Paris Sniffage

Excuse all typos, it’s late, I’ve had dinner/champagne/wine. While not anywhere near circling the intoxication drain, I’m just tired and very relaxed.

Probably one of the highlights of any trip to Paris is getting together with Denyse from Grain de Musc and just catching up with her and sniffing all the things she’s gotten her hands on that aren’t in stores yet.

So just to make sure I”m a complete Smell-tease.  Keep an eye out for a completely great Duchafour scent from L’Artisan in the late spring.  Can’t say anything beyond that, but it’s love for me that almost turned into undignified begging to get more.

Sniffed the new Parfumerie Generale.  It starts out as a very sharpish green scent that dries down to into a softening of its edges.  Denyse pegged it to Estee Lauder Private Collection-esque. I’d agree with that, but without all the really perfumey aspects you get with Lauder perfumes.

Vero Kern is also making EDPs of her three scents.  If you’ve ever smelled the Djedi-inspried Onda, you know it’s a parfum that you have to make a full day or two’s commitment to when you wear it.  I’m not sure the EDP of it requires much less of a commitment, but she changed it in some interesting ways that make it, for me, a lot more wearable.  I still would have to intentionally put it on and know we were going to be circling each other for 24-48 hours, but the new elements add a warmth to it.  Well, you’ll see. She did a similarly great job with Kiki and Rubj in the Edp. I don’t know what the price point will be ont hese, but they will be at Luckyscent for sure when they are ready, and the edp conversions should lower the pricing enough that y’all can Onda-up as you wish without losing the beautiful weirdness of all of her perfumes.

Lastly, but not leastly – Dior has added another to that line that we can’t seem to find anywhere except in Europe or the occasional Dior boutique or maybe Neiman-Marcus, and when you can, it’s in those monstrous bottles, Ambre Nuit. Notes are listed as bergamot, Turkish rose, cistus Labdanum, and oriental and amber accents.   This is all ambery incensey goodness, with some little spicy thing running around in the background.  It has the charm of that spice note in Iris Silver Mist, but the two scents are nothing alike.  Why are they calling it a cologne mystifies me.  Whatever bergamot you get on the open is quickly shoved aside by a much more interesting perfume.  Longevity –  I dabbed a spot on about 6 hours ago, and it is just humming along, mellowing out from a pretty vigorous amber perfume to this very muted, skin-hugging , velvety smooth, warm, rich concoction.  Now, word of warning, Denyse hated this, so there may be a chemical in there you could be sensitive too. I thought I might be sensitive to it as well, and on the open, it veered off into that alcohol area that warns me I’m not smelling something accurately, but then it pulled back and just went into gorgeous.

So why is it that that whole series that Dior does, Bois d’Argent, Eau Noire and Cologne Blanche (? is that it ?) are probably the best things they’ve done in years, and they seriously hide them. Not even an exclusivity thing, they just don’t distribute it, whereas you can smell every other non-original thing they’ve done in every shop up and down the Champs.  It remains a mystery to me.

Dear Dior, repackage these great scents you keep in the Dior Basement in cute packaging and roll them out in some exclusive way like Cartier and Van Cleef did, but add a couple of slightly more feminine scents to it.  Stop making Dior Forever and Ever, which is a perfectly nice scent, but is that really what you want people saying about your perfumes?  Nice, but dumb. And then go make me some more Diorling parfum in China or somewhere where they don’t care what you put in your perfumes.   xoxo – Patty

Here, you can write  quick  note to the perfume house that’s jumping up and down on your last nerve with some helpful advice in the comments.

Tomorrow (today) is my always wonderful lunch at the Musee D’Orsay, probably a trip to the Rodin museum, quick run by Colette, Bon Marche because, well, it always has to be done, and a nice dinner down the street.

  • Caroline says:

    Dear Dior:

    Knock it off with the poor scent name choices already! It’s bad enough that the fragrances succeeding Poison all include Poison in their names. It makes us seem, when asked what we are wearing, like we want to be perceived as KGB dominatrixes with heavily-accented English.

