Shopping my Shelves

First, it’s official: the ChiCocoa Scentsation will be Saturday, SEPTEMBER 13 — that’s the date most people can come. Mark your calendars! Okay, on to today’s post —

For someone who does a lot of yapping about my alleged restraint in buying bottles (as opposed to hoarding samples) I´ve had to start rotating my fragrances seasonally in order to find anything. Of course there are things I wear year round, but a certain amount of my scent is pretty much summer/winter only, so it moves in and out of my closet with the bathing suits and wool sweaters.

Fragrance rotation also forces me to dust everything, which is necessary, even if it isn´t fun. Every time I do this, though, I run across fragrances I never wear. I bought them. I liked them enough that I didn´t immediately move them to the swap pile. So why don´t they wind up on my skin? Part of the reason might be I can´t remember what they smell like.

I grabbed three forgotten scents randomly to try and unravel the mystery, with some history …

asja.jpgFendi Asja. I bought this unsniffed because the price was right and I like Fendi Theorema so much. Notes (which give you a sense of its kitchen-sink Oriental complexity): bergamot, peach, apricot, raspberry, Bulgarian rose, ylang-ylang, Egyptian jasmine, nutmeg, cinnamon, mimosa, lily of the valley, honey, carnation, orchid, vanilla, sandalwood, cedar, musk, benzoin, balsamic styrax and amber. It´s a sweet, spicy fragrance with a vanilla-woods drydown. Somewhere out there is a review by someone (who? I know you know) that compares a particular fragrance to the smell of warm radiators – that scentless scent of dusty, baked house air. I grew up with radiators and I love that smell. Anyway, they weren´t talking about Asja but they could be – to me it smells something like Cinnabar parfum with a heavy dose of hot radiator accord. It is gorgeous – sensual, but more the warm embrace of Tocade than the leg-humping lasciviousness of Opium. While I love Asja in theory, and find it strangely comforting, it just never seems to be something I reach for. Analyzing this, I want it to be a comfort scent – a blue jeans thing I wear to the grocery store – but the rest of the fragrance is as grown up as a ball gown. The bluejeans/ball gown tension means I never quite feel like it´s the right occasion for Asja. Great bottle. ADDENDUM: wore it over two miserably wet, cold days recently, trying to figure out why I never wear it. It is the PERFECT wear-around-the-house crappy weather comfort scent.

Alexander McQueen Kingdom EDT: Notes of bergamot, neroli, jasmine, ginger, cumin, patchouli, copahu wood, vanilla, myrrh, sandalwood. I smelled the EDP and the EDT on my UK trip and, fab as the famed EDP is, there are limits to how many startling cumin scents I need. The EDT is an entirely different proposition. While the notes I find listed online are the same, the scent is essentially a musky floral summer-weight scent, not a cumin bomb. So why haven´t I been wearing it? Well… that heart-shaped bottle (instead of the wedge-of-alien-fruit EDP flacon) lays flat, it´s big, and it wobbles around on its side. At some point I got nervous/irritated by its sneaky moves and stuck it in a drawer, at which point it ceased to exist. Smelling it again, my first thought was I made a mistake – I went for the safe choice and lost. Having said that, it does not fall into any of the summer stereotypes – it is not a citrusy thing, or fresh, or a fruity-floral. The cumin emerges in the drydown, but even then it is very subdued. It´s a strange scent, a dry floral with some of the salty muskiness of Eau de Merveilles. I have put it on my shelf in plain sight, and look forward to trying it in the summer heat – assuming the summer heat ever gets here – to see if it grows on me.

Paul & Joe Bleu. I swapped away the P&J White eons ago, unable to deal with the hawthorn, but I kept this – it´s an oriental, notes are bergamot, coriander, caraway, cardamom, cumin, ylang-ylang, jasmine, rose, magnolia, heliotrope, sandalwood, oud, patchouli, myrrh, vanilla, and musk, created by Pierre Bourdon in 2003. I googled it and can´t find anything, it seems to have fallen off the face of the earth – it´s not even on eBay, and I think they had them by the dozens back in the day at Anthropologie, where I bought it – and cheap, too. And too bad it´s gone, because really, it´s a nice fragrance. Somewhere between the vanillic haze of Shalimar Lite and a honking dose of patchouli to unsweeten things, Bleu does an interesting fifteen-minute lateral shift from feminine powdery florals to masculine woody tobacco, and I would love to smell this on a man. The spices are much more muted than you´d suspect from the list, contributing to the overall richness of the scent rather than calling attention to themselves on an individual basis.

