Originally from the deep South, I now live in the mountains of New Mexico where I spend a great deal of my time obsessing over botany and other plant related subjects, including all things perfume. My aesthetics tend to be a bit on the old fashioned side, think three parts Pre-Raphelite, two parts Scandinavian fairy tale, and one part of punk rock. I don’t really fit into the modern mainstream terribly well, and my sense of fashion and fragrance can reflect that at times.
Note: Unless otherwise stated, all perfumes or products reviewed on this blog were obtained by me. My opinions are my own, and cannot be bought or unduly influenced by perfume companies etc.,
Favorite Houses: Guerlain, Serge Lutens, Amouage, Oriza L. LeGrand, Yves Saint Laurent (of old), Parfum d’Empire, and Parfums DelRae
Perfumers/Noses: Maurice Roucel, Christopher Sheldrake, and Sophia Grosjman
Favorite Vintage Fragrances: YSL Opium, Y, and Champagne/Yvresse, Guerlain L’Heure Bleue, Apres L’Ondee, Mitsouko, and Shalimar, Rochas Femme and Tocade, Dana Tabu, Houbigant Apercu, Hermes 24 Faubourg, Jean Desprez Bal á Versailles, Versace Blonde, K de Krizia, and Robert Piguet Fracas
Favorite Current Fragrances: Oriza L. Legrand Chypre Mousse, Guerlain Insolence edp, Amouage Lyric Woman, and Jubilation 25, Arabian Oud Kalemat, Ineke Briar Rose, Teo Cabanal Alahine, MFK Absolue Pour Le Soir, Parfums DelRae Bois de Paradis, Christian Dior Mitzah, Serge Lutens Chergui, Fille en Aiguilles , Fleur d’Orangers, Cuir Mauresque, and Bois de Violette, Soivohle’ Violets & Rainwater and Purple Love Smoke, Tauer Une Rose Chyprée, and Hiram Green Moon Bloom
Notes That Make Me Weak In The Knees:, Violet, Orange Blossom, Peach, Tuberose, Oakmoss, Lily, Black Currant, Honey, Blackberry, Rose, Labdanum Amber, Ambergris, and Booze.
I used to think that rose orientals were clearly my type of perfume, with their opulent heft and and dusting of exotic spices… and then I thought that fruity chypres with their allusions to heated skin and mossy bases were my favorite. But then I was lured in by the lush kiss of berries, but couldn’t imagine I was really a fruity floral kind of girl. In the end, I find that what I’m attracted to is not a specific genre of perfume, but rather a particular feel.
I love perfumes that are both haunting and otherworldly, scents conjured from nearly forgotten fairy tales. Fragrances that hint at places, times, and people found in myth. I notice that a good many of my favorite perfumes, such as Bois de Paradis, Muguet Fleuri, and Briar Rose have all been declared fit for a faerie queen, which suits me very well indeed. I didn’t choose the perfumes for their names, bottles, or reviews, but I can’t say I mind the, either.
That said, I don’t usually prefer etherial, light perfumes for the most part. I want them to have some earthly, sensual heft to them. I want the stains of grasses and berries on the hem of my skirts, the smell of last night’s fire still caught in my cloak, and bits of twigs and mosses tangled in my hair. I like my perfumes a bit uncivilized and tricksy. Give me the sex-tinged wood nymph wildness of Parfums DelRae’s Bois de Paradis or the hedonistic animal appeal of Lutens’ Fleur de Orangers over the sophisticated formality of something like Chanel No. 5. Which is no criticism of that perfume or its many fans, just my personal preference. On the other hand, I seem to fall in love with at least a few perfumes, like Hermés 24, Faubourg that some find forbidding, while I experience them as sensual, rich, and exceedingly addictive.
I love big white florals, especially orange blossoms, but with a few exceptions I tend to prefer my jasmine and tuberose wrapped in moss, embraced by animalic notes, or drenched in amber rather than flying free in the naked air. And actually, I like almost any scent a great deal more when it’s been smeared with tree resins and set on a cushion of moss and lichens. I love old fashioned perfumes, but also adore the modern deconstruction of classic ideas by Serge Lutens/Christopher Sheldrake and Maurice Roucel.
This all seems reflected even in the names of many of my favorites, from Ineke’s Briar Rose with its incredibly dark rose, sharp thorns, hint of moss, and tainted berries to Vagabond Prince’s Enchanted Forest redolent of the haunted wildwood with its notes of black currant, balsam fir, smoking resins, the tangle of roses, and a hint of animalic musk, to Oriza’s Chypre Mousse, all wet moss, mushrooms, dirt, and budding violets set into a deep green velvet gown with a bodice laced with the softest suede.
So, you get the idea, I like my fragrance set to a feverish flute, tempestuous harp, or fractured electronica rather than symphonic perfection or banal pop hooks. If you wonder what I mean, go listen to Valravn’s Seersken, Florence + the Machine’s Blinding, or Fever Ray’s Triangle Walks.
Besides perfume and beauty, I will likely occasionally delve into a few of my other interests here, which include mythology, history, botany, food, and music. I’m no fashionista, but I do have an intense interest in clothing from many times and places, most especially modern deconstructions of Renaissance and Victorian Europe. I follow current trends, but am more likely to dress like Florence Welch, a Rossetti painting, or Mori Girl style, the Japanese fashion of dressing like someone in a Northern European fairy tale with an anime Lolita flair. I figure life might as well be something beautiful and exciting, so I make mine as epically gorgeous as possible and surround myself with landscapes, people, and perfumes befitting of a storybook.