Who I Am Apparently Not

bhutanI hurt my finger and it’s hard to type (isn’t that pathetic?) so I’m going to just do this and not endlessly redraft obsess over typos.   Mea culpa.  Today is part perfume review and part nattering, please join in.

One part of my perfume relationship I’m a little ashamed of is: I admit, I can be a snob.  Example:  if I went to Macy’s and smelled Paris Hilton’s newest scent and it was called … I don’t know … SLUT BY PARIS, and I loved it, and I thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread (or CdG Avignon) the truth is:  I would have a REALLY REALLY hard time wearing it.  Or buying it.  Because that would mean that Paris spoke to me deep in my soul, right?  And I’d rather shove bamboo under my thumbnail, it would pain me less.

Conversely, I have this wishful image of myself as (in part) The Traveler, The Mysterious Stranger, The Lonely Wanderer … whatever you want to name the persona.  I want to be that mysterious girl you see on the train to Istanbul.  I want to be six feet tall, deeply tanned, with broad shoulders and a hawk nose and washboard abs and long dark hair that falls to my waist, wearing some kind of faded, uber-cool backpacker duds.  I am not holding my breath.

But.  Why can’t I at least live part of that dream through my perfumes?  I am a sucker for a certain kind of exotically named fragrance.   It started with L’Artisan Timbuktu.  I wanted to be That Mysterious Woman who Wears Timbuktu (since it doesn’t seem likely I’ll be visiting.)   Notes are mango, pink pepper, cardamom, incense, papyrus wood, spices, patchouli, myrrh, benzoin, vetiver.  It was done by Bertrand Duchaufour, as is most of the rest of their travel series, and for me it was the start of my unhappy relationship with Monsieur Duchaufour.  Don’t those notes sound yummy?   Timbuktu smells like ballsweat and litterbox on me, and not in a good way, either.

Next up: Dzongkha, also by L’Artisan.  And … really, Dzongkha?!?! I was lusting after that in the worst.way.possible.  Notes are peony, lychee, cardamom, tea, vetiver, incense, papyrus, cedar, leather and iris.  Come on, don’t you want to buy that unsniffed?  I finally ran across it in a cool little shop in Vienna, so it was extra special!!!  There I was, the World Traveler!   The Mysterious Stranger!   And now, I would wear a fragrance associated with Bhutan!  How great was that?!?!  I could already imagine myself purring, oh this?  Dzongkha … let me spell it for you. But sadly, Bertrand was punking me again.  Dzongkha smells like hamster cage and stale tea on my skin.  And so once again I bid Mr. Duchaufour adieu…

Bringing us to Wazamba by Parfum d’Empire.   Okay, so we’d dodged the Curse of Duchaufour, and … I don’t care what wazamba means, okay?  I don’t need to know.  I don’t even care that it sounds a little bit like shaZAM!    Wazamba was going to be perfect for me.  I could feel it in my bones.  I get along pretty well with the line.  Notes are Somalian incense, Kenyan myrrh, Ethiopian opoponax, Indian sandalwood, Moroccan cypress, labdanum, apple, fir balsam, and if that doesn’t have ME ME ME written all over it, I don’t know what does.  Except for the mildly suspect apple, those notes are perfect.

And … that’s pretty much where the love ends.  I am still puzzling over Wazamba.  It wasn’t terrible.  But it wasn’t great, either.  It was kind of null.  Honestly, I can’t think of the last time I smelled something that was…  basically okay? — that left me so utterly cold.  I mean, not even a resniff.  Not even, file that away for another time next week. It smells like incense, but not that much better or more complex than my $6 frankincense essential oil from the co-op, and it also smells a little bit like Pine-Sol.  There, I said it.  I want a bottle of Fille en Aiguilles instead.

So.  First off: if you love any/all of these scents, please take no offense — it’s not you, it’s me.  Second, YMMV.  Third: so, what about you?   Are there fragrances or fragrance concepts (e.g., femme fatale) that you try to make work for you, because you really want them to, and it’s just an epic FAIL?

  • Nina says:

    (Long time reader, infrequent commenter here)
    The bombshells. I want to wear the bombshell ultra femme scents. I want to wear Joy, Fracas and nahhhh. Cant do it, they make me ill and make me feel like my grandmother. I want to be a siren and wear siren scents. Apparently these just arent the scents to do it for me.
    I like and smell best in vaguely masculine scents which work quite well for me and please me.But! my Happy Scent is Bulgari Rose Essentielle,which just seems so Nice.

  • Andrea D says:

    “hamster cage and stale tea”. That is so accurate that I just about cried. Thank you.

