A simple question: what is the weirdest — or funniest, or strangest — perfume-related thing that ever happened to you?
Your host today is Tara. If you haven't met, let me introduce you to Tara:
Note: top image is Untitled by *clairity* at flickr; some rights reserved.
When I bought a 200ml bottle of Eau de Cartier I forgot the bottle upside down in my pack. Then I was walking and feeling the smell of the perfume more and more strong. When I arrived homme and took the box it was wet: while I was walking, as the bottle is heavy and I haven’t locked it, the weight of the flask made the perfume spray about half of the content… Not funny for me, of course, but I learned a painful lesson…
Oh no…how long did you pack smell like Eau de Cartier?
Hah, I think for about six months! Sometimes my absent-mind costs me some bucks!
For one boyfriend I had to stop wearing Cristalle, because he went home at Christmas and found out his mother had started wearing it…
LOL…I can definitely see how that could be a problem.
Nothing beats the time I wore a few drops of Bandit to work and a coworker commented, “Something smells like lab rats!” And she was a research scientist so she knew exactly how lab rats smell! That was pretty hilarious.
I wore L’eau d’Hiver to class last week, and a little blonde cutie with flat-ironed hair wrinkled her nose and said, “Ewww, why does this floor smell like babies?” It’s called heliotropin, my dear, and it’s a darned sight better than that chemical-fruit-candy swill you’re wearing.
No, I’m not bitter, I swear!
Lab Rats!!! wow…Do you still wear Bandit or has that comment ruined it for you?
I really love SL Boreno, but husband told me I smelled like a “head shop” and I just can’t seem to get that association out of my head now. Being a girl of the 80s, big hair, big perfume, etc..the last thing I want to smell like is a head shop!
I tried to wear Bandit again recently, but it was so bitter that it irritated the back of my throat and made me cough. So I gave up on it.
However, I am wearing L’Eau d’Hiver right now! It’s my current signature and my boyfriend adores it. It makes me think of marzipan and bright winter mornings, not babies!
L’eau d’Hiver is wonderful stuff.
I love it too, and it doesn’t remind me of babies at all, either…
I just dug out my sample of L’eau d Hiver and I have to say that on me that it does remind me a little of Johnson’s Baby Lotion (the one in the pick bottle)…sorry, it must be my terrible skin chemistry. Having said that, it smells much better than all that cheap, sweet, candy perfume. Isn’t helitrop the ingredient that people often say smells like bandaides, like in L’heure Bleu (I love l’heure bleu)?
lol – I like to smell like a head shop.
Well said! I love “swill”-made me laugh!
Is there supposed to be a link with more information on Tara, because I’m not seeing it. (Not a big thing, just wondered.)
This isn’t weird but sad–I dropped a nearly-full large sized bottle of Mechant Loup while visiting my parents’ condo which has marble tile floors. It smashed into smithereens. Cleaning up the glass shards was bad enough and then the smell lingered for weeks. I don’t think I could ever wear that scent again, though I used to love it!
I am not really that interesting. I’m an attorney who lives in a suburb of NYC with my two teenage sons and husband and I have waaay to many bottles of perfume. I don’t have a perfume blog or anything like that, I am just an perfume lover.
Too bad about Merchant Loup, that was a big loss on many levels….I’ve never dropped a bottle of perfume on my bathroom floor but I have dropped a nail polish bottle and the result was not pretty, nail polish on the floor and walls!
You’re interesting, why not?!!
Interesting is overrated anyway. I am constantly told how “interesting” and “different” I am and I honestly loathe it. Feels like being a zoo animal. You sound lovely and are doing a great job hosting the open thread!
Oh, sorry! But I used “interesting” in the best of my intentions and Tara seems not to loathe it! Maybe I’m more interested in people than others…
I dropped my decant of Le Labo Rose once. I dabbed as much as I dared on me and sadly cleaned up the mess.
Only this week a clumsy mishap on my part meant that I ended up having to individually wipe down every single sample that I own. It took a while and, yes, I am currently re-thinking my sample storage set up since I never want to do that again!
There was also a case of phantom sample where I was convinced that I had a vial of Eau de Lierre except that it was no where to be found and no mention of it anywhere in my notes. I can only assume that I imagined the whole thing despite the pretty vivid recollections of having it.
And there’s the dreaded incident of accidentally over-applying Ambre Narguile in the store and then having to get onto the tube in the rush hour. The carriage was packed, nobody could move away and the loathing was palpable. I wouldn’t be surprised if the fellow commuters burst into applause when I finally got off at my stop.
Fun. I can’t imagine an JCE creation with big power and sillage. All I know from them are so smooth (I don’t know Ambre Narguile).
It’s certainly a little more transparent than most ambers which is how I ended up being too liberal with the bottle in the first place. It’s still a sweet amber, though, so a combination of a few (!) too many spritzes which didn’t have the time to settle and being confined in a crowded warm place meant that it took on a life of its own, grew to Godzilla-like proportions and nauseated everyone in half a mile radius.
