Perfumed Baths – a waste of money?


Have you ever tried perfuming your bath using your own perfumes? I do so once in a while, especially when I’m feeling stressed and really need to relax. When the oils in the perfume are heated up by the warm water, the aroma fills the entire bathroom. Soaking in the perfumed water, I can’t help but be enveloped by a sense of calm. And when I leave the bath, I am coated all over with a thin layer of whatever perfume I sprayed in the bath, a shield against the stresses of the world.

Some people think that spraying perfume in baths is a waste of money. Let’s consider some reasons they might give:

  1. Perfumes are too expensive to waste on a bath, where the smell lasts for only the duration of the bath.
  2. Heat from the hot water spoils the perfume so you don’t get to enjoy the ‘real’ perfume.
  3. There are dedicated products that are meant for scenting your bath. Why not use those instead? E.g. Lush bath bombs [Oooooh I love those things, but let’s not go there for now]
  4. Baths are a waste of time and water to begin with, perfumed or not. Continue reading

Can We Smell In Our Dreams?

source: *Lemmy-X on deviantArt

source: *Lemmy-X on deviantArt

I woke up in the middle of the night at about 3am with the weirdest feeling. I had just experienced olfactory perception in my dream (if it’s even possible for us to ‘perceive’ in our dreams, but let’s not go into the philosophical arguments). Obviously, some details will be lost from my recollection of my dream, but I have tried my best to record my experience almost immediately upon waking up from the dream. Continue reading

Battle of the Orange Blossom Beauties

Battle of the Orange Blossom Beauties (Edited)

© thesmellyvagabond

What do you get when L’Artisan Parfumeur‘s Séville à l’Aube meets Vero Profumo‘s Rubj EDP? You get an orange blossom diva-off, that’s what.

Now, Séville à l’Aube and Rubj are two of my favourite orange blossom-dominated fragrances, so as the judge of this extravagant perfume one-upmanship, you can count on me to be absolutely objective, right? Right. 😉 So, down to business. Who’s better, Séville à l’Aube or Rubj? Continue reading

Thierry Mugler Leaves Thierry Mugler Parfums

source: fashion beyond fashion

From The New York Times:

“The Clarins Fragrance Group announced Friday that Thierry Mugler, who has maintained creative involvement in the Mugler fragrance business since he departed from its fashion business a decade ago, is now also leaving that role. He is stepping down as artistic director of Thierry Mugler Parfums, a position in which he oversaw creative aspects of new fragrances, like the Womanity scent introduced in 2010. He will continue to consult for the brand.

The company said it is restructuring its creative directors to incorporate responsibilities for fragrance and fashion into a single role in the wake of the departure of Nicola Formichetti, the creative director on the fashion side, earlier this month. Those jobs had been separate until now, meaning that Mr. Formichetti, most recently, was representing Mugler fashion, while Mr. Mugler was representing the fragrances. The designers Sébastien Peigné and Romain Kremer, who designed the women’s and men’s runway collections, have also now left Mugler.

Mr. Mugler, an outsize personality who has also designed costumes for performers and theatrical shows since the Mugler fashion business was initially shuttered in 2003, is separately developing a revue that is expected to be performed in Paris later this year and in Berlin next year.”

Here’s a little something to chew on: If Thierry Mugler drops out of Thierry Mugler Parfums, doesn’t that leave us with just Parfums?

More seriously, though, what’s going to happen to the fragrances? Here are some of my recommendations for Thierry Mugler Parfums:

source: maya247

source: theperfumeshop

Ever wondered why Angel is shaped like a star when it’s actually supposed to be an angel? Me too. For something refreshing, how about renaming it Star…fish and actually using a living starfish impregnated with star-juice?* Give your Star…fish a little squeeze and the fragrance will squirt right into your eye!

source: salon skin care

source: mighty tide of justice






Despite its sinister name, Alien is actually quite a tame woody jasmine. How about subverting expectations completely and using a real alien in the advertising instead? Now that would be truly strange indeed.

source: lamora

source: emol






Finally, with Womanity, I recommend that they drop all pretense of the supposed ‘caviar accord’ and instead ‘fess up to their true inspiration: Manatees! Given Womanity‘s salty marine note, what naturally comes to mind are these immensely adorable mammals, not… caviar. Perhaps they found a new source of ambergris? Womanity shall henceforth be known as Wo-Manatee :D**

Hope you enjoyed this silly, nonsensical piece! No disrespect or malice was meant toward Thierry Mugler Parfums. Although I find most of their fragrances unwearable, this is testament to their creativity and polarizing nature. Just remember to never ever come near me with a bottle of Angel.

