Perfume Pen Pals: George Clooney and the Perils of Organizing Your Perfumes


I smell gross. I really do. Not because I'm wearing anything ugly, but because I've gone "Coldstone Creamery" on my own ass. It started out innocently enough, with me contentedly sorting out my perfume decants like George Clooney re-filing headshots of his conquests.

Actually, Clooney just gets the interns to do it.

I organized my CB I Hate Perfume samples, and sprayed I See a Flower on a wrist. (Very nice: grass, dirt, then some actual springtime flowers bloom.)

Then I assembled my By Kilian samples, and sprayed Love on the back of a hand (mildly boozy divinity fudge.) Then I ran across a clump of Kenzos, and Flower Oriental went on the back of the other hand (a clunkier, harsher, more synthetic-smelling version of Miller Harris Fleur Oriental.)

Finally, a few drops of Frédéric Malle Carnal Flower spilled from a vial on my arms. Let me tell you, in this bunch, Carnal Flower is the alpha female. And Carnal Flower's showdown with Love is nauseating.

That'll teach me to not pay attention to matchmaking my perfume friends!



I can only imagine you going Coldstone Creamery on your own ass because if you tried going Coldstone Creamery like that on anyone else's ass, you might get your ass kicked.

A moment about Clooney if I may. My impression of him is he's a pretty smart and witty fellow and yet before settling in with his current girlfriend, he only dated bimbos. (I use that term with the greatest respect, of course.) Like one after another. Models and cocktail waitresses who look like models and that's all.

George prides himself on his consistency.

But even if you're George Clooney, you have to occasionally sit across a dinner table from these women. How does he not get broken down by that experience? What do they talk about? Because I'm finding it hard dating anyone who doesn't have at least a Ph.D. Because I get bored. Does Clooney not get bored?

I've got to clear up my schedule so he and I can have lunch.


Headshot sorting via Mike Hulsebus
Clooney via


  1. Ha ha ha ha hilarious post!

    When I get too many perfumes on me, I wash down my arms with unscented liquid soap then go for an outdoors walk to let residual fumes dissipate. Works pretty well. =)

  2. You brought up a good point, xaryax: short of a Silkwood shower, what techniques do you all use to remove the perfume "patchwork quilt" that forms after overzealous sampling?

    Thinking that friction might help, I've rubbed with soap and washcloth, and also with rubbing alcohol on a cotton round. Have also slathered jojoba oil on the offending areas. None of those are hugely successful. I like the outdoors walk idea!

  3. Katie, I see from the Coldstone Creamery link that you used to layer L'Artisan's Vanilia with Avignon. I meant to buy a bottle myself for layering (particularly with Idole de Lubin) but they've discontinued it. Have you managed to find a replacement that you could recommend, or has your bottle lasted?

  4. I use unscented soap and relatively cold water - my theory is that the heat from warm water will enhance rather than eliminate the unwanted fumes. And I scrub!

  5. By Kilian Love on one arm, a nuclear Kenzo on another and Carnal Flower to top it off? I salute you.

  6. Yes Katie,
    I feel ya. I have done this again and again. ~sigh~ We never learn, do we?
    My strategy consists of the scrubbing and alcohol-wiping you mentioned. If that fails, I just cancel all my appointments for the day and resign myself to the fact that I'll have to hunker down and wait it out (much like what we had to do with music in the mid-80's)
    I find that a Xanax and a margarita can help.

  7. See now, Katie - I never do this. I never combine, layer, over-sample, over-indulge. Why? For the same reason I wouldn't run a daycare by letting the little bastids run at each other with buckets on their heads after a tidy breakfast of Super Sugar Crisp.

    I prefer to go the other way and allow the day to have one scent, maybe two if it's a long'un.

    Also, completely unrelated by absolutely devastatingly beautiful:

    I discovered last night that Shalimar is what dusk smells like. It is THE PERFECT scent to wear right at that soft spot between late afternoon sun and early evening silver lining.

    Be well, Kutie Puckrik, be well....

    Steve Porkpie Hat Johnson

  8. Stufish,

    WOAH... your restraint is amazing as well as admirable. I guess I'm more like one of those kids in your never-to-exist daycare... a little reckless, a little wound-up and totally ADD...

    As for your observation on Shalimar- what a lovely image! I am fortunate to have a nearly-full bottle of 1950's Shalimar. I daub it on occasionally, as a treat. Have you ever smelled this vintage stuff? I haven't ever smelled any of the newer versions. I would love to know how they compare. Any insight into that? Please share... =]

  9. Okay, HUGE apology to you Stefush, for calling you "Stufish"! Feel free to call me a name- I have it comin'... Egads.

    PS- Would love to see a pic of you in that porkpie hat... =]

  10. Fortunately, multi-testings have never left me smelling gross; everything blends together and I have that generalized "perfume shop" smell.

    Mr. Steve Porkpie Hat Johnson, I totally agree with you re: Shalimar. L'Heure Bleue never evokes that time of day for me (even though it was named for it), and Shalimar does.

