Perfume Pen Pals: Lana Indiana


Watch this video. It isn't what you think it's going to be:


Katie, Wow. I now know Lana Indiana. That's real America there. Her stories are grim but told without much gravity. There's a hard little plastic shell around Lana. I just want to hold her and have a good cry. And buy her a few better perfumes. She's, what, 54 years old? She should dump the cotton candy body spray. And the (thankfully unseen) husband. When a dude is neatly lining his shelves with dozens of boxes of Irish Spring, you know that's not the worst of it. Can you imagine what happens when Lana misplaces one of his records? I think you can. Have you watched Lana's other videos? In this one, forward to 3.48 and go from hot rollers to cancer death and back again in about 30 seconds. And at 6.05, we're all having a colonoscopy with Lana: I want to date Lana. Is that weird? Dan

Viva Lana Indiana! She's got a million bon mots, like: "I'd rather be alive and old than dead and young." Watch more here.


  1. "Hard plastic shell sums it up well"... and there within beats a pretty nice heart too.

  2. She is sweet, even though her perfume taste is hard to get (at least for me)! I love her bathroom and her attitude towards having long hair, I never agreed with things like "you are just too old to have long hair":) About the stocking up husband, well... no one is perfect, I'm pretty sure he may have a lot of qualities she appreciates. I just think someone should tell her that the bathroom is definitely not a good place to store perfumes because of the moisture...

  3. Sabrina, It's probably not obvious enough, but my comment about Lana's husband was tongue-in-cheek. I'm guessing he's a lovely fellow. And I think Lana is lovely, too, as evidenced by the time I've lost watching her make-up tutorials/life updates. Katie and I both adore Lana and so should everyone else. (Though I'm desperate to send her a batch of new perfumes.)

  4. I understand you, Dan... and please, when you send her some perfumes (or go out on a date, LOL) please tell her the bathroom cabinet is not the best place for storing them... I watched a few more of her videos, she is really interesting and very sweet!

  5. I love Lana too. She's a good soul. I think she'd love it if you sent here a batch of new perfumes, Dan. She'd treasure them forever. Really. Bless her heart. She is as sentimental as I am.

    And while you are at it, please buy a double batch--Lana and I are the same age and I need some perfume!!! {*_*} I'm not gonna reveal my YT name, but my signature here will be an easy clue. Than you!!!

  6. I loved her! I get a bit of Tammy-Faye, wonder if they're related.

    I lost some sleep last night worrying that his Irish Spring might clash with her Ciarra.

    And the Youth Dew bottle may be a little past its prime; I know juice darkens with age and evaporation, but it's looking like a La Brea tar pit sample. Yes Dan, some samples would bring a ray of golden sunshine into her life!

  7. Oh! One more thing: I heard a story on NPR yesterday about the micro house trend in Japan, where they can build houses on lots the size of parking spaces. You could fit three houses in Lara's bathroom! Imagine, three Japanese families living in cozy splendor, with a mini-Walmart close by! It's a nice thought.

  8. I don't think you all understand sentimentality. Please know that i am not trying to belittle you or appear to be rude towards anyone. I just understand what it means to be sentimental. Especially when you have a difficult early life. You cling to the smallest of things--because they remind you of someone who is no longer in your life. Heck, I have a little bottle of Coty's Musk Oil, from 1982, that belonged to the woman who raised me. She died in 2000. My real mom was murdered when I was 17. I have two wheat pennies that were in her purse the night she was shot.

    I've got a little empty container that held my very first fragrance that was given to me by my boyfriend when I was 15. The years have rubbed the name of the fragrance off the container, but in my mind--just seeing the container brings the smell and the memories of youth rushing back to me.

    Lana has a beautiful memory attached with each bottle of fragrance. Even if she won all seven of the fragrances in Katie's latest giveaway, she'd never part with her beloved Amber Dew, Ciara, Love's baby soft, etc.. Should anyone ever send Lana some new fragrances, she would begin to make new memories of how someone out there was so wonderful and kind hearted as to care about her. I hope you truly do send Lana some new fragrances. She's such a beautiful person, both inside and out. Heck--if I could afford to, I'd send her some perfume myself. No joke. Peace, Moonchimes

  9. Touchingly open and candid videos.

    Though I have to say, if my mother walked out on me when I was four years old and I got placed in an orphanage followed by foster care, I'm not certain I'd be treasuring a bottle of whatever it was she wore.

