Perfume Pen Pals: Gorilla Perfume Flower's Barrow


As you already know, my parents were quite old, even when I was a little kid (especially then, it seemed), and Depression-era thrifty, so I grew up with a 1952 black-and-white Zenith console television. Its five or six channels were so grainy, it felt like an uncertain step between radio and TV.

Only in the late-70s did my father finally bring home a used color set, and while its reception was also poor, it had a big jerry-built box on top that allowed the family to use a remote control for the very first time. It was a way to watch what we weren't watching and at first I obsessively clicked and clicked and clicked that thing. (Actually each channel-change produced three audible clicks:, I bet my father wanted to wring my neck.)

I soon realized nothing worthwhile was ever on TV, especially not when I used the remote, a devious device that punished compulsion and gluttony. "You want to see everything?" it seemed to say. "Here's everything and it all sucks and you just wasted another night of your life, ha, ha, ha."

I'm currently enduring the perfume version of this. I've got a hundred samples, I wear something new every few hours, and I hate everything. Would I hate everything if I slowed down and settled in with something for a few days? Would I live long enough to then get through all my samples? Do you think the Dalai Lama worries about these kinds of things?

Here's some good news. Bucking the recent trend of awfulness is a perfume I suspect you'd appreciate: Flower's Barrow from Gorilla Perfume. It's a geranium rose, all green and clear and precise, minus any of Lush's sometimes burdensome peculiarities. It just smells really good – striking in its naturalness and clarity.

What's the point of all this, KP? I'm beginning to think my parents knew exactly what they were doing hanging on to that old Zenith all those years.



Your parents probably were onto something...but the Dalai Lama’s concerns might surprise you.

Here’s my buddy Michael Spicer “advising” His Holiness:


Comme des Garcons Odeur Du Theatre Du Chatelet Acte 1

Hi. Remember me? I used to do perfume reviews, regular-like. Then I went on a great big goofing-off jag, and in the process misplaced my lust for hunting and gathering smell intel. But once a fumehead, never not a fumehead, because today I tried a brand new perfume and suddenly needed to talk to somebody about it. And who do I know who’s all ears when it comes to matters of the nose? You, dear fumies. And I’m really grateful you’re here.

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.

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.