Photo Essay: Perfume Places in Rome

 I was browsing through my perfume journal when I realised in horror that I’d completely forgotten to do a write up of my holiday in Rome LAST YEAR IN JUNE! Speak of scatter-brained! Well, I’ve got too many notes to type out, and not enough time, so for now I suppose a photo essay will have to suffice. After all, the cliché about a picture speaking a thousand words holds! Well make that a thousand and a few, because I’ve added captions to some of them 😉 Enjoy!

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Should I sell unwanted bottles on my blog? What about swaps?

© The Smelly Vagabond

© The Smelly Vagabond

Timmy the Teddy says hi! 🙂

So… I’m just going to throw the question out here: do you think it would be a good idea for me to sell my unwanted bottles on my blog? Or should I just stick to writing? Reason I’m asking is because I’ll be moving abroad in about 2 months’ time, and don’t have enough space for all my perfumes in my suitcase (yes, it’s full, I know, I know… I’m a natural hoarder), and there are still a couple more that I wish to purchase before leaving London! Whoops. I wonder if you’ve ever found yourself in such a predicament. There’s always the option of shipping, but I can’t bear the thought of perfume being transported in a hot metal container. But I’m going to leave it up to you guys to decide:

In addition, would you people be interested if I conducted, say, a monthly decant swap here on the blog? I personally think swaps are a fantastic way to try fragrances that we aren’t familiar with without having to spend extra money (cause it’s already been spent!). Some ideas I have are themed swaps, in which everyone comments a fragrance that contains a certain note (e.g. incense) that they are willing to decant and swap, and then look around to see if they can find a match! I’m not sure how that’s going to work out logistically (yet), but if enough people are interested in it I’ll try to find a way to make this possible!

Well, what do you think? Do cast your vote, and leave a comment if you’ve got more thoughts on the matter! 🙂

~ The Smelly Vagabond

Telegraph Article: Why are there no great men’s fragrances any more?

Interesting article alert! The Telegraph has just published a piece lamenting the lack of great men’s fragrances today. You can find it by clicking here.

Notable quotes that stood out to me include:

“So dull are today’s creations that the fragrance du jour may as well be called Ubiquity Pour Homme – a concoction that is everywhere, smells like everything else and is characterised by a top note of predictability, a heart note of safety and a base note of utter blandness. Oh, and pink pepper and something sweet and vanillary for good measure. Wear it and you’ll smell like every other man in the street.”

“What’s also making today’s fragrances so dull is the ubiquitous Dihydromyrcenol – a synthetic ingredient described (depending on your point of view) as being lavender-like, hyper-fresh or slightly bitter and metallic. It’s primarily used in men’s fragrance for its ferocity and staying power, is often prevalent in sport variants, and is the ingredient responsible for that slightly acrid zing common to pungent men’s fragrances. And it’s is everywhere. The reason for this, a perfumer friend told me recently, is that creative briefs for men’s fragrances often require that they “last all day” because men, unlike women, tend to apply once and don’t bother to top up later in the day. The easiest way to deliver that longevity is to throw some Dihydromyrcenol into the mix.”

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Elle Article: “Fragrance, Sex & Attraction – Men Who Collect Perfume”

Men Who Wear Fragrance

I stumbled across an Elle article that was posted over on Facebook Fragrance Friends, a lovely forum that I frequent. It writes about the growing number of men who are steadily becoming fragrance fans and also features the Goodsmellas, a group of well, men who are fanatical (I use this as a term of endearment) about their perfume. It’s a lovely read, and I highly recommending checking it out.

“But, you know, we get it. It’s not about using the fragrance to get the girl or using the fragrance to land the job—it’s just life enriching. And when you figure that out, it’s like seeing color.”

This quote really struck me as something that rings dear to my heart. Sure, fragrance may help in the game of seduction, and it may make one more attractive to others, but the main thing about fragrance is that it truly, truly, enriches your life. It’s a whole new world of sensory perceptions that remains to be discovered.

Long live perfume!

~ The Smelly Vagabond

Etat Libre d’Orange – Bendelirious

If you ask me, it looks like someone’s lip is being botoxed by a pointy building.

The ad-copy for Bendelirious, taken from the Etat Libre d’Orange website:

The first time he sees her, it’s a party, and he senses something special in the air. He looks for the source of exuberance, and he is rewarded with only a fleeting glimpse of a woman in a minidress and sky-high stilettos, but she leaves in her wake an array of glorious contradictions: soft and cool, delicate and earthy. She is a star and he’s dazzled. 
He sees her again, at another party. It’s a benefit this time, an event marked by luxury and compassion. She passes his table with its iris centerpiece, and like the precious iris she evokes elegance and grace. She illuminates the room, and he wants to follow the light.
And he does, to a cavernous club, where the uptown girl has become a downtown diva. In leather jacket and ballerinas, in the sweet madness of the moment, she is an urban fairy, waving a bottle of champagne like a magic wand. She can dance on tables and sing on subway platforms and draw everyone into her bewitching aura. For one brief spell-binding moment, their eyes meet, and now he is completely enchanted.

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The Problem with Parfum Prices

Recently, I’ve become rather perplexed at how the various concentrations of a perfume are priced. For many, the extrait (also known as parfum) concentrations of perfumes are often deemed to be the best of all concentrations, because they are plusher, richer and fuller etc. etc. Obviously, this varies depending on one’s personal preferences. But I’m not so much interested in discussing anyone’s preferences regarding concentrations as I am with the pricing strategies of companies with regard to the various perfume concentrations. Continue reading

Perfume Haiku Series: cK One by Calvin Klein

cK One by Calvin Klein

Salty briny sea
Suffused with radiant sunbeams
Redefining fresh

If there’s one perfume I can definitely say that I have too much of, it’s cK One. My friends know that I like perfume, and so they sometimes buy perfume for me as gifts – I inevitably end up getting cK One, because it’s a cheapie that’s also safe and inoffensive (most of my friends aren’t working yet, in the same way that I’m not). As of today I have half a litre of cK One. I sometimes use it to scent my sheets, or even the toilet. It’s not that I don’t like it – I just literally have so much of it that it’s scary!

Are there any particular perfumes that you have too much of? Do you ever get sick of them?

~ The Smelly Vagabond

The Smelly Vagabond’s Adventures in Paris: Day 2 (Part III)

The Smelly Vagabond’s Adventures in Paris: Day 1
The Smelly Vagabond’s Adventures in Paris: Day 2 (Part I)
The Smelly Vagabond’s Adventures in Paris: Day 2 (Part II)

 Day 2 (Part III) – A Whirlwind Tour of Perfume Boutiques


We left Jovoy with contented smiles on our faces – well, more than just contented smiles: Monsieur D left with a bottle of Parfum d’Empire’s Ambre Russe and plenty of samples. I’d managed to muster up some inkling of restraint and left without buying anything… yet (that’s a story for Day 4). We had planned to meet up with Bianca, a friend that Monsieur D had made on the train from the airport, at 3.30pm, but there was still some time to kill, and so we decided to walk around the area. Just diagonally across the street from Jovoy was a Jean Patou boutique, where we discovered the recently launched Collection Héritage series comprising Chaldée, Eau de Patou and Patou Pour Homme. I have yet to smell the original scents, so I can’t comment on how they’ve been reformulated, and I can’t remember much of what I smelt either, save for the fact that they were quite smooth and elegant, never venturing into offensive territory. The sales assistant was helpful enough, and possibly rather hopeful that we would be making a purchase as well, given that she was quite persistent about the quality of the fragrances. I suppose it was because we were holding so many shopping bags! Continue reading