    And the Ciara story! Seriously, I'd have ditched that sh*t in two seconds. I can't believe she doesn't burst into tears just looking at it.

    Despite Lana's sunny exterior, she does seem to cling to mementos of deep sadness.

    Her oldest son and his wife go shopping in their mini WalMart -- that totally cracks me up. I'd do the same: "Uh, I know you have, like, thirty cans of shaving cream in there and I'm fresh out. Ooooh, Listerine!"

    I think we should take up a collection and send her a great big scented products basket wrapped in a huge bow and signed with love.

  10. Moonchime, I think every human being (unless they're rigidly closed off) is sentimental, and particularly those who are drawn to the evocative power of perfume. I'm guessing all of us here have bottles in our collection that are totems of earlier times, both happy and sad. I know I do!

    You suffered brutal tragedy in your young life, and just holding those pennies, or sniffing that musk oil, is a profound way to spend a little more time with the people you miss. Those kind of talismans are keys that unlock our memories, and hopefully help us to heal.

    I share your admiration of Lana. She possesses an irresistible joie de vivre. I was up until 3am last night watching her videos. You can't just stop at one -- it's like eating Cheetos!

  11. My Mother wore Youth Dew too amd she was never a mother to me wonder if there is something in the scent??? :0) Love Lana could listen to her all day a beautiful woman with a heart of gold. xxxJoolsxxx

  12. Scott, 3 Japanese families living in Lana's bathroom would certainly add sitcom hijinks to her already entertaining videos.

    I, too was concerned about the darkness of the juice in the Youth Dew bottle. At first I assumed it was her mother's actual bottle, but then Lana made it clear that she wore it herself. Husb needs to trade in a few stacks of Irish Spring for a fresh bottle of Youth Dew!

    Nathan, Lana profile says she's a flight attendant. Wouldn't you just love to be on a plane and see her walking down the aisle? That would be a fun trip!

  13. Jools, there is something magical about how Lana touches so many people. It's her openness and lack of bullshit.

  14. Thanks for sharing Lana! What a treasure, she is kind of like a train wreck repulsive, yet compelling...I could not turn away.

    I still have almost empty bottles of my Grammy's perfume taht I cannot part with, when I smell them it is like her bending over to kiss me godnight...

    I love Lana!

    I love her.

  15. Chefronswife, well, I wouldn't say "repulsive", but I do know that I was involuntarily flinching with each new perfume that Lana picked up in her collection vid, thinking, "Oh no, what desperately sad event will be associated with this bottle?"

  16. I think I got a different impression from Dan's upon seeing the husband's cupboard. My thought was "He's ready for the zombie apocalypse! The house is probably reinforced too, with a crow's nest on top from which to empty cartridges, and super-secure basement should the need arise for bombs."

  17. hahaha, "zombie apocalypse"! xaryax, my husb is concerned with such things, too. He was recently talking about a scientist's projection of human survival if a zombie plague broke out. Apparently our chances are nil, unless we react with extreme violence and no mercy, even for our newly-zombie-fied loved ones. All zombies must be destroyed.

    This quite bizarrely segued into a serious discussion of how I would "know" that that the husb was really a zombie, or whether he was just having a bad day. He insists that I need to perform a series of checks before terminating him, but I maintain that checks equal having my face eaten off.

    Here's the article about the zombie plague predictions:

  18. I was touched by Lana too, and watched all the way to the colonoscopy - "no head up ass, quit talking about it!". It shows how unrelentingly positive Lana is to have had the best sleep in ages during what must have been a rather intrusive procedure to say the least.

    I must say though that she was quite dismissive of her husband's shower, saying it was "pitiful" or something - it looks pretty impressive to me.

    Her pronunciation of perfume names made me smile in places, especially "Noo-it Orchiddy". And can someone please tell us what the dolphin one is?

    This is the sort of footage that "wrings your withers", as my mum used to say. Lana is a shining example of the motto "life is what you make of it", and good on the anaesthesiologist brother too!

  19. Based on her taste, what kind of quality perfume do you think she'd like? Even if you don't actually send her perfume, I'd love to hear what's on your imaginary list!

