My Ideal Perfume Layering Combination : Horses

While perfume is a personal pleasure, its sillage means that our fragrance choices are sometimes influenced by the preferences of others–our family, friends, school or office colleagues. What if your perfume selection has to take into account your horse’s tastes? Patricia reports.

Layering two different perfumes is a fun way to play with fragrance and create a new scented experience. I find it interesting, and in principle, I should have accumulated an array of favorite combinations, but I confess that I haven’t made much foray into it. You see, my universal layer most days is not another perfume, but the smell of my horse. I’m an avid rider and go to the barn as often as I can manage to spend time with my boy. And although I love the smell of horses, the forty-minute ride home in an enclosed car can get a little ripe with a mixture of pungent horse sweat, the fecal smell of manure, sour urine notes, and the dry green of hay bales. And that is where perfume comes in.

horses

Without really thinking about it, I’ve collected many horse-friendly scents over the years. Chanel Cristalle is not only lovely on its own, but blends beautifully with barnyard smells and seems to be appreciated by equine noses as well. Other favorites are L’Artisan Parfumeur Séville à l’aube (the slightly dirty quality of white flowers works well with the rich animalic background of the horse barn) and I wore it on the car trip home from the barn for months on end when it was first released in 2012.

Serge Lutens Daim Blond is all beautiful soft suede and smells lovely with horse, but any leather perfume would work equally well. The same goes for sandalwood and amber. I wear Diptyque Tam Dao and Hermès L’Ambré des Merveilles, but can imagine any woody or soft amber fragrance combining harmoniously with the rich, loamy horse smell.

The smoky cherry tobacco in Diptyque Volutes also fits right in with wood barns, hay, leather tack, and horse aroma, and I can imagine that many other incense perfumes, such as Cartier Le Baiser du Dragon, would make for a cozy drive home in cold weather. Any chypre (mossy, green notes), such as Parfums de Nicolaï Vie de Chateau with its soupçon of hay and leather notes, would be right at home in the barn. Certain iris perfumes, especially those with pronounced carrot notes such as Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist, are terrific choices, and I’ve been especially enjoying them this spring.

What don’t work are many perfumes in the oriental range. Spicy fragrances often seem too complex on their own to marry well with earthy scents. Although I like Parfumerie Generale Iris Oriental very much, it does not mix well with horse smells. I also don’t care for a clean or light rose fragrance such as Atelier Cologne Rose Anonyme when combined with the smell of horses, despite the fact that the winner of the Kentucky Derby is graced each year with a garland of more than 400 red roses.

A big, lusty rose such as Frédéric Malle Une Rose would be a better choice. Very green or citrus scents such as Guerlain’s Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune aren’t always the best choices either, as clean and dirty fight each other for the upper hand. (Anyone who has ever had a disagreement with a horse knows which side wins.)

I realize that riding isn’t a universal interest and that most people don’t think about perfume selection in terms of what fragrances will smell best with horses, but my time spent driving home from the barn celebrates my two greatest passions outside of family and friends: equines and perfume.  Besides, I like not taking perfume too seriously…at least some of the time.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

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94 Comments

  • Connie: I love this article! Thank you so much for a great and enjoyable read. I am an avid equestrian (I mostly do dressage) and I’ve noticed many of the same trends as you do when it comes to perfume and horse smells. L’Air de Rien is one of my favorites to wear riding. As is Le Temps d’Une Fete in the spring.

    I think beyond horseback riding, you bring up an interesting point about how we can try to match our perfumes to our surrounding smells and activities. I also do this with ballroom dance, my other great passion. And I expect most people do it with their various interests, even without realizing. March 23, 2015 at 7:56am Reply

    • Patricia: Hi Connie, Thank you! Now that my horse and I are both older, we just do flat work and have incorporated quite a bit of dressage into our routine, such as leg yielding and turns on the forehand, etc. My horse is pretty smart and loves learning new things.

      Ballroom dance is very much like dressage, just with a human partner rather than an equine one! March 23, 2015 at 9:50am Reply

  • Austenfan: Lovely article Patricia. I just to ride once a week, but I’ve never had my own horse, which must be that much better.
    I too like taking perfume not too seriously as it it’s a hobby to me, and there are far too many things I do take seriously.
    I remember when I was little I actually got my mother to not wash my horse riding clothes too often as I loved to take a sniff of them during the week.

