July 21, 2012

Perfume

Now that we have prepared ourselves with a discussion of Startling Expenses (I hope that my brand-name tomato sauce excesses have not left you reeling), let's talk about perfume!

But first!

1. I don't know anything about perfume, and my experimenting with it has been very limited. So starting a conversation about it seems odd.

2. I realize this whole topic will seem a little odd. I mean, you've seen my Target clearance labels, you know I am not particularly glamorous, you'd probably rightly suspect that I don't even own a pair of high heels. So if perfume came up in conversation, you'd probably picture me with, at most, a clearance bottle of Charlie, right?

Well, and you'd be right. I like Charlie. And it was on clearance.


3. Sometimes I go a long time not wearing perfume at all, not interested in wearing it. Then suddenly I'm back in a Perfume Phase, wearing it every day, trying samples, filling out my perfume spreadsheet, feeling like my perfumes are A Treasured Collection, etc. So you could easily get the feeling that I'm interested in perfume, and later be surprised to find me not particularly interested.

4. When you hear that I am interested in perfume, you may want to discuss perfume with me. But see #1. I know...a handful of perfumes by L'Artisan. And a very few others---like, literally a few, like three.

5. And my knowledge of these is...sparse. I don't have a nose for it. I'll say, "That smells like a plasticky car air freshener," and there will be blank faces and "...No, it's rum and vanilla." And I say, "OHhhhhhhh. I see." And I use the word "perfume" to mean "scented stuff I put on"---I don't differentiate among eau de toilettes, colognes, perfumes, whatevers.


My first bottle of perfume was a present from my aunt when I was about ten. I think it was called Blue Jeans, or Jeans. In high school I wore Avon Soft Musk, Chantilly, and Charlie. In college I wore Sand and Sable, a pear scent that I think was from The Body Shop, and vanilla extract. By the time I was having children, I think I had a bottle of Charlie, a white gardenia scent, a bottle of Ciara, and a bottle of Tea Rose, and I wasn't wearing them.

Then I was reading a celebrity magazine, and it was one of those sections where they ask celebrities what they're currently reading/buying/wearing, and it was a perfume theme. And one celebrity said she was wearing L'Artisan La Chasse aux Papillons, that it smelled just like fresh-cut flowers, and that she was getting compliments on it wherever she went.

Something about that description caused me to go on a complete perfume freak-out. I started madly researching---and quickly discovered I couldn't try or buy that perfume at any store near me. I wanted a sample, but HOW?? I found it a little shocking that I would need to PAY for a sample, but quickly adjusted; after some research online, I placed an order for a sample of La Chasse aux Papillons plus a few others, also L'Artisan---I think the deal was something like six samples for $12 which, since that's what I HAD been paying for a WHOLE BOTTLE, was kind of weird.

I loved La Chasse aux Papillons, but the surprise success of the samples was L'Eau de L'Artisan, which made me want to stuff my wrists up my nose to smell them more thoroughly. For Christmas that year I got the La Chasse from my parents and the L'Eau from Paul. I also got more samples to try.

I've tried samples from other perfume houses, but so far I've never liked one enough to want to buy it. Most perfumes seem too sharp/nose-burny to me, or there's a scent element I dislike, or I think "Eh, it's fine, but nothing special---no better than my $12 perfumes." I still use Charlie, Tea Rose, and a bottle of Avon perfume by "mark." (annoying brand name) but I don't know the name of it and they don't carry it anymore.

My top favorites from L'Artisan, in the order I'd save them from a fire, are:

Fou d'Absinthe - I don't know what it smells like, but I LOVE it; could be for boys or girls

Tea for Two - it's like all the good parts of pipe tobacco with none of the bad parts; could be for boys or girls

L'Eau de L'Artisan - fresh, herbal, lemon verbena; could be for boys or girls

La Chasse aux Papillons - bouquet of flowers

Navegar - I think of it like a sharper and even less feminine L'Eau de L'Artisan; could be for boys or girls

Oeillet Sauvage - dressy floral, violets; discontinued but my parents found me a bottle


Right now I'm trying a sample of L'Ete en Douce and I really really like it; that might be my next purchase. It's soft in a way that reminds me of a musk, but it doesn't smell like what I think of as musk; it's a little bit floral but not flowery; there's a bit of a fabric softener scent. I'm not sure what it smells like, I just like it.

********

Now I would be interested in hearing YOUR Perfume Situation. Do you remember your first bottle? What did you used to wear, if anything? What do you wear now, if anything?

75 comments:

Yo-yo Mama said...

