As far as I’m concerned, The Non-Blonde is the ultimate authority on oriental and woody perfumes. As an oriental fragrance-loving lady myself, it has quite literally been years since I have not wholeheartedly agreed with one of Gaia’s reviews. Gaia has been one of the most consistently excellent perfume bloggers since 2006, and she does it all with eleven cats. The adorable one pictured here is Lizzy.
Why do you write about perfume?
For the same reason I write about lipstick, Kim Kardashian and fashion trends: I have something to say and I can’t keep my mouth shut. Of course, I have a certain passion for perfume and a need to share it.
You’ve revealed on The Non Blonde that one of your very first fragrances was the squeaky-clean white floral Calvin Klein Eternity. Considering that you are now such an aficionado of oriental fragrances that you refer to Serge Lutens as “our favorite Uncle Serge”, what has caused your perfume preferences to change so drastically over the years?
At first I was going to say that perhaps my taste hasn’t changed so much as it expanded. But who am I kidding? While I keep some vintage Eternity around for reference and sentimental reasons (and also White Linen, that I wore around the same time), I can’t bring myself to wear either one. They really rub me the wrong way these days. But back to the original question, it has a lot to do with exposure and availability. Remember that we’re talking about the late 80s and very early 1990s, before Uncle Serge, Uncle Freddie and the rest of them. White Linen and Eternity were among my everyday scents because they were accessible, but at the same time I also wore Sisley Eau du Soir, Sonia Rykiel Le Parfum, the original Tiffany, Valentino by Valentino and Paloma Picasso. Not so squeaky clean, after all.
What are your favorite perfume houses?
Oh, boy. Too many for my own good: Serge Lutens, Tauer Perfumes, Mona di Orio, Gueralin, DSH Perfumes, Annick Goutal, JAR, Parfum d’Empire, Vero Profumo, MPG, Aftelier, Parfumerie Generale.
What is your favorite place to shop for perfume?
Henri Bendel and MiN NY, Luckyscent, Beauty Habit and nothing beats a good deal on Parfum1.
In addition to perfume and makeup reviews, you often post delightful critiques of celebrity fashion. Your style nemesis seems to be Kat Von D, who you dryly declare “a glamorous embodiment of class and good taste”. Have you tried any of Kat Von D’s perfumes? Are they as appealing as their namesake?
I never got around to trying her perfumes. I was highly unimpressed with her makeup so I was never moved to see what else she has to offer.
What are some of your other interests outside of perfume?
I have a house full of cats, so that probably qualifies as a major interest. I love antiquing: have a thing for Art Deco and mid-century modern items. I love reading; I resisted digital books for the longest time but I’m a believer now. It’s the best thing since the Internet.
What perfumes are you hoping to find under the Christmas tree/Menorah branches this year?
The ever-expanding wishlist includes Pandora by DSH, JAR Golconda, Mona di Orio Vanille and lots and lots of others.