    Another perfume with a hay note is Chergui, I wonder if you have tried layering that with your horses. And Le Temps d’une Fête has that wonderful narcissus note. March 23, 2015 at 8:17am Reply

    • Austenfan: just = used ! March 23, 2015 at 8:21am Reply

    • Patricia: Thank you, Austenfan! I think I have a sample of Chergui tucked away somewhere, and Le Temps d’une Fete would be perfect for spring (if spring ever comes here in New England).

      Funny story about your horse-perfumed clothes. I remember how fragrant my breeches used to get during a month at sleepover camp! March 23, 2015 at 9:57am Reply

    • limegreen: I thought of Chergui right away, too! That may be overdoing the hay + horse note, though. 🙂 March 23, 2015 at 10:05am Reply

  • Cornelia Blimber: Hi Patricia! lovely article. It brought me back to memories of the horse stables of the Concours Hippique in Rotterdam. And I once had a neighbour having a horse, so I know the smell, allthough I am not an amazon myself.
    What do you think of these ”horsey” perfumes?
    Bandit
    Gomma (Etro)
    Colonia Intensa
    Or a Vetiver, like tthe Malle? March 23, 2015 at 8:17am Reply

    • Patricia: Hi Cornelia, I love Bandit but am not familiar with either the Gomma or the Colonia Intensa…will have to try them.

      I’ve been working on appreciating vetiver. So far I like Diptyque Vetiverio, Guerlain Vetiver Pour Elle, Encre Noir, and the Malle. So I’m making progress! March 23, 2015 at 10:06am Reply

  • Karen: What a fun article Patricia! I grew up riding and miss it terribly at times. My two horses, my daughter’s ponies and horses all have such a special place in my heart (my first horse lived to be 35!!). I love your thoughts on finding scents that go with all the earthy/horsey/barn smells. And there is nothing like resting your head on a horse’s neck in the sunshine and inhaling. March 23, 2015 at 8:25am Reply

    • Patricia: With horses, you either get it or you don’t. Horse lovers enjoy all aspects of riding, horse care, and even cleaning tack and mucking stalls! Thanks so much for posting, Karen. 🙂

      PS My horse will turn 23 this year, but he’s still going strong (but not jumping any more). He sometimes pretends that ground poles are jumps, though. March 23, 2015 at 10:09am Reply

      • Austenfan: I love it when horses do that, it’s almost as if they’re trying to be funny. March 23, 2015 at 10:58am Reply

        • Patricia: We do whole courses of ground poles or stacked ground poles, and he gets very excited! March 23, 2015 at 11:36am Reply

          • Karen: Now I am feeling really nostalgic! March 23, 2015 at 1:16pm Reply

  • Michaela: I love your article and your bright idea! I have no connection to horses (I gave one an apple and I love to recollect that memory) but I like them and I like your idea so much!
    Interesting, do horses appreciate perfume?! My dogs only show when they don’t like one. Ignoring is the best my perfumes can get from them. March 23, 2015 at 9:01am Reply

    • Patricia: I’m not sure if it’s my imagination, but it seems that my horse reacts to Cristalle. His favorite scent, though, is my sweaty skin after our ride is over. He licks my arms for the salt and tries to lick my face (TMI?).

      My dog is totally oblivious to perfume, but once in awhile one will make him sneeze! March 23, 2015 at 10:12am Reply

      • Michaela: I don’t think it’s your imagination, because you know your horse too well.
        Of course, no Chanel in the world would rival your natural scent to him. He must be so cute! I love that you ride him still, even if he must not jump any more, and that you groom him, and take good care. March 23, 2015 at 10:54am Reply

        • Patricia: Most horses are very affectionate creatures and are sincerely attached to the people they own. 🙂 March 23, 2015 at 12:10pm Reply

          • limegreen: Does your horse have an opinion about Chanel’s reformulation of Cristalle over the last 23 years (of his long life)? March 23, 2015 at 4:32pm Reply

            • limegreen: 🙂 March 23, 2015 at 4:32pm Reply

            • Patricia: I only wear the vintage when I visit him! March 23, 2015 at 8:15pm Reply

  • Phyllis Iervello: Although I like them, I have no connection to horses either but I really did enjoy this post as well as the responses. March 23, 2015 at 9:28am Reply