  • dea says:

    wow. wazamba is not getting a lot of love today.

    i have to say, that i found another soulmate fragrance in that wazamba. it speaks to a part of me no other fragrance i have does. and satisfies a need i didn’t even know i had.
    love, love, love it.

    fragrance concepts that don’t fit: all the chypres and vintage fragrances that are loved and raved about– all the imagery, history, culture, style, strength, and personality that they embody– i wanted it to be the me i never knew i was. but it didn’t happen. still hasn’t.
    makes me feel like a poseur sometimes. it’s like, if i like dissonent music like sonic youth, why can’t i get into chypres or galbanum?

  • sharil says:

    Thank you SO much for this post. I have had very similar dilemmas in terms of who I would like to be fragrance-wise and what acutally speaks to me and works for me. Wazamba was raved about in more than one location so I immediately procured a sample. To my nose, it was a hugely watered down derivative of several previous scent concepts I have experienced, only it achieves none of them. Like most things and people who “flip-flop”, it was utterly boring.

  • pinkfizzy says:

    I wanted to love Eau Sauvage, but frankly it turned into, um, well, an outhouse in a heatwave. Same with Fracas, which I was sure that I would like, but I had to scrub it off. I have to wonder who the first person was who thought of using glands from a wild cat’s rear for perfume. Although I love the civet in Jicky.

    But I’m sure Eau Sauvage is different on other people. I personally love Timbuktu. I spilled a whole sample of it over my bed (while drunk) and I still love it!

  • carlene says:

    Hamster cage. Yes. I have always thought of it as the Lincoln Park Farm-in-the-Zoo accord.

    Hinoki the concept made me swoon, Hinoki the fragrance dries down exactly like Pine Sol on me. So depressing.

  • Tara C says:

    Timbuktu and Dzongkha are favorites, although I was not initially impressed on first sniff. And I love Wazamba! However, my major failure is Guerlain classics, specifically Mitsouko, Nahema, L’Heure Bleue and Shalimar. They are all just nauseatingly dreadful on me, and I soooo wanted to be a classy classic lover, all elegant and sophisticated. Alas, I am a strictly modern perfume girl, give me a bottle of L’Artisan or Serge any day and I can be happy (well, except for Bois Farine and Tea for Two).

    • Eric says:

      Wow, you just knocked out 3 of my top… 20! =o

      But I can understand where you’re coming from. I didn’t think I’d like the Guerlains; I’m probably waaaay too young for them. They were just instant loves for me. =P

      And I agree on Tea for Two. It was nauseating on me.

  • mi-cuit says:

    I would love to have been (or to later be) someone who can pull off the dashing, devastating, sophisticated masculines like Egoiste and Le Troisieme Homme, Coriolan and Insense, but no. That will never happen with my personality, lifestyle, and dress sense.

    I AM DZONGKHA however. absolutely. unequivocally. it’s the scent people associate most with me, and I always get at least one compliment when I wear it. I can also pull off any vetiver, anywhere, anytime.

  • Olfacta says:

    My mind isn’t working very well today which is nothing unusual, but I can’t help think of Fracas and other hugely tuberose-y scents; on me they’re like a beautiful sweater that just doesn’t fit, or is the wrong color, or something. Not enough of a diva, guess. But I’m still enough of a noob to know that next year might be different (or next month) — what seems to work or not work keeps changing.

    If I were ever to wear one of the Paris Hilton scents, and someone were to ask me what I was wearing, I guess I could just say, “oh, something from Paris.” Not that I’d ever actually DO either of those.

  • So sorry your finger is paying the expense of what seems like a frenzied, merry Labor Day weekend (was it? hope so!). Get well soon.

    As to perfume projection, I’m with Denyse, it’s all about an image, even subconsciously. I know I get certain references in my mind despite myself, from the name, the notes, the whole feel of the thing…Sometimes those coincide with other people’s and sometimes they don’t. It’s all interesting to think about though!

    What I have been longing to do, ever since the collection has expanded into infinity and beyond, is to be satisfied with a hugely popular bestseller (there are a couple) that everyone compliments on others: I sadly find that I have been spoiled beyond redemption. I can appreciate them (they have to have something going for them if they are so much liked and bought and rebought by people) but they leave a tinge of hoi poloi in my mouth which I can’t always accept; perhaps because I view myself as knowing better? I suppose it has to do with so many releases today being mediocre nevertheless, popular or not. 🙁

    I have to admit Dzhonga wasn’t too good to me either, although the almost muddy-sweet-resiny blood-drops of Timbuktu are doing me favours beyond my capacity as a Mysterious Wanderer (I’m no “touristy tourist” but I don’t have ther washboard abs nor the hawk nose of your imaginary heroine…) Actually got questioned on the scent. *scartches head on the surprising open-mindness of those who asked*

    BTW, I’m taking the liberty of quoting you on something tomorrow.

