The Nerdy Perfume Blog

Your Most Feminine Perfume

So last night I decided that I was going to be one of those cool girls who cuts their own hair. As it turns out, people with the kind of spatial deficits that cause them to fail the parallel parking portion of the driver’s license test twice should not cut their own hair. Now I look more like a sixteen year old boy than any sixteen year old boy has ever looked. (No, y’all don’t get a picture.) I need some unquestionably feminine perfumes to retain some sense of femininity in the face of my Leo-DiCaprio-in-Titanic haircut. So help a sister (brother? OH GOD WHAT AM I) out: what’s your most feminine perfume?

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64 Responses to “Your Most Feminine Perfume”

  1. baconbiscuit212

    Oh no! I wish there was another WordPress option other than liking a post to show support because clearly I don’t like the idea that anyone has a bad haircut – self-inflicted or not! I vote for Frédéric Malle’s Une Fleur de Cassie or Portrait of a Lady!

    And scarves. I had boy hair once and wore a lot of scarves!

    Reply
    • Ari

      Oh, perfect, I have a sample of Portrait of a Lady from Undina! This “liking” business is always a problem on Facebook, too. I’ve seen people “like” a status update announcing a relative’s death!

      Reply
  2. klytaemnestra

    Well, as someone who thinks they look like a 16 year old boy without makeup on, I can sympathize. Of course, in my case, the super short hair is intentional. I love me some androgyny.

    As for super feminine, I actually love Dita’s perfume. A friend of mine procured me a bottle at one of Dita’s shows and honestly, I kind of adore it. It smells like my grandmother’s powder room — she was the epitome of glamour to me when I was a child. As I’ve stated before, my mother didn’t wear perfume, so my grandmother was the one who helped foster that in me. It reminds me of a silk peignoir and feathery mules, of red lipstick, and dusting powder. It may not be some high-end luxury item, but I do feel a little more feminine and glamourous when I wear it.

    Of course, there’s also Lipstick Rose which I’ve yet to buy a full bottle of. I love that stuff, but you already wear that. It’s like Jean Harlow personified in a bottle.

    Reply
    • Ari

      Oh, it’s good to hear a positive review of Dita’s perfume! You make it sound wonderful. I really hope that it will make it over to the US eventually. And you pull off androgyny waaaaay more successfully than I could ever hope to.

      Reply
      • klytaemnestra

        I need to order supplies to make samples, but when I do I can send you sample of it if you’d like. I suppose in some ways it’s kind of a cheap thrill, but I really do like it and have gotten more compliments on it than anything else I’ve been wearing lately. It’s not some great classic, but it smells like what I thought it would. A glamourous lady’s powder room, and I’m okay w/ that because despite the fact that Dita might douse herself in Caron, this is kind of what I’d expect her to smell like. Dusting powder, lipstick, the soft wafting scent of melding fragrances carried on a silk robe.

        Reply
  3. Patty

    I recommend YSL’s Paris – the most glamorous, feminine perfume I know of. I think it’s lovely, but it’s kind of hard for me to live up to!

    Reply
    • Ari

      Paris is so beautiful! I have a perfect vintage bottle from my boyfriend’s grandmother. It strikes me as a less formal version of Frederic Malle Lipstick Rose.

      Reply
  4. Sharon C.

    As someone who did the very same thing her senior year in high school, I fully understand what you’re experiencing! [The only thing I ever trim these days are my bangs, and only sparingly when I can’t get to my hairdresser.] Paris is great, but I also love SSS Rose Musc (or Vintage Rose for a va-va-va-voom evening). BTW, since hats are in style now, maybe you want to try rocking a fedora? And just remember–hair DOES grow out!

    Reply
    • Ari

      Thank you for the greatly-needed reminder, Sharon! I haven’t tried either of those SSS scents, I’ll have to order a sample of Vintage Rose. I could always use more va-va-voom!

      Reply
  5. matildaben

    La Chasse aux Papillons or Lipstick Rose both say “dress up as a feminine character that I’m not really” to me. The first is a girl who trips through fields of wildflowers in a flowy dress. The second is a bombshell vamp with a furry cashmere sweater and 50s lipstick.

    Reply
    • Ari

      That’s exactly how I see Lipstick Rose, Matilda! I’ve only tried La Chasse aux Papillons once, but I do remember it as being very flowy-dress-and-wildflowers-y.

      Reply
  6. Alnysie

    Awwwwww I feel so bad for you but you made me laugh this morning, thanks! I don’t have much to suggest but once when I felt that my outfit was quite “butch,” I countered with the most feminine fragrance of my tiny collection (then made of about 5 decants): Frédéric Malle En Passant. And it did make me feel more feminine!