Oh, dear. Woops.
Some perfume really have BIG top and heart notes, such as Alien. I pray hardly for the basenotes to come in this Mugler’s, wich are sooo god! When the perfume is like this my “technique” is: spray from far and then its basenotes come faster.
I have a sample of Ambre Narguille. are you sure we have the same one? because mine is gorgeous. by Hermes?
it’s not strong at all ! and it smells really nice, it’s quiet and well behaved. and it isn’t at all nausiating, if anything it’s comforting. I get a hint of vanilla in it too which is really nice.
What is your storage system?
Describing it as “system” was probably a bit deceptive. I have the samples loosely grouped by the house and shoved in a small cabinet which consists of metal frame and wicker drawers. Turns out that if you are ever unlucky to spill something over that, it’s going to seep through the entire unit soaking all the contents in the process.
I once spritzed Ambre Narguile before going out to dinner with my husband. It was a cold winter evening and I thought it would be perfect. However, the restaurant was quite warm and the AN just seemed to grow and grow. I was almost nauseous by the end of dinner – it seemed like I ate a giant apple pie along with everything else. I haven’t worn it since, though I still love to take a sniff of it now and then. Fortunately, I only have a decant.
Sounds familiar Funnily enough, my experience didn’t turn me off, I actually went ahead and bought a 100ml bottle and I’m now at least half way through it. I just know to go easy when spraying!
A giant apple pie sounds really good to me right now…
And it’s very autumnal!
I can think of worse things to overspray than Ambre Narguille-perhaps Angel or Montale White Oud?
Since it smells like gingerbread to me, perhaps you just made everybody in the car hungry.
About 5 years ago my mother hugged me and said, ” You always smell just like my mother.”
I am my maternal Grandmother’s scent twin. We both wear Shalimar, Bellodgia, Arpege, Mackie – and any other heavy oriental you can think of. She’s a very interesting woman, definitely a survivor and quite dramatic. As a young woman she entered a convent for a year with the intent to become a nun. I asked once why she left, she replied “I realized I liked men too much.” After her older sister died she came to take care of her two nephews, married her sister’s widowed husband and had 10 more kids.
Whenever I see my Grandmother we discuss perfume and she tells me to wear more makeup.
Your Grandmother sounds like an amazing and interesting lady. You are lucky!
Ruth, Your grandmother should consider penning an autobiography, or maybe you could help her write it. Sounds like a very interesting lady!
Wear more makeup! That’s wonderful.
My grandmother once asked me to bring her to the doctor, which is strange because she was perfectly able to get there on her own. So I put on a dress and picked her up. She told me I should have worn my jeans – odd, I thought. Turned out she wanted to introduce me to her doctor and thought jeans would be a sexier approach!
So…was he cute?
No chemistry at all. Like two different planets sitting in the same room.
So fun! Generally the grandmas get dressed to go to the doctor. I loved to do geriatrics cause the old ladies always went so smelly to consult.
Good history! Your Grandma was lucky to perceive that in time. I know some bad nuns (I studied at a School lead by some); maybe they didin’t have vocation. There were one inclusively that has left the convent to get marriage.
My Grandma married her sister’s widower, too, but when they were seniors. Never quite knew what inspired that, but my Grandma was a bit of a pistol. Yours sounds pretty amazing!
I love that story, I’d love to have met her, bet she was fabulous.
Let me apologize in advance to all fans of SL. Not a single one works for me and here is my best example: Several years ago I was testing a sample of Tubereuse Criminelle and went to Kroger’s. I was standing by their florist shop and the store manager called a stock boy over and said “Clean out these flowers and get some fresh water. Something is rotting in here.” I thought nothing of it and continued my shopping. In another area of the store, I ran into the manager thanking the teenager for cleaning it up so quickly. The boy told him: “I changed the water, but it was fine and all the flowers and plants were good.” The manager was standing a few feet from me and said: “Great! Now that smell is here. What is spoiling in here?” The kid said: “I smell it, too. Kind of like rotten meat.” Such was my adventure with SL.
Thanks for sharing that — I got a big laugh out of it. Sometimes I wonder that same thing about some of my high end, not-run-of-the-mill fragrances. I love wearing them, but not sure the general audience is appreciative.
Springpansy, I often wonder the same thing. While I love SL Chene do other people think I smell great or do they wonder why I would want to smell like and oak box?
I’m thinking a little of both!
So I guess you won’t be buying TC when it’s available in the US as part of the export line
What a hilarious story–but embarrassing!
Oh how hilarious! I really needed that giggle, thank you!
TC is rotting meat on me too (and I usually LOVE tuberose – just not this one).
Haha! I’m just picturing the two of them sniffing around the store, hunting for that rotten meat!