  20. Oh my god, this woman is fabulous. I love the way she mixes her life stories in there. Thanks for the link!

  21. Melissa W - you should have a look at the latest video on her channel: Lana pays an emotional visit to the orphanage where she spent her young childhood.

  22. Nina, I love that question! Let's see here: Lara has a quite range of genres in her collection: spicy orientals, powdery musks, bright white florals, floral aldehydes as well as the aforementioned cotton candy body spray. She's all over the map, so it's hard to say she's a perfume "type".

    I'd keep her Chanel No. 5 and Estée Lauder Azurée Soleil. Those two are really top of their categories. But I'll bet she'd love Chanel No. 5 Eau Première, and its fizzy diffusion would work well in the Florida heat (I think it's Florida where she lives...?)

    For her white floral needs, Lana might enjoy some feminine tuberose gardenias:
    Van Cleef & Arpels Gardenia Petale
    Annick Goutal Un Matin d'Orage
    and, combining her beachy Azurée Soleil with tuberose, By Kilian Beyond Love.

    For powdery musk, I wonder if Lana would be as goo-goo as I am over Annick Goutal Musc Nomade? It's actually not baby powder powdery, but it does have that musk dryness to it. But its main charm is its unplaceable flowerinesst. Musc Nomade is very nuzzly and pretty. Both Nathan Branch and Avery Gilbert remarked on how lovely I smelled (unsolicited, I should add!) when I wore it on our dinner date a few months ago in NYC.

    For hella powder, Lana could try Le Labo Labdanum 18.

    Cotton candy, posh-style: By Kilian Love

    And finally, for spicy orientals, she might delight to these:
    Estée Lauder Youth Dew Amber Nude (a contemporary update to an old favorite, and one less fraught with drama)
    Chanel Coromandel
    Fifi Chachnil
    Coco Mademoiselle

    And if she really wants to smell elegant:
    Parfums MDCI Enlévement au Sérail

  23. (ok, here comes the fixed post)

    Katie, I love your suggestions for Lana! Actually I feel a bit jealous now, I am seriously thinking about skipping all my house and work chores today just to make a video of my collection to ask for your precious advice:) But the house needs to be cleaned and my dolls won't paint themselves (yep, I am a doll maker)... well, maybe another day, or maybe I write you an email so you, Dan and all our friends of the blog can help me...

    But this is about Lana, I need to focus, LOL... I totally agree on keeping Chanel 5 and Azurée Soleil (she could keep the others of course, because of what they mean to her). Chanel Eau Première would be perfect too, I don't know if she lives in Florida, but I am sure she lives is a warm place, so it would suit her well.

    All you suggestions sound fantastic, I would also add Guerlain L´Heure Bleue to the list... it's floral enough to be considered very feminine, but also sweet and creamy (and seems she likes sweet scents, see the cotton candy stuff) and it would be the perfect companion to that wonderful Chanel white suit she has!!! Anyway, I am not a good person to suggest fragrances to others, but when I look at Lana, I can almost "smell" it on her!



  24. Ooh, freaky, Sabrina -- what if your dolls *could* paint themselves? I think I saw that on an old "Twilight Zone" once.

    S'funny, I had a feeling about L'Heure Bleue for Lana, too.

  25. I don't know if it has something to do with her big blue eyes, or with the touching (and sad) stories behind her collection, or as I said before, with her wonderful white Chanel suit.... but she almost screams L'Heure Bleue to me right now. She looks like someone who could put this one out really well. By the way, I changed my mind about my video, I just can't do it, I'm too shy... but I emailed you my updated perfume list, so maybe you can suggest me something too:)



  26. Katie, My mom wore L'Heure Bleue too. I remember as a teenager seeing it on her dresser. Of course I tried all her perfumes and there started my love of Chanel No. 5, Arpege, and many more. And she also wears Youth Dew which I cannot stand. I never wore that. Is it spicy? Maybe that is it. But I found it interesting that both Lana's and QVC_Queen's mothers wore it and both thought they were not there for them and QVC_Queen commented, tongue-in-cheek-ily that something in the scent might have affected them ... that is an interesting idea that people of certain types and mindsets and attitudes would gravitate to the same perfumes. Hmmm. Eau de Serial Killer...

    While I was never close with my Mom, she is still with us. Now that she is an invalid, I think any chance to repair the damage is past. So I smile and help her however I can and let the past go.