Why don´t I wear this? On me, this registers as Serious Perfume. For those occasions I reach for either Mitsouko or Jicky. But it doesn´t smell like either of those, and it’s not so pervasive. On the other hand, it’s not so long lasting, either, and it gets a bit thin. I’ll try to work it into the rotation.

Anything on your shelf that you like in theory but it´s been languishing for so long you can´t quite remember what it smells like? And how come you aren´t wearing it?

  • Natalia says:

    Have two very neglected bottles: Black Cashmere and Tommy Girl. Bought them together years ago at auction for just $30. Loved BC right away, did not care for TG. It was June, so decided to wait for colder weather to wear BC. Subsequently got swayed away by hunting down/trying/wearing other perfumes. But am very glad/borderline happy that I do have a full bottle of BC, believe it or not somehow I imagine bright yellow and lots of sun when I sniff the cap of BC.

  • Robin says:

    You can still buy direct:

    http://www.paul-joe-beaute.com

  • Patty says:

    I don’t think I have anything in particular orphaned right now, just some in the closet hiding. But I did pull out all my tea scents, it’s just time for them.

    Can I just bitch mightily about Bergdorf-Goodman? After sending me the wrong shoes, and me kvetching about it and wanting them to ship it one-day, which is what I paid for originally, those a-holes shipped it two day, which is going to require me to call up and gripe some more. It’s exhausting, I tell ya! I wanted those shoes todAYYYYY!!

    • March says:

      Wow … what is UP with those people? First of all, I think they should refund all your shipping just for the hassle factor. Second — wow. Well, I hope they fit when they get there — keeping my toes crossed for ya! :)>-

      I myself stumbled across a shoe sale yesterday and bought 4 pair o’ wedges for $100. Because a girl can’t have too many wedges.

      It IS tea time, isn’t it?

  • Victoria says:

    Ina was the one who introduced me to Fendi Asja parfum, and I must say that it is very beautiful. I do not wear nearly as much of my usual favorites these days, as there is simply no time to wear them, but I manage to sneak it some Asja from time to time. The bottle looks like a Japanese soup bowl, and it is striking!

    • March says:

      The bottle is beautiful, and to me is a rebuff of the idea that a nice bottle has to be inherently very expensive. It is a lovely concept executed I guess at a low cost, given the price of the fragrance. And it’s an excellent match for the fragrance too. I think it’s a great example of a wonderful complete package; I wish it were more of a success. I think it’s discontinued.

  • Elizabeth says:

    I have some good news: They have Bleu and Blanc at Bergdorf Goodman – or at least they did last month when I saw them. I only tried the Blanc, which I find quite similar to L’Eau D’Hiver and Apres L’Ondee. Now I want to try Bleu!

    • March says:

      Thanks, I had totally forgotten to check with them! And yes, Blanc is very similar to Hiver. :-ss ;))

      And Bleu is worth trying.

  • sylvia says:

    paul and joe really has fallen off the face of the earth. recently i became smitten with blanc and remembered that they had it at anthro not 6 months ago. now it doesn’t exist. anywhere! haven’t tried bleu, but if i can lay my hands on it, i will.

  • Disteza says:

    I’ll plead that my sample binge has also cut into the bottle-wearing, but after looking through I realized that I have at least 4 bottles that I’ve never worn: Bond New Haarlem & Silver Factory, Montale Chocolate Greedy, and CB IHP Pathchouli Empire. Funny thing though: I know my husband has worn all of them except for the Montale! I also have a sad, neglected bottle of Issey Miyake Feu d’Issey that I swear gives me a dirty look every time I pass it over. I love it, but it definitely has that, um, ‘fresh sex’ smell, which is not so good at the office. I’ll have to remind myself to put it on for the next night out.