I had noticed for a few days running at work that I smelled something very similar to By Kilian Back to Black. Very few wear any scent there (except me) and I would be surprised if anyone had heard of BK. One time I thought I had it narrowed down to a man who had just come into the office, but although I thought it would be a nice juxtaposition (he had obviously just come from working construction), it wasn’t him. It turned out to be a co-worker and if you knew her, you’d know she would never buy BK for various reasons. I finally figured it out yesterday – there is a bottle of BBW Sensuous Amber hand lotion in the women’s restroom. It has a definite cherry tobacco note (to my nose) that is what I was smelling on my co-worker. I realize the two are not the same fragrance at all, of course, but it kind of reinforces my thoughts about whether noses really can tell more expensive high quality scents from lesser ones. It just makes me laugh at myself for being a bit too proud of my $$$ niche fragrances – I’m sure everyone else thinks she smells amazing, and meanwhile I’m wearing some weird incense or something and they’re probably wondering why it smells like mass or something. I’m not saying this well, but you all probably know what I mean!
You said it perfectly.
Sensual Amber is one of the few BBW fragrances I like. Other I like are Moonlight Path, Fireside (which unfortunately seems to be discontinued), and most of their citruses. I do think SA is a nice amber, and smells more complex and expensive than it is. I figure just wear and use what you like whether it is mainstream, niche, indie, or whatever.
I just did a large BBW purchase…they had all their Halloween stuff on sale for 50%…I’ll have to try these next time I go…
I love this name: Back to Black. Remember me Amy.
Have you ever tryied Jeaux de Peau from Serge Lutens? Then try Kenzo Jungle pour Homme. To me is an amusement searching for good mainstream frags. Who doesn’t have a dog hunt with a cat.” – As I don’t have access to niche perfumery…
A couple of weeks ago I went to New York (I’m from Germany) and wanted to buy Sycomore at the Chanel counter at Saks. The SA went to get it for me and meanwhile I started talking to the other customers. When they realized that I knew a bit about perfumes they all started asking questions. We ended up by shaking hands and the SA almost offered me a job! It was funny and also pretty encouraging – these people were hungry for information they obviously didn’t get from the SAs.
Kristina, I hope you had a good time in NYC. Where else did you go?
It always amazes me how little some SAs know of their perfume product. Given the prices of high-end perfume, you’d think they do a better job of educating their SAs.
Tara, absolutely! I went to Le Labo’s store in Nolita but didn’t buy anything. Actually, this trip was more about the smells of nature as we drove up to the Adirondacks and Catskills. It was incredibly beautiful!
You know I have lived in NY (in one of the boroughs and then in a northern suburb) me entire life and I just traveled to the Catskills last month for the first time. It was more beautiful than I had expected. I am glad you had a good time.
This would be a good time to address the topic of SA bashing. While the very young may not have the accumulated knowledge of fragrances or care about more than their date last night (I AM generalizing here), many customers prefer to buy their latest, newest on-the-market fragrance from pretty young things. The mature SA’s may have a few wrinkles but also know how to handle difficult customers who got out on the wrong side of bed or slept on the couch the night before, and have come to a store to unload on the clerks who are sitting ducks and perceived to be amateur psychologists. Women (and men) of a certain age who are still in the industry likely have years of experience and product knowledge. They’ve heard of discontinued fragrances and they know what different companies offer fragrances in the category a customer is looking for. They form long-term relationships and phone or e-mail from home (!) when their product comes into stock. Young things move on to a new career and/or marry. Granted not all SA’s are perfumistas or obsessed enough to spend hours daily on blogs. To some it’s a job; to some it’s a profession.
I am sorry, if it appeared that I was SA bashing. I was not. As a person who could NEVER be in retail, I have respect for professional SAs. They make any purchase experience special. I have had amazing experiences with shoe SAs and high-end jean SAs who never try to sell me something I don’t love. In fact, I have had SAs who have been so brutally honest that I can only trust them. If it doesn’t look good, it doesn’t look good and I want an SA to say so. I can handle the truth!!!
However, often times with perfume SAs it seems that they want to sell me the newest release versus what works best for me. Now maybe it is harder to sell perfume because it is easier to see that jeans or shoes just don’t work for a particular person. I don’t know. But it has been almost never that a perfume SA has said to me “I don’t like that one you.” However, there is one exception. In August my husband and I were in Portland OR. And while at the Perfume House, the SA Pam was sooo honest and helpful. I truly felt that she did not care what I purchase (meaning new release vs. old releas or anything at all…expensive vs. cheap) as long as I was moved by the scent. It was really an amazing experience.
Thank you for your response. No apology was necessary. I was reacting to several of the comments of others and those on so many previous posts. Also if it seemed like I was making the issue one of young versus old SA’s, that wasn’t my intent. I was merely stating the situation in the fragrance dept.
