Perfumes That Make You Feel Dressed Up

In the beginning of the lockdown, my friends and colleagues reveled in casual dress, especially those of us who have worked together for years and no longer felt embarrassed to take a Skype call in pajamas. Eventually, the Groundhog Day feeling of working from home settled in and whenever we would meet for a virtual happy hour, I’d see plenty of cocktail dresses and button-down shirts. Feeling dressed up is a terrific mood booster, and even if you lack an occasion to sport a beautiful outfit, why not put on a favorite dress to lounge around the house? My solution is different–and easier. I pick a perfume that makes me feel dressed up.

Certain fragrances make you feel like you need a ball gown to pull them off, but others feel like you’re dressed for a party, even if you’re wearing yoga pants and a t-shirt (my favorite outfit for working at home.) The choice of such fragrances is personal, linked more to your personal associations than with a specific scent, but the perfumes that make me feel dressed up have a few characteristics in common.

First of all, they are opulent and plush. In my recent video, I gave a few examples of perfumes from the oriental and floriental families, since the combination of ingredients like incense, rose, balsams and spices often has the desired dramatic effect. I will not repeat the fragrances I already mentioned and instead share a few other choices.

Serge Lutens Mandarine-Mandarin

A burnished orange set in dark, glowing amber. It’s one of the most underrated of Lutens’s collection, but I find this dramatic perfume perfect for days when one needs extra glamour.

Etat Libre d’Orange Jasmin et Cigarette

This fragrance is a smoky jazz club for some people, while for others it’s an Indian temple filled with incense smoke and flower garlands. I enjoy its layers of flowers. It’s dramatic without being overly flamboyant–not that there is anything wrong with flamboyant.

Hermès Bel Ami

For men and for women. For anyone who wants a dose of elegance and wants to enjoy the feeling of a well-tailored garment. I’ve never worn a tuxedo, but Bel Ami seems like an ideal olfactory version.

Costes Eau de Parfum

Created by perfumer Olivia Giacobetti for Costes hotel in Paris, it capturing the idea of woods and velvet. The sandalwood and rose fragrance laced with incense, Costes Eau de Parfum is a little black dress–or an elegant suit, depending on your associations. Impeccably styled and chic.

Frédéric Malle Musc Ravageur

Musc Ravageur blends musk with vanilla and balsams, with a resulting opulence and richness that has few rivals among similar fragrances. Glamour is the promise on which it delivers amply.

The best part is that fragrances that make you feel dressed up are the ones that make you feel good and rejuvenated. After all, nothing is as uplifting as beauty.

Photography by Anna Kozlova.



  • Tourmaline: Dear Victoria,

    Thank you for this lovely post and video. My goodness, the list of fragrances I want to try is growing very long…

    If Costes captures the idea of woods and velvet, then I look forward to trying it, because I’m rather fond of velvet (cough, cough) – well, silk velvet is my favourite fabric.

    “Nothing is as uplifting as beauty.” How very true – beauty in all its forms. It seems that I have many fragrances that help me feel dressed up, but I’ll limit myself to 24!

    1. Bellodgia (Caron 1927)

    2. Le Dix (Balenciaga 1947)

    3. Trésor (Lancôme 1990)

    4. L’Heure Bleue (Guerlain 1962)

    5. Bal à Versailles (Jean Desprez 1962)

    6. Oscar (Oscar de la Renta 1977)

    7. Nahéma (Guerlain 1979)

    8. Ombre Rose (Jean-Charles Brosseau 1981)

    9. Poison (Christian Dior 1985)

    10. Lipstick Rose (Frédérick Malle 2000)

    11. Phul-Nana (Grossmith 1891)

    12. Youth-Dew (Estée Lauder 1953)

    13. Cinnabar (Estée Lauder 1978)

    14. Loulou (Cacharel 1987)

    15. Rose Ispahan (Yves Rocher)

    16. Shalimar (Guerlain 1925)

    17. Lolita Lempicka (Lolita Lempicka)

    18. Vol de Nuit (Guerlain 1933)

    19. Laetitia (Rancé 1806/2008)

    20. Yvresse (Yves Saint Laurent 1993)

    21. Intimate Original (Revlon 1955)

    22. Chant D’Arômes (Guerlain 1962)

    23. Mitsouko (Guerlain 1919)

    24. Femme (Rochas 1944/89) November 13, 2020 at 8:28am Reply

    • Victoria: A beautiful list! And so inspiring too. November 13, 2020 at 10:08am Reply

      • Tourmaline: Thanks, Victoria. 🙂 November 13, 2020 at 10:11am Reply

    • Carolyn Middleton: What a fab list, Tourmaline! I’m completely with you on Bal a Versailles & Oscar – wore them both when I was in my early 20s & despite my not at work choice of clothes being jeans & a t-shirt (usually from a gig), I loved juxtaposing sophisticated, lady-like (which I was certainly not!) fragrances with extremely casual clothes. November 13, 2020 at 11:19am Reply

      • Tourmaline: Thanks, Carolyn. Those two perfumes could dress up anything! I have a particular soft spot for Oscar, as I chose it out of hundreds to be my new “default” fragrance, back in 1985, after wearing only Y for four years. November 13, 2020 at 8:50pm Reply

        • Carolyn Middleton: I have a very soft spot for Oscar too – my then boyfriend (now husband of 31 years) bought me a bottle of the pure perfume in that gorgeous bottle with the flower stopper with the dewdrop in it, prior to which I had only indulged in the EdT because of cost – I seem to remember it cost him something around GBP 40.00, which was a small fortune back then! I remember him telling me some time later that when he went into Frasers, which was the most upmarket department store here at the time, in his lunch hour wearing oil & gas related coveralls & motorcycle gear, the lady behind the counter quizzed him about being able to afford it, as it was ‘very expensive’ – to which he responded, politely, that he knew exactly what he was looking for & how much it cost! November 14, 2020 at 8:54am Reply

          • Tourmaline: Your boyfriend/husband had excellent taste. The bottle is so beautiful. I’m lucky enough to have the 15ml, the 30ml and the miniature (which is useful for my handbag).

            I’m reminded of the scene in “Pretty Woman” where the snooty sales assistants refused to serve the Julia Roberts character… But of course, she got her own back on them.

