I am a little too excited to bring back an older Scents of Self feature: Ask Ari, the perfume advice column! First up is a very, very real submission that I definitely did not make up. If you have any perfume etiquette questions of your own, please feel free to submit them for future columns so that Kanye does not have to sue me.
I’ve been talking about launching my own fragrance since 2011, but lately I’m feeling intimidated by the success of my wife’s fragrance line. I’m afraid that I just won’t be able to keep up with the Kardashians. How can I get over my insecurities so that I can give the world the best celebrity fragrance of all time? (OF ALL TIME!!!)
Definitely Not Kanye West
Choosing the right fragrance manufacturer is critical in creating a fragrance worthy of Definitely Not Kanye West. Most of your celebrity counterparts choose mass-market companies like Coty or Proctor & Gamble. The end result is usually bland and boring, which is why most celebrity scents only last a season or two on department store shelves. They might make their namesake celebrity some money in the short term, but your reputation will be cheapened in the long run when they end up in the Walmart aisle.
However, we’ve been seeing some smarter, more interesting choices from a few celebrities recently. The Olsen twins made a very respectable fragrance line for their Elizabeth & James brand through a direct partnership with Sephora, and Pharrell’s fragrance for Commes des Garcons was so well-received that it was picked up by prestigious retailers like Barney’s and Luckyscent. Ask Ari recommends that you follow in their footsteps rather than in Kim’s, especially since her fragrance line was infamously dropped by Sephora after violating their exclusivity clause.
Ask Ari would also recommend that you avoid keeping up with Khloe Kardashian, at least fragrance-wise. Getting divorced a year after you and your husband released a fragrance named “Unbreakable” gives us perfume bloggers years of material!
Definitely Not An Enormous Fan,
P.S. It was surprisingly difficult to find a picture for this post. Please take more pictures of yourself holding perfume bottles.
Don’t let that 2.5 Trip Advisor rating scare you away. Ignore the review calling the Museu del Perfum “one room you could walk around in 1 minute.” That lowly one room contains one of the most unbelievable perfume collections on earth, a spectacular 4,000 bottles ranging from ancient Egypt to modern day.
The museum starts off old-school: Roman clay urns from 500 B.C., gorgeous 18th century Italian glasswork, and even two bottles owned by Marie Antoinette. I somehow have only one picture from this section. Bad blogger!
About halfway through the collection, the fragrances are categorized by national origin. It’s nice to know that Israel and Palestine peacefully coexist, at least behind a glass case in Barcelona.
We’ve finally reached my favorite part! The end of the museum is a dazzling parade of long-lost, legendary fragrances from the last century.
They had all the big names, but even more thrilling were the unknowns. Chanel Ivoire, Guerlain Fol Arôme, Meteor de Coty; mysterious bottles that I had never heard of before despite their big brand names. Lost fragrances that no longer exist outside of the museum’s display cases. All you can do is stare at them through the glass and try to imagine what they would have been like.
No museum is complete without a gift shop, and Regia Perfumería has one of the best selections of niche and high-end fragrances outside of France. If you can tear yourself away (I couldn’t without a bottle of the deliciously warm Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur), the magnificently whimsical Casa Battló is just a few Gaudí-designed tiles further down the street.
A few more spectacular bottles that didn’t fit into any particular category:
Disclaimers: This post does not contain affiliate links. Please note that the museum goes by both Museu del Perfum (Catalan) and Museo del Parfum (Castillian Spanish). All museum captions are in Catalan, which my high school Spanish was totally unprepared for.
I remember Juicy Couture’s glory days (approximately 2003-2006) very well. We’re talking the The Simple Life era, when walking around in a Juicy tracksuit and Uggs was fashion-forward rather than hopelessly tacky and accessorizing with a chihuahua was mandatory. Sadly, time has not been kind to Juicy Couture. Paris Hilton went to jail; The Simple Life was cancelled. We gradually came to the realization that Uggs are more hideous than stylish, and purse-size chihuahuas can be a little annoying.
While Juicy Couture may no longer hold the sway it once did, its fragrance line remains very successful. Juicy’s first fragrance, the self-titled Juicy Couture, debuted in 2006. It is still my favorite of the Juicy fragrances. I’ve always liked the way this perfume smells. Juicy Couture pairs an excessively sugary watermelon note with an elegant tuberose note. The tuberose actually makes Juicy Couture a little too sophisticated for its target audience- many of the MakeupAlley reviews call it “old lady”. Still, this ain’t Coty Chypre. If you do not like sweet fragrances, stay far, far away. Someone at the Juicy factory was a little heavy-handed with the sugar.
Disclaimer: I got my sample of Juicy Couture from Nordstrom.