5 perfumes: Indie Greens


Once, when I was shopping at a perfume discounter, the owner brought me a fragrance and said: “You’ll like this. You’re a throwback.” I was taken aback. Was I? And was it so obvious? The suggested scent was a crisp green one, with the bite of galbanum, and I did like it, very much. I moved down the counter and snuffed the dusty tester, a bit embarrassed, while the owner helped a new customer pick out a bottle of Armani Code for women.

Pickings for the bitter green fiend are rather slim at department stores at present. Counter sales assistants will tell you that such scents are now old-fashioned and do not sell well. I imagine those last crisp green floral buyers, stately and melancholy as they have always been, at home with their Lauren Hutton cheekbones and maybe the accouterments of WASP style mentioned in Angela’s Estée Lauder Private Collection review: boat sneakers, gin martinis in iced silver carafes and small, strangely dignified dogs. (Of course, I still buy these perfumes and I am short, roundish and never to be found in tennis whites, alas. I would like a schnauzer, though.) Shopping at the mall these days, one worries that such green fragrances will go extinct, like the serious hats men used to wear in Cheever short stories. As with many holes in the market bemoaned by the fragrance obsessed, however, indie perfumers have leaped in to fill the galbanum gap…

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Parfums Raffy

5 Perfumes that Smell Like Booze


In the United States, we’re at the gateway of the season of Way Too Much Food and Booze. I’m not going to suggest you lay off the pumpkin pie or look the other way when the office manager waves the company credit card and suggests you all go out for a holiday drink. That’s your business. But if you decide you need a break, yet still want to smell like a party, here are five boozy scents to consider, paired with the outings at which you might wear them…

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5 perfumes: vetiver fragrances for fall

vetiver wreath

This is the second of my seasonal posts for vetiver (I’ve already done a list for summer), and as always, the line between the seasons is perhaps a bit arbitrary and/or personal: some of these fragrances wear just as well in summer or winter, and some of them work perfectly fine all the year round. But certainly any of the five would work just fine for autumn weather. As always, do add your own picks in the comments…

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5 perfumes: vetiver fragrances for summer

beaded vetiver tassels

I did a year of incense and a year of iris,1 and now as promised, I’m starting in on a year of vetiver.2 Today, five great vetiver choices for summer. Two of my own favorite vetivers for hot weather — Kenzo Air and Paul Smith Story — have been discontinued long enough now that they’re rather hard to find, but if you happen across bottles of either and you’re a vetiver fan, do snap them up! (And then if you don’t like them, send them to me.) And as always, do add your own favorites in the comments…

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5 perfumes: iris fragrances for spring

Iris sanguinea

Spring is still tentative where I live — we’ve had a few lovely days here and there, but plenty of days where there’s still a decent chill in the air. If you’re like me, you’ll do your best to pretend it’s sunny and 70 degrees even when it’s not, so it’s time to put away your darker, richer iris perfumes and reach for lighter, happier variations on the theme. Below are my five favorites for spring, and if you missed them, do see my list of iris picks for summer, iris picks for fall and iris picks for winter. Next up: a year of vetiver.

Do add your own picks in the comments…

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