    Reply
    • Ari

      I’m glad SOMEONE is getting something good out of my ridiculous hair, Alynysie! ;) So many people have suggested Malles today! They do have some beautiful feminines, don’t they?

      Reply
  7. Meg

    I would say Les Muses by Coty — sweet as honey, graceful as the goddesses it’s named after, and feels like wearing a virtual Fortuny Delphos gown, all swirly silken pleats.

    Reply
  8. australianperfumejunkies

    OH MY GOD! Were you HIGH?
    Any of the Aqua Allegoria set will have you ultra femme in a butterflies kiss. Maybe some of Neela Vermeire’s gorgeous girliness?
    What about a multi spritz of Justin Beiber? I hear that that is Girl Juice!!
    Sending ultra bad hair day hugs from Oz.
    Portia xx

    Reply
    • Ari

      Stone-cold sober. Any reasonable excuse that you can think of, I don’t have it! My only Aqua Allegoria, Pamplelune, isn’t terribly femme, but I am lucky enough to have samples of Neela’s fragrances! I bet some Mohur will do the trick!

      Reply
  9. Elisa Gabbert (@egabbert)

    If you get or give yourself a bad haircut, I’m all for dropping $100 to go to a good salon and getting it fixed, stat. (I once accidentally snipped my very long, had-been-growing-them-out-for-a-year bangs off at the roots because the comb I ran through my hair turned out to be a RAZOR COMB.) I’m sure you’re still adorable though.

    As for feminine perfumes, I agree with many named here, and will add Tea Rose, Broadway Nite, Carolina Herrera, Tuscany per Donna.

    Reply
    • Ari

      There is no way to respond to that razor comb story other than OMG. I don’t even know what a razor comb IS, but now I hate it on your behalf.
      Tuscany per Donna is so terribly womanly, isn’t it? I still can’t believe it’s so cheap.

      Reply
      • Elisa Gabbert (@egabbert)

        It’s literally a comb with a razor inside it! It’s used to kind of rough up just the ends of your hair, or to trim very short hair I guess (which mine was not). My mom had it in her drawer and I thought, obviously, it was a regular comb. I actually screamed! It made a horrifying slashing sound.

        Reply
  10. susan

    You’re getting lots of great suggestions! I like the idea of Tuscany per Donna or Dita von Teese (I like Dita’s perfume too!). Rosy/lipsticky/powdery scents are really feminine to me.

    Reply
  11. Alyssa Harad

    Oh dear. Well, what a great time to experiment with a new lipstick. Or–since you’re going to grow it out anyway–hair color! Woo hoo! Or HATS! What? I’m supposed to be talking about perfume? Oh, OK. I agree with everything listed above and would add Tiempe Passate from Antonia’s Flowers, which is one of the few perfumes I would not recommend to any of my male friends. Iris perfumes, I think, have a cool femininity–Mythique from Parfums DelRae is a nice sunny one.
    ( Also any of the white flowers, but I know you detest them.)

    Reply
    • Ari

      Somehow you’ve made this whole ear-length hair business sound so much more exciting than it really is, Alyssa! It may be time to break out the Pikachu hat…

      Reply
    • solanace

      Alyssa is right. Have you seen the girl from Messy Wands? Much prettier with the short hair, and as she just posted, now she can wear a lot of make up (red lipstick with silver eywear!) and still keep a very clean and polished look. Brilliant.

      Reply
  12. Luisa

    So I might be going off on a tangent with this. And it might be seriously weird. But bear with me, maybe I’ll manage to get my point across.
    I’m a huge lover of feminine scents. Rose Essentielle is my go-to-maybe-even-future-signature scent. But none of my beloved powdery florals make me go “OMG I’m a woman”. To me, there’s feminine perfume, and then there’s perfume that makes me feel like a woman, if that makes sense. The one fragrance I found that does the latter best for me is actually Juliette has a gun Calamity J. Yeah, that’s right, smokey, manly Calamity J. The only reason I know this is because I once had a sample of it thrown in with another purchase. I would have never picked it up myself.
    It’s so masculine that wearing it makes me feel as if I have the scent of a stranger stuck to my skin, which sounds a lot more creepy and unpleasant than it actually is (it is one damn fine-smelling stranger). At the same time it makes me very aware of my body, my ‘female identity’ if you don’t mind big words. It’s a very Lady Chatterley-ish sort of self-recognition.
    This is probably not what you’re looking for and I sure hope I didn’t just seriously creep you out. xD Maybe just file it under stories of the strange powers of perfume. :)

    Reply
    • Ari

      Luisa, big words are not only not minded on this blog, they are highly encouraged. Your tangent made perfect sense to me. It’s hard to say how close “feminine” and “womanly” are- if one’s personal definition of “feminine” is “girly”, then the two may not have much overlap at all! Calamity J is one of the JHAG frags I haven’t tried yet! Smoky sounds just grand to me…

      Reply
  13. Megan

    1) It is just hair
    2) It does grow back
    3) There are a lot more important things than hair
    4) If a bad haircut is your worst problem, consider yourself lucky.

