Perfume Pen Pals: Frederic Malle Iris Hand Cream


As you know, ancillary products are not my thing. Aside from soap, toothpaste and perfume, I only use one product, this G.M. Collin Hydramucine Optimal Gel that I’ve been putting on my face for over ten years. I look okay with it and I’m almost certain I'd look okay without it, but at this point why take any chances?

Every other part of me -- which is to say every part not including my face, my teeth and my smell -- is in disarray, as a matter of both neglect and self-sabotage. My one hair concession is I’ll use a leave-in conditioner when my hair starts getting “poofy.” And I trim my eyebrows, but only when someone reminds me.

Poofy hair: a Dan no-no.

My hands are especially indefensible: dry skin, fingernails chewed to shit, callouses on both my index and ring fingers, the result of a lifetime of nervous...grinding. All of my internal discontent expresses itself in my damaged hands, which are in worse shape than those of a 1940s dock worker.

A reminder of this one area of neglect came from Susan on Valentine’s Day, when she gave me a tube of the new Frederic Malle Iris Hand Cream. I’ve spent my whole life switching between being in relationships and trying to be in relationships and were it not for those two dispositions, I don’t know that I’d ever leave the house.

Now I’m the last person who should review hand cream, I can’t compare Frederic Malle’s efficacy to anything else because I’ve never used anything else, but I can tell you the scent of this stuff is heavenly! It’s rich but not overbearing, just a smooth, serene iris. It’s completely at odds with my broken-down hands.

Here’s my question for you, user of ancillary products: is it frustrating when you find a great-smelling product that isn’t a perfume?

In a case like this, a perfume essentially had to be created. And because it smells so great, wearing the hand cream discourages wearing perfume as well. So why not also release it as a perfume?

I’ve been signing lots of petitions lately. Do you think I should start one for Frederic Malle, demanding he create a perfume with the same scent as his hand cream?

Which do you think would irritate Frederic Malle more: a perfume petition or having to see the condition of my hands?



I just tried the FM Iris Hand Cream the other day! I was really surprised by the smell, because it's not really perfumey at all. It's that austere, subtle, "distant bread" aroma that the classiest iris has. It's definitely a connoisseur's scent.

The smell is so enigmatic. It somehow smells like indoors and outdoors at the same time -- airless but also green, and vaguely woody. The scent of iris always seems to convey restrained, yet intense, luxury.

It's a transparent-enough aroma that it wouldn't clash with perfume -- am I wrong? Or is it that you enjoy the iris hand cream smell so much that it's all you want to smell?



Yes. The latter. I put it on before a run this morning and I kept smelling my hands. Y’know, discreetly, pretending I was wiping sweat from the tip of my nose or something.

It IS austere. Maybe the scent would carry more if I glopped it on my arms and my neck. It’s moisturizer, it doesn’t know it’s only supposed to be used on my hands.

So many of those hand lotions have bright, crass floral or citrus smells. I say from now on, all lotions and creams should be iris-scented. Am I speaking out of turn when I say that’s the scent everyone should want for a lotion?


Perfume Pen Pals: Anat Fritz


Lately I'm just wearing a bunch of lavenders and eau de colognes. Which makes me feel guilty because, jeez, why do I own so many damn perfumes if I'm perfectly fine wearing a simple lavender every day?

Maybe it's like those people who have to buy a big fat house before they realize they never wanted a big fat house. Except I always hate those people. They're so self-congratulatory about their stupid newfound life wisdom.

Perfume Pen Pals: Eris Parfums


Have you worn any of the Eris perfumes yet? It's the line created by Scent and Subversion author Barbara Herman with Antoine Lie. I got my samples and immediately put on Belle de Jour for no reason other than I’m compulsive and it’s the first sample my pudgy fingers pulled out of the bag.

Fumes in the News: What Stinks, Johnny Depp?

Johnny Depp: he who smelt it, dealt it.

Deep in the Mojave, Johnny Depp is rolling down his sleeves after fixing a flat on his Volvo 245 DL. Suddenly, a mephitic odor assails his handsome, kohl-rimmed nostrils.

What the...?”

Johnny's brow crumples into furrows, his mouth into a moue as he strains to identify the source of the stench.

Perfume Pen Pals: Le Labo Santal 33 and Diptyque Tam Dao


Have you ever gifted an expensive bottle of perfume to someone without knowing whether or not they’d like it? Which is yet another version of, “Are you sometimes stupid like I am?”

Beth is one of my only friends who loves perfume and despite that, she recently purchased a whole bottle of Le Labo Santal 33. Because she loves it. And as her friend, I should support her decision, there’s nothing riding on this, after all, it’s not like she’s joining a cult.