I remember the fist bottle of EXPENSIVE perfume I ever bought: Poison. Remember the round, purple bottle? The 80s was brutal, dude.

I still have yet to find my "brand"; something that just is me. I can only tell you I LOATHE Chanel No. 5 with no small thanks to my MIL who doesn't nothing short of bathe in it. My throat itches just thinking of it.

VHMPrincess said...

perfume spreadsheet??!!!

Yo-yo Mama said...

*does nothing.

See just recalling the stench makes me twitchy and incomprehensible.

amanda said...

My taste in scents runs toward Perfumes With Names it is Embarrassing to Respond With When Complimented. I didn't seek out my three current favorites based on the brands, but Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker, Coach Poppy, and Nine West's Love Fury smell amazing, so it's worth mumbling their names when I'm asked.

Rebecca is fabulous said...

I love clean, almost masculine scents: light blue by dolce and gabana, nautica, calvin klein ck1, faith hill true. Of course the faith hill one is the one I can afford. :)

MomQueenBee said...

As I get older I find I want to smell less like a sexy beast and more more like a salad--think lemon, basil, etc. It is another indication that I may be passing from the "Hello, sailor!" phase of my life. Sigh. (Right now my favorite is "Garden Botanika Heart Eau De Parfum" ordered from Soap.com.)

Lisa @ Trapped In North Jersey said...

Please explain the perfume spreadsheet.

In high school I wore Exclamation!, which came from the drugstore for $8. In college I was partial to the peach body lotion from the body lotion store that I can't remember the name of. And....I haven't worn perfume or scented body lotion in at least fifteen years. Perfume gives me a headache now, to the point that if my husband buys the cheap deodorant I can tell and won't come near him. It pains him to buy the expensive deodorant but it is the one that is the least offensive to my nose. He isn't allowed to wear cologne, either.

Maggie said...

In high school I wore Fire & Ice, but after a while the smell would remind me of the cafeteria b/c I had PE right before lunch. I recently bought Green Tea by Elizabeth Arden.

Trina said...

My first perfume was Exclamation! My first bottle of REAL parfume was Escape for Women by Calvin Klein. That was in high school. I also wore Tuscany for Women by Este Lauder in high school. I also wore V/S by Versce the year or so after high school.
I wear perfume every single day even if I am not leaving the house. I am currently using Chance by Chanel and Into the Blue by Escada. I also have Coconut Lime Verbena body spray from the body shop. I only use that on really hot days when I know I am going to be sweating and I don't want to be over powered with perfume smell.

Suburban Correspondent said...

I just remember Love's Baby Soft from junior high. I'm allergic to most artificial scents now and avoid them like the plague. So, those of you who wear perfume, have mercy and apply it lightly! I've had to leave public places when trapped next to a heavy-douser.

Lippy said...

My first was either Love's Baby Soft or Heaven Scent. I loved both of those and was just this morning going to look for them online for my daughter. My first expensive perfume was Opium, which I still wear because I am 95 years old. I recently got a bunch of samples and liked a few, but agree with the nose burny feeling. Also spreadsheet? Please elaborate.

alice said...

Seconding the request for more details about the perfume spreadsheet!

I have a mix of things that get used sporadically and sparingly - my SO is very sensitive to certain smells, so I tend to go lightly. He can't stand Perry Ellis' 360, which I bought over 10 years ago and miss using, but some of the more hippie essential oil blends work well.

I like some of the muskier ones, but have had one recent HORRIBLE experience with an oil that smelled like musky, rancid baby powder once it was on me for more than a few minutes. I had to wash my arms at least 3 times with strong soap + then change my shirt in the middle of the day after that experiment.

I'm now much more amenable to fancy-pants perfumes, in the hope of avoiding a repeat performance - L'Artisan sounds intriguing ...

Anonymous said...

First perfume was Navy. Today I vary between light perfumes, bit not flowery ones as they will cause a headache. I will leave a public place as well if someone's perfume, scent or cologne are overpowering.

Bratling said...

I'm not a perfume person. Or a makeup, air freshener, fabric softener, or incense person.... all because I'm horrifically allergic to all of the above. And if it says hypoallergenic, I'm even more allergic to it than the regular stuff! I mean, there are only a handful of soaps, shampoos, and lotions I can use without breaking out in hives!

JudithNYC said...

First, thanks to the commenter above who mentioned Garden Botanika. When I lived in the West Coast I used to love everything GB but had forgotten all about it.

Now for your question. In high school I doused in Tigress by Faberge. I am sure I would not be able to stand it now but all my friends bathed in the stuff too so I am sure I was not offending anyone, except the teachers, that is.

