Katie's Perfume Collection Update: Part 1





The time has come, my frisky fumies, for me to fess up to my recent perfume promiscuity. But in current company (that's you guys), it's less a shame-faced confessional and more like plain ol' bragging (notch on the bedpost style).

Notice in the video how I attempt to reframe my obviously rampant hunting and gathering as "the perfumes that I allowed past the Puckrik velvet rope." That's one overcrowded V.I.P. room, is all I can say.

Here are the fragrances discussed in this episode. Click on the names for more info.

1. Annick Goutal Musc Nomade

2. Maison Francis Kurkdjian Absolue Pour le Soir

3. Guerlain Muguet 2011

4. Byredo Rose Noir


Riddle me this: what does it take for a new bottle to make it past your velvet rope?

Bonus Extra -- visual aids for sartorial discussion at the end of my video:

Kim valiantly hid her despair that Kanye had dressed for date night as a giant toddler.


Fashion math: 1930s x 1970s = Aces!


1920s ÷ 1970s = Ralph Lauren


For Part 2 of my perfume collection update, click here. For Part 3, click here.

Cathee Dahmen photo by Peter Knapp, 1971

More on Ralph Lauren's Great Gatsby clothes here.

48 comments:

  1. Another perfume collection video! Excellent! I thoroughly enjoy watching these. Maybe a little too much....

    But inquiring minds want to know: which perfumes did you send off on their merry way? Or should we try to guess? ;-)

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    1. Am I the only one playing?! Hmm. Off the top of my head, I’d say…..Memoire Liquid Nag Champa and/or LArtisan Parfumeur Passage d'Enfer? Perhaps?

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    2. You know me better than I know myself! Because while I still have both of those, I never wear them...although I smell the Nag Champa just for fun. I will certainly end up losing Passage d'Enfer along the way. I haven't worn that since 2002, I think!

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    3. I'll play.

      CDG Daphne.

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  2. For a perfume to make it past my velvet rope, I have to really feel transported, the same way that fantastic stories would make me feel when I was a kid.

    On the flip side, I also like cheap and cheerful frags, because it seems elegant to me to not feel like you're trying too hard. And by "cheap," I don't mean crappy, I mean something that's easy or simple.

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    1. Yes! Perfume as transportation: space travel.

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  3. Like you, Katie, my requirements for admittance have become more stringent as of late. I'll only plunk down money on a fragrance these days if it's the kind of thing that captures my imagination and occupies my mind long after I've first sniffed it. I'm leaning more towards the interesting-but-wearable rather than the ostentatious, freewheeling, funhouse variety of perfumes - your Angels, your Gucci Rushes, your Black Orchids) - that I used to adore. I still love smelling those crazy broads, but I no longer feel comfortable wearing them.

    The most recent guest in my VIP club is Cartier Declaration Essence, which holds my interest while still fitting any and every occasion, and not drawing excessive attention to itself.

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    1. Funhouse perfumes - which include the warped, acid trip mirrors!

      My interesting-but-wearable Big Two these days are Bruno Acampora Musc and Clinique Aromatics Elixir. The AE classifies as "wearable" because I only do one spritz in the small of my back. That's ALL.

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  4. My red rope fragrances-
    I wish I was (were?) more selective. I buy blind, and on sale, and when I feel like it, and especially when I stumble across something that has good stuff in it, and so will probably be stomped by EU regulations.

    Latest acquisitions: loads of L'artisans, but I bought them at Winners. The scented oils and body lotions. Beautiful, beautiful stuff, and not at all available wwhere I live. These are all excuses-i have more fragrances than I could use in a life time. So i have arranged them all attractively, and if someone admoires some, I send them off to a new home. I have to really really like you to do this! And seeing them makes me use them more.

    Carole

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    1. It's like they say, Carole: if you love someone (or a perfume), set them free. And by gifting your perfume loves to another, you're spreading joy!

