Chanel Boy


Gabrielle Chanel considered Arthur ‘Boy’ Capel as more than her soul mate; he was her double and her alter-ego. Inspired by their love, BOY CHANEL is a vibrant, perfectly balanced scent that challenges tradition and transcends gender.

Dear Parfums Chanel,

Hi guys! Me again!

Boy is very good. In general, Chanel fragrances are very good. I will continue to buy them, because that money goes right to the Wertheimer family. But I beg you to stop this romanticized, obsessive fetishization of your literal Nazi founder. Your continued insistence on waxing poetic about Gabrielle “Documented Nazi Spy” Chanel and the minutiae of her not-nearly-miserable-enough life makes me so, so twitchy.

Boy is the latest in a long line of fragrances paying swooning tribute to Chanel’s “soul mates”, her “confidantes”, her favorite color, even her goddamn home decor. THE WELL IS DRY, CHANEL. IT WASN’T EVEN A GOOD WELL TO BEGIN WITH. You cannot make me care about Coco, Chanel. You cannot make me care about her lacquered screens or her “soul mates” or her goddamn prom date. I promise that there is more exciting perfume name source material than the woman who reported directly to motherfucking Heinrich Himmler¹.

If you’re having trouble thinking of names that aren’t inspired by the petty, small woman who took advantage of Nazi laws forbidding Jewish ownership of property to petition for the seizure of Parfums Chanel from its legal Jewish owners², may I offer a suggestion? Your current head designer, Karl Lagerfeld, is the owner of the cutest cat in the world. Choupette Lagerfeld is a veritable fount of potential perfume names! How about Francoise or Marjorie, Choupette’s full-time maids? What about all of the models who’ve had photoshoots with Choupette? Gisele! Kendall! Laetitia! Linda! Name one after her favorite iPad app!

Choupette must love Pokemon Go so hard.
Choupette must love Pokemon Go so hard.

And then you put Choupette in the ads, okay? It’ll go more viral than Brad Pitt, promise.

Cats in perfume ads. Inevitable.
Cats in perfume ads. Inevitable.

Don’t worry about my consulting fee; not having to write one of these posts every time you release a fragrance dedicated to good old Gabby is payment enough.

I know it might feel a little silly at first to name your products after a cat, but I promise that it’s no sillier than naming them after the woman who paid for the medical, living, and funeral expenses of Walter Schellenberg, head of SS Foreign Intelligence, until his death in 1952³. (SEVEN YEARS AFTER WORLD WAR II, for all you “she did what she had to do to survive the war” apologist schmucks.)

Good talk, guys! Can’t wait for Eau de Choupette!

P.S. Boy is an intriguing, multifaceted lavender softened by heliotrope. It is both more interesting and less masculine than the “aromatic fougere” it is being advertised as. Nice job, Olivier Polge. (In all seriousness, Olivier, Eau de Choupette is one of my all-time best ideas. Get on this.)

¹ Vaughan, Hal. Sleeping With the Enemy: Coco Chanel’s Secret War. Alfred A. Knopf, 2011: p. xix (Prologue).
² Mazzeo, Tilar J. The Secret of Chanel No. 5. HarperCollins, 2010: p. 150.
³ Vaughan, Hal. Sleeping With the Enemy: Coco Chanel’s Secret War. Alfred A. Knopf, 2011: p. 205-207.

Disclaimers: This post is not sponsored (could you tell?) and does not contain affiliate links. I sampled Boy at my local Chanel boutique. 

Comme des Garcons Grace by Grace Coddington

I think this might just be my favorite perfume bottle of all time.

Of all time!!! Kanye, you are truly the gift that keeps on giving.
Of all time!!! Kanye, you are truly the gift that keeps on giving.

That cat cap! So whimsical! So adorable! So much better than Katy Perry’s nightmarish cat bottle!


Inside that perfect bottle is a delicate wisp of a rose fragrance with a lovely twist of mint. Everything smells very high quality, very natural. I can’t overemphasize just how light Grace is; it’s lighter than both of my previous reference points for fresh rose fragrances, Diptyque Eau Rose and Hermes Rose Ikebana. Lasting power is virtually non-existent, which I don’t love at the $145 price point. As in, I sprayed it on at Sephora, tried maybe 3 lipsticks, left the store, and walked right back in, because it was already gone. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for a $28 travel spray with a tiny kitty cap!

Grace is unimpeachably pretty, but it’s just not as interesting as one might expect from a collaboration between the avant-garde Comme des Garcons and a legendary Vogue creative director. In a recent Into The Gloss interview, Coddington explained, “I love the smell of roses, but I’ve gone through so many perfumes that just cling and make you feel claustrophobic. I like something that’s fresh but still smells of roses.” The result seems to have been a fragrance that Coddington herself would happily wear, rather than a fragrance that captures the spirit of fashion’s favorite flame-haired cat lady. More power to her! That just means that Pharrell Girl remains my preferred CdG celebrity fragrance for the time being.

Call me when Grace comes out with a cat-pillow spray. Photo credit: Wall Street Journal.
Call me when Grace comes out with a cat-pillow spray. Photo credit: Wall Street Journal.

Disclaimers: This post is not sponsored and does not contain affiliate links. I tested Grace by Grace Coddington at my local Sephora. 

Captain, My Captain

That’s my dad, with his Father’s Day gift/new signature scent, Star Trek Tiberius Eau de Toilette. It’s a pretty perfect match, since my dad is best described as Captain Kirk with a PhD.

Trekkie in training.

My father, the inventor of positron emission mammography, is a scientific visionary. He is also an immeasurably great dad. My dad has built every piece of furniture I own, including the cat tower.

Say thank you, furry grandchild.

He kept my 6th grade science fair project (penicillin-resistant bacteria) in the freezer for years, because he was sure it would earn me a patent someday. There has never been a single time that my dad was not there when I needed him. I am so proud to be his daughter.

I hope that you all had a wonderful Father’s Day. Live long and prosper!

Filibuster Fragrances


Three years after our last round of Filibuster Fragrances, courtesy of then-Senator Wendy Davis, yesterday’s Senate filibuster gives us another chance to brainstorm! Which fragrance would you choose to carry you through a filibuster?

Lasting power is obviously a major consideration (the longest filibuster on record was over 24 hours). So maybe a powerhouse like Angel or Aromatics Elixir? Would you opt for something with energizing notes, like coffee (Jo Malone Black Vetyver Cafe, L’Artisan Parfumeur Noir Exquis) or yerba maté (Annick Goutal Duel, Project Renegades Geza Schoen)? You could even keep it topical with some Juliette Has A Gun. Me, I think I’d go for something like Chanel Cristalle, a green chypre with lots of backbone. Might be a little too fleeting, though.

As always, please chime in regardless of your stance on the bill under debate. Disrespectful comments of any nature toward other commenters will be severely side-eyed.

If It Helps

I don’t have much to say about perfume the day after the worst shooting in American history. So I thought I would share the things that made me feel a little less scared yesterday. I hope they will be helpful to you as well. Please stay safe, my very dear friends.

Sprayed some Guerlain Apres L’Ondee (“after the rain”), and hoped for something better after the storm.

Signed’s petition to ban assault weapons.

Forced my cat to cuddle with me. Here is a picture of her, if you find vicarious cuddles comforting.