My body chemistry is not compatible with perfumes, even those I like in other people just don't smell too good on me. Except Marc Jacobs. It smells so good on me. Unfortunately in my old age perfume gives me headaches. But thanks to this post I interrupted writing the comment and put on a tiny bit of perfume on. Damn the headaches, right now I want to feel girly.

Magnolia said...

Ooooh I am perfume lover!!

I wear it all the time..my favorites are

Infusion d'Iris Eau de Toilette by Prada,

and Cashmere Mist by Donna Karen (my god I love that stuff)

I am also a huge fan of artisan perfumes by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

http://www.blackphoenixalchemylab.com/

I LOVE THIS STUFF, its hand made perfume oils that are not that expensive but gorgeous scents I totally recommend them to -everyone-. I wear perfume all the time as comments on my mood, my outing..it's a signature thing of mine!

I smell best in light florals and musks and actually remarkably? food stuff. I love the scents of vanilla honey chocolate etc.

Anonymous said...

My first real perfume was Beautiful, a gift from a high school boyfriend. I'm pretty sure I wore too much of it. (shoot, I can't remember, did I put on perfume this am? Oh god yes, yes you did.)

I wore Ocean Dream when I got married the first time, and was so paranoid they'd discontinue it before we finally got down the aisle that I bought three big bottles, and was still using it after he passed away 5 years later.

Now I have Ralph in my bathroom. I love it, but I've had the same bottle for six or seven years. Many perfumes give me an immediate migraine, enough that they've put a 'scent-free' policy in place st the office, and when I go out with my work friends, I haven't figured out how to gracefully have the conversation... But I thought perfume gave you migraines? Oh, not mine, just yours... Without seeming like a pine hole, hence, the bottle remains mostly full. ---tessa

Slim said...

The first perfume I owned was either Charlie or Bonne (by Bonne Bell). I was given both.

First one I bought for myself was Scoundrel. Yes, I know. Then I switched to Maroc, and then to Sinan, which I would still be wearing, probably, if they still made it.

I hear Jennifer Aniston's perfume is really good. Anyone tried it?

PS For sheer stinktacularity, can we all take a moment to roll our eyes at men who slap on cologne as though it's aftershave? There was a guy at my college who wore so much we referred to him as "Aftershave John." Nice guy, nice cologne (Eau Sauvage), but make it stop!

Nicole said...

I don't wear perfume anymore, since my husband is allergic. But I do wear scented body lotions, which for some reason do not trigger the same allergic reaction.

But! For years I wore nothing at all but Chanel No 5. I still love it. During university I wore a lot of Alfred Sung. In high school I wore vanilla scented perfumes - maybe from the Body Shop, I don't remember. I DO remember Ciara! And Charlie! And Poison! And omg, remember Love's Baby Soft? I had that, when I was in junior high, maybe?

shin ae said...

Hooray! I go through perfume phases, too. I mean, I am always interested, but sometimes I don't feel like trying anything new.
My first bottles were purchased by my mother: Straw Hat and something else Lily of the Valley. I forget what it was. Then I graduated to Heaven Scent (I liked the package, hated the smell,but wore it religiously), Love's Baby Soft, Electric Youth (also worn b/c of packaging, hated the smell), and there was an Almay scent I really loved. Then Prescriptives Calyx! Also, I had a huge Paloma Picasso phase. There was also Tresor, a Liz Claiborne scent, and Navy.

By the time I was 15 or 16, I discovered Chanel 19 and I've been wearing it on and off ever since.

I wear loads of stuff now; I sample a lot. My very favorites are Jicky, Fracas, and L'Heure Bleue. I have some Jo Malone Wild Bluebell that is more for fun, just for this summer, I think. I've gone through a bottle of L'Eau de L'Artisan--that's a very nice smell. Love, love Tea for Two and it could be my next purchase.

Kami said...

Slim, I have Jennifer Aniston's perfume, love love the smell. Only downfall is it doesn't last all day.

shin ae said...

Now I really want to try the Fou d'Absinthe.

BKC said...

Nobody laugh. I wear Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male, which is a little strong right off the bat, but eventually mellows into a fresh sort of powdery scent. I luff it.

Maureen said...

In high school I wore Love's Baby Soft or Love's Rain, mainly because that is what my older sister had around. I stopped wearing perfume in college, and never really picked up the habit again. Laila by Geil Ness is a perfume I do enjoy in small amounts, I got it from the Norway pavilion in Epcot. Whenever I smell it, it reminds me of good times.

ccr in MA said...