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    2. Carole..you sound like a delightful person!and if you are ever "hiring" for more friends...let me know!!:)

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    3. Oh, Pinkcash-thanks! And you know what? It's so fun to stock a bathrom, or guest bedroom, with all sorts of stuff, and have people spend an inordinate amount of time in there, and come out smelling totally different! it's neat seeing what people choose-straight laced business tyypes with a dash of Shalimar. People choose all sorts of unexpected stuff. And i love experiencing my fragrances on someone else-I liked Mure Et Musc, but on my friend it was intoxicating. Who knew?!

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  5. I allow velvet rope access based on best of kind; but also consider difference: fracas you can come behind the velvet rope as best tuberose; carnal flower you can come behind the velvet rope, because although you are another tuberose, you are very different to Fracas; truth or dare you can just f*ck off: nobody's fooled by the synthetic caramel accord you wear like cheap jewellery to try and distract us from noticing your basic lack of beguile. Do you see how it works? It is all about the party and the mix. Absolue pour la Soir is currently at the party; but I hear there is a Une fille de Berlin who might be both prettier and raunchier; if so, Absolue pour la Soir might find herself back outside that velvet rope. In the finest traditions of velvet rope admissions policies, it's all about superficiality, fickleness and being judgemental.

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    1. La Fille de Berlin may be prettier than Absolue PLS, but she's certainly not raunchier. That Berlin girl smells like a posher YSL Paris. Does that still get her past the rope?

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    2. You know; I am going to have to get my doorman nose to look her up and down. But I get the feeling she is probably queuing for your VIP room knowing she is much more likely to get admission. (Unlike those poor vetivers you get the bouncers to beat up and dump out the fire exit)

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    3. There are a bunch of masculine Creeds nursing their injured egos in the alley behind the club.

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    4. Have you tried Dries Van Noten btw? To me it smells like the sort of perfume that would end up in your outside alley. EXCEPT NOT! It's a bit genre-defying- like the love child of two perfumes who don't get along who somehow grows up remarkably well-adjusted. Would love to know what you think, because on this one, you could easily go either way...........

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    5. I tried it the other day, but couldn't get a bead on it. Was a bit distracted by the new Malle perfume lotions...

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    6. Malle stands are also now displaying a REALLY large bottle labelled POAL, but it's just a factice; I thought I should warn you because you might do yourself a mischief when you spot it, if you think it's an auxillary product (as I did).

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    7. Dries Van Noten brought out a distinct 'meh' from me when I tried it. The sandalwood drydown is nice (but what a waste of mysore sandalwood, if it is the authentic stuff that is). I don't like where Malle is heading though - this is the first time I've thought "so what?" about one of his fragrances.

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  6. Hey Katie, how does Rose Noir compare with Portrait of a Lady, which is also, if I remember correctly, another one of your favorites?

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    1. Rose Noir is much simpler than Portrait of a Lady. It's sharp and basic, though not as basic as L'Artisan's Voleur de Roses, another patchouli-rose. Rose Noir is a baroque pop song, Portrait is a symphony.

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    2. Hi Katie, I read your blogs with great expectations and am left with a good understanding of every perfume you describe.
      I am looking for a rose and wondering how Stella stacks up in ref to the ones you described above.

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    3. Check out my review here of Stella for more info. I love Stella, but think of it more as a "rosy musk" than a musky rose". It's sensual and long-lasting and in a gorgeous bottle. It's the whole package!

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  7. I remember reading on "Now Smell This," there was an article about the stages of perfume addiction, or becoming a fumehead, or something like that. One of the stages was, "Read the press release for the latest celebrity fragrance. Laugh cynically."

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  8. funny, Nora....I know- I remember a time that I would have entertained sampling the latest celeb frag with a much more open mind!....and Katie- you do dress like a grown up- a classy, sophisticated portrait of a lady (with a dash of funk)...I, in particular, love how you wear color...can't recall ever seeing you in back...always a beautiful vibrant color that compliments you!

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  9. that was supposed to read..can't recall seeing you in BLACK...

