Olafactory Samplings

Or: More thoughts on perfume,

In which my mood is kind of like this frog’s:

Hoyt's German Cologne perfumed with fragrant & lasting [front]

I found some time to browse Sephora last weekend, looking for THE ONE.

Long story short, I’m like Bono:

But I stiiiiiiiiill haven’t fooooooooouuuuund what I’m looking for.

Argh.  There’s so much more I wanted to write about tonight but it won’t happen because (a) the 2.5 year old is up again (still?) and (b) it’s 11 p.m. and (c) her blanket came slid off one fleece-jammied foot and (d) no, she can’t fix it herself, and (e) even though it’s 72 degrees this is an emergency and (f) one of her four dollies is not arranged just so and (g) I fix blanket and dollies–

“I cwye and I cwye”

Yeah, it works for you, doesn’t it?

and go back to the couch and hearing my behind brush the couch cushion makes her realize that she’s already drunk all the water in her sippy cup and (h) she will scream and scream and scream until I come to refill it.  AND she will probably start over again with (a).

How did I wind up the mother of the Princess and the Pea?  I really really did not set out to be.

“Okay, here’s your water.  You really need to go to sleep.”

“okay.  sowwy cwye.”

Sorry my ass.

So about perfume.

Who cares about perfume?  Anyone?

Okay, I still do.

I set out looking for something spicy.  I like cardamom and rosemary.  And bergamot (which is a flower, but with a spicy smell).  And I ended up preferring the floral scents at Sephora.  Granted, they had a small selection.

But I liked

1. Dolce & Gabbana L’IMPERATRICE: really like the top and bottom notes here but too fruity in its “middle notes” and short-lasting.

2. For a little bit there, L’Imperatrice reminded by of Coty’s Tribe.  It was the first perfume I bought for myself.  Boy was it fruity.  Anyone else remember that one?  Apparently it’s not made any more, but it has a large, nostalgic following.  Just for memory’s sake, it will be my favorite #2.

The early 90s in a bottle!

3. Burberry Brit: Possibly this would be THE ONE but I will forever associate it with a certain person, and not favorably.

4.  Dior’s J’Adore: Again not THE ONE but I liked it.  I forget why.  🙂

5. Jennifer Aniston’s eponymous perfume.  I tried this at Target.  It was the only one of their fragrances that didn’t make me gag on the first sniff.  I was surprised by how much I liked the lily and jasmine notes.  But it “dries down” to a generic, boring musk.

(And forgive me if I’m critical here of your favorite scent.  With any of them, I know I’d smell them on another person and think, “Mmm, you smell great.”  But when I’m looking for THE ONE I’m hyper-critical.)

And when my 2-year-old won’t go to sleep! at 11 friggin’ o’clock at night! I’m hyper-grumpy too.  I hope you’ll forgive my grumbling.  Please be assured that no children were harmed in the writing of this blog post.  Or ever.

All this after reading this book and swearing I would never complain again.

Good night.  Smell good.  Sleep tight.

(Click over to Jenna of Call Her Happy, who is hosting Five Favorites this week.  Thanks Jenna!)


Scent of a Woman

Anne- Laure was immaculate.  She wore underwear so delicate it could only be hand-washed and she had perfect nails and lustrous, onyx hair that she’d never tried to highlight, a trend that she considers vulgar and base. . . .

When she came to bed, she did so smelling of rosemary with her dark hair in a high bun, hair I had been besotted with back in grad school, but now no longer touched. . . . .

Anne had on her “special night” perfume, a heady mix of bergamot and neroli, along with a silk rose blouse and wide-legged, wool pants with heels.

— Courtney Maum, I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You


Pelagia always smelled of rosemary.  It was a young, fresh scent, and it reminded him of festive meals at home. . . . In the darkness he held her face in his hands.  It still smelled of rosemary, and he inhaled the scent so deeply it hurt his mending ribs.  

–Louis de Bernieres, Corelli’s Mandolin

I’ll never be remotely French.  I’m quite attached, to my machine-washable, cotton, Hanes 6-packs.  Also I’ve started highlighting my hair.  Around age 30 I became less concerned about looking like I’m trying too hard and more concerned about looking like I’m not trying at all.

But I would like to smell nice.

My first real perfume was Estee Lauder’s “Beautiful.”  It was a wedding gift from my godmother.  (The advertising campaign works well, apparently.)  It’s a lovely scent, especially after an hour or so, but the “top notes” that hit my nose upon the first spray are not my favorite.  I think they are “green” or “floral” scents, but they smell harsh and chemical-y to me.

I moved on to Estee Lauder’s “Pleasures,” and I’m almost through my second bottle.  It’s warmer but still, I’ve decided, more cool and floral than I’d like.

What to try next?

I’ve fallen in love with bergamot, since using a body butter scented with bergamot oil.  Also I love the smell of cardamom.  I keep a bottle of cardamom pods in my spice cabinet.  Handed down to me when my sister moved, they’re long past the “use by” date, but I stick my nose in the bottle for instant aromatherapy.

And smelling like rosemary is a heavenly idea, isn’t it?

I don’t really know where to begin, especially as I have limited options in my town.  Pinrose has a fun program that suggests scents to you based on your style, color, and music preferences.  It is limited to its own line of a dozen or so scents, though.

Based on an internet search, I think I might like a scent called  A Bientot by Jacques Zolty (bergamot, cardamom, and rosemary!), but I’m hesitant (to put it lightly) to spend three figures on a bottle without sampling it first.

I’ve heard Sephora has an in-store perfume recommendation machine, but I haven’t had the chance to try one.  The nearest Sephora is a ways away from me.

What about you?  Do you wear perfume?  If you do, what do you wear?

As for the books: I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You is a cautionary tale of sorts, a story about a man who cheats on his wife then tries to win her back.  It shows the troubles that come when self-absorbed people attempt marriage.  You can read more about it here.  It has some extremely explicit sexual content, so be forewarned.

You can read my quick review of Corelli’s Mandolin here.  I recommend it wholeheartedly.

Linking up with Jessica of Housewifespice for What We’re Reading Wednesday.

*Scent of a Woman is a movie I’ve never seen.  The title comes from a blind character’s supposed ability to decipher a women’s personality, simply by her scent.  What would my scent say about me, I wonder?