    • March says:

      Quote away! I’m sure it’ll be me at my diplomatic finest…

      Hm. Satisfaction with the bestseller. I can appreciate them too, and they don’t leave that tinge. But I suppose it’s unsurprising that mostly I don’t *want* to wear something I smell on everyone else. I would say… thinking… Prada Infusion d’Iris and NR For Her are my two exceptions.

      • Oh, it’s rather tame but right on the money, the quote 😉

        Somehow I think I am being a snob when I dissect bestsellers that way and I really don’t want to be. (And yup, you have zeroed in on two which I actually wear and enjoy). Then again, it’s that thing you say: one doesn’t exactly get thrilled wearing what everyone else is wearing.

  • Disteza says:

    Am with you on the Dzongkha and Timbuktu–the former wears too butch, even for me, and the latter is…not. Timbuktu disappears so quick it’s as if I didn’t even spray it on. Bois Farine is too changeable to be reliable; some days it’s pretty, others it’s a rancid sweaty horrorshow. Wazamba (or Wazzamacallit) is nice, but I’m still waiting for the new Serges before I declare my intentions. Those spicy, syrupy Lutens were friggin’ made for me, evidently.

    I also coveted the idea of being tan, curvy, and mysterious, with long dark hair (basically Monica Belucci on summer vacay), but instead ended up pale and well-muscled, with indeterminate hair and a distinct lack of mystery. I love the idea of a melancholy iris or violet; but those were a non-starter. I desperatly wanted to rock some of those vintage chypres (as I am mildly obsessed with all things retro), but alas, they were not meant for the likes of me. Neither were musks, given the rapid decay they experience upon contact. Le sigh. Give me spices, leathers, anything syrupy or tarry, and I’ll wear it out to within an inch of its scented life, though.

    • March says:

      Hahaha!! I’d be Monica Belluci too! Or, sadly, not… I’m surprised at all the Timbuktu and Dzongkha reactions similar to mine on here today. BFarine is sometimes great but mostly awful, I’m trying to remember what it does that is so ghastly.

  • Linda says:

    First of all, you are killing me… that is one of the funniest reviews I’ve read in ages. Chortling at my keyboard.

    I very much want to wear one of those achingly feminine floral scents that radiate complexity and sophistication, but they are always awful and chemical on my skin.

    Oh, and Timbuktu and Dzongkha are not so great on my skin either, alas. I wish they were as interesting as “ballsweat and litterbox” on me, but they lean more toward “rabbit hutch and sawdust, with burned plastic.” Yucko. I think my skin has a sense of humor.

  • MJ says:

    Just wanted to say re “Timbuktu smells like ballsweat and litterbox on me, and not in a good way, either.” that you totally rock. I love you, in a reader/blogger way. This could not have possibly been expressed better…I’ll be enjoying it all day….

  • Fernando says:

    I feel your pain… both pains, actually. Timbuktu smells great on me, and Dzongka smells great on my wife. But I understand what you mean. Andy Tauer’s Incense Rose doesn’t work on me, and I loved it in the abstract. I’m not sure about Grey Flannel, either: it’s SO strong on me that it annoys everyone around. On the other hand, some classic things, like Chanel Pour Monsieur, just disappear: I put it on, and five minutes later I can’t smell anything. (Neither can anyone I’ve asked.) Most colognes do the same. Skin chemistry is a weird thing.

    I’m tempted by Wazamba, like you, because of the marvelous name. “What are you wearing?” “Wa-ZAM-baah!” I’m going to have to get meself a sample first, though. Especially after your comments.

    As to wearing a Paris Hilton perfume, yeah, I’d have trouble too. Luckily they’re all crap. I have trouble with the ELO line for the same reason. Do I really want to tell people I’m wearing “Putain de Palace”? No. Not even “Jasmin et Cigarette”. They’re losing me as a potential market with those names. Maybe what I should do, if I ever buy one, is decant it to an unlabeled bottle, make up a new name, and call it that…

  • Nika says:

    March, how did you omit Borneo 1834 in that lineup? Yours is the only review of it that made me howl with laughter in a public place:)What a fabulous disaster!