Oh my, I remember Love's Baby Soft! I also wore Sweet Honesty as a teen, which is embarrassing to remember.

Then a relative gave me L'Air du Temps for HS graduation, so I've been wearing that for, let's see, carry the one ... 26 years! Wow. I love it, and I don't have the patience to experiment. My mother also loves it on me, but she tried it on herself and didn't like it. Body chemistry is so odd!

Brenna said...

I think my first was Love's Baby Soft. When I stopped wanting to smell like a baby's ass, I went through my Designer Imposters phase. Then I wore various Bath and Body Works scents, my favorite was Toasted Hazelnut (sadly discontinued). Then I didn't wear scent for a long time. Then I bought a bottle of LaVanila at Sephora. I'm on my second bottle now. Love it, wear it everyday. I recently fell in love with Tocca Graciella (also at Sephora) and I use it as my "fancy" scent. Very lovely.

Slauditory said...

When I was a little girl, I wore Love's Baby Soft in Rain. As a teenager, I loved Gap Blue #699 (was that the number? might be off). They discontinued that lovely, citrusy perfume. I developed allergies as soon as I went to college, so no more perfume for me.

jonniker said...

You know me and my perfume and my perfume spreadsheets, too. And my SAMPLING METHODS, etc.

Since I had kids, the only perfume I can wear is La Chasse! And it smells delicious and I love it and I ALWAYS get compliments on it.

Tea for Two smells like warm chai tea to me.

Nellyru said...

My perfume interests wax and wane also. I have no real understanding of perfume/cologne/"toilet water" stuff-don't even understand why it really matters since the same perfume can end up smelling lovely on one individual and like insect repellant on someone else.
Anyway, a relative timeline of my choices: loves baby soft, some sort of musk I found in my mom's bathroom, New West, Poison, Obsession, Eternity, Bath and Body Works: Strawberry Nectar, Apple, Juniper Breeze, Victoria's Secret Pink Bright and Fruity(?), and currently Philosophy Pure Grace.

Even though I don't know much about perfume, I LOVE shopping on this site because you can pick categories and order samples of even the really expensive ones...and since I forget to put perfume on most of the time I never really need much more than a sample size:

www.luckyscent.com

Anonymous said...

I wear Burberry Brit and Mark Jacob's Lola. Lola has the insanely huge flower on top that makes it difficult take with you on travel. About a decade ago, I wore this Japanese perfume that started with the character Matsu and had an exclaimation point on the bottle. I can't remember the brand name and therefore can't find it ANYWHERE. Sad.

Swistle said...

shin ae- TEA FOR TWO HAS JUST BEEN DISCONTINUED! I JUST bought another bottle, even though I HAVE a bottle, because I MUST HAVE ENOUGH TO LAST MY WHOLE LIFE.

Swistle said...

Brenna- Oh, man, I had completely forgotten about Designer Imposters! YES. I wore...I don't remember now, but, like, three of them. Giorgio? Giorgio Red?

Paige said...

This is such a fun topic! My very first perfume was Love's, which I remember thinking was silly, because it smelled just like baby powder, so why not just dust myself in baby powder instead? In junior high my friends and I wore Malibu (maybe it was Malibu Nights?) which was some cheapo aerosol spray stuff purchased from Wal-mart, I believe. It did a heckuva job masking cig smoke, however. Around freshman year of high school I graduated to my first grown up perfume (I like to think) - Elizabeth Arden's Sunflowers. I also liked Vanilla Fields (I think Cody made it?) College I wore nothing, because spending money on perfume just meant less money to spend on necessities such as beer, vodka, and tequila. My current choice is coconut lotion from B&B Works in the summer, or Kenzo Amour, which smells heavenly.

bluedaisy said...

Love's Baby Soft was definitely a first, like junior high. In high school, I recall Liz Claiborne and then a drug store perfume called "Malibu Musk". Two of my faves are Calvin Klein ck1 and Elizabeth Arden's Sunflowers...I still have them but rarely wear them. I also remember being obsessed with ck Escape- the men's version- in college.

andreaunplugged said...

