Perfume Pen Pals: Stella Found a Man



Katie,

This, my perfume friend, is my discovery in playing around with Stella McCartney Stella, a perfume that at first pleased me but after my second or third wearing left me feeling somehow empty. Stella is like a good Hugh Grant movie: it's amiable, well-constructed, light on its feet, but it lacks an essential core, an emotional nucleus that would make it truly memorable.




And while I'm usually not comfortable with your brand of enthusiasm for mixing perfumes, I felt Stella needed that sort of boost. It needed its core. Because everything in Stella seems to be rounded down, as if there's a limiter on each ingredient: it's not too woody, not too rosy, everything's in its proper place and proportion.



So I screwed with it, thinking it would mix well with Comme des Garçons Palisander, a soft woody, saffron-y incense. And, voilà, Stella found its core.



Now it's a decidedly more complex rose, not at all overwhelmed by its woody companion but instead complemented perfectly, in the same way Hugh Grant might be if producers were to ever cast a substantial actress opposite him.

Because the CdG woody perfumes are sheer and modern, I suspect they'd all blend well with Stella and next I might try CdG #3. But for for now, I managed to make a successful match. A small step, I know, but a crucial one in my development.

Dan



Fumies, any successful perfume rehabilitation stories where love blossomed after a fortuitous layering incident?

31 comments:

  1. It's clear that Stella is meant to be what it is, a light fragrance. But many fumeheads prefer deeper/darker scents.

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    1. So you're saying "just let Stella be who she is"?

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  2. Could we just not talk about her? Because as Dan seems to have proved, without the addition of the backbone from another perfume, she just isn't interesting......

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  3. I'm-a take this the other way, Dan - because Stella Synchronicity just cain't be beat! I recently ordered my first-ever lot of CdG scents from Luckyscent.com this week and one happened to be Palisander. (The other two were Calamus and Sherbet: Cinnamon if you're playing along at home, and well, shouldn't you be by now, really?)

    Will my "perfumed sauna" Palisander gain a soft shoulder instead of a heat rash if I toss a little Stella into it? Or will it instead just stand outside my apartment window in a dockworkers shirt screaming, "STELLA! STEEELLLLLLLLLLLA!" until it dies, decades later, bloated and incoherent with all promise spent?

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    1. You might be bailing Palisander out of the drunktank later if this keeps up.

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  4. I recently ran across s BBC news video clip where they talk about the Middle Eastern perfume market and casually toss of the factoid that M.E. consumers regularly layer up to seven perfumes at a time to create their own personal scent.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-18085166

    In that respect, Stella wouldn't just find a man, she'd find a job, a house, two kids, a dog and a winning lottery ticket.

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    1. Toss "off" the factoid -- ugh. I hate that there's no edit function.

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    2. Seven perfumes at a time, huh? That's a lot of circling airplanes waiting to land. What a snarl.

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    3. I liked this article, but it was a little too short! I would've enjoyed learning more about local fragrances.

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  5. Or be put in a stable with six other Stellas and rotated through the Sultanates' sun-drenched and plum-strewn marble foyer for the passing delectation of visiting grandees.

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    1. In the space of a few comments, Stella's suddenly picked up quite a lifestyle.

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  6. So Dan, you're here to tell us how Stella got her groove back?

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  7. I am not one for layering, personally - for complex personal reasons to do with psychological overload - but there are a number of scents in the Burt Reynolds register which would benefit from losing their hairy chest (wig).

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    1. It's funny that you've coined "Burt Reynolds register", because those fragrances are not currently in the vanguard - at least in mainstream masculines. With all the lollypop-fabric softener boy smells out there, the register is Girlyman all the way.

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    2. Careful there. One innocent "girlyman" leads to a careless "tranny" and then all PC-hell breaks loose . . .

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    3. I'm sure any PC-hell would come from non-trannies. "Tranny" is the only term I know from my tranny friends and colleagues. But I suppose the PC goalposts shift constantly. As for "girlyman", I use it picturing Ahnold saying it in his repressed way, and to me it has a built-in giggle.

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    4. I was taken aback by the mini-firestorm that erupted in the comment section of your Brad Pitt for Chanel No. 5 article for the Guardian (was it the Guardian?). I'd never heard (or considered) the word "tranny" to be derogatory as much as mere slang (even after years of living in gay-concentrated urban neighborhoods), so was surprised when people leapt into "I'm offended!" mode.

      But then, it's not difficult to get people to take offense anymore. And yes, Arnold's "girlyman" will forever be a part of the pop-culture treasure trove to be mined for generations to come. Or at least I hope so. A pop-culture without a hyper-accented (and hyper-masculinized) Arnold is a poorer pop-culture, indeed.

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    5. The Guardian comments section is well-seasoned by people in permanent "I'm offended!" mode. They're a subsect with a lightly-set trip wire for offense. I got the idea that the person who complained about "tranny" had never encountered the word until my article, and then had to look it up on Wikipedia.

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    6. The point I would make is that when you make an statement that has a philosophical assertion built into it, which your proclamation about No.5 (and I apologise for a rough paraphrase, and I think its fair to say that you are more talking about the marketing of the product necessarily than of a 'truth') being for real women rather than trannies has, you've got to almost expect an equal and opposite reaction from someone, somewhere, and especially from the comment section in the Guardian.

      Besides, we have yet to see what the advert contains, and if it includes Brad putting on camisole and lipstick, you might want to eat your words!

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    7. So true, Gavin. And I missed my chance getting a scoop on the nature of the ad - I was talking to the director at a party last week and it completely slipped my mind to ask her for hints on the content. Asleep at the wheel, or what?

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  8. I for one am NEVER giving up my hairy chest wig.

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  9. Does M7 count as hairy-chested on a woman?

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    1. Hard to say. It's pretty smooth stuff.

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  10. I found the slightly salty note of Stella interesting. Beyond that, it didn't really hold my attention. But rose plus incense sounds like a Katie Puckrik swoon-fest just waiting to happen.

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    1. I'm swooning just at the mention of "rose plus incense". I'm a bit Pavlovian that way.

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  11. I love Apres l'Ondee, but it can be a little too lacy socks and Mary Janes. MUCH better with a smidge of Muscs Khoublai Khan: Mary Janes on that girl from Die Antwoord wearing a fur bikini.

    I wonder what Stella would be like with some Avignon? Or Aramis? Knize Ten?

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    1. You've gotta be careful in your laboratory when combining Mary Jane/lacy socks Après L'Ondée with Muscs Khoublai Khan. You shoot for Die Antwoord girl, but you might end up with artist Grayson Perry in his "Claire" alter ego:
      http://www.artnet.com/magazine/news/laplaca/laplaca12-9-1.asp

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    2. BWAAAA-HAAAAH HAAAAH HAAAAAAAHHHHH! I love the bunnies on his dress!

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