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. 

The Finish Line

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I’ve never finished a bottle of perfume. Wait, it gets worse: I’ve never even finished a decant. The closest I’ve ever gotten is a 30 ml Jo Malone Black Vetyver Cafe; I’ve managed to use up about 10 ml in the FOUR YEARS since I bought it. I know it sounds outrageous, but there’s actually a perfectly reasonable explanation. About half of the fragrances in my collection are discontinued. If I use them up, they’ll be gone forever! I also blame my overly cautious spraying habits (one to the neck, one to each wrist) and distressingly short attention span (my ADHD documentation places me in “the 99th percentile for attentional issues for [my] age and gender”!)

Of course, the sad truth is that no matter how carefully I ration my discontinued treasures, perfume eventually goes bad. So I have a belated fragrant New Year’s resolution: I’m going to finish one bottle of perfume this year. The previously mentioned Black Vetyver Cafe is the most promising candidate, but I’ve also been making good progress on Safran Troublant. Any words of wisdom? Should I be spraying more? Alternating between fragrances less often? How often do you empty a bottle of perfume?

The Savings Poll

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Last week, we all confessed our perfume sins in the quarterly Now Smell This Damage Poll. I don’t know about y’all, but I’ve been feeling the need for some moral high ground ever since. So I propose a Damage Poll spin-off: the Savings Poll! Now that we’ve done our perfume penance, let’s applaud ourselves for all the times that we desperately wanted to buy a perfume and then totally didn’t. Brag to us about your unshakeable restraint in the face of irresistible perfumes or prices! I’ll go first:

L’Artisan Parfumeur Safran Troublant ($140)

L’Artisan Parfumeur Bois Farine ($140)

L’Artisan Parfumeur Poivre Piquant ($140)

The moment I saw my three favorite L’Artisans in the “last chance to buy” section of the L’Artisan website, I started saving up for backup bottles. I decided to hold off after noticing that L’Artisan mysteriously transferred them into a new category called “Les Exclusifs” a few weeks later. My perfume paranoia will probably win out eventually, but for now, I’ve saved a grand total of $420! That’s 1.15 Diane von Furstenberg wrap dresses! 2.04 Serge Lutens bell jars! 42 Tupac bobble heads!

Your turn! Tupac bobble heads are $9.99, just in case you need the conversion rate.

Just kidding, y'all. We all know that Tupac bobble heads are PRICELESS.
Just kidding, y’all. We all know that Tupac bobble heads are PRICELESS.