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    1. I went through a molto black phase when I was in my 20s with dyed bright red hair. I figured the krazy-kolor hair was all the color I needed (though I still clashed bright limes and purples against it, too). But yes, now I crave vivid colors and patterns. Black is too grim.

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  10. Victor C from DCMarch 22, 2013 10:55 AM

    Great video Katie! I need your help! I have a couple of close Taurus friends who's birthday's are coming up in April. Would love to gift these ladies perfume but I've been single for several years and I haven't shopped perfume in a long time. They are both in their early 30's, they're both outgoing & they both have style. One is one of my closest friends and the other is a lady that I'm interested in. The friend just purchased See by Chloe and she loves it. My lady friend likes flowery scents from what I've smelled on her. My intention would be to purchase fragrances that make them feel like Dior Homme Intense makes me feel. Something sophisticated, refined, sexy and something that isn't being worn by everyone. Any suggestions? Of course, I don't want to get them the same fragrance. Would love to keep around $100 or less if possible.

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    1. Can I suggest Elie Saab Le Parfum, its floral & really nice. Actually Katie has reviewed it,you can check it out . Hessa

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    2. Victor, Hessa' suggestion of Elie Saab is great for your lady friend. Also check out Jour d'Hermes for her. For your close friend, maybe Tokyo Milk La Vie La Mort.

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    3. Victor C from DCMarch 28, 2013 9:24 AM

      Thank you, ladies.

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  11. Katie, how would you distinguish between the Musc Nomade and the BA Musc? I'm having a hard time choosing between the two ( perfumista problems). The Acampora goes on very 'blue cheese' on me, but the drydowns are sooo similar. Would value your seasoned sniffer input. Justineantonia xoxo

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    1. I'd agree that both Musc Nomade and BA Musc reside in the same corner of the fumisphere. The BA Musc has more peaks and valleys, the florals are more pronounced and the clove gives it a spicy kick. Musc Nomade is softer, more "pre-faded" and mellow.

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  12. Hi Katie,

    I am curious--what are your thoughts on Le Fille de Berlin by Serge Lutens? I'd love to hear what you think!

    I love your reviews!

    Lauren

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    1. Lauren, I wore it for a day and it struck me as a more posh, less sweet YLS Paris. A girly rose and violet deal.

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  13. Katie I absoluetly love your taste in perfumes & I'm very intriguied by Absolue Pour Le Soir. I like incense & animalic notes But I dont like cumin I almost despise it. We use many spices in our food but cumin is the only one that I would skip in my cooking, I also hate sweaty smell as I didnt like santal blush cos I get that note from it, on the other hand I liked Amber Sultan the spices didn't bother me, Where Le Soir be fall regarding those ? Hessa

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    1. Hi Hessa - Absolue PLS isn't as much sweaty (human) as animalic. Amber Sultan smells spicy/vegetal to me, whereas Absolue PLS does have a barnyard heft. So it might not be for you....

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  14. My free-loving approach to perfume has changed a little now that I have about 60 bottles of it. (guess I don't have to drop my head in shame here, at least!) Like you I feel the juice has to touch me in quite a profound way, and its quality as a perfume, in itself, does not rate as highly as it used to with me. The biggest change was my finally falling in love with Chergui. I had smelled it before and not been much taken but because the notes sound so perfect for me I got a few more samples and suddenly found myself deeply in love! I used up about 4 samples, and though I waited a little I KNEW I would buy it, and that it was the right buy.

    So, since then, a perfume needs to do a lot more than before in order to get in! My problem at the moment is that a family member from England is coming to visit. Here in South Africa only a few niche brands are available and he has offered to bring me a perfume. It is an opportunity I cannot pass up on! The difficulty is that I have only another day or two to make my decision.

    I have decided on a Tauer (having some samples) BUT the one I keep compulsively smelling at the moment is La Maroc Pour Elle - and everyone I have asked (about 5 people) either dislike it or have no opinion about it (I had them smell it on me).
    On the other hand everyone loves Incense Rose on me (especially my boyfriend) but although I like it I don't love it. I find it a little too dry and too cold.
    L'air du Desert is exactly in the middle. No-one seems to like it, but everyone prefers it to La Maroc! At some moments I adore it for its sweet purity and comforting earthiness, but at other moments I find it too austere and inwards.

