Perfume Chat Room, June 24

Welcome to the weekly Perfume Chat Room, perfumistas! I envision this chat room as a weekly drop-in spot online, where readers may ask questions, suggest fragrances, tell others their SOTD, comment on new releases or old favorites, and respond to each other. The perennial theme is fragrance, but we can interpret that broadly. This is meant to be a kind space, so please try not to give or take offense, and let’s all agree to disagree when opinions differ. In fragrance as in life, your mileage may vary! YMMV.

This week in the New York Times: “When Did Perfume Stop Being About Sex?”. From the article: “Smaller, independent brands are often more creative in their approach to perfume making, highlighting individual ingredients and notes or using a story to attract customers. Fragrances are often stronger, bolder and more expensive than department store stalwarts synonymous with a ‘free gift with purchase.’”

The article is interesting although I doubt it says anything that you readers don’t already know. If you’re here, you have more than the average interest in fragrance! I thought it was interesting that it mentions more people turning to fragrance during the pandemic.

Turning this article on its head: what is the most seductive fragrance you own? And what makes it seductive? Right now, I would say my choice would be the Shalimar Philtre de Parfum I bought earlier this summer (available online these days for a very reasonable price, btw). Its listed notes are lemon, bergamot, lavender, iris, jasmine, rose, vanilla, tolu balsam and patchouli. Philtre is a summery Shalimar, but it has that warm vanilla that many people find irresistible and that in my experience often attracts compliments from strangers.

Illustration of perfume and perceptions of gender
Image by Miki Kim for the New York Times

23 thoughts on “Perfume Chat Room, June 24

  1. I agree on the vanilla being attractive. My date night perfume (during colder months) is Jungle l’Elephant. Is it seductive? I don’t know – I just like how it makes me feel. No perfume today so far – my son’s graduation party is tomorrow, 100+ guests, we have been going nonstop trying to get everything set up today so we’re not crazed and exhausted tomorrow. Will probably spritz something later before going out to dinner (tables are all set up for the party!)

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  2. That’s a very interesting take on Shalimar Philtre and totally at odds with my own experience of it. I get bright effervescence, so not what my head wants to associate with seductive, despite the vanilla. Lately I have had compliments from men and women on Bottega Veneta Velours – also not one I associate with seductive – maybe it’s the gentle leather? But as in all things it comes down to personal choice, that’s one facet of this perfume pastime that makes it fascinating and fun. It’s funny how some people turned to perfume during the height of the pandemic, perhaps for some there was the element of having time to ponder and appreciate the artistry. So they’re now finding out what those of us who are perfume enthusiasts have known for yonks.


  3. I’d never wondered that before, so had to take inventory… I do tend to wear Portrait of a Lady on romantic occasions, so I guess that would be the one, an olfactory picture of velvety red roses (although my other half’s nose picks up on the patchouli much more strongly!).

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  4. Hey there OH!
    It feels like forever since dropping in here. Sorry, life got in the way.
    LOVE this question.
    Sadly, anything with heavy amber seems to attack Jin’s nose so I keep it pretty chill for date nights (or put it on an hour before).
    Things I like to wear in our current winter are Cartier Declaration Parfum, Olfactive Studios Autoportrait and CHANEL Boy.
    Portia xx

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  5. If I went on what DH has bought me I would say his preference is No5 or EL Amber Ylang Ylang.
    The perfumes that hit his badly functioning schnoz then immediately “head south” are Poison & JPG2.
    TBH I rarely wear scent for DH or anyone else. If I was feeling “romantic”, read floaty, pastel, floral frock & espadrilles. I would wear SJP Lovely, LAP La Chasse aux Papillons or Guerlain Nahema

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      • Mines a vintish Nahema EdP. No idea how she smells today after two bottle changes!
        Mine is pretty, sweetish, slightly jammy rose. Very English floral tea dress. Goutal Rose Pompom just flashed into my head. They may be similar though RPP may be a tad greener

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