  • sybil says:

    I destroy almost everything…if any ‘fume lasts 2 hours, that’s long on me. I would love to be the sweet, sweet frilly girl who wafts in on a cloud of something delicate and feminine (and has men dropping at her feet!), but alas…the gender neutral/guy stuff works weirdly well on me. Aldehydes make me cry–the wholed Divine line smelled bad on me–not interesting bad like litterbox and ball sweat, just wrong.

    The number one attention getter–the perfume I get the most compliments on–is Bulgari Black. Draw your own conclusions!

    And I’m also a big hangnail picker. After the peroxide/salt thingy, at bedtime put a drop of honey over it, and then a bandaid. Helps, I swear!

  • mals86 says:

    No major genre fails here so far, but that could be a) because I’m less than two years into this scented journey thing or b) because there are angles that just don’t appeal to me, and I don’t make serious attempts at them (citrus, fierce chypres, leathers, fougeres, aromatics, heavy resins, gourmands).

    And I wear happily some notes that others avoid like the plague: rose, aldehydes, white florals, galbanum. Floral chypres are great. Incense does not smell like Guilt and Boredom to me. Tuberose fits like a second skin. Tonka bean just makes me happy.

    But there are certain fragrances – mostly classics – I wanted very much to love that turned out to be Wafting Decay on my skin. I wanted to love Joy, but it is all dirty panties on me. I really, really wanted to love Mitsouko, but it is heavenly in the bottle, horror on my skin. I wanted to be enraptured by Nahema, but 30 seconds in, I cannot smell it at all. (Yes, I’ve tried every concentration of all of these, except Mitsy parfum, and that is darn near impossible to find except at totally ridiculous prices, especially since I’m not sure it will work anyway. Sigh.)

    I do feel lucky that by and large, the scents I want to wear fit Who I Am. Traditional femininity suits me, and there are tons of perfumes out there that cater to my sense of self. And I’ll wear my Smug Perfumista button until somebody rhapsodizes yet again on the wonders of Mitsouko…

  • Francesca says:

    Lucky me, I love and can wear incenses. I think I’ve said here before that the only thing I ever liked about church was the incense, so I’m delighted with all the ‘cense frags out there. (Aside, probably apocryphal: Tallulah Bankhead staggered into St Pat’s one day, just as a big procession was taking place. Cardinal Spellman, swinging a fragrant censer, was at the head of it. Tallu: “Darling, your dress is divine, but your purse is on fire.”)

    Timbuktu absolutely horrified me, and that was just on paper! I was tempted to buy some Vicks to shove up my nose to remove the last tenacious molecules that had gotten up in there.

    I don’t think I’ve ever had any major genre fails, though there was that thing with Bulgari Black. Rick kindly gave me a decant, and I thought, “Rubber! Oooh, I can be edgy!” Wore it to a moonlit party and it was perfect. Some months later, in a totally WTH mood I decided on a modest amount for work. Well, it was more like WTF? I couldn’t get the stuff off, and I swear I was pale green all day.

    • mals86 says:

      Hilarious Miss B story!

      I suppose I didn’t go into trying Black with the idea that the rubber would be edgy, which is perhaps why I like it. It’s the spinning wheel of Lapsang Souchong, Creme Brulee, and New Bicycle Tire, with happy childhood connotations (the bicycle, not the creme brulee).

    • Gretchen says:

      That Tallulah story is divine, Francesca. I’m so glad you told us.

    • Claudia says:

      Your Tallulah story made me laugh so hard I ended up in a coughing fit, and then had to run to the ladies room. But I thank you for it anyway!

  • Eyecover says:

    Wazamba? I love it! I bought it blind, and the first sniff gave me an instant flashback to the souks of Omdurman. He captured African incense very well. I must buy one, or maybe two, additional bottles before it’s reformulated. I know that it was just released, but I do fear that I will lose it.

  • Shelley says:

    I want to be the person who can wear vintage Femme and have you swearing it smells sweet. I want to be the person who can put on Rose Poivree–the original, non-cleaned up formula–and not care what you think, rather than being convinced I am Morticia Addams’ sillage incarnate.

    No, that’s just what I think would be cool. I want to be the person who “got” Mitsouko right away, and who wears any Germaine Cellier with aplomb. But I forget all what Cellier did, I can’t afford a vintage wardrobe of scent, and Mitsouko is as Mitsouko does.