    • March says:

      Fresh sex. Hee! How come you never see that in an ad?!? I’d buy it. <):) I hear you on its maybe not being fully office-friendly. And another gal whose husband has been, um, dipping into the candy jar. I bet he smells tasty!

  • Kim says:

    Big White Florals! I love them in theory but don’t seem to pick them to wear. Somehow my skin eats the white florals – in parfum, Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia only lasts an hour on me! Plus they never seem right – even in the summer I work inside and it can be colder than in winter! So my Chanel Gardenia edt, which I love, has lasted 5 years. So still searching for a great gardenia or tuberose that I love AND will wear but will take your advice and try to use a decant before springing for a full bottle.

    • March says:

      Uh, yeah, big white florals. Pretty much never the right time for them over here at Casa March. It’s like wearing a giant bridal veil to the grocery store. I love to sniff them in a vial, but find them very distracting. Maybe you will find one more muted, that might work for you.

  • alba says:

    I’ve had a close look at my bottles, and there it is… Tea for Two. Why don’t I wear it if I love it? I don’t know, I just don’t remember it. It’s funny, but I tend to relate perfumes to colours and cloth material, and Tea For Two smells dark grey and woolly, two things I’m not in the mood for.

    • March says:

      Ack — where is my Tea for Two?!?! I completely failed to wear it last winter? This is where our addiction gets us. I feel shame.

      Tea for Two was a winter staple for me (until I forgot about it, that is.) Maybe your love will turn into a desire to wear it.

  • Catherine says:

    I’m also too new to the massive binges on perfume bottles to comment fully. Do I not wear them because they need summer, or do I not wear them because they’ve gotten lost in the shuffle? I’ll find out over the summer when I stop stampeding the retailers–I try to tell myself that the heat in transport will damage the desired bottles…yeah, let’s see how that’s going to work. :d

    But I am *shocked*, just shocked, I tell you, that I’ve not worn a few in so long. Jicky, for instance. I pull it out, sniff it, fall completely under its spell–but then put it away. And Gris Clair–which is the perfect lavender-incense to my nose. Or Chypre Rouge–which is simply perfect. But I typically wear flowers–lots and lots of flowers–so they do not get worn. A couple of weeks ago, I pulled them out and handed them over to my husband. I love the smell of them, and he does, too. So now I get the best of both worlds: I wear my flowers *and* smell the SLs. Problem solved!

    I’ve marked the Chicago date in my calendar!! I’m too overjoyed for words!

    • March says:

      Wow, what a great idea! Those are all scents that would smell delicious on a husband. :d And I agree that there is a group of scents — your list would work for me as well — that I adore the smell of, but somehow don’t want to smell on myself. I take Chypre Rouge out regularly just to sniff it, but almost never wear it.

      I can’t try your trick with the Big Cheese, because he is a terrible over-applier.

      I’m excited about Chicago too.

  • AngelaS says:

    For “radiator smell” could you be thinking of my review of Rumba? I love that smell, too. Now I’m sorry I swapped away my bottle of Asja! I mostly remember cinnamon bubble gum from it. I did love that bottle, though.

    • Erin T says:

      It is Angela, March. I quoted her in my combined review of Balenciaga’s Rumba and Fendi Asja, so you might have gotten to her review through my ol’ blog.

      • March says:

        I need to go read your review, if you made a comparison between the two maybe I did crib from you. :”> In which case it was subconscious and my apologies!

        • Erin T says:

          Sheesh, no worries, girl! I wasn’t suggesting you cribbed off me – and I don’t care about that at all, anyway! – I just put that bit in there to make you certain (the Rumba/Asja connection is the clincher) and give Angela her due. I’m embarrassed I made you feel you had to apologise. :”>

          • March says:

            Well, hey, we are in agreement on the Asja bit, and I guess I need to try Rumba, don’t I? I love the name, it makes me giggle.

    • March says:

      Angela, it WAS you! I swear I searched NST, thinking it might have been, and came up empty handed. For some reason I was thinking it was Tocade, though (not Rumba) which didn’t make any sense to me, really, and then the whole thing gave me a headache. Thanks, though.