    Dan, I have a feeling George just needs a beautiful face opposite him as he talks.

  11. tara,

    I haven't had to find a dupe for Vanilia, because I'm still ekeing along with that bottle, and I have a new one waiting in the wings. (And it's going to be a long wait for No. 2, because my perfume collection has exploded since those Avignon+Vanilia-wearing days.)

    Off the top of my head, I'd suggest Vanille Sauvage de Madagascar by La Maison de la Vanille, although that one is more cupcakey than L'Artisan's Vanilia. But it does have a nice, dry smokiness, if not the ashiness of Vanilia.

  12. Junelady,

    Re your cold water suggestion, I also like the self-flagellating punishment aspect of it. Just a little "That'll teach me!" touch to reinforce the wrongness of my actions. (Does anything in that statement indicate that I was raised Catholic?)


    You salute my stupidity, you mean.


    A Xanax and a margarita would've come in handy for that mid-eighties music.

  13. Stefush,

    As Tina said, your self-control is a model for all. But as I've said elsewhere, I'm more of a "eat the entire plastic pumpkinhead of Halloween candy in one sitting" kind of gal, consequences be damned. And there *are* consequences....

    Love your Shalimar = magic hour observation. That's how I'll think of Shalimar from here on out.

  14. Patty,

    "I have a feeling George just needs a beautiful face opposite him as he talks."

    The simplest explanation is no doubt the truest. And reinforced by the fact that Clooney's Italian girlfriend apparently doesn't really speak English.

  15. Katie, thanks very much for the tip, i'll check it out and well done for getting a back-up bottle of Vanilia while you had the chance!

  16. Katie, I am - at least "you Catholics" get to have fun before the cold water. I am - at least technically - raised as a Protestant. We believe in hitting ourselves over the head during the fun bits as well just for good measure. And since we're supposed to rely on a personal relationship with you know who, there are no hail Marys (correct term?) to get us out of our neurotic misery again. So we scrub with cold water. If you've ever seen some of Swedish director Ingmar Bergman's movies (e.g. Fanny and Alexandder), you'll get the drift.

    Speaking of suffering - what's the appeal of George Clooney? No, seriously. His vacant stare makes me believe that he would top my list of dull dinner partners of the past two decades. But maybe he smells good.

    I smell good! I've worn a healthy, but not greedy, dose of Agent Provocateur today and it's been wonderful! I forgot how much I liked it. I can't believe that years ago I thought it was just AWFUL. Not quite a year ago I got a sample of Oliban after watching a KP Smells review of it, and when I tested it on my skin, I went "Whaaaaat??!!! - Phew - irony blood smell - shudder". I can tell you, that was the biggest scrubber EVER in my perfume life. I couldn't even do my breathing exercises, calm down and give it another chance. And here I am now, loving AP and really liking my Oliban sample. May the transformations continue - it's quite entertaining.

  17. Junelady,

    I have it on good authority (friend of a friend, and you don't get much more authoritative than that!) that one-on-one, George Clooney is insanely charming and irresistible.

    Amused at your previous horror at Oliban, and relieved that you're coming around to it. And though it took me a while to dig it, AP is now one of my very favorites. And your mentioning both of them sent me scurrying to my perfume cupboard to sniff them both.

    I mustered some of Stefush's stoic resolve to keep from just giving in and spraying both of them on my skin, because I've got to keep a "blank canvas" for some new YouTube reviews I'm writing...

  18. Katie, are you sure that you aren't just a little bit protestant after all - that kind of self denial is a protestant specialty.

    I'll take your friend of a friend's word for George Clooney being more charming IRL than he looks on paper - the opposite would be really depressing. And I'm all for irresistibility - if that's even a word - when kept in check, of course.

    I've been sniffing myself inappropriately all day. Even more so when I discovered a marriage between Stella Rose Absolute and AP on a piece of clothing. Perhaps not an experiment I'll do full scale - at least not tonight. But perhaps on a dull Sunday afternoon when I'll need an interesting olfactory experience to get me through my household chores. Or get me off the couch and outside walking briskly in sub zero centigrades in order to escape that very same experience.

    I can assure you that sniffing Oliban for the first time was a premium exercise in disbelief. Perhaps this very disbelief kept Oliban in the back of my mind - I was really curious to find out what you, others, were able to get from it that I was so far away from understanding.

  19. Katie, I can only call it stupidity if I admit to the same. I'm surprised that I haven't burst into flames once or twice from the potency of the fumes that were wafting from my arms. Alcohol swabs, scrubbing, washing, showering, rubbing offending perfume-laden areas with non-scented deodorant then scrubbing with soap.... all fruitless. Sometimes you just have to sleep it off.

  20. Junelady,

    My self-denial is only temporary, I assure you. I'll get back to ill-considered instant gratification soon enough.

    Haha - Clooney's irrisistibility is *anything* but kept in check, I'm told....