* Disclaimer No. 1: No harm was intended to any animals, starfish or otherwise, in this purely parodic piece. I would never condemn starfish to such a horrible fate as being impregnated with Angel. For the record, I loathe Angel – it induces my gag-reflex.

** Disclaimer No. 2: No disrespect was meant to the manatees, whom I find absolutely adorable and who are classified as vulnerable to extinction. Some of the main causes of death (aside from old age) include ship strikes, red tide and the ingestion of foreign objects such as fishing hooks. If you can, please do something to help them.

L’Artisan Parfumeur – Caligna

I bemoan L’Artisan Parfumeur‘s decision to move away from the beautiful, hand-drawn, travel-inspired sketches they’ve been using in the advertising for their previous scents. I get that they want to ‘move in a different direction’. There were so many excellent directions they could have moved in. For example, advertising that’s inspired by photography (well, Olfactive Studio‘s done that already), or apocalyptic art, or comic books, or history, or fruit loops… or well, anything. Anything but what they’ve done with the advertising they used for Caligna. Evidently, the marketing team at L’Artisan Parfumeur caved in to the ‘tried-and-tested’ recipe for advertising that would translate to sales: Continue reading

Another Chanel Review: 1932 Snoozefest (Les Exclusifs)


This picture of Chanel 1932 is more exciting than the perfume will ever be. Chanel 1932 is a snoozefest, created for those who want to smell like ‘sweet-nothingness’. Following my excitement over 31 Rue Cambon, I decided to review another fragrance from the Les Exclusifs line. I’d tried 1932 about a month or two back, right when it was released. I’d read reviews about how it ‘sparkled like diamonds’. So when the kind Persolaise gave me a sample, I happily spritzed it on hoping to ‘shine bright, tonight’ like the Diamonds sung about by Rihanna.

Continue reading

Smell Bent – Free Shipping on US orders over $25, international orders over $50

Monaco DependentNow, I’m in no way affiliated to Smell Bent, but since I like the brand so much, I thought I’d share this so that we can enjoy savings on the shipping. Smell Bent is an indie perfume brand set up by Brent Leonesio. The line is fun, silly and did I mention… fun? The artwork’s done by Brent himself (I think) and never fails to make me laugh. I currently own 2 full bottles: Monaco Dependent, a photo-realistic orange blossom scent and Incensed, a vanilla-drenched incense fragrance that I sometimes spritz on my pillow before heading to bed just cause it’s so soothing and fuzzy at the same time.

The best part about Smell Bent is that you can order samples or sample sets that are 4ml each, which is nice for quite a few good wearings (2ml samples disappear far too quickly!), and they don’t cost much at all. Oh, and you get a handwritten note from Brent when you purchase stuff, which is a nice personal touch.

At the moment, I’m eyeing Sweet Tyranny, the latest iris/sandalwood (mmmmm…) fragrance released by Smell Bent.

Smell Bent is available here. Check it out and let me know what you think!

The Smelly Vagabond


Chanel – 31 Rue Cambon (Les Exclusifs)

Chanel Bag

Chanel’s 31 Rue Cambon is a bag of tricks. For starters, it’s been labelled a ‘chypre’, even though it lacks the pre-requisite oakmoss (a result of IFRA restrictions, a sore topic of mine). But I’d read reviews prior to trying 31 Rue Cambon so I went in with moderate expectations, wondering how Chanel’s in-house perfumer Jacques Polge would develop an oakmoss-free chypre. In fact, I half expected a sheepish chypre.