  • oeditrix says:

    I love Theorema and reading your post makes me want to spring for a bottle of Asja unsniffed.

    I’m too much of a newbie to have long-lost frags sitting around. However, one scent I LOVE but can never quite wear out of the house is AG Songes. I often put it on right before I go to sleep; I love falling asleep to jasmine and waking up to vanilla. But it seems too femme-y for jeans somehow, so I always end up reaching for my White Aoud sample (which is getting low) instead. Maybe when sundress weather arrives. . . .

    I’m so excited about Chicago!!

    • March says:

      I’m so excited too! It is going to be great. Musette is there right now, making arrangements.

      But you DO wear your Songes — it has the perfect niche, your bedtime scent! 😡 Those are some of the best, and I love the way you describing going to sleep with one scent and waking up with another.

      I haven’t looked recently but Asja used to be dirt-cheap online. Twelve bucks? Just sayin’. :d

  • Debbie says:

    The Asja sounds interesting; I am putting it on my sample wishlist. And speaking of samples, that is why *all* of my fragrances feel orphaned. I have been swapping and my time has been totally taken up by a million samples. Okay, not a million, but I have tried over 200 recently. About 175 have been reviewed, but I went through plenty before I started doing that. It’s been great–I have discovered some real loves out there–but sad that my FB most-loved fragrances have not been getting their fair usage. I’m not sure what to do about it. Sometimes I have massive private Sniffa days. I wonder if that’s contributed to my allergic reaction to a few fragrances. I’m putting just too much on my skin. Any thoughts?

    • March says:

      I love samples. love love love. mmmmmmmmmm. and I love taking them out and playing with them and organizing them …. like Polly Pockets for 40-somethings. 😡

      I am not going to argue against possible reactions on your skin. They are chemicals, after all (and naturals) and anything’s possible. I’m sort of surprised it hasn’t happened to me. (Makes warding-off-curse sign).

  • Christine says:

    Oh, Fendi Asja…I haven’t put that on in forever…maybe I’ll fix that the next crappy cool day that comes along. Today is far too nice in my area for it, but I hear that the crap weather arrives again tomorrow. I get a stewed plums in wine smell from it more than dusty radiator. I’ll keep an eye out for that dusty smell though.

    • March says:

      I’ll go with you on the stewed plums — with radiator. :d/ And I hear our craptastic weather is on its way back TOMORROW! In case we missed not having constant rain? Nice dusty smell.

  • Francesca says:

    ITA with MarkDavid’s comment on the Asja bottle. Really beautiful design.

    I also agree with Sallycantdance on the “in theory” of Zagorsk. I love to sniff it in its little vial, but it makes me think too much of Rasputin for me to actually wear it.

    I haven’t been collecting fragrances long enough for any of them to be forgotten somewhere, but I do have this bottle of Baghari EdT . . . It was a freebie at the Sniffa in December. I tried it that night and wasn’t wild for it. Then I tried it again a couple of months later and fell in love with it as its warm and sexy citrus/chypre evolved over the course of the day. And I haven’t worn it since. I don’t know why. I didn’t wear it today because I’m seeing Macbeth tonight and I don’t think it’s right for Macbeth.

    And speaking of scents that have fallen off the face of the earth, does anyone remember Norell Red from the early-to-mid seventies? I’ve already discussed this one with March and Tania and now I’m wondering if I am hallucinating it.

    • March says:

      Isn’t that funny? I totally hear you on Macbeth. Seems so wrong. Am now desperately trying to stay focused and not go off on some tangent about what might be right for Macbeth.

      Well, um, you said it first. 🙂 Usually I can find a trace of a d/c’d fragrance lurking *somewhere* on some list, but I cannot find Norell Red. So I do wonder, a little, whether it was Norell, or Red, but not both. But if it was an extremely short-lived run I can see it disappearing entirely. I would love to know if you find it.

      • Francesca says:

        Nope, definitely Red by Norell.

        I dunno, Coromandel seemed right for the Scottish play. Though some might prefer Secretions Magnifiques with its accord, as you said, March, of bloody knife…

        • March says:

          o.m.g. in from the great outdoors, where the lovely couple I hire to do the yard maintenance has, after a misunderstanding, cut down two of my beloved roses, both of which were *in full bloom.* I’d made a comment about one of them spreading too aggressively.

