lists (although I can never completely decide how I feel about Neroli; it’s got a pith-like bitterness on me.)

      Mandragore is one of those secret-handshake frags as far as I’m concerned. Anyone who loves it is automatically my friend.

      • pitbull friend says:

        Wow, March! There are people who don’t love Mandragore? I guess there is no universally loved fragrance… though I’d guess Eau d’Hadrien comes closest, no? No one has ever told me they hated it. –Ellen

  • Leopoldo says:

    I’ll share in the Irisorama for my Highway of Love – from chilly to warm:
    ISM, l’Homme de Coeur, Dior Homme. Now kiss me, you fool!

  • Lavanya says:

    Enjoyed this!!
    My highway of love: Poivre or and Coup de Fouet on wrist (can’t get enough)..SL Tuberose Criminelle near elbow and then Reverie Au Jardin on fore arm..
    Actually nowadays, one scent a day (or at a time)doesn’t satisfy me.. and my arm is generally sprayed/dabbed with atleast 3 scents- and these are not only in the case that I am testing my arm is always a highaway of love(atleast for me! husband hates that every part of my arm smells different)

  • Cheezwiz says:

    I enjoyed the reviews from back home!:d

    Highway to love (or maybe lust…)
    Agent Provocateur
    Narciso Rodriguez

    Summer of love – two fragrances I’m FINALLY getting my hands on!!
    Annick Goutal Neroli – its back and its heavenly! I will be purchasing this weekend
    Apres l’Ondee – my coworker is going to Paris next month, and I’m sending her with some funds to bring me back a precious bottle! yippeee!
    Anything else Annick Goutal: Hadrien, Petite Cherie, etc.

  • minette says:

    i think they deserve an invitation to guest-review – their reactions are priceless! colorful, from the gut, off the cuff – honest. and funny. they sound like great fun.

    • pitbull friend says:

      Invite Sister Shirley to review? NOW you’re diggin’ where there’s taters! –Ellen

  • violetnoir says:

    Hey babe, I’m way late to this, but I gotta tell you: I love these ladies! 😡

    Hugs and love to you, too!

    • Patty says:

      Me too. They are such great guinea pigs and good sports, and they never lack for comments about anything!

  • helg says:

    These are hysterical =d> and from the gut, which makes the priceless. I had to laugh out loud at ISM, which I am also finding some difficulty with (too much carrot, too much worm) for some reason. They tell me I need to retest in warmer weather; I live in hope.

    Well, my Highway of love would definitely include Opium, Narciso and Mitsouko (with oakmoss), although I am not sure which would which of them! I can layer the Opium body products with the Narciso OR the Mitsouko in any case…:p

    • Patty says:

      (puts hands over ISM’s leetly tuber ears) Shh, she’ll hear you. 🙂 ISM is difficult. I took me about three runs to fall in love.

      Whoa, that’s a hot highway there! I wish I was home, I’d put those on in order, but I’m afraid I’d be too hot for my own arm. 🙂

      • helg says:

        LOL, she(ISM)’ll be hurt, huh? I will try it again for sure.

        They are hot, to be sure! I’m not sure if they bring on the vapors though all together….LOL 8-}

  • Bryan says:

    OK, I’m trying not to overthink this one. I will just go with the LOVE: Carnal Flower, Muscs KK, Fleur de Sel….and more Carnal Flower. There’s something to the power of persuasion, ’cause I gotta go try this NOW.:d

  • CH says:

    First, the journey would start inside -something incensy and inspirational like CDG’s Jaisalmer, then I would look toward the window and see a beautiful bouquet of flowers, perhaps Tuberose Criminelle by SL. I walk outside and see the beautiful trees blooming -L’Artisan’s La Chasse and L’Artisan’s Fleur d’Oranger. I keep walking to find a glorious orchard of Roses – Montale Aoud Queen Roses. I continue through flower fields and trees – Violet Empire by CB and TDC’s Charms et Feuilles. My journey back involves passing by tall trees and more Violets -SL’s Bois Violet and once I reach home, the temperature begins to rise despite the shade of the trees -SL’s Chene. I walk inside to be greeted with a fainter incense, the smell of fine leather, and flowers – Cuir de Russie by Chanel.

