Le Monstre: Let’s talk about Chanel No. 5

I wanted to understand Chanel No. 5 for the same reason I wanted to understand Shalimar. Maybe it’s intellectual curiosity, maybe it’s a desire to fit in, maybe it’s just bullheaded competitiveness, but if everyone else loves something, I want to understand why – even if I don’t love it too.

Just like with Shalimar, . . . → Read More: Le Monstre: Let’s talk about Chanel No. 5

The appeal of the fanatic

One of my favorite writers growing up was James Herriot, and one of my favorite quotes was from a short story of his about getting accidentally drunk sampling homemade wine. “An enthusiast is appealing but a fanatic is irresistible,” is the way I remember the quote, and I think of it often as I pursue, . . . → Read More: The appeal of the fanatic

The delight of acquisition

En route to a much-needed vacation, I decided to do a whirlwind shopping tour for some perfume. By whirlwind I mean I literally spent 24 hours in London and 24 hours in Paris.

Lots to talk about, lovely things (and a lovely conversation with the lovely Sarah McCartney of 4160Tuesdays!, which I had SPECIFICALLY wanted . . . → Read More: The delight of acquisition

On the other hand: value

OK, after all this defending of expensive perfume, let’s swing the other way for a while.

This week I’ve been snorting Bohemian Black, by House of Matriach, and my beloved vintage Vol de Nuit, which I was able to pick up at a relatively reasonable price from another perfume fanatic who was rehoming it.

If . . . → Read More: On the other hand: value

Elephant in the room

It’s not cool to whine, right?

I don’t want to be one of those websites where people come to complain. But there’s at least one company that I just cannot do business with any more. Their website is nonfunctional, the staff seem to be completely out to lunch; I’ve never had a transaction go smoothly. . . . → Read More: Elephant in the room

Roja Dove, Rock Star Parfumeur

I discovered Roja Dove perfumes at the spring 2013 Sniffapalooza, and I’ve been falling ever since.

It’s been quite a ride. Of course I knew about Roja Dove, parfumeur par excellence, before then; he’s the fellow that you see in any documentary about perfume (I’d seen the BBC miniseries), and I bought his book . . . → Read More: Roja Dove, Rock Star Parfumeur

Hoard porn

Good lord, where have I been? Let’s get back into the swing of things with hoard porn. Everybody loves hoard porn.

This is the glass tray of small bottles that lives on my small bureau. These live on a glass tray because that damn Montale bottle leaked and melted a circle into the finish of . . . → Read More: Hoard porn

A touch in winter

Loree Rodkin Gothic rings

Loree Rodkin was one of the scent lines I discovered at the Scent Bar in Los Angeles, a line from which the delightful Steve gave me samples of both Gothic I and Gothic II to consider further.

As You Know, I have been on a huge amber kick all year; there . . . → Read More: A touch in winter

Smell my leftovers

Something on my shirt smells delicious.

You have this situation, right? I wore this shirt, like, last week or something. I have no idea what this is. But it smells great. You’re delicious, scarily-large-molecules-that-are-clearly-not-organic-because-they-have-not-decayed.

I don’t know why, but it doesn’t make me that crazy not to know what it is. I own it, whatever . . . → Read More: Smell my leftovers


What are your favorite houses? It seems like every perfumista I meet or see online is a known fan of this or that house – they love L’Artisan, they’re a big Amouage ho (I’m a big Amouage ho), they adore Tauer perfumes or Jo Malone, and then of course there are the classics – Guerlain . . . → Read More: Houses