    Oh, dear. Maybe we’ll be Wazamba / Filles en Aiguilles inverts. Because on me, you could take something with that vaguely resinous haunted of smoke sweet Chergui drydown, put on a thin layer of honey with a putty knife, and stipple over top with Pine Sol, and that would be Fille eA. I think it’s a matter of cultural context; that particular pine note will always suggest out of a bucket or quart bottle. Love how it ends up, but would rather get there without that woman’s voice telling me the smell let’s me know my wrist is clean. (Remember that commercial?) Meanwhile, I have a shot of Wazamba heading my way. Here’s hoping it’s got the peace of the forest, and not the call to scrub. Floors, I meant…but my arm, too.

  • Lee says:

    I can’t do any cold smelling incense, probably for the reasons Carter has above – without the direct religious experience.

    Part of me would like to imagine myself a la Eric from True Blood (but with better clothes, as you know) – chillingly Nordic, a smell of damp earth and church crypt clinging to me, but jesus indeed, I smell terrible in such things and feel wretched. I’m a sunny scent type more than your melancholia laddy.

    I send wittle fwinger a kissy.

    • March says:

      I would hate to deny you any religious experience 😉 Hm. What sort of fragrance would he wear? Also, was that not a hideous suit last week? wtf. He can afford better. Also over four all-too-short weeks I developed a serious fetish for Godric’s clothing. There he was, contemplating meeting the sun, and I’m thinking: wow, what an interesting shirt! Cool tailoring.

  • dinazad says:

    Hope your finger is better soon, dear!

    Timbuktu I couldn’t smell at all. I yearned for the great adventure and the wide, wild world and got zip. Niente. Nada.
    Dzongkha, on the other hand, is OK but rather boring. I’d prefer travelling to Bhutan….

    I always wanted to be elegant, slender, clad in Chanel rip-offs, smelling of Cuir de Russie (disappears within a nano-second) or Chanel 5 (uhhh…. let’s say it’s not the best choice) or 22 (yuk). Instead, I’m dumpily extravagant, fat, and have a very iffy relationship with Chanel, and my life motto is: If you’re dumpy, be magically dumpy. One can but try, after all.

    I wanted to reek of the Orient (I’m a bellydancer, after all): Opium and Cinnabar and the like smell of unwashed opium smoker on me. Sighhh…

    I wanted MKK: hot sex with very marginally washed muscular he-man, yurts and campfires. Shy little mousie on me.

    And I loved and love “Stéphanie”, by Stéphanie of Monaco, whom I don’t like and who’s romps through the tabloid press disgusted me. I could barely face telling anybody what I was wearing, but ahhhhh – that scent is beautiful! And discontinued, natch… Grumble…

    • March says:

      Yeah, but bony girls look ridiculous belly dancing. My daughter does it btw. It’s so much fun to watch! She’s in a high school troop. The cheese pretends she’s “ballet dancing…”

      Finger is a little better. I’m trying to type with another finger, not working very well

  • carmencanada says:

    Hmm. There is nothing I’d *like* to wear conceptually but can’t. But it’s interesting to think of types of perfume as personas you fantasize about being. In fact, I’d say that any good perfume is *about* projecting a certain type of persona, and that’s often what we do in our reviews. No matter how much we say that it’s all about the juice itself…

    For what it’s worth, I quite liked Wazamba but I suspect it’ll work better in bitter cold. It’s a little heavy-handed, like all the Parfums d’Empire, which is why I wear none of them.

    And I guess I wouldn’t be caught dead in any celebrity scent (and probably not in any best-seller either — too obvious). I’m a snob too!

  • Jared says:

    First of all, I bought a bottle of Timbuktu yesterday and am rejoicing in its gloriousness. I love the ballsweat and litterbox description, though. Hilarious.

    I feel like something’s a bit wrong with me, but I have hated every Lutens fragrance I’ve tried. I really wanted to like these oriental gems that everyone is so wild about, but what the hell? They all just smell awful to me, and it’s mind boggling. Well, the one exception is MKK which is simply glorious and I will own one if not two bottles when it hits the export series this winter. But come on! What am I missing with the rest of the line?! Frustration.

    • March says:

      Yeah, why don’t they hire me to do their PR? I don’t get it.

      Lutens. I think they’re mostly glorious, although some of them I can’t cope with. Are they too sweet to you? If you bring out the sweet (or the sweat) they can be difficult.

      • Jared says:

        Oh maybe that’s it…my special combination with the Lutens scents equals cavity-inducing sweetness! Maybe it’s like other acquired tastes. I shan’t give up.