          I keep reminding myself, it’s only a plant, it’s only a plant. =((

          The rugosa is an absolute animal and my guess is, even sheared to 3 inches it will be back with a vengance. (They weren’t pruning, they thought I wanted them removed, and just hadn’t gotten to digging up the roots yet.) But the other, a wonderful old rose … ah, I could weep. I did, a little. Of course they feel terrible. I fled back indoors, big baby. Getting a grip, off to run errands. Every time I look at the two large vacant areas in the garden I get this stabby feeling in my chest.

          • Francesca says:

            Oh, that’s horrible. I’m sorry. We do get attached to these lovely things.

          • Kim says:

            Oh my gosh – that hurts! Those rugosas and old roses are soooo lovely. They become almost like family members!

            What to wear to various Shakespeare plays? Would love to read that post…. she begs of the arts/English majors :-\”

          • Existentialist says:

            I would be devastated. How awful.

          • March says:

            You all are so sweet. @};- I’ve done a little research online and there may be more hope than I thought. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I did ask them not to cut down any more roses when they come back tomorrow…

          • Shelley says:

            Oh, March…I am so sorry about the roses. As one who has nurtured clippings and trimmings from grandparent’s gardens, and run in front of demolition crews in order to rescue beautiful old plants, “ah feel your pain.” 🙁

            Actually, if I had encountered the well-meaning duo, my face would have probably been @-) .

            Ha! Perfumes for Shakespeare! Bring on the Ether de Lilas for Romeo & Juliet! (Here…gone!!) Also fun to consider whether we are wearing the scent as audience member, or if we are dressing a character…

          • Shelley says:

            En Passant! I meant En Passant. Blargh. In the midst of a smelling binge…not taking notes….

  • moi says:

    I get some radiator out of Djedi, or maybe I’m confusing radiator with damp basement walls? Anyhoo. Asja sounds like just my kind of cup of coffee.

    Funny, my Kingdom has also been languishing in a drawer (I have the red, egg-shaped EdP – it behaves nowhere). I just ran over and pulled it out and spritzed a bit on my left wrist and, whah! WHERE are all y’all getting those florals? I get lemony armpit all the way. I likee, though. I was surprised that The Perfume Guide called it dull, heavy, and opaque. On my skin, it’s quite ah interesting composition, with the lemon eventually working its way to the surface where it sparkles and dances and becomes quite easily wearable.

    • March says:

      Hah — the EDP is a renegade bottle too? Do they not think about the fact that we might want to, oh, put the bottle down somewhere? And have it stay there? /:)

      Kingdom is one of those scents The Guide/LT is just flat wrong about, although I think lemony armpit isn’t a bad description. And I like it too. Although I get more florals than you do.

      Nope, Wet Basement is a different scent. 😉

      • Existentialist says:

        Is Wet Basement from Demeter? (Joking, but not risking getting the wrong emoticon).

        • March says:

          Wet Basement is totally Demeter. I also think they should do Wet Dog. Actually I just read an interview with Mark Crames (head of Demeter) and he said a popular request was dog’s breath. To which I thought, b-( man, not MY dog.

          • MattS says:

            New Puppy or Puppy Breath would be the greatest scent to have bottled. I love that smell.

  • Gail S says:

    Whew, that Asja!!?!! I’m gonna have to rank that one right up there with Kenzo Jungle l’Elephant in terms of sheer un-wearability. Kitchen sink is right, I feel like I’m wearing someone’s entire fragrance wardrobe on my wrist with this one. It’s just too, too much :-&

    It’s interesting that your post should be about shopping in your own shelves. We recently cleaned out the “junk” room where we put all my daughters’ stuff that wouldn’t fit in the rest of the house when she moved back home. I found three small boxes of the perfumes she had taken off to school with her (some of which I had been wondering about!). There were a couple of older CSP’s of the non-vanillic variety (Eau des Artes!), the first Max Mara ‘fume, Miami Glow, the milk-bottle Diesel, YSL Vice Versa, and a bunch of others that I can’t think of right now. I’m probably still not going to wear any of them, but it’s nice to know what happened to them :d