    • Patricia: I’m glad you liked it, Phyllis! March 23, 2015 at 10:13am Reply

  • limegreen: (Laughing so hard, trying not to spit up coffee.) Nothing else to add, just had to insert a 🙂 What a great pick-me-up post for a Monday morning, thanks so much, Patricia! March 23, 2015 at 10:03am Reply

    • Patricia: Thank you, limegreen! I’m glad you had a Monday morning chuckle. 🙂 March 23, 2015 at 10:14am Reply

  • Tijana: I don’t ride, but this is such a great article. Thank you! March 23, 2015 at 10:14am Reply

    • Patricia: I’m glad you enjoyed it, Tijana! March 23, 2015 at 10:24am Reply

  • Patricia: @ Victoria: I love your photo of the ponies! The little fellow is giving the grey a shoulder massage…you can see his teeth. When I groom my horse and find an itchy spot, he works his jaw as if he’s returning the favor on a phantom horse. March 23, 2015 at 10:18am Reply

    • Victoria: Leuven, a town not too far from Brussels, has an annual animal market, and I spotted this cute ponies there. They were so sweet, and they kept nuzzling each other. You can’t tell from this photo, but they were tiny. Not sure if they are naturally this small or if they are just youngsters.

      Your boy sounds like a sweet character too! As I mentioned to you last year, I loved watching horses at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, and their grace and elegance were impressive. You could also see that the horses were completely enjoying themselves and if they managed the complicated moves, they really looked proud and happy. March 23, 2015 at 12:11pm Reply

      • Patricia: Most horses enjoy having a job to do and seem to take pride in doing it well. March 23, 2015 at 12:20pm Reply

      • bregje: My father has a summer house in one of the west-frysian islands(Terschelling) and there are horses there that look just like the ones in the picture!(of course they also have lots of big frysian horses).
        In the winterseason,when it’s quiet and there aren’t many tourists the little horses get to run free through the dunes. The first time i saw them run i held my breath for it was such a beautiful sight. March 23, 2015 at 7:53pm Reply

        • Patricia: It must be quite a sight to see those horses running through the dunes! March 23, 2015 at 8:14pm Reply

        • Victoria: Can just imagine what a gorgeous sight it is! March 24, 2015 at 1:47pm Reply

          • bregje: Oh,it’s so gorgeous.
            I don’t now whether there are still wild horses in the usa. But i had never seen a herd running free like that before. Only in wild-west movies 😉
            I wish you could all see it.
            They are such sweet horses too.
            A horse-crazy friend of mine(she has her own horse,mr D) is coming over especially to see them in april. March 24, 2015 at 3:33pm Reply

      • Joy: Your photo of the horses is quite beautiful. I love the sorrel with the white mane. He is a gorgeous and almost mythical looking creature. I believe that is must be a special breed of small horse. March 23, 2015 at 10:07pm Reply

  • Kandice: This was such a great and interesting article. I love horses but neither get the chance to ride or spend time with them as much as I would like to. I never gave much thought to perfume and animals although I should. While my kitty never shows he likes a perfume, he’s quick to run away if he doesn’t! Thanks for a great post! March 23, 2015 at 10:34am Reply

    • Patricia: Thanks, Kandice! My Welsh Springer sneezes and walks away if I wear something he doesn’t like. March 23, 2015 at 11:33am Reply

  • Tatiana: I love this article! I also ride horses. Once when I was in the barn after a ride the gal with the horse stalled next to mine was just laughing about her horse sneezing all over her. She said, “He sneezes all over me like this every time I wear Marc Jacobs Daisy”. I laughed. My best friend from that barn is also a perfume lover.
    My mare’s favorite scents are Parfum d’Empire Equistrius and Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist. Whenever I wear one of these she is convinced I have treats in my sleeves for her and she gently nuzzles every spot I’ve sprayed perfume. She also likes vintage, Chanel No.19, too. She ignores my arms if I wear something else.
    I find that iris/orris scents work well in the barn, as well as chypres and green scents. March 23, 2015 at 12:09pm Reply

    • Patricia: That makes total sense that your mare likes Iris Silver Mist and Equistrius. She thinks you have carrots in your pockets! March 23, 2015 at 12:14pm Reply

    • bregje: Tatiana,apparently animals don’t like Marc Jacobs perfumes!
      My cat hissed at me when i wore Lola 🙂 March 23, 2015 at 7:55pm Reply

  • ~Kat: Thank you for the article. I applied Diorella this morning and thoughts of feeding grass hay and being around a herd came to mind. I miss my horse! … and I’m still searching for a leather fragrance that smells like a tack shop and not an expensive handbag.