    I, too, am fascinated with how Lana switches back and forth in her chats from an "ordinary" discussion to very personal insights from her life with the same tone and inflection. She is addicting and I will check out more of her videos.

  27. SoS, yes, the idea of "perfume profiling" is intriguing: "Lovely" lovers are romantic, "Youth Dew" wearers are withholding, etc. But what about the category of serial killers driven to their crimes by the perfumes others are wearing? Good thing there haven't been any sharp objects around me when I've smelled someone wearing Viva La Juicy.

    Yes, Lana's stream of consciousness style is so compelling. It's also very refreshing to see an older face on our YouTube screens, instead of being lectured to by 15-year-old "experts". (Not that I haven't learned a makeup tip or two from some of those teenagers!)

  28. Re zombies...
    It depends on the speed of the zombies and the length of the checks. If it can be done in less time than it takes for the zombie to reach you, I'm all for checking. Despite the importance of preserving oneself, it would be an equal tragedy to kill one's ally in that situation, for without him how can you repopulate the earth once this all blows over?

    Also, carrying a blowtorch at all times would be especially useful. You see hubby coming at you from the other end of the hall, and shout "HEY! DO YOU LIKE TO EAT BRAINS?" and if the answer is yes, turn him into ashes before he even gets within ten feet of you.

  29. xaryax, I love your sincere solution to checking zombies. Yes, yell at a potential zom as it approaches you and yell - "HEY! DO YOU LIKE TO EAT BRAINS?". I laughed and laughed til the brains started coming out of my nose!

  30. @ScentsofSmell

    Om nom nom!

  31. My thoughts exactly, xaryax! SoS, remember zombie avoidance protocol: don't tempt the undead by leaving food on your face.

    Useful PSA to prepare for the zombie apocalypse: "What to Do in a Zombie Attack"

  32. I have to say that I think this segment on Lana was a bit distasteful and quite rude. It might have been common courtesy to ask Lana's permission to feature her videos on your blog before you proceeded to "publicly" bash her. However unintentional your rudeness was in what you chose to say about this fabulous lady, it came across as a down right disrespect and very presumptuous.
    "never judge a book by it's cover" Lana is an amazing and inspirational person maybe you should take a moment and try to get to know her before you churn out a drone & disrespectful post about someone you know nothing about ........

  33. Hi Beauty Junkie 86. I may be a subscriber of yours since I LOVE anything girlie and beauty related. I just checked your blog and saw some of your Tweets as well. I see where you are tweeting that a blogger has used Lana's videos and is bashing her--and you want advice on whether you should tell Lana about it.

    I love Lana dearly. I cried with her as I watched her video of her visit to the orphanage in which she grew up. I've kept up with this thread because I adore Lana so much. I have to say---I DO NOT see anyone bashing her anywhere here.

    That said--If you do believe Lana is being bashed, why on earth would you want to present such an idea to her--and cause her to even think for one moment that it is true?

    We all obviously adore Lana. I subscribe to her blog--and videos. I empathize with her because we have much in common--including our ages. We both also had terribly painful childhoods. I had made videos about some of what occurred in my childhood--only to have haters come along and bash me. I took the videos down. Only a handful now know and remember my struggles. None know the entire story of the sadness behind my laughter and smiles. But, I'll tell you one thing now--if someone told me I was being bashed on a website--even if I could see later that this person's perspective doesn't quite seem to show that--Well, I would be hurt.

    Don't inflict unnecessary pain onto Lana, please. I'm begging you. Katie obviously adores Lana as well. Do you honestly think that Katie would do anything to hurt anyone? She is one of the gentlest souls I have "met."

    I'm sorry that anyone interpreted anything written here as "bashing." It truly isn't.

    Please reconsider before you tweet something that might only cause dear Lana confusion and pain. She herself would only feel that when your words reach her heart and soul. Once she is able to read everything here--Well, she will realize just how much people love and care about her.

    Thank you for taking the time to read what I have written. Everyone here loves Lana. We truly do. Sincerely,~Marilyn

  34. Beautyjunky86, I am dismayed -- and bewildered -- by your interpretation of this post and the comments as disrespectful and bashing to the delightful Lana Indiana. I've been a fan and a subbie of Lana's since I watched her perfume collection video over a year ago.