    Take it from someone who had her head shaved for military school. Life does go on.

    Get a cute short haircut and move on.

    Reply
    • Ari

      Thank you for the much-needed reminder, Megan! I am indeed very lucky to have something as trivial as an (entirely self-inflicted) haircut as a problem.

      Reply
  14. Dionne

    I have always had short hair as an adult, most of the time it’s shorter than Leo up above, so here’s my two cents, similar to Elisa’s comment up above. With short hair, a great cut makes a WORLD of difference, far more than for longer hair. You’ve got to trust me on this. A bad cut will definitely make you feel masculine (yup, own that t-shirt), but a fabulous cut will make you feel spunky and very feminine; it’ll draw attention to your ears, your eyes, your cheekbones.

    After you get a great cut, invest in good product. The right goop will give you more options than you ever had with long hair. Right now I use this fantastic stuff called “Gritty Business” by Kevin Murphy; it’s got clay and beeswax in it, and gives the most amazing hold and texture. Dude, I could have animé hair if I wanted.

    So get thee hence to a salon. Then go wild trying different looks. Change up the part, your bangs, go spiky, go sleek, go 60’s. You won’t want to wear a hat or scarves once you get going. This could be the beginning of something really fun.

    Oh, and feminine perfumes? Yves Rocher’s Rose Absolue hits that spot for me.

    Reply
    • Ari

      Thank you so much for this (seriously badly needed) short hair advice, Dionne. I know NOTHING about hair, and even less about short haircuts. I am hoping to get to the salon after my midterm on Sunday!

      Reply
  15. Mals86 (@musewoodenshoes)

    I’m with Elisa and Dionne: go hit the salon and see what they can do to tweak the cut. You have beautiful cheekbones. I’d be stalking photos of Emma Watson’s style, too, just for tips. And then: scarves. Dresses. Heels. Or rock that androgyny thing (I could never do it, I haz too much hips, but was always jealous of girls who could).

    Prada Candy? Broadway Nite? That Slut? Parfum Sacre?

    Reply
    • Ari

      You have no idea how badly I needed my cheekbones complimented today, Mals. Thank you so much. You know, I’ve been occasionally regretting selling my Prada Candy- now that Sephora has the 1 oz bottle, I might go for it again.

      Reply
    • Dionne

      I was thinking after I wrote my post, “I should’ve mentioned Emma Watson.” Ari, I bet you could totally rock a pixie. A woman’s nape is very sexy. Also, one of the best things about short hair is the earrings. Little ones don’t get lost, big ones look fabulous.

      Something else to consider: it’s not expensive to add some zing. I got fun copper streaks put in last week, and it just took five foils. Ooooh, the possibilities!

      Reply
      • odonata9

        Totally agree about the earrings! I love love love how longer earrings look on short haired girls. I have long wavy dark hair, so most earrings get lost behind it, and I have to wear shiny ones (usually silver or gold) to make sure they peek out (unless my hair is up, of course). So get some fab earrings and rock it!

        Reply
  16. poodle

    I agree with the others and think you need to get to a salon. Either clean it up so it can grow out or get a cute short cut. Find a fabulous lipstick and you’ll be fine. Have you tried any styling products in the current bad haircut? Sometimes it’s just a matter of styling it differently and working some product to make it a good hair day. Hats are fun too.

    Reply
    • Ari

      Poodle, I don’t own a single styling product- never needed one before! I will be hitting up a salon the minute my midterm is done on Thursday. Thank you for all the advice!

      Reply
  17. Rebecca

    When I want to feel feminine, I choose an all out floral. Something with lily of the valley or rose. Then I imagine I’m in Downton Abbey. I’ve had short hair only once in my life, and I hated it. Third grade was a tough year.

    Reply
    • Ari

      LOL! Third grade may well be the worst time in a girl’s life to have short hair. That’s when all of the popular girls are doing french braids…

      Reply
  18. Ann-Sofie

    Ooooohhhhh! My very most sincere sympathies. I did that too, but perhaps worse I think. one night of Inspiration, I chopped my shoulder length hair until only a few inches remained all over my head. My ambition: a wild look in a supreme stylish way. The result: newly released from the asylum. Yes – scarfs! And jewellry – earrings. Short hair and earrimgs is actually a killer – in a good way.