I'm so excited to respond to this. I love perfume. The first perfume I ever loved was a sample of Oscar de Laurenta I got when I was in girl scouts in elementary school. But the first scents I wore in high school were Vanilla Fields, Vanilla Musk and Wind Song. By the way, I recently smelled Wind Song and it really sucks, what was I thinking?!
Now I typically have a fairly large variety, and switch between them daily depending on my moods. My absolute favorite is Emporio Armani She. It's a musky warm scent I've worn for years and I wore it on my wedding day. For Christmas my husband heard it might be discontinued so he bought two bottles. (PS it isn't discontinued yet, liar sales lady).
Anyway, right now I also rotate between, Clinique Happy, Ralph Lauren Romance, Armani Code, Banana Republic Woman, Kenzo Amour, and Lacoste Touch of Pink.
I almost never buy perfume for myself, instead asking for what I want for Christmas and birthdays.
As for new scents, I try samples any time I can (birchbox, Sephora online shopping, friends, etc), and bought a perfume roller ball sampler from Sephora on sale after Christmas, so when I run out of a few I might add some of those to the rotation (Clean Shower Fresh, and Hanae Mori are two I really like).

Alicia said...

I was also about the sickly sweet body sprays all through high school. (Like cotton candy. Ick.)

I absolutely adore Armani Mania (pretty sure it's discontinued) and I'm almost out so I will need to scour the webs for a bottle... I've also recently found in the more-affordable-price-range that I like Beyonce's new perfume... Heat.

Still Playing School said...

Saphora's Favorites Sampler was such an awesome gift that I got for my birthday this year. It comes with 12 samples and a gift certificate to get a bottle of which ever one you decide on!

Melanie D. said...

I remember being young, like 6th or 7th grade? and wearing Love's Baby Soft. That scent still takes me straight back to being a tween. I also had the aerosol sprays of several of the designer imposters. Primo! was my favorite.

In high school, we liked Tommy Girl and there was a Calvin Klein scent we all liked. It was called One and it was for boys or girls. Buying cologne for a boyfriend was so in. Tommy or Cool Water. Those also take me back, but not really in a good way.

Now I wear only one perfume, Happy by Clinique. I also have a roller ball thing of a ginger scent from Origins, which I absolutely love. I developed a strange perfume allergy as an adult, so have to be pretty careful.

Melanie D. said...

Loving the comments, it's reminding me of others. Exclamation! Tuscany! Heaven Scent!

I want to get little bottles of each because I could actually just sniff one and be transported to that phase. It's like a time machine. :-)

samantha said...

Beautiful by Estée Lauder was my first and I still like it though haven't worn it in years. Then W by Banana Republic. For my wedding day I wanted a new scent and fell in love with Vera Wang. Still love it and still wear it though I've been 'off' perfume since pregnant. Want to wear again after the baby.

Lu said...

My first bottle of perfume was some sort of pomegranate scent, from my dad, at Christmas. I spritzed it on my wrists, had an immediate horrible reaction to it and ran screaming for the sink to wash away the quickly spreading, albeit pomegranate red, rash.

Jenny Grace said...

My FAVORITES are Marc by Marc Jacobs (tuberosey), Narciso Rodriguez for her (not really sure what it smells like but I like it a lot), and Maybe Baby by Benefit. I've had the Marc Jacobs and the Maybe Baby since college, the Narciso Rodriguez is the first new perfume I've bought in ages. I also used to have Baby Doll Paris by Yves St Laurent (grapefruity) and used to love it, but have outgrown it. Same (withe the outgrowing) for Giorgio Armani Aqua D'gio. I ALSO have some floral oil roll ons that I love: gardenia, freesia and plumeria. They're very simple and just smell like flowers. Oh! And I have a vanilla sugar spray. It smells like a cookie.

Of them all, Narciso Rodriguez is my favorite.

Cayt said...

My reply to this turned into a 1200 word essay so I posted it to my blog instead.

Givenchy, Very Irresistible, but not very often.

Monique said...

Love's Baby Soft was my first. My Mom worked at the Post Exchange (Army) as a representative for Max Factor and then Revelon, so I had every kind of perfume you can ever imagine. I actually have a huge collection of the little bottles - they're on display in my bathroom. A true pain when it's time to dust but They're! So! Pretty! And I've tried every one of them at one time or another. Favorites have been Red, Givenchy, and another I can't remember. Not currently wearing perfume regularly, because that bathroom is broken and I don't get ready in there, so I don't remember to go and get it. I know. I'm lame that way.

Magpie said...

Oh the nostalgia. I just found a box in the attic with stuff that hadn't been touched since we moved into this house EIGHT years ago - in it were several bottles of perfume that I sniffed and TOSSED.

I didn't toss the Chanel No. 5, so maybe when winter comes...

My preference is for citrus - 4711, Eau d'Hadrien, and a Jo Malone blend. I cycle through those.

I suspect that L'Eau de L'Artisan is in that family...

Erin said...

I wear (and have since high school) Victoria's Secret Pink. My mom is highly allergic to most perfumes, and for prom junior year I really wanted to wear something besides raspberry lotion, so I went on a mission to find a scene that didn't make her throat close up. It ended up being Pink, and I still love it, though I don't wear perfume very often.

shin ae said...