  • Masha says:

    I’ve always wanted to be that JC Ellena Woman, tall, diaphanous, elven, kind of a Galadriel type who would show off his watercolor perfumes to perfection. Sadly, the only one I can wear is his lovely Eau de Lalique (which I think he co-designed).
    However, turns out I’m a Bertrand Duchaufour Girl! I can wear any of his scents well, even Baume de Doge, and Fleur de Liane. I guess I’m weird down through my biochemical profile so it works. I’ve also lived in some unusual places on the planet, so maybe that’s a requirement for the Travel Series? I get compliments on all my BD scents. I can’t wear leather scents well at all, but if he made one, it would be really strange, and I’d probably smell divine in it. Go figure.

    • March says:

      Laughing at your Galadriel type … I know there is definitely a right skin for those BD scents (the Italie ones are awful on me.) I think his stuff either REALLY works for you or it’s awful.

  • hvs says:

    I’d like to be Amelie, if Amelie kicked ass, instead of just being precious. Amelie crossed with Dorothy Parker in a cloud of tuberose and gunsmoke. Tuberose and Gunsmoke – isn’t that the new one from L’Etat Libre d’Orange? Or maybe Raymond Chandler…

  • Joe says:

    First of all, we like nattering. It’s what we live for. After all, we haunt blog comment boards. Think about it.

    As for me… “My story is much to sad to be told. But that classic Vol de Nuit leaves me totally cold.” It’s true, but I guess I don’t care because LHB is my best friend and Mitsy and I like to snuggle at night. But oh la la, I want one of those VdN propellor bottles. Doesn’t seem worth the price if I don’t love the juice.

    Mostly, though, I’m happy because I tend to be *mostly* a total perfume whore. I can and will wear almost anything, just like I can and will eat almost anything (in moderation). Hey, if I sniffed Circus Heiress Slut Fantasy by Britney Hilton and lurrved it, I’d buy it. Many more things fall into the indifferent category than the hate category. Like Anita, I sometimes have a leather problem, but more in the men’s leather department — Antaeus and Bel Ami make me want to retch, but Cuir de Russie and Kelly Caleche can hang with me anytime.

    I really am sad about your Timbuktu & Dzongkha problem; they’re two of my favorites. I’d chip in to have you exorcised if I thought it would do any good. I’m curious about that Wazamba too, given that I’m such an Africa-phile and lived there for a time, but anything with fir/pine gives me Yuletide Syndrome. Same reason I’m hesitant to try that Aiguilles thing. I own that CdG/H&M that I’m happy to give away samples of; it’s like Christmas room spray to me. This was a fun topic. Maybe 7:15am in Bali is more up your World Traveler alley?

    • tmp00 says:

      “Mitsy”? I love you!

      In a totally SFW way.

        • March says:

          Safe for Work. I will warn you though that tmp is generally NSFW I don’t care what he says. 😉

          • Musette says:

            hey! your emoticon is WINKING at me!

            ha! SFW! Who knew? I have never had that problem, I don’t think. By the time they started all that I was in my own biz, and construction sites are sort of a free for all anyway.

            But I can totally see Mits being SFW. Of course, I wear Bal when I’m in the mood and damn the torpedoes and all that….

            And I agree that tmp is probably NSFW – and thank God for that!

            xo >-)

          • Joe says:

            Hey, I’ll take some love any way I can get it… SFW, NSFW… allasame to me. TMP, I’m just a short hop up US-101. Heh.

    • hvs says:

      CdG? Christmas room spray? That sounds amazing! I am in search of the perfect pine, the most fabulous fir coat. Am on pines and needles waiting for the new Serge. Oh my.

    • March says:

      Yuletide Syndrome. Heh. Makes me think of going to the mall before the holidays, when they’ve scented everything into one giant Pine Forest Overload.

      As long as you have Mitsy, I figure life is good.

  • Sorry about your finger. Isn’t it amazing how 2 square centimeters can suddenly consume your soul with aggravation? Hope it heals quickly. No one writes like you. I swear I could lock you in a phone booth (remember those?) in Bhutan and in two days you would have the entire population at your feet, laughing.

    I’ve hit a rough patch where nothing I liked before works. I want to be the crone-who-makes-wrinkles chic, imbued with the wisdom of the ages and a colorful past that has resolved itself. For this I will wear. . . incense. Umm, no I won’t. I smell like Benjamin Button if he’d been a Jewish girl in a Catholic school uniform being punished by Sr. Mary Beatyourass.

    How about earthy musk? Nope, not that either. Escaped from the home and am late for a bath and medication.

    Rose? Nah. Doesn’t smell long-stemmed, smells long dead.

    Fruity? Leather? Chypre? No, no, and arggggh! Not my chypreeeeeees.