            I’d say your husband’s a keeper!! November 14, 2020 at 9:00am Reply

            • Carolyn Middleton: My husband appreciates what you said, although at that time he wouldn’t have known what decent fragrance was, but had always commented on how nice I smelled & had obviously taken note of what I was wearing at the time. He has also just reminded me that the lady suggested he might prefer to buy the EdT as it was less expensive, & she actually pronounced ‘toilette’ as ‘toilet’ – I’d love to have seen him trying to maintain his composure when that happened! Yes, the Pretty Woman scenario crossed my mind too. November 14, 2020 at 11:15am Reply

              • Tourmaline: My goodness; that lady should not have been working at the perfume counter! November 14, 2020 at 8:11pm Reply

                • Carolyn Middleton: Indeed she should not! The irony of her quizzing my husband on his ability to afford the pure perfume while not knowing how to pronounce a commonly used word in fragrance vocabulary was lost on her, but not on him! November 16, 2020 at 10:17am Reply

    • Old Herbaceous: What a beautiful list! November 14, 2020 at 8:26am Reply

      • Tourmaline: Thank you, Old Herbaceous. I’m fortunate to have so many wonderful perfumes. November 14, 2020 at 8:28am Reply

    • Gina P: Are you referring to the current formulation of Oscar? I loved that perfume in my 20s but am afraid to purchase it now, because I’ve heard it’s nothing like it used to be. December 12, 2020 at 1:49pm Reply

      • Tourmaline: Hi Gina,

        No, I bought my first bottle of Oscar in 1985, and back-up bottles soon afterwards. I still have plenty of that stock left.

        Most of the older fragrances in my list were purchased soon after 1985, when I’d decided I wanted a fragrance wardrobe.

        The last time I smelled a recent release of Oscar in a shop would have been about 15 years ago, and it wasn’t too bad. I’m interested to try the latest version. December 13, 2020 at 1:38am Reply

        • Gina P: Well, I just ordered it. If it’s trash, I’ll find out! (Will let you know….) December 13, 2020 at 2:21pm Reply

          • Tourmaline: I look forward to hearing what you think of it! December 14, 2020 at 6:10am Reply

  • Marsha: Very nice article and video, Victoria. It gave ideas of things like this in my own collection. By the way: I’m glad to see that I’m not the only person who has books stacked in their apartment! November 13, 2020 at 9:14am Reply

    • Victoria: There are too many books. Floor space is there for a reason. 🙂 November 13, 2020 at 10:09am Reply

      • Mel: Which reminds me! Victoria, I would love some of your suggestions for books to read during lockdown! This is a great time to knock off the big warhorses – i.e. War and Peace, Life and Fate, Anna Karenina, Middlemarch – but I’m sure you have some more obscure suggestions! I’m just re-reading the Master and Margarita – so delightful! November 13, 2020 at 9:01pm Reply

        • Klaas: Hey Mel and Victoria, maybe we could do a ‘recommend me a book’ thread sometime? It would be great to hear not only from Victoria but also from the other people here what books they’ve recently read and recommend? Just a suggestion…. November 14, 2020 at 7:32am Reply

          • Old Herbaceous: I love that idea! I may borrow it! November 14, 2020 at 8:28am Reply

          • Mel: Great idea! November 14, 2020 at 8:39pm Reply

  • Mara: Dear Victoria,
    Thank you so much for another brilliant (and mostly inspiring) article!

    Please, could I add my choice?
    It is “RIEN” from État Libre D’Orange -utter olfactory richness, complexity and luxury!

    All the best! I look forward to reading your next little treasure! November 13, 2020 at 9:18am Reply

    • Victoria: I can’t agree more on Rien. A singularly dramatic perfume. November 13, 2020 at 10:10am Reply

  • Nancy A.: Hi Victoria,
    Iris Poudre, L’heure Bleu, Bois des Iles would be my choices. Hotel Costes music can be down loaded when wearing the fragrance. November 13, 2020 at 9:52am Reply

    • Victoria: Nancy, can you please leave the website field blank when you log in to comment? As indicated, it’s optional. Otherwise, a broken link that you include lands your comments in spam. Thank you. November 13, 2020 at 10:07am Reply

    • Victoria: Lovely choices! November 13, 2020 at 10:12am Reply

  • Alicia: Thank you….brings back memories of these beautiful creations! They all make thoughts a little brighter!!!! To me fragrance is life in its most lovely form that fills the heart and imagination! November 13, 2020 at 9:58am Reply

  • Carla: I haven’t yet watched the video but what a wonderful picture of you seated at the table!
    I like your Jasmin et Cigarette recommendation.
    I wear Une Fleur de Cassie when I want to feel dressed up, if I had to pick one… November 13, 2020 at 9:59am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you! Good times. 🙂 November 13, 2020 at 10:13am Reply

  • AndreaR: Hands down, Chanel’s 31 rue de Cambon. November 13, 2020 at 10:07am Reply

    • Victoria: I need to wear it one of these days. It’s been a bit neglected lately. November 13, 2020 at 10:13am Reply

  • deborah: Wow what a great prospective and I so appreciate my fellow devotees contributing their picks! I have a remix sound track called hotel Costes – now i’m intrigued to try the fragrance you mention! And I feel dressed up in vintage Ralph Lauren Safari – and LOVED LOVED Poison that Tourmaline reminded me of. Victoria, you’re such a beautiful boost for me, thank you! November 13, 2020 at 10:14am Reply

    • Tourmaline: Hi Deborah,

      I remember when Poison first came out, and how exotic and “purple” it seemed. I still have plenty of my original, and it remains a wonderful, unique fragrance. November 13, 2020 at 10:57am Reply

      • Old Herbaceous: I remember when it came out too! My late mother bought it to try for herself and quickly decided it really was NOT her style at all (her lifelong scent was Chanel No. 5 with an occasional foray into Opium, Norell, and White Linen), so she gave it to me. TBH, it wasn’t really “me” either but I felt so sexy wearing it! November 14, 2020 at 8:31am Reply

        • Tourmaline: Given your late mother’s other fragrance choices, I can imagine that Poison might not have been for her.

          I remember the sales assistant (of all people) saying that she thought it smelled like Ribena, but it’s far more complex than that. I like wearing it with black clothing and amethyst or rhodolite garnet jewellery. November 14, 2020 at 8:41am Reply

  • Allison C: Lovely post! I have been seeking out scents to make me feel more elegant. I have worn “L’heure Bleue in edp, Baghari by Robert Piguet, and I have an old bottle of Eau d’Hermes that transports me to another world and era.

    I’m curious if you’ve tried Bel Ami Vetiver and if so, what you thought of it. November 13, 2020 at 10:18am Reply

  • Alison: Shalimar, Poison and Opium. I’m an 80s girl and these are my feel special perfumes. Shalimar in at number 1. November 13, 2020 at 11:03am Reply

    • Sandra: Shalimar is my #1 too (and all her flanker children) November 13, 2020 at 11:24am Reply

  • Tara C: Mandarine Mandarin, Costes and Musc Ravageur are on my list too. I’ll add El Attarine, MDCI Fêtes Persanes and PdE Cuir Ottoman, Aziyadé, Ambre Russe and Wazamba. November 13, 2020 at 11:06am Reply

  • Sandra: Ciao Victoria-

    Even during the shut down I never stopped dressing up. As we have emailed about languages, my goal was to dress up in something Italian for my Italian lessons. I know that is funny, but it helped. Also I wouldn’t forget perfume…

    These days Shalimar has been my queen but there have been others..

