Down the Rabbit Hole via Pumpkin

The Girl and I are going on a little road trip to Parts Unknown (okay WE KNOW – but we ain’t tellin’) – and I am not sure I will be back by the time my post is due…so!  I’mo tell you a quick little story about How Folks Get Around to Perfume and the supreme joy it gives me to hold the door open so they can walk through our fragrant portal.

There is this amazing bead shop in Peoria – Pumpkin Glass (and boy, is THIS the perfect time to be there!  The owner, Teresa, creates the most charming little pumpkin beads and ornaments – perfect for the Autumn Season.

isn’t this adorable!?


You can check out a lot of her stuff at – anyway, I go there a lot for jewelry design and she has been amazing about taking unwieldy things and making them beautiful – and wearable.

I was in there this afternoon and we got to talking about perfume via that circuitous route known as TwoWomenTalking and one thing led to another, we started chatting about the Posse, talked about Zoologist Bat and variations on Grapefruit (she loves Hermes l’Orange Vert, and I told her about Pamplemousse Rose) …and then we got onto Strange Smells That People Love.  There is something wonderful that happens when people loosen their preconceived notions about what’s appropriate to love (fwiw, Teresa didn’t have any deep dark smell secrets – at least none that I plumbed – but it was fun to introduce her to the idea of folks’ liking odd and unusual smells (she was surprised to find out that my Bat description of ‘dust, dirt and sweat-dried skin’ was a compliment!)

Which led me to my post of a bazillion years ago Secret Smells. (and within that post is a link to Angela’s similar post on NST).  I don’t know how many of you were here for that post (waves to Queen Cupcake!) but it – and the comments – covered a VAST spectrum of odd-smell loves (including the craving of one pregnant woman for the smell of SKUNK!  That story is hysterical (and is in the comments).

Anyhoo – it was fun to leave that post up for Teresa to peruse and I’m thrilled that I may have inadvertently perfumista-ed her!  I’m going to make up a little sample bag for her to try (Mitsouko and Coty for the Chypre – she was surprised to find out that for nearly a century Coty had a much-vaunted reputation  – she only knew them from the Drugstore Days.  I am going to make up a little vial of vintage l’Origan and vintage l’Aimant (two different vials, of course – I’m crazy but not CRAZY! y’know?)  Grace Slick painting

What else would you suggest?  I figure to start with ‘accessible’ scents then, maybe, move her into weirder ones.   So.  No Secretions Mag just yet.  I don’t want her running for the door!

Tell me what you think – I’d love your recommendations!



  • MrsDalloway says:

    Loved reading back on that old thread. They weren’t mentioned, but it made me want to smell scented erasers from my primary school days again. They were often shaped like fruits with artificial fruit scents. I almost never wear fruity perfumes, but…

  • HeidiC says:

    Maybe CB’s I Hate Perfume: Black March and/or SL’s Borneo 1834? I’m trying to think along the lines of “weird in a good way.”

  • greennote2 says:

    Introduction to advanced perfumistahood for my money would kinda go across a range. Incense (Avignon?), green, big vintage chypre, BWF (Tubereuse Criminelle/Carnal Flower) and yeah, Iris Silver Mist as previously mentioned. And an Amouage of your choice (you’ve got that covered haven’t you Musette?). Maybe an oud? An indolic jasmine? Jeux de Peau. Arrrgh, I’ll stop now. Oh a serious adult vanilla, rather than a drug store version. Oh there so much out there that is not your average smell!

  • Oh hah, Musette (waving back enthusiastically). Yes I remember the strange smells For your newly minted perfumista friend, I recommend vintage Emeraude pdt, to round out the Coty sampler.

  • otamom says:

    Anything from Solstice Scents, perfect for this time of year.

  • monkeytoe says:

    What about Tilda Swinton Like This for the pumpkin?

  • March says:

    Ugh that blue apatite crochet bracelet with the chocolate cord is STUNNING. Blue and brown = one of my favorite color combinations.

  • Marianne says:

    Andy Tauer may pleasantly surprise her..

  • March says:

    Also: she’s an artist (clearly) and I know I’m biased but arty people are more open to the unfamiliar. Also I would go into that bead store and never leave. Also I’m eyeballing a couple of necklaces I feel could be improved upon….. remember that store we were going to open? With a greenhouse, coffee shop, books and perfume? We should add beads.

  • eldarwen22 says:

    I would make up a decant of the current version of Feminite due Bois. That one was the last one that anybody complimented me on, and no one says anything about the perfume I wear. Or the original Miss Dior. Both are easily accessible and are not so strange to scare her off.

    • March says:

      Oh lord, THIS. If it would EVER cool off again, I’m spraying on FdB. Also, Anita, I think you should lay some Amouage on her. Maybe also something with dirt, and/or incense? She doesn’t have to love it, and maybe she won’t, but it helps you think about fragrance as something outside of conventional, friendly, safe Sephora territory.

  • Kathleen says:

    Papillon Salome might be another Chypre sample to introduce a modern version of what real perfume smelled like. Gorgeousness!

  • Rebecca H. says:

    Oddball can be fun. In my first ever round of samples, I ordered Iris Silver Mist. My husband and I laughed aloud sniffing the uncanny dirty carrot opening (and now I finally own a bottle). Delightful. I’d never thought about fragrance as olfactory art, instead of just smelling “good” or “nice.” Uncle Serge was thought-provoking and I thank him for that! I’d say toss one in from left field.