    Regular readers of my blog know that I go beyond simply reviewing fragrances to highlight many other ways that perfume -- and smell -- can affect our lives and emotions. And Lana's perfume collection vid is a perfect illustration of that. I had a sense that Lana's relationship to her perfumes would touch a chord and stir up an interesting discussion, which it indeed has.

    As you can see from the readers' comments, her charisma speaks for itself. And it's a tribute to Lana's relatability that she's got loyal fans like you looking out for her. I 100% agree with you that Lana is amazing and inspirational. I've shared the phenomenon that is Lana playfully, but sincerely.

  35. Great Blog, Katie~
    I love a good read and this one made my day. While I would love to receive a replacement basket for my meager perfume collection, it's not necessary.
    You see, I am just not that into perfume.
    Send me a shoe basket and I will melt.
    My perfume collection video was one of my very first YouTube videos I put out there. As I would love to have a "do-over" sadly, it would come out exactly the same. I treasure my memories as I treasure the scents that conjure up those memories.
    Youth -Dew IS my mom to me. Yes, she walked out on us kids and was never ever really a Mom to us, she still has my heart and I love her. Always will. That scent just screams her.
    The Ciara as I stated was a gift from my ex- husband whose demons overtook him and he shot himself. Does that change the memory of the scent?
    I keep that bottle to remember the good times and perhaps to remind myself to hug those around me more and often. You see, my wish regarding him is that I could hug him just ONCE more.
    Just a hug.
    We were divorced 22 years when he did this so that opportunity slipped away long ago but the memories have not.
    I can smell White Shoulders from a mile away and it reminds me of my long deceased Grandmother.
    Tabu, the same from my Evil Step-Mom. You sure didn't see THAT scent in there amongst my sad treasures of scents! *shudder*
    Maybe I'm old school and not so perfume savvy but I do love my memories. It's funny to me that I can be on a crowded aircraft and smell a smell of a passenger as they board and before I even look up, guess their age and a bit about them. Scents can stir up memories good and bad. If you read the comments on that video, many others feel same in that regard.
    While I am certainly not a perfume snob, i just wear what I like.
    My signature scent is Chanel #5. Not sure what that says about me but I like it. A LOT.
    My poor husband.
    He got a terrible rap in that video. He is perfect in every other way except... He loves his Irish Spring. I don't ask questions. i just make room for him. He had the perfect "Leave It To Beaver" childhood so not sure what's going on there. Perhaps he worries about a very dirty holocaust. Dunno. He's a keeper so I'll excuse the soap collection.
    Lastly, I love my subscribers and thank you for the post.
    Now, I am off to fly back home and a quick stop at the mall to check out new perfumes but sadly, I will probably opt for one that stirs up a memory of a loved one.....✈
    PS. I have worn Youth-Dew and I was and am a GREAT Mom so the "scent theory" may be a bit skewed.

  36. Dear Moonchime ~
    Thank you for your comment.
    My tweets did not mention any names and simply were to seek the advice of the people who follow me on twitter.
    I was unsure as to whether or not i should bring the blog post to Lana's attention, In the end I didn't need to as Katie herself contacted her.
    I adore Lana, I am subscribed to both Lana and Katie, so I felt torn on what I should do, as to me this was out of character for Katie (from what i've seen in her videos, i don't really no much about Katie other than she I adores perfume like i do myself)
    Maybe my choice of words were not correct, perhaps "publicly bashing" was not quite what i was trying to say, but in the haste of the moment that was how it came out. To me the post just seemed to be written in a somewhat mocking tone.
    My intentions were good and I never ever would want to hurt Lana or Katie for that matter.
    speaking for myself, if the shoe was on the other foot I would want to be told if such a blog post was written about me.

    Lana knows how much I care about her and treasure her friendship and that I would never do anything to jeopardise that, and most certainly would not set out to intentionally hurt her.

    I really don't want drag this out any longer.

    My apologies to Katie for any offence caused as a result of my expression of opinion.

    My apologies to Lana if i have caused you undue stress and upset, that was never my intention.

    FYI ~ I really enjoy watching Katies videos as i too am addicted to perfumes, i've bought 5 this week - oops how did that happen :-)

    ~Lana was one of the first people i subscribed to when i joined youtube and I adore her personality and kindness.
    Her charisma exudes from every video and blogpost that she offers us.