    As you can tell, my journey is a whole afternoon and may require both arms and legs! LOL :d

  • Amy says:

    I want to hang out with your friends. When I give my Girls perfume to smell, they say riveting, insightful things like, “It’s really flowery,” or “Too strong!” or the ever-popular, “That smells like an old lady.” I’ve given up on educating them, they are philistines and such they shall remain. “I just want to smell cleeeeeeean!” Bah.

    I’m a little torn about the Highway of Love. If we’re talking about our three very favorites, then I’m going with Ambre Sultan, Amoureuse, and Tolu. But as much as I adore each of those separately, I can’t help but feel that having them all together in one place would be the end of civilization as we know it. Ka-boom.

    • CH says:

      Arrrrgggghhh – I hate that “old lady” comment with a passion. Just because it doesn’t smell like coconut and synthetic strawberries . . .b-(

    • Patty says:

      Do you think it’s just that we’re weird because we smell so much when we sniff, or are they normal? I think part of it is someone expects perfumes to smell a certain way, and if it doesn’t, they don’t know what to say.

      Your threesome might tilt the universe on its axis put in that close proximity.

    • Jayne says:

      Re: old lady comments – I’m new at this but have already received the first mortifying ‘old lady’ comment – to Miller Harris Cuir D’Oranger, which I was strangely protective towards: ‘What do you mean, Philistine?’. But I got sudden insight when spraying Space NK Melodrama – arrgh, ‘aged drama queen’. Perhaps when people say ‘old lady’ they really mean ‘classic’.

  • pitbull friend says:

    Maybe my brain’s still fogged from long weekend, but I have no ideas on this. I love what y’all are coming up with, though.

    OK, so I had another date (5th?) with the perfume-sniffing guy. He’s growing on me, despite myriad incompatibilities. He works on cars some, has a classic Trans-Am. So I dabbed on some SMN Nostalgia, inexplicably one of my major faves. (Wanted it fresh so he could get that whoosh of gasoline at the start.) I said, “Let me give you a hint — this is a smell that involves a hobby of yours…” Didn’t get it. “Remember, I wear some very odd scents — don’t expect any flowers in this one.” And he said, “Really? I was trying to identify the flower!” Eh, I guess I wouldn’t have been able to guess, a couple of years ago, that a perfume would be meant to evoke gasoline & leather, either. –Ellen

    • Maria says:

      Ellen, the filter is taking my messages, so I’m whooping it up with responding! I can’t help noticing that you’re *counting* your dates with this guy. Hmmm. It’s been so long since I’ve dated that I can’t remember what that means. 😕 Actually, I can’t recall keeping count of dates with anyone I wasn’t serious about. >:)

      • March says:

        Crap. The filter is catching you again? I’m the only one besides Ellen it catches regularly. Is it sensing something about you? Are your thoughts impure? Maybe you typed in something lurid about your date?

    • Patty says:

      Opposits can attract and be lots of fun! It’s always good to have another point of view around, just in habits and personality or otherwise

      • pitbull friend says:

        Oh, I know, sweeties. I guess I count dates because I want to know when I can relax and feel accepted. (I don’t think dating an alcoholic has done much for my self-esteem.) –Ellen

    • Judith says:

      My husband has been sniffing my perfumes (and those I get for him) for quite some time. I actually almost always agree with his likes and dislikes, but he has no idea what he is smelling. His usual guesses are “cinnamon?” “some flower,” and “perfume.” Once he said, “I believe I detect leather with a touch of oud,” but he was joking (and still has no idea what oud could be):) But he does have good taste. His latest love is French Lover (on himself). He went so far as to tell me that he didn’t like it on me, so that I would give him my 10 ml. bottle. He later admitted he was lying, but in point of fact, it does suit him better. 😡

  • cathleen56 says:

    Well, dirt and worm shit — that explains it! SL Iris Silver Mist is the only perfume my little dogs have ever reacted to, and they went nuts, licking my wrists until I had to bat them away from me! LOL

