Sunday, June 24, 2012

My Early Summer Story of Eau: Top 10

Allow me to begin with my most worn Top 5 fragrances this month so far (with emphasis on the first 2, to which my heart truly belongs). My new number 1 just replaced my "signature" (that is, a master perfume to which I am devoted) which is now number 2. But Marc Jacobs Oh Lola is a spoiled brat and a sore loser, such a bad sport! So I've given them equal standing to avoid problems later. I still don't own actual bottles of all of my favorites, but I'm testing and patiently plotting away, as perfume lovers do (*innocent Care Bear smile, the equivalent of the virginal lily-of-the-valley soapy white-gloved Diorissimo sillage*, inside perfume joke, wink).

1. Tom Ford Neroli Portofino
1. Marc Jacobs Oh Lola
3. Caron Narcisse Blanc
4. Un Lys
5. L'Eau de Chloé

From my recent experiment with having a signature scent that I had to protect the name of in order to reap the promised rewards of having this titillating oh là là beauty secret, I've learned that being mysterious is overrated. I'm just such a blabbermouth, telling anyone who'll listen just what I think about each scent they ask about and more. Oy, I'm a failure of a "chic Frenchwoman" but it was fun trying.

Image: from

Between Oh Lola's familiar outline of Victoria's Secret Riviera Sun, Tom Ford Neroli Portofino's ironic resurrection of 4711 and all of my faithful perfumes-in-waiting, I love them all; I just can't be purist or monastic (monist?) enough for lack of discipline - for shame. Do I still revel in the quietly meditative, spirit-cleansing smoky incense married to that loud yellow attention whore that is Narcisse Blanc? Guilty as charged.

There's the spicy sweetness of the majestic lily flower with creamy vanillic petals that is Un Lys, beautiful enough for Catherine Deneuve, an actual Marianne symbol next to whom I'm not worthy enough to utter the holy name of the perfumer, and the just-stepped-out-of-the-shower musky dark-petaled rose, steamy, spa-fresh with a hint of naughty and telling Chypre undertone, L'Eau de Chloé. So many perfumes, so little time...

Yet, for whatever reason or maybe no reason at all, I've cut back on the number of fragrances in my rotation, sticking to one fragrance for relatively long stretches of time before the spell is broken again. When that happens, I hear "shut up and take my money" and feel honored to submit once more. I also like the following scents, although I've seldom had the chance to wear them, and some I just dream about.

6. Hypnotic Poison
7. Demeter Blueberry Muffin
8. Reb l'Fleur
9. Clinique Happy
10. La Chasse aux Papillons

Image: Mauboussin Histoire d'Eau perfume, an animalic spicy floral

These haven't gotten rotation lately but I still haven't let go of: Spring Flower, Jasmin Imperatrice Eugenie, Chamade, Chanel No.19, Chanel No.22, my occasional guilty pleasures Poison and Chloe (original) minis and small decant sprays of Cartier L'Heure Treizieme XIII, Carnal Flower and Musc Ravageur. Many of these were gifts, and I cherish them so.

Before I go, have you sampled anything interesting lately? I once read that men love spicy florals, and the fragrance pictured above (Mauboussin Histoire d'Eau) should fit that bill. Never sweet enough to be a gourmand which, as you know, is deemed cliché like the fruity floral, this skanky-elegant number smells special and unique, like a pungent and warm, spicy rose potpourri stew, not so much fruity as at the cusp of being overripe, like a postmodern aqueous Rochas Femme. It's totally not my style, but it could be yours.