    How about Samsara, the lovely red from the 80ies – age of the Big Hair.

    Reply
    • Ari

      I greatly appreciate the commiseration, Ann-Sofie. Shoulder-length hair seems like a common trigger for these do-it-yourself haircuts. Time to pull out my Samsara samples and remember the good hair days…

      Reply
  19. laniersmith

    Bal a Versailles…..if it was good enough for Elizabeth Taylor to wear while she seduced Richard Burton on the set of “Cleopatra” and get her denounced by the Pope, then it ought to be potent enough to bring out the glamour goddess in you.

    Reply
  20. SonomaVelvet

    Hey Ari
    Sounds like you’re going to be just fine rocking a kicky new do. To me, OJ Tiare is the most feminine perfume I own. I loves it, makes me feel like a woman. Chanel beige too, in a more day to day way, and in a completely different way, Coromandel makes me feel very womanly. My guess is that you aren’t going to wear any perfumes for long just because they make you feel feminine, you’re going to end up wearing the ones you enjoy smelling.

    Reply
  21. Natalie

    Your haircut isn’t bad at all! But for most feminine perfumes, I think OJ Tiare is a great suggestion. Dita von Teese too. And (I know you own this one, right?) Bois Farine.

    Reply
  22. Zazie

    Oh, Ari, with your beautiful features, you would look good even with that demi-moore-completely-shaved-style.
    I’m sure you look great no matter what.
    That said, like everybody else, I suggest you go see a great coiffeur. If you say it in french, that’s already a step towards the feminine side of things.
    Then of course there are earrings or chuncky jewelry…
    ..and a great lipstick – with short hair you’ll be able to rock the most vibrant shades!
    To put you even further in the bombshell camp, there is perfume. You own so many feminine fragrances (kai*, l’heure bleue, bijou romantique)…
    But why not try the new Shalimar ode à la vanille? Fantastic.
    I would also suggest 2 masculines that make me feel like Ava Gardner in those perfectly-lit black and white pictures – PDN’s New York and Guerlain’s L’istant pour homme. Because femininity only gets enhanced by borrowing from the men… Yes, even with Leo’s haircut! ;)

    *kai is a jasmine-loaded fragrance. I have good memory and I want to prove you love jasmine! I am geeky like that.

    Reply
  23. rosiegreen

    Ari, I am with Dionne. Anime hair is the bomb. Also different colors are fun in short hair. You could do the brush in hair color or some foils. I don’t have any perfume recommendations that haven’t already been suggested,sorry. I do recommend doing some hair product research, the right product for your hair will do wonders. You might check out Makeupalley, lots of information to be found there.

    Reply
  24. hemlocksillage

    Oh, no! I’m so sorry for your hair stress. You are lovely, and a stylist will be able to turn you into an adorable gamine, charming pixie or smoldering bombshell with a few tidying snips. Please post your after photos. I’ll be cheering for you!

    As for ‘fumes to make you feel feminine? Agree with the BWF suggestions, but I can’t imagine you enjoying them. So wear stuff you love. Maybe set the hardcore Yatagan and M7 aside for another day, but otherwise wear what feels fun. I have to confess, I wore my hair super short for a decade, until I was out wearing Bvlgari pour Homme, and some child asked me, “Are you a boy?” Ouch.

    Yeah, that was the end of super masculine perfumes for a bit. . .my hair is long now, and I wear whatever. Bvlgari pour Homme shower gel may be Ranger/Batman’s scent, but I’m still gonna wear it. Maybe I’ll save the really out there stuff for when I’m having a work day at home. Otherwise, anything goes. Chin up, extra lipstick and mascara, and go get ‘em. Be well.

    Reply
  25. Christos

    I have a perfect one for you. Although I wear feminine perfumes, one of the most feminine ones is Lunire Noire pour Homme (Maison Francis Kourkdjian). It is a creamy rose with no hint of masculinity, A friend (also a perfumista) asked me when he first smelled it: are you sure this is the “pour homme”?

    Reply
  26. sujaan212

    I think it was a bold brave move! Hair grows back but the courage you found within yourself to try something so drastic you will have for a lifetime. Good for you, Ari! In the meantime apply all those great suggestions above like using products to achieve different looks, fab earrings and cute hair clips. You may end up loving your short hair?! And don’t forget to explore some tough chic leather biker chick looks. I like the idea of pixie-cutie-pie-you combined with a tough girl look!! Post photos soon!! 😊

    Reply
  27. Undina

    Sending a big hug: everything will be back to normal in no time! Just remember for future: unless you’re going for Sinéad O’Connor look, it’s never a good idea to cut your own hair!

    Reply

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