Perfume Pen Pals: The Party in Manhattan by The Party


Okay, my perfume decants have started rolling in and it should be no surprise that The Party in Manhattan (by “The Party”) immediately went to the front of the line.

Its name is perfectly awkward, like it comes from Sweden or The Netherlands or someplace where smiles and enthusiasm trump a facility with the English language. Plus, I doubt anyone who's ever been to Manhattan would name an eau de parfum The Party in Manhattan.

I started pronouncing The Party in Manhattan in a Dutch accent thinking it was slightly more indulgent than a Norwegian accent. But then just hearing the words "Dutch accent" in my head made me think of Rod Stewart's "You're in My Heart" ("the big bosomed lady with a Dutch accent who tried to change my point of view...") and while I have an affection for Rod Stewart, even during his mid-70s decline (which in retrospect was nothing compared to his late-70s decline, let alone his 80s, 90s and 00s decline), I don't want to think about Rod Stewart when I'm wearing perfume. So I've gone back to my Norwegian accent, which, truth be told, is no different than my Dutch accent, and now I'm never getting this Rod Stewart song out of my head.

But I digress. In short, The Party in Manhattan isn't all that. It goes on as an old-fashioned floral, not far off from the peachy-jasmine-rose of Parfums MDCI Enlevement au Serail, though slightly less rich, but then it takes a quick turn.

From the LuckyScent site: "As the fragrance develops and the musky carnality of the base is revealed, with mossy woods, patchouli and amber, the seduction is complete."

Katie, the "musky carnality" hit me in minute five! There was no seduction. This thing started disrobing as if it already had six drinks in it.

It reminded me of a recent evening out with a young woman. After dinner, we returned to my loft, I used the restroom, and upon exiting, I saw her sitting on my couch watching porn! In my house! On my pay-per-view! In fairness, she did offer to pay for it. Though the painful part isn't the paying for the porn, it's the seeing the porn bill. (They don't edit down those movie titles.) I don't mean to sound all Ward Cleaver, but what the hell is happening? Have we all gone insane?

Unfortunately, The Party in Manhattan is a continuation of this insanity, a slightly dirty jasmine quickly followed by a really dirty jasmine (and whatever else makes perfume smell sweaty and carnal, I don't know what it is, maybe I should ask the pay-per-view lady). It's a less graceful Enlevement. It's Enlevement shopping at Wet Seal.

The odd thing is, after the va-va-voom phase, The Party in Manhattan calms some and returns to an old-fashioned floral, though still a little musky. I don't know if this is truly a phase or if my nose just gets desensitized to all the carnality and before long pornography doesn't even seem pornographic. Because I hear that's how it works.

Luca Turin would smack me across the head for saying this, but I think I prefer to remain innocent for a while longer. "You're in my heart, you're in my soul, you'll be my breath should I grow old..."


P.S. But, seriously, can you imagine someone walking into your house and dialing up porn? On a second date! I'm not the crazy one, they're the crazy one!

P.P.S. I find I'm saying that more often lately, which I think means I'm the crazy one. Shit.


  1. Dan, you crack me up. You make The Party in Manhattan smell sleazy and skanky, while I find her kind of stodgy and skanky. Too old-fashioned to be wearable, unless you're going to some ballgown + velvet drapes shindig out of some period film. I liked The Party slightly more than Jubilation 25 (in the same vein), but really, I didn't like either of them.

  2. Thanks Pino. Now let's twist Katie's arm to tell us her favorite pay-per-view story.

    And, ahsu, at least we agree on the skanky. We agree on the stodgy, too, but I don't mind that side of The Party in Manhattan. I wouldn't want to smell it every day but I think the occasional re-contextualization of old-fashioned perfumes can be fun. And if *I'm* wearing them, that's enough re-contextualizing to make your head hurt.

  3. Dear Katie & Dan--
    I've been lurking around your site for a while now, and let me say, I'm totally impressed. I LOVE the pen pal format-- such a breath of fresh air in the world of perfume reviews!
    This review is the one that got me to your site, and it made me a huge fan.
    I've linked you up at my blog,, and I'm hoping that at some point you might check my blog out, and consider a reciprocal link.

    Wishing you all the best, your Left Coast perfume compatriot-- Rita

  4. Hi Rita! What an enjoyable, thought-provoking blog you have - just read through it. I would say that your fragrance writing fits the bill of what you say you require in a great perfume: "a strong point of view".

    Thanks for linking to my blog. Fumeheads, please add some style and substance to your fume-reading and check out