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?

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Bulgari Omnia

I never expected to be able to write this post! The perfume gods are cruel and fickle, and Bulgari Omnia (the 2003 original) is one of their many casualties. Omnia was discontinued years before I ever knew I needed it. (Inexplicably, a good seven Omnia flankers are all still on the market, fruitfully multiplying.) So when Omnia popped up in an unusually great RueLaLa sale last week, I pounced! It was a risky little blind buy, but Omnia is everything I could have hoped for: an unsweetened chai latte of a scent, with gorgeous heaps of saffron, a splash of almond milk, and the gentlest dusting of spices.

Its closest living relative is probably Etat Libre d’Orange Tom of Finland (switch out the leather for woods), or a much paler L’Artisan Parfumeur Tea for Two. Omnia is very light, but has surprisingly decent lasting power.

If I had to guess why such a gem was discontinued, I’d speculate that Omnia might not have fit particularly comfortably into the mainstream feminine fragrance mold. With little sweetness and no florals, it lacks any of the more obvious “THIS IS A LADY PERFUME WE PROMISE” signifiers. Which reminds me a little of Marni, another quality sheer, spicy perfume that quickly disappeared from department store shelves despite adorable packaging and aggressive marketing. Maybe someday, mainstream perfumery will have more of a space for more androgynous beauty. Until that day comes, $48.29 on FragranceNet, y’all!

Disclaimers: This post is not sponsored and does not contain affiliate links. My Omnia decant comes from a split with lovely fragrant friends.

#ThirstyThursday: Fils de Dieu

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Welcome to Thirsty Thursday! What with perfume’s high alcohol content, perfume and cocktails are clearly a natural combination. So every week, I turn one of Arielle Shoshana’s fragrances into a (delicious! hopefully!) cocktail. Please note that my only qualification for these creations is a deep dedication to perfume and gin. Cheers!

Fils de Dieu is when I started paying close attention to Etat Libre d’Orange. With notes like toasted rice, coconut, and lime, this Thai kitchen of a fragrance made me realize that behind those cheeky names were equally bold ideas. Please allow me to introduce the Fils de Dieu, a rice wine-based cocktail inspired by the South Asian flavors of its namesake fragrance. Dare I say it’s… godly?? (This is a much better joke if you speak enough French to know that “Fils de Dieu” means “Son of God”.)

Fils de Dieu

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Rice wine (Sake, shochu, or sato would all work- I used sake)

Coconut Milk or Coconut Water (not both!)

Half a Lime

Combine one part rice wine with either two parts coconut milk or three parts coconut water (the coconut water has less flavor to cut the rice wine’s sourness). I experimented with coconut water, since all the kids are drinking it these days; the coconut milk version was significantly tastier, but you do you, boo. Add the juice of half a lime. Garnish with a slice of lime or a shiso leaf. (I went through two limes trying to cut a photogenic slice. Food bloggers are truly our nation’s heroes. Dammit, Jim, I’m a perfume blogger, not a food photographer!)

Dailies 08/15/14 and Giveaway Winner

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Sorry for the recent lack of Dailies, y’all! I’ve spent most of this week dealing with $500 worth of fraudulent charges on my card. The shmuck didn’t even have the decency to spend it on perfume!

Daily Fragrance: Etat Libre d’Orange Bijou Romantique. I got a record-breaking three compliments on this yesterday, and today is still young. There’s something seriously knee-weakening about that sweet iris note.

Daily Lip: Meow Meow Tweet Vegan Cocoa Butter Lip Balm in Tangerine Lime. Meow Meow Tweet is my very favorite of all those natural, small-batch Brooklyn brands for their excruciatingly cute packaging and surprisingly reasonable prices. The balms are very waxy, and create a good barrier from the elements.

Daily Game: The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. The newest and funniest Zelda. Deeply satisfying gameplay and Nintendo’s usual killer dialogue.

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My random.org drawing selected the 14th comment as the Atelier Cologne Rendez-Vous giveaway winner, which was Knesia H! Congratulations, Knesia! Please email me to claim your prize. Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway!

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Etat Libre d’Orange Cologne

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Etat Libre d’Orange introduces their latest fragrance, Cologne Eau de Parfum, with the words, “It’s an easy pleasure, a scent for everyone, to splash on all over and wear everywhere… It’s a very nice cologne.” Cologne opens with a bright, flat orange note and soft orange blossom. I almost always loathe orange blossom for its syrupy sweetness, but the orange note keeps both in check very nicely. It’s easy to sniff a resemblance to the recent Atelier Cologne Cedrat Envirant during this beginning stage, but unlike Cedrat Envirant, the citrus in Cologne is very streamlined, intentionally unnatural.

Now, here’s the fun part. Traditional colognes are much like Hollywood ingenues: bright and fresh, with very limited lasting power. The delightful trick up Cologne’s sleeve is that it gets better with time instead of fizzling out. The best and most interesting stage of Cologne is the drydown, when white musks mingle with polished, unsweetened leather. The lasting power is surprisingly good, and the holographic silver label is gorgeous in person.

Cologne is not the most daring, exciting Etat Libre d’Orange fragrance. It’s not the one that I, personally, would spend $150 on (Cologne is currently only available in the 100 ml size). But it is exactly what Etat Libre d’Orange set out to achieve: “an easy pleasure”. “A very nice cologne” might be just what this heavy-hitting brand needed.