Tea for Two: UGH! I SAW THAT! And all my favorite places are sold out ALREADY! That means I may have to buy ALL THE DECANTS.

Caitlin said...

I remember in middle school everyone was into Malibu Musk. I've always had a thing for fragrance now that I start thinking about this. Vanilla Fields and Sunflowers were my first real obsessions (besides Malibu Musk), and that was about 7th grade. I also distinctly remember a teeny sample of Chanel No. 5 that was in my stocking around age 10 (something Santa got for free at Macy's, no doubt), and I felt SO. COOL. wearing it. Every time I smell it now it reminds me of going to the movies with my cousins in a new sweater I loved and buying candy and feeling VERY COOL.

There have been a lot of fragrances since then, and I have, uh, quite a few now. I love fragrances. I rotate between several different Juicy Couture, Kate Spade, and Jo Malone, and a few others. And now I think I need to know where you got these delicious sounding samples because Jonna is my perfume guru and she wears them too and suddenly I have that same intense need you had to smell them SMELL THEM NOWWWW.

PS - I don't think I have ever smelled Charlie! I need to remedy this!

Swistle said...

Caitlin- I can't remember where I got my first set of samples, but now I get five free ones every time I place an order with LusciousCargo. It's one of the BEST PARTS!

Swistle said...

shin ae- shin ae- Try LusciousCargo.com! It looks like they still have it (just the big bottle): http://www.lusciouscargo.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=LAREDT008&Category_Code=

She sends it all pretty-packaged up with fluffy stuff and an incense stick and some potpourri and a couple of pieces of candy!

Life of a Doctor's Wife said...

I think I first started wearing perfume in middle school. I wore Exclamation! which was in a bottle shaped like an exclamation point. It was horrible. And I loved it. Then I wore Tribe in high school. I was not a fan, but my boyfriend at the time was and well: high school.

My first bottle of expensive perfume was Chanel Allure, which my mom bought me *in Paris* so of course it is and always will be The Awesomest Perfume Ever. It's very feminine, which I love - vanilla and jasmine and something exotic and slightly musky. I rarely wear it though. It's mainly a memory perfume. If I wear any perfume, it's either Calvin Klein Truth, which is light and crisp or Blue by Ralph Lauren (I think?) which is light and fresh and water-y but also slightly floral. I think I only wear perfume on special occasions, though... I typically slather myself in some fruity smelling Bath & Body Works lotion, so perfume isn't really necessary.

Dinsdale said...

I can't remember my first perfume, but I think it was one of those awful 'body spray' things that are basically the female version of Axe. They were VERY popular among the other 14-year-olds at my school.

Now I'm very picky when it comes to perfume. I have two - Thierry Mugler Alien for winter and Jean Paul Gaultier Classique for summer. Although I tend to forget to wear them everyday, so they're more a special-occasion thing.

Melissa R. said...

What fun!
I wore a LOT of Jean Nate products growing up (my grandmother loved them and gave me everything--the power, the splash...). I think they still sell it and I sniff it every now and then to get taken right back to the elementary school years.

These days I wear Green Tea by Elizabeth Arden (nicely priced on Amazon). However! I get a Birchbox every month filled with goodies and this month I have fallen IN LOVE with "Vengeance Extreme" by Juliette has a Gun. I didn't think it was something I'd like but I put it on before bed and love the smell! It's pricey ($135) I think (based on amazon Elizabeth Arden) but I may have to splurge afterall. I didn't know this side of me! Splurging on perfume!?

monicabenson said...

My favorites, in the order I would save them from a fire (loved that sentence):

J'adore, by Christian Dior

Acqua di Colonia Melograno, Santa Maria Novella (SMN is a fabulously old apothecary in Florence. I highly recommend you go there if ever in Florence. They have a US distributor, LAFCO in New York.)

Fiori di Capri, Carthusia (another Italian perfume. I love it, and I'll be sad when it's gone, but I don't know if I'll be sad enough to seek out another bottle.)

Paris, Yves St. Laurent - more of a winter fragrance for me. Too much when it's hot.

And, I was given a box of Lancome samples about a year ago. I've worked by way through them, and so far Magnifique and (surprisingly) Miracle have been my favorites.

Fun topic!

Christy said...

I can't wear perfume because strong scents give me migraines. But I have a Birchbox subscription and they keep sending me a perfume sample every month despite the fact that I put in the original survey that I'm not interested in scents AT ALL. I'd happily send you all my perfume samples, b/c I will never ever want them.

