Thursday, April 7, 2011

My Top 13 Perfumes

I haven't even come close to smelling all the perfumes that are currently available, much less all the great vintage and discontinued scents. (I have dozens of samples I haven't even gotten around to trying, one of them might be a winner.) But knowing what I know now, these are the 13 perfumes I would take to a desert island, the ones I love unconditionally. It'll be interesting to see how much this list changes in a year. (My desert island movies, on the other hand, haven't changed much in a decade.)
  1. By Kilian Beyond Love (Calice Becker, 2007)
  2. Cuir de Lancome (Calice Becker and Pauline Zanoni, 2007)
  3. Donna Karan Gold (Calice Becker, Yann Vasnier and Rodrigo Flores-Roux, 2006)
  4. Etat Libre d'Orange Rossy de Palma (Antoine Lie and Antoine Maisondieu, 2007)
  5. Chanel Egoiste (Jacques Polge, 1990)
  6. Thierry Mugler Angel (Olivier Cresp and Yves de Chirin, 1992)
  7. L de Lolita Lempicka (Maurice Roucel, 2006)
  8. Estee Lauder White Linen (Sophia Grojsman, 1978)
  9. Sonoma Scent Studio Tabac Aurea (Laurie Erickson, 2009)
  10. Tauer Perfumes Incense Rose (Andy Tauer, 2008)
  11. Flower by Kenzo (Alberto Morillas, 2000)
  12. L'Ombre dans l'Eau (Serge Kalouguine, 1983)
  13. Guerlain Spiritueuse Double Vanille (Jean-Paul Guerlain, 2007)
A few close-but-not-quites, at least not today: Caron Le Troisiemme Homme (1985, I can't find the perfumer), Bulgari Black (Annick Menardo, 1998), Diptyque Philosykos (Olivia Giacobetti, 1996) (these three I ultimately prefer attached to John), Sonya Rykiel Belle en Rykiel (Jean-Pierre Bethouart, 2006), Teo Cabanel Alahine (Jean-Fran├žois Latty, 2007), Voile de Violette (Laurie Erickson, 2007), Ormonde Jayne Woman (Linda Pilkington, 2002), Une Rose Chypree (Andy Tauer, 2009), Agent Provocateur (Christian Provenzano, 2000) (on another day this might replace L'Ombre dans l'Eau; Anniebelle's Rose might replace them both if I could get Liz Zorn to give me a bottle), Gucci Rush (Michel Almairac, 1999), and so on and so on.

As you can see, my tastes run contemporary (clearly 2007 was my year -- six of the perfumes I've named here were released in 2007, almost half between 2006 and 2008), but that's because this is what's available now. We can keep watching classic movies in the same form over the years, but this isn't true of perfume. If a perfume doesn't sell or doesn't fit the new marketing image or what have you, they stop making it. If only perfumes could be downloaded and copied with the ease of music files.

37 comments:

  1. 6 and 7 gag me when I get within three feet of them!! I think because there was a point when every soccer mom in town found their "youthful side" in them (maybe an Indiana thing). :) My own list is heavy on the Creed (waaaay timeless), Estee Lauder (which I can't wear because my mother does and she wears them all so beautifully) then drops off to the 30bucksnunder stock (Pacifica's lilac and their sandalwood, the Body Shop's patchouli oil, various Anthropologie girly/kitschy scents). Oh, and CdG2 Flower Power, which my ex-husband bought on accident for himself but gave to me because it smelled like ink. And of course writers like the smell of ink. (This one does, fortunately.) :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I never, ever wear Angel because I know so many people hate it, but this is my DESERT ISLAND list, I can go berserk! I freaking love heavy, patchouli-riffic gourmands.

    I haven't tested the Creed line at all because I can't afford them anyway. (Of course, that's also true of #'s 1 and 13 ...)

    ReplyDelete
  3. OMG I know. I keep turning down the guy at Saks who wants to spray me with Creed. He's so polite, but I just have to say, "I can't afford it, anyway." Once upon a time, I inherited THREE bottles from the same fella who passed along the Flower Power. They all went bleh before I could use them up.

    Angel, to me, spells like a chocolate covered pine tree. That's pretty berserk, yup. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Mmmmmm, chocolate covered pine tree.....

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hee hee. Yes. I "spell" Angel c-h-o-c-o-l-a-te-c-o-v-e-r-e-d--p-i-n-e-t-r-e-e. :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Uh-oh. I actually do wear Angel in non-desert island situations. Is everyone secretly resenting my choco-pine-iness? More importantly: what are your desert island movies?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Truth be told, people may be resenting it, yes. It's kind of infamous.

    I'm planning to do a list of desert island movies too! Stay tuned.

