Quarter-Life Crisis

As of July 26, I have officially hit late twenties! (Which makes Scents of Self eight years old, y’all. Scents of Self is A THIRD GRADER. If she’s following in my footsteps, next year she’ll have to switch schools after a few “recess incidents.” Eight year old Ari had not yet quite mastered that most crucial of lessons, “hitting is bad.”) Staring down the harsh reality of never again (or, uh, before) qualifying for “25 under 25” lists, I gave in to my quarter-life equivalent of the mid-life crisis red convertible: a new perfume display shelf! (I had a college roommate whose mom celebrated getting divorced by buying a helicopter. She ended up selling it almost immediately, because “there’s just no place to park a helicopter.” We’ve all been there, girl.)

Shall we stroll down perfume storage memory lane to see just how extensive the upgrade is?
The mini-fridge stage! Pros: protected the perfumes from a newly-adopted Zelda. Cons: it was actually a wine cooler, so the perfumes kept falling through the intended-for-wine-bottles slats.This bookshelf loyally served me from high school all the way through my first post-graduation apartment. That apartment, however, was located in New York, and just a few trips to The Strand quickly exceeded its capacity.A very cute step shelf from Target. Not even close to enough room for the books.

Back to the fridge! Yes, it’s the safest place for a perfume to be (protected from heat and light), but now no one else can see all my beautiful bottles!The most recent storage solution, an eight cube Ikea Kallax. There’s finally enough room for both the perfumes and the books, but it’s not the most elegant piece of furniture.

My previous perfume organizational systems were always pretty much just “prettiest bottles up front,” but I feel like I should be taking advantage of the shelf’s segmentation. Any advice on the best ways to sort a collection?

Memo Paris Siwa

Siwa was part of a breathtaking Memo Paris discovery set that was included in my Sniffapalooza goodie bag. I oohed, aahed, and promptly forgot about it. For two years. Please, hold your applause.

Siwa is a little tricky to explain. It’s a floral with a lot of vanilla, but it’s not a sweet floral. Instead, it’s a fresh, lush narcissus fragrance and a vanilla fragrance. The two components don’t combine or interact; you experience both at the same time. It’s a very cool effect! Sadly, Siwa’s more dramatic listed notes (whiskey lactone and popcorn accord) are completely undetectable. The only comparison I can think of is Hermessence Vanille Galante, but Vanille Galante is sweeter, more blended. Oh, and Cartier Baiser Volé, but Baiser Volé smells much more artificial.

Siwa is really quite lovely, but there are two major problems. First is lasting power. Siwa has the worst lasting power of any fragrance that I’ve ever tried in my life. It was gone from my skin in literally 20 minutes. At the $210 price point, that’s pretty inexcusable. Which brings us to Problem 2. $210 for 75 ml isn’t unprecedented for niche perfumery, but if I’m spending more than $200, I would probably just go for the Hermessence ($255/100 ml).

Cartier Le Baiser du Dragon

I made the mistake of spraying LBdD right before eating breakfast. After about a minute of sniffing, I found that I no longer had much of an appetite. “Le Baiser du Dragon” translates to “The Kiss of the Dragon”, and it is important to keep in mind that such a kiss would likely be more painful than pleasurable. LBdD is a predominantly patchouli scent with somewhat rancid top notes (I assume that this is caused by the amaretto note). It’s kind of sexy, in an unsettling way, but mostly LBdD just comes off as overwhelming. Too loud, too bold, too much. LBdD could be well-suited to those big nights in a woman’s life when you need a perfume that demands attention. As for me, however, I wish that LBdD would take its shriek of “Look at me!” down a few decibels.