A Few Pet Peeves

I’m not going to sit here an whine about too many things.  I just want some validation.  Who amongst us is sick of falling in love with a beautiful, hypnotic gem of a perfume only to find it gone in 60 seconds?  31 Rue Cambon is one of the most gorgeous scents I have smelled.  I spray it on quite liberally and it’s like I missed my body.  I thought it might be my nose, so I ask those around me what I smell like…..after some convincing that I’m not completely insane they say they don’t smell anything either.  Bel Respiro and No 18 hate me too.   Let’s move on from Chanel….practically anything that isn’t heavy duty edp seems to disappear immediately after hitting my skin…like my skin is some frightening neighborhood and the molecules run away screaming. This next peeve is my own fault, so I’m calling myself out on it….buying unsniffed only to find the little sucker either horrific or completely and utterly boring….which is worse?  Each time I vow not to do it again (if it’s a full bottle) and within a week I’m sucked in by the notes or the reviews. On a completely unrelated topic….Perfumes: The Guide is one of the most hilarious gems to come along in a while.  My thoughts on the whole topic…it’s not as if Luca and Tania are trying to convince us that something we love is wrong and we should stop wearing it.  If we have no idea, in their opinion, the five and four starred reviews are worth checking out.  I was particularly impressed with Ms. Sanchez’ writing and reviewing capabilities.  I hope they continue to update the reviews and I would love some vintage reviews as well (some are included in the reviews of updated scents).   Well done guys. 

  • Tara says:

    I use La Compagnie de Provence unscented body lotion, it really helps things “stick” and doesn’t have an unpleasant odor or feel. It leaves a very light sheen on the skin but is not greasy or sticky. I get it at luckyscent.com.

  • Cait says:

    I love your line about your skin being a frightening neighborhood. I picture scent molecules locking the doors and declining to make the molecular equivalent of eye contact with your skin.

  • Roland says:

    I love Musc Ravageur EDP. Someone recommended the oil to me as a scent even better! But, I can’t even smell the oil past about 30 minutes.

    I’ve tried the lotion thing. No go.

    I’ve asked my friends, and they don’t smell it either.

    • Louise says:

      Oh, the plight of perfume-eating skin. Recently an herbalist friend suggested that it has to do with skin acidity (I goop up with moisturizer, no help from that). For those that wear jewelry, if it ever “smudges” that’s supposed to be a sign of too much acidity, and tendency to wipe out perfumes. No idea how to change that-baking soda baths? 8-|

      • Disteza says:

        The only way to change your body’s pH is to modify your diet. If you come off on the acidic side of things, eat more dairy, vegatbles and legumes. Drinking water is also helpful. Also, stop taking any supplements–you may be overdosing on Vitamin C.
        I find that a diet that is low in fat and high in fruit will pretty much destroy any floral perfumes that aren’t white tropicals, along with most subtler notes (like tea or hay).

        • Louise says:

          Lord, I live on dairy, beans, and huge amounts of veggies! Tea and hay stick to me well. I knew I was odd…8-|

          • Disteza says:

            Don’t feel bad–I have notoriously weird skin chemistry as well. My skin eats lots of things, and anything with cumin becomes all cumin, all the time. Imagine the horror of Arabie turning to taco mix!

  • Vasily says:

    So any ideas why lotion or vaseline should make a frag last longer? The only thing I can think of is that perfume can sink into the pores reducing sillage, and the lotion/vaseline clogs the pores reducing the “absorption”.

    I also find it annoying that an otherwise gorgeous frag should disappear within a few minutes of application … my budget can’t handle constant reapplication of an expensive perfume. So I’m going to try the lotion trick with my decant of Creed Baie de Genièvre, a perfume I love which is unfortunately gone in a few minutes on my skin.

    • Musette says:

      I think Robin on NST said it had something to do with the moisture it (or any other cream) adds to the skin – probably the equivalent of what you are positing. For me, it has to be a pretty heavy-duty oil or cream. I tried it with an unscented dry oil and that was a total bust.

      Can’t wait to hear if it works for you

      • Vasily says:

        I got a small tube of Vaseline today, and an hour and a half ago applied about 1/8 inch on my left wrist, then spritzed each wrist once with Creed Baie de Genièvre. Both wrists smell very faintly of juniper at this point. So the Vaseline hasn’t made much of a difference in extending this frag’s longevity on me. I think I’ll try this with Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Santal Noble tomorrow, another frag I love but which doesn’t have great longevity on me; then, I’ll try with two consecutive applications of Vaseline on my left wrist. Maybe I’ll try a no-fragrance lotion, too; if it’s water content that’s involved, Vaseline shouldn’t work as well as a lotion. If water’s involved, humidity and length of time after showering may affect the results, too. We’ll see how the “experiment” goes.

        • Musette says:


          I nearly spit out my lemonade! Go over to ‘recent comments’ and see how your post starts….you can imagine where my slimy litle mind went=))

          Sorry to hear it didn’t work. It doesn’t work on all scents – Prada was still just rooty water on me – but when it does work it’s nice.