    The scents that I still am quite fond of but never seem to wear anymore are probably my green, herbal-y perfumes such as Isabella Rossellini Manifesto and Davies Gate Garden Made. Both are a little sweet, a little dry and really quite satisfying on warm spring or summer days. But right now, I am suddenly obsessed with tea scents, specifically Parfum d’Empire Osmanthus Interdite and Stephanie de St-Aignan Un The au Sahara. I can hardly see the rest of the collection for those two. But, given my fickleness, I’m sure that I’ll shift again some day soon and have room for other goodies.

    • Debbie says:

      L’Elephant is bad? No!!! I can’t believe it. That is one of the most wonderful smells on me ever. Um, but there was a slight problem. Okay, a serious problem. I am so allergic to it that as soon as two minute drops hit my forearm, hives broke out. I kid you not. I wish we had full disclosure on ‘fumes so that I could try to figure out which ones are allergens for me. You’re probably saying to yourself, “I am NOT surprised it was allergenic.” (grin)

      • March says:

        Weird, I wonder what got you. I consider myself blessed (knocking wood hard here) not to have reacted to anything skin-wise, even when I wear *ahem* room spray. Not as directed. 🙂

        • Debbie says:

          I have other allergies (dogs, ragweed, tree pollen, etc.), so I guess it shouldn’t be surprising. Do you have any other allergies? If not, I guess you just don’t have a reactive immune system. If so, count yourself lucky indeed! I’d use a smiley face, but all I’d get is a clown.

          • sylvia says:

            those sound like seasonal allergies to me (except dog). i used to get this thing where my lip would puff up for no apparent reason, because i have no known allergies. then after a few months of it happening about once a week, it just stopped forever. i think it was a stress-related allergic reaction. stress is weird that way. so my rec is to try it again if you like how it smells!

          • Debbie says:

            Thank you, Sylvia. I will! I can always swap or sell on ebay, I guess, if it still causes a reaction.

          • March says:

            :o) 🙂

            Hmmmm …. okay, the clown has a big round o in the middle, that’s his nose…. the one that never works for me anymore is the whistling guy.

            :-\”

            Instead I get :- question guy. Let’s see what happens … I am such a l-)

    • March says:

      See, you’re still in stage whatever of your obsession, subcategory: right now it’s All About Tea. Speaking of which, for cheapcheap you can try Speziali Fiorentini (I Have No Doubt I Spelled That Wrong Te Nero.) If you have not. Delish. 🙂

      Tea scents ROCK. Particularly in summer. :)>-

      • Existentialist says:

        Have you tried The Menthe by Cote Bastide? It starts as warm, very sweet, minty tea, and dries down to a very pleasant burnt sugar. I know that sounds sickeningly sweet, and I normally hate sweet, but this is so nicely done, and so realistic that it could be from CB I hate Perfume.

  • Divalano says:

    Edna! No capes!! I love Edna!

    I can’t wear Kingdom. Someone extra’ed me a samp & I couldn’t even tolerate it sprayed on a tissue. I don’t think any of those are my speed. Too floral or too bergamotty or something.

    My orphaned ‘fumes, well today I re-tried Josef Statkus b/c I wondered if maybe I might love it again. We’d been on the outs for almost a year. Ya know what? It’s not me. Too cold, too harsh, goes sour & a little dank. Phooey. Must swap. I’d probably love it on someone else.
    On the other hand, I recently un-orphaned my Premier Figuere Extreme & we’re very happy together again.

    • March says:

      I love Edna. She’s in my image files, I try to work here into a post occasionally. We own the DVD just so I can watch it, although I tell everyone it’s for the kids.

      Yay on the PFE — that’s such a nice scent! And I’m kinda lemming the Kingdom regular now … is there really such a s thing as Too Much Cumin? 😉

    • Gina says:

      do you want to sell the josef statkus? i’ve been wanting a bottle.

  • MarkDavid says:

    Come on ‘a my house, you smell Bleu on a me! You chose 2 scents that I love and wear (Kingdom and Bleu), and the other that I was just yesterday searching for on eBay b/c it sounds very much like its for me (Asja).