    ReplyDelete
  8. It's the only perfume I wear that I've had strangers come up say "You smell delightful," etc. But I hadn't really thought there were silent resenters in addition to vocal appreciators (appreciaters?). Good to know.

    ReplyDelete
  9. It's a love/hate thang, but no one's going to come up to you and say "You smell vile." I mean, it's unlikely.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Do you have 10 ten scents for men? That would be interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Some of the above are designated as "masculine" or are sold as unisex (Egoiste, Tabac Aurea, Incense Rose, L'Ombre dan l'Eau), and the first three in my close-but-not-quite pile are masculine/unisex. But my sampling tends to lean feminine because there's more variety/range on the feminine side. It's similar to fashion. Women can wear skirts, dresses, pants, but men can only wear pants.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Kathleen, unless you're wearing Juicy Couture track suits and french-tip nails, we'll just say you're re-claiming what was probably once a very charming scent. :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Aw, thanks, Brooklyn; fortunately, I am never wearing those other items along w/ Angel. Also, unrelatedly, I appreciated your response to Goldsmith's latest Harriet post.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks for reading! :) It's hard for me to write a post like that without overusing the terms "Seriously??!" and "circle jerk," but sometimes those are the best possible options. :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. B, I've had the same thing happen, people act all weird about getting a link on Silliman's blog, like it's a great honor. I think he often posts links that were sent to him, so it's not clear that he's even read something he links to.

    Interesting, though: He linked to my blog last week and even though it was buried in a list of like 100+ links, people still clicked it. My name was misspelled though.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Seeing your name misspelled is less of a "Seriously??!", more of a "Really??!"

    I think I remember seeing somewhere, maybe even on the blog itself, that someone else maintained the blogroll on there. Maybe that same helper didn't know how to spell your name...

    Come on, E! Just be grateful you were mentioned -at all!- ;)

    ReplyDelete
  17. I know. Gift horse. Miracle-giving horse.

    ReplyDelete
  18. something weird happened to me: i once told him in a comment to take my name off his blogroll. he did, but then i noticed at least two other people took me off their own blogrolls, like they thought i was against all blogrolls or something.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hahahaha. No one likes a wet blanket, Matt!

    I was removed from his blogroll when I stopped updating my blog. I really think he has an intern or something who checks all that. At least, that's how I like to imagine things. Surely he didn't set up his -own- fan page on Facebook. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Why did you object to being on his blogroll?

    ReplyDelete
  21. it was just a spite thing--i was annoyed by something he wrote (about what i can't remember).

    ReplyDelete
  22. I wouldn't take you for an Angel or White Linen girl. Perhaps that's because I want desperately to be able to wear both of these (and have decants of both), because I have smelled and loved them on others.

    Both are hideous on my skin.

    Do love the Agent Provocateur, though - in fact, your post reminds me that I haven't worn it for awhile. Yummy, rosy saffron goodness.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi Josephine! I bet Angel and White Linen are the ones I wear LEAST on this list ... as in, hardly ever at all. But I LOVE the core accord in each and would hate to have to go without ever smelling them again.

    ReplyDelete
  24. PS- Kathleen, your post on Harriet was fun and it sparked a heated discussion just now between me and mine. I posted my response on my own blog. Hopefully nobody preemptively reports me to some CPS registry. :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Brooklyn, if only your blog could be blessed by a visit from the Enable Comments Fairy. :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. Matt, that still makes me laugh/frustrates me. I swear on a stack of Sillimans that I have no clue what else to throw at that blog to make comments magically enabled!! At one point, people could comment! I remember this!

    ReplyDelete
  27. With the risk of irritatingly repeating advice you've heard already:

    From the dashboard: settings -> comments -> "show"

    then, down the page, there's a choice for "comments default for posts": set the drop-down to "new posts have comments"

    If that doesn't work, I'd say your blog done broke.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Brooklyn, I liked this blog post, too! And would say so in your comments section, if you had one, instead of here in EG's (thanks, EG!).

    ReplyDelete
  29. You're welcome???!!!

    I still hate that I can't comment on your blog. Where's the geek squad when you need 'em.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I think I found a place to email those mufuggers directly. I just need someone who knows where the glitch is to un-glitch me.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Nope, I lied. It's a forum. :)

    ReplyDelete
  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Elisa, my desert island 13 would change from day to hour to minute. For instance, right now I can't get enough of my samples of Keiko Mecheri Attar de Roses (honeyed roses and musk), but when I first tried it in London 6 months ago, its thick musky syrup bugged the bejeepers out of me.

    I loved reading your list - it's fun to try to connect the dots between you and such disparate perfumes.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Katie, I love when delayed-onset perfume-love happens! Some of the above were instant love, but others took months or even years to fall in love with.

    I fully expect this list to change. I plan to revisit in six months to a year!

    ReplyDelete