Do you have any bottles in your collection that you are not very proud of?
Any “dirty secret” scents?
What are the skeletons in your perfume closet?
As a bona fide perfumista, whether in the stages of first infatuation or well-seasoned, we possess a certain arrogance of what is good and what is not. We tend to look down on some perfumes and elevate others to sometime undeserved heights.
Mainstream or designer fragrances often belong in the first category (many deservedly so!!!). But despite our broader horizons when it comes to evaluating perfume and since we just are aware of many more and better perfumes than the general public (although by no means is all niche good, oh the dreck released today in the name of niche, don’t get me started…), we sometimes are almost ashamed of an old fragrant love in our closets or a much reviled new release justs hits the spot for us.
The perfume I love but try to hide behind more fashionable bottles is Dita von Teese. I like the scent, I like the bottle, I even think Dita the woman is very stylish and elegant, but still, if asked what I wear, I inwardly cringe and wish it would be something else.
Shallow of me? Yes. Stupid even? Probably.
But here I am anyway – confessing.
Your turn now! Please confess about the scented skeletons in your closet!
Bath and Body Works’ Juniper Breeze *looks sheepish*. But Dita von Teese’s perfumes are said to be very well-made and she knows her stuff.
I know!!! Dita is not a very good example of skeleton scents. It is just the stripper connection I guess, because many people don’t know who she really is and that is she is really classy in my opinion. I just should not heed what others say…
Juniper Breeze sounds nice. 🙂
I don’t have any scheletons the way you described them but there are some perfumes I think I shouldn’t have bought. For example, Nuit Étoilée by Annick Goutal. I do not love that scent, never did but I so liked the bottle! And while I think it’s fine to buy a bottle for the bottle itself, I think it was wrong to pay a full retail price for something I like only as a bottle. I do not dislike it and even wear once in a while – but still.
P.S. I didn’t mean that I do not have mainstream/mall/etc. scents in my collection – I do – but I love them all and do not feel bad about that. To name some names, I still love Yves Rocher’s Nature (it’s discontinued but was really inexpensive when I bought it) or Ulric de Varens’ ISA for which I paid, I think, about $15 for a bottle brought to mefrom France.
BUT you love the bottle. That is enough to enjoy it. We should allow ourselves to treasure beauty where we find it. xx
Oh, Birgit, you’re so kind! It’s a nice view on the situation – thank you! ;- )
You are welcome! I try to remind myself of that regularly too. 🙂
Ha! After so many years in the perfumista world I managed to clean my closets. 😉 In order to put new things in mostly. 😀
But if we’re doing mainstream perfumes that might be frowned upon because of our “superior” tastes, 😉 my skeleton would be Secret Obsession by Calvin Klein. I just love that one. Plus it’s rather cheap these days. 🙂
Secret Obsession is just what it says on the bottle. Perfect name for a skeleton! 😉
Lol! 🙂 True.
Ha Ha ha! So many of my perfumes would fit in this category. To be honest though I find it harder to tell people that I’m wearing something like Where We Are There Is No Here by CB I Hate Perfume or Estratto di Colonia by Pineider. At least when I say Fancy Nights by Jessica Simpson or Live Your Dream by Anna Sui I get a look of understanding horror and a conversation is not stalled with everyone except me looking baffled.
I agree wholeheartedly! You have to keep in mind that I live in some very unsophisticated farm country in the US (and I myself am quite unsophisticated as well) but when I am asked what I’m wearing, I often reply “some fancy French perfume” because my meager high school French would butcher the name and the asker wouldn’t get it anyway. By the way, I just got a bottle of Fancy Nights and I’m really enjoying it, there’s no snobbery in my collection 🙂
YAY! I love that you keep it real RingThing. So cool.
Ha, a very good reason. But really, this MQ is more for the sake of the argument, we should all rpoudly wear whatever we desire.
I don’t feel there should be any skeletons. Like wine, our pallets mature and start to appreciate richer, more diverse fragrances but we needed some of those skeletons to arrive at where we did today! Talking to a friend we discussed our first dabbles of perfume, usually pinched from mum- first, Gianni Versace (original scent), le Must du Cartier (perfume). Or those bought for you by friends- Charlie, dewberry from the body shop or, should I even write this down white musk!!! Hee, hee. In south of France at the moment and looking for new scent ideas, love my Chanel Sycamore and one of my all time favs but gone now, le’ feu d’issey, adored that, what’s similar in notes??? Ideas needed, in a little bit of a perfume lull! Xxx
Very true, Emma. Our tastes change over time and no need to feel ashamed of anything we love.
Feu d’Issey was a great favorite of mine as well and I have not found anything similar since… 😦
Well, I don’t consider this really a “skeleton,” but I do have a couple of celebrity perfumes, but I like them, Queen by Queen Latifah and Usher UR for women, the Queen a lovely spicy oriental and the Usher a pretty tuberose, both above the usual celeb quality. I don’t wear these a lot but I like them. There’s nothing I’m ashamed of- no Hello Kitty perfumes!
Queen Latifah is so great in Chicago. 🙂
Yes, she is!!! I’ve just recently listened to the soundtrack again – and loved it again.
Just bought some White Musk and White Musk Libertine last week! Have you tried the Libertine? I find I’m reaching for it often!
Does vintage Very Valentino count ?
And I like Dita a lot (the person – I don’t know the parfum).
It does! (I wore that one too!).
I will second you, B. Dita might be the skeleton in my closet. Some people might find Hugo Boss Red to be very low-brow, but I don’t feel ashamed when someone asks me about that one. I think my fear with any celebrity perfume is that people will think I look up to or want to emulate that person.
Hugo Boss Red is a great dupe for a discontinued love of mine, Herve Ledger! I love it and mean to get a small bottle.
Bah! Autocorrect… Herve Leger!
I love the original Herve Leger too! The purple one? I have never noticed them being dupes (but have only a tiny mini of the Herve Leger, which I rarely wear because of the discontinuation). That is so cool. I’m going to have to wear them together.
I’ve worn Hervé Leger too!!!
That is very reassuring, thanks Nat! I feel the same, only because I like a perfume does not mean I buy into the celebrity cult attached to it, but many assume that.
It’s hard to think of any of my perfume friends as skeletons, because I really wear what I like. I would think of a bottle as a skeleton more if it was a bad blind-buy, an impulse that I ended up hating, or the like – something that’s become an albatross. Regrets are skeletons to me.
The only bottle I could maybe consider a skeleton is Dolce & Gabbana (original red cap for her). It’s a real stinker. I take it out and sniff the nozzle, but rarely wear it. But I still love it because my husband bought it for me when we were dating (as well as the body cream!).
It has sentimental value, so it is efintiely no skeleton. And I’m sure your husband knows your tastes far better now. 🙂
Unfortunately, I sold my bottle of Rochas Man (it was an excellent Bond No 9 New Haarlem dupe), but that terrible phallic pine cone was absolutely the black sheep of my collection, visually.
Oh I can imagine that! 😀
Have to admit that when people ask, I’m embarrassed to say that I’m wearing Boyfriend. And people regularly do ask, because it’s lovely on me! Something about the idea of wearing a celebuscent embarrasses me, but it’s a delicious scent and relatively inexpensive, so time to get over that.
Boyfriend is lovely indeed, but I can sympathize with your embarrassment, although rationally we know it is unnecessary.
I grew up Catholic, so I’m normally totally on board with a morbid sense of guilt and shame— but man, Boyfriend just smells so gosh darn good on people. My mom wears it, and the body cream is especially amazing on her. Seriously– nothing in my collection smells so good on me as that body cream does on her.
You smell good.
Feral jasmine, I really love Boyfriend (thanks to Ari) and Fancy Nights (thanks to Portia). I’m a little embarrassed to tell people.
My current skeleton (don’t ask me about earlier embarrassments – the list would be long!) is l’eau d’issey. A skeleton because its so universally decried by perfume critics these days, although I like it (the bottle helps!) along with others in the unfashionable aquatic/ozonic genre,
My husband would love you!!!!
I actually grew up loving the vintage/original JP Gaultier (back when it was still released only as either EDT or the extrait version). I figured if Madonna could appropriate a pinstripe suit over a cone bra, a boy could just as subversively wear a cone-bra equivalent of perfume underneath his suit! Today I still own the original parfum spray (the tiny corset bottle hidden inside the way-cool mini tin can as its very own closet- ha ha). Being a grown lad, I’d now layer any “girly” scent over a “manly” (animalic) musk base, my favorite lately being Urban Musk by Tom Ford for its slightly “soiled” (barnyard) note, but may even experiment with MKK if I ever could muster the nerve! As always, thanks for yet another great post.
I Love that story, Cotton Red! I’m glad you made JP Gaultier yours, conventions be damned.
Well….mine is Love etc. by The Body Shop. To make things even “worse”, this one gets the most compliments when I wear it. No comments on my MdO Oud or one of my uncle Serges, none at all. But it’s a Dominique Ropion scent, so that takes some of the shame away 😉
So interesting that those perfumes always are the compliment getters…
I proudly display my Kate Walsh Boyfriend and Dita Von Teese right next to my Amouages!
But that bottle of Fresh Brown Sugar . . . how did that get back there . . . 😉
I like Brown Sugar and the bottle is cute! 😉
Baconbiscuit212, just curious how you get your bottle of DVT to stand up? 😉 I have one too and it is wedged between others in a box. Unless you display it lying down?
Mine is actually the 40 ml footed bottle, so it stands on it’s own. Do you have the lovely one with the tassel? I think that is the prettier bottle but I would have the same storage conundrum! Maybe keep it in the box?
Wouldn’t they be Smeletons? 😉 For me it would Givenchy Pi, one the first fragrances I wore obsessively. I ocaissionally sneak a spritz because I find the vanilla so comforting.
Ha! Great word! 🙂
I love that word too! 🙂
mmmmmmmmmm my skeleton: Ayurvédique from La Sultane de Saba. I had to look up the name cause i just call it my vanilla! Nobody knows it and it should really have been part of the talk on vanilla Neil from the Black Narcissus gave last week. It was recommended by the French blog le critique de parfum, a very good source of information, but very severe as well. And it is definitely easier to find than Tihota that I would just love to smell and test!
Hmmm, that sounds great!
Should Neil read this I’m sure he’s be interested to smell this (and so am I!).
I don’t have a single skeleton, but that is simply because I have a block in my head and refuse to try so many things. But we’ll change that soon huh?? Gonna try something brand new to me, although I am sure it won’t fall into the skeleton category. 😉 xxx
I hope it won’t! 🙂
I don’t have many skeletons, if any, but I recently bought a used bottle of Moschino’s original Cheap & Chic because it was cheap and I was curious about it. Well, it probably was chic in the 90s and I can appreciate it, but honestly give me any one of its flankers rather than C&C itself. I don’t know what to do with the bottle — its a bit grimy around the sprayer so I dont want to push it onto anyone else… Maybe I’ll just take a small decant and chuck the bottle.
Sometimes a purchase is only cheap and not so chic… 😉
I love the Nicole Richie perfume. I don’t particularly care for her, but I love this beautiful amber-y scent!
It’s great to hear about those hidden treasures. I’d never try a Nicole Richie perfume out of snobbery or ignorance, but apparently celebuscents CAN be good too.
Wind Song lurks in the back of my cabinet, and I occasionally wear it. Jennifer Lopez’s Still is in there too as well as Queen Latifah. Last summer I found Pure Paradise by Bath and Body Works and just loved it. Speaking of Paradise,,,,there is a bottle of Beyond Paradise as well…
Celebuscents seem to be on many people’s skeleton list.
Oh I loved Charlie, as mentioned in one of the comments! My perfume skeleton in the closet (quite literally) are a couple of the jo Malone perfumes. I love the bottles, and the names, and the branding, but I just can’t love the perfumes, and I have no idea why. I kind of like them in the first few minutes, but then hate them when they settle on my skin. So my skeleton is 3 bottles of jo Malone in my closet that I can’t bring myself to wear. Maybe I will just take them out once in a while, look at them, then put them back 🙂
I totally sympathize, I love Jo Malone’s bottles, but I just can’t find one that wears well on me…
Another skeleton is Jessica Simpson’s Fancy Nights which smells like Hedonist on my skin.
Really? That is great! What a bargain then!
My current skeleton, which I probably need to get over very quickly, is being embarrassed to admit to people how very many perfumes I actually own (so I guess that makes most of my bottles skeletons? Or I have a graveyard?). I have limited the full bottles, but the decants and samples have started to overflow a bit! I also get embarrassed about obsessively asking people what perfume they are wearing, and not stopping if they reply, “Oh, some French thing that starts with a ‘G’.”
I know the feeling well. But who says you have to disclose the number to any- and everyone? Make it your secret. 🙂
Hmm, don’t really have any real skeletons; but I do often find myself faintly embarrassed by my zen for more overtly feminine/fleshy fragrances. I work in rather puritanical, politically correct environments, so whenever I can’t resist spraying on Songes or Nuda or something I feel like I’m going to be hauled up for betraying the cause of female intellectualism…it’s the scent equivalent of flaunting in-your-face cleavage at the office. I’d be mortified if colleagues registered that I was wafting a voluptuous white floral…low-key woody, incense-, or iris-centric scents are so much more work “appropriate” and I do love them also, but every now and then I just have to douse myself in petals, musk and vanilla…
Very understandable! 🙂
My Lidl Suddenly d’Or (copy of Ghost Luminous, a fruity floral) would be my most skeletonous skeleton, albeit I bought that solely for the purposes of research. Other, genuine, skeletons include Hugo Boss Deep Red as already mentioned (don’t see any likeness to Herve Leger, I must say though), DKNY Cashmere Mist (gone right off it now), EL Intuition (ditto) and a host more, but I am too scared to peek in the hall cupboard and conduct a complete inventory…;)
I dare say the Lidl didn’t cause any financial hardship at least. 🙂
Well its deseo by jennifer lopez, i like the flacon and also the sunny beachy lush scent.
I hear Deseo is very nice!
oh I believe I have few skeletons…Miami Glow by JLO, Fantasy by Britney Spears, it is really too sweet but it does smell great on my skin, same with Pink Sugar. I even wish I still had some Moments by Priscilla Presley or Gabriela Sabatini..just for the sentimental feeling of it!
You seem to be at peace with your skeletons and that’s what counts. 🙂
I don’t have a huge perfume collection yet. I own a lot of mainstream ones. However, I suppose the skeletons in my closet would be the scents I think are kind of childish. It would be the scents I used to wear in high school that, for one reason or another, I still buy (hey they’re pretty cheap). Yesterday I was wearing Bath and Body Works Warm Vanilla Sugar <.< hehe.
Warm Vanilla Sugar sounds delicious and I’m sure it is very comforting. There are times when this is just the ticket.