    I, too got Bleu at Anthropologie and it was a great price (I have the Blanc as well) but you’re right – they don’t have it anymore. BUT! I did notice it at the Paul and Joe counter in Bergdorfs, so it IS still in this country. I think for any fan of Bourdon (Me!!) or Ellena (Blanc) should seek these out just because the price is so damn perfect – I think $50, correct me if Im wrong.

    I don’t get any Cumin from Kingdom, really. Its all floral on me, but then EVERYTHING is all floral on me, not that I’m complaining mind you.

    Off the top of my head – Jean Paul Gaultier Fleur du Male is one that I own but probably wore only once since it came out last year. I want to love it, but the opening is not pleasant to my nose and it goes on kind of slanted, I dont know how else to describe it but slanted – crooked, askew, you get the picture. The Orange Blossom in it is kind of mucky, and VERY synthetic and that is probably the culprit.

    That Asja bottle alone is worth it, even if you don’t love the scent.

    • March says:

      Oooooh, come over here, let me sniff you! You must smell wonderful. 🙂 I love florals on a man. Hey, did you try the Theo Fennell at Bendel (you know, on the floor AWAY from the cookies?) 😉 It was a cumin-bomb on me, I bet you would have rocked it.

      Thanks for the tip about P&J, I totally forgot about Bergdorf. It made me sad to *not* find it on a lazy google search. And I think you’re right about the price, at least when I bought them — both for $100 or less (steal!) seems right.

      Interesting point about FdM — I like orange blossom, but to me it was like an interesting idea taken too far. And I get that same … what … Tang/root beer combo from really intense OB sometimes that I can’t stand. Gap had a cheapie one like that, and that’s what Malle Outrageous smells like to me. Regular Le Male I like. And hey, if you love Bourdon, have you experienced the Genius that is Worth Courtesan? /:) My favorite go-to year-round scent? That I won’t stop yakking about, and one of these days Patty is going to chase me with a broom? My guess is you’d get the serving of fruit salad … people are so nice about it, though, they say to me: oh, it’s just not “me.”

      Asja IS worth it for the bottle but it is CHEAP — what, $25? Less?

      • MarkDavid says:

        Yes I did try Theo Fennell. Many, many times. As a matter of fact, I put on some extrait everytime Im in Henri Bendels. Not b/c I love it, but b/c its so ridiculously overpriced that I feel like its practically an act of shoplifting just to put a dab on your wrists. Its expensive and its free to try – so Try it I have. Its nice, and you’re right – its very little cumin on me, more florals and woods. But absolutely ridiculously priced. Another case of inflation due to packaging. I dont need a sterling silver holder for my bottle of perfume, thank you. This is the same reason I haven’t bought any of the Killians. $100 for a refill, yet they want $225 from you the first time around. Seems ridiculous to me, I mean – we already know how much (at maximum) the juice is worth (because they TOLD us). I don’t need another wooden lockbox. It would be different if the refill was like $175, but its not, its less than half of the initial cost. And that irks me bigtime. Oh boy, I got myself on a tangent. Dammit.

        No, I have not tried Courtesan. It sounds like I need to. Is it even sold state-side?

        Yes, the Paul and Joe counter is WAAAY in the back by the back set of elevators. Right across from the home fragrances section.

        • March says:

          See, that is so funny. I had ZERO idea how much it cost. I’d have laughed in their face. I do remember at Bergdorf, when I found out how much the Ajnes were, I said .. uh, no thanks. And I’m glad I did because I hear the lasting power isn’t good, which surprised me.

          As far as I know the only place you can get Courtesan stateside is from The Perfumed Court, unless it’s on eBay or somebody has a bottle to swap on MUA. Which they sometimes do, having tried it and failed to Feel The Magic. :d If you don’t get the naughty bits it’s like every other fruital thing at Sephora. I, fortunately, get the naughty bits.

