I just looked up a perfume on the Invisible Magnet blog and got caught up in a "you should wear the opposite of your natural smell" conversation. Which turned out to be misremembered.
But it's an interesting concept (even if it doesn't exist), because supposedly, men smell sweeter than women and the onion smell that Invisible Magnet Liz says is her natural scent is supposedly the natural scent of most women. Which, I guess, is why sweeter scents might work better on them. Though I love those sweet By Kilians on me, sweet as I already am. I might be off my rocker, but I'm convinced I pull off Love and Liaisons Dangereuses more successfully than any person on the planet.
Katie, what does "slutty" smell like? Seriously. Is it that musky, civety smell in Le Labo Oud 27? Or the unclean sweaty smell of Frédéric Malle Une Fleur de Cassie or The Party in Manhattan? Sitting here with my sweet bottle of Love and feeling good about my innocent self, I really don't know.
Scent psychologist Avery Gilbert says that women's skin smells like onions, and men's like cheese. But one of my lesbian girlfriends authoritatively asserts that lady-parts smell like cedarwood. So am I to understand that when I douse myself in cedar-y Shiseido Féminité du Bois, I'm a walking "Hello Kitty"? With an overlay of onion skin? Sounds hard to digest.
Yeeesh -- get a room, Mr. Cheese and Ms. Onion!
When this same friend sampled my Santa Maria Novella Acqua di Cuba, she opined that it smelled like semen. Why does my unconscious want me to smell like a sex hunter who lives in a Winnebago?
As for slutty: Agent Provocateur and Jean Desprez Bal à Versailles both share an unwashed-in-close-quarters smell. But The Party in Manhattan really is the ultimate Sex-Hunter-in-a-Winnebago smell.
Are you sure it's your unconscious? Because once you've put the words "sex hunter in a Winnebago" to something, you're clearly quite conscious of it.
"Smutty" is my shorthand for my Le Labo Labdanum 18 animal-butt roll-call. But if you're going to split beaver hairs, I'd say it isn't as smutty as Bal à Versailles, Agent Provocateur, or The Party in Manhattan.
Not to beat you over the head with this, but to me, The Party in Manhattan smells sweaty and a little dirty. But that animal-civet smell isn't quite the same thing, right? I know you probably think I'm joking, but I truly don't know. I feel like I'm always outside this subject. Everyone refers to sexy, smutty perfumes and I can't quite identify what they're talking about.
I guess the definition of smut in perfume is a variation on the famous definition of porn: you know it when you smell it.
My friend Alison used to wear Vivienne Westwood Boudoir, which she describes as "pissy granny knickers". She said that men always seemed to go wild for it. I'd say when a fragrance smells smutty or "personal", it has a civet/indolic jasmine thing going on, and/or a honey/urinous tang. Sweaty helps, too.
"Do I smell hawwwt?"
Party in Manhattan is probably more of an olfactory statement than a perfume anyone can wear, so maybe that should stand apart from the others on my list. All the others are different combinations of, as the Brits coyly say, "front bottom", combined with, as my English friend Alan coyly and redundantly puts it, "back bottom".
That actually helps. Thanks. Though I'm never sure of this indole/jasmine thing. Because when I smell jasmine in a perfume, it just reminds me of jasmine, the same jasmine I'd smell at 5 a.m. doing my paper route as a kid. Even something as potent as Serge Lutens A La Nuit. Which is crazy jasmine.
Luca Turin said something along these lines, that the connection is over-made, that when the compound comes with shit, it smells like shit, but when it comes with flowers, it smells like flowers. (Which I think is due to the lower concentration of indole in flowers.)
But pissy and honey/urinous I've definitely smelled. Those sweet Etat Libre d'Oranges specialize in it. But I only think "smutty" when I read how smutty various perfumes smell, not when I actually smell them. It's like I'm Margaret Dumont and I'm missing all the jokes.
Fumies, talk dirty to me. What are your smutty scents of choice?
Onion chutney grilled cheese sandwich via
Sexy civet via