    Yesterday I wore a beautiful Gretchen Scott dress with her sexy collar, and paired it with Chanel Chance Eau Fraîche. I know that many perfumistas don’t love the Chance line, but it gives me a Chanel lemony lift.

    Living in NYC, many New Yorkers love to wear black ( a lot) But his autumn I can’t do it. Todays autumn pallet is shades of pink and gray with a touch of black but only the perfume bottle that is, Coco Noir Extrait de Parfum.

    Other perfumes that I have paired:
    la Danza delle Libellule with a pink tulle ballet skirt.
    Twilly- leather skirt, silk scarves
    Caron Parfum Sacre- turtleneck, a Missoni zig zag inspired skirt..
    When I want to blend in with the New Yorkers all black and Coco Mademoiselle or something from Le Labo. Thats what the streets always smell like to me… November 13, 2020 at 11:19am Reply

    • Old Herbaceous: Ooh, I am so impressed by your style! Pink and gray, how perfect. And I agree, there’s enough darkness in the world right now, no need to add more blackness to it. Love your Twilly combo! November 14, 2020 at 8:34am Reply

  • Natalie: I realized that I don’t have any perfumes that would fit the category of making me feel dressed up. I have perfumes that feel like an extension of myself and my personality. When I am dressed up I honestly don’t feel like I’m being myself. But, if I had to choose I do have a sample of Portrait of a Lady which feels dressy to me and not something I’d gravitate towards usually. November 13, 2020 at 11:29am Reply

  • Patricia Devine: I lead a casual country life and am usually up to my knees in mud or simply trying to keep warm, so I don’t wear my ‘dress up’ perfumes very often – I don’t like to dress up anyway, having done so much of it when I was younger! But they are the old grand frags: L’Heure Bleue, Chanel No5, Phul Nana, Joy, etc, plus more modern ones like First, Diaghilev, and Paris. November 13, 2020 at 11:41am Reply

    • Debby: I have a similar life, but I wear all my most dressy perfumes whenever I fancy, it tickles me to be wearing Shalimar to rake leaves or dig the compost heap. The outdoor air has a delightful effect on rich fragrances, you may find things to enjoy about them you hadn’t noticed before. The way I see it, they’ll just get wasted otherwise, especially now. November 13, 2020 at 12:28pm Reply

  • Tati: What a great topic. My go-to glamour scent is Malle’s Une Rose, but a close second is Chanel’s Coromandel. November 13, 2020 at 12:01pm Reply

    • Kathy: Two wonderful perfumes. November 13, 2020 at 2:32pm Reply

  • Debby: Lovely article and video!
    I really need to try Vol de Nuit, but it sounds intimidating, scents like that can go horribly wrong on my skin.

    My choices are:
    Zoologist Nightingale
    FM Portrait of a Lady
    Montana Parfum de Peau
    Schiaparelli Shocking November 13, 2020 at 12:34pm Reply

  • Sherine: Lovely article and video; thank you for initiating the conversation. I have been doing the same, and find myself drawn to many classics to feel dressed up. I have been wearing Guerlain Mitsouko (also the name of my Siamese cat), and Spiritueuse Double Vanille & Nahema. Also, Maison Francis Kurkdijan Oud Satin Mood extrait, and Absolue Pour le Soir. Also lately enjoying Meleg Russian Leather and Hiram Green Slowdive . November 13, 2020 at 1:14pm Reply

  • Silvermoon: Loved your choices, Victoria (both video and article). So, although clearly some perfumes are more dressy, glamorous or elegant, I never feel constrained to wearing them to “occasions” or special events. And I happily wear wherever my mood takes me (staying in or going out).

    Some of my favourite elegant/dressy perfumes are: Nahema, Portrait of a Lady, L’Heure Bleu, Baghari, Maai, Musc Ravageur, Fleur de Cassis, Parfum de Therese, and many more. Interestingly, I think of perfumes like Iris Poudre, Nightingale, Une Rose (mentioned here) as wonderful daytime and casual dressing perfumes. November 13, 2020 at 1:19pm Reply

    • Tati: That’s so funny because my signature perfume would be Fleur de Cassis because I find it perfect for any occasion. November 13, 2020 at 4:19pm Reply

      • Silvermoon: So, yes, exactly my thought too. I think FdC is very elegant, but would wear it on any day and any time – elegant but for anytime wear. In fact, I rarely wear FdC in the evening. All mentioned in the first list fall into elegant/dressy but anytime category. The second list are those that others have mentioned as dressing up perfumes, but I don’t necessarily think of them as such. Sorry I wasn’t clearer in my words. November 13, 2020 at 4:59pm Reply

  • Silvermoon: Victoria, you mention attars in your video. I have never tried any. Where is a good place (on the internet, if possible) to learn more about them? Are there any well known/high quality brands/ sources? Do they have known names (like perfumes)?

    Does anyone have suggestions of where to start and what to try. Thanks! November 13, 2020 at 1:26pm Reply

  • Jeanne Brett: I am looking for the closest fragrance to “Jolie Madame”. I absolutely adored this fragrance – it was me ! Cannot find the original formula available and would be over the moon if you could help. November 13, 2020 at 2:56pm Reply

    • OnWingsofSaffron: Hello Jeanne Brett, I don’t know where you live. However, Ebay is the answer to all vintages that are not available anymore. Yes, it can be a tedious search, singling out the over-priced. In my experience it is key that you know the boxes, the bottle shapes and the code numbers. Once you’re confident and can rely on the photos (not the promises in the text), you’ll find those vintages. Here is a link to the indispensable know-how on the codes (in which year the perfume was put on the market:, with reference to Dior in this case. November 14, 2020 at 12:55am Reply

      • Tourmaline: I’ve finally added this site to the “Favourites” on my computer, OnWings. Thanks for mentioning it again. November 14, 2020 at 4:25am Reply

        • Cornelia Blimber: Hi Jeanne Brett! Your signature perfume has been continued, I know how it feels. I had the same problem when Je Reviens was lost because of reformulation.
          Of course E bay is a good advice. On the other side, why not try to find another perfume that suits you as well? Ik guess you could like Parfum de Peau by Montana. A leather whith lts of character.
          Good luck! November 14, 2020 at 5:35am Reply

    • Tourmaline: Hi Jeanne,

      Please see Cornelia’s comment further below. November 14, 2020 at 6:48am Reply

  • Figuier: Great article! I use perfume like that too atm 🙂 my list would include some roses for sure: By Kilian Rose Oud & YSL Paris. Also glamorous tuberoses: I no longer have a bottle, but vintage Byzance, an oriental tuberose powerhouse, and – in the same family – CdG Daphme, which I drained a sample of years ago. Even recreating those scents in my memory is like getting into party mode. November 13, 2020 at 5:02pm Reply

    • Nancy Chan: Lovely post. For me, perfumes that make me feel dressy are Frédéric Malle’s Lipstick Rose, Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle and Dior J’Adore Touche de Parfum.

