The Nose Knows


Elizabeth Taylor as Gloria Wandrous in BUtterfield 8

What perfume did Gloria wear? Elizabeth may have favored Bal A Versailles at the time but in the opening scene of the film she wanders into Dina Merrill’s dressing room and samples a few perfumes on the vanity. Gloria finally settles on one. She liberally applies it thoroughly enjoying the sensual act of perfume meeting skin. The perfume was Caron’s Tabac Blonde. Created in 1919 by Ernest Daltrof this Leather perfume’s notes are: leather, carnation, lime blossom, iris, vetiver, ylang-ylang, cedar, patchouli, vanilla, ambergris, musk. Tabac Blonde, a smokey leather scent perfect for Gloria’s walk of shame in nothing but a silk slip and a mink as she hails a cab at dawn on 5th avenue. *copied from Movie Memory

I love perfume.

From my first spritz of Love’s Baby Soft to the whisper of White Shoulders to the beachy wafts of Michael Kors I have had a scent from every stage of my life.

Eventually, I landed on a signature scent. Part of it was that I wanted to be that woman with a signature scent.

But it turned out that no matter my mood, the season, the occasion, only one scent fit me consistently.

Joy by Jean Patou.

If you have sniffed me at any time over the past decade, that would be what you smelled.

Until recently.

One day my bottle was dry. Sadness.

Somehow I muddled through for a month or two using up my supply of perfume samples.

Then on a recent trip to Istanbul the allure of the Duty Free Shop beckoned.

In the heat of passion (read: cloud of perfume) I giddily sniffed and spritzed and whiffed and sprayed. And came home with two new to me fragrances.


Midnight Rain Eau de Parfum Spray by La Prairie – Nordstrom $135

La Prairie describes Midnight Rain as – The embodiment of free-spirited passion, for those who don’t waste their night sleeping. Mysterious and captivating, the sexy floral oriental scent is imbued with the aura of sensual woods, juicy watery top notes and natural, rich, young florals. It evokes a fragrant sensation of pleasure, comfort and luxuriance. Notes: Guava, Mandarin, Pomegranate, Freesia, White Lily, Vanilla Orchid, Plum Flower, Amber Flower, Patchouli, Vetyver, Cashmere Woods, Musk

Styled by KDG describes Midnight Rain as – A bit boring. The inititial burst is all Lilly, Freesia, and brightness. Remember that scent and hold it dear because it fades faster than the rate at which you burned through that $135. What remains is enough of a whiff of patchouli to remind you of your college dorm. Where this fragrance excels at length of time is in how long it takes to remove the top from the bottle. Maybe I am just an idiot or maybe I got a particularly aggressive bottle but that top grips like Mighty Mouse. In the end, I was drawn in by its fabulous glittery shell and fooled by that fleeting first burst of scent.

CHANEL Cristalle Eau Verte – Saks Fifth Avenue $105

CHANEL describes Cristalle Eau Verte as – This concentrated Eau de Toilette reveals a sheer and spirited heart. Magnolia notes are rendered transparent with fresh citrus and Neroli accents, for a new expression of a timeless floral bouquet.

Styled by KDG describes Cristalle Eau Verte as – A breath of fresh air. There is nothing cloying about this scent. Frankly, I don’t feel that the magnolia notes get overwhelmed by ciutris at all. In fact, the citrus plays a secondary role in the scent – think: opposite of Clinique’s Happy. This is a scent that is easy on those around you – definitely office appropriate. I’d say this scent is best for spring and summer. Plus, I think it smells just a bit like grass. Which I love.

I may find myself a woman with signature scents – Joy and Cristalle Eau Verte.

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