I think that the general public doesn’t know how staff are paid. The store staff get commission but the demos don’t. The latter report what they sell in their own line as they are employed by the perfume companies, therefore they push their own make. The companies sometimes offer spiffs to both the store staff and their demos, so obviously they will be pushing the newest launch. Those of us who have been in the business for a long time can sell any brand because we know about them. Of course, I would prefer to be able to turn a customer on to what they really want but am constrained by the brand I represent. I always tell a customer if a fragrance smells true on them or not. Just like I would never let a customer buy a makeup foundation that ‘s the wrong colour if we’re out of their shade in order to make the sale, I want the perfume customer to be matched up with the perfume that they love, not the one that I love or happen to be flogging.
What it all boils down to, as in everything else, there are great employees and there are mediocre employees.
Hah! I always try hard to keep my mouth shout when I’m in a perfume store. some people don’t like us to indicate anything. Fun you had a great time as that!
Ha – I have been almost offered a job more than once!
I once was mistaken for the Frederic Malle rep at a Barneys by a very nice woman trying to decide between Portrait of a Lady and Lipstick Rose. Hence I now avoid wearing all black when shopping at Barneys.
DId you get a commission?
No, but the real SA did thank me for being so helpful…then gave me a bunch of samples. Love Barneys.
Then I’ll go there all in black!
Came across a tester of Angel shortly after its debut. Gave one wrist a full liberal spritz, not knowing that it was fragrance on a NUCLEAR level (and I’m an Opium fangirl, BTW). Made a beeline for the ladies’ room, but couldn’t scrub it away–had to take a second shower that day. It was YEARS before I dared sniff Angel again, and I can wear it now, but know to use just a drop.
I too am an Opium girl, but Angel is a different animal all together! Have you tried some of the flankers they are quite good. I find some of them (the Liqueur one) much more wearable.
Liquer is very nice, and I find it much smoother than the original Angel. I’m looking forward to trying the new version, The Taste of Fragrance Angel, with the amp’ed up cocoa notes.
I know, Robin’s review of the new one is tempting me to buy it unsniffed!!
Try the new EDT, too – it is very wearable, as are the Sunessence versions.
This is a stuation like that all we want is to get into a bathroom to take out that thing of our arm!!! Angel is really a one drop-perfume! Wich concentration of Opium do you use?? EDT smells like funeral wreath to me and to some of my friends.
Once I imagined a scent, a dry and very special scent, like I’ve never smelled one before. Strange enough, I had a very clear idea, what it should be like. A few months later, Nuit au Désert from Gobin Daudé came on the market and it was exactly, what I was dreaming of – I felt completely overwhelmed. Never happened again, that I had such a clear idea, what a certain scent should be like.
That’s incredible. What does it smell like?
Hi Tara, it’s very hard to describe for me, it is woody, soft and very dry without being powdery. I can’t detect any flowers, but there is hibiscus flower in the description. To me it has a very unusual, slightly sour note as well, which is a nice contrast to the woods, cedar wood mainly.
It sounds lovely.
I was too visitng new york for the first time from Oman and i was at department perfume section and was eager to samle shalimar EDP and the new spirit of oscar de la renta but the SA kept telling me when ever i reached one of those no you will not like them its old ladys perfumes!!
Suleen, I am dying to try the new Oscar, what did you think?
I HATE THAT!!!!
One of my funniest stories is the day I wore SL Fumerie Turque to work (I am sure I over applied) and a secretary on my floor came into my office and told me “You smell like a man, but a least you don’t smell like flowers!” I’m not sure it was a compliment….
If she likes men,yeah, it was a compliment!
LOL!!!..I think she likes men……
What the heck is wrong with smelling like flowers?? Grrr.
I was once given a bottle of Youth Dew and only wore it once because, as everyone who came within feet of me noticed, it created on me a fetid smell of…poop. One man even angrily told me that I smelled like “sh*t”, and I guess I did! The worst part of it was that it lingered after scrubbing, showers, dousing with other fragrances. That stuff was demonic. I’ve been too scared to ever try it again. My lesser embarrassing fragrance memory is breaking an almost full bottle of L’Air du Temps on the hall floor near my school locker, making the building reek.
Holy crap (pun intended…ha) ….that is so strange. My mother wore/wears Youth Dew and it smells amazing on her, on me it’s just a migraine inducer…
I think SL MKK…(on me at least) is the closest thing to the smell of poop or “sh*t” as that man told you…;-)
I rather like SL MKK, and it in turn behaves well on my skin, but I do get that whiff of what Kevin calls “Super Funky Donkey.”
I get old poop and super funky dunkey…and b.o….ICK…
I’m scared to wear MKK, cause I can barely smell it and I fear I will knock everyone out near me.
Like a stealth bomber
“That stuff was demonic”. LOL.