Jen said...

I used to LOVE perfume. I would find a scent and stick with it for a long time. Sun, Moon, and Stars was my first expensive perfume purchase. Then I wore Allure for a while. Most recently I had Lovely. In fact, Lovely was the first perfume I went through an entire bottle and bought another. Usually I'd get about halfway and then toss it. But ever since I was pregnant with my first, I CANNOT STAND perfume. He's four now. If someone is wearing too much (i.e. they are no longer in the office bathroom but you can still smell their perfume), it makes me stabby.

Shelly said...

Oh yes, I wore Exclamation in middle/high school. In college and a long time after college, I wore Freesia body splash from bath and body works. And now I wear Happy by Clinique, which I get compliments on frequently.

marilyn c. cole said...

The first perfume I loved was called Elysium, by Clarins. I was in middle school and never bought any, but would try it on every time I went to the mall -- and you know how much a teenager frequents the mall in a suburban town with nothing else to do. I continued to love it in high school and then they discontinued it and I never bought any. :/

Other high school scents were the Gap Dream spray (LOVED), and Bath & Body Works "Country Apple" body spray (gah, ick).

Used Clinique Happy in college and a few years after -- had a rollerball as a gift and loved it.

Now I mostly love Sarah Jessica Parker's stuff. Once read a long article in something like Vogue about how involved and cerebral she was in obsessive research for her perfumes, and it was really interesting. Lovely is my favorite -- it's much more musky and weird than the pink marketing makes it seem. Covet is nice too. But I only wear it enough to have a couple little sample bottles I bought on eBay. ;)

Saly said...

Oh! I wore Chantilly in early high school too. Then my signature schent was Vanilla Musk and I wore it so much that the scent of vanilla today makes me want to barf.

I really like Clinique Happy and Marc Jacobs Daisy, but I'm really more of a scented lotion girl.

Kara said...

In high school I was very into vanilla. It somewhat carried over into my faux-hippie college days, because I was never into patchouli.

My "daily" perfume is Philosophy's Amazing Grace (and I totally layer with the body wash, lotion and perfume) but I also like Amariage by Givenchy. I love the smell of Chanel No. 5, but my husband absolutely can't stand it, so I don't get to wear that.

PinkieBling said...

Let's see, I believe my very first bottle, at around 10 or 11 years old, was Love's Baby Soft. I remember being VERY excited to get Exclamation, and Later, Electric Youth (by Debbie Gibson).

In high school, I had these two scents from a store like Bath & Body Works, but I don't think it WAS B&BW. Anyway, they were both very sweet; one was vanilla and one was caramel, I think.

A boyfriend once bought me Eternity for Women, but I didn't like the way it smelled on me. I wore CK1 for a couple of years, when I was 18 or so.

I got into scented lotions for a long time, and didn't wear much perfume. I used Victoria's Secret in the late 90s and early 2000s, like every other woman my age, then switched to B&BW, where I eventually landed on coconut.

I bought a couple of those Victoria's Secret perfume samplers on clearance at the after-Christmas sale, and I still have a bunch of them. I fell in love with a couple of Escada scents a few years ago, and I use them mainly in the spring and summer because they're sweet and tropical-smelling. I got a bottle of Victoria's Secret perfume with "Noir" in the name for my birthday, and I wear that a lot in the winter (mainly because it sits out in plain view).

PinkieBling said...

Oh, I forgot, I also bought one of those Sephora perfume samplers at Christmas, and it has things like Juicy Couture, Marc Jacobs Daisy (don't dig it on me), and my favorite was by Dior, I think. I also like Aqualina's Pink Sugar. For a while there I got a lot of perfume samples with Sephora orders, too; I had to stop picking them because they're EVERYWHERE in my bathroom.

Amelia said...

For YEARS I wore Shi by Alfred Sung. Then, I wore Romance by Ralph Lauren, then Ralph (also by Ralph Lauren) and then I had kids. Now, I routinely wear scented lotions from Bath & Body Works, mostly in florals, and sometimes a spritz of Paris by Paris Hilton when I go out on a date with my husband. I sort of lament the lack of perfume in my house, but it's a tough thing to purchase for me. For one thing, I would have to drive to the city, and then I would have to be without kids to do a true, enjoyable perfume hunt. But I would like to have perfumes again. I get the feeling that it will be something I get back into after the babies are done. You know, being babies and being born.

Anonymous said...

