October 2011: 20 posts

Perfume as Costume : Top 10 Fall Favorites Halloween Edition

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Do you ever think of perfume as a costume? If you were dressing up for Halloween, what character would you be and what perfume would you wear?

In the spirit of Halloween, I have decided to match some of my favorite fragrances with costumes. One does not need to be a child to play dress up, and with perfume, it is easy to assume a different guise.

To see another one of my top 10 fall favorites list (a bit more conventional one!), please take a look at my post from last year, Favorite Fall Perfumes.

 

Ballerina

 If the ballerina in question is a fiery Sevillana a la Kitri from Don Quixote, then she needs the hot spicy roses of Guerlain Rose Barbare. If she is an ethereal Giselle, then the gossamer and cool Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist would be more appropriate.

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Serge Lutens De Profundis : Perfume Review

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Dep

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

“Prosperity, pleasure and success, may be rough of grain and common in fibre, but sorrow is the most sensitive of all created things,” wrote Oscar Wilde in his moving essay “De Profundis,” which inspired Serge Lutens’s wistful and delicate creation. De Profundis, which also refers to Psalm 130, means “from the depth” in Latin, and it is from the depths of sadness and despair that Wilde wrote his epistle during his imprisonment. Knowing the background story can easily color one’s perception of a perfume, and this is especially true in the case of Lutens  who is fond of complex and eclectic imagery. So, having learned of the origins of De Profundis, one might expect a somber composition of funereal darkness. Nothing could be further from the truth—De Profundis is a soaring, ethereal vignette of green flowers, full of surprises and such magic twists that I once again have to take off my hat to Lutens and his perfumer Christopher Sheldrake.

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Demeter Whiskey Tobacco : Fragrance Review

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Whiskey-Tobacco

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

The sad truth is that the price you are paying for prestige fragrances in no way reflects the quality of the compositions and the ingredients, and often the perfumes with luxury price tags are made more cheaply than your laundry detergent. Therefore, it is best to cast off the prejudices instilled by the price and simply shop with an open mind. If what you are after is “cheap and chic,” then the Demeter Fragrance Library can offer plenty of interesting options. At $10 for 1/2oz, these fragrances can rival many luxury perfumes on the market today. The large portfolio includes both pretty and romantic things like Wet Garden as well as strangely appealing ones like Paperback. My personal favorite is Whiskey Tobacco, a delicious accord of almond, cherry scented tobacco and smoky woods.

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Daytime vs Evening Fragrance

Dress

Do you classify fragrances as daytime vs evening? Do you save some perfumes to wear in the evening, while preferring others for the morning?

I love the scenes in old movies when the heroine, dressed in a floor sweeping gown, reaches for a perfume bottle to apply a couple of drops of perfume before stepping out with her dashing cavalier to conquer the world. In my fantasies, I am that bejeweled woman, wrapped in satin and silks, who nonchalantly reaches for a crystal flacon of her Shalimar parfum. Needless to say, the reality often differs from fantasy, and regretfully, silks and jewels rarely make an appearance in the usual course of my day, with jeans and lab coats taking precedence. However, while I may be lacking in diamond tiaras, I always make a point of saving time for applying parfum. I do not necessarily reserve Shalimar or other rich orientals solely for the evening, but there is something deliciously decadent about applying the parfum after a long day is over but while the night is still young.

Photograph from vintage.glam-2

Annick Goutal Petite Cherie : Perfume Review

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Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

I have such a strong sentimental attachment to Annick Goutal fragrances that sometimes I cannot appraise them objectively. Annick Goutal was the first artisanal fragrance house I discovered and its unusual fragrances, evoking stories and fantasies that for me felt quite real, made me realize that it is possible to communicate in a fragrant language. For this reason, a bottle of Petite Chérie remained in my collection for years, even though I hardly ever wore it. I simply loved the idea of it—a fragrance created by a mother for her young daughter, capturing the joy and innocence of childhood.

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