    I’m assuming that the tanning process or chemicals (?) used to make saddles and bridles is different than shoes and bags found in department stores and boutiques….any ideas?

    Also, we used to use a beeswax-based saddle soap to clean the tack. I believe it was made in Germany–it smelled divine! So many horse and barn smells are really wonderful! 🙂 March 23, 2015 at 1:40pm Reply

    • Patricia: Oh, is there anything better than the leathery smell of a tack shop? I haven’t found the perfume yet that comes close to it. Though I do like Cuir de Russie extrait very much.

      I drive right by Dover Saddlery in Wellesley, MA on my trips to the barn and find frequent excuses to stop there, even if just for a bag of horse treats. I suppose those who work there become immune to the scent after awhile, but it seems like a perfect job for a horse enthusiast. March 23, 2015 at 2:27pm Reply

      • ~Kat: Indeed, Patricia!…it’s hard to rival the aroma of a quality tack shop. One of my first scent-related memories (age 3) was going to the tack shop and then to the stables where my sister’s Welsh pony was boarded…a very long time ago, now.
        Presently, I will revisit my sample of Cuir de Russie–thank you for the suggestion. March 23, 2015 at 6:17pm Reply

        • Karen: Oh, memories of tack shops! Now I am really really nostalgic! I remember a small dusty one where I got my first riding jacket, it was near the local race track so most of the clients would have been from the track. Then the one near the barn where I took lessons and boarded, then….. Well now the one closest (a Dover) is far from dusty, very well stocked and not disorganized – as were the old ones. But, yes, the fragrance, so yummy as were the tack rooms. March 24, 2015 at 8:20am Reply

          • Patricia: It seems as if the new, larger tack shops have crowded out the old, dusty version. Sad. March 24, 2015 at 9:02am Reply

    • Joy: I loved Diorella, and yes it smells like the prairie, hay, and sage. I miss it very much. March 23, 2015 at 10:10pm Reply

      • Patricia: Those old Diors were great. But I suppose there is no way of replicating them with the new restrictions. I have tiny amounts of most of them that I wear when I’m feeling nostalgic. March 24, 2015 at 9:04am Reply

  • Avonne: I have been reading and loving BdJ for a year now. I’ve learned so much, thank you Victoria, for this gift to your fellow perfume lovers. Now seems a perfect place to join in. Thanks, Patricia, for this topic. I have hesitated to wear perfume when I care for our horses, as they recognize each other in the wild by scent, but now I will be more adventurous. I have no. 19, Cristalle, Heure Exquise and Chergui for a start. Who knows, maybe the horses will like them too, and still recognize me. After all, I am the one with the FOOD! March 23, 2015 at 1:41pm Reply

    • Patricia: Avonne, I apply perfume to my neck and chest but leave my arms scent-free since that is where my horse likes to smell me. Though these days I’m so bundled up, it wouldn’t make any difference!

      Please let me know if the horses in your life react to the perfume. 🙂

      I read somewhere that Queen Elizabeth never wears scent to the royal barn so as not to excite the young colts. That seems sensible, but our barn only has old geldings and mares, so I feel free to enjoy a spritz or two. March 23, 2015 at 2:33pm Reply

      • Cornelia Blimber: Do horses have a sharp nose, like dogs and cats? March 23, 2015 at 4:51pm Reply

        • Patricia: Yes, their sense of smell is quite keen. A few years ago some barn neighbors were burning leaves in the fall, and the horses were very upset smelling the smoke. Their natural instinct is to flee from smoke and fire. March 23, 2015 at 8:10pm Reply

      • Avonne: Our horses aren’t wild, but I have been studying herd dynamics in order to be a better horseman and perhaps relate to them more on horse-terms. I guess I needn’t have worried….they start loudly greeting me the minute they see me or hear my voice. I offered them an arm freshly sprayed with Annick Goutal Heure Exquise, and after a brief investigation they said “ho hum, where’s dinner?” Yes! More perfumed skin time for me.

