This is a post within a post so hang in there, okay?  It’s going to look a bit like Shameless Self-Promotion but actually it’s not – not really.  It’s more about ‘edutainment’.  Awhile back Patty and I were discussing how cool it would be to provide ‘curated educational sample packs’ on her and Lisa’s new venture, Surrender to Chance.   It’s an exciting concept – we are all curious to know what our favorite perfumers, historians, bloggers, writers would put in their Last Ship Off Earth Bag.  Or, if given a brief, what perfumes they would choose as manifest.   We’ve just started discussing the possibilities but as we go forward with these we will want to showcase them on the Posse.  The point is not to create lemmings or drive you to point-of-sale.   Most of you will already have 99% of what is listed anyway – but we do want to share the collections here – the notion of asking JCE, for example, what conjures the essence of ‘religion’ for him (we have not asked him that – I just made that up.  But can you imagine?)… anyway, we thought you might be interested in what these luminaries will have to say.

The first curated collection is by the vaunted Michelyn Camen, Publisher and Mark Behnke, Managing Editor  of CaFleureBon.  I could go on and list both of their extensive perfume pedigrees but this post would then be 10 glorious pages long – it’s enough to say they Know Their Perfume.  Historically, currently, chemically – you name it, they know it!  If you’ve not read their blog, here’s a link to how they come by the chops to curate a collection.  The editorial and curated list (below) are intriguing,  reminding me of something my Tia Jeannetta, not a beauty by any stretch of the imagination – but possessed of such elan and a great jewel collection (alas, not left to me) – purportedly  she was the madam of a high-end bordello in the 1940s – once said to me as I was entering  young womanhood: “beauty, at first glance,  is always seductive.  But seduction is not always about beauty.”



Scents of Seduction

When we think of famous lovers, who comes to mind? Is it Cleopatra (the VII)? Is it Giacomo Girolamo Casanova de Seingalt? One almost brought down the Roman Empire and the other’s name has become synonymous with the art of seduction. History has turned Cleopatra into a beauty and Casanova into a man whose looks suited his reputation. The truth is that they were not particularly attractive, and in their day both were considered the equivalent of “fugly” So was it their charms, powers, sensual talents that were responsible for their notoriety? At CaFleureBon we believe it was perfume that brought their paramours to their knees.

Scents of seduction are deeply personal. They are enhanced by our chemistry and give us confidence – the ultimate aphrodisiac. 

These are the fragrances that garner the most compliments – from our significant others and strangers (of both sexes) naughty and niche:

  1. By Kilian Back to Black 
  2. Montale Red Aoud
  3. Ormande Jayne Tolu
  4. Guerlain Spirituese Double Vanille
  5. Serge Lutens Muscs Kublai Khan
  6. Shiseido Feminite du Bois
  7. Frederic Malle Carnal Flower
  8. Le Labo Labdanum 18
  9. Penhaligon’s Amaranthine
  10. Creed Vintage Tabarome
  11. Commes des Garcon Original
  12. Christian Dior Eau Noire

What are your thoughts about this list, dear Posse?  I admit to a real curiosity ……am going to retry all of these (except #7 which I wear with such regularity that I should be awash in men by now!) .  It’ll be interesting to revisit these scents from this perspective!!

  • Mark Behnke says:

    As one of the curators of the list I thought I’d comment just a bit on how I approached the choices I made for the list. My choices were all fragrances I’ve worn which have caused women and some men to spontaneously come closer to me. Seduction, in my view, is all about getting that object of desire as close as you can. So these aren’t the perfumes which get me and my emotions all hot and bothered but hopefully they are the fragrances which make someone else all hot and bothered about being close to me.
    Funny story about MKK is it has been and still is my wife’s preferred romantic scent on me but she has now co-opted it as her scent of seduction as well.
    When she walks by me after having nipped into my perfume vault and MKK is the trail she leaves; I put down the book close/close the laptop/turn off the TV/stop writing the next perfume review and follow her 🙂
    That’s what I’m talking about.
    I am very curious to hear how the rest of you feel about these choices after you’ve given them a second look.

    • Musette says:

      Holy Cow! I’m …..I’m all a-panting over here.

      I will definitely have to give MKK a whole nother whirl around!


      xo :Devil:

  • Ann says:

    Hi, sweetie. That’s a very interesting list. I’m with you on the Carnal Flower as I love it, too, but am not finding men coming out of the woodwork when I wear it. I also like the SDV and the Eau Noire, but never thought of them that way. The others I’ve either not tried or am just so-so about. It does make me curious to try the Amaranthine again, as I tried it quite hurriedly ages ago. Hugs, and hope you’re feeling better now …

  • nozknoz says:

    Musette, I really like the idea of the curated lists! Maybe you all could periodically post one of these lists and set a date when we could come back, after a month or two, to compare notes – sort of scent list challenge / scavenger hunt. It would take time to rustle up the samples and also some time to test them – especially if anyone were brave enough to actually put the list to the sexy test! 😉

    Right now, I can say that there are several of these that I have tried and several that I haven’t or not much. They all sound like plausible candidates, although I’m not sure any are the ones I would have listed myself.