The only perfume I own is Victoria Secret's "Heavenly" which I picked out and then had my husband buy me for Christmas! It's kind of sandalwood/vanilla and not overwhelming. I just cannot stand flowery perfumes at all. Maybe if I had more time/money I would be more into perfume, but for now I am content to just have one "signature" scent to wear, though I don't use it every day.

-Angela

artemisia said...

I am a perfume novice. I recently decided to order some tiny samples and see what I liked. I love Fou d'Absinthe, too!!!!

I am still trying to convince myself to buy an entire bottle, though. Someday. After the dog gets her teeth cleaned. (Lordy, my priorities are bit off, eh?)

Jenny (Bring A. Torch) said...

Remember how there used to be paper samples Colors de Benetton in all the teen mags? I actually bought some.

Oh, and remember when grocery stores first got perfume aisles? I'd spray myself with Electric Youth.

And now I live nearly fragrance-free due to Hus-bear's allergies, and it's made me annoyingly sensitive to hair spray, air fresheners, etc. etc. Sigh.

Jo Ro said...

Estee Lauder - White Linen was my first. Why - bc my much older sister wore the same thing and I liked the way she smelled.

I have about a dozen bottles of perfume.

My favorite: Bulgari Jasmine Noir or Hermes Un Jardin Sur Le Nil.

Happy Girl said...

Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker is my signature scent. Though I have cheated on her with Lavanila products lately. I especially love Lavanila blackberry. I've been wearing it all summer and get lots of compliments. I get a lot of perfume samples off Ebay and with Sephora products but I still always go back to Lovely. It just smells so clean and fresh.

Now please tell me what a perfume spreadsheet is!

Little Bird said...

HATED perfume growing up. It always gave me a headache. I had a rule that my mother had to kiss me goodbye and THEN put on her perfume. Most perfumes still give me a headache but I WANT to have a signature fragrance.

Enter Jo Malone Wild Bluebell. LOVE it. Case closed.

christina b said...

I have always been a bit of a fragrance junkie!

I remember my first major perfume purchase (or gift) was a yellow, triangular bottle of Liz Claiborne perfume, sometime in middle school. I also recall Malibu Musk, Exclamation, Electric Youth, Navy...and if you like Giorgio, you'll LOVE Primo lol (designer imposters). A bottle of Guess perfume also sticks out in my mind in those days.

Over the years, I've tried many fragrances, CK One, Escada, Ralph Lauren Romance, Tommy Hilfiger, Juicy, and they all STINK to me now.

My current favorites are Narciso Rodriguez, almost any of the Philosophy fragrances (although Amazing Grace and Inner Grace are my favorites), Baiser Vole by Cartier, Chanel Chance Eau du Fraiche, and Alien by Thierry Mugler. I think my tastes have matured a bit in my 30s - I still like clean, fresh scents though, and pretty, feminine scents that aren't overly floral nor overly spicy.

Nikki said...

I've worn Oscar De La Renta perfume since high school. I love it and it has unfortunately been harder and harder to find!

Slim said...

I found a blog post that described Sinan in detail, sent the description to Lucky Scent, and asked for recommendations. Now I want to go home and wait for the samples to arrive.

See what you people have done to me? See?

momofthreeskg said...

I can't believe how much I'm remembering! The summer before Sophomore year I saved up for a bottle of Eternity. So that was my first real perfume purchase. The year before as a freshman it was Xia Xiang (see-ah see-ang) Junior year (after the bottle of Eternity met an tragic and deeply mourned tipping over and spilling it was Liz Claiborne a gift from my first boyfriend. Senior year there was a Body Shop at the new mall (New Jersey!) and then it was Dewberry. College there was lots of experimentation with oils from New Age Kiosks: Patchouli (so original!) Sandalwood and Frankincense.

Now 20+ years later I don't really wear perfume. The fact that my husband isn't much of a fan and I'm less tolerant of overpowering smells after three kids I opt for lotions. Now I love anything with a green tea scent. What's funny is while we were on vacation I found a body lotion by Tokyo Milk in one of the shops called Gin & Rosewater. Here I thought I was breaking out of my green tea rut and it's actually one of the main ingredients! I love it but I haven't really worn it yet. I need to get a little more girly more often. Thank you Swistle, your posts like this really get me thinking about things I wish I thought about more.

Anonymous said...

Manifesto by Isabella Rossalini

Laura Diniwilk said...

I'm way behind on reading, and I'm so sad to have missed such a fun conversation. Hehe first perfume was Avon's sweet honesty. Wow, that really brings me back! And I know I had some kind of designer imposters craziness in a teal tube. I am loving Kate Spade twirl right now. I am also swimming in samples, DM me if you want me to send you some - I'd be happy to.