  • Dusan says:

    Ooh, I want a sniffathon with Kelly, Shirley and Mom 🙂 No dissing ISM, though!
    For a drive in the slow, lovers lane on my Highway of Love I’d slather Parure, L’Air de DM and Chergui, cuddle up to the steering wheel with Tori Amos crooning Dragon at my side.
    At 200 mph down the fast lane I’d be singing along to Tori’s Bouncing off Clouds in a cloud of counterpuntal melodies of L’Homme de Coeur, ISM and Fleur du Male. And then I’d turn back to Tubereuse Criminelle, Chanel 19 and Musc Ravageur sitting in the back seat and ask which one wants to go first…

  • patchamour says:

    Great arms!

    Highway to love: Montale Patchouli Leaves, Tabac Blond Extrait, and just a touch of Shalimar. (But the best is just Black Cashmere or Tabac Blond all by themselves.)

    Summer of love — still working on that one:). How about Passage d’Enfer, A la Nuit, and Apres L’Ondee? Gotta try that cb’s At the Beach — Ah, Coppertone.

  • Judith says:

    You can tell I need to clean up, because I am pretending this is my blog and answering posts!:d I love your first arm, and I love the IDEA of a Summer of Love, though not exactly your choices (sorry). Mine: Miller et Bertaux #3, Sel de Vetiver, L’A Fleur d’Oranger.

    • Judith says:

      This is (obviously) meant for March. I put it in the wrong place. Reason 492 why this isn’t my blog

      • March says:

        Wow. I think your arm would smell GREAT.

        • March says:

          BTW this IS your blog. You’re like … a life member or something. Your name’s on the plaque back by the ladies’ loo, signifying you no longer have to pay annual dues.

    • Patty says:

      You can pretend like it’s your blog any time! 🙂

      My summer of love…. CB tea/rose, sel de vetiver, creed viw and on my thumb, cb’s at the beach, just for the coppertone.

      • patchamour says:

        Oops. I think my post got lost. Anyway, great arms to try.

        Highway to love: Montale Patchouli Leaves, Tabac Blond Extrait, and just a dab of Shalimar. (But Tabac Blond and Black Cashmere all by themselves are fireworks.)

        Summer of Love: Passage d’Enfer, A la Nuit, and Apres L’Ondee (although the best topper would be that At the Beach, Patty, ’cause nothing beats Coppertone). Still working on this one:). But that Highway to love concoction has totally drowned out the summer of love stuff.

  • March says:

    Why can’t we have more arms? This is, I think, the most important question. Also, the gardener in me recalls that worm shit is the vitally important garden-friendly in-one-end-out-the-other brown gold we all long for (called castings? That may be right.) I think Black March is all about the worm shit. It’s probably listed in the brief.

    Anyway, those were such excellent reviews, and a total confirmation of skin chemistry.

    Highway of love: DK Chaos, Mitsouko, Bal a Versailles (although those three on one arm would kill me.)

    Summer of Love: Petite Cherie, Bvlgari Tea (choose any/all), Apres l’Ondee, Mandragore (okay, I fudged the numbers a little.)

    • Patty says:

      Your first arm would kill me, but that second arm is a slice.

      Definitely wormshit are castings, the earthworms, it’s the part that makes dirt smell rich and full. Love that smell.

  • chayaruchama says:

    Loved their visceral reactions…
    After all, that’s really what it’s about, anyway.
    ISM is SO VERY driving through Virginia at night, after the rain, red earth rhizomal beauty.
    I like Judith’s arm, and Elle’s !
    Right now, this minute ?

    Judith’s gonna swoon, I think .
    TF’s Amber Absolute, Moss Breches, and SMN’s Acqua Di Cuba.
    Ava-Luxe Moss, Midnight Violet, and Silk.

    • Judith says:

      I would definitely swoon over your 1st arm! On the second, I have only tried Midnight Violet; I guess that means I have to try the others!8-|

      I am swooning over 2/3 of Elle’s arm, too. I don’t know, though, why Black Rosette seems to be great on those whose taste I admire, and sooooo bad on me (confirmed by many independent noses). Chemistry or taste?:-? I need to smell you guys sometime. . . 🙂

    • Patty says:

      I haven’t tried all of the Ava Luxes, I got stuck on Nude Musk, which is a staple for my body lotion most days.

      Is SMN Cuba that one both March and Lee hated? Hmmm, should I try it? I think I need to.

      • pitbull friend says:

        You can add me to the hate list on that, Patty. SMN Acqua di Cuba, to my serious regret, smells like aged piss on me (that sickening-sweet smell). On the other hand, I think Maria does well with it. I HAVE to believe there are differences in chemistry and differences in smelling, both. –Ellen

        • Judith says:

          I just LOVE AdC! It’s one of those scents that I find addictive.

          • March says:

            I need to retry this. They only had the large bottle and I thought the price was absurd, but I kept thinking, I need this, I need this. Then it turned into mildew and I was grateful. But one test drive hardly constitutes a permanent result. For the first 10 minutes it was GORGEOUS.

            However — Patty — given your feelings about honey I wonder whether it would kill you stone dead on the spot?:-?

        • Maria says:

          Ellen is right. I like Acqua di Cuba. I get no mildewed jock strap effect. On me it’s tobacco-leather with a citrus top note. This is obviously one of those very individualistic scents.

  • Elle says:

    I swear I’m just endlessly fascinated by what skin chemistry can do to scents. I want to drop everything in my life and return to graduate school so that I have a good excuse to get hundreds (thousands?…happily dreaming here)of skin chemistry and perfume study participants I could test a multitude of scents on. However, cold, harsh reality dictates that I just get to test on DH and a number of patient friends.
    But worm shit for ISM?! Hmph! Although, I confess I’m now going to have to do some googling on worms and find out if they actually shit. I think Le Labo should use Shirley’s description of Patch 24 on their website. And LOL at Kelly’s take on Diorissimo. 🙂 I can’t believe I’ve been neglecting CB’s Tea/Rose – layered w/ his Hay accord it can make me weep it’s so perfect. Oh, and I pretty much get equal amounts of tea and rose.
    Three scents for my Highway of Love? SIP Black Rosette, Yatagan and SL Rose de Nuit (yep, am in a dark rose mood).

    • Patty says:

      I always wonder about Luca Turin claiming there is no such thing as skin chemistry.

      Earthworm poop is very earthy, and that’s the smell I think of for that, it’s like an extension of the earthworm and has that dirt smell because they leave so much of it in the dirt, which is why I love earthworms…. great for the garden.

      I just saw that hay accord on cb’s site, and I have to get some now, while I’m waiting for them to tell me when I can get the new four he has coming out this week!!!!

      • Judith says:

        I am confused. Not about earthworm shit (which you explained quite well), but about what LTurin meant by his comment. Things clearly smell different (to the same nose) on different people. Could you elaborate?

        • Patty says:

          I know I read somewhere that he originally said this whole skin chemistry was just bunk, but he moderated thatin an article he did recently and said he believes it’s bunk for the bottom and heart notes, but now believes top notes can smell differently on different people. I’m not sure how that works exactly, and I’m a big believer in skin chemistry or, more accurately probably, skin temps. I think some people run hotter and some cooler, and those temperatures change the perfume, amplifying some notes, killing others, and just that will alter how a perfume smells.

          • Elle says:

            How interesting about skin temperatures. Hadn’t thought of it from that angle. I love Luca and agree w/ him on most things, but for me, the proof is in the pudding and the simple fact is that, not just to my nose, but to the nose of kind people I’m incessantly testing scents on, they often do indeed smell quite differently on different people – through all the stages sometimes.
            Oh, and I adore seeing earthworms in my garden (a sign of good soil), but I’d never given their digestive processes a single thought. Fascinating!

          • Maria says:

            You can go to a nursery and buy big bags of worm poop. I buy these “worm castings” to add to potting and planting soil. The stuff lightens soil to facilitate aeration, and it’s very amusing to neighborhood kids. “Eewwwwwwww, worm poop!”