    One perfume I actually remember getting male compliments on was Calyx. I think BK Liaisons Dangereuses, HdP 1969, SSS Tabac Aurea, PdE Cuir Ottoman and S-Perfumes 100% Love are sexy, but that’s just my opinion.

    • Ann says:

      Hi, Nozknoz, I used to get compliments galore on Calyx (as I think Musette did, too). A real man magnet, that one!

  • FragrantWitch says:

    Hmm, I can see the sexy of Back to Black and probably Amaranthigh but not so much the others. Shalimar is far far more seductive than Spirituse Double Vanille. Don’t hurt me but Carnal Flower is gag-inducing for me so, as nausea is not sexy, that one is out! Chergui or Chene are sexier to my mind. Black Cashmere as well, you know kohl-eyes and tall boots…
    I’ll have to resniff all of these but at the moment my list would look very different!

    • Musette says:

      That’s what makes this list so intriguing! I am not sure if they personally find these scents seductive or are just going on reactions from others. (I personally find Mitsouko verrrry seductive. But it scares the toenails off most folks, so if I’m trying to seduce, I sure don’t reach for Miss Mitsy)

      CF is one of those where, if I wear the body cream, I got folks coming out of thin air to sniff just a leeeetle closer. The perfume, not so much.

      What would YOUR list look like? And is it what YOU find seductive or what others find seductive on you? I lucked out on both Jub25 and Liz Zorn’s Centennial – both I adore and boy howdy! Talk about compliments! But the Jube for sure has to be the bath/body/perfume combo. As with CF, something about the perfume alone is a bit unnerving for most folks.

      xoxo :Devil:

      • FragrantWitch says:

        My list would be made up of scents that make me feel sexy and put some wiggle in my walk. Some, like Paloma Picasso, would be on there becuase the person who gave it to me thought I was sex on legs when I wore it and even though he is in my past, I still feel like sex on legs when I wear it. Shalimar because I feel like my insides are molten liquid and that makes me want to slither through my day and I think that communicates itself to others. I imagine your Tia Jeannetta would agree. Black Cashmere and Black I get a lot of compliments on and they make me want to prowl and stalk around in tall boots. OJ Woman and Underworld make me feel like an earth goddess and seem to attract both men and women. I think a lot of what people find sexy in a scent is tied to both evocation of memory and the ‘role’ you play when you wear it. So its become a chicken and egg situation for me I think.

  • Janice says:

    I love the idea of these lists and/or sample packs. (Would love to see JCE’s answer to your question, too!)

    The ones on this list aren’t necessarily what I’d think of first as seductive scents either, but it says a lot that they’re the ones that get the list-makers the most compliments. (Although I’m continually surprised by what people comment on and what they like. My husband usually has one of three comments—“It’s nice,” “It’s just okay,” or “It smells like a candle”—but the other day I was wearing one of the Oud Stars (from a StC sample pack) and he said “This one is wide but not tall,” meaning (he explained) that it seemed very powerful but didn’t project much. I was astonished.)

    I’ve tried most of the ones on this list and own decants of a couple, so it will be fun to revisit them.

  • Eldarwen 22 says:

    I have one of those sitting in my ‘perfumes to be reviewed bag’ and the other 3 I have in my ‘worn and reviewed bag’. MKK is one of those that I have not mustered up the courage to wear out of the house even though I do like it. I dunno what it is but I’m not fixated on skanky perfumes as much right now but I’m fixated on galbanum. It kind of goes in cycles, for a few weeks, I’m fixated on one note then it’s on to the next.

    • Musette says:

      I get like that, too – and I think right now (seasonwise) galbanum makes sense. It’s got that greenery-yallery vibe that goes so well with Spring.

      MKK is one of those I was stunned to find I actually like! I doubt I could justify more than a sample (or a hefty decant) – but I would’ve bet good money I would’ve hated it. HATED IT! But I didn’t!

      When you review them, let us know how they fare against Michelyn and Mark’s thoughts!

      xo :Devil:

  • Mrs.Honey says:

    Back to Black makes sense to me, although I think Absolute Pour le Soir is much sexier.

    I can also see the sexy potential of Amarathine.

    Femininite du Bois just makes me scratch my head. It is just a classic Serge Lutens. That said, after the recent posts on bottles, I am looking at its bottle in a different way.

    Neither Tolu nor Spirituese Double Vanille strike me as sexy. Frankly, I think both Shalimar and L’Heure Bleu are sexier choices from Guerlain.

    I can sort of see Muss Kublai Khan. On me, it is very mild but I hear other people have very different experiences. I get some of that from FM Musc Ravageur.

    • Musette says:

      That’s why I am so excited to retry these frags. I wouldn’t have chosen most of these for my ‘seductive’ scents – but am intrigued by their choices. Especially since my own version of seductive perfumes is Mitsouko. Yah. That really works! (snicker) I would do better to spray on some Agent Orange!

      xo :Devil: