Monday Question – What Are The Skeletons In Your Perfume Closet?

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?


My Answer:

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!


About Olfactoria

I'm on a journey through the world of fragrance - come with me!
This entry was posted in Monday Question and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

76 Responses to Monday Question – What Are The Skeletons In Your Perfume Closet?

  1. haefennasiel says:

    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.

    • Olfactoria says:

      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. 🙂

  2. Undina says:

    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.

    • Undina says:

      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.

    • Olfactoria says:

      BUT you love the bottle. That is enough to enjoy it. We should allow ourselves to treasure beauty where we find it. xx

  3. Ines says:

    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. 🙂

  4. 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.
    Portia xx

    • ringthing says:

      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 🙂

    • Olfactoria says:

      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.

  5. Emma's RooM says:

    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

    • Olfactoria says:

      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… 😦

      • rickyrebarco says:

        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!

    • Annina says:

      Just bought some White Musk and White Musk Libertine last week! Have you tried the Libertine? I find I’m reaching for it often!

  6. Lady Jane Grey says:

    Does vintage Very Valentino count ?
    And I like Dita a lot (the person – I don’t know the parfum).

  7. Natalie says:

    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.

  8. Annina says:

    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!).

  9. Ari says:

    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.

  10. FeralJasmine says:

    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.

    • Olfactoria says:

      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.

    • Katherine says:

      Feral jasmine, I really love Boyfriend (thanks to Ari) and Fancy Nights (thanks to Portia). I’m a little embarrassed to tell people.

  11. Alice says:

    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,

  12. Cotton Red says:

    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.

  13. Claudia Bloemendal says:

    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 😉

  14. 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 . . . 😉

  15. Gunnar says:

    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.

  16. LeSputnik says:

    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!

  17. cookie queen says:

    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

  18. 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.

  19. Mare says:

    I love the Nicole Richie perfume. I don’t particularly care for her, but I love this beautiful amber-y scent!

    • Olfactoria says:

      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.

  20. anitathepianist says:

    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…

  21. janeykate says:

    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 🙂
    Jane x

  22. Katherine says:

    Another skeleton is Jessica Simpson’s Fancy Nights which smells like Hedonist on my skin.

  23. nemo says:

    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’.”

  24. Figuier says:

    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…

  25. Vanessa says:

    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…;)

  26. Erika says:

    Well its deseo by jennifer lopez, i like the flacon and also the sunny beachy lush scent.

  27. isabeau1977 says:

    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!

  28. Lean S says:

    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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s