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?

International Women’s Month: Olivia Giacobetti

Welcome to International Women’s Month! Scents of Self will be celebrating with tributes to the female pioneers of perfumery all month long. First up: Olivia Giacobetti!

I want to keep Olivia Giacobetti in my basement. Wait, let me try that again: I want to keep Olivia Giacobetti in my basement so that she can make me an endless supply of her brilliant fragrances. (Olivia, where are you going? Come back! I don’t even have a basement! OLIVIA I WILL TREAT YOU HUMANELY.)

A Giacobetti fragrance is instantly recognizable. She favors light, graceful strokes of bold notes, like a watercolor painting with bright colors. But it’s not just her talent that makes me want to keep Olivia in my basement (or the attic! Like Jane Eyre!) I also admire her unorthodox path as a perfumer.

Giacobetti is one of the very few perfumers who works outside of the perfume industry’s traditional fragrance firm system, and inarguably one of the most successful. She created her own company, Iskia, at age 24, after beginning her career at Annick Goutal at age 16. After 13 years of creating fragrances for the likes of Hermès, Diptyque, and Byredo, Giacobetti launched her own line, IUNX. Despite a challenging beginning (the original IUNX boutique closed in 2006), IUNX triumphantly reopened at the iconic Hotel Costes in 2008. Respect, Oli-G.

Choosing a Top 5 for my very favorite perfumer was so impossible that it almost immediately became a Top 7 list!

7 Olivia Giacobetti Fragrances Every Human Needs To Smell

L’Artisan Parfumeur Dzing!

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L’Artisan’s tribute to the circus has Giacobetti playing lion tamer, softening this wild creature of leather and sawdust until it purrs.

Diptyque Philosykos

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No discussion of fig fragrances is complete without a mention of the gorgeously green Philosykos.

L’Artisan Parfumeur Safran Troublant

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My #1. Saffron, sandalwood, unearthly beauty.

Frederic Malle En Passant

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Tender, dew-soaked lilacs. Probably my favorite floral.

Lubin Idole

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First name greatest, last name ever. Rum, saffron, and a souk’s worth of spices. I would trade an alarming number of organs for a bottle of the now-discontinued eau de toilette.

Honoré des Prés I Love Les Carottes

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The carrot fragrance you never knew you needed! A very clever olfactory magic trick; crisp, rooty iris smells like carrots from a certain angle.

L’Artisan Parfumeur Jour de Fete

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Cruelly discontinued. MAJOR party foul. Jour de Fete was the loveliest candied almond fragrance around.

In conclusion, the Giacobetti-Weinberg wedding will take place in June, our cat will be the ring-bearer, and you are all invited.

What’s your favorite Giacobetti fragrance? Did I miss any must-sniffs?

Disclaimers: This post is not sponsored and does not contain affiliate links. All fragrances featured in the post were purchased at full price by me, to my horror. 

Dailies 07/18/14

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Daily Fragrance: Le Labo Lys 41. Despite the aggravating city exclusives and the intentionally confusing naming scheme, Le Labo always delivers on their perfumes. Lys 41 is a robust, true lily fragrance with a delicious vanilla drydown. I like it even better than the gold standard lily, Frederic Malle Lys Mediterranee, which goes too sweet on me.

Daily Nail Polish: Illamasqua Raindrops. Caution: needs at least three coats. That third coat takes Raindrops from a streaky mess to an ethereal, shimmering dove grey.

Daily Game: Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon. Dark Moon stars the unwilling ghostbuster Luigi, younger, greener brother to Nintendo mascot Mario (aka Maurice Roucel lookalike). Timid, bumbling Luigi’s willingness to face his fears (ghosts, and lots of them) in order to save his brother never fails to make me sniffle. Vacuuming up ghosts is also surprisingly satisfying!

Please feel free to share your own dailies (and to use your own categories)!

Five Gin Perfumes For World Gin Day

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Happy World Gin Day, y’all! The less gin-soaked among you might remember that this fine holiday was actually last Saturday, but every day is World Gin Day in our hearts. To celebrate, I’ve rated the gin-tensity of five gin-themed perfumes from one bottle of Hendricks to five bottles. Cheers!

Atelier Cologne Cedrat Envirant

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The mouthwatering Cedrat Envirant is based on the gin-champagne-lemon juice combination of the classic French 75 cocktail, but unlike a real French 75, the juniper note is just a whisper beneath the sparkling lime opening.

TokyoMilk Gin & Rosewater

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Bombay Sapphire with a bright, girly rose note. If pink gin existed, this is what it would smell like.

Lubin Gin Fizz

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Phyllis Diller, of blessed memory, famously declared that “the only time I ever enjoyed ironing was the day I accidentally got gin in the steam iron.” Gin Fizz smells like that happy accident: a soft juniper note mingling with the hiss of hot steam.

Frapin L’Humaniste

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Gin and tonic with lots of pepper. I find this one a little boring, but my brief time selling Frapin suggests that half of New York’s mixologists wear it.

Frederic Malle Angeliques Sous La Pluie

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The ultimate gin fragrance. Gincylopedia Brittanica. Gindiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. Angeliques Sous La Pluie roars with crushed juniper berries. Hard to believe that this intense, earthy fragrance is a Jean-Claude Ellena creation.

L’Artisan Parfumeur Jour de Fete

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L’Artisan Parfumeur Jour de Fete is a typical heliotrope fragrance, a luminously sweet almond scent with an unmistakable Play-Doh vibe. Like many of Olivia Giacobetti’s creations for L’Artisan, Jour de Fete is terribly pretty and just the right amount of strange. Like virtually all of Olivia Giacobetti’s creations for L’Artisan, the lasting power and projection are dreadful. I missed Jour de Fete the first time around, so unfortunately I don’t know how this re-release compares to the original in either smell or tenacity.

Why you should buy Jour de Fete: Even though there are similar heliotrope fragrances (Etro Heliotrope and Frederic Malle L’Eau de Hiver come to mind), Jour de Fete is actually the best-priced option at $100 for 100 ml.

Why you should not buy Jour de Fete: It’s limited edition. Boooooo!

I’ll probably buy it. I wish I knew how to quit you, L’Artisan.

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