          • MarkDavid says:

            I think the Theo Fennel extrait is around $450 and it comes with a sterling silver base that the bottle rests in. Ridiculous. And all of the lids on the products are silver as well – the body lotion, etc. Apparently, Theo is a jeweler? And decided to impart his aesthetic into the world of perfume. (God help us)

          • March says:

            I think I knew that and forgot it. It’s a trend, isn’t it? JAR. Whatsername — Solange Azagury-Partridge.

  • Louise says:

    Wow-the task of finding sad unused bottles in my stash seems daunting…

    But among my long-time loves, I have been neglecting Opium, Datura Noir and Jasmin de Nuit-guess there’s a theme here, sort of-rich florientals. This week I’ll give them some attention :d/

    I am trying to sell off certain “no-no-no” scents, and give away others (Yatagan-hi March!; Pamplelune-Hi Matt!). Most were unsniffed impulses, deserve a better home 8-|

    I need to caution myself, though. I am going through many changes in current tastes (love my chypres and green things, avoid patch mostly)but figure that is all subject to change and re-evaluation anytime, fickle woman that I am :”>

    • March says:

      Well, yes. Those sort-of-rich orientals. Which you and I both love, and which have the advantage for you of being generally pretty tenacious. But then, how often do you want an oriental? For myself, I love to smell them, but tend not to wear them as often as something comforting in cooler weather.

      And some folks keep everything, but unless it’s tres rare, I agree — get rid of it if you hate it or it’s not you. Too much psychic space. If you decide next year Yatagan is All That, you can go buy it again.

  • MattS says:

    Poor little Boucheron Pour Homme sulks at the back of my scent trunk. I used to wear it all the time, it was a signature scent and, at one point, the only thing I owned that smelled like a grown-up. Blast of citrus with a gradual light powder dry-down, very much the gentlemen and for that reason, it became my weddings, funerals, and job interviews scent. Since I haven’t been to any of these functions lately, it’s sat neglected for a while. I was just thinking the other day that it needed some love.

    • March says:

      Smells like a grown-up! Hilarious. Yup, I bet most of us have those. My default scent for years for anything involving my MIL was Chanel No. 5 or 22, figuring she couldn’t criticize their provenance.

      I can’t remember what regular PH smells like, but I adore the Jaipur PH.

  • sallycantdance says:

    Great reviews! I’ve never tried any of these, but not for lack of wanting to purchase them unsniffed. I kept missing the Paul & Joe during is semi-frequent appearances on eBay, and now it has become nearly extinct.

    In answer to your question, I am wearing a ”theory”scent right now: Terracotta Voile d’Ete. For whatever reason, the idea of carnation never appeals to me and I go out of my way to avoid it. Tonight, though, VdE smells sweeter and sunnier than I remembered. It’s good enough for a full day out tomorrow, with a pair of ”theory” shoes and a ”theory” lipgloss.

    Other theory scents: Barbara Bui, Genie des Bois, Zagorsk, Frapin 1270, Ambre Russe, Kai (reason for not wearing is that it smells jellied to me)…I could go on, but I will spare readers the roster of 50 or so that exist in the cobwebs of my memory and the bedroom closet.

    • March says:

      MarkDavid down there says the fragrances are still available at the P&J counter at Bergdorf, which I didn’t know. They were pretty cheap, at least at Anthropologies — $50ish? If you get desperate. 😉

      Love your “theory” scents. QuinnCreative noticed a cumin/patch theme in mine, making them possibly harder to wear. I wonder if I’m noticing an ambery sweetness in yours? Too sweet?

      I like Terracotta. In theory. But it is almost not there on me. 🙂 One of those, I *think* I’m wearing fragrance deals.

  • hmmm, March, I notice that they all have cumin and patch in common. That alone could account for the “love it but where can I wear it?” motif.
    I have Miller Harris’ Figue Amere, which is neither fig, nor bitter on me. It got a lot of blog praise, and I should like it more. It’s just, ummm, there. On. my. wrist. It doesn’t develop much and in heat it can go sharp on me. But I should like it more. Really. But I don’t.

    • March says:

      Hey, I think that is a completely legitimate complaint. It’s … fine. You should like it more. But you don’t. 😕 And those are interesting in their own way (like in my gazillion-fig testing for my Figmania reviews) — the Earth should be moving here, but no.