        Enjoyed your review of Equistrius, looking forward to trying it. March 23, 2015 at 8:35pm Reply

        • Patricia: Thank you, Avonne! I hope you like Equistrius. March 24, 2015 at 9:06am Reply

    • Theresa: What a fun article! thank you, Patricia! Avonne, I have a question for you about your experience with L’heure exquise. Do you find that the smell lasts for you in a satisfactory way? I love the initial blast of it and ALMOST bought it for my birthday treat for myself this year, but didn’t, because the bit that I sprayed on in the shop seemed to evaporate after about half an hour. I’m still thinking about it longingly, however. BTW, I have the other fragrances you mention and love them too! March 23, 2015 at 4:19pm Reply

      • Avonne: Hi Theresa, how nice that we share perfume loves. When I want a scent to last longer, I spray 3 spots with 1 good spray each, let it dry, then spray the same spots again. This works well for me, giving me 6-8 hours of fragrant enjoyment.

        My Heure Exquise is edt and a few years old. I have not smelled any from the new packaging, but I see on the AG website that it is now classified as edp. I have also noticed old package edt on fragrancenet at such a low price one can afford to spray lavishly. Maybe I should buy a back up bottle myself! March 23, 2015 at 9:17pm Reply

        • Patricia: I like your method of extending the life of those perfumes that seem to disappear after an hour or two. I’m going to try it with Safran Troublant, which though I love it, doesn’t last nearly long enough to suit me. March 24, 2015 at 9:11am Reply

      • Hamamelis: Hi Therese, and Avonne, my experience with an older edt Heure Exquise is similar as Avonne’s, when sprayed generously on my skin it has a longevity of 12 hours. And in the context of this lovely post….my dog likes it!
        Heure Exquise is currently my favourite perfume, a beauty. March 24, 2015 at 4:19am Reply

  • Mj: Patricia, what a great and unexpected article! I was just buying tickets to the Midwest Horse Fair in Madison, WI next month and thought I had mistakenly left a page open when I navigated to Bois de Jasmin and saw your lovely picture. Groomed my very, very dirty Spotted Saddle Horse yesterday. I have always thought horses hated perfume. Kind of thought he has been “standoffish” when I wear a favorite, Basse Volle. Inspired By you article I sprayed my wrists w/ L’Ombre dans L’Eau and went to smell my jacket. Maybe?? March 23, 2015 at 2:15pm Reply

    • Patricia: Ha! They let you know what they like. Yours is a fan of rose. 🙂

      BTW, I can’t wait until it’s warm enough to give my horse a proper bath. Grooming only goes so far. March 23, 2015 at 2:35pm Reply

  • spe: This was great reading – thank you! Horses terrify me and they sense it. So we are basically scared of each other! Having no idea what barns and tack smell like, I noticed an absence of any allusion to outright powdery scents, although some irises are powdery. Today I’m wearing Cuir d’Ange. It’s leathery, powdery, and a little sweet. I wonder if it might work? March 23, 2015 at 2:37pm Reply

    • Patricia: I think any leathery scent would be great in the barn. And you are right about horses sensing fear. They are herd animals and their fight or flight instinct is very strong so they are highly attuned to their surroundings and any possible danger, real or imagined! March 23, 2015 at 4:22pm Reply

  • Courant: I love all these fragrances, without a horse on the horizon, just a giant poodle who can get a bit whiffy at times. Time for a blast of L’Air de Rien. March 23, 2015 at 2:55pm Reply

    • Patricia: Ha! You don’t need a horse to enjoy these perfumes. 🙂 March 23, 2015 at 4:23pm Reply

  • Elisa: I love this take on layering. 🙂 I am sadly allergic to horses (and all the good mammals) but I sometimes work in a similar mindset when choosing what to wear before cooking or going out to eat — choosing a perfume that will mix well with curry or Mexican or sushi or whatever is on the menu! March 23, 2015 at 5:03pm Reply

    • Patricia: I can see that it’s very much the same…choosing a perfume for the environment. I also give some thought in selecting a perfume before going out for dinner, for a walk in the woods, for work, or for sleep. March 23, 2015 at 8:05pm Reply

    • Andy: Wow, I always do that! Shalimar edt for French bistro fare, Fils de Dieu for Thai, Bulgari Thé Vert is my go to for sushi, but for Mexican, I’m always unsure of what will best complement the food and atmosphere best. What is your usual selection, Elisa? I always tend to think a refreshing, understated eau du cologne works best with food, but I can’t seem to think of anything that matches the verve of Mexican cuisine best. March 24, 2015 at 12:20am Reply

      • Patricia: Love your choices, Andy. (And now I’m hungry!) March 24, 2015 at 9:13am Reply