I used to experiment with making perfumes from essential oils. One time I had made a floral mixture (mostly ylang-ylang with just a smidgen of rose and orange blossom) and wore it to church with a dress that had a floral print on a blue background . As I was coming out of church , a bee flew up to me, circled around me several times, and finally flew off. I guess that bee just couldn’t figure out where the flowers were. I can imagine that poor bee’s thoughts: “I smell flowers, and I see flowers, but where is the nectar?”
I sounds like you smelled wonderful, no wonder the bee was looking for your nectar!!! Did you save any of that mixture?
hahaha, love your story.. it must be a very pretty scent!
Yesterday someone on NST mentioned Givenchy’s Fleur de L’Interdit and that reminded me that I have a bottle from years ago but never liked it. I thought I’d get it out for another sniff. I keep my back collection in a hall cupboard, and as I was shuffling through boxes and bottles I turned over a very pretty box, which I knew I own and have moved around in just this way countless times before, but never paid attention to. This time I looked at it properly.
It was slightly heavy so obviously had something in it. I opened it – it was a 30 ml bottle, about a third full, of Laura Ashley No 1.
I had forgotten I owned it even tho’ I see the bottle regularly every time I go through my collection. My eyes have been sliding over that box for years.
So I ignored the Givenchy (still nasty, ack, what was I thinking?) and brought the Laura Ashley out for a try. Oh my – it is BEAUTIFUL! Millions of flowers, but green, and with an oakmoss base – the real thing – in a young girl’s perfume. Does anyone remember the days when that was possible? And I still have about 10 lovely mls of this stuff. When I looked on eBay at the prices LANo 1 goes for, my hair stood on end. It is as expensive as vintage Chanels and Guerlains, and I am not exaggerating.
Now I do recall owning and wearing this perfume often in the mid-80s. The scent of course brought it all back. Not just spring in a bottle, but the 1980s in a bottle for me. Eventually I decided that the Laura Ashley image was too floral and romantic for me (a lot of people began to think that about Laura Ashley, I suspect, come the 1990s). And yet when EL’s Pleasures came out in the mid-90s, I bought it and wore it constantly. And I wore YSL’s Paris for years too.
So maybe I put the LA perfume away because I thought it was a perfume of my youth, and it was time I grew up. I must have done this so successfully that even tho’ my eyes have regularly seen the box many times quite recently, my brain refused to register it. Weird.
Well, it’s amazing stuff. Despite the oakmoss there is a slight soapiness to LA No 1 as well, like the very, very good hand soap that the Laura Ashley lady would keep in the guest bathroom. And yet as I sat in the sun yesterday and read a book, a warm and slightly fruity element emerged as well, which was quite sexy.
Of course I can’t imagine being able to replace my supply once this is gone. What I bought casually as a student I cannot afford now. So I will just have to treasure my old bottle down to the very last drop. It is not bad to be reminded that there are some things you just can’t by or replace.
I remember the old LA, as I recall it as big and flowery and lush…luck you to have such a treasure!!
Several years ago, my best friend and I were shopping in a Kroger grocery store in Nashville. Back then they had fragrance testers in the cosmetics department. We noticed that someone had dropped and broken a bottle of Dana Tabu. There was a big puddle of it on the floor. Just as we were about to let someone know about it, a middle-aged man pushed his cart through it and stepped right in it. My friend and I both had a good laugh at the thought of this poor man going home reeking like a cheap trollop and trying to explain it to his wife.
The poor guy!!!!
That is very funny! Worse than stepping in dog poo.
I love Tabu ( including the current drugstore version) but I can imagine the gentleman sitting in his car wondering “what the hell?” as he tries to figure out where the smell was coming from. A puddle of Tabu could be lethal – I wonder if he kept the shoes.
Once I met an MUA friend in SF to swap and sniff. We agreed to meet at Barneys fragrance dept. on a weekday. As we stood there exchanging our goods, an SA approached. I felt the need to explain our possibly suspicious behavior, so I said, “Oh, we’re just swapping.” The SA lit up with a combination of delight and awe, and said, “Oh, you’re perfume bloggers!” Even though I denied it, she went on to say she would leave us to it, and we should just let her know if we needed any help. We were then free to sniff, spray, chat, and poke around in compete freedom.
Must put in a good word for the SA’s at Barney’s. They are knowledgeable, sweet, and very generous. Another time when I was there, an SA got out his personal sample of Iris Silver Mist for us (even though they don’t sell it), just so we could try it. He also pulled out all the bottles that he owned so I could see what his own collection was like. And the last time I was there, an SA gave me her card and said if I wanted samples of anything I didn’t even have to come in–all I had to do was email or call her and she’d send them. (I think that was because I said I knew Tama!)
I’ve said it above, but it bears repeating: Love Barneys. And no, I don’t work there.
Hey, let my phone number, endress and e-mail at Barney’s for me then. I want to make part of this party!
lol- they are very nice there, and I think they would be whether you knew me or not!