    *please know that my intentions were good and not to hurt anyone*



  37. Dear Katie~
    Thank you for your response and for contacting Lana.

    perhaps my lack of knowledge of the style in which you review fragrances on your blog was my downfall.

    I really don't know too much about you as I have only watched a few of your videos, which I really like as I too am addicted to perfume.
    You do come across in your videos as a kind and sweet person,
    so maybe that is why I couldn't quite make sense of the style in which the blog post was written.

    Maybe my choice of words were not correct, perhaps "publicly bashing" was not quite what i was trying to say, but in the haste of the moment that was how it came out.
    To me the post just seemed to be written in a somewhat mocking tone.

    My intentions were not to offend you or to upset Lana.

    I just felt like i needed to say something.

    And now I can see that what you said was in lightheartedness and was not meant as how it came across to me when i first read it.

    But I do think that however lighthearted it was intended, the piece on Lana's dear husband was a little too much.

    I really don't want to drag this out any further.

    Lana knows how much i adore her and that I would never intentionally set out to hurt or upset her.

    I truly treasure my friendship with Lana and would never do anything to jeopardise it and she knows this.

    Apologies to Katie if my expression of opinion caused offence.

    Apologies to Lana if i have hurt/upset you due to my commenting on this post.



  38. Good to hear back from you, Beautyjunky86/SJ - glad we could clear the air! YouTube/blogger culture is a frisky place where cheekiness is the order of the day, and Lana has one of the best senses of humor about herself of all the gurus.

    You'd have to if you'd had as many YT parodies done as she has:

    The fact that folks impersonate her/write about her/discuss her is nothing but a good thing - it means Lana's captured the public imagination and that her star will continue to ascend.

  39. Ha-ha, Lana - the "scent theory" is totally skewed, and totally for fun. Honestly, I don't believe the smell of "Viva la Juicy" will turn me into a serial killer...I think....

    As revealed in your perfume collection vid and your comments here, you have "perfume savvy" in abundance, Lana! You are extremely attuned to smells and their associations, whether it's with your own history, or with the passengers on your flights. (Sniffer dogs, watch out - Lana's gonna give you a run for your money!)

    With your "perfume whispering" skills, I'm surprised your fragrance collection hasn't kept pace with your shoe collection. But not everyone is the Fume Slut I am, and you're clearly loyal to your signature, Chanel No. 5. (While you're at the mall, I urge you to try Chanel No. 5's "little sister", No. 5 Eau Première. It's a fizzier, fresher, "daytime" version of No. 5, and I really think you'll love it. Fume Slut over and out.)

    Your perfume video, and your comment above, articulate perfectly the poignant force of scent: it's time saved in a bottle. One sniff, and you're back with people you dearly miss, and memory becomes reality.

    Thanks so much for checking in, and stay away from the Tabu!

  40. How do I get alerts when new comments are added? The fibrofog has decended and I go round in circles looking for stuff I have commented on to see the replies thanks Katie :0) xxxJoolsxxx

  41. Jools, you'll need a (free) gmail account with Google to be able to sign up to see subsequent comments.

  42. To me it just looks like they shop at Costco or Sam's Club.

    As a child I was made to endure outings to purchase groceries by the gross. I was once told to go grab some Irish Spring from the next aisle. When I got there I wondered why I had to carry it because I thought that my father wanted a whole cardboard palette (what Lana's husband bought) which I lugged back to the shopping cart. I was then informed that he would only need that much soap if he was running a hotel and that he only needed a box (which probably contained one dozen bars!).

  43. Wow--I am going to buy my hubby some Irish Spring. He is Irish, after all. {*_*}

  44. Funny story, Zusie. What I'm learning here is that when men love Irish Spring, they REALLY love Irish Spring. And cats, too. Did you see the cat clip I linked to in the post? Here's another one:

  45. I know we all like to be catty and we really don't wish ill on these people. Just thought I'd let you know Lana's husband is fighting cancer.

  46. How sad about Lana's husband. When did she make this known?

  47. Hi Katie, Lana made this known about 5 or 6 weeks ago. She and her hubby didn't know for sure until then. Here is the link to Lana's Blog--where she is chronicling their journey:

    Let's all keep Lana and her husband in our prayers. Thank you everyone!~Marilyn