    My boyfriend was the only one who liked Chergui on me, and I mainly wear perfume for
    myself. So, I would ignore everyone and request La Maroc BUT so many on-line people seem to dislike it that I am worried I will change my mind. I smell neither rose nor jasmine in it but this type of sweet-spicy-menthol bubblegum that is both interesting, pleasing and extroverted.

    Do you have any advice for me?!

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    1. Merlynn, I smell "sweet-spicy bubblegum" in many Tauer perfumes. L'Air du Desert is far and away my fave of the line - I suppose it is austere compared to the others, but I don't find it inwards. It's Coca-Cola incense! So still in the sweet-spicy category. But that's me just talking about what I like, and not what you like.

      Above all else, perfume should cast a spell on you, the person wearing it. So that points to La Maroc pour Elle. Also, most people won't really focus on it when you're not quizzing them "do you like this smell on me or not?" - they'll just accept that it's your special smell. And you'll be loving yourself in it.

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    2. Oh, and my version of sweet-spicy-menthol bubblegum perfume that I find interesting, pleasing and extroverted is Daphne by Comme des Garcons. I get a kick out of it every time I wear it, even though I'm aware it's not necessarily easy going for everyone else.

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  15. I am writing a collection of olfactory adventures and your blog really inspires. The collection explores the first sensory triggers and first kisses...mine was a heady mix of Couros, Hawaiian Tropic, Marlboro Red and garlic - he was Spanish and I was 15 and when I opened my eyes after that kiss I quite imagined that I would be blind or the world would be upside down, so profound was the experience. I still get a bit giddy when I smell any of those scents.
    I also really love the glasses you were wearing at borough market film on youtube are they oakley?

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    1. It makes me a bit giddy just to read "Kouros, Hawaiian Tropic, Marlboro Red and garlic" in the same sentence. That must have been one helluva kiss!

      My glasses in the Borough Market vid are Gucci, from about 12 years ago! I guess that makes them "vintage", har. I've taken really good care of them.

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  16. I remember your description of it as dry and dusty cola - spot on! The Cola note has itself some depth and to me it is a slightly 'darker' scent. Though i admit that this impression is likely to be wholly subjective...

    And, (blush) I admit to owning Daphne as well. I got it early in my perfumista days, about 2 years ago, mainly because it was marked down and had received some great reviews. I wasn't sure whether I liked it or not - but I didn't want to miss the opportunity and hoped I would grow into it.

    I agree its quite an extraverted scent, but I think the oud, bitter orange and tuberose give it a gravitas that la Maroc does not have. On my skin it is the bitter orange and tuberose that dominate and I think I am ambivalent about both.

    Daphne doesn't make me think too much of bubblegum but if it does it is definitely not pink bubblegum! La Maroc is sweet spicy pink bubblegum on me. Daphne attends all the 'galas', but while there she makes serious intellectual conversation, and she never loses sight of her grand bearing.

    La Maroc is a little flighty, she looks a little like Juliet Lewis, that is, not exactly vacuous, but definitely capable of holding a nonsensical conversation before half-stripping and dancing on the table. I guess my concern is that I may tire of her off-kilter silliness!

    True about other people not paying much attention!

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  17. CLEAN Manure-if they ever decide to branch out from their laundry detergent/rain type fragrances...

    Jokes aside, if I decide to buy a perfume it has to have something that keeps me coming back, and it's not always the obvious ones that do that.
    Currently Etro Musk has my number. I'm not entirely sure why.

    Or, giving me loads of pictures and/or associations in my head, that's a sure-fire way to worm your way into my(beginner's) collection. AdP Colonia Essenza is halfway there. :)

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    1. "Currently Etro Musk has my number. I'm not entirely sure why."

      sparris, I enjoy the mystery of why a particular perfume claims your heart. I let them claim me and have their way with me.

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