Locally, I’ve scored three vintage Guerlains – L’Heure Bleue parfum, Vol de Nuit parfum, Shalimar Cologne – all under $15.00 because they were missing their labels and the stores didn’t know what they had. The first time felt like unbelievable luck, but its happened three times now, all in stores within 5 miles of my house, all in the space of a year.
I’ve got my fingers crossed for Chamade.
It could happen with some By Killian fumes… but there’s a “bad taste” metal plate on them!
Where do you live? Those are amazing finds at that price!!! ….
Good Lord!! That is some serious luck.
One day I stopped at a gas station to fill one of my tires with some air, and I asked the first guy I saw to help me. (I’m a bad modern woman not being able to do simple things to the car I know!) Well the guy was an aging biker dude, who when after completing the task at hand asked “what is that smell?” and then leaned in towards me a couple inches from my neck and said “Mmm you smell goood”. I was wearing Barbari Bui Le Parfum. I was a little freaked and a little pleased to get such a compliment.
Ha! I have been in more than one situation where I wondered if my scent was attracting the “wrong crowd!” Sort of like a really sexy outfit when you’re out on your own–you get attention, but it’s often (mostly?) not from the people you’d want it from! And yet, still flattering, as you say.
Hey… a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do to get air in her tire
Early in my perfume collecting mania, I had scored a 1/4 ml of Nombre Noir after reading Luca Turin sing it’s praises. I thought it was marvelous — rich dark slightly fruity damascenones. My sister was visiting and I decided to wow her with my perfume knowledge (I know, I know…what a bore) and promptly swabbed my wrist with Nombre Noir and shoved it under her nose, proclaiming it a rare, discontinued masterpiece blah blah blah. Not only was she aghast that her bro was THAT INTO perfume, but she wrinkled her nose and said it smelled like grandma (who bathed in Jean Nate and then over applied Youth Dew). Ah well, I’ve learned to stop waving wrists and other sprayed body parts under people’s noses. There are very few people like us out there who are THAT into it.
It would be a compliment to me: I adore “gradma smells”. Mine was a so classy and pleasant lady.
I’m in my 60s. My favorite perfumes have always been green or leather or “dry”: Timbuktu or Vent Vert or Bandit or . . .
I sometimes suspect people now think they’re smelling medication rather than perfume!
Then two clues: Montana Parfum de Peau and Le baiser du Dragon. If you try them, please tell me what you thought about them.
You smell amazing…Timbuktu or Vent Vert or Bandit do NOT smell like medication. Although it appears that Elizabeth’s co worker ( see post above) thought Bandit smelled like Lab Rats…so which is worse, medication or lab rats?
I once told a non-perfume person (you know what I mean) how many bottles of perfume I own (and btw…I underestimated..)..Well, she told me in no uncertain terms how absurd it was to own that many bottles and that I had to stop buying perfume immediately or an intervention would be necessary. Well, as you can imagine now I NEVER tell a non-perfumista how many bottles of perfume I own. They just don’t understand! ….
I’ve been given that “I think an intervention is in order” look! I agree, unfortunately, the best response is to talk about it less! Otherwise, we have to figure out what inspires them to be excessive and turn the tables back on them!
In a friendly way, of course!
I do that too – most people have some enthusiasm or other!
I am always so dumbfounded by their “intervention” response that I am not quick enough to turn it around. Apparently I am so far “into” this perfume thing I think my perfume habit is normal.
Last year, when I had barely fallen down the rabbit hole–really, it was more like the scene before, lazing in a summer afternoon, daydreaming about Wonderland–I was sniffing/shopping at a Nordstrom’s perfume counter. I was being attended to by a very nice, if a bit formal, older gentleman. We got to talking, and it came up that I am a science teacher. Within a few sentences, we got into a rather animated conversation about evolution.
I think I spent nearly an hour, trying to explain, cajole, and do my best impression of a patient middle-school teacher, explaining the world as science understands it. We left on friendly enough terms, and he still comes straight over to talk, if he sees me sniffing. But I still wonder what the holiday shoppers around us must have thought to overhear us, sniffing MJ Bang and discussing the evolution of the flu virus!
LOL!!…”MJ Bang” and “evolution”..I didn’t think I would ever see those two terms used in the same sentence!!!..
“MJ Bang, Big Bang, Evolution”… Hope I only thought this and didn’t wrote anything.
Yeah. I’m sure it seemed completely absurd. Actually, I was quite surprised to have an SA voice an opinion so readily! I got the feeling that it was an important issue to him and he couldn’t help himself! (Trying to convert me, I think.)
Great topic, and huge thanks to Tama for hosting!
I don’t usually wear any perfume with much sillage to work, but one dark winter day I just had to wear Parfums d’Empire Cuir Ottoman. A colleague caught a whiff and exclaimed, “THAT perfume! I haven’t smelled it in years!”
She said she’d encountered it only a few times, for example, on a lady at an Ice Capades performance, which must have been in the 60s or 70s. I told her Cuir Ottoman didn’t even exist then, so it must have been something else.