    It’s a good thing the Poison “family” makes us smell instead like femmes fatales with dangerous curves and soft shoulders, so just cut to the chase and rename Hypnotic Poison what it should have been called all along:

    Eau de Take-Me-Now.

  • Flora says:

    What a wonderful trip!!!

    Okay, here is my perfume plea:

    Dear Jean Patou, all is forgiven if you bring back ALL the Ma Collection scents IN PARFUM TOO plus the two missing Cocktail versions and oh, I promise to buy a CASE if you bring back Lasso, honet I will.

    Dear Dior, Miss Dior Cherie is not all that bad but her mom was HAWT, so please return Miss Dior to her rightfuil place as Queen.

    Dear Lanvin, please get the rights to My Sin back and while you are at it, Crescendo, Pretexte and Scandal need to be resurrected too, kthxbye. 🙂

  • Winifreida says:

    Patti, while you’re giving Guerlain a good talking-to, could you mention that they ought to be putting their Matieres and Charnels in their beautiful classic discus bottles, with a glass cone stopper (or at least a cone perspex cover for the sprayer), and any amount of creative decoration re labels and edging, instead of lamely trying to outdo the niche and Chanel with rectangles???
    And all this crazy disguise/re-name stuff; just what are they thinking???

  • Erin T says:

    Hi Patty: Please say ‘Hi’ to “my” Degas for me, and to my favorite painting of Rosa, “A Montrouge”. And please let me know when you will have Ambre Nuit at TPC, so I can drop a few shekels on a sample (or enormous decant). I am most annoyed at Dior, because I have wanted to try this since it was first announced and have not been able to get my paws on it. LOVE Eau Noire and Cologne Blanche.

    Very good news on the Vero Kerns, too. Admire Onda, but sign me up for a bottle of Kiki EdP – oh, and what the heck, Rubj, too. Are the EdP bottles as cute as the parfum ones look?

  • To Thierry Wasser,

    I find it hard to accept you as the in-house perfumer of Guerlain – to me you will always have raspberry stains on your hands (from Armani Diamonds).

    To All at Guerlain

    Make sure you fully macerate your Plus Que Jamais before letting it out into the supply chain…or whatever it is you are not doing that allowed a thin and weedy one to slip through the net.

  • Tara C says:

    Oh, Paris! Please say hello for me to my favorite painting at the Musee d’Orsay, “L’Ecole de Platon”.

    Wish I were there with you and Denyse right now!

  • Winifreida says:

    Yeow – ZAP – the monsoon’s started and the surgebuster just shut me down, immersed in my third cup of tea (morning in Aus) and vicariously in a day in Paris sniffing….
    How funny to think that it will be the horse shows in Germany and the perfumes of Paris that will get me to Europe! Srsly, or whatever teenager says!
    Patti, can’t wait to hear of more about Paris, and the great comments from the other perfumistes.
    That Tonka had better be something, OR ELSE!!!

  • violetnoir says:

    Fun, fun, fun, and more fun, Patty! I can’t believe how jealous I am, lol!

    Please let us know if you sniff the new AG Ninfeo Mio or the new Guerlain Imperiale Tonka.


  • Robin R. says:


    Dear Chanel,

    How long are you going to make us wait for 31 Rue Cambon in extrait, or at the very least in edp?

    Dear Guerlain,

    Please tell Holt Renfrew in Vancouver to create more room for everything you make, not just Shalimar and Idylle.

    Dear Holt Renfrew,

    Since The Bay stopped carrying Jean Patou, will you please pick them up?

    Dear Jean Patou,

    Would you please bring back the MA collection?

    Robin R.

    • Zazie says:

      Yes! Give us 31 rue cambonon extrait. And let all Chanel boutiques carry the extraits – I want to smell that bois des iles properly!!!

      • Winifreida says:

        Yes I took my matronly country self into a Chanel boutique in Sydney and wanted to sniff the Exclusives…fine, but she wouldn’t let me spray more than one. After asking me my favorite ‘fume (Mitsouko, shock, in Chanel!!) she gave me a spritz of Coromandel. I thought wow, that’s nice, I’ll go for a wander around the shops while it dries down. By the time I next lifted my wrist to nose, it was GONE! Gone in sixty seconds! And since sampling a number of the others, I’ve found the same. Just not enough stonk for this ole Guerlain hippy!