      I also complete the dressed up feel with nail polish. November 13, 2020 at 5:53pm Reply

      • Tourmaline: I LOVE nail polish, especially a bright red or pink that matches my lipstick. I wear it all the time. November 13, 2020 at 11:53pm Reply

        • Nancy Chan: Nail polish application is what I look forward to doing every weekend since the lockdown. Deciding which colour to paint my nails and the whole process is so relaxing, plus a lovely way to add colour. I’ll have to thank Matilda for this. She is an Australian YouTuber, whose videos are so well presented and unique. November 14, 2020 at 11:07am Reply

          • Tourmaline: I agree about the process being relaxing. I must take a look at Matilda’s videos. November 14, 2020 at 8:15pm Reply

          • Tourmaline: Hello again, Nancy.

            I thought I’d let you know that I watched Matilda’s manicure video, and as a consequence, I ordered a bottle of Orly – Bonder Rubberized Base Coat. I could use a very good base coat.

            One tip that I learned many years ago, but which Matilda doesn’t mention, is as follows. Once you have finished applying your final coat of polish and it is dry, take a Q-tip dipped in polish remover and carefully run it across the tip of each nail, removing a hairline width of polish. This really helps to avoid chipping, because when you tap your nail tips against a surface, you are not bashing the polish. This is especially useful with bright or dark colours of polish, on which chips are more visible.

            Thanks so much for introducing me to Matilda’s videos. November 18, 2020 at 6:50am Reply

            • Nancy Chan: Hi Tourmaline, so happy you liked the nail polish tutorial by Matilda. The Orly rubberised Base coat is excellent, my nail polish lasts the whole week. I usually change nail polish colour at the end of each week. No more naked nails after 3 days! 😉 November 18, 2020 at 12:19pm Reply

              • Tourmaline: Hi Nancy,

                I’m pleased to hear that you, too, find that base coat excellent. I can’t wait to try it! I usually apply a fresh colour every week as well. 🙂 November 19, 2020 at 4:22am Reply

                • Nancy Chan: Finally, use a glass file to file your nails. It gives a smoother edge to the nails, so much better than the metal nail files. November 19, 2020 at 12:14pm Reply

                  • Tourmaline: Thanks, Nancy. I’ve been using emery boards – probably even worse than metal! November 19, 2020 at 8:52pm Reply

  • Nancy Chan: Apologies, my comment was posted in the wrong place. November 13, 2020 at 6:00pm Reply

  • Tourmaline: Here I go again…

    Don’t you men ever get dressed up? What about when you go to a wedding or the opera or an art gallery? I’d love to know whether you ever wear tails – they look so elegant. But also, what fragrance do you wear with your good jeans and a jacket? November 13, 2020 at 9:03pm Reply

    • Fazal: As a man, I will answer this question. I think I will wear casual fragrances with a good jeans and jacket. Marketing has power to shape perceptions and my perceptions of what goes with jeans and a jacket has been shaped too much by (I am ashamed to admit) Calvin Klein advertising of 80s and 90s. Without that CK ads, I might have thought of more formal fragrance pairings with jeans and jacket because jacket is a more formal piece of clothing. Jeans and t-shirt def. looks casual but jacket changes the equation. November 13, 2020 at 9:51pm Reply

      • Tourmaline: Yes, marketing certainly influences our perceptions more than most of us would care to admit, so I can understand the association betwee good jeans and jacket and CK fragrances. November 13, 2020 at 10:38pm Reply

      • Victoria: With everyone’s permission, the comments removed and we can return to the discussion of perfume. Thank you. November 14, 2020 at 4:27am Reply

        • Tourmaline: Thanks, Victoria. November 14, 2020 at 6:15am Reply

      • Victoria: I myself admit that the marketing has also influenced me. If I think about it in theory, I also would pair jeans with something casual. In practice, though, I wear whatever appeals to my mood. Actually, another good topic along these lines would be casual perfumes. What makes for an ideal casual fragrance? November 14, 2020 at 4:31am Reply

        • Fazal: I will be more careful with my words in the future.

          Having said that, an ideal casual fragrance is something that behaves more like a deodorant than a perfume. It is pleasing to the nose but not intriguing or mysterious. It is meant to put others at ease, not to befuddle them as a complex formal perfume does. It is both easy on the nose and on the mind. November 14, 2020 at 5:30am Reply

        • Nancy Chan: I totally agree with you. I can and will wear my most dressy perfumes with my casual /smart work clothes with my trainer shoes. It all depends on how I feel on the day. Life is too short to reserve the best or more expensive perfumes for special occasions, everyday is special. November 14, 2020 at 11:16am Reply

    • John Luna: It’s funny, I’ve been meaning all week to catch up with this post and this morning (Sunday) I had the pleasure of reading in bed and read this piece as well as a very interesting one on a great clothing blog, “Die Workwear!” about shoes accompanying dress-casual wear and suits (the theory: you can wear most kinds of ‘dress shoes’ like derbies or loafers with most kinds of business attire, but oxfords should only be worn with suits.) One thing I love about that blog is that the articles are always associated with a wonderful range of archival photos serving as illustrations and inspirations…This one showed images that included Steve McQueen in chinos and suede chukka boots, Prince Phillip in a tweed suit, sweater vest and elegant tasseled loafers, and Cary Grant sporting a full cut flannel suit and smart cap-toed oxfords yet still looking ready to perform a screwball tumble (doesn’t he always?) The best of these examples were both formal and a bit rakish (I can’t really pull off using the word ‘sprezzatura’ in a sentence — let alone embody it — but I think that’s what it was).

      Anyway, I work five or six days a week in a jacket & tie, blazer & slacks or a suit; mostly it’s the latter because it is so straightforward and because I find them comfortable. The right grey flannel or tweed suit feels like a pair of pyjamas (my wife teases me about this opinion a lot if you’re wondering.) While I do think about ‘dress up’ scents, I also think about office-appropriate fragrances as well and I know that both of these agendas influence what I wear on the weekend. Some compositions I just can’t bring myself to wear to work because they seem too beautifully removed (Eau Sauvage), too romantic (Fahrenheit) or too soft-spoken as the day wears on (Caron Pour Un Homme); as it happens, I’ve worn all three of these as signatures in varying chapters in my life, but here I am at the plateau of middle age in need of measured doses of beauty, romance, comfort and (yes) detachment, all of which I’d like to think can belong to some conception of elegance. I love Guerlain’s Vetiver as an almost all-purpose scent that can become elegant or pyjama-ready (real PJ’s this time), but the fragrance I wear most often year round now is Habit Rouge Eau de Toilette, whether in a suit or a tee-shirt. Given that your video mentioned the ‘dress up’ quality of orientals, vintage classics and white flowers, you’d thing HR would be a perfect storm of unwearable formality but I find it very warm and wearable. Can anyone explain why this might be? November 15, 2020 at 6:58pm Reply

      • Tourmaline: Hi John,

        I’ve learned two things from your comment: the first being that Oxfords should only be worn with suits, and the second being the word “sprezzatura”. There is this long-standing idea that women, especially young ones, can throw on a pair of jeans, their boyfriend’s shirt and “the no makeup look” (which involves minimal makeup), run their hands through their hair and approximate this “studied carelessness” (the Oxford Dictionary). I suspect that mainly model types can achieve this!