I’ve been trying to figure out what it was and currently think it might have been Chanel Bois des Îles. If anyone else can identify the mystery perfume that resembles Cuir Ottoman, please comment!
Maybe she was only trying to do what I call ” playing unripe to catch ripe” in other words to bait you asking leading questions in order to get the expected answer. Or her olfactory memorie was atctivated by your perfume, what is so common with me, although I’m straight to ask.
I immediately thought of Cuir De Russie. That would be my guess.
Also, this is Tara who is not as wonderful a host as Tama, but I am trying…
Oh, pshaw, you are doing a lovely job!
When I was in middle school and stole a few squirts of my sister’s Calvin Klein Obsession before catching the bus to school. As I sat on the bus everyone around me starting sniffing and making faces and saying stuff like, “What smells like cat pee?” Well, I smelled l like cat pee…thanks to Obsession. It was a hardcore way to learn the less is more lesson too. 5 or 6 squirts of cat pee Obsession was WAY WAY too much. I was curious last year and tried Obsession again while out shopping and YUP it still smells like cat pee on me.
But my favorite fragrance story happened in college. I was home for the weekend and 2 of my friends and I were getting ready to go out, in the bathroom of one of my friends parent’s home. The other friend grabbed a pump hairspray bottle and applied liberally and then yelled, “Why does your hairspray smell so bad?!!?” The other friend said, “Oh God that’s not hairspray it’s my dad’s HI KARATE!” The nozzle broke on the his bottle so he poured it in a hairspray bottle.
This is a funny story made absolutely hilarious by the Hai Karate detail.
I just spewed my tea..that’s GREAT!!!
Still laughing…Hi Karate…wow..that’s a flash from the past!!!
I’m still friends with both of those ladies and we still laugh about this. I’m pretty sure my friend’s dad still wears that awful cologne too although I’m not sure if it’s still sold in stores. Ugh I hope not.
I’m intrigued by the number of comments that have to do with the horrifying realization that your SOTD smells to others like (a) pee; (b) poop; (c) rotting meat/vegetation; (d) old people. Makes me wonder whether the only thing I can safely wear in public is vanilla extract. Meh.
I’m habituated to the “old people smell” and haven’t noticed it till you said. I’ve noticed the “cat pee” is so usual on describing frags, and I haven’t imagined or felt it yet. Don’t worry about “old people smell”: the great part of men like it!
I don’t get cat pee but I have gotten dog pee in one of the Kurkdjians.
For me AG Ninfeo Mio is alllll cat pee…and nothing else!!! Which is so depressing because apparently it smelled amazing on everyone else and I am a big AG fan!
Didn’t work for me after the first 5 minutes…
Well, I will say that the only fragrances I get compliments on are vanilla based…(other than SL Boxeuses)..so I think you are on to something!!
Seems like I remember a study several years ago that suggested that the scents of vanilla and cinnamon were aphrodisiacs for the majority of men surveyed. Not sure how they came to that conclusion. . .but it stuck in my mind because it made me wonder about mommy issues. . . Ha!
Well given that vanilla is a kitchen smell (as in Mama’s baking cookies in the kitchen), it does raise (in a scary way) mommy issues..
As my perfume tastes developed, I found myself being turned off by the complete opposite: what I’ve come to think of as “teenybopper” smell (you know, technicolour fruity cocktails).
A friend sent me a sample of Amouage Opus I. I applied it at work, where an office mate declared it the smell of the most expensive baby powder in the world. So for the rest of the day, I was the “spoiled baby”.
I don’t remember much from my sniff of Opus I. You are making me want to try it again! (I like L’Eau D’Hiver very much and comments above also link it to babies. . .)
Is it as powderly as LV’s Teint La Neige?
last year I got an Alien refillable gift set because I’d been wanting it for ages and it was on sale it’s meant to be something like £70 and it was half price!! or something, anyway I got it for £36
it has the 30ml refillable and 60ml refill.
round about that time I had my room decorated. so I put all my perfume in a holdall and 2 shoe boxes to put in the attic. I keep my perfume under my bed away from heat + light.
also away from my parents as they’d kill if they knew I how much I spent on perfume.
so I can’t remember if I hid the 60ml refill somewhere else or if it’s still in a box in the attic because I can’t find it anywhere ! all my other perfumes are back under my bed. and the Aliens didn’t go in a box on their own and I have the 30ml back under me bed. so I have no idea where the 60ml is.
so that’s my strange happening= disappearing perfume.
That’s a typical Alien thing, isn’t it?!
It’s obvious. The aliens stole it to use for fuel for their mothership.
I was in a class one day (substitute teacher) and this one guy – a big, burly, tattooed football-player type – kept coming up to sniff my perfume and he insisted I tell him what it was. I found it hilarious and slightly disturbing at the same time.