But no, I was thoroughly surprised and impressed by 31 Rue Cambon. After opening with a delightfully fizzy bergamot (with the aid of aldehydes, it seems) that clearly signalled its intentions to be très chic and modern, 31 Rue Cambon segued into an airy jasmine lightly dusted with a smidgen of powdery iris. At that point, I found myself thinking: It’s well-made and has to some extent succeeded in re-interpreting the classics and making them more accessible to a modern audience. It’s also a restful fragrance, light and languorous in the way that many others in the Les Exclusifs line are. I’d wear it on a day when I want to play it safe, but not on my more creative days, or days when I need something more solid. 31 Rue Cambon, I thought, was a well-executed ghost of a chypre.

Then came the surprise. It vanished almost completely after an hour, leaving the slightest trace of a gauzy musk. C’mon now! I’m not going to spend over £200 on a fragrance that doesn’t last at all, however good it might be!

Half an hour later, the strangest thing happened. A sweetish amber-patchouli wafted from my elbow, stronger than either the opening or the heart. And boy was it delicious. Its structure reminded me of the opening of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, which starts with a sound that resembles that of an orchestra tuning, then bursts into stormy chords for the next 40 seconds, and at the 1:04 minute mark, disappears into a pianissimo that’s barely there. Finally, at 1:20 it magically revives and surprises the listener. Check it out for yourself:

The amber slowly fades, leaving us with a semi-sourish patchouli, that can still be smelt 8 hours after initial application. I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed the whole trajectory of 31 Rue Cambon, and found myself happily humming along to the Ode to Joy portion in the fourth movement, which happily paralleled how I felt about the drydown. A joy indeed.


Chanel 31 Rue Cambon, being part of the Les Exclusifs range, is available exclusively at Chanel boutiques or on the Chanel website. It costs USD130/£110 for a 75ml bottle or USD230/£205 for a 200ml bottle.

[I obtained my sample from the Chanel pop-up boutique in Covent Garden, London]

The Smelly Vagabond

Magnetic Scent – Tindrer


Tindrer by Magnetic Scent opens with an unconventionally green, dewy violet that smells like it’s just been freshly cut at the stem. It’s vegetal and… is that a hint of soil? Mmmm. Ten minutes in, Tindrer segues into its heart. There’s definitely something marine going on here that makes Tindrer salty fresh while the violet continues strongly in the foreground. Strangely, I keep getting the smell of new, unused erasers

Tindrer evokes the image of a young child running freely through a field of violets. It has just rained and the smell of the earth and flowers and grass fill the air. He’s smiling, but why are there tears in his eyes? He lies in the middle of the field and takes a deep breath. It’s the first time in many years that he’s been allowed out to play in the field. Tiny raindrops fall on his cheeks and mix with his salty tears, suffusing him with a sense of peace and joy.

"Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it." Mark Twain

“Forgiveness is the fragrance
the violet sheds
on the heel that has crushed it.”
Mark Twain

I wish I could live through the top and heart notes of Tindrer over and over again. Tindrer peters out after some time to a watery, barely-there musk that is pleasant but nowhere as interesting as the first hour of magic. Its sillage is moderate bordering on weak and its longevity is average, which is perfectly fine with me given that its charm lies in its ethereal nature.

Compared to The Unicorn Spell, a violet-themed fragrance by Lez Nez, Tindrer is more aquatic and transclucent, and definitely many shades brighter than its mossy counterpart. If The Unicorn Spell were a dark forest on a frosty morning, Tindrer would be an open field under a drizzle.

Overall, perfumer Spyros Drosopoulos (what a mouthful!) manages to take the violet and develop it in an original and compelling way. Where violet-dominated fragrances have typically been candied or fusty, Tindrer stands out as a delicate study on what happens when violets are looked at through a water prism. Definitely worth trying.


Tindrer is available at Bloom Perfumery, London, for £80. Alternatively, you could order it directly from Magnetic Scent for €110. Magnetic Scent also sells samples at €3.50 a piece, definitely a reasonable way to ‘try before you buy’.

[Review based on a sample I purchased from Bloom Perfumery, London]

~ The Smelly Vagabond