        I envy the way the right suit can feel like pyjamas to you. I would love to feel that comfortable in a trouser suit, comfortable enough as a well-fitting one is.

        Quite apart from the fact that some fragrances would be inappropriate in most workplaces, I think it’s probably good that you have some fragrances that you don’t wear to work. It’s good to have some that you will never associate with work.

        As I said to Klaas, I plan to buy a bottle of Guerlain Vetiver. I could wear it with a comfortable trouser suit! I bought a bottle of Habit Rouge several years ago. I recall smelling it for the first time about 35 years ago (prior to its reformulation) and thinking that it was a fragrance for women, because it was so sweet. Fragrantica says that it has “warm oriental balsamic notes in the base”; perhaps this partly explains the fact that you find it warm. If you wear other Guerlain scents, then perhaps the Guerlinade also helps to make it familiar and comfortable for you. November 16, 2020 at 6:03am Reply

        • Cornelia Blimber: Hi Tourmaline! Sprezzatura (studied carelesness) is in my opinion something else: spend time before the mirror, careful choice of clothes and accessoires, sophisticated make up, and still give the impression that you were born like that.
          Some women can achieve that elegant nonchalance. Princess Diana was one of them. And Jacqueline Kennedy. November 16, 2020 at 6:56am Reply

          • Tourmaline: Thanks, Cornelia. I have a better understanding of the term now.

            Perhaps I was on the right track when I was suggesting that a woman might apply makeup in order to look as though she’s wearing none. November 16, 2020 at 7:05am Reply

        • John: Hi Tourmaline,

          The “sprezzatura” question is interesting… it pops up in ‘The Courtier’, a Renaissance-era guide to comportment for aristocratic social climbers written by Baldassare Castiglione. I think it is a matter of looking a bit careless (in a practiced way, as you point out), but I’m not sure a person has to be beautiful to pull it off…

          A lot of the men who might embody this quality in a classical way now (the kinds of weathered but poised older men from Florence, New York or Tokyo who get their picture in Scott Schuman’s Sartorialist blog) seem both beaten up yet put together…and a bit sensually so. The equivalent might be something like the French idea of the jolie-laide? Good style (especially the kind that is self-aware but easygoing, and requires a bit of initiation or invitation to fully appreciate) is so appealing… I sometimes wonder if less conventionally ‘beautiful’ yet compellingly magnetic characters (say, Serge Gainsbourg or Georgia O’Keeffe) represent the kind of person whose talent overflows into body language, composure and, inevitably, clothing.

          Anyway, I appreciate your insights about the warmth of Habit Rouge. For me I think it’s the contrast of the beautiful (that citric opening) the slightly ‘too-much’ (the baroque rosy heart) and the slouchy (that patchouli). IMHO, we all need a little slouch in our stride to be truly, carelessly elegant. November 16, 2020 at 2:39pm Reply

          • cornelia Blimber: So it is to find in The Courtier..good to know, thank you. I will read that book, because I heard the word a lot. I know what it means in Italian, so I thought it means having a good style, wearing excellent clothes etc., but showing a certain contempt for the whole thing,
            giving the impression that you don’t care too much. Certainly not about beauty, but about attitude, style. As you said, ”carelessly elegant”. November 16, 2020 at 5:02pm Reply

          • Tourmaline: Hi John,

            I am interested in the book you mentioned, and am delighted that there are cheap (and I mean cheap – US$3.00) copies available at Abe Books. Reading more about the meaning of “sprezzatura”, I am reminded of something that a colleague once said about a fellow worker: “Her simplicity belies her sophistication.” You are right; beauty is quite irrelevant to the concept.

            I have Peter to thank for introducing me to the concept of “jolie-laide” – exemplified by a person such as Vincent Cassell, perhaps. I had to google Georgia O’Keeffe, and seeing photographs of her, I agree that she could fall into the same category. Maybe the less conventionally beautiful sometimes try a little harder with their body language and visual presentation. But many very beautiful people try hard too, e.g. the late Elizabeth Taylor. I agree that a little nonchalance goes a long way towards elegance.

            Good style is indeed appealing. I sometimes have to remind myself that “less is more”.

            Would you class yourself as metrosexual, John? You seem to have significantly more interest in, and insight into, male (and female) presentation than the average straight man. Or maybe it’s just the fact that I live in Brisbane, where men generally don’t pay as much attention to their appearance as do European men, for instance. November 17, 2020 at 9:12am Reply

            • John Luna: Hi Tourmaline,

              I don’t remember exactly when the term ‘metrosexual’ appeared on my radar, but I associate it with the explosion of grooming products for men and the rise of a ‘hipster’ aesthetic of skinny suits and eye-catching accessories (pocket squares, patterned socks, etc.) that attended it sometime in the mid to late 2000’s. I think I’m probably too committed to a slightly less dedicated model of personal grooming (my wife keeps trying to point out the value of skincare products to my decaying person, especially as an alternative to the highly flammable Pinaud Clubman aftershave). I am fascinated by clothing and by gender for sure (I teach art history and clothing and its codes are certainly a rich history… I also have a terrible thrift store habit.)

              I *am* very attracted to older notions of the dandy as they appear in Charles Baudelaire or Susan Sontag’s wonderful essay, “notes on camp”: a bit remote and a bit stoic (Baudelaire compares the dandy’s commitment to reserve to a Spartan boy stealing a fox from the market who refuses to cry out even as the fox gnaws at him beneath his jacket), much in line with Victoria’s wonderful illumination of the etymological roots of the word “sprezzatura” below. Also part of the conversation is Oscar Wilde’s notion that one should make much of seemingly unimportant things and little of seemingly very important things, as a form of misdirection, albeit not without clues… There is so often something a little ‘off’ in the appearance of the dandy (a collar that has become frayed through the use of a gold safety pin, a tie bar askew or a tie roughly tucked into trousers, or Fred Astaire or Gianni Agnelli wearing a wristwatch over a shirt cuff) that feels like life experience encoded as style rather than self-consciously cultivated. I guess metrosexual images as consumed in the media always seemed a little too fastidious to me; it’s interesting to try to follow the inevitabilities of sensibility and see where they lead you! November 17, 2020 at 6:11pm Reply

              • Tourmaline: Hi John,

                Thank you for another interesting and informative comment.