        • CynthiaW says:

          What? She wouldn’t let you spray more than one? That’s craziness. I’ve never had someone try and stop me from spritzing away – not even the Guerlain extrait testers.

          I love the Chanel Exclusifs – but they definitely need a heavier spray than most of the old-time Guerlains.

          • Winifreida says:

            She just did not understand the old maxim “that when too much is never enough” that some of the more unabashed perfumistes amongst us live by; for example, those of us who have designated skin areas, and fall-back positions of the quick wash-off when we have ten frags on and someone unexpectedly turns up… know…and my package today, all the way from London to an outpost in the Colonies, is Rossy de Palma, and I ‘didn’t like rose’….. I know you know!!!

          • CynthiaW says:

            There are so many things that I “didn’t like” before I got into this perfume hobby that it’s not even funny. Let’s see – I didn’t like white flowers, until Tuberose Gardenia; I didn’t like aldehydes, until No. 5 parfum; no roses – until Czech and Speake No 88 and Le Labo Rose 31. Now I have several of each… I never say never anymore.

  • Robin R. says:

    Oh, GAWDDAMMIT, Patty, you are a cruel, cruel temptress. Paris, the fine company of Denyse, art, fragrances that we, the great unwashed, can’t sniff for many, many sleeps, your beautiful Restylaned visage. What the dilly are you trying to do to us ?????? (Where is that green-with-envy emoticon when you really need it?)

    All of that, however, couldn’t happen to a nicer girl. So happy for you, my dear. 😡

  • Joe says:

    You’ve gotta get your hands or nose on some of that Guerlain Tonka Imperiale.

    And if it’s as good as they say, march on into Guerlain headquarters and slap someone upside the head if it’s really true that they’re discontinuing Attrape Coeur, because seriously, someone needs to be PUNISHED.

    Seriously, though, enjoy the rest of your trip. I’m sure many of us are green with envy.

    • Winifreida says:

      Yeah Patti, go on into Guerlain and KICK HEADS! Ditto Serge who seems to be doing what Michaelangelo did as he slid into Mannerism; in fact the state of the art of perfumery needs a huge belting by people who just adore fragrance….go and eliminate the just-graduated marketing departments from the ‘houses’…
      in fact get the houses back from the likes of LVMH .
      But then maybe we will just continue to support the burgeoning ‘niche’, who are taking over where the artists left off and it serves the big end of town right if they are scared!!

  • Disteza says:

    Onda’s one of those things that conceptually I like, but I cannot really wear. Kiki, on the other hand, is on eof the few lavendar I splash with abandon, while I bat my lashes and demand more champagne. It beats the pants off of Brin de Reglisse, which I consider to be its introverted cousin. Don’t know that I’ll ever buy it in EDP since I’ve already got the parfum, but I’ll give the Onda EDP a whirl.


    Dear Serge Lutens,

    Enough with the non-export, limited edition export, semi-rotational rigamarole. Don’t you want my money? It’s here, waiting for you to release the really good stuff (in their bell jars, where they belong). Why must you make it so hard for me to give money to you? x(

  • CynthiaW says:

    Oh, and

    Dear Coty,

    Either fix Emeraude or stop selling it. It’s a travesty that you have the nerve to sell that crap and call it Emeraude.

    • Musette says:

      CynthiaW – let me add my own li’l sumpin’ to your wonderful note:

      Dear Le Labo –

      I would dearly love to take a bat to your marketing department or whoever came up with your ‘City’ foolishness. I have NO intention of flying/driving/walking/crawling to Dallas for Aldehyde 44, even though I adore it, because I think you guys and your ‘city exclusives’ are silly. Nice fragrances, though.

      Dear Coty,

      What CynthiaW said.

      • CynthiaW says:

        I don’t understand the whole city exclusive concept period – why create a smaller market for your product? I only said that I’d drive to Dallas because it’s relatively close – but dang, that stuff is outrageously expensive.