          • Louise says:

            I gotta beleive that beyond skin temp, there are factors of skin acidity (as in people on whom jewelry smudges), hormones, diet, metabolism, etc. No way can it just affect “top notes”-I think I note differences mostly in dry-downs. But-I will not not go back to grad school to check it out!

    • Renee says:

      Just to say that in Fantastic Man magazine, Issue No. 5, page 110, Luca Turin is quoted as saying that he always thought the commonly held belief that fragrances behave differently on different skins was “bollocks and sales patter. But recently I’ve come to the realization that the top notes, what you get in the first two minutes, are affected by skin type.”

      So that’s a bit of a change from his initial position, anyway.

  • Judith says:

    Well, you know, I might just take Shirley’s arm. I love two of these scents (Nostalgia and Le Labo Patch). I haven’t smelled Tea Rose, but I think Shirley has similar chemistry, so I guess I must. For now, I’ll put Rose Poivree in its place (so for some, this will be a complete highway de stink-but I will love it).

    Another arm, incorporating brand new (to me) loves only: Tom Ford Moss Breches, Ava Luxe Shisha, FM Une Rose.

    • Patty says:

      No, no, no, no rose poivree to ruin that arm!!! 🙂 Shirley is still sniffing that arm, she’s over the moon about nostalgia and the patch in some freaky weird way that’s a little scary.

    • Elle says:

      Almost put down Rose Poivree myself. Love that stuff!

      • Judith says:

        Well, I was debating between that and your choice, Rose de Nuit. Coincidence? I think not! 🙂

  • Maria says:

    I spent about half a day in Kansas one time, but I feel I know these ladies. Patchouli 24 gives me medicinal iodine (Betadine, or an iodine salve my mother used to put on my chest when I was a kid) and creosote. It’s the only fragrance that makes me cry. I wore Tinkerbell too!!! It kind of ruined Coty Muguet de Bois for me. I’m hoping for a better result with Diorissimo.

    My highway of love: Musc Ravageur oil, Shalimar extrait, Musc Ravageur EDP. At least that’s what I can think of now.

    • Patty says:

      So do you think if Shalimar doesn’t work for me that maybe the Shalmar extrait will? I keep thinking I need to find this

      • Bryan says:

        I’ve got a ton, I’m sending it out today.:d

      • Maria says:

        I don’t understand the problems people have with lovely Shalimar. For me it has always worked. So I can’t advise on how to avoid the problems. I do know that I’d only wear the pure parfum because it’s a classic Guerlain and their other versions usually suck.

        I’ve been reading The Emperor of Scent. I haven’t started Turin’s own book on this smell theory. However, if he did say there was no such thing as skin chemistry, he’s just plain wrong–as any perfumista could tell him. Your results with CB Tea Rose on four women is an illustration.

    • Bryan says:

      I am sooo wearing this tonight. I promise to give you credit when asked what the bleep is that gorgeous scent coming from two blocks away….’cause we know it’s gonna be sillage city baby.:p

  • tmp00 says:

    Nostalgia Vintage Aston Martin, which I am ‘Tippi’ing up PCH. Sadly, it dies after 20 minutes.

    Iris Silver Mist You’ll have to send me: I’ve never smelled this.

    Le Labo Patch I am crazy about and will hear no dissent..

    Diorissimo Kelley, Tinkerbell’s about to slap you upside the head for dissing her gorgeous wingbeat of LoTV.

    MH Jeesh, do I neuter everything? Everybody’s getting “omigod” and I am getting freah skin. I guess I suck the NC-17 out of everything…

    Tea Rose was good: more tea than rose.

    My highway of love? Oh my…

    • Patty says:

      Never smelled ISM?!?!?!? Sorry, I just felt so bad for you for a moment. I’m not sure if you’ll love it or hate it. It’s weird enough that I’m pretty sure you’ll find it interesting, but I can’t remember how you find iris to begin with.

      That Highway to Love sounds not just a little dirty, doesn’t it?