                Isn’t all aftershave (and perfume, for that matter) highly flammable? I guess some contain more alcohol than others. You can’t help which fragrances you like, unless you keep smelling more of them until you find one (or several) that you like even more. Ah, you teach art history; that explains a lot.

                I have found a copy of Susan Sontag’s essay at Abe books for US$3.30. I would buy it and “The Courtier” right now, except that, apparently, I have a total of 18 books in my Abe basket at the moment, and will have to decide what I want soonest! I didn’t know that older notions of the dandy included a level of stoicism. I also didn’t realize that the dandy often had something scruffy about him. Is Wilde’s suggestion of misdirection, a kind of planting red herrings as I see it, a strategy for use as necessary?

                In the example of Astaire or Agnelli wearing a wristwatch over a shirt cuff, are you suggesting that its convenience for telling the time is “experience encoded as style” (rather than a form of ornamentation, i.e. displaying a beautiful watch)?

                Is there a female version of the dandy? Would one example be a woman wearing a trouser suit (with or without a tie) and smoking a pipe?

                So I understand that you are not a metrosexual, preferring a simple personal grooming routine (despite your wife’s coaxing) and a more sedate style of clothing.

                I like your term “the inevitabilities of sensibility” (sounds like a new novel by Jane Austen)! For me, they have led to my obsession with velvet (especially silk velvet) and my large collection of velvet jackets and silk velvet scarves in jewel colours, as well as a growing collection of antique jewellery (especially Art Nouveau) – which goes well with the jackets and scarves! I have an increasing number of waistcoats, too. Then there’s the perfume… November 18, 2020 at 4:23am Reply

                • John: I’m not sure any aftershave ever smelled quite so redolent of rubbing alcohol than Pinaud Clubman… One reviewer once wrote that it smells like the accords have been purposefully blended to support an ‘alcohol’ note! Anyway, it’s tricky for me to try to explain why some choices (like a wristwatch over a sleeve) are markers of style rather than pragmatic status advertisement; but I guess that is one of the hazards of trying to describe and define style as it appears in others’ choices. I suppose I resist the term metrosexual because it feels too self-conscious, though I freely admit that one of the great dodges employed by men is pleading obliviousness. I do enjoy a kind of dishevelment and have tried to find ways to navigate it rather than suppress it? As for women who might belong in this conversation, my mind leaps to some random examples (Colette in drag, the poet Anne Carson, for some reason, maybe as an outlier who is nonetheless iconic, Patti Smith…) Regarding Sontag’s essay “Notes on Camp”, try Googling it; the last time I looked, you could find it for free online. November 18, 2020 at 3:57pm Reply

                  • Tourmaline: The smell of rubbing alcohol in the morning… John, wouldn’t you prefer a Guerlain cologne? Hey, dishevelment is easy; it’s staying neat that’s hard!

                    Yes, Colette in drag and Patti Smith are great examples. I had to google Anne Carson, but yes, she is as well. I did manage to download the Sontag essay for free; thanks for the tip. November 19, 2020 at 4:33am Reply

            • Peter: Aloha Tourmaline. Even though jolie-laide usually describes women, I like to use the term to describe certain men. My favorite is Jean-Paul Belmondo.

              We can’t forget the famous Coco Chanel quote:
              “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.” November 17, 2020 at 6:50pm Reply

              • Tourmaline: G’day Pekolo,

                Thanks for alerting me to the fact that “jolie-laide” is usually used to describe women. I’ve just googled Belmondo; it’s his nose that makes all the difference, in my opinion.

                Chanel was right. With some outfits and sets of jewellery (parures), I find it easy. At other times, I have to be a little firm with myself and ask, “What is the star of this outfit?” I try to keep in mind that every extra item I put on takes away some of the impact of the pieces I’m already wearing. I’m reminded of the analogy with words: “The more you say, the less people remember.” November 18, 2020 at 4:38am Reply

                • Peter: Hello again Tourmaline. I finally figured out that ‘beau-laid’ is the correct term for a man.

                  I like that last quote. That could be a lesson for me. November 18, 2020 at 5:35am Reply

                  • Tourmaline: That’s the perfect term, Pekolo!

                    Rest assured that it’s a lesson to me, too! November 18, 2020 at 5:37am Reply

          • Victoria: What a fun discussion, thank you! I like that book very much. It was Castiglione who coined the word “sprezzatura.” While “sprezzare” means “to disdain, scorn” in Italian, as you say, he used it in a much more complex way. In the context he used it, it is about nonchalance and dignity in all circumstances, especially the most trying ones. Obviously, an important skill for a courtier to have.
            Here is what the man himself says (Penguin’s English translation):
            “However, having already thought a great deal about how this grace is acquired, and leaving aside those who are endowed with it by their stars, I have discovered a universal rule which seems to apply more than any other in all human actions or words: namely, to steer away from affectation at all costs, as if it were a rough and dangerous reef, and (to use perhaps a novel word for it) to practice in all things a certain nonchalance (sprezzatura) which conceals all artistry and makes whatever one says or does seem uncontrived and effortless. I am sure that grace springs especially from this, since everyone knows how difficult it is to accomplish some unusual feat perfectly, and so facility in such things excites the greatest wonder; whereas, in contrast, to labor at what one is doing and, as we say, to make bones over it, shows an extreme lack of grace and causes everything, whatever its worth, to be discounted. So we can truthfully say that true art is what does not seem to be art; and the most important thing is to conceal it, because if it is revealed this discredits a man completely and ruins his reputation.” November 17, 2020 at 9:36am Reply

            • Cornelia Blimber: ”True art is what does not seem to be art”
              reminds me of ”ars est celare artem”’ (Ovid was very populair in the Renaissance)..
              Thanks to Victoria for the long quotation. November 17, 2020 at 10:06am Reply

              • Victoria: Thank you for pointing it out. Castiglione is certainly well-versed in the classics. November 17, 2020 at 10:25am Reply

              • John Luna: What a great pair of quotations! I love Ovid for his defence when called out for being too decadent by Augustus ‘I-take-myself-too-seriously’ Caesar: “Roma is, after all Amor spelled backwards.”