    Right now I’m wearing the lightest citrus and vague smells imaginable. They can’t have rose, melon, leather, tobacco, vanilla or tuberose, musk, or incense. I’m quite happy dabbing myself with Angustora bitters and seltzer. I may be banished from these forums soon to wander scentless through time.

    • March says:


      I am glad I make you smile. That makes ME smile.

      Sigh. The crone thing. I’ve decided it only works for women with amaaaazing bone structure. So you can look 200 years old and who cares? Like Georgia O’Keeffe (the paintings helped.) I am boneless. I’m going to look like a pile of cooked chicken.

      Sometimes our noses need a break? (whispers: there are days when I go without fragrance. it’s refreshing to go back after that)

  • tmp00 says:


    I so wanted to rock this one. I wanted it to be a signature. I wanted to give off little puffs of it to people I hugged and when they asked what that fabulous scent was, I’d give a half-smile and whisper “dgheekeee”,

    Sadly, not so much. The last time I tried it (Parfum, at Nordstrom at South Coast) and it just went nowhere. My BFF Sue commented “that does NOT smell like $300” grrrr

    • March says:

      This so made me giggle!!! I TOO was going to wear ZSHEEKee and run around in some cute little Frenchie suit. But I’m too much of a perfume slut. I will say, I think the perfume smells great on me. My tiny bottle is intensely animalic but stealthy. So you’re drifting along in that lemony part and … cue the music from Jaws.

  • Divalano says:

    Me … I want to be able to wear sultry vixen femme fatale dirty roses. Une Rose. Or, Rose de Nuit.

    I’d also love to be terribly sophisticated, to be that husky voiced woman of no determinable age with fine bone structure & an impeccably tailored suit who can wear chypres like … oh, like Miss Dior. Or Bandit. I can’t, oakmoss confounds me. Today however was a great victory … I wore Mitsouko …. ok, just the edt, but still …. successfully. She fit me like a glove. Now, to work on those perfect cheekbones & the suit …

    Timbuktu & Dzongkha are horrid on me, btw. Just sayin’

  • Natalie says:

    Sorry your Banana Republic (the old one, not the bland new version) fantasy hasn’t worked out — that chick on the train to Istanbul probably had crabs from the skanky youth hostel she stayed at last week anyway. Dzongkha is just meh on me; Wazamba, however, is absolutely vile: an evil, mustardy, resinous sludge with the tenacity of a bill collector.

    As for me, I’ve always aspired to grande dame-hood, wafting in on a cloud of Mitsouko as I pull off my white gloves and a glass of Dubonnet appears at my elbow. Unfortunately, Mitsouko and her ilk have other plans — like turning plain old nas-tay on me.

    • March says:

      an evil, mustardy, resinous sludge with the tenacity of a bill collector.

      oh. my. god. I laughed so hard at that and the crabs. Thank you very much.

      The part about Mitsouko makes me sad, though. I worship her.

  • Tara says:

    SHA—-ZAMMMMM ….!!! March no one writes better than you!!! I have to agree. I really wanted to love Timbuktu and Dzonghka, but they just don’t work for me. They just don’t smell like anything special and I have really tried.

    • March says:

      the ragging on these today, it is warming my heart! It’s NOT just my personal failure! Suck on some of THAT, Bertrand!!!

  • Musette says:

    Meant to say ‘sorry!’ about your poor finger! Those HURT! All those noives, I think. I got bitten (accident) by one of my boys a few days back and was so grateful it was on the arm – just a nasty bruise – had it been the fingers…….ow.

    get better, li’l finger 🙂

    xo >-)

    • March says:

      No, I’m even stupider. I’m a hangnail-biter (which I yell at my kids for doing) and now my finger’s infected and swollen. Dummass.

      • Musette says:

        soak it in a little peroxide, followed by salt water (I’d forgotten you told me about the bitey thing. You’re not a dumbass, just nervois)

        The peroxide and salt water (in succession, not together) will help ease the pain and swelling – I can’t confirm that it will eliminate the infection. I’m not a doctor – I just play one on the blogs!

        xo >-)

        • March says:

          Really? I need to get it uninfected. I’ve been soaking it in hot water which makes it hurt less. I’m not going to the dr, it’s not bad enough and they’d just give me an antibiotic I don’t want.

          • Musette says:

            Then def try the peroxide and salt water – when Pickle bit me (accident) there was a small puncture – to avoid infection I doused it in peroxide, which bubbled up and got whatever was in there out – followed it with salt water just to make it feel better (easier on fingers than an arm, as you can imagine) – followed with some Neosporin. Still hurt like the dickens but it was only a bruise-hurt rather than the much more painful and potentially dangerous infection.

