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!


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


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

L’Artisan Parfumeur Safran Troublant

safran troublant

My #1. Saffron, sandalwood, unearthly beauty.

Frederic Malle En Passant


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

Lubin Idole


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


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

jour de fete

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. 

Monday Motivation… on Tuesday


One of my favorite beauty blogs, Temptalia, used to have this feature that I really liked: Monday Motivation. I wanted to do my own version, but as you may have noticed, I was so in need of Monday Motivation this week that I didn’t get around to posting this until Tuesday! So this Monday Tuesday, I’m sharing the products (perfume-wise and otherwise!) that are keeping me motivated this week. What’s getting you through the week? Please tell us in the comments!

Idole de Lubin EDT. If I wasn’t such a perfume floozy, this would be my signature scent. Now, do I need a backup? LuckyScent told me on Twitter that Idole EDT “is no more”, and a bottle is only $100 (with free shipping!) on Beauty Habit. Normally I can’t imagine needing a backup of a 75 ml perfume, but the lasting power is excruciatingly poor. 

Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelée in Getaway Red. The opportunity to wear a blush that smells like coconuts is a surprisingly effective motivational tool for getting out of bed in the morning.

Ineke Floral Curiosities Angel’s Trumpet. I’ve liked this lush, aquatic floral since the first time I tried it at Anthropologie. When the price recently dropped to $14, my resistance finally dropped along with it. Really great on those gross, sticky hot days.

Trader Joe’s Jasmine Green Tea. I hate jasmine in perfumes, but adore it in tea. What does that even mean? And isn’t the packaging hella Gatsby?

The Current Shopping List

In the absence of actual shopping (with the exception of one Lush binge, my last shopping trip was in December), my shopping list has been piling up! These are the perfume and non-perfume items that I’m currently lusting after. What’s on your shopping list? Please feel free to share your own list with us in the comments!

 Buxom Stay-There Eye Shadows

These cream eye shadows are named after dog breeds, and if you think for one minute that I am above this sort of gimmick, you’ve been huffing too much Fracas. I already own Pug (my very favorite kind of dog, and the most unique color, in my opinion), and am saving up for Mutt.

Gorilla Perfumes Voice of Reason


I’ve been looking for the perfect coffee fragrance for years and years now. Comptoir Sud Pacifique Vanille Mokha was too sweet; Bond No. 9 New Haarlem wasn’t sweet enough. Jo Malone Black Vetyver Cafe is very close, but it sadly disappears from my skin within 20 minutes. Voice of Reason, which claims to smell like “espresso, French cigarettes, and whiskey”, sounds like a worthy contender.

Ted Baker London Print Fit & Flare Dress


I’m not usually a big fan of Peter Pan collars, but I can’t even explain to you how cute this dress looks in person. As an aside, this model’s legs are taller than my entire body.

Lubin Idole EDT


Last week I had dinner with the very funny and hugely knowledgeable Judith of The Unseen Censer, who spontaneously decided to buy a bottle of Idole after smelling it on me. It’s that good, y’all. This is the warm, spicy, saffron-y scent of my dreams. The EDP is richer and woodier, but it somehow feels less “me”.

We Killed: The Rise of Women in American Comedy


I am deeply invested in the idea that women can be funny, because otherwise I’m just plain obnoxious.

Scent Diary: 3/12/2013

The second of my three automated wake-up calls wakes me up at 6:09 AM. My physics midterm starts at 8. I eat Fruit Loops and pound a Five Hour Energy. It is deeply unpleasant.

I have literally six Lush body washes (The Olive Branch, Grass, Ro’s Argan, Dream Wash, and two varieties of Lush FUN), but I choose The Olive Branch for my shower this morning because citrus scents are supposed to be all energizing. I do not feel particularly energized, but it is hard to say whether it is my fault or The Olive Branch’s. One of my medications causes very vivid nightmares, so my sleep is never all that restful anyway.

The physics building is a fifteen minute walk away. It is raining. The cat mangled my last umbrella. I put on my Kate Nash Pandora station for the very wet walk. Mumford & Sons comes on. I hurriedly switch to my Disney Pandora station.

Normally I wear Jo Malone Black Vetyver Cafe when taking tests, the theory being that a coffee scent should keep me energized. But I was wearing Idole de Lubin EDT (sent to me by my gracious reader Allison) when I was studying last night, and we all know the studies about how you should wear the same scent when you prepare for and then subsequently take a test.

The midterm goes bizarrely well. I feel prouder of myself than I have in months, and reward myself with Pokemon and beauty blogs.

Screen Shot 2013-03-12 at 12.46.44 PM

Around 9:30, I realize that I need cookie dough more than I have ever needed anything in my life. I buy it at a nearby grocery store run by a Palestinian family. They sell lots of Middle Eastern food items, including rosewater. Last weekend I tried to make a cocktail with gin and rosewater, inspired by the gorgeous and effervescent TokyoMilk Gin & Rosewater. It was wretched, and I do not know if I will ever be able to trust TokyoMilk again.

Idole EDT has everything I could ever want in a perfume- warmth, spices, a prominent saffron note- except for lasting power. By 9:40, it was already time for a new SOTD. I chose creamy, peanut butter-y L’Artisan Bois Farine. Bois Farine is an excellent bedtime scent, but Five Hour Energies are not conducive to napping. I lay in bed and shake like an overexcited chihuahua for a good 45 minutes before finally giving up.

I test the new Jo Malone Ginger Biscuit during lunch. I am even less impressed than I was when I first tried it at Nordstrom. The ginger top note is attractive, but a generic Spicy Man Smell haunts the fragrance all the way down to the base notes. I am genuinely curious why the Sugar & Spice collection is so much worse than the Tea collection just a year before.

Lunch is tom yum soup and genmaicha tea, which tastes just like rice steam. I am still not very good at this whole taking pictures of your food thing.