        • limegreen: I agree (choices and hunger)! What an interesting concept!
          For Mexican:
          Bond no. 9 Coney Island is exactly what a margarita smells like, but maybe you don’t want to smell like you sloshed margarita on yourself as you enter a Mexican restaurant. 🙂
          Even though it’s “Brazilian” — how about Guerlain AA Limon Verde, just for that zesty zing? March 25, 2015 at 12:46am Reply

      • The Blue Squid: Fils de Dieu is GREAT with Thai food. It is hard to tell where the food ends and the perfume begins. March 24, 2015 at 9:21am Reply

  • Heather H: Thank you for writing this beautiful article Patricia. I dream of moving to the wine country, and living on a ranch. Although I do not ride horses, I love hearing your perfume suggestions. I think I will wear some of your recommendations while wine tasting. Some wine has a barn yard smell. March 23, 2015 at 6:00pm Reply

  • Patricia: Thank you, Heather! Living on a ranch in wine country is a beautiful dream indeed. I hope it comes true for you! March 23, 2015 at 8:06pm Reply

  • Annabel Farrell: When I was young and had a pony I thought how wonderful it would be if that lovely smell you get when cuddling its neck could somehow be bottled… March 23, 2015 at 8:07pm Reply

    • Patricia: That, and the soft feel of a horse’s muzzle. 🙂 March 24, 2015 at 9:14am Reply

  • Petunia: Great article Patricia! I learned to ride at five years old and was lucky enough to have my own horse as my parents had a small farm in New England. Your article brought back wonderful memories of my idyllic childhood. I grew away from riding as I reached adulthood but I still love the smell of horses mixed with hay and grain and the velvet feel of their nose under my hand. There is nothing else like it! These scents evoke the fondest memories of my childhood. Thank you so much for this lovely article. March 23, 2015 at 8:09pm Reply

    • Patricia: Thank you, Petunia. A child and a horse/pony make a wonderful combination. I see it daily at my barn, which has an extensive lesson program. What a confidence-builder for a shy or unathletic child! March 24, 2015 at 9:18am Reply

  • Joy: Patricia,

    I so this article today. I always try to find the perfect perfume for my outdoor activities such as hiking, x-country skiing, gardening. Each activity is better with a different fragrance. It is the combination of the particular outdoor environment whether very cold or quite warm. Sometimes I make a really bad choice and can’t wait until the fragrance wears off. I really enjoyed getting a list of fragrances that might be really good for outdoors. I often used to wear Diorella, Caleche, Calandre, which are no longer made in their original form. So to have a list of some new fragrance that I can test is a real treat.
    I live in Tucson in the winter which is horse country. Today I helped my cousin reorganize some of her corrals. When I went into the hay barn, i nearly swooned with the beautiful fragrance of warm hay. March 23, 2015 at 10:21pm Reply

    • Patricia: Is there anything that smells better than warm hay?

      I’m a huge fan of Diorella, Caleche, and Calandre and own full bottles of the last two. (I wrote a review of Calandre here on BdJ if you are interested.) 🙂 March 24, 2015 at 9:23am Reply

      • Joy: I found your article on Calandre and enjoyed reading it very much. Just seeing a photo of the bottle brought back memories of wearing it.
        Unfortunately, I just purchased a bottle of Caleche at a local Sephora store. I am going to return it as it is so unlike the original. It opens with a harsh citrus that is nose burning. By the times the dry down occurs the fragrance is gone. In the interim there is a tantalizing waft of the original fragrance, but then gone.
        I love Cristalle also. When I was in college, I worked in the summers as a gardener at the university. I always wore Cristalle. It was/is the perfect gardening perfume. March 24, 2015 at 4:52pm Reply

        • Patricia: Sometimes you wonder how they can still bottle them under the same names, don’t you? March 24, 2015 at 5:24pm Reply

          • Joy: I certainly do!! It would save a lot of angst, if they would just call a fragrance by some other name.
            The other thing that I wonder is if a lot of the ingredients are no longer used due to allergies, why the perfume companies could not just put warning labels on the bottles. Many people, for example, are terribly allergic to peanuts, but we still have peanuts and peanut products available for those who are not. They are just carefully labeled, even if they have been processed in a plant with peanuts. Then we, the customers, could decide. That being said, I would not want a whale or civet dear sacrificed just to make a few bottles of perfume. I am sure that much depends on what sells. I know I do not care for so many of the candy apple fragrances that are popular today. March 24, 2015 at 5:47pm Reply

