The Turin/Sanchez book inspired me to realize that perfume is really a pretty affordable luxury. Small bottles can be found for under $30 and larger bottles last nearly forever. Although I did, at my last address, finally throw out two old bottles I'd had since high school; like everyone else, apparently, I used to wear L'Eau D'Issey and Clinique Happy, the latter of which I take it on good authority hardly suits me. Weirdly, in junior high or maybe even earlier I was fond of White Linen, which even at the time I recognized was kind of an old lady fragrance. I think all three were presents from my grandmother. She may have also given me a bottle of CK One. I seem to remember wearing that for a while in 7th grade. Ironically, I felt original for eschewing Sunflowers and Vanilla Fields.
Here are some perfumes I've bought recently:
Juicy Couture - The original, not Viva La Juicy or Couture Couture. Still, sounds like it would be cheap fruity crap created for college students, but this is actually a very classy floral, mostly tuberose, I'm told. (I don't even know what a tuberose looks like.) I bought a teensy rollerball from Sephora and anticipate upgrading to full-size down the line.
J'Adore - This is just a very pleasant, not too strong floral which is nicely inoffensive for daily office wear.
Flower by Kenzo - A more forceful floral. I like this review in the column Scent Notes, especially since it compares Flower to my stand-by since college:
If one is to categorize it, I would hang it next to the brilliant work of abstract art that is Gucci Rush, which smells like being in a fabulous hair salon — the sprays, the shampoos, the metal sinks, the hot blow-dryer air. It’s Flower’s second act that smells like an abstract art concept: the idea of a flower, all the flowers you ever smelled, but perfected, flooded with halogen light (this thing must be loaded with methyl dihydrojasmonate, a molecule like liquid light), smoothed with powder.C.O. Bigelow Winter Lemon - I bought the lotion and liked it so much I went back and bought the eau de cologne the next day. I think this is for men? It doesn't smell at all like cleaning products. It's got a bit of fig and clove in it that really do make it smell dark and wintry; it reminds me of lemons that have started to turn and shrivel so they lose that bright edge. Smells both masculine and pretty to me.
Angel - This was another small bottle purchase. I liked Angel when it first came out and was a big deal, but remembered it being mostly chocolatey. The review in the guide convinced me it was more complex than I remembered, and it really is. It smells crazy, lasts all day and keeps changing; it almost smells different with every spray, sometimes fruitier, sometimes with an almost bugspray-like off note. Sort of addictive.
Here are some I want to buy:
Carolina Herrera - This was the signature fragrance of my best friend's mom when I was in jr. high and high school, so I associate it with the '90s. Because my mother doesn't wear perfume, it seemed very glamorous. Surely I'm old enough to pull it off now.
Envy - An expensive-smelling green (obvi) floral.
Notorious - I've never smelled this, but the description is sooo enticing: "a bracingly chilly gin-and-Campari top note, then a whiskey-cola middle section." Mmm, remind me to order a Negroni later. Don't worry, I'll smell before I buy. Some of the stuff these guys like smells atrocious to me. So far, almost anything launched more than 30 years ago. Maybe my nose needs training?