Perfume Pen Pals: Chanel Coromandel, The Different Company Rose Poivree and Profumum Thundra


I literally recoiled when you said no one else likes our beloved Chanel Coromandel. Then I stuck out my chin and got all tough like, "I don't care!" Kind of like when an angry Britney fan wrote to me on YouTube a while back telling me I had a "head like a square box". Yeah, kind of funny, kind of true, then I deleted it.

Anyway, back to Coromandel. She is a little eccentric. The way I pile it on, I have friends begging me to roll down the car windows. But then others go in for a hug, get ensnared by Coromandel, and don't want to let me go. Maybe your women friends couldn't process a guy wearing something so filled with personality? But goodness knows your perfume collection has more personalities than Sybil, so they should be used to that.

The Different Company Rose Poivrée: I never experienced the original. It's still pretty armpitty, and I enjoy taking long draughts of it. Couldn't see myself wearing it though.

I’m circling Creed Angelique Encens at the moment. If only it didn't come in that flippin' bulk-buy sized bottle. You don't have Angelique Encens, do ya, Dan? Because I would definitely hit you up for some of that.

Have you smelled Profumum Thundra? It's unusual and potent and handsome: mushrooms on the damp forest floor. Wonder if you might like it? Might be too butch for you.



On Coromandel:
I wandered into the Chanel boutique yesterday to talk perfume with Venis (his real name) - before we were pen pals, I've had no one with whom to talk perfumes and I'm starving for conversation - and Venis told me that Coromandel is his favorite of the Exclusifs, too, but that it's the worst-selling one. I hope they don't discontinue it. It's odd that they launched so many scents at once and I can imagine them trimming back. I did smell the new one, Beige, which is very pretty, more of a traditional Chanel, and definitely more female than male.

On Rose Poivrée:
TDC changed it years ago, not long after the original came out, and while the new one smells armpitty, the old one was positively offensive. It smelled like several kinds of pits at once. It's the only perfume that has made me gag. And that includes Etat Libre d’Orange Sécrétions Magnifiques, which is actually kind of nice if you're in the correct mindset. (Which means you can't be thinking about blood or sperm or sweat when you smell it.)

On Angelique Encens:
I don't have it. I don't have any Creeds. I've smelled a few and not liked them at all. They all smell like my Uncle Tony, RIP. And while I'm sure people thought Uncle Tony smelled fine in his day, his day was fifty or sixty years ago. (Though in fairness I've only sampled the male Creed scents.)

On Thundra:
I've liked everything from Profumum, Thundra the most. Also, Acqua di Sale, which is a salty sea scent, but a very good one. I already own Heeley Sel Marin, though, which is similar, so Thundra is first. Thundra is next! (I can already tell you're not going to be a good influence on my budget. Maybe I've instinctively avoided these kinds of conversations for a reason.)

"Might be too butch for you."
Ouch. A fellow perfume lover taking a shot at my masculinity. I expect that from my dumb friends, but you? Although I guess it's better than saying I have a head like a square box. What an odd criticism.

The young people never fail to get all ad hominem on everyone's ass. You should tell that kid that having a head like a box means having good bone structure and having good bone structure means aging well and he and his stupid fleshy egg-shaped head can look forward to prematurely droopy jowls (if he lives that long). You've got to learn to speak the kids' language, Katie.

Okay, I've gone off the tracks and I'm surely infuriating you by now. I'm decanting for you tomorrow night. I'll just send you a bunch of stuff you might like. And, seriously, I have no perfume friends and over a hundred bottles of perfume. And I wear one scent per day. I can't possibly live long enough to wear everything I own. And I own more almost every week. My days are getting fewer, my bottles are getting greater, something has to give, Katie!



  1. A Postscript: The Dark Side of Perfume Pen Pals

    As predicted, Katie's mere mention of a long-ago sampled perfume, in this case Profumum's Thundra, encouraged a compulsion to buy, which was almost immediately followed by a compulsion to sell. The luxury of a full bottle does Thundra no favors. In the same way taking a summer trip across Europe with your old gym coach would probably do him no favors (spirited as he seemed in small doses). In fact, Thundra and your old gym coach possess a similar grim aroma of decay. But before you lose faith in the act of going off half-cocked and buying bottles of perfume without much consideration, future Perfume Pen Pals will tell joyful tales of reckless purchases being rewarded. And as any gambler knows, if you win just frequently enough, it's hard to step away from the table.

  2. Dan, I really think you took Katie's comment, "might be too butch for you", like a man. Way to go! I do enjoy your conversation with Katie and as a Katie fan from way back, it is always fun to see others being pulled into the Katie orbit. I am enjoying some perfume recommendations she provided and look forward to more of your conversations.

  3. Thanks Pino. Too bad I couldn't take Thundra like a man. Katie was right, it was too butch for me. (And too stinky.) Katie's almost always right. That's why she gets her own orbit. They don't give orbits out to just anyone. What did she recommend to you? Not Thundra I bet.

  4. Love the Rose Poivree, and have no idea which formulation I own. Makes you gag?=More for me. I recently wished I hadn't given away my Secretions sample as soon as I possibly could (I didn't want it in the house or near me). Yet to try Coromandel, but a local buddy is in love with it.

    Profumum: You've gotta try Victrix. One of my top 5 discoveries this year. Had to have it as soon as I popped the cap off the sample.

  5. If you smell rose in your Rose Poivree, Joe, you have the recent one. I've tried both and the first was all dirty parts. I wish I had kept it, for the novelty alone. I've sampled Victrix and my notes say, "a nice spicy pine, slightly sweet, no staying power." But it was a sample out of one of those tiny vials, from which almost everything has no staying power. Will try again.

  6. Katie recommended Stella and Stella Sheer. I liked them both. She also recommended Romance by Ralph Lauren, YSL, Marc Jacobs and Tocca. I am always looking for the perfect replacement for a long-ago fave Flora Danica. Thank goodness for Sephora and their little spritz sample bottles. I love the light florals but not so much the powdery, soapy scents. ALso nix on the vanilla and magnolia stuff. I am a Southern girl and like my magnolias bloomin' on the trees.