(incidentally, it was YSL Paris Roses de Bois)
I hear those football players although big and brawny have a sensitive side..I can say this because I have a son who plays football and he recently told me (totally unsolicited) how great I smelled…
A friend of mine is a manager of a store near Rice University in Houston. They keep the front door open in the summer so the smell of their European soaps, lotions, candles, and perfume waft out into the sidewalk. I remember bees always flew into the store and then would drop onto the floor. My friend would lovingly scoop them up in a dustbin and place them outside. After a minute they would wake up and fly away. She said they were DRUNK on the perfume.
Last year while on layover in Paris, I hurriedly tried to sample several Guerlain perfumes in duty free. To my horror I dropped and broke the Mitsuko tester. I felt like I had committed a perfume sin. Luckily the SA’s said it was no problem and that it happens quite often, and continued to help me pick out a perfume. The floor did smell very nice for awhile.
I love that bee story!! Also love that she would scoop them up and put them back out rather than scream and stomp.
The bee story is amazing. Do you think it was the perfume or the air conditioning (I assume Houston is HOT in the summer) that made them fall to the ground?
They were certainly overwhelmed by something! I hope it was fun for them, at least.
I don’t have anything to contribute, really. Just popping in to say that I love all the stories. Great topic, Tara!
Thank you so much Haunani. Hosting this has truly been my pleasure and I have enjoyed all the stories.
A perfume demo colleague once related the following story:
A lady in a fur coat came into the dept. Without asking to try it, she proceeded to pick up what she thought was a perfume tester and sprayed all over her perfect black bob and bangs, and her fur coat! The perfume demo laughed so hard she had to go into the stock room to wipe her tears. Finally justice was served. If you don’t ask for help or shun it and help yourself, disaster may ensue. The tester was body lotion.
OMG…How do you get lotion out of a fur coat?
I’v tried Encre Noire a couple of times and have gone from finding it repulsive to finding it intriguing. So, while I’m not sure I ‘like’ the smell, whenever I test it I keep resniffing the place.
One day, during my lunch hour I went to a store and sprayed some on just one finger. A little later at work I used some cleaning agent and then found myself thinking yuck, that disinfectant really smells bad. Then a little later I wasn’t sure whether I had been smelling the Encre Noir or the disinfectant.
It occurred to me that what might have seemed intriguing when conceived of as a highly regarded scent MIGHT have been the exact same smell as what seemed awful when conceived of as a cleaning agent.
Not sure if its sad or funny as I have temporarily lost all confidence in my own judgment!
Merlin, I know what you mean I just recently smelled a new release that everyone around was claiming was amazing, but to me it smelled that icky dentist office smell..I mean EXACTLY like the dentist’s office. When I say dentist office smell I mean I was immediately transported inIo the dentist chair with the paper bib around my neck and those cotton things in my mouth and Mr. Slurpy..(you know what that thing they put in your mouth to slurp up saliva…I am telling you I was THERE) …and I wondered if whatever makes that smell was in the perfume …and then I thought do people like the dentist office smell? really??? It was very confusing.
I’m not phased by the fact that others like scents that I don’t, we all have different scent memories etc etc. What scares me is that my own judgment is so tempered by things extraneous to the actual scent!
I have never smelled Encre Noire and I guess i won’t like it, but I’ve made an judgement of M7 that years later I re-made and changed completely my mind about it!
I wore Bvlgari Black to work because it was perfect for the mood I was in. Apparently the rubber note which is very apparent reminds some of my coworkers of electrical problems. Our IT guy was convinced the odor was coming from my computer and insisted I shut it down for a while and then restart it to see if that was indeed what we were smelling or if it was some other electrical problem. Who knew I could get a break at work just by wearing a certain scent? As the day wore on the scent faded so my computer did not need to be replaced.
Poodle…You are killing me!!! That is hysterical. I love BB and I love the rubber/gasoline note. It never occurred to me that it might smell like an electrical fire
I have never noticed that always told rubber note in it. To me it’s very similar to Au Masculin, body kouros, 212 sexy men and maybe that catch so much my attention that I haven’t noticed the rubbery… I’ll have to try it again! Fahrenheit also has this gasoline note and an interesting smell of leather upholstered expensive cars. LOL on the history!
Hah, it seems like the rubber in Black projects a bit “beyond” our noses. When you’re wearing it you recognize the rubber note as just one element of the composition, but when you wear it in a crowd…I wore Black to work one day and a coworker told me I smelled like tires. She’s as non-perfumista as they come, by the way, so either my skin amplifies the rubber note, or us Black wearers really are just walking around obliviously smelling like tires to the rest of the world. Meh, could be worse.
That’s really funny.
I have never noticed that always told rubber note in it. To me it’s very similar to Au Masculin, body kouros, 212 sexy men… I’ll have to try it again! LOL on the history!
Thanks everyone! I had a great time hosting and I loved reading your stories.
Have a good week.
Huge thanks for hosting, Tara!