        • Musette says:

          Yes it is and their whole concept (it has to be individually ‘made’ and it takes more time than prepping for a trip to Saturn, etc) well, it just irritates the socks off a gal.

          To be honest, I always find these ‘exclusives’ suspect – I mean, it’s okay for an opening but after that ….:-? …well, it seems like a lot of smoke and mirrors, sound and fury, signifying you-know-what.

          But whatever floats their silly Le Labo Boat, I guess.

          xo >-)

          • CynthiaW says:

            I know! I hate that there seems to be so many Guerlains only available in Paris, too. But at least they’ll ship them – unlike the Luten’s non-export line and Le Labo city exclusives.


    • Flora says:

      Double ditto!!

  • CynthiaW says:

    Dear Guerlain,

    We know that you can make stunning fragrances (sniff the original Mitsouko, Jicky, Shalimar,Vol de Nuit, and L’Heure Bleue if you’ve forgotten). Heck, you’ve even made some great recent stuff like Attrape Couer, which you’re DISCONTINUING, and SDV, which was in LIMITED DISTRIBUTION, so we know that you still know something about making a great fragrance. So, knock it off with the dreck. And while you’re at it, knock it of with the exclusive scents in expensive bottles so the rest of us can get our hands on the good stuff.

    Dear Le Labo,

    Please, please, please sell me Aldehydes 44 at a more reasonable price. I’ll even drive to Dallas to get it, but your prices are already kind of high and the city exclusives are kind of ridiculous.

    • Winifreida says:

      Hear hear Guerlain!
      What, discontinue Attrape Couer?!?!? Are these people stark raving mad…and no Luca, I just don’t want to know that Guet Apens was ‘slightly better’, that’s like saying the old Mits is ‘slightly better’ than the new Mits…
      And where the heck is Quand Vient La Pluie, I can’t find it anywhere, (after sampling at the Court), except in a sort of form in Iris Ganache.
      If Guerlain put a little more balls into the La Matiere they could be brilliant.
      To Lutens: put Australia on your US website or your DEAD MEAT!!!

      • CynthiaW says:

        I know – from what I hear, the Attrape Couer discontinuation is to avoid having to reformulate. But I could be wrong.

        I don’t know if I think that Guet Apens is slightly better or not – I’ll have to do a side-by-side test. I seem to remember doing one, but I can’t remember what I decided.

        • Winifreida says:

          OOOH NOOOO you’ve got BOTH!!! ?
          I got a FB of Attrape off the ‘bay after duly being a good girl and sampling first, and there’s a bottle of Guet on there and its 600:o:o Yankee dollars (more in Oz)and I’m saying no no no…. I just don’t want it to be ‘slightly better’…because I am now finding it hard to stop on the vintage Mitsouko in case I run out…

          • CynthiaW says:

            Oh my – I don’t have FBs of both. I went in on splits of each of them and have 20mls of each scent. I would try them back-to-back right now, except that I just received a couple of packages that I’ve been waiting for and I have Le Parfum de Therese on one hand and Angeliques Sous La Pluie on the other – plus, my SOTD, No. 5 Eau Premiere, is still on my wrists. I don’t remember Guet Apens being that much better than Attrape Couer – it’s lovely, don’t get me wrong. For a few days, it even had me thinking about become a signature scent gal (if it wasn’t discontinued), but the Attrape Coeur is wonderful, too. I sure wouldn’t pay $600 for a bottle of it! I’d have to wear it every day for the rest of my life for that. I think that we paid around $500, so my 20ml was still $50.

  • kathleen says:

    ~sigh~ Onda…

    I’ve heard many people say that this is a challenging scent for them. On me, after the initial leather blast, it goes all warm & powdery. I just love it

  • Connie says:

    Wow, Patty … Paris and perfumes and Denyse, oh my! 😡

    I also love the Musee D’Orsay (who doesn’t?). I’m glad you are having a wonderful time. Enjoy the rest of your Parisian holiday.

  • Andrea says:

    Can we swap lives for a bit?
    Have a wonderful time,

  • Dear Amouage,

    Sell your gorgeous scents in a small enough size that I can afford them.

    Dear Comme des Garcons,

    I wish you would send me press releases and samples for review so I could blog about your scents because I love almost everything you ever make so dearly.