                Seriously though, one thing I enjoy about the talk about perfume is that, even among people like Victoria involved in the craft, there is a feeling of inclusivity and pleasure that is not always encouraged in discussions surrounding art or literature. I’ve been working for the past five years on an Ms. of prose poems related to fragrance, and have managed to publish about a third of it here and there, but it’s very hard to explain the overlap of these interests to some editors! November 17, 2020 at 6:27pm Reply

                • Tourmaline: I agree that, to put it bluntly, there is a high degree of snobbery in the realms of art and literature. In the latter, for example, there is often the idea that literary fiction is superior to genre fiction, and that its readers are of a superior type. But someone who enjoys the classics might well unwind reading an “airport novel”. Also, the term “chick lit” can be seen as a little patronizing. I’m sure there are many other examples. This issue is discussed very well in a post on the blog of Kim Wilkins, a Brisbane writer who has been published all over the world. Her 2013 essay/post, titled “Read, and let Read”, can be found with this link.


                  Your Masters thesis sounds interesting, John. Could you hazzard a guess at how many prose poems related to fragrance you have found? November 18, 2020 at 10:57am Reply

                  • John: Sorry I think I wasn’t ms. I meant manuscript (a book I’m writing.) November 18, 2020 at 3:26pm Reply

                    • Tourmaline: That’s even better! November 18, 2020 at 11:55pm

            • Tourmaline: Thanks, Victoria. This is such an interesting quote. I don’t completely agree with Castiglione, though. On the one hand, he says, “steer away from affectation at all costs,” but on the other, he says, “practise in all things a certain nonchalance”. Surely this is in itself a form of affectation or artifice. It’s all very amusing, though! November 18, 2020 at 5:43am Reply

              • Victoria: In a way, it’s true. I think that the best example of what Castiglione means is that of a classical dancer (he mentions the classical orators). Some who had worked hard to polish their skills and yet able to make their appear effortless and natural, without any evidence of strain. Which is why Ovid’s quote cited by Cornelia is so important to his concept. November 18, 2020 at 9:34am Reply

                • Tourmaline: Ah yes, it is certainly true in relation to ballet. I’ve heard that the trick is to make it look easy and comfortable when in fact it is difficult and usually painful to some degree.

                  However, if they are talking about people relating to others in the course of their day, then I would regard affecting a veneer of ease and nonchalance as artifice. But perhaps they are not talking about this sphere of life. November 18, 2020 at 9:44am Reply

                • Cornelia Blimber: I always thought that this famous words were Ovids… I was looking for the context (context is always important) an found out that it is not Ovids at all!
                  Sorry! still it is true.. November 18, 2020 at 11:59am Reply

  • Bettina: I can’t remember when I last wore a ballgown, but Amouage Ubar makes me feel like I am ready for a grand occasion. November 13, 2020 at 9:13pm Reply

  • Fazal: I agree with your choices of Jasmin et Cigarette and Bel Ami. Jasmin et Cigarette is my fav. in ELDO line and when I first smelled it, I immed. thought that it smells like those air-conditioned high-end luxury departmental stores or air-conditioned big halls that host social gatherings of upper-class professionals and where some are smoking so you get a whiff of tobacco smoke once in a while. I put the emphasis on air-conditioned because cool atmosphere was an integral part of my initial impression of Jasmin et. Cigarette.

    Bel Ami just screams formal. It’s one of those fragrances you cannot imagine in a casual outfit yet I think I might violate the rule sometime in the future 🙂

    You chose Musc Ravageur and it def. feels a special-occasion wear. My choice of most dressed-up in Malle line is original version of POAL, also my most favorite Malle. November 13, 2020 at 9:37pm Reply

    • Fazal: My other special occasion fragrances may include original versions of Dior Homme, Lang Cuiron, Eau Sauvage Extreme, BR540 edp (I think BR540 does not small same as Jasmin et. Cigarette but it gives the same vibe as Jasmin et Cigarette in terms of being a very modern composition that would not have been possible without the creation of new aroma-chemicals; both these are examples of those perfumes that I perceive to be as far as possible from the compositions of the previous century), and Givenchy Gentleman. November 13, 2020 at 9:44pm Reply

      • John: Hi Fazal,

        That sounds like a great line up! I remember the print advertisements for Eau Sauvage Extrême from my youth and was always curious to try it, but have heard that the reformulation circa 2010-11 (really a reboot, with ‘concentrée’ being replaced by the more voguish ‘intense’) is rather disappointing. Have you tried both? I generally try to keep an open mind about reformulations and use and enjoy both vintage and current versions of favourites like Vetiver and the original Eau Sauvage, but a revisioning is quite different from a reformulation… November 16, 2020 at 10:54am Reply

        • Fazal: John, I have not tried Intense version though I am curious. I only have bottles of the original one. I also have read online a lot to try to discern how exactly it may be different from the original. The impression I get is that it is, indeed, a whole other formula. Apparently, the reviews say that the new version has quite prominent mint note and the new version has similarities to Guerlain Pour Homme which I have but kinda hate it. Guerlain Pour Homme has quite a noticeable mojito note if that is something one fancies.

          I actually smelled Eau Sauvage Extreme in the late 1990s, few years ahead of Eau Sauvage which I smelled in 2001 or 2002 I think. Both are great but since I fell in love with Eau Sauvage Extreme which inspired me to try Eau Sauvage, I am a little more biased towards the extreme. However, it does puzzle me that some draw close connection between eau sauvage and original eau sauvage extreme though to my nose, they seem kinda different. Sure they both have citrus and have that fresh vibe but I find their respective styles to be quite different.

          However, if I ignore my personal bias and go for objective evaluation of both, I do think that Eau Sauvage is the overall better perfume and deserving of its classic status. I do not think Eau Sauvage Extreme is anywhere close to original Eau Sauvage in popularity. Dior does not even bother to market Eau Sauvage Extreme (or intense as it call its now) in most markets and probably the new formula was also created because original formula was not selling well. November 16, 2020 at 12:59pm Reply

          • John: Thanks for those thoughts! Those impressions align with what I have read as well. I love the original Eau Sauvage, and I guess one always wants more of a good thing, although restraint is, after all, a silent partner of the much-discussed elegance. November 16, 2020 at 2:15pm Reply

            • Klaas: IHey there, I wore Eau Sauvage Extreme in the 1980’s. Yes I’m that old 😉 It was a very different fragrance than the classic Eau Sauvage…..Dense, dark green, massive sillage and staying power. It was Dior’s answer to Anthaeus at the time, black bottle and all. It wore me rather than the other way around I’m afraid….

              I remember its fougere top with citrus, and lavender, its bitter green heart with rosemary, laurel and patchouli, and its wet, mossy base. I guess it was be described as ‘virile’ at the time, in a square jaw/chest hair kind of way.