            So: Peroxide away! The salt water – consider it as you would a dental rinse, when they extract a tooth. Same principle.

            Neither will hurt you and both will probably help.

            xoxoxo >-)

            btw – if Melissa is aldehydes and Louise is spice – what am I? I don’t think I’ve done enough skank to qualify…citrus? (oooh! Do me! Do meee! 😀

          • Gretchen says:

            I second Musette: clean the finger with hydrogen peroxide, then apply an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment. Put a fingertip bandaid on it too, if that makes it feel more comfortable.

          • tmp00 says:

            third on the peroxide,

          • carmencanada says:

            Bleach in hot water is how I got rid of an infection under my fingernail.

  • aubrey says:

    *laughs* Timbuktu was in my of very first niche sample purchase. I was simply SURE IN MY SOUL that it was created to explain to others who I was. But man, it smells like dust and dirt on me.

    I’m alergic to citrus, so I was certain that fresh clean citrus scents would *not* be for me– but god I love them. I crave them and want to drink them.

    I really love the tobacco in Tea for Two, but don’t actually want to have others smell it on me.

  • Louise says:

    Ooh, sorry about the finger booboo ;(

    And, doll, we are one on the three: Timbuktu and Dzonghka were both wretched on me, and just happen to be two out of three of the L’Artisan line that last on me; fortunately Bois Farine is nice enough on my skin. Ouch, I hate fractions.

    Wazamba opens really nice on me, and as I am on a conifer binge (Filles, NM Dark Season), I had high hopes…including the touch of apple. But another Mr. Yuck for me. The incense was nice, the apple pleasantly subdued for about an hour…then a rough edge emerged. Patch isn’t listed as a note, but I’d swear it’s there in the drydown. Meh.

    I remain Opium. Or, rather, an Oriental at heart. It’s the spice, woods, vanillas, smoke, and ambers that play well on me (and last). Much as I love my lively aldehydes and sophisticated chypres, they never feel entirely at home. So-visiting is nice, spice is home 🙂

    • March says:

      You ARE Opium. And Melissa is aldehydes. I feel about them pretty much the way you do, I think. I admire them, but don’t want to wear them except for very occasionally. I find them chilly.

      Dark Season is gorgeous on you.

      • Louise says:

        Melissa has tricked me into more frequent wearing of aldehydes…where’s that seductive alien emoticon when I need it??? Lately I’m loving NM Vapor and modern Arpege…but soon back to spice 🙂

  • carter says:

    I just can’t do smoke and incense. I would love to smell like some ancient European cathedral, but alas I spent many a formative year choking and sputtering through the Stations of the Cross to ever go back there without a gun pointed at my head, and even then it wouldn’t be without an argument.

    Aoud I can do. Spice? Nice! Tuberose and camphor is hel-lo gorgeous, and skank is my middle name. But those smoldering embers leave me cold, cold, cold as a fireplace in August. Or some ancient European cathedral.

    • March says:

      Arguing with the gunman? Wait, you must be a New Yorker…

      When I read sad stories like yours I am so glad I was not raised in a church that used incense. I was raised a Lutheran. All that fancy stuff was frowned on. I remember how shocked I was the first time I saw an *actual* crucifix!

      • carter says:

        I’m still shocked every time I see one. Even after Vatican II, my mother drove two hours each way to a tiny church in Florida that flew in a priest to say mass in Latin every Sunday. I would wait for her in the parking lot.

  • Musette says:

    That’s Sha-ZAY-am, to you, little missy! Gomer Knows.

    Mine would have to be ….leather, I think? I keep thinking I’m just this Leather Thing but except for a couple of warmish goodies, a lot of them give me the dry heaves. Take Cuir Ottoman, for example. I keep wanting to love it – and I almost get there – then it does this ambery-twisty thing and, well, I am soon looking for a bathroom and a bar of soap.

    But maybe it’s not the leather – maybe it’s the amber?

    I can’t count musk among my FAILs because I have made no secret of my mortal hatred of the skin-scent drydowns that ruin stuff for me (Lys Mediterranne, here’s lookin’ at you – and nobody needs to relive the nightmare what is Drama Nuui!). I wish it weren’t so – too many beautiful scents are unwearable because of it.

    xox >-)

    • March says:

      BTW EVERYONE I may be light in my responses today (resting the Finger so I can go back to flipping everyone off)

      You must bring out something sweet in leather. Queer Ottoman can do that to a gal… you need, like, pure birchtar. xox

      ps your alien morphed! I love you!