    Dear Bond No. 9,

    Just give it up already.

    Dear Patou,


    Dear Guerlain,

    Apres L’Ondee in parfum OR BUST!


    Kristy Victoria

  • Rappleyea says:

    Perfume sniffing in Paris followed by dinner/wine/champagne – I hate that for you Patty! But someone has to do it and you’re a trooper to take one for the team. 😉

  • Louise says:

    Having experienced a delightful afternoon of sniffing and more with the lovely Denyse, I couldn’t agree more. First, guys, she’s a beauty 😉 , charming, warm, funny, sophisticated. And what a nose! She is so knowledgeable, it could be intimidating, but she’s a natural (and kind( teacher. And a blast :d/

    I am thrilled with the idea of the Vero Kerns in edp. I have Onda, and it is one of my few perfumes that I adore, but that challenges me. Not only the strength and longevity, but for me, it’s intensely mutable. One day rough leather, another all powder. Perhaps the edp will be a little, er, more steady…and warm as you say. The PG sounds great as well-a less ‘fumey green would be fab. And the Dior-I think my SOTD will be Bois dArgent…

    Lee is completely correct in his assessment of your Duchafour tease…bah! :-w

    Please enjoy the rest of your trip thoroughly 😡

    • Louise, I’m blushing… Let’s say your delightful company (and Patty’s, naturally) brings out my best qualities! We did have a blast, Patty and I, and I didn’t say when I saw you Patty, but you look stunning!

      The Pierre Guillaume, Fontaine de Cyane, is really quite beautiful. I’m digging in right now before reviewing it.
      And the next L’Artisan by Bertrand D. is utterly gorgeous — I wear it a lot, to great effect — but he’d rather I waited a little before talking about it since the launch is still a few months off.

      • Winifreida says:

        Love ur blog too Carmen canada!
        I think PG may be a romanticist continuing on from Guerlain (it lives, it lives!….)
        Do you think Guerlain is sort of reincarnating some classics (of two years ago) into the Matieres??
        I have desperately searched for Quand Vient La Pluie, to sort of find it in Iris Ganache??? My nose despite its advanced years is still tuning in…
        From Australia, as someone said on a board, we love perfume too, although you would hardly know it from a visit to our shops!

        • Winifreida, Quand Vient la Pluie is exclusively sold with a super-expensive modern glassmaker’s bottle and is probably not very widely distributed. Both QVLP and Iris Ganache are by the same perfumer, Thierry Wasser. The former is inspired by the classic Après L’Ondée.
          To me the L’Art et la Matière series are more materials-based than the classics, though they do reprise starring notes from the classics. They’re good, but in a very different, much simpler vibe.

        • vinery says:

          Winifreida – Hear, Hear!! :((

  • Lee says:

    Most interested by your l’Artisan tease. Need to know, need to know, need to know…. Aaargh.

    *head explodes*

    • Rappleyea says:

      Lee – on her blog, Denyse let slip the word “tuberose” but she was tight lipped after that! :-$

  • Scent HIve says:

    It’s a rough, rough life Patty!

    I love the Musee D’Orsay give it a fragrant squeeze will yuh?


  • Musette says:


    yew are KILLIN’ moi! Jes’ KILLIN’!
    I would write the same note as you, re Diorling and add this one to Coty

    Dear ~:>-hearted Snoozers –

    Okay. M. Francois might’ve been a bit of a nutjob but he sho’ knew how to make a perfume. Why don’t you go into the vaults for a few days, smell the Real Deals, then get back to the business of real perfumery. Do a spin-off! Yeah, babies. A fabbo little couture place where L’Origan, Chypre and L’Aimant can, once again, hold their illusion-veiled heads high. I see the PR now: platoons of jackbooted mlles, storming CVS and Walgreens and smashing all the bottles of ersatz Emeraude and Christmas sets from Hell.

    C’mon. It’ll be a blast. You can set up in a gorgeous little maison and only sell on the Third Sunday in May on Pluto. The REAL stuff will FLY off the shelves. Trust me. I will be first in line.

    xoxox >-)