The Quiet Ones

For anyone who reads the Posse regularly, it’s no secret that I LOVE me some big, bombastic perfume beauties.  If ever my perfume cabinet explodes, they will have to get a Hazmat team in here to mop up the spill.  Vintage Mitsouko!  Enough No5 to sink a battleship (vinty and current), Carnal Flower! Fracas! Epic!  My garden is much the same, with Orienpet and Trumpet lilies choking the entire neighborhood.  Go Hard or…Go Harder!  That seems to be my plant and perfume motto.

But every now and then (more often than you’d think, really) there are some quieter scents, both in the garden and on my tray.  After the lilies have trumpeted their beauty all over the land and it gets a bit quieter in the garden, I begin to notice subtle little bits of perfume here and there – often from unlikely plants.  Hostas, for one, have flowers that exude quite a bit of fragrance – but it’s a quiet, indefinable fragrance, in many ways echoing the watery, green-tinged, earthy (dirt)  early Spring (like Peonies which, despite their claims to a particular scent, always just smell of Everything Growing in the Garden to me, which is one of the most wonderful smells EVAH!).

Hosta ‘Guacamole’, won’t rotate – sorry!

I was thinking about which perfumes mimic this type of scent – the ones that teeter juuuuust on the edge of Bigger (? – that may not be what I’m trying to say, here)….. the ones that make their presence known without being HUGELY PRESENT! Jacomo Silences comes to mind, with that green undernote quieting the galbanum…..Soivohle (Liz Zorn) has the beautiful Green Oakmoss – again, the green is a quiet underpinning – and there’s the one I’m currently wearing – a LOT : Acqua di Parma’s Iris Nobile (interestingly, both it and its Sister-in-Quiet, Gelsomino Nobile, have been discontinued, to be replaced by a Camellia that isn’t nearly as interesting (jury’s still out on the Osmanthus one)…… Iris Nobile straddles that line between flowery iris and rooty iris, giving it enough heft (and subtle wet-dirt smell) to make the first application a real pleasure and enough flowery, flitting lightness to make reapplication a non-hazmat experience (I’ve been with someone who, in a tipsy state, reapplied Carnal Flower 5 times in 90 minutes!  Luckily we were outside, else I would be in an iron lung! )

You know what other perfume falls into that category (but with longer longevity)?  Amouage Gold.  No reapplication required (omg.  PLEASE DON’T)  but it drifts along your day, with that quiet, indefinable ‘perfume’ smell that is so delightful.  Gold was my 2nd Amouage and I wore it the entire 2 weeks I was flat on my back with that Busted Back Thing and it never failed to uplift and delight me, but without a lot of attention needing to be paid to it.

That’s what I’ve ben trying to figure out – why I like these scents so much, this time of year!  Whew!  That’s it!  They are Pretty!  But undemanding.  By the time early September rolls around I’ve been overwhelmed (and happily so – but still) with bombastic scent.  80 lilies in your garden will do that to ya.  The roses have stopped trying to compete and are setting hips for Autumn.  My nose has a chance to settle down a bit – but it still wants a little sumpin’, y’know?  These scents are the perfect transition, as I prepare to Leather Up for Autumn.

Do any of you have Quiet scents for this transitional time?  Tell me ’bout ’em!  I’ve got some fun stuff in the Messy Armoire and The Girl has an itchy pawnail.  She’ll poke random dog org and …well, you know the drill.




  • Anna Egeria says:

    I love lilies in my garden! I don’t have eighty yet but someday I will. The lilies are finished now and phlox have taken their place. I do have a least a hundred of them and if there was a phlox perfume I’d buy it.
    My quiet fragrance is Angel Violette or a lilac like Yves Rocher or Pacifica. I’m getting out my
    Amouage Gold too.

  • Mals86 says:

    Feels like errythang is quiet on me, tbh.

    (Well, maybe not L’Arte di Gucci. That’s loud.)

    Our weather has finally turned a leetle cooler and it’s not so oppressively humid and miserable. (I hate August. Hate it. Never can WAIT for the calendar screen door to hit it in the butt.) So I’m wearing Jolie Madame and Cuir de Lancome and Silences and Safari and Le Temps d’une Fete, which I wear almost as much in early fall as I do in spring.

  • Jennifer S says:

    I sprayed Bottega Veneta Edp in my car before work and as I was walking through the parking lot the scent was all around me and I was like…dang…I smell good! And I love how the scent was quietly noticeable for the rest of the day.

  • Shiva-woman says:

    I don’t do quiet scents in part because I think they dissipate too quickly on me. So it’s bombastic all the way unless I’m at work, though there’s been a changing of the guard and many of its are noticeably wearing perfume again. Yeah! I’ve been wearing a lot of Solstice Scents like Rose Orient, Flowers Nocturnal, and the other day on a whim, I pulled out the Midnight Loilita Lempika. Yesterday it was Bois Lumiere, perfect for a cooler day in hot California.

  • Dina C. says:

    I just wore Silences yesterday. Love it too. And like you, I really appreciate that line of Acqua di Parma Nobile scents. I’ve got Iris, and I’ve got samples of Gelsomino, Magnolia and Rosa. I also sniffed the Peony one in Bloomies. I’ll have to go back now and sniff the Osmanthus and Camellia. Iris and Magnolia are my favs. I think Peony could be a contender too. I’m all about subtle scents all the time because of my tendency for migraines.

  • Kathleen says:

    I also prefer bombastic perfumes, I want to smell them around me! I wore Amouage Gold just last week and loved every minute! My quieter transition scents have been Chanel Bois des Isles, Coromandel, and 31 Rue Cannon.

  • Mindy says:

    Ormonde Jayne Woman…ahhhh, the black hemlock is just so unique and contemplative, surrounded by spice, greens and woods. My signature scent!!

  • Maya says:

    I have already mentioned trying Maitri by Provision. It is the type of scent that I am usually not interested in but this one really works for me. It is perfect for fall/autumn! Oh, and Maitri means *self-love* in Sanskrit. 😉 🙂

  • Tara C says:

    I’m into the woody incense thing right now, but nothing too intense: Carner Barcelona Botafumeiro and Palo Santo. Maybe a bit of L’Artisan Voleur de Roses and Timbuktu. And Dzongkha.

  • LaDona says:

    Strangely, I rediscovered my love for Biagiotti, Roma, when I opened a box and found a bottle inside! A smooth creamy, but less bombastic fragrance than my usual. I’ve been wearing it for weeks!

    • Ann says:

      Oh, yes — such a great scent! And loved that column shaped bottle. Need to go revisit that ASAP!

    • Ann says:

      Hello, darling A! Lovely post as always — your writing never fails to inspire me, and your green thumb too. It’s hotter than all get out still down here (worse this month than July was!), so I’m still chilling out in No. 5 L’Eau and some of their L’Eau series (like Biarritz and Riviera). Sorry for the late reply but this crazy retail life has my head spinning! Have to check my phone calendar quite often to figure out what day it is and where I’m supposed to be. Shades of “If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium,” ha! Have a great week, dear! Hugs!

  • Kathy Larson says:

    Maybe not quiet-but over here in Iowa I’m wearing my beloved Passage D’Enfer again.