              Like you say it never reached the classic status of the original Eau Sauvage, and for good reason. Original Eau Sauvage is a true classic: refreshing, sophisticated, playfull and so well balanced. It is also timeless. The Extreme is very much 1980’s and wasn’t taken off the market for nothing. I have yet to smell the new version. The flanker of the flanker……meh, I might pass…… November 18, 2020 at 5:05pm Reply

  • OperaFan: Iris Poudre is definitely a candidate for dressy wear.
    When I think, “dressed up” I think of aldehydic florals and chypres. So naturally my thoughts gravitates toward Chanel 5 & 22, but also VC&A’s First. I agree with the many entries for L’heure bleu – it has so much depth and richness that few can compare. November 13, 2020 at 9:53pm Reply

    • OperaFan: Maybe I should name a few Chypres-
      Sisley Eau du Soir (the pre-reformulated version) comes to mind, a more modern take is Dyptique Eau Capitale, and Amouage J25.
      I often wear Chanel Coco to the opera. It’s my L’Heure Bleu alternative among the classic Orientals. November 14, 2020 at 11:50am Reply

  • Peter: Mahalo Victoria, for this elegant post. You chose my favorite Guerlain, Vol de Nuit. Along with your readers, I also love Portrait of a Lady and VC&A First. I’ll add another classic, Chanel Cuir de Russie, and a modern classic, Zoologist Civet. November 14, 2020 at 12:26am Reply

  • Peter: Aloha Tourmaline. I know you love L’Heure Bleue, but I’m still going to crown Vol de Nuit as Queen Glamour! November 14, 2020 at 12:34am Reply

    • Tourmaline: Aloha Pekolo,

      At least it’s on my list! And here was I thinking that you were going to tease me over my love for velvet! November 14, 2020 at 12:50am Reply

  • Klaas: Hello all, for me there is nothing like a good vetiver to make me feel chic, elegant and happy. I don’t know what it is, maybe the dryness, the frankness of vetiver, the fact that most vetiver fragrances are paired with citrus and woody notes. So crisp and clean. It goes with anything, from jeans to tux to running gear.

    Sycomore is beautiful, as well as Guerlain Vetiver, Maitre Parfumeur & Gantier La Route du Vetiver, or even ELDO Fat Electrician….

    Now for lounging at home, my new love is Eau d’Hermes……leather, bergamote and geranium…..will turn any pair of pajamas into fance dress 😉 November 14, 2020 at 7:58am Reply

    • Tourmaline: I plan to buy a bottle of Guerlain Vetiver. I don’t know whether it still is, but it used to be the fragrance used by Australian model, Elle Macpherson. November 14, 2020 at 8:33am Reply

    • John: I love Guerlain Vetiver and do think it lives up to the (rather demanding) reputation of being just as appropriate with a tuxedo as in a flannel shirt. Does anyone have any thoughts about Tom Ford’s Grey Vetiver EDP in this regard? I’ve heard it feels more strictly office-formal, but, as full bottles are rather more expensive than the (purportedly similar) Guerlain, I’ve yet to put it through its paces. November 16, 2020 at 2:19pm Reply

      • Klaas: I’ve only samples Grey Vetiver but I remember liking it very much. It has a sparkling top with vetiver and grapefruit, and develops towards a ambery, slightly leathery dry down. It is very similar to the Guerlain, but Grey Vetiver is a bit more modern, suave and also more polished. To my nose, it lacked that distinct green, grassy kick that makes Guerlains Vetiver a tad old fashioned maybe, but also very chic and versatile. But the Tom Ford is also very good, for sure and definitely more modern. November 17, 2020 at 7:53am Reply

        • John: Thank you for those notes! I’ve ordered a small sample and will try it out…kind of funny timing (its very wet and pre-wintery here), but I always like wearing Guerlain Vetiver is we weather s perhaps it will be the same with Ford’s. November 18, 2020 at 4:00pm Reply

    • John: Also, speaking of Vetivers, does anyone have any thoughts to relate about Hermès’ Bel Ami Vetiver? I love the old Bel Ami, but did not see it on the (Canadian) Hermès website alongside Equipage (original not the Geranium flanker) and Rocabar under its so-called ‘Founders’ fragrances…Just Ellena’s new one with the Vetiver twist. November 16, 2020 at 2:22pm Reply

  • Old Herbaceous: What a fun topic, as we’re mostly stuck at home without glamorous occasions! Perfumes that make me feel truly dressed up, beyond just “elegant”:
    Amouage Gold (my fallback perfume when I really am dressed up and don’t feel inspired by anything else at that moment);
    Chanel No. 22;
    Papillon’s Bengale Rouge;
    Vol de Nuit;
    Amouage Memoir;
    Guerlain Parure;
    Ormonde Jayne Ta’if.

    I have so many other perfumes that make me feel elegant, but not necessarily “dressed up”, which I associate more with full-on formal wear, hair done, make up done, jewelry on. November 14, 2020 at 8:49am Reply

  • Matty1649: Wonderful topic. I’ve enjoyed reading all the replies.
    For myself the classic Guerlains.
    Musc Ravageur
    Lipstick Rose
    Coco Mademoiselle

    I can’t think of any more at the moment…..very fuzzy lock down brain !!!! November 14, 2020 at 9:41am Reply

  • Deanna: I agree with many of the above choices, but I noticed that not many Chanel perfumes were chosen, so I’d like to put forward my choice of No5 Eau Premiere, which I wore this morning on a dark rainy walk in London!
    Definitely not glamorous, but cheered me up. November 15, 2020 at 4:40am Reply

  • Tamsin: Mine is Sisley Eau du Soir and Ormonde Jayne Tolu November 15, 2020 at 10:10am Reply

  • Jodee: This is a great prompt. The fragrances that make me feel dressed up are:

    Bois de Iles
    Lalique le Parfum
    Coromandel November 15, 2020 at 3:18pm Reply

  • Terry Futrelle: Because so many of my favorites are already mentioned, I would only like to add, “Chamade”…I have worn this fragrance during the holidays, for dressy occasions, for many years. November 19, 2020 at 4:06pm Reply

  • rickyrebarco: Guerlain Shalimar and Isabey Fleur Nocturne definitely require one to be nicely dressed! I can enjoy them in my pajamas, but true enjoyment of these fragrances requires one to be properly dressed! November 19, 2020 at 9:37pm Reply

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  • Trudy in Recommend Me a Perfume : September 2021: I know I’m kind of late and not sure if anyone is still reading this months recommend posts but if you are: I’m looking for new perfume and I’d like… September 26, 2021 at 12:14pm

  • Linda in Recommend Me a Perfume : September 2021: Thank you all for recommending such intriguing scents for my walks, hikings. I cannot wait to test them and wear them. September 26, 2021 at 11:50am

  • Deanna in Recommend Me a Perfume : September 2021: Thank you Julien, and your wonderful description of the layers of Arpege inspired me to try again, with a fresh nose, as you say. Surprise – It Doesn’t Smell Off… September 26, 2021 at 11:38am

  • JulienFromDijon in Recommend Me a Perfume : September 2021: Chanel “Coco mademoiselle” would be a good start. Like “Miss Dior chérie” it has a natural jasmine veering on strawberry, with rose, on a soft oriental base. September 26, 2021 at 11:28am

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