        • March says:

          So there I am, gazing at Tom of Finland’s porny photo, and like Musette I read in our comments sidebar, Vasily saying: “I got a small tube of vaseline today, and an hour and a half ago…”

          so I clicked through IMMEDIATELY to see what you were up to. Heh… turns out you’re not a pervert after all. At least not here. (and I wonder if this comment will go straight to the spam filter?)

          I don’t buy the oil theory only because I feel like then oily-skinned people should get more mileage. I have super dry skin and everything lasts forever on me.

        • Vasily says:

          Tsk, tsk … we’ve all taken this blog in a whole new direction and I’m afraid we’ve arrived in Naughtyland. 🙂

          • Musette says:

            Yay! We’re at Naughtyland!!!< :-p Nothing sticks to me except Fracas (which sticks to everything), Joy (ditto) and the old Carons and Guerlains (try washing Bellogia off - g'wan, I dare ya>:/

            All the newer scents, esp. JCE’s stuff, is gone in a wink, alas. That’s what makes me so nervous about Poive S . @ $180 a pop I would like it to last more than 25 minutes.

        • Vasily says:

          I tried the Vaseline trick with my left wrist today (bet that will look great in Recent Comments ;)) and applied one spray of MPetG Santal Noble to each wrist (another frag that has terrible longevity on me). Hour and a half later, nada. So far the experiment is a bust. Next step: think I’ll try a double application of Vaseline before spritzing…

  • Musette says:

    Somebody on NST recommended Vaseline. I thought they were nuts…then I tried it. Works like a charm. Obviously this would work best on wrists and right under the ear. If you don’t overdo it (you don’t want a big ol’ greasy patch) it provides just enough surface to ‘hold’ the fragrance, it doesn’t shine you up (again you have to apply it sparingly) and it doesn’t conflict with the scent!

    I tried it with a notorious phantom fragrance, Coty’s Muguet des Bois, and was stunned to find it still holding after 3 hours! The only one it didn’t work with was Prada Iris, which leads me to believe that it’s just Me! 8-|

  • annie says:

    ;);)Bryan….I myself,have just found a lil’ trick that sometimes helps a frag. really blossom on me….first apply a SCENTLESS lotion or cream to the ‘places’ you are spritzing…this works often on me,,,,after I learned that trick.it was harder to find a good,non-ookie cream…if anyone knows of any,I would be really appreciative to be enlightened!…..:x

  • Patty says:

    I have lucky skin that holds onto most scent, but what I hate the most is when I smell all alcohol. Not the perfume’s fault, just anosmic to something, and only the perfumer’s alcohol comes through, and it covers up every other note. That poor gorgeous guy at the le Labo counter in Barney’s looked at me like I was insane when I kept telling him the Vetiver and the Rose were all alcohol to me. 🙂

  • sariah says:

    Hi Brian…….Rue Cambon lasts well on me, that is too bad that it doesn’t last on you, because I find it absolutely stunning. But, I also love La Pausa and I can barely smell it after 10 minutes, so I too have the problem with one of the Exclusifes in that regard.

    Much enjoying the book too. I hope it does well so they can do another in the future with a few more brands – especially JAR and more Comme des Garcons.

  • Musette says:

    Dodging paperwork here;)

    I just had this conversation with a friend who can better describe her own perfume plights – she gets nothing from several gorgeous scents. My recent experience with that was Prada Iris d’Infusion. I have a parfum sample and the first time I thought I’d missed my wrist (loved that visual of missing your body, btw). I got a whiff of something iris-y from the actual bottle, when I was in the store but once on my skin it smelled like …nothing. Second time it was sort of like nice/dirty water (?)…I’m going to try one more time then I’ll probably move on.

    Unfortunately, it’s never scents I hate that do that – funny how that works, isn’t it? 😕

    I never buy untried anymore, let alone unsniffed! Menopause (for me) makes fragrance very uncertain – it takes at least 2-3 tries before I’m sure a fragrance won’t turn on me like a cobra.

    • Joan says:

      Same experience with Prada Iris. The entire sample spilled out (that skinny long sample vial was very hard to work with anyway) and I smelled nothing. I thought they sent out water by mistake, or that I just can’t smell Iris. It won all kinds of awards?????

      • Musette says:

        I think it did – but those awards are always a mystery to me.

        • March says:

          The first two or three times I could BARELY smell the Prada Iris. Then, the weirdest thing happened. First, it’s a HUGE seller around here, people in D.C. like discreet scents for work. I became aware I kept smelling it on *other* people around me in close spaces (elevator, metro). It’s got a fairly distinctive smell. So I thought, well, I guess I can only smell it on other people. Then I wound up with my fifth sample or something and figured WTH and threw it on. Then I decided I *can* smell it on me, but not on my skin — it’s one of those weird aura scents that hangs around me, but I can’t find it if I look for it. I do think it lasts longer when I put it on fabric. I smelled it on a raincoat collar 2 weeks later.