            • Joy: I got my critters mixed up above. A civet is a furry critter. The musk comes from a musk deer. None of them deserve for a few bottles of perfume. March 24, 2015 at 6:06pm Reply

            • Victoria: Most companies don’t want a warning label on their products, bureaucrats find it easier to ban ingredients than to educate consumers, and everyone is afraid of lawsuits. This is the current situation in a nutshell. Mostly, it’s also because the industry has been really poor at communicating, thus allowing anti-perfume consumer groups and regulatory bodies to fill in the vacuum.

              Instead of animal-derived ingredients, musk, ambergris and increasingly civet used in perfumery are synthetic. The only exception are the brands advertising themselves as “all-natural.” March 25, 2015 at 7:16am Reply

  • Abigail: I love this post and the comments, so enjoyable to read about horse’s scent preferences! March 24, 2015 at 7:00am Reply

    • Patricia: Written a little tongue-in-cheek, but not entirely! 😉 March 24, 2015 at 9:24am Reply

  • The Blue Squid: Hi Patricia, thanks for a super post about an unusual subject. I really liked the way you demystified the connection between horse and rider, when you remarked upon your horse’s love of the new dressage exercises. I’ve never been a rider, so horses are large, enigmatic and a bit scary to me, even though I like them. Have you ever tried that Cartier L’Heure Fougeuese in a horsy situation? March 24, 2015 at 9:38am Reply

    • Patricia: I had a small decant of L’Heure Fougeuese a few years ago, but there was something about it that was a little off-putting to me. Perhaps it was the Mate, which can be somewhat bitter. I finished the decant, unsuccessfully trying to “get” the fragrance, then when it was empty, moved on. March 24, 2015 at 9:58am Reply

      • The Blue Squid: Oh, shame it didn’t work for you! I’ve long been curious about it. A Cartier boutique has appeared not too far from where I live, so I ‘ll give it a go at some stage. March 24, 2015 at 9:31pm Reply

  • erry: Hi Patricia. I just want to comment about Chanel Cristalle. To my nose it smells like freshly cut grass. Maybe that’s why horse like it. March 24, 2015 at 11:23pm Reply

    • Patricia: That would explain it, Erry! My horse must miss the outside grazing since the outdoor areas are still filled with snow. March 25, 2015 at 12:59pm Reply

  • Tiffanie: Such a wonderful thing to remember, the animal, vegetable, and mineral smells of the barn. It has been many years for me. Thank you for bringing that to my memory. I have tears in my eyes, happy tears.

    I love to think about accidental layering of scents as well as more intentional ones. I often think that if a fragrance behaves differently for me from one day to another, it is because of the scents I used in between.

    I love Eau des Merveilles for that reason. It smells great to my nose even when it is just a disappearing shadow that lingers as a background for another scent. March 26, 2015 at 1:13am Reply

    • Patricia: Hi Tiffanie, Eau des Merveilles is my go-to for yoga class. I just apply a little and then after class will add something else. It’s like a magic fragrance that plays nicely with practically anything else.

      (Sometimes I just put on more Eau des Merveilles.) 🙂 March 26, 2015 at 10:57am Reply

  • Annikky: I’m late to the party, but wanted to say how much I enjoyed this article. Iris Silver Mist and a horse sounds absolutely perfect to me. My first association with perfume and horses is Cuir de Russie, but I have no idea if it would actually work in real life? March 26, 2015 at 10:23am Reply

    • Patricia: Cuir de Russie, or any leather, would be great with horses. I also like Bandit! March 26, 2015 at 11:00am Reply

  • Julie: Reading this a little late. Just wanted to tell you what a great informative article this is Patricia. 🙂 Your pony photo is just adorable. I have always loved the smells around a barn, grass, hay. I enjoy helping my neighbors if they need a hand with feeding in their absence. Such beautiful animals, love their noses! So interesting … Cristalle & Hermes L’Ambre Des Merveilles are two of my favorites. I smiled as you mention not taking perfume too seriously sometimes. I totally agree. Thank you for this lovely post. 🙂 April 8, 2015 at 12:20pm Reply

    • Patricia: Thank you, Julie! I really appreciate your kind comment. 🙂 April 8, 2015 at 2:05pm Reply

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