    Layering Stella Rose Absolute and AP is what the Brits call "over-egging the pudding." But that's what dull Sunday afternoons are for!

  21. melisand61,

    Sleeping it off works for all sorts of other over-indulgences, why not perfume, too?

    Reading your comprehensive list, I'd like to add the following: sheep dip, and rolling in horse poo like a ranch dog. Do you think those would work?

  22. First off, Dan, I am officially inviting myself to your lunch with George. You can do all the talking, I will just be staring into his eyes. I find the older he gets, the more good looking he gets (anyone remember his hunched over stint on ER? *shudder* I felt my Protestent mother coming out in me as I shouted to the TV to 'stand up straight!') Then the essence of my Catholic father would calm it all down by ignoring all of that.

    Tina, after my lunch with Dan and George, I will meet you for cocktails of Margaritas and Xanax. Sounds like a party! Woo hoo!

    And, Junelady, no - I smell good today! I am wearing Prada L'Eau Ambree and it is my "my skin but better" fragrance. And you must have seen some old, awkward pics of Clooney, cos I think he is pretty handsome! I think his biggest flaw is his inability to settle down. I don't hold much stock in the longevity of his current romance. She doesn't speak English? Have you heard someone speak Italian? I used to live in Rome and they could read the phone book and it sounded pretty sexy.

    I don't remember now which sample it was, but I sprayed something on once that I immediately got a washcloth to scrub it off and it didn't wash off! And a shower or two later and I could still get a whiff of it. I almost think it was Portrait of a Lady, but I would have to gather up the strength to go and resniff, without getting any of it on me.

    Katie, if garlic works to ward off vampires, maybe rubbing some on and eating some would help with cutting the overdose of fumes.

  23. SoS,

    lol - I like the way your social schedule is shaping up!

    I don't recall passing on a Portrait of a Lady samp to you, so I'm guessing your scrubber was something else.

    I've actually suffered through some ungainly garlic/perfume pile-ups when launching into dinner prep too soon after perfume sampling. It seems to increase the pain, not lessen it.

  24. To remove perfume, I use dish soap and baking soda. And then I scrub. Repeat if I have to. If it's bad and not going away, I will get out the rubbing alcohol, then move on to various bath products. If all else fails, I will just sit on the couch completely segregating my cold stone creameryized body parts from my nose with a blanket and quietly sob. I have been known to slather on lotion and put on a pair of surgical gloves leftover from work if it is only on my hands form bpal imps or something.

    When I have decided I am done with a scent, it's dead to me and it must come off.

  25. Maggie,

    Hmm, baking soda! Between all of our scrubbing and sobbing, I'm starting to build up a picture of fume connoisseurs as a pretty nutty bunch. We willingly douse ourselves with fluids that only have a small possibility of actually smelling pleasing to us, and then spend the rest of the day diligently trying to purge our skin of them. It's perfume bulimia!

  26. SoS, if you're wearing L'eau Ambree then you definitely smell good! I got that wonderful scent for Christmas and I can see the contents of the bottle vanish way quicker than most perfumes I've owned. It's SO comforting and pleasing. Have you tried Prada Amber and if yes, what do you think of it?

    I have to say that George simply isn't my type (and I in all likelihood not his - ingrate) - I find his face too bland and his eyes simply appear vacant to me - but I'll be open to the possibility that he's one of those guys that lights up with 1000 watts when he wants to, and the rest of the time he is mindful of global warming and keeps the lights low.

    I most certainly have heard someone speak Italian - and yes, it's a seductive language - however, being as tall as or taller than most Italian men and a bit on the curvy side, I can't really get past the potential awkwardness involved there. Everything is relative and I prefer taller guys - the comparison here is much more to my advantage. Is George tall? Than would help.

  27. Katie, we are nutty and fearless and learn very little from past experiments. My kind of people!

  28. Katie, sorry to hear that the garlic as an antidote to perfume overkill was a miss. And thanks for being the accidental guinea pig for us all on that (Tip of the hat to you!)

    I do like how my social calendar (albeit an imaginary one) is shaping up.

    Katie, I will review my samples collection and figure out which one was the one which required the mini-Silkwood scrub. My curiosity is getting the better of me on that.

    Junelady, I haven't tried Prada Amber. If it anything like E'Eau Ambree, I am sure I would like it. I am on the shorter end of the spectrum but maintain my curves are all natural. I have always figured I was the right height as my feet touch the floor. I don't like dating guys who are very tall, so I guess (besides the obvious continental distance) we are not in competition for the same men. (Dibs on George!)

  29. LOL: what makes you think his current girlfriend isn't a bimbo? Perhaps you missed the news a couple of months ago regarding a certain nightclub in Spain (or was it Italy?) Anyway, I hate to be mean - but his current gal pal playing on the same field as all the rest (she does have more tats than the other gals, though).

  30. lang,

    Good point. It's not that George's preferences have changed, he's just tired of hopping from one simply beautiful - and simple - lady to the next.