By The Book

There are a lot of things I miss about New York. I miss stepping out of my apartment and stumbling into a gallery opening. I miss Waffles, the enormous calico shop cat that guarded the vintage shop up the street. I miss my friend Daisy. I miss the big pool in the Egypt exhibit at the Met.

I’ll never forget you, Waffles.

Most of all, I miss the Strand. On bad days (and there were a lot of bad days in New York), I had my routine down. Take the 6 to Union Square. Chocolate pizza at Max Brenner. Finally, an hour or two at the Strand. I know it’s touristy. I know it’s crowded. Between the books and the chocolate pizza, I left feeling full in every way.

A good half of my perfume book collection comes from the Strand. Chandler Burr’s The Perfect Scent was hiding down on the basement floor- $6! My all-time best find was Collete Fellous’ Guerlain, an incredibly detailed history of Guerlain’s perfumes through 1987. It was $50, an outrageous splurge for an unpaid intern. I returned it the next day. I wish I had kept it. Books are always worth it.

What’s your favorite book about perfume? What’s the next one you’re planning to read? I’m dying to get my hands on La Cuisine des Nez, a cookbook of perfumers’ favorite recipes. I bet it would be worth learning French to be able to try Thierry Wasser’s crawfish chicken.

Disclaimers: This post is not sponsored and does not contain affiliate links. 

Gorilla Perfumes All Good Things


I want to love you, Gorilla Perfumes. I want to support your whimsical bottles and your fair-trade policies. I tried my hardest to “succumb to this rich, sensual and smoky blend of all good things”, as ordered. And I do think that All Good Things is the best of the four new Gorilla Perfumes just released to the U.S. All Good Things is just a little too much of a good thing. There’s a lot of birch tar, and a lot of vanilla, and neither has any intention of backing down. It’s the sweetest smoky fragrance I’ve ever tried, and more than a little overpowering. Gorilla Perfumes’ own Vanillary handles the ratio of sweet to smoky much more smoothly, I think.

Not sure whether to file this under praise or warning, but the remarkable lasting power is definitely worth pointing out. Most fragrances last about an hour on my skin. Two hours is what I consider good lasting power. All Good Things was still going strong when I fell asleep a good eight hours after spraying it on. One spray! I cautiously applaud you, Gorilla Perfumes.

Making Laundry Into Lemonade

The scene of the crime. Utterly unrepentant.

Two days before Sniffapalooza, Zelda threw up into my one and only pair of high heels. That’s pretty standard procedure; as a Baltimore stray, she can smell abandonment coming a mile away. Multiple pieces of cat poop on the duvet, however, was a new development.

As I loaded up the washing machine, I found myself thinking about laundry detergent. More than a few perfume brands, including Le Labo, Maison Francis Kurkdjian, and Kai, offer laundry detergents these days. Even on the drugstore shelves, functional fragrances (like detergent and dish soap) are usually created by the same perfumers who do fine fragrance. Maybe a perfume-quality detergent would help make the task at hand a little more pleasant?

After sniffing expeditions to Saks and bluemercury, I’ve assembled the best-smelling of these upscale detergents. Unfortunately, I can’t report on performance; for better or for worse, Zelda doesn’t savage my duvet often enough to justify buying a $45 detergent.

Please don’t take that as a challenge.

The Laundress & Le Labo Rose 31 Signature Detergent

Very true to Rose 31’s wonderfully spiced rose. Of the five detergents I smelled, this is easily my top choice.

Tocca Laundry Delicate


Laundry Delicate comes in five different scents; I was able to track down Stella, Florence, and Cleopatra. I actually liked the detergents even better than the fragrances! Stella’s orange note, for example, was much juicier in detergent form. Florence is a straightforward-but-lovely tuberose, and Cleopatra was a Coco Mademoiselle-eque fruitchouli. Stella leads the pack for me.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Universalis Laundry Detergent


Definitely focuses on the lemon side of the Aqua Universalis equation. I wish there was a little more of that gorgeous sparkling lily of the valley you get in the fragrance itself.

Does your love of scents extend as far as laundry detergent? Any favorites that should be on this list?

Disclaimers: This post is not sponsored and does not contain affiliate links.

Crying Over Spilled Perfume


Last night, I ripped open the package of Catherine Deneuve pure parfum I’d bought for this week’s celebrity perfumes workshop. You probably know where this is going from the post title. Despite the Fort Knox’s worth of bubble wrap, the bottle was completely empty. Every last drop of this priceless (well, $29.67 for 1/16th ounce, but who’s counting?) perfume had leaked.

It’s not my first brush with perfume tragedy- there’s the bottle of (vintage!) Chanel No. 5 parfum that spilled in my purse, or the J. Crew rollerball that was already half-evaporated when I opened it- but this one definitely hits the hardest. There’s always more No. 5, but Deneuve was discontinued years ago, so it feels like I’ve lost a little piece of perfume history. At least the box still smells amazing.

What’s your greatest perfume tragedy? Leaks, shattered glass, discontinuations- spill the juice! (METAPHORICALLY, PLEASE.)

Disclaimers: This post is not sponsored and does not contain affiliate links. I purchased all products featured in this post (sob). 

Back It Up


The first backup bottle, that first perfume that you cannot and will not live without, is a major perfumista milestone. The second backup bottle? Hey, we’ve all been there. The ninth backup bottle? You’re on your own, crazypants.

Your friendly neighborhood crazypants picked up nine bottles of Safran Troublant in the L’Artisan repackaging sale, and now I need you to make me feel better by telling me about your backup bottles. How many fragrances do you have backups for? How many bottles of each backup do you have? (Please, please say nine.)

To be completely honest, I feel significantly less horrified than I probably should. Safran Troublant has disappeared off the market at least twice that I can remember. That looming threat of discontinuation took a little joy out of wearing it. But now no one can take the most beautiful perfume in the world away from me! They’ll have to embalm me in it.